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The Blair Interviews (TV and Newspaper)

Infinite Chaos

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I thought it might be useful for those interested in the current furore over Blair's memoirs and the ensuing interviews to have a thread that tied everything together.

Starting off with the Guardian (There's two interviews)

--snip--

Asked the classic judge's question — if he would have done anything differently in retrospect — he replies it is "very difficult to answer that". But he wishes he had seen earlier that 9/11 had "far deeper roots" than he thought at the time.

"The reason for that, let me explain it, is that in my view what was shocking about September 11 was that it was 3,000 people killed in one day but it would have been 300,000 if they could have done it. That's the point ... I decided at that point that you cannot take a risk on this. This is why I am afraid, in relation to Iran, that I would not take a risk of them getting nuclear weapons capability. I wouldn't take it.

"Now other people may say, come on, the consequences of taking them on are too great, you've got to be so very careful, you'll simply upset everybody, you'll destabilise it. I understand all of those arguments. But I wouldn't take the risk of Iran with a nuclear weapon."

--snip--
The Guardian Exclusive

I felt this particular tidbit is important, he's not mincing words here - he beleives we should actively prevent Iran getting hold of Nuclear Weapons and despite the obvious double standard (we have them so they can't) I do agree.
 

Manc Skipper

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On the contrary, he admits he ****ed up big time, but wants us to do it again with Iran, because he believes in the rightness of his mission to humanity. He's a psychotic mass murderer.
 

Republic_Of_Public

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Yes, Blair's memoirs are out. They claim, amongst other things (according to the Independent) taht Labour lost because Brown ditched New Labour!


Why shoudl I bother with the scribblings of a politically-correct, house-hungry, treasonous deluded liar?
 

Infinite Chaos

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Tony Blair has described Gordon Brown as "maddening" and "difficult" when he was his Chancellor but has defended his decision not to sack him or try to stop him becoming Prime Minister.


In his memoirs, A Journey , to be published today, the former Prime Minister finally breaks his silence on the tension between him and Mr Brown which destabilised his 13 years as Labour leader.

In extracts from the book, Mr Blair accuses his successor of abandoning New Labour, arguing that it could have won this year's election if he had stuck with it. He writes: "So was he difficult, at times maddening? Yes. But he was also strong, capable and brilliant, and those were qualities for which I never lost respect."
On Iraq, he admits that many of his supporters see the war as "the stain" on an otherwise impressive record. But he says he cannot satisfy their desire for him to admit it was a "mistake" made in good faith. "Friends opposed to the war think I'm being obstinate; others, less friendly, think I'm being delusional," he admits.

Mr Blair concedes that the aftermath of the war was a "nightmare" and that Britain and the United States did not anticipate the role played by al-Qa'ida and Iran in post-war Iraq. But he insists that leaving Saddam Hussein in power was "a bigger risk to our security than removing him".

He explains why he did not say he had any regrets when he was asked if he had any by the Chilcot Inquiry in January. He describes it as a "headline question": if he had said Yes, the outcome would have been "Blair apologises for war" and "at last he says sorry".

Addressing his critics head-on, he writes: "Do they really suppose I don't care, don't feel, don't regret with every fibre of my being the loss of those who died?" He insists that he thinks about the victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan every day of his life.

--snip--

Extracts: The thoughts of Tony Blair

Blair on Brown

“So was he difficult, at times maddening? Yes. But he was also strong, capable and brilliant, and those were qualities for which I never lost respect.”

“When it’s said that I should have sacked him, or demoted him, this takes no account of the fact that had I done so, the party and the Government would have been severely and immediately destabilised, and his ascent to the office of prime minister would probably have been even faster.... It is easy to say now, in the light of his tenure as prime minister, that I should have stopped it; at the time that would have been well nigh impossible.”

Blair on the Rev Ian Paisley

“He and I would often meet alone in the Downing Street den? we were both fascinated by religious faith as well as being people of faith. He gave me a little prayer book for Leo.

