Speaking on the BBC One programme ‘This Week’, Tony Blair’s former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, said that the invasion of Iraq cannot be justified as an intervention.
Prescott said that at the time when options concerning Iraq were being considered, Tony Blair was keen to “get the Americans in” on the approach of the UN.
After Prescott has visited the US to visit Dick Cheney he told Blair that it was clear the US were going to take action with or without the UN or UK, saying “They’re going to go in without you; whether you come with them or not, it doesn’t matter to the Americans – they’re getting ready”.
Speaking on the programme, Prescott said that Bush was prepared to have a plan for Israel and Palestine, which he said persuaded him to support the invasion of Iraq. He went on to say that the plan “fell apart as it often does in American politics because the influence domestically is too great,” and went on to say “at the end of the day, Tony Blair obviously said to himself, ‘I’ve promised to do this and I’m going to do it’ – and that’s today’s consequences”.
Lord Prescott has expressed misgivings he had about the war with Iraq in previous interviews, but on this programme he went much further. And I have to be part in that – I can’t just disown it. I go through my thoughts trying to justify it, but that’s… it cannot be justified as an intervention,” he added.
The comments of Lord Prescott contrast a recent interview with Blair on the 10th anniversary of the invasion, in which Blair said “So when you say ‘do you think of the loss of life since 2003?’ of course I do. You would have to be inhumane not to, but think of what would have happened if he had been left there.”
Both Blair and Prescott have admitted that the reasons for invading Iraq never had anything to do with weapons of mass destruction.
The government of the time made a serious error in supporting the Bush administration, and the ramifications of that have been felt around the world since.