I wrote in July 2005 that the London bombings were the result of Blair's Iraq adventure. This was the assessment that all anti-war protesters had made: the war would radicalise young Muslims.
In defence, the pro-war people use the fact that Al-Qaeda was active before the Iraq war. This avoids the question of whether the Iraq invasion would give Al-Qaeda a boost.
Now the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry has uncovered evidence that Blair was advised that his invasion would increase radicalisation and disaffection of Muslims.
Middle East Online reports thusly: Former British prime minister Tony Blair knew that invading Iraq in 2003 could increase the threat from extremism but pressed ahead nonetheless, a former top civil servant said Wednesday.
Here is the transcript from the Iraq Inquiry:
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Sir David Omand held the the post of Security and Intelligence Coordinator in the Cabinet Office from June 2003 until April 2005
SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN:So there is a sort of question of the strength of the warning that was going out on this question of the risk of terrorism within the UK, resulting from the war.
SIR DAVID OMAND: Well, I read out quite a long list of quotes from the JIC. I don't think there is any doubt that that was the conclusion. There was no dissent from any quarter that that was the conclusion.
The assertion is explored further, and Omand does not resile from that position.
Blair knew that what he was doing was going to alienate Muslims, going to increase the risk of terrorist attacks against the British people, increase our insecurity, but he still went ahead with his beloved war.
The role of Government is to protect the people. Blair chose to do the opposite, and in the process messed up a country, killed 100,000 people, lost the lives of hundreds of British soldiers, and sprayed toxins all over Iraq which are affecting the health of the Iraqis.
But, hey, he's a pretty straight kind of guy who believed he was doing the right thing.
So that's all right then.
[update] University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer will present findings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.