Ang Lee blames Bush and Blair for creating 'mess' in Iraq

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has blamed George W Bush and Tony Blair for creating “a mess” in Iraq.

The film-maker said the former president and ex-prime minister “under-planned” the 2003 invasion and Iraqis had been forced to choose between “dictatorship and chaos”.

Ang told the Press Association: “It’s a bad war. It’s a messy situation.

Ang Lee winning a Bafta for Life Of Pi in 2013 (Ian West/PA)

“What happened today comes from 2004 and 2001. It’s all relevant. One things leads to the next. What you do today affects what’s going on in the next 10 years.”

Asked whether the two politicians were to blame for the continuing crisis in Iraq, Ang replied: “I think they under-planned, created a mess – intentionally or unintentionally, I don’t know.

“I have sympathy for both the soldiers’ side and the people’s side in Iraq. It’s miserable.

Tony Blair and George W Bush in 2005 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“Choose between dictatorship and chaos. Pick one.

“In one way I feel fortunate not to live there. On the other hand, for people who do live there or serve there, I would like to understand them more.”

Ang, who won best director Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi, has directed a new film about the experiences of a fictional US soldier who served in Iraq called Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

The movie stars British newcomer Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn who is hailed a hero for an act of bravery during his service, which results in him appearing in the Super Bowl half-time show.

Taiwanese-born Ang said: “I would have liked to have avoided (casting an actor from outside America) if I can but my top five choices were all from London.

“The best man got the job. Joe Alwyn is good.

“It’s not hard for him. I think he did a great job.”

:: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is released in UK cinemas on February 10.


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