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Blair cried for Iraq War victims

[ 2010-09-02 11:19]     字号 [] [] []  
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Tony Blair's long-awaited memoir says the former British prime minister doesn't regret the Iraq War - although he wept for its victims - and carries revelations about the politician's alcohol use, his interactions with the queen and his testy relationship with his successor.

Tony Blair's A Journey was stirring political passions as it hit bookstores on Wednesday, with excerpts revealing that he cried for soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq but still thought it was right to invade and topple Saddam Hussein.

The decision to go to war remains Blair's most divisive legacy, and Blair says "I ... regret with every fiber of my being the loss of those who died."

"Tears, though there have been many, do not encompass it," he says.

But, he adds, "on the basis of what we do know now, I still believe that leaving Saddam in power was a bigger risk to our security than removing him and that, terrible though the aftermath was, the reality of Saddam and his sons in charge of Iraq would at least arguably be much worse."

"I can't regret the decision to go to war," he says.

Blair also reopens domestic political wounds, saying his rival, colleague and successor Gordon Brown was a difficult and maddening man with "zero" emotional intelligence.

He's much warmer about former US President George W. Bush, calling him intelligent, "a true idealist" and a man of integrity.

British booksellers are reporting heavy interest in the book, for which Blair was paid an estimated 4.6 million pounds ($7.5 million). He's donating the proceeds to a charity for injured troops.

Billed by publisher Random House as a "frank, open" account of life at the top, A Journey is being published in a dozen countries, alongside an e-book and an audio version read by Blair himself. It was No 1 on Wednesday on Amazon's British best-seller list - though it's only 180 on the retailer's US site.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Blair cried for Iraq War victims

About the broadcaster:

Blair cried for Iraq War victims

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.