As a British naval historian friend I know once noted, the time when the British government could have helped — and perhaps stopped the war — was back in the winter of 2002-2003. Real friends speak up when a friend is making a big mistake. Instead, Tony Blair may have destroyed the “special relationship” by supporting the invasion when he should have opposed it. My friend said he believes Blair should be confined right now in the Tower of London.
1. I wonder if Blair really could have stood and said “No.” I always kind of suspected that Blair pursued the Iraq War with the enthusiasm he did because he believed that he couldn’t stop it if he wanted, and a) wanted to be part of the action, and b) wanted to maintain the “special relationship.” This isn’t to say that Blair privately opposed the war, just that his primary motivations were about the relationship more than conviction about the wisdom of the invasion. But I really don’t know.
2. If Blair had said “no,” would the neocons have spewed the same vitriol towards Britain that the sprayed at France? I would have loved to see a book explaining how the United Kingdom is our enemy, and in fact has always been our enemy; it makes even more sense than France.