Tony Blair whose full names are Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, served as Prime Minister of Britain from 1997 to 2007. In his lifetime so far, he has created many records including being a Scotsman who became prime minister of Britain, the majority of prime ministers having come from England. He is also one of the youngest prime ministers Britain has ever had, as well as the longest serving British prime minister who came from the Labour Party.
Tony Blair was forced to step down in 2007 when he handed over to Gordon Brown, after being widely accused – even by members of his own party – of having misled Britain into fighting alongside America in the 2003 Iraqi war that saw the toppling and execution of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. After his resignation, Blair was made Special Envoy to the Middle East by the United Nations and the United States. He set up the `Tony Blair Sports Foundation’ whose mission was to raise the participation of children in sports events, notably in North East England where there is a considerable number of socially deprived kids.
However, despite the former prime minister`s eloquent record, his disputed involvement in the Iraqi war has continued to dog his footsteps especially as Iraq appears to be sliding into more and more chaos on several fronts. What is worse is even that the theory about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq which was hatched as the basis of the invasion by American President George Walker Bush and the British prime minister has so far not been proved right, which means that there were no such weapons in the country in the first place.
Fully conscious of that fact and the grudge the British people continue to hold against Blair, the former prime minister recently made a clean breast of things. He has come clean and publicly apologized for the part he played in messing up Iraq. In a recent interview he granted CNN, Blair regretted the invasion by blaming the intelligence reports that he said had justified the assault. He held: “I apologize for the fact that the intelligence was wrong. I 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 removed the regime. But I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam.” Blair said he believed there are elements of truth in the assertion by some people that the attack on Iraq brought about the rise of the deadly Islamic sect, ISIS: “Of course, you can`t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”
It is just as well that Tony Blair has apologized because the war has left Iraq in a deplorable state. The consequences have been devastating in many domains including the humanitarian, social, political, military, demographic, cultural, infrastructural, developmental, touristic and regional. However, Tony Blair`s public apology alone is not enough. His partner in crime, George Walker Bush must also apologize in like manner. That is the only way in which Blair`s mea culpa can have any real meaning. The world is waiting and listening.