OK, that was an unfair question.
But at long last we are hurtling toward a conclusion to this epic adventure so I’d like to throw down a little marker in advance of the report’s release.
Tony Blair to the Chilcot Inquiry:
In 2000 and 2001 and 2002 they [Iraq] had a child mortality rate of 130 per 1,000 children under the age of five, worse than the Congo…. That figure today is not 130, it is 40. That equates to about 50,000 young people, children [alive today who would not be if Saddam Hussein had remained in power] … that’s the result that getting rid of Saddam makes.
This statement is packed with errors you can master at your leisure by reading this and this. Meanwhile, you can see the basic problem straight away with this graph of under-five mortality in Iraq taken from our old friend childmortality.org:.
Multiple surveys converge around the level of 40 deaths per thousand per year on the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This is a far cry from Tony Blair’s 130 per thousand per year that he uses to justify the invasion retrospectively.
(Yes, I know there is an outlier survey that estimated death rates pushing 120 in the 1990’s. I treat this in my articles I link to above and I will return to this survey in future posts.)
The Chilcot committee seemed entirely ignorant of the facts about child mortality in Iraq and they allowed Tony Blair to escape unscathed after his claim. Subsequently, I tried everything I could think of to educate the committee on this point. But to this day I’ve seen no indication that I ever got through to them.
Will Chilcot rebut Tony Blair’s falsehood in the final report?
We shall see.