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After Saddam

Blair was prepared to let God answer for His actions over Iraq
Tony Blair was ready to meet his "Maker" to give him a chance to justify his actions in the war in Iraq if it had gone badly, according to an article in the Times Magazine today. Mr Blair is reported to have said that if the war had led to hundreds of deaths he was prepared to listen to God's reasoning.

"Tony Blair is a very religious man," explained Peter Stothard, author of the article. "If God had decreed that many more people should die than did, he was prepared to talk to him. He didn't promise to forgive God for it – at one point he was talking about marching Him to a cash point to pay a fixed penalty fine – but he did promise to listen. I think that shows how committed he is to religion and how strongly he believed in his own actions."

His Holiness the Prime Minister, whom "many" see as the most holy, moral and religious man in the world "apart from President Bush, obviously", also criticised God for Jacques Chirac's actions preceding the war. "I thought I had an understanding with God," he said at the time, "but He's really let me down over this. How He can let Chirac say those things when I'm trying to start a war is beyond me. But I forgive him – that's what being Prime Minister is all about."

The article also says that Mr Blair was persuaded by aides not to include the words "God bless" at the end of his speech to the nation at the start of the war. "Blair was persuaded that bringing God into this was a bad idea," said a Downing Street source. "God is just too unpredictable, we didn't want the risk. Besides, we all know Tony is the highest moral authority in the country anyway – we didn't need God for this one."

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