Once, near the end, he asked me whether I thought God wanted him to make the deal that would seal the peace process. I wanted to say yes, but I hesitated:though I was sure God would want peace, God is not a negotiator. I felt it would be wrong, manipulative, to say yes, and so I said I couldn’t answer that question, that only he could and I hoped he would let God guide him.”

Blair on Iraq

“I have often reflected as to whether I was wrong. I ask you to reflect as to whether I may have been right.”

“I still believe that leaving Saddam [Hussein] in power was a bigger risk to our security than removing him, and that terrible though the aftermath was, the reality of Saddam and his sons in charge of Iraq would at least arguably be made much worse.”

“I cannot regret the decision to go to war?. I can say that never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded, and that too is part of the responsibility.”

“I am now beyond the mere expression of compassion. I feel words of condolence and sympathy to be entirely inadequate. They have died and I, the decision-maker in the circumstances that led to their deaths, still live.”

Blair on New Labour

“I won three elections. Up to then, Labour had never even won two successive full terms. The longest Labour government had lasted six years. This lasted 13. It could have?gone on longer, had it not abandoned New Labour.”


From the Independent Newspaper

Strong hints of megalomania, but then sometimes you have to have a bit of madness to be different and notable.
 

Republic_Of_Public

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The rest of the Labour Cabinet complimented such attitudes superbly, in every arena.
 

alexa

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Well I watched some of it but I was watching the US open at the same time on my computer :lol:

What I noticed was that he frequently, too frequently said he could understand why others did not agree with him - over whether the Iraq war has resulted in much more Islamism and Islamic terrorism, he said, 'well that is the question'.

I am pretty certain he knew before the Iraq war that the did not have wmd's as one of his colleagues, can't remember who, wrote in his memoires that Blair had told him just before the war that he no longer believed this...so I thought he tried to dodge that when asked as he was a few times.

I found him frightening when he spoke about Iran.
 

Andalublue

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I felt this particular tidbit is important, he's not mincing words here - he beleives we should actively prevent Iran getting hold of Nuclear Weapons and despite the obvious double standard (we have them so they can't) I do agree.

I think it's easy to imagine a character like Ahmadinejad, with all his rhetoric and the human right record in Iran, of being capable of developing a nuclear weapon to use against Israel or other neighbours. But I think it is just that, imaginings. We hate the nature of the Mullah's state, but, frankly, Iran has been like that for some time. Even under the Shah, when it was an ally of the West, the human rights record was appalling.

What I think should not be lost sight of in this is that Iran has never attacked its neighbours, never entered into an all-out war with anyone. Are they funding Hizb'ullah? Almost certainly. And meddling in Iraq? Definitely. But then there are a lot of nations funding the Arab-Israeli conflict on both sides, and meddling in Iraq? The West has no moral high ground from which to preach. What makes Iran especially dangerous in the ME context? I think it is the willingness to believe that they would use WMDs because of their belligerent rhetoric. Despite several hot and cold states of belligerence with India, another devoutly Moslem country has maintained nuclear weapons without using them. What is uniquely threatening about Iran?
 
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Infinite Chaos

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Well I watched some of it but I was watching the US open at the same time on my computer :lol:

Someone has to like golf I guess...

-- I am pretty certain he knew before the Iraq war that the did not have wmd's as one of his colleagues, can't remember who, wrote in his memoires that Blair had told him just before the war that he no longer believed this...so I thought he tried to dodge that when asked as he was a few times.

I found him frightening when he spoke about Iran.

Personally (and Andrew Marr tellingly mentioned this before moving on to Iraq) I feel that after successful interventions in Kossovo and Sierre Leone that Blair had begun to feel he could pick and choose which despots he hag the power to remove. I've also always personally felt that it was Blair who convinced Bush rather than the other way around to go into Iraq. All that praying together I think.

