The former British PM has defended his decision to invade as he was trying to “introduce democracy”
Tony Blair speaks during an interview in London, Britain, March 17, 2023 © AFP / Daniel Leal
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has claimed that the US-led invasion of Iraq was more justified than Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, despite all of his pre-war justifications since being proven false.
Speaking to Germany’s DPA and two other European news agencies, Blair stated that the invasion – in which 46,000 British troops took part – was justified by Saddam Hussein’s domestic repressions and regional conflicts, and his use of chemical weapons against the Kurds.
“At least you could say we were removing a despot and trying to introduce democracy,” Blair said.
The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq ended up leading to the deaths of up to 210,000 civilians, according to the Iraq Body Count project. Plunged into instability, the country became a breeding ground for jihadism, and much of Iraq’s northern reaches fell under the control of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists following the US pullout in 2011.