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Brown takes a different tack on Iraq

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BrownInquiryTony Blair said he had no regrets about removing Saddam Hussein when he ended his session before the Chilcot inquiry in January. Gordon Brown, not surprisingly, took a different approach.

Perhaps mindful of the anger that Blair’s words had reignited, Brown topped and tailed his appearance by acknowledging the  cost in human lives among British soldiers and Iraqi civilians of the conflict.

Brown was ready to admit to mistakes in reconstruction efforts but portrayed himself as a loyal cabinet member who had left the heavy diplomatic arguments to Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in the run-up to March 2003.

On the most contentious issue of funding, Brown said he had never short-changed the military, funding operations in Iraq to the tune of eight billion pounds.

Was there a “precipitate rush to war” with Iraq?

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BRITAIN-IRAQ/Testimony by former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s communications director Alastair Campbell at a public inquiry over Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war shows that Blair agreed to support U.S. military action if diplomacy failed.

Campbell said that there was no “precipitate rush to war” although Blair wrote to former U.S. President George W. Bush offering support for military action if Iraq President Saddam Hussein did not agree to United Nations disarmament demands.

Will the Chilcot Iraq inquiry achieve anything?

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AFGHANISTAN-BRITAIN/OPERATIONSFew investigations can have begun with lower expectations than the Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war.

Critics have been withering:

– the Chairman Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall mandarin, has strong links to the establishment and is unlikely to rock the boat, they say.

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