Reprinted from Antiwar
Tony Blair says he's sorry. It only took him 12 years to own up, but hey -- it's better than what's happening on this side of the Atlantic, where not one word of apology to the relatives and loved ones of those who died -- never mind the nation at large, or the Iraqi people -- has been uttered by the architects of the Iraq war.
While practically everyone but the most recalcitrant neocons now admits that war opponents were right, the advocates of that disastrous adventure are admitting nothing, and regretting even less: not only that, but they are still turned to by the media as credible spokesman on matters of state. Indeed, the neocons are everywhere these days, attacking the Iran deal, calling for regime-change in Syria, demanding a return to Iraq, and -- lately -- agitating for confronting the Russians in Ukraine and the Middle East.
To be sure, Blair's apology sounds more like an apologia. Asked by CNN interviewer Fareed Zakaria whether the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of the Ba'athist regime had been a mistake, Blair replied:
"You know whenever I'm asked this I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence I received was wrong. Because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program in the form we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologize for that. I can also apologize, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you had removed the regime.
"But I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think even from today 2015 it's better that he is not there than he is there."
How is it possible to admit the war was a mistake, but the removal of Saddam was somehow justified? Here is what George Orwell dubbed "doublethink" in full operational mode. Zakaria, furrowing his brow, went on to ask whether the Iraq invasion was the "principal cause" of the expansion of ISIS. Blair's reply: