Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blair knew that Iraq aftermath would be disastrous

The Observer reveals quotes from senior Blair aides at the time, from a forthcoming Channel 4 programme, which show that Blair repeatedly warned Bush of the need to prepare for the post-Iraq invasion scenario. Blair knew full well there was no adequate plan. The picture painted is of Blair as powerless to persuade the US to properly prepare for the aftermath.

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, told The Observer: 'These frank admissions that the Prime Minister was aware of the inadequacies of the preparations for post-conflict Iraq are a devastating indictment.'

(What the article doesn't mention is something Paddy Ashdown said the other day. That is that an expert on the World War Two aftermath in Germany visited the White House well before the invasion and told them not to do all the things they did do - chief among them: disbanding the army.)

The article also repeats that Bush was quite happy for Britain not to send troops:

Condoleezza Rice, then Bush's national security adviser, confirms that the President offered Blair a way out. Bush told Blair: 'Perhaps there's some other way that Britain can be involved.' Blair replied: 'No, I'm with you.'

So, Blair could have quietly helped without sending troops and Bush would have been perfectly happy. It just shows how foolish Blair was on the whole issue.

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