As everyone knows, former British Labour Prime-Minister Tony Blair has never apologized for urging the invasion of Iraq on what we now know were false pretences. Never never never. Never never never never never! Tony Blair will go to his grave insisting to anyone who will listen that invading Iraq was such a good idea that it was worth sacrificing thousands of lives and spending over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money. (He wouldn’t call the deaths, in the invasion itself, of 100,000 Iraqis a “cost”, of course. Perhaps they were complicit in Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, some how.)
Most amazingly, he doesn’t look at Iraq today and see failure, even though the invasion has been a complete disaster in every single respect. It did not bring democracy and prosperity. It did not bring peace. It did not open the door to democratic progress in the Middle East. It did not improve the security of Israel. It did not weaken Iran.
Blair must go to bed some nights weeping over the Nobel Peace Prize he should have won and imagining how great it would have looked hanging over the mantel, next to the pictures of him cuddling with George Bush, or kissing Bono, or schmoozing with Bill Gates.
If you think he might eventually succumb to facts and information, dream on. The invasion of Iraq is what I call an “identity issue”. If someone likes a movie that you think is garbage, and you say so, that is not an identity issue: everyone has different taste. But if you say, “you always only like crappy movies and you have no taste”, you have created an identity issue. To concede that you are right is impossible because the issue goes right to core of a person’s self respect and identity. To concede that you are right is to concede that all of that person’s opinions on movies are wrong, and all of his opinions on anything are suspect.
Blair’s self-image, his identity, is tied up with this image of an enlightened, rational, successful, beneficent leader. To admit to have help cause so much disaster would be unbearable– it would be tantamount to admitting that you are a worthless human being. He’ll never do it.
Now he bemoans the Labour Party’s interest in a far-left candidate. He’ll spoil everything, he thinks. He’ll make it look like the rich have been ripping off the working classes all along, even while I was prime minister.