In an essay published on his website Saturday, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected the “bizarre” claim that the invasion of Iraq by western forces in 2003 led to the country’s destabilization of the past few days.
“It is inevitable that events in Mosul have led to a re-run of the arguments over the decision to remove Saddam Hussein in 2003,” he wrote. “Because some of the commentary has gone immediately to claim that but for that decision, Iraq would not be facing this challenge; or even more extraordinary, implying that but for the decision, the Middle East would be at peace right now; it is necessary that certain points are made forcefully before putting forward a solution to what is happening now.”
Instead, Blair fingered the worsening situation in Syria and the “sectarianism of the Maliki Government” for “snuffing out what was a genuine opportunity to build a cohesive Iraq.” He also intimated that the withdrawal of U.S. forces “happened too soon.”
“It is a bizarre reading of the cauldron that is the Middle East today, to claim that but for the removal of Saddam, we would not have a crisis,” Blair wrote.
Rumors that this is what’s known as a “straw man” went unconfirmed at press time.
[h/t Tony Blair]
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