This book looks to be a must read to get a glimpse of the British perspective on 9/11, the war in Iraq, al Qaeda, and WMDs. I say that because of Blair’s interview with CNN’s Wolfe Blitzer a few days back. In the interview Blair staunchly defended the decision to enter Iraq for two reasons: first, 9/11 changed the game in terms of the US/British perspective on tolerance for countries and terrorists supporting WMDs and second, that Saddam Hussein had the knowledge, people, intent, history of use of chemical weapons, and was about to restore the means (through oil sales) to be able to export the Iraqi developments in WMDs.
It’s then logical (at least to me) that if you accept that Saddam needed to be eliminated from power and Iraq’s military/industrial complex needed to be crippled, then you end up having to also commit to rebuilding the country afterwards in order to preserve stability in the region. So, what’s debatable then is whether the cost of what unfolded in economic terms (and the US government taking its eye off the economy at home) and human terms was ever really anticipated and ever really justified.
What’s really interesting about the interview (and I hope the book) is that Blair admits the intelligence failures about Iraq’s “first strike” (my term not his) readiness to use stockpiles of WMDs that were never found after the 2003 invasion. Yet he defends the coalition’s actions based on the factors above, regardless of Iraq’s WMD readiness.
More of a review once I’ve read the book. And if any of you want to post something about the book after you read it, let me know what you’re thinking.