I think it's easy to imagine a character like Ahmadinejad, with all his rhetoric and the human right record in Iran, of being capable of developing a nuclear weapon to use against Israel or other neighbours. But I think it is just that, imaginings. We hate the nature of the Mullah's state, but, frankly, Iran has been like that for some time. Even under the Shah, when it was an ally of the West, the human rights record was appalling.

I'm not sure the desire to wipe Israel off the map is simply an imagining. Iran wouldn't be (yet) as foolish as to take Israel on directly but they will happily use any third party they could through whatever means they could.

I agree there is an appalling record in Iran and that there was one before the mullahs - I think "hate" is a bit strong for my view on the internal path they as a country have chosen to tread. I disagree what they do to minorities however it is a well developed state and not as backwards as some newspapers like to portray.

I do feel there is a strong potential to export some of their horrors to other countries - both Iraq and Iran have used chemical weapons on each other and both nations MAY have been involved in development of nuclear weapons they could use against each other. Israel wasn't Iran's primary enemy when it came to the "raison d'être" in developing nuclear weapons - it was most probably Iraq. As you've stated, they also have strongly hot and cold relations with India.

Anyway - whether it's against Israel or against Iraq - I'd rather Iran did not and was not allowed the room to develop nuclear weapons. I do believe that if Saddam was still in power, there would be an even stronger liklihood of Iran's use of nukes - but on Iraq.

Anyway, back to the interview itself - it was good to see that all the stories of a really difficult relationship at the top of our govt were true. I do agree with Blair that Brown would and did make a terrible PM; the country agreed and voted him out too.

I also wonder whether - if Blair had stayed - there would still be a Labour Govt in power. Blair was always compelling and last night's interview didn't change that. He was / is a brilliant speaker - would we have continued to vote him in? (Just wondering!)
 

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There is almost nothing redeemable in that man.
His arrogance over what he has indirectly and directly done and the deaths caused without even having the decency to apologise and admit he was wrong makes me rage .. :S

**** him and his position on Iran
UK should do the exact opposite, maybe if he didn't overthrow Saddam. Iran would still have a leash on it. Cause and effect. Let US and Israel do the dirty work.
 
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alexa

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Someone has to like golf I guess...
well not me, The US Tennis Open!! :lol:

Personally (and Andrew Marr tellingly mentioned this before moving on to Iraq) I feel that after successful interventions in Kossovo and Sierre Leone that Blair had begun to feel he could pick and choose which despots he hag the power to remove. I've also always personally felt that it was Blair who convinced Bush rather than the other way around to go into Iraq. All that praying together I think.
I never thought that. From what I heard he was reluctant to go in because he could not get UN backing. I would agree however though that all that praying together had something to do with it. I heard he had to be restrained from telling us we were going in with God's help. Also that he had occasionally had a conscience about it, but not Bush.

I do however go along with your previous description of him suffering from megalomania and thought that came out in the interview, finally topped off with his desire for a war with Iran, having already removed the balance of power there between Iran and Iraq.

I do not believe Iran would use any nuclear weapons against Israel. I do not know if she even has some. In 2005 Sharon was already threatening to bomb Iran to get rid of them but I have no reason to believe Iran would want to commit suicide if she did. People have argued that if this senario had any validity, then the likelihood is that she already has them, the response to attack might just be to send them off.

If Blair were in power we would be in a constant state of War. I think he should be removed as ME envoy and sent to the Priory for treatment.
 
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Andalublue

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If Blair were in power we would be in a constant state of War. I think he should be removed as ME envoy and sent to the Priory for treatment.

I'd send him to a priory too. I believe there's one on West Falkland.
 

Republic_Of_Public

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I think "hate" is a bit strong for my view on the internal path they as a country have chosen to tread.

Suppose it was the British National Party in charge. Far less would be called hate then. For the life of me, I don't know why efforts are made to downplay the behaviour of certain Islamic states where homosexuals can be hung for their proclivity.

Not even Nick Griffin would go that far if his speeches are to be believed.


(And this comment would probably be ignored as well, as usual when I get to the meat of something uncomfortable.)
 
