March 21, 2003

Tony Blair's Conviction Today brings

Tony Blair's Conviction

Today brings grim reports of the death of eight British commandos and four U.S. soldiers in a chopper crash. And it also serves to remind us that, far from a rhetorical flourish, Tony Blair meant it when he said the U.K. would stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the U.S. throughout the war on terror. It is impossible to predict what will occur in the coming months in Iraq or perhaps in further trouble spots in the months and years ahead. But, for now, it bears mentioning that Tony Blair has honored his pledge in letter and in spirit. The British PM, for instance, could have arranged that the 40,000 or so U.K. troops based in Kuwait were somewhat of a fig-leaf--remaining in rear bases and following U.S. forces towards Basra in "clean-up" mode.

That they are anything but is a testament to Tony Blair's convictions. He believes (soberly, intelligently) in the justness of the cause. He believes Saddam was given a peaceful option out. He is now facing the moments of greatest difficulty for a nation's leader--committing his sons and daughters to potential (and now, actual) death on the battlefield. There will be much speculation about what Blair (or the UK) had to "gain" by standing by the U.S. during the war on Iraq. But beyond such short-term calculations Tony Blair will have earned a far rarer honor--history will smile upon him as a man of conviction and honor--not a cynical, cloying new Labourite devotee of polling and slick, modish campaigns.

Blair firmly believes the intersection of WMD, transnational terror, and rogue regimes represents a clear and present danger. In the face of strong internal opposition, he has rallied his party to action. He is the best the world has on hand in an era marked by the dearth of great leaders and significant perils. We should applaud him.

Posted by Gregory at March 21, 2003 10:28 AM
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