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July 28, 2005

Flushing Tony

Looks like it’s payback time for the Downing Street memos (what ever happened to them?) and the leaked news that Blair is readying his Iraq exit strategy:

The American Right, for four years a fount of rapturous praise for Tony Blair, is showing signs of falling out of love with Britain over what it sees as its soft and ineffective record on terrorism.
… Two prominent articles in the latest edition of The Weekly Standard, the neo-conservative journal with close ties to the Bush administration, have laid into Britain’s domestic approach to fighting terrorism.
Under the headline “Letter from Londonistan” Irwin Stelzer concludes that British policy amounts to “easy entry for potential terrorists” and “relative safety from deportation and detention as enemy combatants”.
He concludes that Mr Blair is the “prisoner of a dominant political class that is preventing Britain from responding to the threat the nation faces”.
Another article suggests President George W Bush’s administration take the dramatic step of ending the 1986 visa waiver programme which allows Britons and citizens of most other western European states three months in the US without a visa.
“The transatlantic crowd in Washington might rise in high dudgeon at the damage this could do to US-European relations,” writes Reuel Marc Gerecht, a security analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think-tank which primed many of the radical ideas of the Bush administration.
… The Heritage Foundation, another prominent Right-wing think-tank, last week called on Britain to strengthen its anti-terrorist laws and consider withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights.

The right may have chosen a bad time to strike. Despite the botched shooting of an innocent civilian following July 21’s failed bombings, Blair and his security forces are generally thought to be doing a good job at tracking down the terrorists responsible—and certainly a much better job than the Bush administration would likely have done in the circumstances. (At least Blair didn’t hide out in a classroom reading to school kids after the July 7 bombers struck.)

Moreover, it finally seems to have dawned on Blair just how politically damaging his unquestioning support of Bush has been—and Blair is one politician who cares desperately about how history will remember him. The legion of advisers who told him to climb into bed with Bush are now telling him it’s time to reassert his independence. And he just might do it—too late, admittedly, but perhaps in time to salvage at least part of his legacy.

Posted by Stephen at 12:11 AM in Politics | Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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No way - his legacy is forever tainted by his blind allegience

Posted by: JC at July 28, 2005 9:15 AM