Chilcot report will be read most carefully

Ronnie Campbell
Ronnie Campbell

As the proud father of a former Marine, I have the greatest admiration for our servicemen and women.

They put their lives on the line to defend our country.

But the issue that sticks in my craw is if they – and the rest of us – are lied to about the reasons for going to war.

That could be at the heart of the long-delayed Chilcot report into the Iraq war and its aftermath.

It will be read most carefully by the families of the 179 British military personnel killed in that 2003 conflict, and the many more who were maimed and seriously injured.

That’s not to mention those of the tens of thousands civilian casualties.

In the Commons we were told by Tony Blair that it was not about “regime change” – and I am the first to admit that Saddam Hussein was a very bad man – but about the threat posed by his weapons of mass destruction.

We later found out that such weapons didn’t exist in Iraq.

Evidence to the inquiry has shown that Mr Blair was working closely with then-President George W Bush, almost from the start.

Bush appeared to want rid of Saddam at any cost, and Blair went along with the war.

We are now told that Chilcot will not apportion blame to any individuals.

Why not?

It may come as a surprise to many, but politicians rarely lie in a bare-faced way, partly because of the danger of being found out.

So if they are found out, they should pay the penalty.