When I read that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, will deliver the Colby commencement address, I thought it must be somebody’s idea of a joke, that Colby students wouldn’t accept such an insult to them and their venerable school.

Colby President William Adams says that Blair’s presence will be a potent reminder of his impact on the world. It is a painful reminder indeed, for military families, and one that does not speak well of Colby’s decision makers.

Blair, in the most important decision of his life and against the recommendations of his top advisers, condemned millions of innocent people to the brutality of war.

Many people believe that Blair knew at the time that the so-called intelligence about Iraq WMDs was deliberately falsified to justify war plans already in progress.

The revelations in the Downing Street memo and Blair’s own statements lead them to this conclusion.

Blair has never manned up and apologized or even acknowledged this act. All his self-serving, alternative-history-building efforts for the rest of his life will never erase his real legacy: The destruction and suffering he inflicted on so many.

Most people think the Iraq war is “over.” It is never over for those who lost their loved ones or for those who lost their limbs, their mind, their spirit.

The consequences of war are a burden that is passed down through succeeding generations. If there is a greater evil than waging a war of choice, I don’t know what that could be.

Whether Colby’s administrators agree with others’ conclusions or not, they should be sensitive to the terrible price military families and Iraqi civilians have paid. They should have been aware of all the pain that would be dredged up by inappropriately choosing a speaker who is most remembered for his disastrous failure.

Carole Whelan

Military Families Speak Out, Hope

Ben Griffin

London, UK