Skip to comments.British PM Brown: Iraq war 'right decision'
Posted on 03/05/2010 4:45:15 AM PST by Clive
LONDON -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told an official inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq on Friday that going to war had been the right decision and that he had provided the necessary funding for military action.
Mr. Brown, appearing just weeks before an election to discuss a war that still rankles with many Britons, said Iraq's failure to comply with United Nations resolutions justified war.
But he distanced himself from concerns about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Mr. Brown is the most prominent figure to give evidence before the five-person panel since his predecessor Tony Blair made a highly publicised appearance in January.
While Mr. Blair was criticised for saying he had no regrets about the war, Mr. Brown's opening statement expressed sorrow for the deaths of both British servicemen and Iraqi civilians.
"I believe this is the gravest decision of all, to make a decision to go to war. I believe we made the right decision for the right reasons," Mr. Brown told the inquiry.
While a far less vocal advocate of the war than Blair, critics have accused Mr. Brown, who was finance minister at the time of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, of failing to provide enough funding for military chiefs to equip troops properly.
Some relatives of the 179 British soldiers killed in Iraq say this failure led to unnecessary deaths and are demanding that the inquiry team, headed by former civil servant John Chilcot, press Mr. Brown for answers on the issue.
The issue of support for Britain's military remains contentious because 10,000 troops are fighting in Afghanistan and face a similar threat from insurgents.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalpost.com ...
While much of Mr. Blair's testimony related to the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the wrong hands as the main reason for conflict, Mr. Brown instead focused on former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's failure to cooperate with the U.N.
"My feeling was and still is that we cannot have an international community that works if we have either terrorists who are breaking these rules or...aggressor states that refuse to obey the laws of the international community," he said.
Heavens! Brown is not putting a foot wrong these days.
It’s as if Hitler, in the last days in the bunker, had turned into Ronald Reagan.