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,
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.
Blair 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
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
God bless Tony Blair.