Tony Blair interview re Iraq war and the uprising in Syria
Tony Blair (former Prime Minister) interview SOT
- still believe it was right to remove Saddam / sometimes forget what regime was actually like and the devastation it caused not just within his own country but in the region and the wider world / hundreds of thousands of people died in his wars / he used chemical weapons against his own people / if we'd backed off and left him in power / just imagine what is happening in Syria now, if had left Saddam in charge in Iraq would have had carnage on an even worse scale than Syria with no end in sight
Q: Iraq is now on verge of civil war, hundreds of thousands killed, torture, kidnapping - what has been achieved?
- yes there are still big challenges in Iraq today / not been hundreds of thousands of people killed, there is precise count now... (interrupted by Austin) ...no, no, there is very precise count now which stands at 160,000, which is 160,000 too many by the way...
- they're not on the verge of civil war
Q: isn't the real scandal of Iraq the lack of planning for what happened after initial war?
- not about planning / this is easy way for people to park the argument in a place they feel comfortable
Q: Gen Graham Lamb described planning as 'prettty hopeless' - you had time to plan
- there was planning for day after / reason we got into difficulties was not because planning wasn't right, it was because people were, by acts of terrorism, sabotaging the infrastructure we were building, trying to kill our forces through explosive devices, many of them manufactured and made in Iran / no planning to get away from need to confront that threat and deal with it
Q: would you get more involved in Syria?
- I hope we realise the outcome of this struggle is going to impact us
Q: are you surprised Cameron and Obama have not got more involved in Syria?
- why not / what people will be saying to him is - after everything we'v...
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