Tuesday, May 03, 2005
In light of recent revelations that Tony Blair's decision to commit Britain to the war on Iraq preceded by some months the invention of a casus belli, Richard Estes (guest-posting at Joe Wezorek's American Leftist) humbly requests that British voters do us all a favor -- by supporting competitive antiwar candidates wherever they can be found:
If UK voters rebel, and refuse to hold their nose, and vote for the party of a Prime Minister that they detest, they can make Peter Oborne’s prediction a reality. Oborne believes that Labour will win an unprecedented third term, but that the campaign has destroyed Blair’s credibility, and a leadership struggle will commence shortly after the election. According to Oborne, Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exechequer, will, after being rightly credited with responsibility for the victory, seize total control over domestic policy, leaving a humbled Blair with ceremonial authority in foreign policy. If Labour’s margin in the House of Commons is dramatically sliced, with the loss of many pro-war Blairites, Blair could be replaced by Brown as Prime Minister within less than a year.One immmediate dividend of spanking Tony Blair: the seismic nature of the story would force American news media to explain why Tony Blair got spanked. Here in America, as you have certainly noticed, the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate are not exactly trampling one another in their rush to cover the secret Downing Street minutes or Lord Goldsmith's suppressed advice on the potential illegality of the invasion -- much less Rep. John Conyers's demand for an inquiry into Bush and Blair's prewar machinations. Still, despite this sadly predictable dereliction of duty by our somnolent press corps, a whopping 57% of Americans now believe the war was a mistake.
The repudiation of Blair, and his support for the war and the occupation,would send a shockwave around the world. Few, if any, countries, have historically supported the US with the consistency of the UK, and the psychological impact of such a repudiation, both within and without the US, would be enormous. It would be felt most keenly in countries such as Japan and, as already mentioned, Italy, where their governments persist in supporting US policy despite widespread public revulsion. Voters should strive to set this process in motion, even if the consequence is the emergence of the Liberal Democrats as a legitimate alternative to Labour and the Conservatives, and even at the price of replacing New Labour with a weak Conservative government. Perhaps, it’s all wishful thinking. Even so, it’s long past time for Tony Blair to depart the world of electoral politics for something new, perhaps as a newly announced participant in the Carlyle Group.