Former US president George W. Bush reiterated his belief Wednesday that the world is "better off" without Saddam Hussein, as a damning inquiry blasted Britain's part in the rush for war with Iraq in 2003. "Despite the intelligence failures and other ...
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP:
"Chilcot's report is damning for Blair, his cabinet and all those MPs who voted to take this country into an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. Iraqis continue to pay the price for an invasion that took place long before other options for a peaceful resolution were explored.
"This report confirms the series of serious failures that led to this disastrous war. We know for sure that government ministers, including Tony Blair, lied to the public about their reasons for going to war. He said he would support George Bush 'whatever' eight months before the war - and thousands of lives were lost because he stuck to that promise despite the evidence in front of him."
Alex Salmond, SNP MP:
"The publication of the report of the Iraq Inquiry by Sir John Chilcot today is welcome but long overdue.
The report's forensic examination of thousands of pages of evidence and its firm conclusions are excoriating of a Prime Minister who, contrary to his denials, gave a pre-determined commitment to President Bush on 28 July 2002 to join US military action in Iraq. We now know that long before Parliament formally voted on whether or not to go to war in Iraq, Tony Blair had told George Bush - "I will be with you whatever".
The subsequent actions of the then Prime Minister blundered the country into a war that has caused the deaths of 179 UK armed forces personnel, and almost 200,000 Iraqi civilians, and led the world into the present nightmare instability in the Middle East. It is shameful that the Chilcot report found the UK's actions undermined the authority of the UN Security Council, and the Prime Minister's lack of commitment to collective decision-making and his determination to stand with the US before diplomatic options had been exhausted, led the country prematurely to war. It is now clear from the report that military action was not the last resort as Blair stood in Parliament on 18 March 2003 to ask MPs to support his case for war.
And when the Iraqi regime headed by Saddam Hussein was toppled, Chilcot has found that it was Tony Blair who increased the risk of the UK failing to react to the unexpected in Iraq, and damaged the likelihood of achieving strategic objectives. There was no plan for the reconstruction of Iraq and for the provision of services to the Iraqi people, and there was no plan to deal with the violence that we saw explode in the months following the invasion.
In the days, weeks and months ahead, the intimate detail of this report will only implicate further a former Prime Minister who recklessly committed the country to war without collective judgement, and personally failed to ensure there was a plan for delivering a future for the people of Iraq.
After such carnage, people will ask inevitable questions of was conflict inevitable and worthwhile? The answer from Chilcot is undoubtedly no. And who is responsible? The answer is undoubtedly Tony Blair. There must now be a consideration of what political or legal consequences are appropriate for those responsible."
John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK:
â€œThis report confirms what we already knew - that the Blair government led Britain into a disastrous war on a drumbeat of exaggerated threats, guesswork dressed as intelligence, and windy rhetoric. The formidable challenges humanity is facing today require international co-operation more than ever before. We cannot have a healthy environment without peace, and we cannot have peace without a healthy environment. This is why Greenpeace will keep campaigning for both. As Albert Camus said, peace is the only battle worth waging, and that has never been more true than in the case of invading Iraq.â€
Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK director:
"It's a tragedy that politicians and their advisers failed to properly assess the human rights consequences of such a massive military operation, including the horrible sectarian violence it helped unleash, and it's also a tragedy that the horrors of Abu Ghraib and cases like Baha Mousa all followed.
"Hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq, during the invasion and its extended aftermath, including UK service personnel. It's therefore vital that lessons are learnt after Sir John Chilcot has so comprehensively pointed towards what some of those are.
"One way of showing that the Government has tried to learn lessons from Iraq would be for it to ensure that all credible allegations of unlawful killing, torture and unauthorised detention at the hands of the UK armed forces in Iraq are properly investigated."
Dr James Strong, a Fellow in Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science:
â€œIn his analysis of Britainâ€™s part in the invasion of Iraq, Sir John Chilcot has delivered a very British masterclass in quiet, restrained but devastating critique. On every count â€“ whether peaceful options were exhausted, whether intelligence was handled properly, whether there was a workable plan and whether legal judgements were formed fairly â€“ his conclusions make damning reading for all those involved in the decision to go to war, and its aftermath.â€
Frances Guy, Christian Aidâ€™s Head of Middle East:
â€œWhile we consider the impact of the Chilcot report let us remember those in Iraq who suffer from the results of political decisions made elsewhere in the world.Â Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, more than 10 million are in need of some humanitarian assistance, most especially theÂ more than 3 million who have fled their homes to go to other places inside Iraq in search of relative safety. Â Â
â€œApologies will not put their lives together, however support for an inclusive political process and help to those who have fled the fighting will help bring back some hope for a better future.â€Â
Kate Hudson, general secretary of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament:
"All the big questions about lies and the legality of war have now been answered. It is clear that Blair was a prime minister with very little concept of democracy and little respect for international law or the United Nations.
"He seems to have pursued his own path, with the United States, completely outside the normal legal or political process."
Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services union:
"We took absolutely no pleasure in being proved right about Iraq a decade ago and we take no pleasure in it now, but those responsible for what was a horrendous crime must be held to account.
"We were lied to, not only about weapons of mass destruction. We were also promised a swift resolution and a commitment to building a safe, secure nation, but instead we've seen a country ravaged by years of civil war, sectarian violence and terrorism."
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