Tony Blair’s head is still heavily buried in the sand.
In our conversation, Blair would not be drawn into second-guessing on failures in early stages of the Iraq war — troop levels, de-Baathification and the like. Those debates, while “perfectly legitimate,” do not account for decisive factors beyond the control of the coalition, particularly the bombing campaign of al-Qaeda and Iran’s strategy of “containing America” by seeking to “bog them down in Iraq.”
“If those two external elements were not there, this thing would be very nearly manageable,” Blair told me. “Sometimes you have to come to a very simple conclusion, which is that your enemies decided to fight you.”