Sunday, June 17, 2007

Worse Than Bush: Blair Knew Better

With his elegant English accent, Tony Blair lent George Bush a confident air of intelligence and rationality as the “Coalition of the Willing” prepared to invade Iraq in 2003.

Now as he prepares to leave office, an altogether different picture emerges. As the Observer sums it up:

“Tony Blair agreed to commit British troops to battle in Iraq in the full knowledge that Washington had failed to make adequate preparations for the postwar reconstruction of the country.

“In a devastating account of the chaotic preparations for the war, which comes as Blair enters his final full week in Downing Street, key No 10 aides and friends of Blair have revealed the Prime Minister repeatedly and unsuccessfully raised his concerns with the White House.”

In view of Blair’s misgivings, Bush offered to let him off the hook. Condoleezza Rice, then our national security adviser, confirms that Bush told Blair he didn’t have to send troops, suggesting “Perhaps there's some other way that Britain can be involved” and that Blair replied: “No, I'm with you.”

All this makes Tony Blair look even worse than Bush. Sensing disaster, he nevertheless did a Winston Churchill impersonation and took his country into Iraq. Our deluded Neo-Cons were true believers, but Blair apparently knew better. Whatever his motives, he has even more to answer for than they do.

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