The former British PM has defended his decision to invade as he tried to ‘bring in democracy’
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed that the US invasion of Iraq was more justified than the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine, despite all its pre-war justifications since they turned out to be false.
Speaking to Germany’s DPA and two other European news agencies, Blair said the invasion – in which 46,000 British troops took part – was justified by Saddam Hussein’s domestic repression and regional strife, and its use chemical weapons against the Kurds.
“At least you could say we were removing a despot and trying to introduce democracy,” Blair said.
According to Body count in Iraq project. Plunged into instability, the country became a breeding ground for jihadism, and much of northern Iraq fell under the control of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists after the American withdrawal in 2011.
Hussein had no connection to the 9/11 attacks, and US and UK claims that he harbored weapons of mass destruction were false. Prior to the invasion, Blair falsely affirmed that Iraq possessed these weapons and was working to obtain nuclear weapons.
Blair went on to say that, unlike Iraq, Ukraine is “a country that has a democratically elected president who, to my knowledge, has never started a regional conflict or committed aggression against its neighbors.”
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in a US-backed coup in 2014. His successor, Pyotr Poroshenko, then launched a military campaign against pro-Russian militias in Donbass , according to Russian investigators. kill more than 2,600 civilians and injured at least 5,500 others.
Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the violence as one of the key factors in his decision to send troops to Ukraine last February. “The threat was growing day by day. The information we were receiving left no doubt that in February 2022 everything was ready for another bloody punitive action in Donbass,” he told the Russian parliament last month.
Besides the threat to the people of Donbass, Putin also cited NATO’s insistence on arming Ukraine and turning it into a “anti-Russia” State, the refusal of the Western bloc to negotiate a security agreement with Russia and the proliferation of neo-Nazi ideology in Ukraine as reasons justifying the operation.
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