Hopes of an imminent release of Sir John Chilcot’s Gulf War enquiry were dashed today, after it emerged that Chilcot has been mistakenly examining the causes of the first Gulf War, not the second.
The first Gulf War ran from 1990-91, and started when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. John Major was the British Prime minister when the anti-Iraq coalition started its bombing campaign, and there has never been any suggestion that this was anything other than a perfectly legal response to an act of aggression, and certainly not the sort of bloodthirsty murder that certain other Prime Ministers might get you into.
“I was wondering why everyone was telling me to cross-examine Tony Blair,” confessed a bewildered Chilcot yesterday. “I mean, he’s obviously a nasty piece of work, but I couldn’t for the life of me see what he had to do with starting the war.”
“I spent six months trying to work out if Saddam had actually been Blair in a rubber mask, but it was just so tenuous.”
The revelation explains why Blair has seemed so relaxed about the report’s publication, making long statements to the enquiry describing how, as Trade and Industry spokesman for Neil Kinnock’s shadow cabinet, he really had very little to do with the whole thing.
Chilcot was quick to point out that he will now be busier than ever: “Of course, now I have to look into the whole war crime thing, it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought – I won’t be nearly as quick this time.”