From the BBC:
The 2003 invasion of Iraq is not to blame for the violent insurgency now gripping the country, former UK prime minister Tony Blair has said.
Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, he said there would still be a "major problem" in the country even without the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He insisted the current crisis was a "regional" issue that "affects us all".
Critics have rejected the comments as "bizarre" with one accusing Mr Blair of "washing his hands of responsibility".
"Even if you'd left Saddam in place in 2003, then when 2011 happened - and you had the Arab revolutions going through Tunisia and Libya and Yemen and Bahrain and Egypt and Syria - you would have still had a major problem in Iraq," Mr Blair said, "Indeed, you can see what happens when you leave the dictator in place, as has happened with Assad now. The problems don't go away.
"So, one of the things I'm trying to say is - you know, we can rerun the debates about 2003 - and there are perfectly legitimate points on either side - but where we are now in 2014, we have to understand this is a regional problem, but it's a problem that will affect us.
"Where the extremists are fighting, they have to be countered hard, with force."
Sunday, 15 June 2014
From the BBC:
My latest blogpost: A field day for armchair psychiatristsTweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 09:24