Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s ambassador to Washington during the run-up to the war, writes ...that Mr Blair’s mistakes on Iraq flowed from a “black and white” world view that was “more evangelical than the American Christian Right”.
He says that Mr Blair’s “unquestioning support” for the president “eliminated what should have been salutary British influence over American decision-making” after the prime minister became “an honorary member of this inner group” of neo-conservatives and military hawks who were setting the agenda in the United States.
And, contrary to Blair's repeated protestations to the contrary, he was firmly committed to follow America into war against Iraq, no questions asked, a year before the fact.
...senior Bush White House staff [Stephen Hadley and Andrew Card] confirmed for the first time to The Sunday Telegraph that they had viewed it as a certainty that Mr Blair would back any US-led invasion, long before he publicly committed Britain to taking part.
They say he made clear his unwavering support for US policy nearly a year before the invasion, after a visit to the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.
These revelations from top British and American officials directly involved in the run-up to the Anglo-American war on Iraq make Blair's performance before the British government's Iraq enquiry sheer Kabuki theatre.
Sir Christopher Meyer was Britain's ambassador to the U.S. during these events. He writes that Blair was more neo-con than any in the Bush administration.
With his Manichean, black -and-white view of the world, Mr Blair was in his way more neo-con than the neo-cons, more evangelical than the American Christian Right. From this flowed Britain’s contribution to the mistakes made before and after the Iraq invasion, despite repeated warnings from the Foreign Office and the Washington embassy.
The failure to synchronise plans for military action with the renewed programme of UN inspections in 2002/2003 meant that the latter were curtailed before complete. This, more than anything, forfeited Security Council support for US/UK military action. The failure to plan meticulously for Saddam’s aftermath led to almost a decade of violent chaos and the ultimate humiliation of British forces. Mr Blair’s unquestioning support for Mr Bush eliminated what should have been salutary British influence over American decision-making.