British Prime Minister Tony Blair might like playing the guitar, but he’s still not typically the kind of guy one finds on MTV Europe.
But that’s where the politico was on Thursday, reports PEOPLE’s London bureau. Blair, 49, fielded questions from some 40 young people from around the world — including the U.S. and Iraq — for an MTV Europe special, “Is War the Answer?”
The forum will air on America’s MTV March 10 at 8 p.m.
Defending his position of striking a heavy military blow to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Blair said, “We’ve been waiting for 12 years for Saddam to disarm himself of chemical and biological, and potentially nuclear weapons … if he is not prepared to disarm peacefully, he will have to disarmed by force.”
Blair also vowed to go to war without a second UN resolution in certain circumstances. “If there was a veto applied by one of the countries with a veto, or by one of the countries that I thought were applying the veto unreasonably, then in those circumstances I would.”
While Blair never got the Bill Clinton treatment in during the hour — no one asked whether he preferred briefs or boxers — there was at least one unusual question, when Niklas Ergardt, from Sweden, said: “With all due respect Mr. Blair, I’m able to produce anthrax in my bathtub … so why don’t you bomb Sweden?”
A bemused Blair responded in a firm tone of voice: “Has Sweden ever killed 5,000 people in one village?”
Most other questions were more straightforward. Representing one of the three Americans present, 23-year-old Reeni Elmanan, from Virginia, asked about countries entering war as a means to boost their economies, “like the U.S. did in WWII because of the great Depression. Can you convince us that this isn’t the case?”
Blair answered by saying that there have always been several reasons for raising arms. “But the motivation for the war is not economic. Frankly, there are worries in the economy and the market because of the prospect of conflict. We’re doing it because we think the security of our people will be at risk if we don’t take a stand against this issue now.”