Only time will tell what we'll remember former Prime Minister Tony Blair for, but my money is on the state of the economy when he left office in 2007 and of course the War in Iraq. In this article I shall choose to focus on the latter of Blairs infamous legacies, and perhaps the world's most brutal, everlasting of modern conflict, The Iraq War.
The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in March 2003 which ended in 2011 toppled the brutal authoritarian government of Saddam Hussein, but unleashed a massive sectarian civil war that, as of 2014, has no end in sight. Tony Blair and his interventionist allies will continue to claim that the Iraq war was build on the best of intentions with Blair recalling to this day as he did in his speech to parliament and the Chilcot inquiry that Iraq prior to Saddam was "richer than Portugal or Malaysia". It certainly doesn't take an Oxford educated economist to come to the conclusion that something disastrous occurred during the period of 1979: Saddam's arrival, to 2006: Saddam's execution.
The Bible tell us that Iraq is steeped in history and as Colonel Tim Collins once said to his soldiers, "It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham". It remains an ongoing public debate to this day whether Blair's intentions were to liberate a once successful and now oppressed people or to open the nation's vast oil field's to British oil companies, hopefully culminating in the answer to the question:
Were we right to go to war in Iraq?
It is because there is no conclusion to that most solemn of debates that we will never know for sure whether we were right to intervene with our vast army on foreign soil alongside our powerful allies. It is also because there is no conclusion that Blair will never apologize to anyone for the loss of life or, for the terrible manner in which the war was executed . This is a terrible shame, as a proper conclusion to that debate could well serve as a powerful reference to future Prime Minister and indeed, Presidents on whether to continue with our current interventionist attitude and foreign policy, as most Politicians now it seems will go to war at the drop of a hat, as we have seen with Prime Minister Cameron and Obama coming back from the precipice of blitzkrieging Syria.
There is a great sense of inaccessibility with Teflon Tony Blair, this for me was demonstrated at the Chilcot Inquiry as the former Prime Minister arrived in his bullet proof Vehicle only to eventually sit with his back to the people in the public gallery, the very same people who elected him to the highest office in the land and the same people whose children died fighting in his war.
As we choose not to properly and thoroughly investigate the morality of the War in Iraq, only time will give us an answer as to whether we were right to intervene, hopeful we will soon see an end to the massive sectarian ongoing civil war. Although my own thoughts and opinions about the war are expressed in an extract from a speech that I have already reference in this article, it was a speech made by Colonel Tim Collins entitled "the eve of battle", which he delivered to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq in 2003, hours before he gallantly lead his men into battle, a battle which many of his men wouldn't survive.
"You will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Do not treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, and in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you."
-Colonel Tim Collins,