Tony Blair: If only someone had warned me against Iraq war at the time
By Tony Blair
AS PRIME minister during the period where UK forces invaded Iraq, I do not try to shirk my share of the responsibility for its unforeseen consequences.
But I must ask in reply: where were these Middle East policy experts telling me that military action was a terrible idea back in 2003?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But back then, with the unexpected triumph of Girls Aloud’s first single riding high in the charts, no voice was raised against it.
The cabinet was united. British intelligence unanimously agreed that Saddam Hussain was an immediate threat to the UK. The UN security council spoke, for once, as one.
And the people of Britain – the people who gathered in their hundreds of thousands in the streets of London to say ‘We back you, Tony Blair’ – were behind me every step of the way.
If there had been a lone weapons inspector, country, or newspaper who had opposed the war, casting doubt on the universal consensus that weapons of mass destruction were ready to fire on Britain in 45 minutes, then perhaps things would have been different.
But if any had such fears they kept them very much to themselves.
So when people ask me, ‘Are you to blame for Isis and Syria?’ I reply, ‘No, you are’.
And if that doesn’t work, I blame Bush.