Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tony Blair in a "Telegraph" interview

Said: " I keep saying to people: one of the greatest failures of progressive politics in my lifetime has been that, in the anti-American parts of the progressive Left, we have ended up on the wrong side with someone as evil as Saddam. Even now, when we have been there with a UN resolution, we are on the wrong side of the battle between terrorism and democracy. I can't understand how progressive people can be on the wrong side of that argument.

"It's not, unfortunately, as simple as saying, 'Deal with Afghanistan and leave Iraq for a bit.' You've got to deal with the whole element. That's why, when I spoke to the American Congress [July 2003], I tried to outline an agenda that would encompass Afghanistan, Iraq, the spread of democracy across the Middle East, the resolution of the Israeli-Palestine problem. All of these things are major factors. But the one thing I know for sure is, we are never going to get anywhere by showing weakness. You can see this in respect of Iran now, where I think it is very important that the world gives a strong signal. This is why, in respect of Afghanistan, it was never going to be over in two or three years. But what is the alternative? To let al-Qaeda be and continue to inflict misery on the people. I have never found it very difficult to justify removing the Taliban."

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