In February 2003, millions of us around the world demonstrated against the Iraq war. Most of us were not 'pacifists' nor were we 'pro-Saddam' but we thought that the very idea of a western invasion of Iraq was pure madness. The Sydney Morning Herald graced me with some space on its Opinion page to say just this (click below for the 'historical record')
We all knew our leaders and many of our journalists were not misguided or misinformed. We all knew they were just lying. And they went ahead and did what they did. And they got what they wanted to get. which was no different from what other colonialists before them got in the past. and they caused the horrors that we are still living today. which are no different from the horrors that colonialists before them have caused in the third world in the past.
It is very tempting to participate in the debates following Chilcot's 'findings', to get some satisfaction from saying 'I told you so' and to have some grounds on which to incriminate Blair, Bush and that other globally forgettable entity that no one is mentioning except for us here in Australia - whatever that Western arse licker's name was. But from past histories of 'inquiries' nothing much of consequence will happen. Quite the contrary, it is the colonialists who will end up getting all the satisfaction from discussing the 'findings'.
White (ie,white colonialist) inquiries into white evil are cleansing rituals in which white people routinely forgive themselves for the evil that they have done. they do so precisely by participating in a cleansing 'debate' around the 'findings'. And in the process they also manage to re-assert their racial superiority over the barbarian other. For let us not forget: White Inquiries are technologies of racial distinction: 'The inquiry, as with the innumerable Israeli inquiries into the interminable massacres in Gaza or the inquiry into the Sabra and Shatila massacre during the Lebanese civil war, always works to project a sense of ‘distinction’ from the barbarians whose worst sin is not that they behead people but that they do so without having inquiries afterwards.' (from Alter-Politics, p.21)