A candid former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stands by his and the Bush administration’s decision to pursue the Iraq war, even as he expresses regret for the lives lost in the conflict.
“You can’t not have regrets about the lives lost,” Blair said. “I mean, you would be inhuman if you didn’t regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave and committed soldiers, of civilians that have died in Iraq, or die still now in Afghanistan. And, of course, you feel an enormous responsibility for that, not just regret.”
In an interview aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” with host Christiane Amanpour on the topic of his newly released memoir, “A Journey,” Blair offered a complex appraisal of the Iraq war and suggested that the post-Sept. 11 environment made it unacceptable to take a risk by allowing Saddam Hussein to remain in power.
“If we hadn’t taken out Saddam, there would have still been consequences,” Blair said. “Now what they are, we don’t know. I can say I think he would have been a threat competing with Iran, and someone else might say to me, well, actually he would have just been contained. We don’t know.”