Friday, May 18, 2007

Blair Defends Iraq Policy

That seems to be the story line coming out of Tony Blair's final visit to the White House. The media, as always, are treating this as news.

This charade has been going on for years and no one seems to ask "what other choice does he have?" Just imagine.

Imagine if Tony Blair decided to redeem his integrity at his final White House press conference. It might have gone something like this:

1. The whole Iraq business was a fiasco even before the first tank rolled across the Iraqi border and I knew it.

2. The war was illegal. We knew that. It was because we knew Resolution 1441 did not authorize war that my government tabled another resolution before the Security Council, one that would make the war legal. I got caught in my own scheme when it was apparent we couldn't get anything remotely like a majority to approve the resolution. That's when we skulked about, blamed the French threat to veto it, withdrew the whole resolution and invented the notion that 1441 authorized war. We had to, we were already committed to the invasion. It was too late for anything else.

3. Yes, I'm probably a war criminal. So's George and Dick and Rummy. I guess Condi would get lumped in with us too and, of course, Jack Straw.

4. A lot of the blame lies with me. I failed to stand up to my fellow born again. Didn't have the spine. Instead I seconded his adventure, gave it legitimacy.

5. I knew that the intelligence was heavily gamed.

6. My own people warned me that the Yanks had no idea of what they would do after Saddam was driven out.

7. It was obvious from the beginning that there were plenty of ways this whole thing could go bad. We knew there was no bottom to the potential downside of this harebrained scheme.

8. George and Dick and I - and Rummy as well - were utterly and completely incompetent in running this war and tens of thousands of innocents have paid for that with their lives.

9. My friends and I will all soon be out of office but we're not leaving without giving the world a few gifts such as a Middle East in flames; Islamic terrorism born again (neat pun, eh?); global security and co-operation set back decades, two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, lost.

10. Getting rid of Saddam was never worth it.

Tony Blair has left the White House for the last time but he didn't take his integrity with him on the way out.

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