Richard Cohen articulates what I’ve always believed. The Iraq War is in fact Tony Blair’s fault, not George Bush’s:
I don’t know about you, but whatever Bush said in the run-up to the war I took with a grain of salt. After all, the man could hardly speak English. But Tony Blair was a different matter. Blair spoke perfect English, full and well-rounded sentences—subject, predicate, verb. He was Bush’s adult translator and when he stood in the Commons, placed his notes before him, and fulsomely Winstoned about the coming war and the dangers of appeasement, I paid attention. He sounded so awfully good, and behind him, seen but unseen, was all of British intelligence, never wrong and always well-dressed, heirs to a legacy dating back to the East India Company, Gordon in Khartoum, Lawrence in Arabia, Bell in Baghdad, and even George Orwell and Leonard Woolf, serving the empire (and taking notes) in far-off Asia: Bond. James Bond.
During my four years in America I found that Britain’s stock is remarkably high, higher than it is probably anywhere else in the world. When Blair spoke, Bush sounded credible. And when Bush told us “the British government” found Iraqi connections to uranium in Niger, Americans believed him. Had he said the CIA, the suspicion may have been that evidence was being cooked; had he said the Russians, the Israelis, or (God forbid) the Italians, people would have laughed.
It’s all a lie. We’re as incompetent as you. And has Hollywood taught you nothing? Don’t you know all bad guys have English accents?