Duration: 10.74 seconds
Another sort of cultural difference in the media -- or maybe a structural difference in the relationship -- the power balance between the media and the government. And that's completely different in Britain.
Duration: 18.02 seconds
There were two things that Tony Blair really wanted in return for his support for going to war in Iraq. One was some action on the Israel-Palestinian conflict -- some sense of re-engagement by the Bush Administration. And the other was to go through the UN route.
Duration: 13.01 seconds
-- And to seek not just one, but ultimately a second resolution that would harden and strengthen the sense of international legitimacy behind an invasion.
Duration: 22.02 seconds
And Blair didn't get one of those -- He didn't get any real engagement in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but he did get a decision from George Bush -- overriding -- in a rare example, overriding Vice President Dick Cheney -- siding with Powell and Blair and going the UN route.
Duration: 17.22 seconds
And so it was primarily a favor to Tony Blair. But also, I think the Administration realized that it was necessary if there was any hope of amassing a broader coalition.
Duration: 25.26 seconds
The war definitely wasn't legal in British eyes. And that's one of the outcomes of the Butler Report, is that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove that Iraq had violated Resolution 1441 -- which, for the British at least, was the foundation for the war. So there are in Britain very profound questions of the international legitimacy of the war.
Duration: 14.01 seconds
I think Tony Blair's problem was that there was a predisposition to be cynical about his reasons for going to war. There was already a sense that, "We're going for war on very shaky grounds indeed."
Duration: 33.5 seconds
And so once the weapons of mass destruction weren't found, then he was in a much more vulnerable position than Bush, who has a core constituency who will support him no matter what. He can fall back on 40 percent of the vote, even if it was proved that he made up all the reasons for going to war on a scrap of paper in the Oval Office.
Duration: 20.02 seconds
Because Tony Blair -- in following George Bush into a war -- turned against the traditions of his own Party, which are inherently skeptical, suspicious of the US, and of the projection of power abroad -- particularly at the shoulder of the US.
Duration: 13.98 seconds
And so he was really taking on his own Party, and for that reason he didn't have this ideological bedrock of support that he could depend on when things got tough.
Duration: 12.65 seconds
I think the causes of the war are fairly complex, and they're different in Britain from the US.
Duration: 4.2 seconds
I think the causes of the war are very different in the US and in Britain.
Duration: 2.44 seconds
I think there are two elements in Tony Blair's thinking.
Duration: 4.67 seconds
First of all, he was a convert to the belief that Iraq had serious WMD.
Duration: 9.01 seconds
From early on -- from the first coming to office, he got briefings that made his hair stand on end, and it became a primary concern.
Duration: 10.51 seconds
Secondly, he made a strategic decision that it is in British interests to stick with the US even when Britain doesn't agree in the direction the US is going. Because that is Britain's power in the world -- to be this bridge between Europe and the US.
Duration: 24.22 seconds
He also argued that it was better that we go in with the US, and have an influence -- Than the US go in alone, and be this rogue superpower on whom no one has an influence. So there was that consideration as well.
Duration: 10.81 seconds
It's all -- this obsession in Britain -- about punching above our weight in the world, and being more influential than we ought to be as a small, medium-power island.
Duration: 20.85 seconds
In America, the head of state and the head of government is one person -- it's the President. In Britain, the head of government is a civilian -- He's not the head of state. He doesn't embody the nation. He's just another politician, and so he's answerable every week before Parliament -- has to go to "Question Time" and be grilled.
Duration: 28.13 seconds
The President of the United States embodies the nation in a way the Prime Minister in Britain doesn't. The Prime Minister is just doing a job. When Americans choose a President, they're choosing someone who they want to embody them. And there is a reluctance, for that reason, to believe that the President is involved in cheap political games when it comes to foreign policy and sending the military abroad.
Duration: 13.51 seconds
And so there is a reluctance to question the President in the same way that the Prime Minister is constantly exposed to doubt and cynicism in Britain.
Duration: 20.29 seconds
It's impossible to tell who had the most influence as Colin Powell and Tony Blair's pressures coincided -- converged -- and the end result was that the Administration took the UN route. It's impossible to take those apart and say that "If it hadn't been for Blair, would Powell alone have prevailed?"
Duration: 17.32 seconds
But Blair did have significant influence. Because without Britain going in on the side of the Administration -- on the side of the US into this war -- it would have looked very much more like a unilateral action without world support.
Duration: 25.59 seconds
There is something iconic -- totemic -- about having British troops in there for the American people. American people feel, "Well, if Britain's with us, at least some of the world is with us." Without the old ally being by the side of American troops, it would have been a much harder sell for this Administration. And the consequences would have been much worse for the Bush Administration if it had gone in without British support.
Duration: 10.08 seconds
Robin Cook resigned on principle. He didn't think that the war was legal. He didn't think there was justification for going to war, and so he resigned out ahead of the war.