A leaked memo from March 2002 suggests Tony Blair, then prime minister of the United Kingdom, supported the invasion of Iraq a year before British parliament voted on going to war with the United States.
The document, written by Colin Powell, then U.S. secretary of state, to his leader, George W. Bush, is being called “astonishing” and “shocking” – when it really isn’t at all.
“Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary. He is convinced on two points: the threat is real; and success against Saddam will yield more regional success,” Powell wrote, referring to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was eventually deposed.
Before the start of the U.S.-led invasion, Blair was publicly saying he preferred a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Iraq instead of a military intervention.
But as Powell’s email suggests, the British politician lied at the time – just like he lied about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction, a now-discredited claim that eventually led to war.
These lies irreparably change the world, countries and family. Iraq Body Count lists 112,017-122,438 civilian deaths between March 20, 2003, and March 14, 2013, during the Iraq War. Although the conflict came to an end in December 2011, the number of deaths is constantly increasing due to the ongoing insurgency the invasion wrought.
What’s worse, the grave mistakes – never acknowledged by the governments of the Western countries involved in the false cause – are apparently more sinister than just mistakes. They're lies.
Although Blair hasn’t directly addressed Powell’s memo, a spokesperson insists the disclosures in the email are consistent with what the former British prime minister said at the time – which, again, isn’t true.