Truth, the first, second and last casualty of war.

Today Tony Blair faces the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq.

There’s an impression that Chilcot is a kind of war crimes trial, or that could lead to one, were evidence of major wrongdoing uncovered. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is an establishment inquiry – in a long line of establishment inquiries, designed to obscure the truth, only allowing it to come out in dribs and drabs.

Yet devotees of resistance to these immoral and illegal wars will be watching closely for any fresh nugget of the already clear wrongdoing and constructed measures to actually get a war and manipulate, even fabricate, intelligence to that end. It was clear even in 2003; that’s why millions marched on the streets.

People forget truth is the first casualty of war – because you need to lie in order to convince people that the wholly unnatural act of killing is somehow justified.

Consider the David Kelly affair. An honourable man, given his profession (as a top biowarfare expert), speaks out anonymously over the claim Iraq could attack us within 45 minutes of the order, AFTER the war had started. For questioning this claim, in the background, he was found and hounded, and lost his life, which sent shockwaves through the MOD, and through intelligence. (Now the precise details of his death are subject to a 70-year gag order by Hutton, and largely under-reported by the media).

Then the BBC was vilified, had to sack the reporter and lost its boss.

And they were all to be proved completely correct in their questioning. So truth is also the second casualty of war.

Today truth will be the last casualty of war as Blair walks on the water of an establishment enquiry, something he’s more than qualified to do. Chilcot should be careful of his reputation or his name will become a byword for how to get away with being a war criminal.

Of course there are other casualties of war. Our soldiers, their fighters, and above all, their civilians. But then, if they really counted, to people like Blair, or Campbell, Straw or Hoon, then there wouldn’t have been a war.

Blair lied. A million died.


Martin Deane

Hull and East Riding Green Party
Hull Stop the War


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