In the first of two articles taking a long view on the Chilcot Inquiry, John Barnie pinpoints the failures, deceits and delusions of grandeur which characterised the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The second article, which takes a closer look at how Blair’s psyche and pop culture’s relationship with politics fed into the decision to go to war, will be published in Planet 225.
There can be few indictments of a British government to equal Sir John Chilcot’s Report on the UK’s role in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. As the Report makes abundantly clear, almost nothing went right from beginning to end – it is impossible to say ‘according to plan’ because planning for key issues was frequently inadequate, non-existent, or ad hoc after the event. It is a report from which hardly anyone emerges with honour and integrity.Sign in to read more
During 2016 John Barnie has been one of three poets in residence at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. His latest book is a collection of poems, Wind Playing with a Man’s Hat, published by Cinnamon in November. He wrote in Planet about the war in Iraq at the time of the invasion.