View Full Version : Bush "offered Blair chance to pull out of Iraq"

01-26-2006, 01:42 PM
Bush offered Blair chance to pull out of Iraq
Telegraph (http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/24/ubush.xml&sSheet=/portal/2006/01/24/ixportaltop.html)

President George W Bush has revealed he offered Tony Blair the chance not go to war in Iraq, but the Prime Minister turned it down.

Mr Bush said he made the offer amid concerns about the stability of the Labour Government in the months before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

"He [Blair] was worried about his Government and so was I, and I told him one time, 'I don't want your Government to fall, and if you're worried about it just go ahead and pull out of the coalition so you save your Government'," said Mr Bush.

"And he said to me, 'I have made my commitment on behalf of the great country of Britain and I'm not changing my mind'.

"He said, 'I'm not interested in politics, what I'm interested in is doing the right thing.'

The President was responding to a question he was asked following a speech at Kansas State University.

Asked whether he had ever discussed Mr Blair's image as a White House "yes-man", Mr Bush said he was aware of the criticism but that he "strongly disagreed" with it.

"I have heard the criticism and it's just simply not the case," he said. "I admire him a lot. He's an independent thinker.

"I'm sure that his relationship with me causes him problems at home. Sometimes I can be a little allergic for people overseas.

"I'm very aware of the political difficulties he faces. When we make hard decisions like we've made it creates angst ... That's why I admire Tony. He is a person of great courage."

Mr Bush also said that the pair tried to speak once a week, but did have strong disagreements on some issues despite their close contact.

01-26-2006, 05:12 PM
Wow, I didn't realize that Bush was such a nice guy.