Sunday, November 19, 2006

Syria and Iran - Axis of Evil or Brokers of Peace?

(A reposting of the Guardian cartoon)

It's all a very far cry from three years ago. Now, with George Bush and Tony Blair facing their last days in office shorn of authority, they have turned in desperation to the unlikeliest of partners. And this is why...

By Raymond Whitaker in London, Rupert Cornwell in Washington and Stephen Khan in Damascus
The Independent
Published: 19 November 2006

"It was probably a slip of the tongue. Downing Street insisted yesterday that Tony Blair never meant to agree with his interviewer, David Frost, that the invasion of Iraq had turned out to be "a disaster". But the contretemps was an apt finale to a bad week for the Prime Minister and his closest ally, George Bush.

As they approach their final days in office and begin to think about their perceived legacy, both leaders are haunted by Iraq's slide into anarchy and civil war. They hoped to bring about a new era of peace and democracy in the Middle East; instead they are seeing Iraq turn into the kind of terrorist hotbed they claimed it was under Saddam Hussein. Now the only priority for Britain and the US seems to be to find a way out.
As one of the leading cheerleaders for war in Iraq recently admitted, there are no good options any more, and Tony Blair would have been right to confess on al-Jazeera that the whole enterprise has been a disaster. Not only has his partnership with Mr Bush left him bound inextricably to the lamest of lame ducks, but both men are facing the prospect of doing business with two leaders they might once have hoped would share the fate of Saddam Hussein."

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