Tony Blair Admits Iraq War Led To Rise Of ISIS, Apologizes For "Mistakes"

Tyler Durden's picture

If there’s one lesson Washington simply refuses to learn when it comes to Mid-East foreign policy it’s that forcibly removing autocrats almost invariably leads to chaos. 

That’s not to say that promoting democratic principles and encouraging government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” isn’t somehow a noble pursuit at the theoretical level. It’s simply to say that real political change must be completely organic and cannot be brought about via military intervention or by covert attempts to support popular uprisings. 

Importantly, this principle applies in countries where the seeds for change have already been sown. That is, you must let the process play out on its own, even if the ball is already rolling. You cannot, for instance, say something like this: “well, there are popular uprisings against someone we believe to be a dictator and so, because the populace clearly wants change, we’ll go in and accelerate the process by fomenting discord.” 

That strategy will not work. 

The people are just as likely as not to view outside interference as stemming from ulterior motives and the regime is just as likely as not to become even more dictatorial than it already was in the face of what will inevitably be perceived as foreign meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state. 

The results of implementing this type of failed strategy are everywhere apparent in the Mid-East. There’s Libya, which is now a war-torn wasteland in the wake of Gaddafi’s death. There’s Egypt, where the confusion that reigned during the Arab Spring cornered the US into supporting the rise of Mohamed Morsi only to see his government overthrown in a counter coup that eventually installed Mubarak’s former head of military intelligence Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the Presidency. There’s Syria, where efforts on the part of Washington, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha to destabilize the Assad regime have led to a bloody civil war that’s left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. And of course there’s Iraq, which the US and Britain invaded on false pretenses only to see the country careen into chaos following Saddam’s ouster.

Now, former British PM Tony Blair is out with an apology for his country’s role in Iraq, and although he stops short of saying that removing Saddam was a mistake, he does admit that there were no WMDs and that the presence of the UK and the US did contribute to the rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq which, if you believe the narrative, led directly to the birth of ISIS:

Now obviously, the story of how ISIS became what it is today in the wake of al-Zarqawi's death is shrouded in CIA secrecy and we'll likely never know the whole story, but there's certainly a deep connection with al-Qaeda in Iraq, the establishment of which owes much to the Western invasion.

Here’s more from Blair’s interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria (who, by the way, wants you to “stop swooning over Putin”):

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he's sorry for "mistakes" made in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but he doesn't regret bringing down dictator Saddam Hussein.


"I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong because, even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought," Blair said


The ensuing war and dismantling of Saddam's government plunged Iraq into chaos, resulting in years of deadly sectarian violence and the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq, a precursor of ISIS. Tens of thousands of Iraqis, more than 4,000 U.S. troops and 179 British service members were killed in the lengthy conflict.


Blair told Zakaria that besides the flawed Iraq intelligence, he also apologizes "for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime."


But he stopped short of a full apology for the war.


"I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he's not there than that he is there," Blair said.


Blair acknowledged to Zakaria that there are "elements of truth" in the view that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the principle cause of the rise of ISIS.


"Of course, you can't say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015," he said. "But it's important also to realize, one, that the Arab Spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on Iraq today, and two, ISIS actually came to prominence from a base in Syria and not in Iraq."


More broadly, Blair said, the policy debate on Western intervention remains inconclusive.


"We have tried intervention and putting down troops in Iraq; we've tried intervention without putting in troops in Libya; and we've tried no intervention at all but demanding regime change in Syria," he said. "It's not clear to me that, even if our policy did not work, subsequent policies have worked better."

We feel compelled to offer a few closing remarks here. First, how Tony Blair did not "understand what would happen once you removed the regime" is beyond us. History is replete with examples of the unintended consquences of destabilizing countries and if any nation knows the ins and outs of what amounts to colonialism, it's Britain.

Second, if you've "tried intervention and putting down troops" and you've "tried intervention without putting in troops" and you've "tried no intervention at all but demanding regime change," and none of it has worked, maybe you should try this: laissez-faire.

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Truther's picture

Eat shit and Die Blair.

