Anti-war protesters, and a hurled shoe, greet Tony Blair at Dublin signing of his memoir

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shoe, eggs hurled at ex-Brit PM Blair in Dublin

DUBLIN — Anti-war protesters hurled shoes and eggs at Tony Blair on Saturday as he held the first public signing of his fast-selling memoir.

Scores of demonstrators chanted that Blair had “blood on his hands” as the former British prime minister arrived at a Dublin book store. A shoe, eggs and other projectiles were thrown toward Blair as he emerged from a car, but did not hit him. A flip-flop could be seen lying on the roof of a BMW in Blair’s motorcade.

Security was tight for the signing, with book buyers — who appeared to outnumber the 200 or so protesters — told to hand over bags and mobile phones before entering Eason’s book store.

Some of the protesters, who were held behind barricades, scuffled with police, and there were at least two arrests.

Blair spent about two hours in the store before emerging to more shouts and hurled eggs. He was quickly driven away.

Blair was paid a 4 million pound ($7 million) advance for “A Journey,” which mounts a strong defense of his policies during his decade as prime minister, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Blair says in the book that he is not sorry for his decision to enter the U.S.-led war, although he has wept for its victims. He is donating all proceeds from the book to a charity for wounded troops.

In an interview aired Saturday, Blair rejected claims that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had increased Muslim radicalization, saying said “wicked and backward-looking” radical Islam is the greatest threat to global security.

Blair told the BBC World Service “the biggest threat in international security is this broader radicalized movement, because I think it is rather similar to revolutionary communism.”

He said al-Qaida-linked extremism was “loosely a global ideological movement, but Iran is a state sponsor of it.”

Released this week, “A Journey” is Amazon’s best-selling title in Britain, and has climbed into the top 10 on the online retailer’s U.S. chart.

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