Talking Head

Blair Defends Iraq Invasion

As part of the press junket for his just-released memoir, British Prime Minister Toy Blair sat down with Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week. During the program he defended his support for the U.S. and UK invasion of Iraq, stating that sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation had been "watered down," and insisting that had Saddam Hussein not been toppled there would have been grave consequences. "You can't not have regrets about the lives lost," he said. "I mean, you would be inhuman if you didn't regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave and committed soldiers, of civilians that have died in Iraq, or die still now in Afghanistan. And of course you feel an enormous responsibility for that, not just regret." As for the issue of fundamentalist Islam: "It's the religious or cultural equivalent of it, and its roots are deep, its tentacles are--are long, and its narrative about Islam stretches far further than we think into even parts of mainstream opinion."