Looney's picture

Tony Blair is just as stupid as Dennis Gartman, but with a proper British accent.  ;-)


HenryHall's picture

Blair is not stupid and did not make mistakes.

Blair is, and was, calculated evil. Plain wickedness.

He was bought off for 30 pieces of silver and more.

Backin2006's picture

Or blackmailed. NWO only allows verified adulterers with a "happy marriage" to get into power these days. 

two hoots's picture

We could empty our prisons if they would all just apologize or in a politicans case, just take responsibility. 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

How nice of Tony to take a break from his busy day of sexually molesting children to apologize for his part in fucking up the world.

mvsjcl's picture

Wow. If that's a picture of Tony Blair, then his pact with the Devil sure didn't include everlasting youth. LOL!


You can't die soon enough, Tony.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Politicians like Blaire and GW should be forced to live with their mistakes, literally.

They should live in Iraq all the time, not just visit.

In the same way people who act politically and unethically like Greenspam and the Bernank should have the same result.  They should forfet the same % of money the worst off of the citizens have suffered.

CuttingEdge's picture

Tony Blair is a cunt. That Cameron repeats Blair's Iraqi "spawn of the devil regime change" mantra in Libya makes him a bigger one (at least in the stupidity division of cunthood - Blair is more of an allrounder). Which begs the question: How high up the stupidity stakes does that put Cameron for trying for a repeat in Syria?

Ofelas's picture




Blair "God told me to do it"


Merkel "God gave us to solve this (refugees)" 


We have our own religious fanatics


TBT or not TBT's picture

To borrow from Gordon Gekko, we broke it because it was breakable.  The region is composed of tribes and ethnicities poised to purify by outbursts of mass murder rape pillage and enslave, powered by the holy sacred sayings of muhammed centuries of fire breathing imams.   It has only ever been held in a pacific state, and only for stretches of a few decades, by brutal dictatorships and empires.    Bush and Blair, bless their hearts, didn't practice the soft racism of low expectations, and thought to fundamentally transform that millenia old status quo.    Might have worked with a few generations of occupation by the west, but America has a short patience with this type of madness, and can't afford it's own entitlement / weflare state.   So we just dropped it, and the region reverted to its natural savage state.   Because Islam.  

philipat's picture

War criminal. He should be in jail. And to make the sentence more just, he should be forced to share a cell with Hillary (Aka Humpty Dumpty)....a fellow "Progressive".

thestarl's picture

I thought he was banging Murdoch's ex but your probably right BB

Winston Churchill's picture

Those apologys are best heard on the scaffold just prior to the last drop.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Blair & Bush are War Criminals and they didn't act alone.

We are going to need a bigger scaffold, Winston..

logicalman's picture

You can say 'sorry' if you bump into someone in the supermarket aisle.

1,000,000 corpses and 4,000,000 displaced people?

Doesn't quite cut it.

Execution would be too kind for the evil fuck Bliar.


TBT or not TBT's picture

What sucks is the moron Europeans letting the Muslim refugees in.  

logicalman's picture

The only reason there are refugees is the likes of Bliar and Shrub.


TBT or not TBT's picture

And muhammed, whose psychotic death cult preceded bush and Blair by 13 centuries.

logicalman's picture

Get back to me when you have reached the stage where you can form a reasoned argument, arsehole.

unicorn's picture

hey folks, use encryption, T.B. hates that, as everybody knows.

Perfecthedge's picture

If you want to do a proper and clean job, the guillotine blade would be moving like the pistons of a Ford Mustang speeding on a race track!

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Bury him up to his neck and pour honey over his head...Mother Nature will do the rest.

JRobby's picture

"Legacy" so important in the UK


So!  Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall
writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition
of the Boy Scout Manual.

I. Anderson

logicalman's picture

Biggles means absolutely nothing to anyone who isn't of a certain demographic.


JRobby's picture

Indeed! The Patriot/Warrior beyond reproach. Classic propaganda.

Gothic Optimism's picture

I truly expect Blair to be among the first to hang from the nearest lampost when the SHTF. 

