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Is It Really Better That Saddam’s Gone?


“Of course, you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015” and the rise of ISIS, said Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom and one of the leaders, with George W. Bush, of the drive to forcibly oust Saddam Hussein in Iraq. “But it’s important also to realize, one, that the Arab Spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on Iraq today, and two, ISIS actually came to prominence from a base in Syria and not in Iraq.”

Blair was speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview that aired Sunday, and while he apologized for the fact that “the intelligence we received was wrong” regarding Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, he maintained, as other decision-makers of that era (and their relatives) have, that removing Saddam was a good thing. “I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he’s not there than that he is there,” he said.  Saddam was a tyrant and an aggressor, but are Iraq and the region really better off without him? Consider just some of the consequences of the war that removed him.

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