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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 June 2009

Iraq war inquiry

THE 2003 invasion of Iraq and continuing occupation by the US-led coalition forces was and remains massively unpopular amongst workers and youth. The announcement by Gordon Brown that there will be a full inquiry into the war should have been welcome news.

Sean Figg

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the invasion: the Blair government's rush to war, twisting and turning to justify an attack on Iraq, using the most spurious of arguments to get the invasion they had already decided upon. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed as a result, along with over 4,600 US, British and other coalition soldiers. Massive destruction and devastation has also been wrought on Iraq.

Brown has tried to pose the inquiry as part of a new 'openness' in politics following the MPs' expenses scandal. But given his initial stance that the inquiry should be behind closed doors, clearly Brown is still unsure exactly what 'openness' means!

There has since been an 'establishment rebellion' amongst MPs, civil servants, and top military brass over a secret inquiry. In response, Brown announced a partial retreat last week asking the inquiry chairman, Sir John Chilcot, to consider opening a few sessions to the public - far from a complete climbdown.

The truth is that on Iraq, Brown is in up to his neck. He still has everything to lose from an 'open' inquiry. He voted for the invasion, was part of Blair's war cabinet and has been a consistent supporter of the occupation. Brown could point to the reduction of British troops in Iraq since he took over as prime minister to try and improve his image, if he wasn't for escalating the war in Afghanistan instead!

The news that Tony Blair had intervened in an attempt to keep any inquiry secret will anger people further.

But even if there is a fully open inquiry, its chairman Sir John Chilcot - chairman of the Police Federation and a member of the unelected, unaccountable Privy Council - is clearly part of the establishment. And when establishment figures are left to investigate other establishment figures, even if not directly involved in the events they are investigating, there are still many vested interests in ensuring not too much damage is done.

And while an inquiry may bury itself in details of government shenanigans, the real motives for the war - securing oil resources and geopolitical control of the region by western imperialism - will be conveniently ignored.

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In The Socialist 24 June 2009:

Lindsey refinery dispute: Workers show their strength

Protests at Fiddlers Ferry

New pamphlet: Lindsey, Visteon, Linamar - lessons from the disputes of Spring 2009


Youth fight for jobs

No to mass youth unemployment


Socialist Party editorial

Economy - 'Green shoots' are without real roots


Socialist Party news and analysis

Iraq war inquiry

The guns fall silent - but no peace for Tamils

Fight for a Scottish parliament with full powers

Racists in Northern Ireland threaten socialist for defending Romanian community

'Sponsors' deserting academy schools

Another RBS rip-off payout


Unison conference

Unison conference: We needed a council of war - we got a council of doom


Revolution in Iran

Where now for the Iranian revolution?


Socialist Party statement

Reply to SWP open letter: Workers' party must be built


 

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