Comment at end
8th February, 2010
Blair: “There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view, some sort of conspiracy behind it, some sort of deceit that’s gone on… when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it.”
2/6/10 Huck interview with Tony Blair part 1
From the YouTube site:
“Finally, a liberal politician with half a brain (Tony Blair) and who seems honest and not trying to give people a snow job and who doesn’t come across like a used car salesman or a con artist. It’s only the second instance I’ve seen, the other being Joe Lieberman. If it sounds crass, I’m just trying to catch up with the libs but I’ve got a long way to go. That scene demonizing Blair behind bars using the evil looking doll is a good example. Why is it they scream murder when you do the same thing such as their Tea Party coverage when they were the people with the anti-war riots? I think of them as the hypocrisy party. See what Blair says on Iraq.”
[Ed: Hypocrisy Party? I think of them like that too. Liberal Democrats, anarchists, anti-war warriors out for a good hanging, old unreconstructed Labourites, hypocritical Daily Mail supporting Conservatives. Strange bedfellows all.]
Margaret, a regular commenter here has just sent me this transcript of the Huckabee interview with Blair. Thank you, Margaret. (Will tidy it up later):
Huckabee: I’m Mike Huckabee from Jerusalem. Tonight my exclusive interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He’s been under fire recently especially from the British press over his involvement in the Iraqi War including gruelling, intense questioning at the recent Chilcot Commission. And the British press have been harsh on him calling him everything from George Bush’s poodle to a liar. There are have been four official inquires the most recent the Chilcot Comission. Six hours of gruelling questions that you have (Blair smiling and nodding in agreement) experienced. You said that you would make the very same decisions that you made before. What gives you the resolve to be able to say that, especially with all the pressure you had?
Tony Blair: The most difficult thing in politics is, especially when you’ve fought, you’ve won an election and then you’ve come into power especially as I did very much someone who in a sense wanted to please all of the people all of the time and we’d been 18 years in opposition as a political party, this was a huge moment – we were in there and as my time went on as Prime Minister I realised in the end you couldn’t please all the people all of the time, but when it came to the very big decisions you had to do what you thought was right. And I did what I thought was right in respect of Iraq and I, in a sense the strength to carry on drives from that belief.
Now I’m not, you know, I don’t… I don’t pretend I’ve got a monopoly of wisdom, not at all and that’s why I’ve always said I don’t disrespect people who hold completely the opposite point of view. But that’s what I believe and I did what I believed.
And I think as we look at it now in this – here we are in this region in the Middle East – I think we are better off and safer as a region in the world without Saddam in power.
Huckabee: That was one of the questions – are the United States, the UK safer now than we were before we went into Iraq?
Tony Blair: In my view yes, because you’ve got to ask what would have happened if we’d left Saddam there. The sanctions regime was crumbling, frankly, which was why they were trying to put together a new sanctions regime. We know now from the Iraq Survey group that Saddam retained every intention and also the intellectual know-how to re-start the nuclear and the chemical weapons programme and he would have had several years of very large oil revenues so he would have had the money and he would have had the intent and meanwhile we would have backed off. Now, you can never – you’re always speculating – and hypothesis as to what would have happened, but my view being out here in the region is that the danger would have been that he would have ended up in a sense competing with Iran, both to lead the extreme elements within Islam and also, of course, proliferating nuclear and chemical weapons.
Huckabee: There have been the critics who said the destruction of his power in Iraq emboldened Iran and made them even more powerful and a greater threat. How do you respond to that criticism, because it’s been out there?
Tony Blair: Yeah, it has been out there and it’s a very important criticism and important criticism to respond to. As I always say to people when people say – well, look Saddam was the strongman that was the brake on Iran – I say – that was our policy through the 1980’s. We supported Saddam against Iran. What was the result? The result was an Iran/Iraq war in which there were a million casualties, he developed during the course of that and used chemical weapons. He emerged out of that and invaded Kuwait. The answer to Iran is not to get another extremist, arm them and try and get him to be the brake on them. The answer actually is to allow people in Iraq to have the same freedom that we do to elect their government and to have then next door to Iran a majority Shia country that is a country that is democratic. Now, it’s very fragile, it’s very difficult but the interesting thing and this is part of the evidence actually given to this inquiry is that today in Iraq the political parties are going across the sectarian divide and actually the worst thing for the people standing in the election in Iraq is to be seen as too close to Iran. Now I think that is a better way to deal with this than to say (Blair shaking his head) ‘let’s get another dictator and put them up against this dictator’. The very best way of dealing with their extreme ideas is to put before people a better idea. One thing, you know I spend a lot of time out in this region, the biggest myth there is that people in this region for cultural reasons, for reasons of tradition and history and there’s a whole elite in the west who sit here and say this these people don’t want really democracy, they don’t want freedom they don’t quite know what it is and what to do with it you know they’re all incapable of understanding these concepts ... it’s nonsense. You know, you talk to the ordinary Palestinian here, what they want is to be able to elect their government they’re no… believe it or not they’re no different from us.
Huckabee: I don’t pretend for a moment o understand American politics very well (Blair smiling) I certainly don’t understand British politics but why so many of these inquiries? There’s been four and they’ve all been relentless, they haven’t really mined any new ground.
Tony Blair: (shaking his head and laughing ) Erm.. I think it’s partly because we have this curious habit, I don’t think this is confined to Britain actually, where people find it hard to come to the point where they say ‘we disagree you’re a reasonable person, I’m a reasonable person but we disagree‘. There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view er … there’s got to be some conspiracy behind it. Some great, you know… deceit that’s gone on, and people just find it hard to understand that it’s possible for people to have different points of view and hold them reasonably for genuine reasons. And so I think that there’s a continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it. But there it is.
And here’s part of today’s Times’ coverage –
Tony Blair has dismissed the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war as part of Britain’s obsession with conspiracy and scandal.
Speaking for the first time since his controversial appearance as a witness, the former Prime Minister said people should accept that it is possible to have different opinions on the legitimacy of the invasion without any underlying deceit.
The interview, broadcast last night, came as Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary, prepared to give a second round of evidence before the inquiry this afternoon.
Mr Blair called for an end to this kind of speculation over ulterior motives during an interview on Fox with Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas who ran against John McCain to be the Republican nominee for President in 2008.
Mr Huckabee asked: “I don’t pretend for a moment to understand American politics very well and I certainly don’t understand British politics but why so many of these [Iraq] inquiries? There’s been four and they’ve all been relentless – they haven’t really mined any new ground.”
Mr Blair laughed and smiled. “Erm. . .” he began. “I think it’s partly because we have this curious habit, I don’t think it’s confined to Britain actually, where people find it hard to come to the point where they say we disagree – you’re a reasonable person, I’m a reasonable person but we disagree.
“There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view. There’s got to be some conspiracy behind it. Some great, you know, deceit that’s gone on, and people just find it hard to understand that it’s possible for people to have different points of view and hold them reasonably for genuine reasons.
“So I think there’s continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it – but there it is.”
Mr Blair could be asked to reappear before the panel in the coming months, says The Times.
Ed: Ah ha!!! He could be asked to reappear???
No scandal hint, eh? By the conspiratorial press?
Of course not.
INTERESTED IN “THE TRUTH”?
Watch the Iraq Inquiry here at the official site with ALL evidence videos, not press-selected clips. Including all 6 hours of Blair’s evidence and 249 transcribed pages of those 6 hours, (pdf format). Read and watch it ALL here. Don’t trust the conspiratorial British press’s interpretation. They have their ‘facts’ a*se backwards.