The Conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry Will Be….

So then, the Iraq Inquiry is finally on.  Just for sport let me predict what the Inquiry’s headline conclusions will be:

  • Those at the top genuinely did believe an active WMD program existed in Iraq
  • This false belief was hardened by political interference in intelligence analysis.  Anything that seemed to raise the possibility of an active WMD program was given more weight than anything that contradicted it. This cemented the ‘group-think’ faith in the WMD case.
  • We did not plan sufficiently for the post war ‘occupation’,  Or at least we didn’t protest enough to the Americans that they were not planning sufficiently.
  • We faced a greater threat from Afghanistan/Pakistan and our energies would have been more usefully spent there.

There you go, Inquiry done.  Millions of man hours and tax payer’s money
saved.  I’ll link back to this post when the Inquiry is done and we can see how close I got…

I’m always very sceptical of these quasi-judicial show pieces. Think Bloody Sunday, think Arms-for-Iraq, think Diana, think Butler.  Millions is spent, much is said, the documentary record is completed – but then what?  Don’t get me wrong – I will avidly follow the Inquiry for two reasons:  First, you hope that at least a small grain of genuinely new information comes into the public domain. Second there is a guilty schadenfreud.  Watching people being grilled by armchair generals who have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight is like picking a scab.  You know it is of little benefit but you can’t stop yourself doing it.

Sadly, the outcome of these things rarely has a material impact – those who had inklings before the Inquiry that align with the final judgement will jump up and down saying ‘I told you so’, those who leaned the other way will reject the outcome and use the words ‘government white-wash’.  The lessons learned that are produced will be filed, then ignored, then forgotten, then repeated.  It was ever thus.

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10 Comments

Filed under Iraq, Politics

10 responses to “The Conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry Will Be….

  1. Potter

    Of course it will be a whitewash. It is led by government cronies. And whether or not the people at the top ‘believed’ in WMD is not important – it is whether they had a factual basis to act on that belief. They didn’t and thousands are dead.

  2. Jim B.

    “The lessons learned that are produced will be filed, then ignored, then forgotten, then repeated.”

    So cynical! But, I suspect very true.

  3. Anon.

    Blah, blah. The Taliban are not in power. Saddam Hussein is not in power. If either of those things weren’t true we’d be having an Inquiry about why the west did nothing and conspiracy nuts would say it was to maintain the flow of oil and opium. Yawn.

  4. Not Telling

    @anon. Where does it end? Why Saddam not Mugabe? How many dead brits would Mugabe be worth? Stupid adventure and we live with the consequences.

  5. Tris

    Potter: Hundreds of thousands are dead, maimed, ruined for life.

    It’s not just British lives that have been lost. They bombed the hell out of Bagdhad. Kids, civilians, businesspeople… their lives left in tatters, and then they let the terrorists in.

    Why Britian and America haven’t learned by now that they always make a mess of things when they get involved is beyond me.

    Not everyone wants to, or can, live with a political system like Westminster.

    Great post Guy. Bet you’re 100% right.

  6. @Anon: And I thought I was a cynic…

    @Tris: “Not everyone wants to, or can, live with a political system like Westminster” – Very true. Keep an eye on the blog. One of my next pieces will be on just that subject…

  7. Spot on with those pre-emptive conclusions mate. I’d just like to add a fifth…

    @ Public don’t do anything afterwards

  8. Yup, I fear you are right. No-one’s accountable. It was no-one’s fault, it was all an honest mistake. And, as everyone’s saying, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis mean very little.

  9. Ron Scott ***(I wish to be anonymous)***

    Whilst I am not a supporter of the Labour Party or Tony Blair, he may like to read information, (BEFORE tomorrow, 29th Jan. 10), regarding the existance of WMD written by Rev. Andrew White on page 72 of his book entitled :
    ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’ (ISBN: 978 1 85424 876 3)
    where Andrew White, a highly respected and trusted ‘negotiator’ in the complex Middle East issues who’s contact with ‘all sides’ including the CIA*, Muhammad Sayed al-Sahaf and the Pope puts him in a unique league.
    Andrew White states, quote : ” . . I assured them* that those weapons existed. I still insist that I know this for a fact. They were never found because they were moved out of the country before the UN’s weapons inspectors arrived. . . ” end of quote.
    I have no details to substantiate the words of Andrew White other than his widely respected and dedicated efforts as acknowledged by Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury in his Foreword in the above book.
    Furthermore, I am not attempting to promote sales of the book inquestion. I respect and support the aims of the book’s cover statement reflecting Andrew White’s aspirations,
    “Fighting for Peace in the Middle East”.

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