Berlusconi: ‘I tried to get Bush to not invade Iraq’

In an interview to be broadcast today in Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of George Bush’s closest allies, said he tried repeatedly to persuade the president not to go to war. The Guardian reports that, in a “behind the scenes effort” he even asked Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to help him.
“I have never been convinced war was the best way to succeed in making a country democratic and extract it from [a] … bloody dictatorship,” [Berlusconi] says. “I tried on several occasions to convince the American president not to wage war.”
His version of events, recounted in an interview with the La7 private TV station, with excerpts reported by the Apcom and Ansa news agencies at the weekend, was backed by his deputy, Gianfranco Fini, leader of the former neo-fascist party, who said: “We tried right up to the end to persuade Bush and Blair not to launch a military attack.”
Berlusconi: ‘I tried to get Bush to stop war’ |