24
Nov
09

What questions should the Iraq inquiry ask?

The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain’s role in Iraq begins today.  This time those answering to the public will include high-profile witnesses such as Tony Blair.  

There will be no results until 2010. Almost a decade on will it matter if the government has lied to its citizens about the invasion? And with those testifying not taking an oath, how can citizens be sure they are getting the truth out of their government?

Although it’s the fourth inquiry since the invasion, there remain unanswered questions  ; was intelligence used and abused? Was regime change a lawful justification for invasion?

And it may only be day one of the inquiry but it’s already been clouded in controversy – should the findings be made public or private, are the committee members experienced enough to conduct the inquiry? Here’s who’s who on the committee.

This editorial believes that Britain is setting a good example by answering to its citizens,
‘What about the United States? Why’s there been no action, no step whatsoever in this direction?’

Getting the truth out of  your government – better late than never?

 


28 Responses to “What questions should the Iraq inquiry ask?”


  1. 1 Andy
    November 24, 2009 at 12:12

    Obviously it matters.
    That is why I personally believe in a directly democratic republic. i.e a constitutional republic that can only be altered by popular vote and the inability of the government to pass ANY new laws on its own. Government should be the guardian of the constitution not be able to pass unpopular laws willy-nilly to suit their own ends.
    With this kind of direct democracy people will also be more involved and pollitical parties will find it hard to lie their way into government with false promises of reform since reform will be decided by the people at the ballot box in EVERY case of law change.
    In any case government should be very limited as they are meant to serve the people and guard the constitution and not the other way round.
    They should not have secrets, the people should.

    • 2 Andy
      November 25, 2009 at 01:25

      PS this WHYS was previously titled ” DOES GOVERNMENT HONESTY MATTER” just in case my previous comment seems a little out of keeping with the current debate title.

  2. 3 Roberto
    November 24, 2009 at 12:30

    RE “” ‘What about the United States? Why’s there been no action, no step whatsoever in this direction?’ “”
    ——————————————————————

    ———— The US has been gravely wounded and weakened from the republican and democrat “civil war” that has left the citizens divided and in shambles with the economy in bankruptcy.

    No use in having an expensive, worthless inquiry in the midst of this political civil war. Future historians will decide how to define this period according to their own notions of politics and findings.

  3. 4 Marco
    November 24, 2009 at 12:33

    Who says they lie to us? It is probable that it is only the left wing and the socialists who are saying this to us. And why should we believe them anyway? Basically the government is there for the protection of the people. It just goes to show that you can’t be too careful these days.

  4. 5 Nigel
    November 24, 2009 at 12:45

    Lying is not one of the good attributes of leadership.

  5. November 24, 2009 at 12:54

    Does it matter if those testifying took an oath? They would lie under oath or not, if they want to…It is just their word we have to take.

  6. November 24, 2009 at 13:29

    Why an Inquiry?
    TEHRAN – Iraq War was intended to put Britain on the map, but there was no coordinated US-British plan for the aftermath, according to Sir Jeremy Greenstock.
    Saddam was charged with the deaths of 148 people and hanged on 30 Dec 2006. The war left one million dead, hundreds of thousands maimed, and millions more displaced.
    Iran couldn’t disentangle itself from the Sunni, Shiite conflict if it wanted to. What to do with US bases in the region? This is only the beginning of the Kurdish problem. When are US warships leaving the Gulf?
    Former British prime minister Tony Blair run amok. Call it charisma, politics or war mongering, but he was every bit entitled to do just that.

  7. November 24, 2009 at 13:32

    Of course it matters, is it not fact that it is lying some cheating M.P.s and members of the government and opposition have lied and cheated us into the deep hole we are in today.

    We have enquiry after enquiry and very often a nil. nil result is to be clearly to be seen even before an enquiry is completed.

    It is generally accepted that any penalties for the obviously fraudulent offences committed by Hon Members will be frugally and selectively enforced.

    But the present select enquiries may fail to establish the part played by the select committee in the persecution of Dr David Kelly who had already proven the point, there were no W.O.M. D in Iraq at all.

    They should be brought back and firmly questioned about their actions and motives for the public humiliation of a great man, one who we needed far more than any them.

  8. 9 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    November 24, 2009 at 13:40

    Saddam Hussein, whatever his faults was hounded and “judicialy” murdered all because the US and UK lied – not to their citizens but to the world – remember Collin Powell at the UN? So no amount of truth telling afterwards is going to resurrect Saddam and others murdered by the invaders. Tony Blair, George |Bush and others should be the subject of investigation by the busy body called Luis Moreno-Ocampo who spends half his time holidaying in Africa ostensibly chasing African bad guys. I suppose some people who will post here will say it is time to stop Bush-bashing. Bush-bashing will only stop when the world treats western wrong doers the way other bad boys are treated.

