2002 October 07 Monday
Andrew Sullivan on Tony Blair and George W. Bush

Andrew Sullivan explores the many facets of the relationship of Tony Blair and George W. Bush:

For Bush in turn, Blair is a very useful - perhaps even indispensable domestic tool. Without Blair, it would be far easier for the Democrats to portray the president as a reckless provocateur in world affairs. But where Blair really comes in handy is persuading wobbly American elites - especially liberal ones - that the case for war is not necessarily a conservative one. Blair reminds American liberals of their own principles. When he describes the way Saddam has gassed his own citizens, invaded his neighbors, fomented terrorism around the globe and now aims to develop potent chemical, biological and nuclear arms, American liberals get to hear a strong voice speaking their own language in the pursuit of security. This matters. As an assessment of Blair in Slate magazine recently put it: "Since Sept. 11 of last year, Tony Blair has roamed the globe in support of the U.S.-led war on terror. He's traveled to India, to Pakistan, to Israel, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere and served as an intermediary between President Bush and European leaders. But overlooked in all this diplomacy has been the boost the British prime minister's backing gives Bush within the United States, by virtue of his appeal to American liberal elites and intellectuals. Blair isn't just Bush's ambassador to the world - he's Bush's ambassador to America."

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 07 02:30 PM 


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