It is pretty depressing to see Tony Blair announce that he will depart within the year.I'm sorry to see him go because I have always agreed with his opinions and been entranced by his charisma.But Isaac Chotiner at the Plank touches on another cause of that depression: shame. Shame because Blair stuck his neck out there and the US did nothing but screw him over:
As an American, it's been hard not to follow Blair's descent over the past couple of years without an abiding sense of, well, shame. Sure, he's been a bit stubborn on Iraq, and his ability to give remarkably good speeches about the international system have a tendency to be frustrating, because he will not acknowledge the role Iraq has played in undermining the same worldwide order he seeks to create. But, his predicament has been relentlessly worsened by the Bush administration's continued unwillingness to offer rhetorical or substantive assistance to its best (and, in a practical sense, only) ally. From Guantánamo to steel tariffs to rebuilding contracts, the Brits have been consistently stiffed. And Rumsfeld even went out of his way to mock their contribution to the war. Jonah Goldberg, surveying the situation, called it a "damn shame." He's right. It's partly Blair's own fault, to be sure, but the Bush administration's role in hastening the fall of the one major world leader with any compelling sense of vision is another black mark on its record.What won't Bush's presidency destroy in its wake?