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Iraq invasion decision was `51-49`: Cherie Blair

Last Updated: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 11:12

London: Cherie Blair said the decision to invade Iraq was a close call however convincingly her husband might have presented it otherwise, The Independent on Sunday reported.

The decision was likely "51-49" in favour of joining the 2003 US-led invasion, though her husband would have been very adept at making it seem "70-30", Cherie Blair was quoted as saying Saturday during an appearance at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.
The comments came a day after her husband was berated for having "blood on his hands" by a father who lost his son at the start of the military campaign.

"A lot of the time these choices are not clear cut," Cherie Blair said.

"They are not black and white. Instead of being 80-20, many of them are actually more like 51-49.

"When taking those decisions, Tony is able to step back, absorb all the information and then choose.

"He is also very good at then convincing everybody else that it was a 70-30 decision all along.
"I think it (the invasion of Iraq) was one of those 51-49 questions."

Tony Blair is currently being mooted as a candidate to become the first European Union president, though he has yet to declare his intentions.

Since stepping down as PM in June 2007, Blair has been the envoy of the Middle East quartet -- the EU, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- mediating between Israel and the Palestinians.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 11:12
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