The “If you had known then what you know now” question, again
Tony Blair is asked the hindsight question about the Iraq war again in an interview with The Times today (pay wall).
Philip Webster: Would you have been prepared to take Britain to war if you had known then what you know now, i.e. there were no WMD – you used that as the basis for the UN approach – could you have done it without, could you possibly have led Britain to war in those circumstances?
Tony Blair: Well, you know, I’ve been over this a thousand times. The reason was the breach of the UN resolutions – he was in breach of them – look you know I take the view he was a threat, but in essence the reason why it became very tough was really not to do with Saddam, it was to do with what happened afterwards and likewise with the fall of the Taleban in Afghanistan.
I mean the truth is what got really difficult, far more difficult than anyone imagined, was when you got external factors joining up with internal factors to try and cause chaos and instability; by use of terrorism, by suicide bombers, by, you know, roadside bombs and, you know, still the question in my mind is “well, if you knew they were going to do these things, is it worth the fight?” and my answer to that is, unless you’re prepared to give in to that, then it is, because both in respect of Afghanistan and in respect of Iraq the fact is the people did want a democratic form of government and they do – so why shouldn’t they have it?
David Miliband gave a different sort of answer, equally right, last night.
Update: David Cameron was asked the same question, and gave a different answer.Tagged in: chilcot, iraq inquiry, iraq war, tony blair
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