As a student from the UK I try and keep up to date with what is going on in British politics. The news for the last few months has been mainly focused on the Iraq Inquiry. Nearly all the key members of Tony Blair's government of 2003 have been talking to the inquiry on the question of whether the Parliament and the public were miss-led about Saddam Hussein's WMD's and the invasion of the Iraq.
As this process has continued and the more influential members of Blair's inner circle, including him, have answered question a certain issue has arisen. All of the key players who advocated the war have said very similar things; along the lines of "we believed that there were WMD's in Iraq, so we did not knowingly mislead the public."
The question then becomes, did the government exaggerate the threat to gain support for the war? Such an accusation is particularly linked to a dossier released by the government explaining the threat. This dossier was apparently 'sexed up' to increase fear and thus support of the war.
Tony Blair's ex spokesmen Alistair Campbell, whilst in front of the inquiry, denied such claims, stating,
"The dossier was not designed to present the case for war but to highlight why Tony was increasingly concerned about the threat posed by Iraq. I don't believe the dossier in any sense misrepresented the position."
Another key issue in the inquiry is the so-called '45-minute claim' which stated that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45-minutes. Blair defended the claim stating that it was specifically refereeing to short-range battlefield weapons, rather than weapons that could reach the UK. The full Blair response to the dossier and the 45 minute claim can be found here.
Obviously this is a very long and controversial inquiry which, will most likely never come to any new or challenging conclusions. However the reason I bring it up is that it is actually happening. A public inquiry into the actions of high profile western political figures, who may have started an unjust war, can actually happen. Blair claims that it was a joint decision with the Bush administration to go to war, so shouldn't they be questioned as well? The whole inquiry has left me feeling as though we are only getting half the story and the only solution to that would be a US inquiry. But who knows when and if such an inquiry will ever happen.