I can say that never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded, and that too is part of the responsibility
Why should Saddam keep the inspectors out for so long when he had nothing to hide?
Even when he let them in, why did he obstruct them?
Why bring war upon his country to protect a myth?
The caveats entered by Dr Kay were largely overlooked, including his assertion that Saddam was possibly a greater threat than we had known, a remark seen at the time as inexplicable, given the primary finding.
The second report from Charles Duelfer was not published until September 2004. It received far less attention, yet this was the complete analysis
The constraint became even tougher when revelations from Saddam's son-in-law about his continuing interest in development of WMD were broadcast to the world in 1996.
This conclusion on nuclear weapons was actually endorsed by the Butler Report of July 2004, though that was written prior to the full ISG Report of September 2004. The Butler Report concluded..."
As Saddam came to power in 1979, Iraq was richer than either Portugal or Malaysia. By 2003, 60 per cent of the population was dependent on food aid.
Millions were malnourished, and millions were in exile.
One statistic above all tells us what Saddam's Iraq was like. According to the UN, by 2002 the number of deaths of children under the age of five was 130 per 1,000, a figure worse than that for the Congo.
Before anyone says 'Ah, but it was sanctions', it should be remembered that Saddam was free to buy as much food and medicine as he wanted
In the Kurdish area, despite Saddam and despite sanctions covering them too, the death rate for children was half that of central and southern Iraq.
The origins of this figure lie in the Lancet report published in October 2004 which purported to be a scientific analysis of deaths in Iraq. The figure they gave - 600,000 - led the news and became dominant, repeated as fact.
Later the methodology on which this report was based was extensively challenged; its figures charged with being inaccurate and misleading; and the assessment made comprehensively questioned by other publications.
Friends opposed to the war think I'm being obstinate; others, less friendly, think I'm delusional.