Saturday 16 December 2017

The distant scream of a far-off war in a dusty corner of the world called Iraq

Last week's Chilcot report into the war in Iraq opened the floodgates of memory for all of those who witnessed the war at first hand

Former US Secretary for Defence Donald Rumsfeld
Former US Secretary for Defence Donald Rumsfeld

Fergal Keane

All week the memories have been returning. They are like prisoners kept long in a foreign country, desperate now to tell their tale. For me, Chilcot opened the gates.

Baghdad, April 2003. I remember the man on his knees in front of the row of graves. They were freshly dug. All morning, he had searched for his son's body. He was pleading with the hospital orderlies. They could not help him. The mortuary had run out of space. There was nothing to do but bury them in the garden.

The staff were too busy caring for the wounded to register the dead. We watched a heart-monitoring machine being wheeled past by a looter.

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