Watch Tony Blair Defend the Iraq War to a Skeptical Journalist

It's the sort of adversarial interview that American broadcasters should conduct with presidents.

In the video below, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair defends the Iraq War to a BBC interviewer to mark its 10th anniversary. It's riveting to watch. Note her willingness to ask uncomfortable questions, and her composed but adversarial attitude that borders at times on impertinence:



Set aside the issue of Iraq -- whether you think the war was a mistake or not. Isn't this how American broadcasters should interview our politicians? Shouldn't things sometimes get heated? Isn't it problematic that it's hard to even imagine Steve Kroft telling President Obama that there are angry people who say he's responsible for killing innocent children and is a war criminal?

Lots of people feel that way about Blair, and lots of people vehemently disagree. What I like about the video above is the way contentious issues are addressed head on, so that disagreement is actually aired. It even works out nicely for Blair, because he gets to really defend himself. It's the sort of pressing interview that teases out the actual tensions in the subject's thoughts.

Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Politics

Just In