Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 July 2003

Editorial: War in Iraq - Blair's Not Off The Hook

THE FOREIGN Affairs Select Committee spent four weeks investigating the reasons Blair gave for taking Britain into a war against Iraq. The title of their proceedings - 'The decision to go to war against Iraq' was hardly dealt with.

The conclusion of the report is that "the jury is still out" on the accuracy of the September dossier and concludes "that continuing disquiet and unease about the claims made in the September dossier are unlikely to be dispelled unless more evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme comes to light."

As expected, this ineffectual committee had neither the power nor the will to expose Blair's lies about WMDs. The report itself was critical of aspects of the two dossiers that Blair presented as justification for going to war, while not really undermining the government.

Many of the key conclusions in the report were only determined by the chair's casting vote because of split voting.

Their report concentrated on the validity of key claims in the two dossiers produced to justify war; whether these documents had been 'sexed-up' to exaggerate or lie about Saddam's threat and if spin doctor Alistair Campbell was responsible for this.

Blair's critical item of justification for going to war was his assertion, which he claimed was based on intelligence, that Saddam could launch WMDs within 45 minutes. The Committee found that this claim had been given too much prominence because the only evidence was from an uncorroborated single source. However, the report cleared Campbell of being the person who wrote this claim into the dossier but only after a split vote with the Labour chair having to use his vote.

We are still none the wiser as to who did insert this claim.

The committee itself had few powers, only heard evidence for six days and were refused access to intelligence material. They could not hear evidence from Blair, the intelligence services or US officials. It was made up of Labour and Tory MPs who on certain issues voted along party lines.

A genuine inquiry is needed, made up of workers' and community representatives with access to all intelligence material and the right to question all those involved in the decision to go to war.

Limited intelligence

The inquiry itself was overshadowed by accusations from Campbell that the BBC claimed the first dossier was 'sexed up' and certain material included that the intelligence services were not happy with. The fact that the BBC has not retracted their claims reveals the friction between different wings of the establishment.

The decision to go to war against Iraq had been decided months and probably years before for oil and US strategic interests. Bush and Blair had to convince doubting sections of their governments as well as the growing anti-war movement of the need for war. Because the war was not in response to any aggressive action from Iraq they used intelligence data to try to prove that Saddam was not just a potential but imminent threat to other countries.

With the lack of any WMDs found in Iraq so far and the numerous inadequacies of the intelligence data, Blair's justification for war is losing credibility.

Even this committee admits that the intelligence data was weak. The Ministry of Defence have just issued their first report into the Iraq war in which they do not support Blair's claim that Saddam was ready to use WMDs within 45 minutes. They admit that the intelligence data available was limited.

It has been left to a charity to conduct a survey to find out just how many civilians were killed during the war in Iraq. The figure so far is 2,652 which is expected to reach 4,000 on completion. Some estimates put it as high as 7,000.

Recent opinion polls show increasing distrust in Blair and a steady drop in those who think it was right to go to war against Iraq (see article below). The lack of WMDs in Iraq, the accusations of Blair lying to take Britain into war and the continuing deaths of British soldiers and Iraqi people will only increase anger towards Blair and his government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 12 July 2003:

We're Fighting For A Living Wage

Review: George Monbiot's Utopia - Capitalism Unchallenged

German Socialist victimised

Victory For The Socialist Party And The Left In PCS

Victorious nursery nurses say: No More Penny-Pinching, End Low Pay

Iraq Watch

Vauxhall school: Privatisers Bring In Agency Staff

The real cost of privatisation

Come to Summer Camp

Editorial: War in Iraq - Blair's Not Off The Hook

Pensions: We Won't Work Till We Drop!

Making The Break With Labour

Nigeria: Leaders End Mighty General Strike


Home   |   The Socialist 12 July 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers


triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleBBC yawning pay gaps revealed

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy



Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts



Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let



Save our NHS


Them & Us

Them & Us



Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!



Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs



Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded



Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme



Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers



Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system



RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks



Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests



End Tory war on poor



Nationalise rail now

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice