Sunday, May 13, 2007
Outgoing British PM Was On A Roll Until He Fell For George Bush’s War Policies
By Eric Margolis
The Toronto Sun
".......Yet Blair ended up as a shill for the Bush Administration’s grotesque lies about Iraq. He facilitated the Bush/Cheney war by providing Washington with credibility, diplomatic cover, and the pretence of a “coalition.”
Britain, as America’s premier historic ally, naturally felt pressure to join the war. But a true friend warns when you are about to drive over a cliff. Blair did not. Instead, he encouraged Bush and Cheney’s worst crusading instincts, validated their misconceptions and prejudices, and threw British troops into failed neo-colonial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By joining these wars, Blair enflamed the Muslim World against Britain and aroused violent reactions among a tiny minority of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslim citizens. In response, Blair curtailed sacrosanct British civil liberties and brought its esteemed legal system into question.
In the end, Blair had almost no influence over the Bush administration. He was derided everywhere as America’s “poodle” and a sort of Jeeves the British butler in the imperial White House. Blair’s formerly brilliant reputation was destroyed by Iraq.
A majority of Britons hated the war and resented being seen as dutiful spear-carriers for America’s nuclear knights. As Labour’s popularity plummeted, a party rebellion forced Blair to announce he would resign and make way for long-time rival, Gordon Brown.
The Iraq debacle, and, to a lesser degree, Afghanistan, became a curse for all politicians involved. Iraq is destroying Bush, Cheney and the Republican Party. It has ruined Blair, and may undo another Bush protege, Australia’s increasingly unpopular PM John Howard.
Afghanistan may also ruin Canada’s PM Stephen Harper, who has eagerly sought to win conservative merit badges from the Bush administration, but whose warlike undertakings go almost unnoticed in Washington.
Instead of backing away from the Iraq debacle, Blair kept insisting that his ruinous, faith-based policies were still right.
It’s tragic watching a brilliant political leader destroyed by a totally unnecessary, dishonest war. Tony Blair met his Waterloo in Iraq. Others will soon follow."