Georges Bush: Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea are an “axis of evil”



1 Sep 2010

Tony Blair: George Bush did not recognise Belgian prime minister
George W Bush did not recognise the prime minister of Belgium or understand why he was at a G8 meeting, Tony Blair has disclosed.

In his new book, A Journey, Mr Blair writes that the former US president was confused by the presence of Guy Verhofstadt at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa.
“He didn’t know or recognise Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment,” Mr Blair writes. “He then turned to me and whispered, ‘Who is this guy?’ ‘He is the prime minister of Belgium,’ I said.
“Belgium? George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. ‘Belgium is not part of the G8’.”
Mr Blair explained to Mr Bush that Mr Verhofstadt was there as “president of Europe”. Belgium held the presidency of the EU council at the time.
Mr Bush responded: “You got the Belgians running Europe?” before shaking his head, “now aghast at our stupidity”, Mr Blair writes.

Elsewhere in the book Mr Blair claims that the president held an uncomplicated view of international affairs.
“George had immense simplicity in how he saw the world. Right or wrong it led to decisive leadership.”
The former prime minister also suggests he was uneasy with Mr Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech, in which he described Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea as an “axis of evil”.


Photo 1: A news conference at the White House in 2006. Verhofstadt, amused President Bush with a story about mountain biking.

Photo 2Chief of Staff of the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ Gen. Salim Idris, addresses the media after he discussed the situation in Syria with Guy Verhofstadt, right, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday March 6, 2013.

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3 Reacties to “Georges Bush: Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea are an “axis of evil””

  1. kruitvat Says:

    Here is a summary of some key evidence Tony Blair gave in his first evidence session to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War.

    On the 9/11 attacks on the United States

    Tony Blair answers questions at the Iraq Inquiry in January, 2010
    “I never regarded September 11 as an attack on America, I regarded it as an attack on us. And I had said we would stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”
    On the burden of having to decide whether to join the US in attacking Iraq
    “I had to take this decision as prime minister. It was a huge responsibility and there is not a single day that passes by that I don’t reflect and think about that responsibility – and so I should.”
    On what he told George Bush at the US president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002 about British support for military action

    “What I was saying to President Bush – and I was not saying this privately incidentally, I was saying it in public – was ‘We are going to be with you in confronting and dealing with this threat’ … I think what he took from that is exactly what he should have taken, which is that if it came to military action, because there was no way of dealing with this diplomatically, we would be with him.”
    On his backing for the war
    “This isn’t about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It’s a decision.”
    On his assertion about the quality of the intelligence in the British Government’s controversial September 2002 dossier about Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction
    “What I said in the foreword was that I believed it was beyond doubt … I did believe it was beyond doubt.”
    On the dossier’s claim that Saddam could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes
    “It would have been better to have corrected it in the light of the significance it later took on.”
    On Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s changing views about the legality of the war
    “Let me make it absolutely clear, if Peter (Lord Goldsmith) in the end had said ‘This cannot be justified lawfully’, we would have been unable to take action.”
    On whether Britain could have pulled out of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq
    “I think President Bush actually at one point shortly before the debate said ‘Look, if it’s too difficult for Britain, we understand’. But I took the view very strongly then, and do, that it was right for us to be with America, since we believed in this too.”
    On whether British troops were properly equipped for the war
    “I don’t think I refused a request for money or for equipment at any point in the time that I was prime minister.”
    On what would have happened if the US and Britain had not invaded Iraq
    “I genuinely believe that if we had left Saddam in power, even with what we know now, we would still have had to have dealt with him, possibly in circumstances where the threat was worse and possibly in circumstances where it was hard to mobilise any support for dealing with that threat.”
    On whether he would do anything differently now
    “The decision I took – and frankly would take again – was if there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction we should stop him. That was my view then and it is my view now.”
    On whether he had any regrets about the war
    “Responsibility but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein. I think that he was a monster. I believe he threatened not just the region but the world. And in the circumstances that we faced then, but I think even if you look back now, it was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office. And I do genuinely believe that the world is safer as a result.”

  2. kruitvat Says:

    21 Jan 2011

    Tony Blair to be met by protesters at Iraq inquiry
    Tony Blair will be met by anti-war protesters including actors, broadcasters, MPs and military families when he arrives for fresh questioning at the inquiry into the Iraq conflict on Friday.


    He was summoned to reappear before the Chilcot Inquiry to explain gaps in his earlier evidence and apparent discrepancies between his account and official documents and other witnesses’ testimony.
    Among those protesting outside the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster will be Sami Ramadani, an Iraqi exile, actor Roger Lloyd Pack, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Bruce Kent from CND, broadcaster Michael Rosen, and Peter Brierley and Rose Gentle, who lost their sons in Iraq.
    Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the inquiry when Mr Blair made his first appearance last year, although the former Prime Minister arrived hours before the start and avoided any confrontation with anti-war activists.
    Former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said he was “uncomfortable” about statements made by the ex-prime minister in the months before the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, a document released by the Chilcot Inquiry revealed earlier this week.
    Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said: “Lord Goldsmith has said he was uncomfortable with some of Tony Blair’s statements on the legality of the war. In fact Blair decided not to ask for advice and not to have it written down where possible, because he didn’t want it used in evidence against him.

    “He recklessly supported an illegal war and should now surely pay the price, not just having a few uncomfortable hours in the Chilcot inquiry, but by facing a proper trial for war crimes. Justice for all those who died in this war demands nothing less, and this is why we will be demonstrating on Friday.”
    Activists will be re-enacting scenes from the build-up to war before today’s hearing starts, including “secret deals” between Mr Blair and former US President George Bush and the “taming” of Lord Goldsmith.
    Chris Nineham from Stop the War added: “Evidence has now emerged at Chilcot showing Blair lied to public and parliament about the legality of an attack on Iraq. Finally it has been confirmed that the war in Iraq was criminal as well as catastrophic.
    “There is no more excuse for Blair to escape justice, and certainly no possible argument for him to continue as UN Peace Envoy in the Middle East.”
    Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “Tony Blair’s previous appearance before the inquiry was clearly inadequate, with subsequent evidence raising questions about his earlier statements.
    “The more evidence we see, the clearer it becomes that Tony Blair took us to war on a lie, causing the deaths of over a million Iraqis as well as 179 British troops.
    “Blair took the country into an illegal war and should be held to account for his criminal decision.”

  3. kruitvat Says:

    US-pressure on Iraq – Iraq repeats the need of a political solution to the situation in Syria…

    Mar 25, 2013

    BAGHDAD: US secretary of state John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday to stop Iranian flights over Iraq from carrying arms to Syria during a visit to the Iraqi capital.

    Iraqi officials denied allowing weapons to be flown from Iran to Syria through Iraqi airspace. Abbas al-Bayati, a member of the Security and Defence committee in parliament, said: “We have done our duty by randomly inspecting a number of Iranian flights and we did not find any leaked or smuggled weapons.”

    “If the US is keen to push us to do more they have to give us the information that they have relating to this,” he said.

    At his news conference, Kerry said the United States had “agreed to try to provide more information” to the Iraqis and suggested that sentiment in the US Congress may be turning against Iraq because of the suspected arms transfers to Assad.

    More than a dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore through Shia Muslim districts in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and other areas on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people on the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.

    A statement released by Maliki’s office following the talks said they had agreed on the need to find a political solution to the situation in Syria.

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