Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a private note to former President George W. Bush calling for an international agenda “that puts onto a new footing action against this evil."
US President George W. Bush (R) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) wave after their joint press conference at Crawford High School 06 April 2002 in Crawford, Texas. (STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
"If this is a war — and in practical, if not legal terms, it is — we need war methods," Blair wrote.
The note, dated Sept. 12, 2001, was declassified as part of The Chilcot inquiry’s report on the Iraq War and its causes.
"The West has pussyfooted around with these issues,” Blair wrote. “These groups don't play by liberal rules and we can't either."
“There will be many who ask: what is the next stage of this evil?” Blair continued. “What of [the terrorists’] capacity to get hold of WMD? We know there are countries and individuals trading in WMD. We need a range of sanctions and pressures to stop this… Some of this will require action that some will baulk at. But we are better to act now... than let the day be put off until some further, perhaps even worse catastrophe occurs. I believe this is a real possibility.”
Read the full note below:
In another note to the president prior to the invasion of Iraq, Blair wrote to the president that “I will be with you, whatever.”
Sir John Chilcot, who spearheaded the inquiry, concluded in the report that "the judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: