Carter attacks Blair's Iraq role

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Guysanto
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Carter attacks Blair's Iraq role

Post by Guysanto » Sat May 19, 2007 11:55 am

Former US President Jimmy Carter has criticised outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his "blind" support of the war in Iraq.

Mr Carter told the BBC Mr Blair's backing for US President George W Bush had been "apparently subservient".

He said the UK's "almost undeviating" support for "the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world".

Mr Blair leaves office at the end of next month.

Mr Carter said that if Mr Blair had distanced himself from the Bush administration's policy during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq it might have made a crucial difference to American political and public opinion.

The former president has been a fierce critic of the US-led war in Iraq.

In an interview last year, he said he was "disappointed" by Tony Blair's failure to use his influence with President Bush more wisely.

In 1976, Mr Carter unseated the incumbent Gerald Ford to become the 39th US president, serving until 1981.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, for what presenters cited as decades of work seeking peaceful solutions and promoting social and economic justice.



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 672035.stm

Published: 2007/05/19 06:22:01 GMT

© BBC MMVII

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Carter Criticizes Bush and Blair on War in Iraq

Post by Guysanto » Mon May 21, 2007 5:30 am

Reuters

Sunday 20 May 2007

Washington - Former President Jimmy Carter criticized George W. Bush's presidency in interviews released Saturday as "the worst in history" in international relations and faulted Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain for his loyal relationship with Mr. Bush.

"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," Mr. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said in a telephone interview with The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from the Carter Center in Atlanta.

"The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me," Mr. Carter told the newspaper.

In an interview on BBC radio, he criticized Mr. Blair for his close relations with the president, particularly concerning the Iraq war.

"Abominable," he said when asked how he would characterize Mr. Blair's relationship with Mr. Bush. "Loyal, blind, apparently subservient."

Mr. Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his charitable work, was an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq before it was begun in 2003.

"I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world," he said.

In the newspaper interview, Mr. Carter said Mr. Bush has taken a "radical departure from all previous administration policies" with the Iraq war.

"We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered," he said.

The White House declined to comment on his statements.

Mr. Carter told the BBC that if Mr. Blair had opposed the invasion he could have reduced the ensuing harm by making it tougher for Washington to shrug off critics, even if the British prime minister had not been able to stop the war. "It would certainly have assuaged the problems" that have arisen, he said.

He characterized one of the defenses of the Bush administration in America and worldwide" as "O.K., we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us."

Mr. Carter told the BBC that the combined support of Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair for the war "has prolonged the war and increased the tragedy that has resulted."

In the newspaper interview, Mr. Carter, who brokered the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, also criticized Mr. Bush's Middle East policies. "For the first time since Israel was founded, we've had zero peace talks to try to bring a resolution of differences in the Middle East," he said. "That's a radical departure from the past."

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