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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Julia Hartley-Brewer: Tony Blair must not apologise — invading Iraq was the right thing to do

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

If, way back in March 2003, someone had told Tony Blair that his decision to join the US military invasion of Iraq would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, leaving an entire region in chaos and despair, and ultimately create the power vacuum that would enable the rise of the murderous Isil fundamentalists, he may well have had a last minute change of heart.

That chain of events, after all, is a pretty big burden for anyone’s shoulders to bear.

Our politicians sadly don’t get the benefit of hindsight when they are making life or death decisions.

And neither do the people who criticise them and brand them as “war criminals”. After twelve years of being called just that, we learned this weekend that Tony Blair has, at long last, said sorry for the Iraq war.

Except, of course, he hasn’t done any such thing.
The former Prime Minister is categorically not sorry for the Iraq war. And he has stated that at every opportunity since 2003.

During an interview for American television over the weekend, in what has been widely seen as a damage limitation exercise ahead of the long-awaited Chilcot report, Mr Blair “apologised” for “the fact that the intelligence received was wrong”, and for poor planning for the aftermath. He admitted that “there are elements of truth” to the idea the invasion of Iraq may have helped lead to the rise of Isil. 
But the S-word was distinctly absent from the conversation, and quite rightly so...

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