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Blair-Bush memos – key lines

George W Bush and Tony Blair in 2001Image copyright

Memos sent by way of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to then US President George W Bush in the run-up to the Iraq War shine a gentle on the extent of the relationship between the 2 leaders.

The memos sent between 2001 and 2007 have been launched alongside Sir John Chilcot’s report of his inquiry into the Iraq Battle. Mr Bush’s replies weren’t incorporated within the file.

‘Higher to act now’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 12 September 2001

In some of the oldest notes to be released, sent the day after the attack on new york’s Twin Towers, Mr Blair offered his beef up to deliver to justice to the hijackers and regarded ahead to the “next stage after this evil”.

Mr Blair said some would “baulk” at the measures vital to control “biological, chemical and different weapons of mass destruction”, But delivered: “We’re Better to behave now and explain and justify our actions than let the day be delay unless some further, most likely even worse catastrophe occurs.”

‘We Wish To deal with Saddam’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 11 October 2001

“There Is A actual willingness in the Middle East to get Saddam out However a total opposition to mixing this up with the current operation [bombing Afghanistan]… I don’t have any doubt that we Need To deal with Saddam. But When we hit Iraq now, we would lose the Arab world, Russia, most likely half the European and my concern is the impact of all of that on Pakistan. However, I’m sure we can devise a strategy for Saddam deliverable at a later date.”

Mr Blair went on to say phase one needed to be military action in Afghanistan where the perpetrators of 11th of September have been hiding, then segment two would be the campaign towards terrorism “in all its forms”.

This memo finds that Mr Blair and Mr Bush had been overtly discussing toppling Saddam Hussein as early as 2001, and only a month after the twin Towers’ attack, which killed nearly Three,000 people.

‘Given regime alternate a just right title’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 4 December 2001

Mr Blair instructed a technique for regime change that builds over time used to be needed “except we get to the point where armed forces motion can be taken if essential without shedding international give a boost to”.

“If toppling Saddam is a primary goal, it is far more straightforward to do it with Syria or Iran in favour or acquiescing reasonably than hitting all three directly, I favour giving these two a chance at a different relationship…

And referencing involvement in Afghanistan, Mr Blair mentioned if that gave new hope to people “particularly we shall have given regime trade a just right name so they can help us in our argument over Iraq”.

‘With you whatever’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 28 July 2002

“I will be with you, no matter…

Getting Rid Of Saddam is the proper factor to do. He’s a possible chance. He may be contained. However containment as we discovered with Al Qaida is at all times risky. His departure would unencumber the region. And his regime is most probably, with the that you can think of exception of North Korea, probably the most brutal and inhumane on the earth.

The First question is: In removing him, do you wish to have/want a coalition? the usa might do it on my own, with UK beef up. The Risk is, as ever with this stuff, unintended consequences.

Think it received militarily tough. Feel Iraq suffered unexpected civilian casualties. Think the Arab side road ultimately erupted. Feel Saddam felt sufficiently politically robust, if militarily vulnerable in typical terms, to let off WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. Feel that, with none coalition, the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded and real Iraqis, No Longer Saddam’s unique shield, decide to supply resistance.

If we win quickly, everybody shall be our friend. If we don’t they usually haven’t been certain in earlier, recriminations will start fast.”

This extract comes from the beginning of a six-page be aware, marked Secret Private, to the us president, which used to be seen simplest by Number 10 officers before being sent, the file mentioned.

Neither then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw nor Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had been proven a duplicate prematurely, and handiest Mr Straw bought to peer it afterwards.

Sir John stated it used to be marked “Non-public” But It Surely represented an in depth commentary of the uk govt’s position eight months earlier than the invasion, and each secretaries-of-state will have to have been given the prospect to touch upon it before it was sent.

‘Our absolute best ally might be Russia’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 28 July 2002

“In My Opinion, neither the Germans or the French, and probably Not the Italians or Spanish either, would strengthen us with out specific UN authority. And – and right here is my real point – public opinion is public opinion. And opinion in america is relatively simply on a special planet from opinion here, in Europe or within the Arab world.

“In Britain, right now I Could Not make certain of toughen from Parliament, Birthday Party, public or even one of the Cupboard. And That Is Britain. In Europe typically, folks just do not have the same sense of urgency post Sep 11 as folks in the us… In The Meanwhile oddly, our perfect ally might be Russia.”

Mr Blair instructed Mr Bush that if he wished a much broader military coalition he must get UN backing, make progress on Heart East peace and engineer a “shift” in public opinion. He acknowledged that there would be “reluctance” in the united states about taking the difficulty to the UN Safety Council, However insisted it used to be one of the best ways to supply them with a legitimate case for defense force action.

