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God bless Tony Blair

By Doug Patton
web posted March 17, 2003

Let us assume for a moment that on September 11, 2001, nineteen Islamic fanatics flew jet airliners not into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia and a field in Pennsylvania, but rather into Buckingham Palace, Scotland Yard and the Tower of London.

Imagine, further, that in these attacks, 3,000 people, most of them British, died a horrible, fiery death.

Now picture President George W. Bush flying to London to stand in solidarity with the leaders of Great Britain as Prime Minister Tony Blair gives a speech to the British people, vowing to hunt down the enemies of his country and bring them to justice.

Months go by, and forces of the United Kingdom and the United States together invade Afghanistan, the headquarters of the attack’s main mastermind, and rid that country of the ruling Taliban.

Time passes. Solemn observances mark the one-year anniversary of the attack. By now, British intelligence sources point to Iraq as a source of terrorist training, financial support and weaponry. Prime Minister Blair presses his case to his Parliament and receives the green light to proceed with a resolution in the United Nations to disarm Iraq by force if Saddam Hussein does not do it immediately and voluntarily.

The United Nations passes a resolution stating just such consequences. Inspectors are sent in to be shown the weapons the world knows are there, only to be taunted and teased in a six-month game of hide-and-seek with Saddam Hussein.

Tony BlairBlair proceeds on the assumption that even if his allies in Europe abandon him, he can always count on the United States. And indeed, his allies in Europe—most notably France and Germany—abandon him.

But meanwhile, back home in the United States, President Bush is facing massive protests. He is called “Tony Blair’s lapdog.” The vast majority of the American people turn on the president. His job approval rating plummets, and there appears to be no possible way that he can be reelected if he continues on his present course of support for the British Prime Minister.

Now imagine that Mr. Bush does not necessarily have a year and a half left in his term as president, but rather could be called upon to stand for re-election at any time.

This is the position in which Tony Blair finds himself today, and of all those who have so far weathered the storm of this coming conflict, he is my hero.

I have worked around several American politicians, at the federal, state and local levels. Some were courageous, others politically expedient, but precious few had the guts to put an entire political career on the line in order to do what is right.

Tony Blair is a member of the very left-leaning British Labor Party. I would probably be hard-pressed to find myself in political agreement with much in which he believes. However, on the issue of loyalty, honor and allegiance to liberty, he is the man of the hour. I watch him on C-Span answering a withering array of questions in the British Parliament that no American President could possibly imagine.

As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair’s predecessors include such visionless panderers as Neville Chamberlain and such towering statesmen as Winston Churchill. His role model clearly is the latter.

I hope the British people come to their senses, and Tony Blair survives his current political troubles. But even if he doesn’t, he should know that in the hearts and minds of many of us on this side of the Atlantic, he has already earned a place of honor in the history of nations.

God bless Tony Blair.

© 2003 by Doug Patton

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