Blair calls for international support for Iraq

More than three years after sending their troops to invade Iraq, President George W. Bush and Blair cannot escape questions about their decision to go to war even as they acknowledge far-reaching mistakes.

Defensive when they would prefer to celebrate the recent political advances in Baghdad, the trans-Atlantic allies reflected on the price of overthrowing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the AP reports.

In a joint news conference Thursday night that had a somber tone, Bush acknowledged the bloodshed has been difficult for the world to understand. Blair called the violence "ghastly."

But, Bush said at the White House, "Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing."

Blair, a rare ally of Bush in going to war, acknowledged in his speech that "the war split the world."

Bush acknowledged Thursday night that the bloodshed has been difficult for the world to understand. Blair called the violence "ghastly."

But, Bush said at the White House, "Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing."

Blair said the leaders did not accurately predict immense challenges such as the strength of the insurgency. "It should have been very obvious to us," the prime minister said.