re posted from Presstv.com
Invasion of Iraq based on false perceptions: Cameron
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has responded to the Chilcot Inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, saying Britain must never repeat the mistakes of the Iraq war.
Speaking before the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cameron said that then PM Tony Blair took the country into war based on a belief that had lost credibility by 2003.
He told the lawmakers that Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) played a “central” role in Blair’s decision. “However, as we now know, by 2003, this long held belief was no longer a reality.”
The inquiry, headed by Sir John Chilcot and established in 2009 to investigate Britain’s most controversial military engagement since the end of the Second World War, published its 6,000-page report on Wednesday.
The report said that the legal basis for military action was “far from satisfactory” and Blair based his case for war on “flawed intelligence” about Iraq’s WMDs.
Cameron said that those MPs who voted in favor of military action, including himself, “have to take our fair share of the responsibility.”
Throughout his speech, however, Cameron said Blair should not face any charges as he did not “deliberately” mislead the cabinet, although cabinet members were kept in the dark about some key decisions.
Deploying British armed forces without giving them the appropriate equipment was another major finding of the scathing report.
Cameron said the shortfall was “unacceptable” and should not happen in the future.
‘Special ties with US’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Cameron said the report’s findings should not prevent the UK from continuing its “special relationship” with the US, implying that London should opt for military intervention whenever its interests require it to do so.
“Just because intervention is difficult, it does not mean that it is not right or necessary,” the PM said.
Blair’s government sent 120,000 members of the British armed forces and civilians to Iraq, proving its role as then US president George W. Bush’s chief military ally. A total of 179 British personnel were killed in the war.
This is while more than one million Iraqis lost their lives during the invasion and the subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.