March 6, 2010 |
Don't blame me -- I was just the money- man. Those weren't his exact words, but it certainly seemed to be his message, and through hours of grilling Friday on why and how Britain signed up for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Gordon Brown largely stuck to it. It had a ring of logic. After all, Brown wasn't Britain's prime minister when the nation went to war in 2003; then, the distinction belonged to Tony Blair. Brown was chancellor of the exchequer, the fancy British title for head of the treasury.
March 5, 2010 |
British prime minister Gordon Brown said it was right for the U.K. to invade Iraq in 2003, as he began four hours of questioning on the conduct of the Iraq war and Britain's part in the conflict. "It was the right decision and it was for the right reasons," Brown, who was chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, told a panel inquiring into the war in London on Friday. "It was impossible to persuade" Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein "he should abide by international law." The inquiry into the U.K.'s role in the U.S.-led invasion has already heard evidence from former prime minister Tony Blair, as well as other ministers and diplomats involved in the government's decision to go to war. No report will be published until after the U.K. general election that must be held by June.
February 14, 2010 |
As Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor describe it, there was no need for the cast of Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" to have long, philosophical discussions about the movie's creepy real-life parallels. It wasn't necessary, for example, to dissect Brosnan's character, a hazily sinister British ex-prime minister who's a dead ringer for Tony Blair, or to over-analyze his seething, neurotic wife, played by Olivia Williams as a cross between Cherie Blair and Lady Macbeth. It was all pretty obvious and pretty amusing.
January 30, 2010 |
Defending the most controversial decision of his career -- if not his life -- former British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared Friday that he had no regrets over going to war in Iraq, calling it the right decision in a post-Sept. 11 world and one he "would take again." For more than six hours, Blair gave a stout defense of the war before an investigative panel whose proceedings were televised nationwide in a riveting moment of political theater. Britons who ditched soap operas and game shows to watch their former leader submit to a prolonged public grilling saw Blair insist that he tried to resolve the standoff with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein diplomatically, that he made the best judgment he could and that the Iraqi people are better off for it. "I had to take this decision as prime minister.
January 27, 2010 |
The hottest ticket in town isn't for Andrew Lloyd Webber's upcoming sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera" or Lady Gaga in concert. It's for a one-off performance this Friday starring one of the most loved and hated of British celebrities: Tony Blair. No doubt summoning all the charisma and powers of persuasion he can muster, the former prime minister is scheduled to appear before an official inquiry examining how Britain, under his leadership, signed up for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
January 13, 2010 |
Britain's role in the war in Iraq is one to be proud of, a defiant Alastair Campbell told the ongoing Iraq Inquiry on Tuesday. During five hours of questioning on the decision to invade Iraq along with the U.S., Campbell, who was Tony Blair's communications director in 2003, put on a robust defense of his boss at the time, insisting that the British prime minister was not President George W. Bush's "poodle." Campbell told the independent panel that Blair had been convinced by intelligence sources that Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons could be unleashed within a 45-minute time frame.
December 13, 2009 |
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he would have found a justification for invading Iraq even without the now-discredited evidence that Saddam Hussein was trying to produce weapons of mass destruction. "I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat," Blair told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast this morning. It was a startling admission from the onetime British leader, who was President Bush's staunchest ally in the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
November 27, 2009 |
A meeting between President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair a year before the 2003 invasion of Iraq marked a turning point in the march toward war, Britain's former ambassador to the United States testified Thursday. Giving evidence on the third day of an independent British inquiry into the war, Christopher Meyer told the five-member investigating panel that Blair's stance on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appeared to shift after the prime minister met with Bush at his Texas ranch in April 2002.
November 25, 2009 |
The British government was aware of "drumbeats in Washington" in early 2001 calling for the toppling of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein but steered clear of such an aggressive policy before the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said Tuesday as a panel launched a major inquiry on how and why the British government went to war in Iraq. William Patey, head of the Foreign Office's Middle East department at the time, said during the hearing that in February 2001, "We were aware of these drumbeats in Washington and internally we discussed it. Our policy was to stay away from that.
July 25, 2009 |
Britain's opposition Conservatives won a parliamentary seat from the ruling Labor party, securing a big majority that would give them a landslide if repeated at a national election due within a year. The poll for the Norwich North seat, prompted after the local member of parliament resigned in protest over being punished for his role in an expenses scandal, was being watched for clues to the outcome of the forthcoming general election. Conservative candidate Chloe Smith, who at 27 becomes Britain's youngest MP, beat her Labor rival into second place by a commanding margin.