Commenting on the Chilcot Report today (6 July) Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said:
The Chilcot Inquiry report provides all the evidence needed to demonstrate that the Iraq War was illegal in its conception, criminally incompetent in its execution and catastrophic in its consequences.
It is clear that a prima facie case exists to charge former British Prime Minister Blair and ex-US President George W. Bush with waging a war of aggression. In the verdict of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg in 1946, this is ‘the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole’.
Today, if the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg are not able or willing to initiate proceedings against one or both men, the British government should take the necessary steps to do so.
Chilcot’s findings also indict all those members of Tony Blair’s Cabinet who participated in a series of illegal, incompetent and disastrous decisions. Again, the ICC, ECHR and British government should consider the steps that should be taken to hold them to account under international law.
The pursuit by Blair, Bush and their senior representatives of a pre-war second UN resolution is now fully exposed as a cynical charade. In the process, they deliberately intended to defame the United Nations Organisation, subvert its procedures and destroy the reputation of diplomatic and political leaders who tried to stand in their way. The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq not only violated the authority of the UN, it also underlined why Britain’s subservient military alliance with the USA must be brought to an end at the earliest possible time. Chilcot declares that this alliance does not require ‘unconditional’ support for US military aggression. But the reality is that the US always demands support and complicity, if not direct involvement. Britain should withdraw from a NATO alliance which involves us in a strategy of expansion, encirclement and provocation aimed at Russia and China in particular.
The Communist Party of Britain therefore welcomes the huge protest being organised by the World Peace Council and the Polish peace movement against the NATO summit in Warsaw this weekend.
The Chilcot Report sets out in great detail how the Blair government and its senior officials distorted and misrepresented intelligence information, thereby bringing government, politicians and the Labour Party itself into even greater public disrepute than had the previous conduct of governments and MPs.
It is significant that most of the leading politicians in that New Labour government, including its political advisors, together with those in the Tory Opposition, have spent the past ten months trying to destroy the reputation of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
They knew that his judgement and integrity concerning the Iraq War stands in the sharpest contrast to their own dishonesty or gullibility. They have done their utmost to damage his credibility, in the hope that this would limit the impact of his response to the Chilcot Report and kill off the possibility of him winning office and bringing them to account in law.
It is also significant that these same Establishment figures have been desperate to secure Britain’s continued membership of the European Union, allied as the EU now is under the Lisbon Treaty to NATO.
A major omission from the Chilcot Report is any detailed examination of the alternatives to war in Iraq. Alongside MPs such as Jeremy Corbyn, the Communist Party in Britain had long acted in solidarity with the Iraqi left and democratic opposition to the regime of Saddam Hussein – when the policy of British and US imperialism was to support its repression of the Iraqi Communist Party and its murderous aggression against Iran.
Had British, European and US government policy been to support the Iraqi democratic opposition, instead of ignoring its advice and going to war, then Saddam’s dictatorship could have been brought to an end without the mass killing and displacement of civilians, civil war and the spread of sectarian terrorism.
This highlights the greatest omission from the Chilcot Report. It has failed or refused to examine and expose the real motives of US and British imperialism for invading Iraq: namely, the capture of Iraq’s vast oil resources and a re-shaping of the ‘Greater Middle East’ in order to re-establish US and Western political, economic and military domination of the whole region, from North Africa across to the Asian sub-continent.