A war in the life of Tony Blair

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Indy Politics

11 September, London: 'We... here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world.'

12 September, London: 'This was an attack on the free and democratic world everywhere, and this is the responsibility that the free and democratic world have got to shoulder, together with America.'

14 September, London: 'We are a people that stand by our friends, and we do so without reservation now.'

20 September, New York: 'We have no option but to act. I hope very much that in the next few days we demonstrate, as a world, our complete solidarity in this fight that is so important to us.'

25 September, London: 'It's not simply a question of them [the Taliban] yielding up bin Laden. It's a question of making sure all those responsible for terrorism are yielded and that those camps are closed down, and verifiably closed down.'

30 September, London: 'If we treat this as a fundamental evil in our world, a new form of mass international terrorism that can wreak absolute devastation and havoc in a country like America, then I am sure we can take action against it and be successful in the action that we take.'

02 October, Brighton: 'I say to the Taliban – surrender the terrorists or surrender power. The action we take will be targeted. We will do all we humanly can to avoid civilian casualties.'

04 October, Moscow: 'The fact that we have Russia today strongly alongside other countries, including the US, all the European countries and Britain, and giving its strong support against acts of terrorism, that's living proof, visible proof of the changed world in which we live.'

09 October, London: 'We know their [the terrorists'] aim – it is to foment conflict between Islam and the West, it is to present themselves as champions of the Muslim world against the United States. It is to say we are anti-Islam. This is a lie.'

11 October, Egypt: 'To kill, as these terrorists did, is utterly foreign to all teachings of the Koran... To justify it by saying such murder of the innocent is doing the will of God is to defame the good name of Islam.'

18 October, London: 'We recognise the only way of tackling the humanitarian issue in the medium and long term is to stabilise the situation, and that means clearing the obstacles that the Taliban put in the way. The sooner we make progress militarily, the sooner we can stabilise.'

30 October, Cardiff: 'We do all we can to limit civilian casualties, unlike Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida, who did all they could to cause as many civilian casualties as possible. Tragically there will be some, but I do ask people to be deeply sceptical about Taliban claims.'

13 November, London: 'The military strategy has been vindicated... British forces have acquitted themselves brilliantly.'

17 December, London: 'It would be very unfortunate if we walked away from this situation... We know that is only the start of enabling Afghanistan to cease being a failed state and become a responsible partner in the region.'

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