Chilcot Report: Is Blair Going To Face Any Real Justice?

Dubai – The Chilcot report has highlighted the belligerent misconduct of Tony Blair to parliament and Britain; however, to the dismay that it could only be material for the archives, neglecting any right to, vandalised, Iraq and affected British families. With this observation, should the report be a milestone to seeing some sort of accountability for the perpetrators?

Blair had deceived parliament with a bellicose attitude from the onset and reassured Bush ‘I will be with you, whatever’, leading SNP MP Alex Salmond to declare his actions a ‘parliamentary crime and its time for parliament to deliver the verdict’.  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn concurred that ‘parliament must hold to account, including Tony Blair, those who took us into this particular war’ and then deputy prime minister John Prescott to currently believe the war was ‘illegal’. Blair’s attitude was apropos to how Saddam would typically act unchallenged or Egypt’s Anwar Al-Sadat negotiating at Camp David with little regard for popular sentiment at home or cabinet consultation.

However, ‘the enquiry has not expressed views on whether military action was legal’, and rightly so, as a ‘properly constituted and internationally recognised court’ must handle this matter. The International Criminal Court was begotten in the aftermath of the 2nd World War and provides ‘prosecuting the crime of aggression’. Only just in 2010 did the ICC agree on the offence of ‘a person in a position effectively to exercise control or to direct political or military action of a state’ aggressively by ‘which its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the charter of the UN’. It stops at that, making any progressive decisive action if there were any to be taken difficult, until further agreement in 2017.

Sir John’s criticism of the decision to invade Iraq in his report agitated Blair to ‘accept full responsibility. Without exception, without excuse’, however with a caveat that it wasn’t an apology for his decision. Blair masterfully capitalised on the report’s nature as a critique of his decision, and espoused saying ‘there were no lies. Parliament and cabinet were not misled. There was no secret commitment to war. Intelligence was not falsified and the decision was made in good faith’, however contrary to the report.

Evidently, Iraqi families, and everyone touched by this have been somewhat omitted from the report’s objective, and the chief of the ‘war cabinet’ evaded an apology. Yet the report offers conspicuous material for those affected directly on the frontline and those who feel they were cheated at home, to unequivocally lobby for an apology and possibly trials for war crimes against senior figureheads.

Although a Radovan Karadžić scenario would bring solace to many bereaving families the world over, it’s very early days to see the effect of Chilcot’s report. It’s very unfitting; unimaginable for a British prime minister to be tried. Without a vociferous enquiry taking place in America, chances are very slim for war victims home and abroad to see Blair face any real justice. 

Written by El Zafarani

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El-Zafarani is a British national of Arab heritage with a background in International Relations, who comments on Current Affairs, Society and Faith matters, based in Dubai.