As It Happens

Father of British soldier killed in Iraq says Chilcot report confirms 'suspicions'

Britain's inquiry into its role in the Iraq war was released on Wednesday and contains some damning criticisms of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Families of British soldiers killed serving in Iraq, stand together for the media outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, after the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (Matt Dunham/AP)
Listen7:41

"Damning" is one of the words used to describe the inquiry's findings. 

On Wednesday, the long-awaited Chilcot report was released in London. It's the result of a seven-year inquiry into the Blair government's decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Protesters hold up a banner reading 'Blair must face war crimes trial' outside the London home of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 6, 2016 in London, England. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)


"A lot of [the findings] are things that we've had a suspicion about for quite a long time," John Hyde tells As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner.

"Some of the families involved boycotted this morning because they felt the report would be a white-wash. But, it isn't — it blames Tony Blair for problems in just about every stage of the Iraq war."

John and Sandra Hyde at the unveiling of Ben Hyde Way, a roadway named after their son Ben, a British soldier who was killed in the Iraq war. (Facebook)
Hyde was in London for the release of the report. He's the father of Ben Hyde — a British soldier who died in Iraq in 2003. He was 23-years-old.

Following the release of the report, Blair spoke about his own sense of responsibility for families who lost loved ones, reassuring Brits that he feels "more sorrow, regret and apology than [they] may ever know or can believe." But, the former Prime Minister also defended his decision to lead his country into Iraq.

Expresses remorse, but defends 2003 decision to go to war in Iraq 1:06
"Any apology is 13 years too late," Hyde explains. "Tony Blair has got a lot to answer for. Whether he ever will, or not, I don't know. But, certainly there are things in the report that require further investigation."

"Sandra and I lost everything we had," Hydes says. "Ben was our only child. Sandra was brought up by her auntie. She never had a loving family around her. When she had Ben he was the only family she ever really had. So, she lost everything."

To hear more about the Hyde family's story, take a listen above to the full interview.

On Wednesday, As It Happens also spoke with Clare Short. She was Blair's Minister of International Development during the run-up to the invasion, but would go on to resign over what she described as false assurances from her leader.

"It was an unworthy war ... We must all also think of the people of Iraq. There are far more of them as well who have lost lives, been mutilated, the country is wrecked, it's full of sectarian conflict, ISIS has been created out of the conditions that were made and the wider Middle East was destabilized."

You can hear more from our interview with Clare Short here:

Britain's inquiry into its role in the war in Iraq has been released and it has some damning criticisms for former PM Tony Blair. 10:00
 
Emotions run high as relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq express anger and grief at inquiry findings 0:54

According to the Iraq Body Count Project 174,000 Iraqis died between 2003 and 2013. An overwhelming majority of those people were civilians. Nearly five thousand coalition forces were killed, most of them American and British soldiers.

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