Tony Blair Says War in Iraq Made UK 'Hesitant' To Back Military Intervention in Syria

Credit: World Economic Forum/wikimediaCredit: World Economic Forum/wikimediaFormer British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the BBC that the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has made the U.K. “hesitant” to get involved in an intervention in Syria. Last week, the British House of Commons voted against the principle of military intervention in Syria in response to what are widely believed to have been chemical attacks on Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21.

From the BBC:

Tony Blair has said the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq has made the UK "hesitant" to intervene in Syria.

It was not that MPs did not trust the government's assessment of the threat posed by Syria, as chemical weapon use had been proved, he told BBC Radio 4.

The former prime minister added he was disappointed the UK would not be taking part in military action.

And he "disagreed" with Labour leader Ed Miliband, who helped defeat the government in a Commons vote last week.

A Labour source rejected Mr Blair's analysis, saying the lessons the Labour leader had learned from Iraq was the importance of avoiding an "ill-judged and reckless rush to war".

A YouGov poll from three days ago shows that 69 percent of the British public oppose "using British missiles, fired from ships off the coast of Syria, against military sites inside Syria."

The most recent war in Iraq is also a factor in the debate on intervention in Syria in the U.S., where taking military action against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons is unpopular. Thankfully, it does not look like Obama has the votes in the House of Representatives to authorize military action against Syria. 

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  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but... BOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

  • Copernicus||

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the BBC that the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has made the U.K. “hesitant” to get involved in an intervention in Syria.

    No shit Sherlock. It's called learning. Look it up. Those who don't are doomed, etc. etc.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Does he have the votes in the Senate? I know it passed committee (why, Jeff, why?), but are there enough warhawks to carry this against popular opposition?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Don't cry and lament over Flake. He's a warmonger and therefore useless.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I did hear an argument yesterday that he may have voted for it to force it to the floor. Paul (Ron) has done that before, I believe.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Flake has been flirting with uselessness for a while now. Friendly on gun control, votes for wars and the PATRIOT Act, e-Verify, etc.

  • some guy||

    That very well could be. Maybe he saw the tallies coming in from the whips and decided it would be better to draw the bill into overwhelming opposition now than let it sit in committee for another week while the admin et. al. twist arms.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Easy enough to know for sure when it gets to the floor.

  • Calidissident||

    Someone else posted yesterday that Flake has explicitly come out in favor of military action and has even said that the president doesn't need Congressional approval for it

  • Pro Libertate||

    If that's true, he's made me unhappy, and my list of libertarianesque politicians is reduced by one.

    I know this line gets crossed practically daily now, but a military action against a country that poses no direct or immediate threat of any kind to us, our possessions, or our military absolutely requires something like a declaration of war. . .by Congress. This isn't seriously debatable, no matter how much people want to pretend that it is.

  • Killazontherun||

    Very cute and very bubbly Alex Wagner tries to get Ron Paul to admit that Obama is just the dreamiest:


  • Long Range Boredom||

    That Catholic anti-Semitism thing was hilarious because one of the other speakers at that conference was Romeo Dallaire, who just finished a series of lectures with a rabbi discussing the dangers of anti-semitism.

  • Killazontherun||

    for going to Congress, which is why it segues into what you wrote there, ProL.

  • Killazontherun||

    This doesn't segue at all, but thought worth sharing.

    Mrs. Trent Reznor.

  • Raven Nation||

    Here's the statement from Flake's Senate page:

    "As commander in chief, President Obama already has the authority to conduct a limited strike such as the one he has asked Congress to authorize. This president's reasons for coming to Congress in this instance were political, not constitutional,” said Flake.

    "I believe in a strong commander in chief who takes actions as warranted and stands by them, which is why I voted in favor of the resolution in committee. After reviewing both the classified and unclassified evidence, I am convinced that the Syrian regime did launch a chemical-weapons attack, and it is in our national interest that it faces the consequences."

