July 15, 2004


Tony Blair is cool.

"No one lied. No one made up the intelligence. No one inserted things into the dossier against the advice of the intelligence services. Everyone genuinely tried to do their best in good faith for the country in circumstances of acute difficulty. That issue of good faith should now be at an end ... But I have to accept, as the months have passed, it seems increasingly clear that at the time of invasion, Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons ready to deploy ... I have searched my conscience, not in the spirit of obstinacy, but in genuine reconsideration in the light of what we now know, in answer to that question. And my answer would be that the evidence of Saddam's WMD was indeed less certain, less well-founded than was stated at the time. But I cannot go from there to the opposite extreme. On any basis he retained complete strategic intent on WMD and significant capability. The only reason he ever let the inspectors back into Iraq was that he had 180,000 US and British troops on his doorstep ... Had we backed down in respect of Saddam, we would never have taken the stand we needed to take on WMD, never have got progress on Libya ... and we would have left Saddam in charge of Iraq, with every malign intent and capability still in place and every dictator with the same intent everywhere immeasurably emboldened. For any mistakes made, as the report finds, in good faith, I of course take full responsibility. But I cannot honestly say I believe getting rid of Saddam was a mistake at all."

(via Andrew Sullivan)

Posted by: Sarah at 04:57 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Don't you just want to nail that to the forehead of every idiot who clings to the "Bush lied" meme like a tired, desperate swimmer to a seat cushion? I know I do.

Posted by: CavalierX at July 15, 2004 10:28 PM (sA6XT)

2 I wish I could. Not that it would make any difference, "Bush lied" is just an excuse. If they can't use this one anymore, they'll make up a few more.

Posted by: John at July 16, 2004 12:58 AM (+Ysxp)

3 Compare Blair's statement: "For any mistakes made, as the report finds, in good faith, I of course take full responsibility." with Bush's statement: "I hope -- I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." One is saying "the buck stops here," the other is all but saying "What buck?" If and when Bush stops acting as if he has an infallibility streak that makes "ex cathedra" look tame, then I'll start giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Can't win at July 16, 2004 06:56 PM (aQOKC)

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