by AWR Hawkins 15 Jun 2014
On June 13 former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair defended the Iraq War and the decision to "topple" Saddam Hussein, adding that the violence in that country today is due in part to Barack Obama's decision to pull U.S. troops from "Iraq too soon."
According to Mail Online, Blair said he understands that public opinion of the Iraq War has fallen over time but he is adamant that he and George W. Bush made the right decision in going to war there. Moreover, he insisted that the coalition he and Bush put together had "beaten" Al Qaeda in Iraq, but a combination of the U.S. withdrawal and a weak post-war Iraqi government gave "Al Qaeda-linked ISIS" the opportunity to gain a foothold.
Blair said those who try to argue that the Iraq War was the cause of Al Qaeda's re-emergence and the current crisis in that country are making a "bizarre" contention.
Blair said: "It is bizarre to claim that, but for the removal of Saddam Hussein, we would not have a crisis." He then cited the 2011 Arab Spring as an example of an event Hussein would have seized upon and used to provoke "a full-blown sectarian war" had he still been in power.
He said the U.S. and the UK should be acting right now, renewing military strikes in Iraq to turn back Al Qaeda's gains and striking in Syria as well.