Jack Straw defends Iraq war

2010-01-21 19:11

London - Former foreign minister Jack Straw said on Thursday he deeply regretted the loss of life in Iraq but defended his decision to back the US led invasion in 2003.

Straw, who is now justice secretary, served as foreign minister under former prime minister Tony Blair between 2001-2006.

"I believed at the time, and I still believe, that we made the best judgements we could have done in the circumstances," Straw, wrote in a submission to a public inquiry into the conflict.

"We did so assiduously and on the best evidence we had available at the time," added Straw in a lengthy statement issued before he appeared before the five-person inquiry on Thursday.

Straw described the decision to go to war in the face of mass public protests as one of the most divisive of his political lifetime.

He conceded that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein had undermined trust.

Regret

"Above all, there has been the grave loss of life - of our military personnel and civilians, others in the coalition, and many thousands of Iraqis. I deeply regret this."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown set up the Iraq inquiry, chaired by former civil servant John Chilcot, last year to learn lessons from the conflict following the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

Some Labour figures say it risks backfiring by bringing a divisive issue back into the public arena ahead of an election to be held by June and which the Conservatives are expected to win.

Brown was chancellor under Blair and has faced criticisms for decisions on defence spending which critics say have hampered British operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is not expected to appear before the inquiry until after the election.

Many Labour supporters remain angry with Blair for supporting former US president George W Bush and leading the country into a war and occupation in which 179 British soldiers were killed.

Blair will appear before the inquiry on January 29.

Blair's former spokesperson Alastair Campbell, who appeared before the tribunal last week, wrote on Thursday that he feared that the wrong lessons had been learnt from the Iraq war, bemoaning a failure to explain the purpose of the conflict in Afghanistan.

Read more on:    jack straw  |  gordon brown  |  uk  |  iraq war inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 17:56 PM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Riebeeck Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.