November 26, 2009


Blair 'signed in blood' support for Iraq war at Bush's Texas ranch, ex-envoy says (Nico Hines, 11/26/09, Times of London)

Tony Blair's meeting with President Bush at his Texas ranch in 2002 was probably the turning point when the Prime Minister 'signed in blood' Britain's support for the Iraq war, it was claimed today.

Sir Christopher Meyer, then British Ambassador to the US, told the Iraq Inquiry that Mr Blair would have been more influential if he had attached pre-conditions to British support at the Crawford ranch meeting - which was six months before Hans Blix began looking for weapons in Iraq.

“I think that would have changed the nature of American planning,” he said. “By the time you get to the end of the year it’s too late. . . I did say to London that we’re being taken for granted.

“To this day I am not entirely clear what degree of convergence was, if you like, signed in blood at the Crawford ranch,” Sir Christopher said. “[But] they weren’t there to talk about containment or strengthening sanctions."

If I recall correctly--not necessarily likely--the stoiry was first told in James Naughtie's book, The Accidental American of how W let Mr. Blair know that if domestic political considerations made it too difficult for his government to join in the war we'd understand and not hold him responsible. We'd be happy to do the job ourselves.

The idea that Britain had any leverage over George Bush were the removal of Saddam from power was concerned is delusional.

That Mr. Blair stood by us despite British political hysteria is a mark of what a great prime minister he was.

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Posted by at November 26, 2009 12:05 AM
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