  9. 10 Roy, Boca de Uchire, Venezuela
    November 24, 2009 at 14:34

    it’s just another way for Tony Blair after a string of post Prime Minister failures to hog the lime light once again, and for Gordon Brown to lay the blame at Blairs door, thus trying to distance himself in the electorates view before the general election next year, cynical ? yes, but politics as usual !

  10. 11 Robert Macala
    November 24, 2009 at 15:01

    The Neo-Cons and The Israel Lobby’s desired American
    and British troops planted in the Middle East and they
    got their way. There are many books on the subject
    documenting this fact, they just have to read them. It’s
    a great international embarrassment. The sinister influence
    of Israel controlling the foreign policy of these two great countries.
    It’s almost an anti-Semites phantasy come true.

  11. November 24, 2009 at 15:13

    The question is a simple two part one in which many guilty parties will try to give disconnected irrational answers. “would we invade again if we knew now what we knew then? and Who knew then but hid it, twisted the truth, or had a clear idea that none of the assertions were accurate.”

    Send any of those offenders to Afghanistan or pakistan to be tried by a jury of their peers.

  12. 13 Margaret
    November 24, 2009 at 16:15

    There was the biggest protest ever seen in London against going to war in Iraq but the government(Blair) didn’t listen to the people. Why?

    • November 25, 2009 at 12:36

      Margaret, the simple answer to your question is: Britain is not a real democracy. It is not without reason that it is often called a Nanny State. You just have see how the Government has ridden rough shod over the majority will in this country.
      Besides, it is not a free country either. It takes orders from Washington and Brussels.

  13. 15 T
    November 24, 2009 at 16:26

    Why was “intelligence” doctored to justify an illegal and immoral war?
    How come many of the key players in this repeateldy lied about it?
    How come none of them have been prosecuted for war crimes?
    Does the Geneva Convention actually mean anything?
    Will the govt. allow this to an open hearing? Or, will it closed door because of
    “nationl security”?

  14. 16 Tom K in Mpls
    November 24, 2009 at 18:38

    Time can never be allowed to erase guilt. Also, it will shape policy from now on. And also, their are many in office currently that were fully complicit. I hope the British continue to lead when it comes to governmental propriety. The US could learn a lot.

  15. 17 Chintan in Houston
    November 24, 2009 at 18:50

    No matter what questions are asked the real issue is – if they find out that the British government and its allies in the invsaion of Iraq performed error in judgement and invaded a soverign nation based upon false evidence will in then turn this evidence and report over to the international court in Hague. The court can treat this event of killing of innocent people and charge them(Bush, Blair and others) for war crimes/mass murder?
    And if not, I could care less.
    Sadam Hussein was a bad dictator and needed to be removed/dethroned but so are the leaders of North korea and Iran, I don’t these forces waging war in all those countries as well. Are biological and chemical weapons a greater threat to human civilization compared to nuclear weapons?

  16. 18 Guido
    November 24, 2009 at 20:10

    The main question is, what the plan after the war was. Apparently there was no good one either from UK or the USA.

    In my opinion the overthrow of dictators is a good idea, but I was against the Iraq war, as I did not think that it will achieve anything according democracy.

    All functioning democracies were created from inside a county not from outside. A good example is Iran, I believe the situation of the government would be much weaker without pressure and sanctions from the US or Europe.

  17. 19 Tom D Ford
    November 24, 2009 at 20:40

    Why did the US and British governments keep changing the justification for invading Iraq from WMDs, to connection to 911, to regime change, to establishing democracy, instead of just admitting that they were wrong about the non-existent WMDs, apologizing to the People of Iraq and pulling out?

  18. 20 Jim Newman
    November 24, 2009 at 21:11

    Hello not WHYS
    Ok! The inquiry should ask Bliar what he really knew during the run up to the Iraq invasion. It’s not enough to put the blame on the support services because, in my opinion, Blair became Bliar because he knew the truth but he did all he could to curry favor with Bush. Anyway a person of such low grade morality has no business leading a country.
    Of course, because the inquisition is not under oath Bliar can excuse himself any way he wants.
    Personally I would like to see him in front of the ICC.
    Jim

  19. 21 Elias
    November 24, 2009 at 23:50

    It is most probable Mr. Tony Blair was not elected as President of the European Union for his part in the invasion of Iraq.
    The question for the commitee to ask ” Who was responsible for planting the untruth that Iraq was producing neucler weapons”, and “why a certain important person (I forget his name) connected to the government of Mr. Tony Blair commited suicide at the time, was he persuaded to lie to the fact?.
    Another question ” Did the then Prime Minister Tony Blair colude with the then President George Bush and fabricate the evidence”?.
    Sadam Hussein stated words to the effect ” no matter what we say about not producing neucler weapons, they are going to attack us anyway”.

  20. November 25, 2009 at 12:24

    Like the majority of people in Britain, I do not have any faith in the current inquyiry on Iraq. This is going to be a whitewash like all other enquiries in the past. If the Government was sincere and honest, it would have appointed a retired high court judge with judicial powers to conduct the enquiry. Unless evidence is thoroughly tested by cross-examination by experienced Barristers, you cannot get to the truth. Those who lied before would lie again and the Enquiry has no powers to do anything about it. It has no powers to summon witnesses.

