Former UK prime minister Tony Blair has launched a massive air-brush strike on the causes of the violent insurgency now gripping Iraq.
Within minutes of appearing on yesterday's BBC Andrew Marr show, Mr Blair launched his offensive on the suggestion that the 2003 campaign against Saddam Hussein was the cause of the current sectarian violence in Iraq.
'If we had nuked North Korea or some other godforsaken country, Iraq would now be a beacon of democracy,' he said.
He added that his contacts with George W Bush in 2003 were solely to discuss the former US president's portrait painting ambitions.
Critics have rejected the comments as "bizarre" with one accusing Mr Blair of a "brass neck of shock and awe proportions".
'Blair will have to amass an army of boots-on-ground compliant historians if he is to succeed in his mission,' said one analyst. 'And he'll need an air-brush of mass destruction.'
Mr Blair is also understood to fear that the delayed Chilcot Inquiry has a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
'We didn't cause the Iraq crisis,' he said, 'as history will show if I've got anything to do with it.'