And it is very long. I intend to read it all, in a thorough and critical manner, as is appropriate. The report is, quite explicitly, not a document that lends itself to the bitesize, instantaneous communications of social media. The mainstream media, whose categorical and inherent failures have only worsened since the drums of the Iraq war began beating, has no resources nor inclination to mount a meaningful appreciation (I understand the Guardian has put out an appeal for help, of all things).
The Chilcot Report is politics, politics of the most immense and important scale, disguised as history. To process it on its own terms is an academic project.
The executive summary alone is 150 pages. I have already spotted a couple of errors, which are worrying things to find in a frontispiece. I’m not 100% sure about Chilcot’s opening statement either, his confident assertion that “Saddam” was in breach of a UN resolution specifically.
I have said for some years that criticism of the Inquiry must be suspended until its report was published. Well, that time has come. But it must be read first. It would be ironic to rush to judgement.
Naturally, those who seek to wield and mould public opinion will not wait to project their decided viewpoint onto the airwaves and column inches. That endeavour is already underway, as part of the general daily thrum of the west’s cultural hegemony. Distrust anything or anybody pretending to offer you the findings at a glance. Those journalists at the pre-publication lock-in had two and a half hours, at most, to digest over two and a half million words and Chilcot has been careful not to offer up any headline conclusions. Whatever meat there is in this lies under the skin.
That only real battle we can fight now is the right to ensure the coming generations understand what really happened here. The establishment aleady know. They knew at the time, and they have been spinning ever since.
The loudest voices are the least honest.
Only a mounting civic activism can counter them.