London, Mar 10: Tony Blair and his government have come under withering attack from a senior former diplomat and British military chiefs – ten years after the invasion of Iraq – for their handling of the war that defined his decade in power.
Blair is accused of being “evangelical” in his approach to the world and hence to toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime, of making mistakes which led to British forces being ill-prepared for the invasion and caught out by the violent aftermath, and of being so determined to support President George W Bush that he imposed no preconditions for Britain going to war alongside the United States, reports the Telegraph.
Meanwhile, senior Bush White House staff confirmed that they had viewed it as a certainty that Blair would back any US-led invasion, long before he publicly committed Britain to taking part.
They say he made clear his unwavering support for US policy nearly a year before the invasion, after a visit to the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.
The revelations come in a series of exclusive interviews and articles for The Sunday Telegraph ahead of the 10th anniversary of the “shock and awe” bombing campaign that began on Mar h 20, and the land invasion involving 45,000 British troops that followed a few hours later.
Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s ambassador to Washington during the run-up to the war, wrote in the paper that Blair’s mistakes on Iraq flowed from a “black and white” world view that was “more evangelical than the American Christian Right”.
He said Blair’s “unquestioning support” for the president “eliminated what should have been salutary British influence over American decision-making” after the prime minister became “an honorary member of this inner group” of neo-conservatives and military hawks who were setting the agenda in the US.
He noted that a “failure to plan meticulously” for the aftermath of Saddam’s overthrow led to almost a decade of violent chaos and the ultimate humiliation of British forces. (ANI)