A paraphrase from B5: "I want the next 10 generations to see that some favors come with too high a price, I want to stare into your lifeless eyes and do this...(twiddles fingers towards that person's severed head on a pike) "

Dugald's picture


Put the Pommie bastard in Prison........

curbjob's picture


The Fletcher Memorial Home (Waters) 

Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere 
And build them a home, a little place of their own. 
The Fletcher Memorial 
Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings. 

And they can appear to themselves every day 
On closed circuit T.V. 
To make sure they're still real. 
It's the only connection they feel. 
"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Reagan and Haig, 
Mr. Begin and friend, Mrs. Thatcher, and Paisly, 
"Hello Maggie!" 
Mr. Brezhnev and party. 
"Scusi dov'è il bar?"
The ghost of McCarthy, 
The memories of Nixon. 
"Who's the bald chap?" 
And now, adding colour, a group of anonymous latin- 
American meat packing glitterati. 

Did they expect us to treat them with any respect? 
They can polish their medals and sharpen their 
Smiles, and amuse themselves playing games for awhile. 
Boom boom, bang bang, lie down you're dead. 

Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye 
With their favorite toys 
They'll be good girls and boys 
In the Fletcher Memorial Home for colonial 
Wasters of life and limb. 

Is everyone in? 
Are you having a nice time? 
Now the final solution can be applied.

iClaudius's picture

"Oi! Get your filthy hands of my desert!"

crazytechnician's picture


onewayticket2's picture

Why now?

Oh, wait. It is election season.

DetectiveStern's picture

Not in the UK it's not. He's come out with this to get in early before the report is published.

UncleSparky's picture

Calculated move by slimy lawyer.

UncleSparky's picture

Mandy the cross dresser had friends at Bow Street.

Troy Ounce's picture

Blair is coming out as he knows they're coming after him


NuYawkFrankie's picture

The Axis Of Evil is cracking.

Keep up the pressure.

chunga's picture

Apologize for Iraq and then do the same damn thing in Syria.

These mother fuckers are cracking up!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Like all good prestidigitators, they want you looking at everything except their hands.

chunga's picture

I tell you what...the MSM spin machine is going mental on this. The $hit they're saying is hilarious and credibility is utterly shot!

ThroxxOfVron's picture

It is called 'projecting' or 'deflection'.  It is a form of neurosis.

Such people only perceive the failings and evils resident in themselves as manifesting in others.   

Who is wrong cannot possibly be them; so they seek it in others even where it doesn't exist and then act to punish those people.

History is brim full of these monstrosities, comporting themselves with trappings of civility, speaking in legalisms, manuovering themselves into institutional frameworks so as to cloak themselves in 'legitimacy' while externalizing their subconscious deficits.  

These are the rabid criminalizers and 'deciders' and false flag/black ops. conspirators who would call any other actor doing the same a tyrant or dictator or war lord...

They are out to cleanse the world but what would accomplish that goal best is hari-kari.

People like Blair are another great example of why a populace should never be divested of their personal defensive weaponry.

He admits that tens of thousands died 'removing Saddam and liberating Iraq' ( even though it was more than he is wiliing to admit ) and yet he still maintains that this outcome is somehow acceptable.

Those lives really mean nothing to him since Blair still gets treated like royalty and eats off china and silver every night..  He has no real remorse and there is good wine in his cup.

BarkingCat's picture

"...He has no real remorse....."


Psychopaths never do.

forrestdweller's picture

This man is a war criminal. Het should be treated as such.

hotrod's picture

Think Bush and company got laws passed where they cannot be prosecuted for war crimes.

Jack Daniels Esq's picture

Bush41 is the original ME asshole - our reward was 9/11 - douchebag

wisefool's picture

wisefool apologizes to IRS for not paying taxes to fund hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost, millions injured, orphaned and displaced. $4T dumped in to weapons and salaries, that have ended up in the hands of actual terroist that putin will have to clean up for the next 10 years. All based on toni blairs MI-5/6, CIA "intelligence"


Backin2006's picture

Two million people marched in London to tell you you were wrong. But then we all know you're just another puppet whose conscience only kicks into gear after you've been replaced by a greater stooge...