Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Why Blair Must Resign

As a person who in 2002 supported the Iraq War, I have considerable sympathy with the stance of Tony Blair. Clinton does too. His recent apperance in Berlin last weekend was, I noted, most unsettling to Germans. Their love for Clinton is matched only by their hatred for Blair. Yet Clinton was in town and on all the TV political talk-shows telling the Germans that Bush's position on the war was the correct one. Clinton too would have intervened in Iraq, even if he would have waited a little longer for UN support.

Yet while I think Blair was right then to support the war, the fact that he pinned so much of his case for war on non-existing WMD's means that his position was always falsificable. If those weapons did not exist, then Blair had no case to go to war. We now know--as some people did back then, the heroic Robin Cook amongst them--that the WMD case for war was overblown. Blair was wrong. He led his country into war on false premises. In a parliamentary system--unlike the incomparably inferior Presidential political systems of France and the United States--there is only one action that a political leader can then take: to resign. Blair must resign. It is the only honorable thing to do.

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