  • Raven Nation||

    He's being excoriated on his FB page.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sorry, Jeff, wrong. Let's step back and ignore even the Constitutional requirements for a second and look at the matter strictly pragmatically--why let any one man decide to take us to war when there's no imminent need to use force? Why not debate it in Congress?

    If it becomes a general war, which is always a possibility when you start killing people, then we should have general agreement that the war is necessary.

    In this case, no imminent threat--at all--and no reason to not discuss our options and make a decision per the Constitution. The president does not have the legal authority to use force if we're not immediately threatened without a declaration of war or its equivalent. Period.

  • RBS||

  • Nazdrakke||

    Seriously, is there a better fit for the phrase "Greasy Politician" than Tony Blair? That guy's smile creeps me the fuck out.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I liked Britain better when Hugh Grant was the PM.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked them better when they didn't have a prime minister.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Back when it was just kings boning chicks and then beheading them?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, they had chancellors. I mean, which would you rather be, "Prime Minister" or "Lord Chancellor?"

    Besides, English history back then was much more entertaining. Now the monarchy is the English version of Disney World, with fewer rides.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look, say what you will about the British crown at various points in history. Alls I know is that neither king nor Lord Chancellor had a plump young assistant like Hugh Grant when he was the PM. Therefore he wins.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know nothing of English history. The Normans came and took over. Normans and Norman women. Viking women. It was all Saxon violence back then.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||


  • Pro Libertate||

    Yakety Saxon.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    "Oooooo, would we call her chubby?"

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Not enough money being the PM's tea dolly.

    Scroll down for the second picture.

  • ||

    Heh heh. See my comment below.

  • Tman||

    The latest from Stephen Den Beste, insightful and depressing because it shows how fucked we are for the next three years, possibly longer.

    Threats, bluffs, and red lines

  • Len Bias||

    It seems very unlikely that Putin would have walked all over Bush the way he has Obama when it comes to issues like Snowden and Syria.

    I fear that with Obama, we've gone from despised but respected, to just not taken seriously.

  • Mike M.||

    Democratic representative Alan Grayson accuses Obama administration of intentionally manipulating evidence to push for war. Lying, in other words.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If it's such a great idea, why do they have to lie about it so much?

  • Mike M.||

    What is he going to say, "I love radical Muslims, please help me to help Al Qaeda take over the entire Middle East"? Good luck selling that one!

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    "The former prime minister added he was disappointed the UK would not be taking part in military action."

    Awww he doesn't get to play war

  • Rich||

    Sheesh, Tony, no one's stopping *part of* the UK from taking part -- if you catch my drift.

  • ||

    Say what you want about Blair, but I always thought he was a pretty good egg.

    He was a lefty centrist in the style of Clinton (minus much of the sleaziness) and frankly Clinton seems almost angelic at this point.

    The former prime minister added he was disappointed the UK would not be taking part in military action.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Jesus. But I just can't muster the hate for Blair that I can for his fellow travelers Stateside. I definitely prefer him to Cameron.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That darn BOOOOOOSH.

    That guy has wrecked more shit than Joie Chitwood.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If it's such a great idea, why do they have to lie about it so much?

    The Dolphins need more skyboxes. Why do you hate dolphins, man?

  • Pro Libertate||

    In the end, it's all about the Dolphins.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    I suppose the Browns let them down too?

  • ||


  • Sevo||

    We've bought a whole lot of 'why don't you fight them for me?' signatures:
    "Joint Statement on Syria"
    Do you feel better now?

  • ||

    Pravda: Russia publishes 100-page report proving rebels' involvement in chemical attack

    Over the past two days, the media have published no less than four bodies evidence proving that the chemical weapons were used in Syria by rebels. The U.S. authorities that insist that it was the troops of Bashar Assad, who conducted the attack, have not exposed anything to prove their point.
  • ||

    have not exposed anything to prove their point.

    They published a four page report based on thousands of confidential sources. My God, what do you people want!?!?!

  • Len Bias||

    "Thankfully, it does not look like Obama has the votes in the House of Representatives to authorize military action against Syria."

    Well, I guess that means there will be no military action in Syria.


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