zondag 20 mei 2007
Tony Blair 4
'Abominable. Blind. Subservient. Ex-President Carter lambasts Blair for support
By James Tapsfield, PA Political Correspondent
The former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted Tony Blair for his
"blind " support of the Iraq war today, saying it had been a "major
tragedy for the world".
The outgoing Prime Minister's relationship with President George Bush
appeared to have been "subservient" and "abominable", according to Mr
In an interview for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Carter
speculated that Mr Blair could have made a crucial difference to
American political and public opinion by distancing himself during
the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Mr Carter has long been an outspoken critic of the war, and has
previously expressed his "disappointment" that Mr Blair did not use
his influence more wisely.
His latest salvo came as Mr Blair arrived in Iraq for his final visit
as prime minister, having held a valedictory press conference with Mr
Bush in Washington where they heaped praise on each other.
Asked how he would describe Mr Blair's attitude to President Bush, Mr
Carter replied: "Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient. I
think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the
ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major
tragedy for the world."
Mr Carter condemned the war as "unjustified", and said it had caused
"deep schisms" around the globe.
He insisted that if Mr Blair had advised against going to war in 2003
it could have made a crucial difference.
"I can't say it would have made a definitive difference. But it would
certainly have assuaged the problems that have arose lately," he said.
"One of the defences of the Bush administration, in America and
worldwide - it's not been successful in my opinion - has been that,
okay, we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks
because Great Britain is backing us.
"I think the combination of Bush and Blair giving their support to
this tragedy in Iraq has strengthened the effort and has made
opposition less effective and has prolonged the war and increased the
tragedy that has resulted."