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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ang Lee blames Bush and Blair for creating 'mess' in Iraq

Ang Lee is promoting his new film about a US soldier acclaimed as a hero for his service in Iraq
Ang Lee is promoting his new film about a US soldier acclaimed as a hero for his service in Iraq

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has blamed George W Bush and Tony Blair for creating "a mess" in Iraq.

The film-maker said Mr Bush, the former president, and ex-prime minister Mr Blair "under-planned" the 2003 invasion and Iraqis had been forced to choose between "dictatorship and chaos".

Lee told the Press Association: "It's a bad war. It's a messy situation.

"What happened today comes from 2004 and 2001. It's all relevant. One things leads to the next. What you do today affects what's going on in the next 10 years."

Asked whether Mr Bush and Mr Blair were to blame for the continuing crisis in Iraq, Lee replied: "I think they under-planned, created a mess - intentionally or unintentionally, I don't know.

"I have sympathy for both the soldiers' side and the people's side in Iraq. It's miserable.

"Choose between dictatorship and chaos. Pick one.

"In one way I feel fortunate not to live there. On the other hand, for people who do live there or serve there, I would like to understand them more."

Lee, who won best director Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi, has directed a new film about the experiences of a fictional US soldier who served in Iraq called Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

The movie stars British newcomer Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn who is hailed a hero for an act of bravery during his service, which results in him appearing in the Super Bowl half-time show.

Taiwanese-born Lee said: "I would have liked to have avoided (casting an actor from outside America) if I can but my top five choices were all from London.

"The best man got the job. Joe Alwyn is good.

"It's not hard for him. I think he did a great job."

:: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is released in UK cinemas on February 10.

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