Tuesday 28 February 2017

Tony Blair made dreadful mistakes, but he's not an evil cartoon monster

Those who excoriate the former British prime minister over Iraq care more about keeping their own hands clean than saving lives

Eilis O'Hanlon

'I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe': Former British prime minister Tony Blair gave this statement at a recent press conference in London, in response to the Chilcot report on Britain's role in the Iraq War Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
'I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe': Former British prime minister Tony Blair gave this statement at a recent press conference in London, in response to the Chilcot report on Britain's role in the Iraq War Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The name of the river Somme in France apparently comes from the Celtic word samara, meaning "tranquillity". Such are the ironies of history.

Almost a hundred years ago to the day, the infamous battle along that part of the Western Front began. By the end of the first day, 19,240 British soldiers were dead, as well as 1,500 Frenchmen and 10,000 Germans, to little change in their respective positions.

Next day, British high command ordered the soldiers to do it again.

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