Hamish de Bretton Gordon, one of Britain’s foremost military experts on chemical warfare, Iraq, and Syria, calls for the findings of the UK’s inquiry on the war in Iraq to be made public now.
I find the inability for the findings of the Chilcott Inquiry not to be published, forthwith, completely reprehensible at this time.
The second anniversary of the gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta is today. It killed upwards of 1000 innocent civilians, but many politicians use the disaster of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a reason for inertia after this massacre.
As one who served in both Gulf Wars, and tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and having been into Syria a number of times in the last 2 years, I am confident to say that Syria is nothing like Iraq in 1990 or 2003.
The inaction by the international community, post Ghouta, excused by so called mis-action in 2003, has put us in a position where upwards of 300,000 are dead, and there are over 5 million refugees, including 1.5 million seeking shelter in the UK and Europe. Assad is still in power and the so called Islamic State controls vast tracts of Iraq and Syria. Military action, post Ghouta, as requested by President Obama would, in my opinion, have put us in a much better place today.
Parliament we are told will vote on extending action to defeat ISIS in Syria shortly, and this ‘fight of our generation’, which we can’t afford to lose, cannot be corrupted by so called mistakes of 2003. If there are statesmen, politicians and civil servants who are criticised by Chilcott – so be it. We live in a democracy and they should not be able to hide behind legalese to prevent their ‘misjudgements and failings’ being made public. Quite frankly if they are of any quality at all they should have decency to accept their errors. We owe this to my comrades we left on the battlefields of Iraq, whose families now rightly seek closure, and to this nation, to ensure we are not fighting ISIS on the streets of Britain for the next 10 years.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon OBE (Col Retd)”
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a former commander of the UK’s CBRN Regiment.
De-classified documents made available to the inquiry can be found here.