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What will the Iraq inquiry achieve?

The long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war opened on Thursday. Chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, has said he wants as much of it as possible to be held in public. What will the inquiry achieve?

The hearings will cover an eight-year period, from the lead-up to the conflict, to the current handover of military control to the Iraqi forces.

Sir John said it should be "as open as possible" with some hearings televised or streamed on the internet while others would be held in private for national security reasons or to allow "more candour".

He added that the panel will also take evidence directly from witnesses, rather than conducting its business through lawyers. And confirmed that the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, will be called to give evidence.

Should the inquiry be held in public? How important is it to investigate the Iraq war? What will people gain from holding the inquiry?

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Published: Thursday, 30 July, 2009, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK

It will hopefully officially confirm what we all know, that Blair got us involved in Iraq for his own interests. However, no doubt it will be a white wash.

Tony Caban, Hayling Island, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK

task is acheived and iraqi forces are able to control on iraq, they must be thanful to usa n allie forces who made them at worth to mke their own independent army. otherwise, in past we know how crualism was there while saddam was in command.

thus, its proper time to let iraqi forces to make law n order better by their own and allie forces should get out of that wave.

public trial is only to make opinion of pple and preparation of mind of world only, which i think. its not uselful indeed

Syed Waqar, Lahore, Pakistan

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK

We have seen many times before (David Kelly, WMD, etc) that inquiries are simply whitewash vehicles for the government to try and absolve itself of blame in the public eye for its mistakes or misdeeds. I have little doubt this will be the same, and will cost the taxpayer dear for no benefit.

Des Senior, Ware

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK

The inquiry must be done and must be done honestly with a clear target to prosecute and punish those 'coalition' leaders who tossed aside human rights and the value for human life in pursuit of questionable goals that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands Iraqis, Americans and British. If this could be done in case of Yugoslavia, Rawanda and Darfur, why not for in case of Iraq and Afghanistan?.

Saeed Ahmed, The Hague

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK

I think we can just all be happy Saddam was legally hanged by a court of law.

Packing My Bags, UK aka LoserLand

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK

This is ridiculous. No one cares anymore. Saddam needed taking out, and he got taken out. All this ballyhoo about 'lies' etc is precisely that: a bunch of leftist whining.

Get over it.

Obey Obama.

Frank Kuyel, Prague

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK

the inquiry will achieve nothing other than waste public money. what is to be known about the war has always been known- that the UK rushed to a fictitious war based on faked intelligence to please America! spare us the un-necessary inquiries, the world is not that daft.

kiprotich samoei, nairobi, Kenya

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK

Politicians like to think they can manipulate us and that we will "move on". So never forget that more than a million people demonstrated in Hyde Park against the Iraq war before it had started. We knew we were being forcefed a diet of misinformation and lies by the traitor Blair and his supine friends in the media to terrify us out of our wits and ensure he got his way. Six years on, and with hundreds of thousands dead, I want to see this "pretty straight kind of guy" in the dock for treason.

John French

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK

Without any doubt Tony Blair will go down in history as the most UNPATRIOTIC Prime Minister the country has ever had speaking as an ex-soldier Blair is the modern day Quisling.

Here is one issue concerning Blair's culture of ignorance back in 2002 how many people remember the army's G7 Apache helicopter Gunships that had to be mothballed for 6years because Blair and his Labour Government forgot we didn't have the pilots with enough experience to fly them.

The enguiry is just a sad joke

JAMES ATKINSON, STOK-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK

Perperators must account for their Criminal Indulgements. Nothing to hide here. As it has been,is and still to come,trials of Preditors must be held Publiciallyy,this will help educate and scare incoimg new Criminal Recruits in our societies. Let this Warrant and trials go ahead comprehensively.
Isaac Sokiri Moga,Brisbane-Australia.

Isaac Moga, Brisbane, Australia

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK

It will "achieve" exactly what it has been told to do, I.E. NOTHING.
No one to be blamed, no one guitly of anything, It will just make the UK an even bigger international joke than it currently is.
And whatever little respect our once great country enjoyed, will be further trashed, And in the event of any future, real threats, no one will believe a word "our" government (whether New Labour or old Tory)utters. That will be the price of lies.

Cynical Old Squaddie, Perth

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK

This entire business has been cloaked in secrecy and double talk .
Time at last perhaps to see whether Blair and Bush were complicit in a disastrous lie . Disastrous for democracy . Disastrous for international relations . Disastrous for national security .
We have to know .

derek farman, windermere

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK

Hmmmm, maybe an inquiry should be done BEFORE the government decides to go to war instead of after. Then maybe our troops would not even be there now.
What will happen if the inquiry decides that it was an illegal war ?
Will Mr Blair and his cronies be sent to jail ?
I do not think so.
An Inquiry is just our governments way of justifying their mistakes.
All we ever hear now is 'Oh, we messed up, lets have an inquiry'.
We are all sick of this governments incompetence.

Andy, Teesside

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK

Hopefully it will lead to Blair and the other war mongerers beign sent to the ICC to stand trial or to the frontline in Iraq with poor equipment and no help when they come back just like our brave soldiers.

Cuthbert Brown, Warrington

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Added: Friday, 31 July, 2009, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK

"Unfortunately, getting rid of him was only chipping at the edge of the problem- the Iranians are doing the same thing- the hard liners want an Islamic Jihad

Nick Gunning"

And the reason why is because they have seen another arabian state invaded by a foreign power.

So they (rather like any country) want a pre-emptive retaliatory strike.

And fear of being invaded like Iraq is helping drive the apparent need.

Just like the 45-minute WMD scare frightened us into Iraq.

Mark, Exeter

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