Blair had a 'wobble' over Iraq campaign - report

2011-01-15 18:40
London - Former British premier Tony Blair had "a bit of a wobble" at the start of a 1998 bombing raid against Iraq after a late-night session reading the Bible, his then communications chief revealed on Saturday.

"TB (Tony Blair) was clearly having a bit of a wobble," wrote Alistair Campbell in his latest book of diaries, extracts of which are being serialised in The Guardian newspaper.

"He said he had been reading the Bible last night, as he often did when the really big decisions were on, and he had read something about John the Baptist and Herod which had caused him to rethink, albeit not change his mind."

The diary entry was written on Wednesday December 16 1998, the first day of a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq - the first that Blair had ordered since becoming Labour prime minister in 1997.

In 2003, Blair led Britain into a full-scale war against Iraq over Saddam Hussein's continuing defiance of the United Nations over his weapons programme.

The former premier will make his second appearance before an official inquiry into the Iraq war on January 21. In a highly charged hearing in January last year, Blair robustly defended the military action.

Elsewhere in the diaries, Campbell revealed that as Blair realised how his global standing had increased following his election as prime minister, he joked that it was "just a shame Britain is so small, physically".

Blair served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007 and is now a Middle East peace envoy. He also has a string of commercial roles.

He converted to Catholicism shortly after leaving office in 2007.
Read more on:    tony blair  |  iraq  |  uk  |  iraq war inquiry
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