Finally, and not the mealy-mouthed whitewash that had been feared. It's far too long, and far too late, but still. and for those of us among the millions marching, it's refreshing to have a considered official publication explicitly saying that we were right, and they were wrong. At the time, I remember Blair coming out with a weird line about the protesters being fewer than the victims of Saddam. Even if that were true, is that an argument?
But rational debate was never his strong suit. Now as then, his defence is a simplified myth: him (Saddam) bad, me (Blair) good. Misguided, maybe, but acting on my conscience,in good faith. Which leaves out two key factors.
Firstly, standing by our allies, him supporting his mate, actually amounts to endorsing a narrow neo-con ideology which takes no account of the circumstances, and which listens to no-one.
Secondly, there were alternatives, every step of the way. He had excellent advice, from diplomats and civil servants who actually knew what they were talking about, as to where this would lead. Robin cook, in his own cabinet, saw things very differently, and made a powerful case. But Blair ignored all that, and went ahead regardless, because that's where his snow white conscience told him to go.