Happy birthday, Mr President… here’s a 12-volume report tearing your signature foreign policy to shreds.
George W Bush turns 70 today – by coincidence the exact same day that the British government unveils its long-awaited report on the Iraq War.
Its criticisms – that the war was hasty, ill-thought-through and the cause of decades of disaster in the Middle East – will hardly be a welcome gift.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 6, 2016
The report has taken seven years, and began when Bush was 63 and barely out of office.
Given the vast expanse of time in which Sir John Chilcot has had to report back, it is, to say the least, unfortunate that he chose today.
The report focuses mainly on the British government’s role in the Middle Eastern intervention – but inevitably brings the US president into its orbit.
By the way today is George Bush's birthday #Chilcot
— Dina Rickman (@dinarickman) July 6, 2016
It turns over a stash of private correspondence between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, showing how Blair made commitments to the US before consulting his parliament – or even his closest political allies.
Blair has been forced to go on the defensive in the UK, issuing a lengthy statement and trying to defend the virtually bankrupt position that invading Iraq was a clever thing to do.
Perhaps Bush is so untroubled by his legacy, or preoccupied with cake, that he will demur from doing the same – but, still, there are better ways to turn 70.