Let’s talk: Did we make a huge mistake going into Iraq?

After years of writing and investigation, a report into the Iraq war was finally handed down overnight and the findings

After years of writing and investigation, a report into the Iraq war was finally handed down overnight and the findings have shed a very unflattering light onto its key instigators, former leaders Tony Blair and George Bush.

The report by Sir John Chilcot found that both men rushed into the war before exhausting all other options, leading to chaos throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and the deaths of thousands of British, American and Australian soldiers – and others – sent to fight for the cause.

Former Prime Minister John Howard hasn’t escaped the criticism either. Mr Howard’s strong backing of Mr Bush further fuelled the push into Iraq with Australia playing a key role in the Coalition that took down Saddam Hussein.

Now, the trio have been slammed for causing on-going chaos, with the trickle on effects of the war still felt around the world.

The report’s key findings were:

  • There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein
  • A strategy of containment was preferable to military intervention
  • There was no justified certainty to London’s judgments on the severity of any threat imposed by Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Distruction
  • Blair was warned explicitly, but chose to underestimate the consequences of the 2003 invasion
  • Planning for managing post-Saddam Iraq was inadequate

While Mr Howard is yet to respond to the report, Mr Blair has come out to apologise but said he ultimately stands by his decision.

“I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you can ever know or believe,” he said, before seemingly backtracking.

“I believe it is better we took that decision. I acknowledge the mistakes and accept responsibility for them.

“As this report makes clear, there were no lies, there was no deceit.”

Mr Bush however has refused to apologise and released a statement through a spokesperson defending his decision to invade.

“Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously,” a spokesperson said, “President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.”

The report has sparked protests throughout Britain, with many calling for Mr Blair and Mr Bush to face charges over the war.

We’d love to know your thoughts on this today.

Do you think Australia was wrong to go to war in Iraq? Was the Iraq war a big mistake?

  1. Stephen  

    The Muslim based empire came out of where is now Saudi Arabia around 550 AD and held sway over what became the Arab people right up until the 1st World War, it was the Australian Horse charge of the Light Brigade at Beer Shiva that instigated their end. The British were the World Super power at the time who then worked out how to divide up the Arab lands, and those divisions have been fighting amongst themselves ever since. When we went into Iraq, Saddam Insane had already used chemical gases against 2 of his surrounding Arab countries. This is all basic factual history, to point blame on one bit of histories continuum is ridiculous. Should we sue the Pope because the Crusades failed to conquer the Arabs; or Italy because the retreat of the Roman Empire left a vacuum for the Arab uprising; or the Greeks before that because Alexander died too young; or the Persians or Babylonians before that. They have been at it over there for a long time. Our intervention helps to mostly keep it in the Arabic nations and not so much in our own front door. Let us not make less of those warriors of our own nations who gave themselves for us.

  2. rikda  

    If history is brave enough to write the truth, it will be seen that the pretext of this invasion was so hollow & false as to awaken common sense.
    The “Axis of evil” had one thing in common, it rejected ownership by the international banking cartel.
    The Bin laden family & the Bushes family were in partnership in the investment company, the Carlyle group.
    “America under attack” was conducted by Saudi Arabians. America’s allies.
    The conspiracy to hold Iraq responsible by trumping up false evidence, it reduced that country to a river of blood & bedlam & opened the door to the “Arab Spring”.
    The perpetrators should suffer nothing less that the equivalent of the Nuremberg trials.

  3. John Sharrock  

    Yes the coalition of the willing did make a huge mistake and all of the leaders involved should be brought to task. Saddam may have been a tyrant but the only real difference between him and the likes of Bush, Blair and Howard is that he was hanged at nearly 70 years of age. Some may not remember the first Gulf War where the allies were happy to leave Saddam in-place to avoid Muslim fundamentalists taking over and thereby avoiding the type of monsters we now see operating in and from that part of the world. The second Gulf War was a catastrophic blunder of immense proportions that produced probably the most dangerous aftermath the world has ever known.

    • I agree totally. In the face of irrefutable evidence that weapons of mass destruction was a fantasy,
      we launched the Iraq invasion and continued despite the will of the people.
      This bullying outrageous war has led us to the disastrous situation that we now face and to which there is no viable answer. George W Bush, John Howard and Tony Blair should be tried as war criminals.

  4. Mary  

    It’s all about oil and money
    Saddam Hussein had broken the petro dollar agreement and was dealing in Euros thereby weakening the US$ against the euro.

    No, they did not make a mistake. They did what they did knowingly and have wrought the benefits. It’s the bottom of the heap who are the ones suffering

    • Sandra  

      You are so right, Mary. It’s the poor sons and daughter who lost their lives let alone those who came back wounded from this God awful war based on lies. Bush is too arrogant to send an apology. How could he and Cheney sleep at night? They “cherry picked the intelligence ” to support their cause. Also, Bush said “Saddam played a part in 9/11 then a year later he says “Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. But you can’t tell this to the republicans. They deserve to face a trial.

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