The Iraq Inquiry: Call for Volunteers


The Iraq Inquiry that was released a few days ago is about 2.5 million words long, making it inaccessible to most people. There is no point in a report like this existing if most people can’t really know it’s contents.

BACKGROUND

The 2003 invasion of Iraq started a series of events that changed how we define ourselves and how we define others. It resulted in the deaths of 150,000 to a million innocent Iraqi people, depending on who you believe and whether you consider indirect deaths. It displaced many more who went in search of safety in the Western world, triggering the start of immigration policies driven by xenophobia. It created a power vacuum that allowed for the creation and spread of ISIS, triggering more death, destruction and displacement.

In 2009, former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced an inquiry into the Iraq war (http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk), chaired by Sir John Chilcot. The inquiry took evidence, holding public and private hearings, and studying 150,000 documents.

The outcomes of the inquiry were released on 6 July 2016, concluding that:

  • Judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) were presented with an unjustified certainty
  • Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated.

This report is mammoth and most will be unable to go through it.
THE TASK
We are going to go through each section of the Chilcot Report and summarise it as simply as possible. I am looking for a one page summary per 100 pages. This may seem like a very brief summary – and of course this may not be appropriate in all cases – but there is a reason I’m looking for such brief summaries. There are 17 sections, broken down into a total of 52 subsections. Each of these range from under 10 pages to almost 300 pages.

I would like to have these ready for publication on 31 July 2016.

I’m using Trello to keep track of all the summaries. The Trello Board can be found here: https://trello.com/b/dCqXr7jv 

THE PROCESS

If you’re interested in being part of this process, email me at Amne.alrifai@gmail.com. Have a look at the subsections of the report (http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-report/) and tell me if you’re interested in a particular section. Otherwise, I will assign you the next available section.

I will provide you with a link to the report and the Google document which you should keep your notes and summary in. Once you’re happy with your summary, let me know. I will then edit and finalise the document. Once we finish them all, we can publish them in one go.

I am very happy to acknowledge people in their own summaries. If you would like for this to happen, please let me know. Otherwise, I will assume that you would like to remain anonymous.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Amne

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