Sadness and anger compete in equal measure for this space. It is a difficult time for me.
Ten years ago, as national chairman of Labour Against the War, I had just returned from a futile visit to the US. It was a return laced with absolute certainty, and gloom, about the impending war on Iraq.
The Canadian peace movement had had the temerity to put together an independent team of "weapons inspectors" of their own, seeking to widen the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) debate by conducting an inspection in the US.
I had been asked to lead a small international group of MPs in an attempt to inspect the US Edgewood Chemical Biological research centre just outside Washington.
This, and the public meetings surrounding it, aimed to reinforce links between the north American and European peace movements, making the case that global revulsion for the Bush agenda was anti-war, not anti-US.
In broader terms, our visit also aimed to convey three specific messages to the US public - that, internationally, there was no support for a US "war for oil," that George W Bush already knew there was no evidence of Iraq still having weapons of mass destruction and that the US was itself carrying out chemical and biological research which, in Iraq, would have been sufficient grounds for an immediate declaration of war.
It had been a bizarre visit. For the first time in my life I was followed round by pro-war protesters.
Banners proclaiming "Give war a chance" and - most spookily - "Today Iraq, tomorrow France," brought home how far the US public had been cranked up for conflict.
The US had become a hanging looking for a trial. Bush would have his war… as long as he could find a cover for it.
My mixture of sadness and anger was in the realisation that Britain was it. Britain was the one country around that might have averted the Iraq war. Tony Blair's standing in the US was second only to God's.
He was seen as the US's one reliable friend and ally. If he could have stood in their elections he would have swept the board.
By the same token, if Blair had said that Britain could not support a US invasion, the Bush war machine would have stalled.
The military "window of opportunity" would have closed, another breathing space created. Maybe the world could have bought into a different outcome.
Blair had several pegs on which he could have hung Britain's withheld endorsement.
He could have said that Hans Blix's weapons inspectors were right to ask for more time for verification.
He could have said the evidence of WMD was less than conclusive.
He could have held to the line that a specific security council resolution was needed for a war to be legal.
But Blair was already part of the problem. He and Bush had invoked God's calling in a new crusade against the "axis of evil."
If God dissented, he was to be ignored or trashed along with all the other doubters and dividers who stood in the way of this biblical mission.
On both sides of the Atlantic, false testaments had been written to incite the venal and confuse the innocent. I was never sure which of these categories MPs fell into, but very few made it into a different camp of the brave and the good.
Prior to my foray into the Washington bear-pit, I had made daily tours of British television studios, responding to the latest cranking up of war propaganda.
Labour's official spokespeople would never do the same show, but Tory MPs were happy to run the line that whatever Labour was saying, the Tories would have done it two weeks earlier, and with much greater conviction.
The few Conservative MPs dissenting from this line were in even shorter supply than Labour's miscreants.
But it was Parliament's collective shallowness and duplicity which - then and now - was hardest to deal with.
Today the world knows just how dodgy the dodgy dossier was. Labour Against the War had been saying so at the time.
The tragedy was the sheer number of MPs who fell into the "I'd rather not know" category.
For months the Westminster bubble had been bursting with accounts of the Blair-Bush intimacy. Despite this, MPs sheltered behind assurances that Britain's stance would be "evidence driven."
So anti-war MPs brought Scott Ritter, the avowedly Republican former weapons inspector, to explain how the best part of a decade's work by them had removed over 95 per cent of Iraq's WMD.
Anything remaining was either speculative, past its use-by date or non-existent. Then Dominique de Villepin came, explaining France's reluctance to embrace a war that was probably neither legal nor justified, warning MPs that "old countries" remembered the pain of reconstruction as much as the challenge of war.
Still, the majority of Labour MPs preferred not to look at how they were being groomed for war. As ever, the abused preferred to believe their abusers would love and look after them. Fat chance.
On the evening before the dodgy dossier was released, Labour Against the War launched its own pre-emptive strike.
Several of us had been working for months on an overview of everything that had been published on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Even the most obscure documents had been trawled through. Nothing justified a war. Nothing stood up for WMD claims. So we published it and distributed personal copies to every Labour MP.
Our big fear was that Blair would actually have found his "smoking gun." Amateur peacemakers can not hope to match the apparatus of state intelligence gathering.
I remember arriving in the members' lobby of the Commons in the early hours of the following morning, waiting for the official document to be released.
Then, armed with as many copies as I could carry, legging it across to my office where a platoon of our own researchers took it apart, section by section.
Nothing! We could scarcely allow ourselves to believe it.
The dossier had nothing, beyond conjecture and Blair's beliefs. Parliament could not possibly vote for a war if this was all we had.
What fools we were.
The counter-dossier was completely ignored. The chasms between intelligence claims and reality were presented as seamless certainties.
Soon I was sitting in the chamber looking at colleagues - most of whom I liked - and realising how hard it was not to see them as war criminals.
It was an unforgiving sensation, whose accusations stand as much in the tragedy of today's Iraq as in the illegality of the war they then voted for.
A decade after the war that "liberated" them, Iraqi citizens are no more than two steps away from being a failed state or no state at all.
Those who still try to justify the war should go and live there - just for a year.
Free from a previous decade of punitive sanctions and "blessed" with $100 billion of annual oil revenues, Iraq still has a bombed-out, clapped-out infrastructure of water supply, electricity and sewage.
Citizens enjoy the "security" of car bombings on a weekly rather than hourly basis. And a corrupt government lurches between cranking up and then damping down tribal or religious differences, entirely to prop up its own existence.
The legacy of the Big Lie perpetrated on both Britain and Iraq is, however, smeared across a much larger canvas.
Blair is right in warning, now, that if Syria is to collapse in internal sectarian division, other parts of the Middle East will follow suit. Some already are. Before long, this will (again) include Iraq.
This is the Blair/Bush legacy - a war driven by quasi-religious beliefs and power, rather than evidence of WMD, created an international landscape that discredited humanitarian intervention.
No terrorist organisation has done more to damage the foundations of the United Nations than this pair.
Legal, collective intervention - based more on the avoidance of war than its perpetuation - has been stripped of its certainties.
"We, the people, determined to avoid the scourge of war…" has been replaced by "bomb and be done with it."
Iraq screwed up "conflict avoidance" good and proper. Sixty years of painful, flawed, UN peace-building was blown in one, self-deluding folly.
Today's religious and tribal zealots, who will wreak havoc across the Middle East for decades to come, are Blair's children - the bastard offspring of an improper relationship to power and responsibility.
But don't wait for a clergy-style repentance. The lives of leaders are lived in too easy denial of abuse.
In the years that followed, I tried - unsuccessfully - to persuade Kofi Annan to let the UN offer "an indicative view" on the legality of the war, even if it could not try the victors for war crimes.
Others, attempting citizens' arrests, were no more successful in getting through the security cordon now wrapped around him. The riches of retirement and the veneer of faith foundations have bought their own immunity.
Iraqi citizens have no such luck. The cradle of civilisation is now drowning in the sewage, debris and destruction of our "liberation." Such realities mock all the memoirs that rationalise an illegal war into a principled intervention.
Ten years on, we still await a war crimes trial that the brutalised and betrayed still cry out for.
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