The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) welcomes the release of the Chilcot Report into Britain’s role in the preparation, execution and post-management of the Iraq-war of 2003.
From the very outset and months before the war itself, MAB was unequivocal in its opposition to the war project. In September 2002, MAB, alongside its Anti-War partners, Stop The War Coalition, organised a 500,000 strong demonstration in Central London in protest of initial talk of launching a military attack on Iraq. In February 2003, once again, MAB alongside STWC and CND brought together 2 million protestors who represented the real face of Britain and the British people as per the prospects of taking the country down the path of War.
The anti-war movement went on to organise numerous post-war protests and demonstrations asserting the fundamentals of its stand; that war was uncalled for, that innocent civilians would end up paying the price with their lives and livelihoods, that peace can never be established nor realised by such an act of aggression and that the day will come when we will all collectively come to regret this callous decision and potentially pay a hefty price. These were all refuted as fantasy and nonsense by then Prime Minister Tony Blair and the pro-War camp.
Chilcot, along with events on the ground in Iraq, throughout the Middle East and even at our very doorsteps, tragically confirm that all our assertions were realised and that nothing of what the purveyors of war claimed, came to fruition.
Blair’s claim that Iraq is better off without Saddam, is laughable to say the very least, in light of daily tragedies which continue to unfold in the beleaguered country left broken, destructed and divided as a direct result of the war. MAB has always asserted its opposition to the regime of Saddam Hussein, but questioned why Saddam was singled out, when other similarly monstrous regimes in the region and beyond were and continue to be seen as close allies and good trading partners by Blair and subsequent British governments. Notable that some of those regimes appear to be employing the services of Mr. Blair for tremendous financial reward.
Despite Chilcot falling short of actually holding the perpetrators of this awful crime responsible and taking them to task over their respective roles in this terrific act of aggression, it constitutes an important step towards this gross wrong being made right through the continued effort of the British civil society and the anti-war movement.
MAB wishes to reminds the British people, that whilst Blair grabs the limelight and is the centre of attention once again, his victims in Iraq continue to suffer beyond imagination. The true extent of this crime must never be allowed to be diluted, watered down, nor ever forgotten.