Of course we don’t need Tony Blair to admit how wrong he was to join George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and the Neocon gang in the immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. The deaths and devastation of Iraq and the destabilisation in the Middle East continues today and will cause more grief, deaths and terror for years to come. Shameful that the policy continued with HRC at State under the watchful eye of President Obama.
[UPDATE-1] The careful reader is aware I wrote this diary on Saturday, ahead of the televised interview on CNN GPS with Fareed Zakaria. The Guardian apparently deleted the Original article and wrote a revised version dated on Sunday. That is the reason the contents I quoted differs from the linked article. The Guardian does not mention this but the article has been updated.
See also my new diary written after I saw the interview on CNN and was able to criticize the squirming and pathetic arguments used by Tony Blair to compare his handling of the Iraq invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein with today’s quagmire in Libya and Syria. Easily trying to escape judgement for the Middle-East upheaval caused by him and the US military under the George Bush administration.
○ Blair On Downfall Saddam, Iraq Compared Favorable to Quagmire In Libya and Syria by Oui on Sun Oct 25th, 2015 at 07:23 AM PDT
Not only Tony Blair but also General Petreaus (ex-CIA) and the neocon war criminal Paul Wolfowitz were invited for interviews on television in recent days.
In normal society after war crimes, the culprits are brought to trial as we see with African leaders before the ICC in The Hague. Permanent members of the UN Security Council can decide to act against International Law with impunity. Similarly, the US covers for Israel’s leaders and Russia for Syria’s Assad regime. [end update]
Tony Blair has apologised for aspects of the Iraq war, sparking claims of attempted “spin” ahead of the Chilcot inquiry findings.
The former UK prime minister used a US television interview – due to be broadcast by CNN Europe on Sunday – to express regret over the failure to plan properly for the aftermath of the toppling in 2003 of Saddam Hussein and the false intelligence used to justify it.
“I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” he told CNN. “I also apologise for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.”
Asked by host Fareed Zakaria if the Iraq war was “the principal cause” of the rise of Islamic State, he was reported by the Mail on Sunday to have conceded: “I think there are elements of truth in that.”
He added: “Of course you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”
Later, a spokeswoman for the former prime minister said: “Tony Blair has always apologised for the intelligence being wrong and for mistakes in planning. He has always also said, and says again here, that he does not however think it was wrong to remove Saddam.
The Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accused Blair of starting to prepare the ground for expected criticisms when the long-delayed report of the Chilcot inquiry is finally published.
“The Blair spin operation begins but the country still awaits the truth,” the Scottish National Party leader posted on Twitter. “The delay to Chilcot report is a scandal.”
The former commander of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and former director of the CIA, retired general David Petraeus, granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24.
Petraeus warned that Russia’s military involvement in Syria would further complicate the situation there, which he compared to a “geopolitical Chernobyl” with very little hope for a political solution.
The former top US general explained that Russia’s intervention on the side of the regime, combined with that of Iran and Shia militias, had caused a “reversal of momentum on the battlefield”, with the regime making up lost ground. He accused Russia of targeting the moderate Syrian opposition, saying that “90 percent” of Russian air strikes targeted such groups, including those supported by the US.
On Iraq, the former US commander said that the Iraqi army was making progress against the Islamic State group, but warned that the real key to solving the crisis was to make Iraqi politics more inclusive by bringing in the Sunnis.
Finally, Petraeus welcomed as “the right decision” the announcement by President Obama that the US would maintain 5,500 troops in Afghanistan through the rest of his mandate, stressing that it “remains a very important mission” aimed at preventing terrorist groups from regaining a base.
- ○ Candidate Hillary Clinton calls for no-fly zone in support of Erdogan’s Turkey
○ Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft and the Land of the Two Rivers
○ * Part 4. US Will Be Ousted by Saudi King Abdullah in Middle-East
Obama in 2012: War on Terror is over… his “Mission Accomplished” moment in history.