Chilcot Vindicates the Global Peace Movement

 We were right! The one and half million people who marched against the war in Iraq in London in 2003 and the millions who did the same all around the world were right.

The people knew-and have been vindicated by Chilcot- that the UK went to war before peaceful options were exhausted and military action was “not the last resort”.

It was a war of discretion rather than necessity which all of us said at the time. The invasion was based on “flawed intelligence and assessments” that went unchallenged by an arrogant political elite that wanted to maintain Britain’s dwindling international power by a dependent relationship with the United States.

Chilcot says that the Threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were “presented with a certainty that was not justified” and Tony Blair’s assertions that his decision for action made “in good faith” sound as hollow now as his promises did then.

His assumption of “full responsibility for any mistakes” is 13 years too late.

The fact is that this war was a deliberate “act of military aggression launched on a false pretence”. We knew it at the time, we protested against it at the time, and we have all been vindicated by Chilcot.  It is now highly desirable that there be a post facto political impeachment process of Tony Blair  so that he  is never able to hold political office in the UK or anywhere else ever again.

The Chilcot  report, while a vindcation of  the Global Peace Movement , is not very helpful to the millions who have been displaced from their homes by this invasion, or the millions who have been killed , injured and tortured afterwards. It is they who are suffering the long term consequences.

The report took a long time to write but because of this it will be challenging for the warmongers to rebut.

It’s an argument for transparency, for consultation , for honesty and only going to war as an act of defence and as an act of absolutely last resort.

Getting rid of Sadam Hussein was no justification for the chaos that has followed. This is a moment for us all to reflect on the failure of violence, militarism and war and to look for 21st century solutions that involve none of these things.


About kevinclements2012

Short CV Professor Kevin P Clements. I am the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand and Secretary General of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy. Prior to taking up these positions I was the Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia . I went to Queensland from International Alert where I was Secretary General from January 1999 to September 2003. International Alert is one of the world’s largest NGOs working on conflict transformation. It pioneered innovative policy and practical approaches to conflict prevention and transformation in Africa ,Eurasia and Asia . It has also made a major contribution to the mainstreaming of conflict prevention within European Foreign and Development Ministries, the EU and a variety of UN institutions. During his time there I was on the Board of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and past President of the European Peace Building Liaison Office in Brussels. Prior to becoming Secretary General of International Alert I was the Vernon and Minnie Lynch Chair of Conflict Resolution at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University Fairfax Virginia USA 1994-2000 and Director of the Institute from 1994-1999. My career has been a combination of academic analysis and practice in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. I was, for example, formerly Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra .Prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Coordinator of Peace Studies at Canterbury University, Christchurch New Zealand . My first academic position was as a lecturer in Sociology at Hong Kong University . I took up this position from a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Oxford University where I worked on development issues with Paul Streeten and others. I have been an advisor to the New Zealand, Australian , British , Swedish and Dutch governments on conflict prevention , peace, defence and security issues and advised the German Government and the OECD on States and Violence. I was, a member of the New Zealand Government’s Defence Committee of Enquiry in 1985 and I currently conducting Problem Solving Workshops in North East Asia with high level participants from Japan, China and Korea. Iwas President of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) from 1994-1998, President of the IPRA Foundation from 1995-2000 and Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association. I was Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association 2008-2010. I got my B.A, B.A Hon ( First Class) and Ph.D in Sociology from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand. and held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford from 1970-1971. I have been a regular consultant to a variety of non governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues and I have written or edited 7 books and over 160 chapters /articles on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy and development with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region. Research Expertise 1. Peace Research Theory- Conflict and Conflict Resolution Theory . Preventive Diplomacy , Development and Peacebuilding 2. International and Regional Regimes-APEC, ASEAN, the ARF, ECOWAS 3. Political Sociology-International Organisations. Multilateral/bilateral negotiating processes. 4. Fragile States, Legitimacy and Political Hybridity 5. Alternative Defence and Security Policies-Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific region. 6. The politics and ethics of international humanitarian intervention 7. Altruism and Compassion In my spare time I like to paint with acrylics or pastels, go to the theatre, listen to classical music, visit art galleries etc!
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