Tony Blair opposes tyrants… when they’re named Saddam Hussein

Former British Prime Minsiter Tony Blair admitted this week that even without evidence that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, he would have supported invading Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein’s regime: “I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
575499_091215_tonyblair2.jpg
575499_091215_tonyblair2.jpg
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 09: Tony Blair, representing The Quartet on the Middle East, sits for a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon December 9, 2009 at the United Nations in New York City. The Quartet, tasked with helping to mediate the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is comprised of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Former British Prime Minsiter Tony Blair admitted this week that even without evidence that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, he would have supported invading Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein's regime:

"I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat," Blair told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast this morning.... Speaking to broadcaster Fern Britton, Blair insisted that ousting Hussein had improved the situation in Iraq by laying the foundation for a more democratic country. He described the upcoming Iraqi elections as "probably the single most significant thing that's happened to that region for many years."

"I can't really think we'd be better with him and his two sons still in charge," Blair said of Hussein.

Former British Prime Minsiter Tony Blair admitted this week that even without evidence that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, he would have supported invading Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein’s regime:

“I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat,” Blair told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast this morning….

Speaking to broadcaster Fern Britton, Blair insisted that ousting Hussein had improved the situation in Iraq by laying the foundation for a more democratic country. He described the upcoming Iraqi elections as “probably the single most significant thing that’s happened to that region for many years.”

“I can’t really think we’d be better with him and his two sons still in charge,” Blair said of Hussein.

But Blair’s Wilsonian principles apparently don’t apply to Azerbaijan, where he where he was paid $150,000 earlier this month for speaking at the opening of a chemical factory and met privately with autocratic leader Ilham Aliyev, and declined to comment on the country’s widely documented persecution of journalists. 

Blair is hardly the only political VIP to accept Aliyev’s hospitality — Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was criticized for a similar trip to Azerbaijan in February — but it’s certainly an odd contrast with his stated willingness to put British troops at risk and deploy any and all political pretext in order to democratize Iraq.

Hat tip: Ken Silverstein/Peter Hitchens 

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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