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Andalublue

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Suppose it was the British National Party in charge.
That'd be as likely as Peter Sutcliff being put in charge of a womens' refuge.
Far less would be called hate then. For the life of me, I don't know why efforts are made to downplay the behaviour of certain Islamic states where homosexuals can be hung for their proclivity.
Who's ever done that? Only people who ever mention that are those who hate Moslems and pretend that not hating Moslems means agreeing with the murder of gays.
Not even Nick Griffin would go that far if his speeches are to be believed.
Big IF. He's on record for having said: "I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter-day witch-hysteria."
He's now painting himself as a Zionist to whip up Jewish hatred for Moslems. Does anyone except RoP believe a word he says? Certainly 98.1% of British voters don't.
 
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Infinite Chaos

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There is almost nothing redeemable in that man.
His arrogance over what he has indirectly and directly done and the deaths caused without even having the decency to apologise and admit he was wrong makes me rage .. :S

Wow, get it off your chest girl!

-- maybe if he didn't overthrow Saddam. Iran would still have a leash on it. Cause and effect. Let US and Israel do the dirty work.

You know that's not true - we removed the balance which was Sadaam, before that Iran was at war with Iraq and they both lobbed all sorts of weapons at each other. They'd do the same if they had nuclear weapons.

well not me, The US Tennis Open!! :lol:

-- I heard he had to be restrained from telling us we were going in with God's help. Also that he had occasionally had a conscience about it, but not Bush.

Laila's right (without her anger) I don't think Blair will ever be "sorry" or have a conscience - that came across clear in his interview. His answers at public inquiry seemed half hearted but yesterday he'd really become comfortable with what he'd convinced himself regarding sending our troops into Iraq.

-- I do not believe Iran would use any nuclear weapons against Israel --

Have to say I'd agree - Iran wouldn't openly use nukes, however if they could reduce the size and get a "dirty bomb" to their terrorist arms, I think they would. I feel Iran is far more likely to use nukes against Arab neighbours - which is why Saudi Arabia and some other states would privately allow Israeli warplanes overfly them to get there.
 

Infinite Chaos

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Suppose it was the British National Party in charge. Far less would be called hate then. For the life of me, I don't know why efforts are made to downplay the behaviour of certain Islamic states where homosexuals can be hung for their proclivity.

I wasn't trying to downplay anything, what Iran is doing is all to obvious however I personally cannot feel "hate" for something as amorphous as a Govt or State.

Not even Nick Griffin would go that far if his speeches are to be believed.

A bit off topic but Nick Griffin is on a self confessed path to bring an air of respectability to the old NF. He'll say what is necessary to get him to power then the camouflage will be dropped.

-- (And this comment would probably be ignored as well, as usual when I get to the meat of something uncomfortable.)

Oh boo hoo RoP, have we been ignoring you? I just thought you had abandoned entertaining us and were now lavishing your love and attention on newsbots instead?

We love you really.
 

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On the Andrew Marr show he came across assured and righteous [as usual]. His legacy has, for most, pretty much been left in tatters due to Iraq. Although, in retrospect, i agree the war was a mistake, that view neglects his positive influence and modernising of the Labour party. Without such modernising who knows how long the party would of occupied the opposition, so credit where credits due.
I can fully understand the reasoning behind him not saying sorry for Iraq. The intelligence fiasco aside Blair was intent on going in IMO. I picked up on his closing comments reference the perceived struggle with 'Islamic fundamentalism' to an extent we cannot deny there are elements who do wish to bring our way of life [democracy] to an end. But, what i feel he got wrong was in choosing the wrong battlefield.
He genuinely believes in 'good Vs evil' type ideology which definitely makes for a divisive figure, which he accepts.

Paul
 

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Laila's right (without her anger) I don't think Blair will ever be "sorry" or have a conscience - that came across clear in his interview.

