Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tony Blair Going Going - Almost Gone

U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair

After ten years as Prime Minister, and at the helm of Britain's Labor Party, Tony Blair's time in office is rapidly coming to a close. By Wednesday of this week, June 27th, 2007 Mr. Blair will join the ranks of Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher. Yet another player in the U.K. history whose legacy will be debated decades from now.

Whatever we may think of him politically, and few American's have any idea what to think of a U.K. Prime Minister, Mr. Blair has been a steadfast friend of the U.S. From an American perspective I can only thank Mr. Blair for his compromise. Surely a Labor Party leader had to pay terrible cost for maintaining such a friendship after President Clinton's departure.

It must have been difficult to turn your eyes away from continental Europe, and instead look across the Atlantic in search of U.K.'s future.

The fact is Mr. Blair's participation in the Iraqi fiasco played a prominent role in his undoing. While no one can claim that a ten year stint as Prime Minister is anything but a political success Tony Blair was hurt by revelations that U.K. intelligence was aware prior the the U.S. attack on Iraq that intelligence was being cooked up, and that there was no evidence that weapons of mass destruction were present in Iraq.

Despite the Iraq quagmire, which the U.K. plans to eject itself from in short course, Blair's wider legacy will most likely be written by his domestic agenda of which I am unqualified to comment - being an uninformed American.

I will, however, miss Mr. Blair's Question and Answer time with the U.K. Parliament which is televised weekly on CSPAN. He was quick on his feet, and always a gentleman. If only we could be so lucky here in the U.S.

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