Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has confessed that the Iraq war is to blame for the rise of terror group ISIS, and that he is “sorry” for the war in Iraq.
During a TV interview with CNN, Blair says the war in Iraq was a “crime” (though stops short of admitting he has committed a crime himself) and says that he is personally responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.
Blair is asked bluntly in the CNN interview, to be broadcast today: ‘Was the Iraq War a mistake?’
He replies: ‘I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong.
‘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.’
Challenged that the Iraq War was ‘the principal cause’ of the rise of Islamic State, he said: ‘I think there are elements of truth in that.
As well as apologising for the Iraq War, the former Prime Minister also admitted he could be partly to blame for the rise of Islamic State
The TV interview by respected US political broadcaster Fareed Zakaria, also sees Blair be accused of being George Bush’s ‘poodle’ over the conflict
‘Of course you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.’
In the ‘trial by TV’, respected US political broadcaster Fareed Zakaria accuses him of being President Bush’s ‘poodle’ over the conflict. Blair’s confession comes a week after The Mail on Sunday published a bombshell White House memo revealing for the first time how Blair and Bush agreed a ‘deal in blood’ a year before the invasion.
A 2002 briefing note from US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the President showed Blair had secretly pledged to back the conflict – while telling MPs and British voters that he was seeking a diplomatic solution.
An edited extract of Tony Blair’s interview with Fareed Zakaria of the Americn CNN TV news network
In his CNN interview, Blair candidly asks for forgiveness for his blunder in not realising ‘what would happen once you removed the regime’.
The admission makes a mockery of the statement in the Powell memo that Blair would ‘demonstrate [to Bush] that we have thought through “the day after” ’ – a reference to the consequences of invasion.
However, the bloody chaos in the region continues to this day. And in a separate development, former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett has revealed that he challenged Blair before the war about avoiding chaos after Saddam’s downfall.