Tony Blair admits Iraq still faces 'long, hard struggle'
Tuesday 26 February 2013
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted that life in Iraq is still not what he hoped 10 years after the UK joined a US-led invasion of the country.
Life in Iraq remains “not nearly what it should be” 10 years after the British and American invasion, Tony Blair admitted last night.
The former Prime Minister, who led the UK into war against Saddam Hussain’s regime in 2003, said that despite “significant improvements in many parts of the country for the people”, Iraq still faced a “long, hard struggle” to combat continuing terrorist attacks.
Despite the death toll among both British armed forces and Iraqi civilians being “very, very high”, Mr Blair told BBC’s Newsnight that the “complex and difficult” decision to go to war was the right one.
“Just think what would be happening if these Arab revolutions were continuing now and Saddam, who was probably 20 times as bad as Assad in Syria, was trying to suppress an uprising in Iraq,” he said.
“So when you say, ‘Do you think of the loss of life and the trouble there’s been since 2003?’, of course I do and you would be inhumane not to.
“But think what would have happened if he’d been left there.”
Conceding that he had “long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision”, Mr Blair added that it would be a “profound mistake” to suggest the UK could back away from “ugly” choices on international crises.
“You’ve got one in Syria right now, you’ve got one in Iran to come,” he said. “The issue is: how do you make the world a safer place? We are in the middle of this struggle, it is going to take a generation, it is going to be very arduous and difficult. But I think we are making a mistake, a profound error, if we think we can stay out of that struggle.”
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Sir Patrick Stewart patches into David Cameron and Barack Obama's Ukraine talks with packet of wet wipes
- 4 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 5 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
£6.31 per hour: Inspiring Interns: This growing predictive analytical software...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education is the largest ed...
£18000 - £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Geoenvir...
£35000 - £42000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior - Top 20 -...