Tony Blairs interview with Independent of London:
"The only thing I would ask people to do is understand that it was a very difficult decision. What I object to is people trying to frame the decision in terms of my integrity rather than in terms of the fact that I was faced with the situation where there were 250,000 troops down there. Saddam wasn't fully co-operating with the UN inspectors, he remained in breach of the UN resolutions and yet I couldn't get a second UN resolution with an ultimatum. I had to decide whether we backed off altogether, with all that would mean, or go ahead still and remove Saddam.
"It was a very difficult decision in very difficult circumstances and I have always made clear I respect those who disagreed with the decision I took".
He says there are some issues that are "a nightmare whichever decision you take"….
This was an issue that he was instrumental in. Isn’t is a sign of incompetence for a politician to put his country in a position were it is "a nightmare whichever decision you take".
….He points out that there was a sequence of events, each of which are sometimes taken out of context.
"We must remember the UN inspectors were only there because the troops were also there.
"It was the threat of force that got the inspectors back in. Now imagine what would have happened if I had backed away and that the Americans also backed away and the conflict had not happened. Saddam would still be in charge and immeasurably strengthened and there would be no further possibility about enforcing the community's will in regard to UN resolutions.
"Some will say that would have been better than having the conflict. That's a perfectly understandable view. I only ask people to understand there wasn't a middle way. So it was a nightmare in the sense that, whatever you did, you were going to get problems either in sorting out Iraq after a conflict or you would get big problems leaving Saddam in charge."
Wait a second now, what happened to the rest of the context?
a) UN Inspector had to go to Iraq because previous British (along with US, Europeans and Russians) government had authorized the sale of WMD to Iraq?
b) Saddam was in charge primarily because in 1991, after the first Gulf war, the Bush Sr administration had decided to authorized Saddam to put down Shiite uprising. Had they been left to their devices, Saddam would not have been in power.
On positive side he is more honest than President Bush:
"There are going to be many people who vote Labour in this election who strongly disagree with Iraq. There are people in my own party, there are candidates for my own party, who disagreed with Iraq. There will be some people who will vote for other parties who agreed with me about Iraq. Of course, I can't say that if we win this election that means everyone who supports us approved of Iraq. That would be absurd."