14 Jan 2013 - Where is the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, four and a half years after it was established and two months short of the tenth anniversary of the invasion?
A million words in, the inquiry team has been withered by illness and exhaustion, not a little of which has been caused by the intransigence of the political machine to regurgitate the papers of the time.
The resistance to its completion and publication are reportedly the political classes who supported and led the war effort – the very people most likely to be targeted by the inquiry findings. The fear is that the delays will become so protracted that the next election (2015) will be permitted to become yet another delaying force. read more>>>
The invasion of Iraq was a decade ago – and the public is still waiting to find out what really happened in the run-up
12 January 2013 - Tony Blair writes in A Journey: "The chronology of events leading up to March 2003 was marked by the steady build-up to conflict." From now on, in the approach to the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on 19 March, virtually every week will recall some important moment in that process – and in Blair's personal transformation into a war leader.
Around this time, in 2003, the British were still agitating for a second UN resolution. Blair was briefed by the MOD on the proposed US operation, Shock and Awe. He told the cabinet to get behind him: "Sometimes we have to make difficult judgments."
But on 14 February, Hans Blix was suggesting that Saddam was cooperating with weapons inspections. "TB showed no signs of changing tack though," Alastair Campbell wrote in his diary. On the day of the anti-war march, 15 February, Campbell records an 18-mile run, "at just over 7mph". "I bumped into no end of people coming back from the march," he adds, "faces full of self-righteousness." read more>>>