".....The Independent on Sunday has been steadfast in its view that the invasion of Iraq was a reckless misjudgement that would mean death and destruction for Iraqis and make the world less safe. Some of our rivals have adjusted their uncritical acceptance of Mr Blair's beguiling optimism of five years ago. Others have seized on the reduction of civilian casualties since the "surge" of US troops a year ago as evidence that the situation is being turned round. Welcome as that reduction is, the sober reporting of our correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, puts it in its bleak perspective.
So, among the guilty people that we would name as responsible for the disaster of Iraq, we would include journalists collectively, in Britain and America. In our assessment of the winners and losers from the war we include the media among the latter. Partly, this was because journalists and opponents of the war focused too much on the distraction and legal device of weapons of mass destruction, on which, before the war, little could be proved.
Instead, we should have been asking much more searching questions about what would happen after the invasion. Five years on, it has become much clearer that the answer to Mr Miliband's question is that it would have been incredibly difficult to depose Saddam Hussein without unleashing the forces that led to such massive loss of life. Of course, if the Pentagon had looked ahead and realised that it should keep Saddam's army and the Baathist party structure, some of the bloodletting might have been avoided.
But, even if many more troops had been deployed, it is not certain that they could have secured order. Even if they had treated the human rights of every Iraqi with rigorous respect and fixed the electricity, it would have been hard to avoid the collapse of civil society into sectarianism.
The invasion of Iraq was a doomed enterprise from the start, and we were right to say so."