After his appearance at today’s Chilcott inquiry I think Tony Blair should be able to hold his head high, even though his appearance took place under very difficult circumstances.
Some of the stuff that has been written about him over the last few days has been despicable. The media has twisted and distorted everything about Iraq to such an extent that he is now treated like a criminal.
You can imagine the likes of George Monbiot frothing at the mouth as they bash out their polemics on the keyboard.
And I find it galling that some mandarins, particularly Sir Christopher Meyer (the British Ambassador to the United States at the time) have suddenly found their principled opposition to the war. I didn’t see any of them – with their houses, cars, pensions, knighthoods and everything else that the British Establishment hands them on a plate – resign at the time of the war. Meyer wasn’t even at the Crawford summit which he claims to have such a detailed knowledge of.
Once again, I thought Blair made the case for invading Iraq in a convincing and compelling way. He laid out the facts clearly and reasonably, not indulging in the hysteria of his opponents. For those of us who supported Blair’s actions at the time, there remains nothing wrong with the grounds for invasion or the legality of it.
Finally, I thought he was particularly strong when pressing his critics on what they would have done if no action had been taken in 2003 and Saddam was left in place. He was also right to publicly warn of the dangers of Iran. It would be interesting to know what he would do about this if he was still in power.