I was not giving my personal opinion. One of his confidants some years ago said that Blair had asked Bush if he ever had regrets and Bush had said no. The implication was that Blair had had doubts that they had done the right thing. Like I said not my opinion, someone close to him reporting as they believed it was, some years ago. (Probably Alistair Darling but Clare Short is also coming to mind)

Have to say I'd agree - Iran wouldn't openly use nukes, however if they could reduce the size and get a "dirty bomb" to their terrorist arms, I think they would. I feel Iran is far more likely to use nukes against Arab neighbours - which is why Saudi Arabia and some other states would privately allow Israeli warplanes overfly them to get there.

Problem is, this seems just an if if's and an's were pots and pans scenerio and they idea of going to war on this sort of thing has my hair standing on end. Just like Iraq.

If Iran wants Nukes she probably has them by now. They are apparently well under ground and almost impossible to get to. She has known for years to expect an attack and so will have made arrangements.

Regarding 'dirty bombs', 3 things. 1. I have heard they are nothing more than over active imagination. That is they are not realistic. 2. I have heard that if such a thing exists the Russians will almost certainly have given them to Iran in the '90's so if she wanted to use them, why has she not already and 3. Have a look at how the US responded to 9/11, it would not be a good move.

I think Tony Blair said the real concern about Iran having Nukes. It will change the power situation in the ME. Just that, no dirty bombs, no Nuking of Israel but yes, power shifting.
 

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Only people who ever mention that are those who hate Moslems....

Ooo, can't go there else you get slandered!

I saw better consistency when the Communist Bloc was lambasted on its human rights record in the '70s and '80s. By that I mean there's no shortage of umbrage when it comes to fascists, complete with UAF marches, court cases and predictions of doom if any took power, yet it took much soul-searching for the Government just to temporarily cut ties with the Muslim Council of Britain. And that's not to mention leftist 'human rights' parasites in the legal trade trying to stop terrorists here being deported and the like.

What I'm saying is that if the BNP took power and started doing what Iran does, I wouldn't hear about not feeling hate for a government or country. They'd get what Maggie got, including riots, shouting and maybe even a 'Nick's Militant Tendency' Panorama documentary.
 
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Infinite Chaos

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-- He genuinely believes in 'good Vs evil' type ideology which definitely makes for a divisive figure, which he accepts --l

That good vs evil has echoes in Bush's black and white absolutist "you're either with us or against us" vision and reaction to the world. Scary that they both probably got that while in prayer.

-- Regarding 'dirty bombs', 3 things. 1. I have heard they are nothing more than over active imagination. That is they are not realistic. --

a dirty bomb is a very feasible weapon I'm afraid.

-- One frightening possibility is the so-called dirty bomb - a crudely-made device that combines a simple explosive with any radioactive material. The idea is that the blast disperses the radioactive material willy nilly.

The dirty bomb is perhaps the least understood of all terror weapons, but new research by BBC Two's Horizon programme brings home the full horror of how a dirty bomb attack might affect London.

The dirty bomb is sometimes called the "poor man's nuclear weapon". But whereas the aim of a nuclear bomb is instant and outright destruction, a dirty bomb would have an entirely different effect.

It would wreak panic in built-up areas, see large areas contaminated and closed off and result in long-term illnesses such as cancer, caused by the dispersed radioactive material attacking living cells. BBC

One possible version is to simply package radioactive materials around a conventional bomb - the explosion disperses radioactive materials widely. Other versions range up to the possibility of a near working A-bomb.
 

alexa

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a dirty bomb is a very feasible weapon I'm afraid.

One possible version is to simply package radioactive materials around a conventional bomb - the explosion disperses radioactive materials widely. Other versions range up to the possibility of a near working A-bomb.

It is contested. I say that simply because I have heard that the truth is, it is not possible. Again people have said that the Russians almost certainly handed on to Iran knowledge of such things in the '90's (if there are such things)

It is a disputed fact and the possibility of Iran doing this is based on a belief that Iran is of the psychology of Al Qaeda.

We will need to agree to disagree on this.
 
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