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Key player in Iraq war turns critic

March 19th, 2013
04:36 PM ET

“I've come to a conclusion: the justification for the intervention was wrong,” Former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said of the Iraq War in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, which aired Tuesday.

“[We] may have got rid of Saddam, but it certainly never brought peace,” Prescott added.

Looking back, on the ten-year anniversary of the war, Prescott said everyone should ask themselves whether the war was justified, and whether the true objective was in fact regime change, not weapons of mass destruction.

Prescott said that former Prime Minister Tony Blair “certainly believed” it was because of the alleged weapons of mass destruction. 

“I was convinced in America you were already preparing for war, despite us talking about the U.N. You were getting your military machine ready. You were going to do it before the hot summer. So there's no doubt in America - and I told Tony, the Yanks are going in whether you agree or not.”

Prescott admitted that he feels a share of responsibility for the Iraq War.

Blair has also been giving interviews on this tenth anniversary and he admits that the war did not turn out the way he hoped it would. Nonetheless, Blair still insists that invading and toppling Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do at the time.

Prescott told Amanpour that the action that was taken to stop the bloodshed in Kosovo and Sierra Leone helped persuade them to believe that military action in Iraq would be the right thing to do.

“Tony came to the view,” Prescott recalled, “that if no leader of a country was entitled to treat his people like that. He then followed on. It was for all us then to intervene to stop that.”

As the world now debates crises of varying degrees with Iran and in Syria, Prescott did not hold back in articulating what the Iraq experience had taught him.

“[Blair] wants to do it now in Iran, possibly, and Syria. Absolute bloody crazy, in my view,” Prescott said. “You've got to ask yourselves, what are you doing it for, just to get rid of the evil men around the world? Because I've got to tell you, there's been more killings in Iraq since they've left, and still continuing.”


Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Was Saddam a threat for US? I think no !

    How goes Valérie Palme ?

    March 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  2. Anonymous

    If the objective really was to allow the Iraqi people to feel better, then it is missed.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6189793.stm

    March 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  3. jimmy lim

    Tony Blair n Bush are war criminals. Period. Blair still trying to justify Iraq invasion and unrependent. He is now playing God n a war monger

    March 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  4. Mamadee Kelleh

    According to news gather the Iraqi invation was due to possession of nuclear weapon by Saadam. Looking at this carefully there were different miliyary reason why Iraq was invaded.

    March 20, 2013 at 2:36 am | Reply
  5. Mamadee Kelleh

    U.S former president George W Bush,British former prime minister Tony Blair and France Nicolas Sacorzie were the hand behind the Iraqi invation.

    March 20, 2013 at 2:46 am | Reply
  6. Folahan

    Drag the two of them(Blair& Bush) to Hague for crime against the iraqi masses. I believe there should be a better way to curtail Saddam.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:54 am | Reply
  7. daniel

    its all game and the all the same ppl wake up

    March 20, 2013 at 6:25 am | Reply
  8. Joseph Shoman

    Madam,Truly, your hypocrisy has no limits,
    after 10 years of attacking Iraq the only thing you find worthy of covering is Halabja....and bringing justice to the victims of Halabja...
    You already killed Saddam husein madam,What about the crimes of war your nobile army committed and continues till this moment against the Iraqi civilians, What about the more than million innocent Iraqis who found their brutal death by your "humanitarian" troops ..and more and more
    How comes you never question the daily crimes against humanity committed by Israel against the Palestinians,,,for example did it ever come to your attention to investigate the fact of appointing a war criminal recently as a minister of defence in Israel....
    Have some mercy on your poor and retarded audience...

    March 20, 2013 at 6:42 am | Reply
  9. Tuffs

    #bloodgarglingpsychopath - And not a word about the oil grab. And not a word about keeping Iraqi oil off the world market temporarily, so's to drive up prices. And then like Bremer on BBC, denying that the "de-Baathification" program made the Sunnis unemployable and cut off the older men's pensions - forcing the Sunnis into guerrilla war.

    "Truly, your hypocrisy has no limits." That about says it.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
  10. Ruben

    How convenient to blame it on the Americans the hate and the crimes of the Iraqis against each-other. The only people who cared about civilians in that place where the interventionists. Iraqis didn't. Nor did the pseudo-peaceniks who never protested when Saddam killed innocents at whim or now when the killings continue.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Matt

      >>How convenient to blame it on the Americans the hate and the crimes of the Iraqis against each-other.

      Before the lauch of this illegal war of aggression, the Iraqi people did not fight against each other. Only the war, the destruction, the hate, the torture, the lack of security and the lack of justice the Coalition brought to Iraq created the environment for civil war.
      By the way: international law clearly states that the occupier of a country is responsible for the safety and security of the people in the occupied territory. The United States accepted the role of occupier at the United Nations almost 10 years ago – and is therefore responsible for what happens in Iraq. The Iraqis turning against each other means that the occupier has failed. Lesson: launching an illegal war of aggression, torture and destruction does NOT win the hearts and minds of people. Who could have known?

      >>The only people who cared about civilians in that place where the interventionists.

      That's why the illegal invaders killed more civilians in 10 years than Hussein did in 30, and continued torturing and illegally kidnapping people without bringing the criminals to justice, right? If that's how you define "caring about civilians" then I really don't want to see you "not caring". Seriously, with a "friend" like that, Iraq really doesn't need an enemy anymore.

      March 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  11. Ynnad Onairam

    Bush n Blair most dangeruos man in the world.

    March 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  12. Yahaya mohammed

    We have three type of judgements: conscience, history and final judgement by God, whatever justification anybody or country give we shall see how the following judgement shall vindicate the person

    March 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  13. Omer

    This a temporary abode and the real terrorist/criminals will get what their hands earned in this life and there will be no injustice in the hereafter.

    March 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  14. mohan

    what bush did 2 iraq was good at first but after the war every administration did was bad.i think after war america did not think of iraqi people.freedom.america could not stabalized the freedom to iraqi people,thats the sad part

    March 21, 2013 at 2:01 am | Reply
  15. Africa will survive no matter what

    If this two were to be from an African country, sanctions and lots more would have ended the country's most vulnerable people in more poverty and diseases.
    Where is TI? where is AT? who can call Bush and Blair to the court room, at least for a mere hearing even when we know they will either be acquitted or given a suspended judgement like we see sometimes in France and Italy as a show for fighting corruption.
    Where are the organisations including TI and AT, it is either they say something now or they are politically dead the world over and in Africa countries shall fight your criticism head on.

    March 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  16. Jonathan Onche Edeh

    Yes, its been 10yrs now; we look around us and we see the consequences of a most inhumane act carried against very innocent people. Americans were lied to and the world was lied to like i was lied to through CNN at the time when i was one of those who supported the invasion of Iraq, but i remember vividly the disgust i had for the West for killing Sadam Hussein; yes, his evils may have caught up with him, but are those who killed him not as guilty as him?
    Of course there was no weapon of mass destruction, but there was oil and lots of it which America wanted to control........forget it, Bush or Blair will never be brought to justice here, not in this world...but in the other....

    March 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply

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