Over one million killed in Iraq but let’s not focus on details, writes Murdoch editorial

Unsure what to really think of the Iraq war? Let Murdoch’s Australian guide you through the complexity:

Tony Blair was called a murderer on Friday by outraged activists after his evidence before the Chilcot inquiry into the origins of the war to remove Saddam Hussein.

It is the sort of foolish sloganising that always characterised the case against the invasion. While there is no doubting claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003 were plain wrong, there is no denying he had used them in the past. That Saddam also wanted the world, specifically his enemies in Iran, to believe he still had WMD was revealed last year in declassified FBI interviews with the dictator. Certainly Mr Blair, like George W. Bush and John Howard, was too willing to act on poor-quality intelligence, but this does not make Saddam innocent of crimes against the Iraqi people committed over decades, of being a threat to the peace of the Middle East and the wider world. Nor is there any denying the US and British occupation of Iraq was badly planned and initially poorly managed, that the Americans in particular were not capable of defending the Iraqi people against terrorists determined to kill to stop democracy being established. But this does not mean Mr Blair was wrong. He acted in the interests of Britain, its allies and as we know now with democracy taking hold in Iraq, the people of that long-suffering country.

That’s sorted then.