    Gordon Brown has passionately supported the war and he has not distanced himself from this crime. There is prima facie case against Blair as a war criminal. This is public knowledge. Despite this, Gordon Brown only recently proposed Blair for the post of the EU President in glowing terms. So, are we to believe that Brown would set up an enquiry that would expose Blair and himself as arch villains of Iraq war?

    We can ask any question we like, but we will never get to the truth.

  21. November 25, 2009 at 14:36

    Any questions asked should arise from the fact that in the late 1990s American neoconservatives were very worried that Saddam Hussein, during the Reagan and Bush years, developed nuclear weapons. These neocons were afraid that if he had accomplished this and used it, it would mean the end of conservatism in the U.S. Managing (?) to get their man into the Whitehouse, they set about planning the invasion of Iraq. They could not act alone so they called on the Brits and others to help. To get others on board they invented proofs of the danger Iraq posed which have since been discredited. But given their extreme position it is conceivable that their approach to Blair carried with it the implication that if Blair did not help, Britain would be denied access to American markets, which would account for Blair’s seemingly tight relationship, forced, with a man who was by far his inferior. Could Blair have acted otherwise? I do not believe so. If any questions should be asked they should focus on Britain’s relationship with a group of people who demonstrated that they care nothing for others.

  22. 24 Tom D Ford
    November 25, 2009 at 17:18

    Considering the history of military arms companies like Krupp, I G Farben, The Carlyle Group, Halliburton, KBR, the US Military Industrial Complex, etc, and whoever made the arms to re-arm Iraq after destroying all of their arms which had made Iraq the fourth largest Army in the world before the invasion, I’d like to see the UK Iraq Inquiry lay out the money trail, who benefited and made money from the many hundreds of US$ Billions and British Pounds spent during the Iraq war.

    Cui Bono? Who benefited? What are the economics of that war? Who made the money? Who paid out that money? Who will keep paying down that incredibly massive debt and for how many years?

    Some people benefit from wars instead of peace, so who benefited from this one?

  23. 25 Crystal Ball
    November 25, 2009 at 23:24

    The first question they should ask is: “Does anybody want this inquiry?”
    The second is: “Do the taxpayers realize how much it will actually cost them?”
    The third and final is: What possible good will it do except to supply a years work and a hefty pay check for the governments chosen boys!

    • November 26, 2009 at 11:50

      You are right Crystal Ball. This enquiry is not what anybody wants. All those who love truth and honesty in politics would like to have a proper Enquiry conducted by a High Court Judge with full judicial powers. What is amazing is that even the leaders of the two opposition parties have not had the moral courage or the spine to shout from roof tops that the current enquiry in its present form is not acceptable. This farce is going to cost the tax payer several millions of pounds, which they can ill afford.

  24. 27 \Hoosain Jacobs
    November 26, 2009 at 13:21

    The hypocracy of the West to justify their action to wage wars is driven by creed for wealth and comfort. This comes at the expense of innocent men,women and children who has no inclination of as to why they must die to protect so called Western values which only breeds more wars.What moral standards do they set.Are they a group of conspirotors bullying the weaker nations into submission with the killing and maiming of humans in far distant places. Are they immune to prosecution ? When it comes to this they shy away from justice. They believe in themselves as being innocent, the worst they can do, they have no concious. They are driven by their own madness. The pros and the cons and the outcome of this inquiry is of no avail.their vains are filled with the blood of Satan. Even as when they read this,they will not understand,their hearts are sealed and they mock the dead who perished in their path. What is the alternative? Do you fight them in their own backyard and by their standards become a terrorist?What would be your outcry if you had to loved ones dear ones.Their is no honour for a soldier killed in an unjust war, it is honour in falsehood, the killer died fighting the innocent. Blame it on the goerment of the day.

  25. 28 \Hoosain Jacobs
    November 26, 2009 at 13:25

    The hypocracy of the West to justify their action to wage wars is driven by creed for wealth and comfort. This comes at the expense of innocent men,women and children who has no inclination of as to why they must die to protect so called Western values which only breeds more wars.What moral standards do they set.Are they a group of conspirotors bullying the weaker nations into submission with the killing and maiming of humans in far distant places. Are they immune to prosecution ? When it comes to this they shy away from justice. They believe in themselves as being innocent, the worst they can do, they have no concious. They are driven by their own madness. The pros and the cons and the outcome of this inquiry is of no avail.their vains are filled with the blood of Satan. Even as when they read this,they will not understand,their hearts are sealed and they mock the dead who perished in their path. What is the alternative? Do you fight them in their own backyard and by their standards become a terrorist?What would be your outcry if you had to lose loved onesand dear ones.Their is no honour for a soldier killed in an unjust war, it is honour in falsehood, the killer died fighting the innocent. Blame it on the goverment of the day.


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