By: Tan Wah Piow
The Chilcot Report on the Iraq war released this morning in London has provided unequivocal evidence that the then Prime Minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong was himself blinkered when he infamously announced in Tokyo in 2003 that “It is clear to everyone, unless that person wears blinkers, that this is a war to remove the weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein.”
The Chilcot report criticized Tony Blair’s Government for misrepresenting the severity of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and said that Blair’s “certainty” about Saddam’s alleged weapons of mass destruction did not match the realities of Iraqi capabilities.
Chilcot also did not accept the claim made by Blair during the inquiry that “the difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance.”
At the time of the Iraq invasion, Goh Chok Tong was the loudest cheer leader for George W Bush in the ASEAN region.
In a speech in Washington in May 2003, Goh Chok Tong went out of his way to promote the myth about the “weapons of mass destruction” and in one breath linked the issue of the invasion of Iraq, to 9/11 and weapons of mass destruction when there was no evidential nexus.
As the apologist of an invasion conducted without the UN mandate, Goh Chok Tong also asserted at the time that “Iraq could not have been disarmed without getting rid of Saddam Hussein. The war was necessary.”
Ultimately the Iraq war ended “a very long way from success” and was “an intervention which went badly wrong, with consequences to this day,” said the report.
We now know how factually wrong Goh Chok Tong was in his foreign policy when he supported the American war efforts in Iraq.
The Singapore parliament should now order a similar inquiry to determine the factual basis upon which Goh Chok Tong pursued his pro-Iraq war foreign policies. Was Goh Chok Tong in possession of facts which Chilcot did not uncover in his 7 year inquiry? Or was Goh Chok Tong misled? Or was he reckless, and uncritically following the George W Bush military adventure in Iraq?
Pressure groups and their lawyers in London are now studying the 12 volumes, 2 million words Chilcot Report to establish if any War Crimes were committed. Aiding and abetting an unlawful war must likewise be an offence.
Would Goh Chok Tong care to comment?
Republished from Tan Wah Piow’s Facebook.