The threshold for war should always be high. None of us can predict the death toll of civilians from the forthcoming bombardment of Iraq, but the US warning of a bombing campaign that will "shock and awe" makes it likely that casualties will be numbered at least in the thousands. I am confident that British servicemen and women will acquit themselves with professionalism and with courage. I hope that they all come back. I hope that Saddam, even now, will quit Baghdad and avert war, but it is false to argue that only those who support war support our troops. It is entirely legitimate to support our troops while seeking an alternative to the conflict that will put those troops at risk.
It was a truth lost on the Conservatives, for whom the political expediency of being seen to act in concert overcame their disbelief of Blair's lies - and those who have subsequently admitted so have mired themselves in opprobrium. Others have chosen to rely on a fatuous post-hoc rationalisation that getting rid of Saddam made it the right thing to do, anyway, even if Blair misled the nation. Labour's own stinking hypocrisy is exemplified by Harman's enthusiastic applause at Red Ed's condemnation of the war, which prompted his brother to audibly demand of her "What are you clapping for? You voted for it".
Iraq has remained an open sore, yet each year has brought to light a little more of the evidence needed to put Blair on trial. Of the other great officers of state, Hoon is disgraced and a figure of public ridicule and Irvine is a wreck of alcoholic remorse and self-pity unfit to appear in public any longer. Only Straw remains at large and unaffected. I have no doubt that Hoon and Irvine at least would be happy to turn Queen's evidence if given the opportunity to do so.
As Steven Glover reports in the Mail, the declassification of Goldsmith's evidence has already established conclusively that Blair lied to the Commons. Chilcot also has in his hands evidence that Blair conspired to wage an unlawful war, evidence that if available would, I suspect, be sufficient for an indictment. Gus O'Donnell has so far refused Chilcot permission to declassify this, but no matter; the evidence is there, and no doubt the courts will wheedle it out into the light of day in due course.
This is a long haul, and Blair has less reason to sleep soundly with each passing day. This, at least, is an encouragement that should not be underestimated.