Blair refuses to apologise for Iraq as SNP argue for a peaceful independent Scotland

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Scotland would not have been pushed into the Iraq war by Tony
Blair if it has been independent, says SNP

Scottish News: Blair refuses to apologise as SNP argue for a peaceful independent Scotland

by Leah Pears

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted the Iraq war failed and did not make the world a safer place – but has refused to say he was wrong or apologise for the conflict, sparking anger among opponents of the war.

SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson said this was further evidence and admission of what happens when Westminster makes the decisions for Scotland.

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“Tony Blair has admitted that the Iraq war was a failure and did not make the world a safer place. Yet despite this admission, he has failed to take responsibility or apologise for the conflict.” said Mr Robertson.

“The complete lack of any credible legal basis for the disastrous Iraq war was well ventilated and understood at the time, yet Labour parliamentarians – aided and abetted by the Tories – followed Blair like sheep into backing a war which cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

The SNP strongly opposed the UK government’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. During the Iraq inquiry, which lasted from November 2009 until February 2001, First Minister Alex Salmond spoke out against Blair’s actions.

“The Iraq war was the UK’s biggest foreign policy blunder of modern times, and no-one who backed it is fit to hold public office,” said Mr Salmond.

“There can be no defence for those who followed Tony Blair like sheep, and no benefit of hindsight. They are all jointly and severally liable for the disaster that occurred – and they will all be held to account by the people of Scotland.”

Supporters of the Yes-vote have argued that if independent, Scotland would not have taken part in a war that the people did not support which cost the lives of nearly 170 Britons and over 1,000,000 Iraqis.

The First Minister has previously said that while the Scottish government would be willing to share military facilities with “friendly neighbours”, it would have its own foreign policy and “there’s no way on Earth” that Scotland would ever have participated as an independent country in the illegal war in Iraq.

Mr Robertson continued: "Dragging the country into an illegal, immoral war in Iraq on the basis of false pretences was a compelling illustration of the need for our parliament to have the full powers of an independent country.

“The credibility of the anti-independence parties are crumbling further every day and the fact that Blair has said he is ‘happy to play a part’ in the No campaign will only strengthen the ‘Yes’ vote.

“Scotland needs a parliament with the ability to speak with our own voice in the world, get rid of nuclear weapons, and build a fair society and strong economy."

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published this page in News 2013-02-28 18:51:12 +0000