March 28, 2009

20 minutes with Tony Blair

Q: Could you say that Iraq may have been the biggest mistake of your political career? How would you assess the way former President Bush handled it and what lessons have you learned from it?

A: Well, I think the basic issue when you look at Iraq today—and actually there is progress now being made—[is that] they’ve just had successful local elections and you come back to the same issue which is, if Saddam Hussein were running Iraq, would the world be safer? My answer to that is no. I think people will carry on making a judgement about it for a very long time, but it’s interesting if you talk to people who’ve just come back from Iraq now and they see the change and its progress; and in the end it’s been tough because the same forces we’re fighting everywhere are the same people we’re fighting in Afghanistan who want terror, who want violence, to stop countries having the right to elect their government. And I think when those types of people are engaged in terrorism we should stand up firmly against them and say, “you’re not going to succeed. We’re going to fight for the future.” And so, I think no doubt it will be a controversial decision for a long time to come but it’s necessary I believe. (Read the rest of our press Q&A with Blair here.)

Sawa na ba kayo? If not, read my kalokohan piece on Blair here.

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