Key quotes from Tony Blair's memoirs

1st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Former British prime minister Tony Blair published his memoirs on Wednesday featuring his thoughts about the invasion of Iraq, his "strange" successor and even his own use of alcohol.

Here is a selection of key quotes from the book, entitled "A Journey" and describing his decade in Downing Street.

ON THE MARCH 2003 INVASION OF IRAQ

-- "I can't regret the decision to go to war. Never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded, and that too is part of the responsibility."

-- "Tears, though there have been many, do not encompass it. I feel desperately sorry for them, sorry for the lives cut short, sorry for the families whose bereavement is made worse by the controversy over why their loved ones died, sorry for the utterly unfair selection that the loss should be theirs."

-- "I have often reflected as to whether I was wrong. I ask you to reflect as to whether I may have been right."

ON FIGHTING ISLAMIC EXTREMISM IN AFGHANISTAN AND ELSEWHERE

-- "We need a religious counter-attack, not just a political or military one."

ON HIS SUCCESSOR GORDON BROWN

-- "Political calculation, yes. Political feelings, no. Analytical intelligence, absolutely. Emotional intelligence, zero. Gordon is a strange guy."

-- "So was he difficult, at times maddening? Yes. But he was also strong, capable and brilliant, and those were qualities for which I never lost respect.

ON DRINK

-- "Stiff whisky or G&T before dinner, couple of glasses of wine or even half a bottle with it. So not excessively excessive. I had a limit. But I was aware that it had become a prop."

ON FORMER US PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

-- "George had immense simplicity in how he saw the world. Right or wrong, it led to decisive leadership."

ON PRINCESS DIANA

"I really liked her and, of course, was as big a sucker for a beautiful princess as the next man; but I was wary too."

ON SPENDING THE WEEKEND WITH THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY

-- "I have to say I found the experience of visiting and spending the weekend a vivid combination of the intriguing, the surreal and the utterly freaky."


© 2010 AFP

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