Knighted by the Queen, Tony Blair defends himself against his detractors

Tony Blair was one of Britain’s most popular prime ministers, but his record and reputation were irreparably damaged by his decision to take his country to war in Iraq in 2003.

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair reacted on Sunday to his critics opposed to such an honor because of his responsibility in the British military intervention in Iraq. A stubborn, charismatic and energetic reformer, Tony Blair, now 68, was one of Britain’s most popular prime ministers, re-elected three times. But his record and his reputation were irreparably damaged by his decision to engage his country in the war in Iraq in 2003.

More than 1.1 million people have signed an online petition demanding the cancellation of this honor announced when the list of decorations given by the Queen at New Year was published, accusing Tony Blair of “war crimes”. Elizabeth II had made him “Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter”, the oldest order of chivalry.

War crimes

Reacting to the controversy caused, the former head of government (from 1997 to 2007) said he accepted this honor “not for me as a person”, but also for those who were his “devoted and committed” collaborators and who brought “a lot of changes to the country”. “Of course people were going to strongly oppose it. That was to be expected,” he said on Times radio.

“There are people who want to say that the only thing the government did was Iraq and ignore everything else,” continued Tony Blair, who has contributed to the peace process in Northern Ireland, invested in health. and education and extended the rights of homosexuals but whose image remains tarnished by this military intervention. He added that “we weren’t in a position of power and we weren’t making decisions without a lot of opposition and so that didn’t surprise me.”

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