The official inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war began its public hearings on Tuesday of this week amid a storm over leaked documents that show the backroom deals George Bush and Tony Blair made in the run-up to the slaughter.
Many hoped that the inquiry would condemn Blair’s actions and declare the war illegal.
But its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, said the conclusions of the inquiry would be “definitive in one sense, yes, but not definitive in the sense of a court verdict of legal or illegal.
“It is much closer to high policy decisions: was this a wise decision, was it well-taken, was it founded on good advice and good information and analysis?”
The Sunday Telegraph newspaper published leaked documents this week that show that Blair tried to hide his true intentions over Iraq by informing only “very small numbers” of officials.
He tried to claim the goal was “disarmament, not regime change”.
But the documents reveal that “from March 2002 or May at the latest there was a significant possibility of a large-scale British operation”.
This limited inquiry will not stop future wars from happening or call leaders to account.
The inquiry must look at the deals made with the US in the months before the war.
It must expose the fabricated “intelligence”, including the 45-minute threat.
Only by declaring Tony Blair guilty of war crimes will it help to bring justice for those millions of Iraqis who have paid with their lives for a bloody, pointless war.