‘Want To make the case’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 28 July 2002

In a paragraph entitled The Proof, Blair writes: “Again, I’ve been informed the united states thinks this useless. However we still Want To make the case. If we recapitulate all the WMD Evidence, add his makes an attempt to steady nuclear capability, and as appears that you can imagine, add on Al Qaida hyperlink, it will be vastly persuasive over right here. Plus, after all, the abhorrent nature of the regime.”

Mr Blair emphasises the significance of presenting the Proof about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction as well as trying to set up a link with al-Qaeda in the aftermath of Sept. 11 the previous year – despite the fact that none used to be ever found.

Inside two months of sending this notice, Mr Blair informed President Bush at a summit at Camp David, his us of a retreat, if it came to War, the united kingdom would take a significant militia position. This was regardless of no decision having been taken on which military package deal may well be provided to the us for planning functions.

‘No Longer when, However how’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 28 July 2002

“I Would feel free to take a look at to place all this together… Nevertheless It wants a huge commitment in time and power. So it is simplest really price doing if We’re all on the identical web page. On timing, we could start up after the (summer season) destroy. A strike date might be Jan/Feb next yr (2003). However The the most important difficulty is not when, However how.”

In a handwritten note, Mr Blair compliments the president on a “sensible speech” to the United Countries Normal Assembly in September 2002 which “places us on exactly the best technique”.

‘Risk Saddam messing us about’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 24 January 2003

“What’s the issue? If we lengthen, we Possibility Saddam messing us about, sucking us back right into a game of hide and are trying to find with the [UN] inspectors where, except they to find ‘the smoking gun’, the item drags on eternally except we give up or get distracted.”

Mr Blair goes on to assert that if former UN chief inspector Hans Blix finds “the smoking gun”, “(and We’re working very exhausting to get it for him), that’s it and in an instant the UN will have to talk about motion”.

Casualties, oil wells and Israel

Tony Blair to George Bush, 30 January 2003

In a memo entitled Countdown, despatched two months sooner than the Iraq invasion, Mr Blair asks:

“Have we sound plans for the next:

1. Saddam use of WMD against US and/or his own folks;

2. Saddam attack on Israel;

Three. Saddam destruction of oil wells;

4. Setting Apart rival groups and tribes.”

A fifth point is brought, in Mr Blair’s handwriting: “Warding Off civilian casualties”.

The memo then considers questions to be asked of the aftermath.

‘Ultimate mile for peace’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 19 February 2003

Outlining a plan of action and a timeframe for striking down a 2d UN decision, Mr Blair offers six reasons, the Remaining one being: “It lets in us to show the sector we are going to War, Now Not as a result of we wish to, However as a result of we’ve to.

“In Particular, it displays america accomplishing out, understanding concerns, However still firmly prepared to act. It sets the UN a elementary take a look at. It gives the Europeans one thing to rally spherical. After We do act, it’ll show we went the Remaining mile for peace.”

‘Ridding Iraq of Saddam is actual prize’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 26 March 2003

Mr Blair wrote to Mr Bush six days after US missiles hit the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, signalling the beginning of the united states-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, in a memo called the elemental Intention.

“This Is the second when you could outline world politics for the next generation: the true post-chilly Conflict world order. Our ambition is giant: to construct a worldwide agenda round which we are able to unite the sector; somewhat than dividing it into rival centres of energy.

So our elementary Intention is to unfold our values of freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of thumb of legislation, However we need a broad based totally agenda capable of unifying the world, to get it. Which Is why, though Iraq’s WMD is the instant justification for action, ridding Iraq of Saddam is the real prize.”

‘If it falls apart, the whole thing falls aside in the area’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 2 June 2003

Less Than three months after the Struggle started out, Mr Blair mentioned the difficulties of rebuilding Iraq in a observe to Mr Bush.

“The Duty is really superior and i’m not at all positive we’re geared for it. This Is worse than re-building a rustic from scratch.

“We start from a in reality backward position. In time, it may be sorted. But time counts in opposition to us…

“My experience is: we’ll get there But No Longer speedy sufficient. And if it falls apart, the whole lot falls aside within the area.”

‘This time subsequent 12 months it Higher be going right, Not improper’

Tony Blair to George Bush, 5 October 2003

Mr Blair stated losses in Iraq and a failure to seek out “sufficient on WMD” have been major the public to doubt the motion and steered there used to be a Wish To “get our self belief in our story again. Iraq is best with out Saddam”.

“And by this time subsequent year, it Higher be going proper, Now Not flawed. For us and for the sector!”

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