Blair's testimony comes too late, say Iraqis
Baghdad: Many Iraqis were unaware on Friday that Tony Blair was facing a public grilling in London, and those who had heard of the Chilcot inquiry thought it came too late to benefit their war-wracked country.
"I don't think this will lead to anything because the damage is already done," said Sami Ali Hamadi, 57, a retired government worker from the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in northern Baghdad, referring to Blair's testimony.
The former prime minister's appearance at the inquiry into Britain's involvement in the war was not screened on Iraqi television and received only low key coverage on the inside pages of local newspapers in Baghdad.
Hamadi said the invasion was launched on a false prospectus in 2003 by then US president George W Bush and his staunchest ally, Blair, to rid the country of now executed dictator Saddam Hussein.
"The aggression against Iraq was based on the belief that we had weapons of mass destruction, but we did not have any," said Hamadi.
"It was an excuse, manufactured by Bush and his poodle Blair to suit their purposes of ousting Saddam."
Hamadi's friend, Abbas Massud Moussa, 59, said he believed Iraq is a better place without Saddam and his regime, but he was still critical of Blair's actions in the lead-up to the invasion.