There was a time when VDB wore velour shirts, and thought they looked pretty damn slick, especially when lounging in a beanbag chair while watching Welcome Back Kotter. And there was a time, circa 1993, when we thought Clinton and Blair were going to remake the world, escape the old paradigms, find the fabled Third Way. Where are they now? Worse, what are they now?
If you had a shred of respect for Blair left in your scarred heart, prepare to relinquish it. A previously secret memo has just been revealed in the run-up to Britain’s own hearings on the Iraq War, and it shows Blair not simply signing on to the invasion, but plotting to falsify grounds for same. That’s right.
Once the two men realized that inspectors would find no WMD, the memo makes clear, they kicked around some real frathouse pranks to kick-start the brawl. From The Guardian:
“Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan ‘to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colours over Iraq with fighter cover.’ Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.”
Classic Bush logic, of course: by breaching international code, we’ll force our sworn enemy into breaching international code, and then bomb heavily. Blair’s response? Again, quoting from the memo: “Solidly with the President.”
You begin to suspect that Blair made a deal with the Devil, at some point back in the boom-boom days following 9/11: he’d be able to ride high as long as Bush rode high, but when the ride ended, Blair would have to agree to be transformed, actually and physically, into a toy poodle.
With bad teeth, bad eyes, and worms. And frankly, it couldn’t happen to a nicer pooch.