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Lighten Up! Tony Blair on Inexplicable Friendship With Bush

Last night on the Daily Show Jon Stewart quipped with Tony Blair, the man who ran Britain for 10 years. With a veil of comedy, Jon could ask the ex-prime minister provocative questions such as "How did (Bush) bring (Iraq) up?. . . Did he say: 'Hey man, you know who we should invade?'" The answers provided insight as to why Blair got on board for Iraq and how he assesses his legacy. Blair said that although he stands by Bush and the Iraq invasion, he never "took the view that people who disagree with it were stupid or misguided or had bad intentions."

Jon and Tony also chatted about the role of religion in politics, international relations, and their personal lives. The former leader discussed his recent conversion to Catholicism along with how UK politicians consider their religious lives distinct from their public persona, a privacy British voters are happy to oblige. To see the clip on religion and globalization,


Join The Conversation
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I just wanted to say (again) that it's not that I don't think I could ever have any kind of relationship with someone who held political views opposite of mine. I have conservative friends, but I don't think it's a coincidence that my close friends (and life partner) share similar views to mine.
geebers geebers 8 years
I used to really think anyone that did not agree with my political views had something wrong with them. Then I matured and realized that there are a lot of interesting, intelligent, and kind-hearted people whom I may completely disagree with politcally but would never dream of not being their friend. Life is like that- you will constantly meet people you may not agree with- you can't shut them out because they disagree with your politics. And I understand that if you are the lone liberal among a bunch of conservatives you probably need to branch out and find friends that get your views but by no means would I advise you to cut out all the conservative friends. I am a liberal that knows quite a few conservatives. Heck we have even gotten into heated arguments -but if anyone were to ask us if we would stop being would be laughable! And besides, I am secretly hoping to get them over to my side. ;)
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
All that aside, after 7 years living in Blair's UK I also want to add that the guy is a tw*t. And no, I will not apologise for it, from the left to the right, most of the UK felt the same way by the time he left, he managed to piss off both sides of the spectrum and even a healthy slice of the centre - quite a feat. Blair was once quoted as saying that he felt his decisions in Iraq were in part down to a confidence that it was God's work, and that his faith drove him to make what he felt was the right choice. Of course this was as a public speaker after his tenure in office, but given the amount of coverups and false documentation revealed to be behind the final decision I guess its all he had left to justify it. :P That crap may still fly in the USA but in the UK we still remembered that church and state really do not belong in the same bucket.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
Having friendships with people who do not agree with your own values can be challenging, but I also think its an important way to try and understand where the other is coming from. Someone like hartsfull, for instance, I may not always agree with on political viewpoints but we agree on almost everything else (lol) from music and food to favourite places and fashions. People that only make friends with people fundamentally like them are perfectly okay to do so, and sure, most of my friends share similar values and interests if only because hey - that's often how friends are made! - BUT.. It goes two ways. Making friends with people who do NOT share your values offers you the opportunity to give them insight into your beliefs, as much as it gives you some into theirs. THAT should not be undervalued.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that there's something to be said about Blair and his view points on a lot things. i feel like britain ran smoothly for the decade that he was in office and that there was a level of respect from both nationals as well as other countries on his ability to make the UK strong and a world power. i like that he's able to talk candidly with jon stewart and it's something that we should pay heed to in our own political environment.
zeze zeze 8 years
What is sad is how Blair seems to lump all the middle east factions together, after Stewart points out the differences, he acknowledges that he does in fact know the differences (which I am sure someone in his position does) yet, the way his policy and attitude towards them seems to hint that he thinks it's all pretty much the same, just packaged differently - which imo the leading reason why we miserably fail in the Middle East. I mean he seems to think Iran and Al Qaeda are faternal twins!!!
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Supercharger has done well to point out why most of the people on this site are scared to death to even venture over to CitizenSugar. Who wants to feel like they're going to lose friendships by sharing their political views? It's vital and quite wonderful to have friends with similar values and interests, but one of the ways you learn to see a different point of view, is when you become friends with someone who comes at things from a different perspective. I have a great deal of respect for the people in my life, regardless of their political stance.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, Look at Jude and I on here. We probably wouldn't agree on nail polish but we have a blast!
stephley stephley 8 years
It would be interesting to know more about the Blair-Bush friendship especially since Blair was friends with Clinton as well. It's the political aspects of Bush and Clinton that would turn me off about them both but that's obviously an important part of their connections.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
That is fine if you want to cut out half the country. I'll be over here partying without discrimination. :dance: :drinks:
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Yeah, it's sad to want to have fundamental beliefs in common with your friends.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
Yeah, I got what she meant. And I still think it's sad.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Oh, geez. She said she wouldn't be friends with someone, not that she wouldn't ever listen to anything they say and spit on them in the street. I get it. There are views someone could hold that would just make me lose respect for her and not want to be her friend. Though personally, I think having not-well-thought-out political beliefs would be more a dealbreaker.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
I agree, that is a sad place to be. Do you just talk about politics all day? I don't even have a good idea of the politics of a lot of people I know.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
I think it's our differences that make us unique. Life is boring when you all have the same view points.
stephley stephley 8 years
"You don't have to agree with everything someone thinks to be friends with them...if you do you're pretty lonely." Generally, Mariner, I agree. But I've also found if you have too many friends with viewpoints that are different, you can be just as lonely. Sometimes, something as simple as picking a movie can become way too complicated. Obviously, it has more to do with the willingness of people to meet in the middle than with your political points of view. I can never understand how Carville and Matalin do it, yet they seem to make it work.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
supercharger, that is sad. You can learn so much from people who have different viewpoints. You don't have to agree with everything someone thinks to be friends with them...if you do you're pretty lonely. Bush does seem like he'd be a cool guy to hang out with, maybe a get a beer with. Even Obama in his book talked about how likeable he is.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
"For me, a person's politics has a pretty decent impact on whether I'm friends with them" That's really a shame.
supercharger5150 supercharger5150 8 years
For me, a person's politics has a pretty decent impact on whether I'm friends with them, so Bush would be a no. By friends I'm meaning more than just acquaintances.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I don't like much of his politics, but I think I would be friends with Bush. He seems like a nice, funny guy.
stephley stephley 8 years
It was a good interview; for who he is, Blair gives the appearance of being accessible in interviews. It will be interesting to see if someday former President Bush takes Stewart up on his request for a sit down.
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