Blair agrees Iraq is a disaster

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The UK Prime Minister was seen as the key foreign ally of Bush in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

Veteran broadcast journalist Sir David Frost recently interviewed British Prime Minister Tony Blair for Al Jazeera English.

In the first episode of "Frost over the World", a series of weekly interviews broadcast on Al Jazeera English in Britain by Sky TV, Frost asserted that "Iraq had been pretty much of a disaster from the start".

Responding, Blair said difficulties arose from "a deliberate strategy with al-Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other, to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war".

In response, a Downing Street spokeswoman said that the Prime Minister had been misrepresented, and that, in responding to Frost, he had merely been acknowledging the question, not agreeing that Iraq was a disaster. She said it would be "disingenuous to portray that as an admission". Despite that, several broadsheet papers headlined the remark as an admission that Iraq had been a disaster and Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the UK Liberal Democrat Party, demanded that Blair should now apologise.

Less than 24 hours later a Downing Street spokesman claimed Mr. Blair's "tongue had 'slipped'", and that Mr. Blair did not think Saddam Hussein's removal nor the invasion was a disaster.