This morning on the BBC World Service, I was listening to Tony Blair address the House of Commons, and I was once again surprised by what a great speaker he is. If the world thought he were in charge of the effort to disarm Iraq, I guarantee that the UN, NATO, and the European Union would be behind us. I was also impressed at the range of the debate, and at Blair’s fairness in addressing the arguments of those who are against the war. We don’t see any of that from the Bush administration — they’d prefer to pretend that anyone who’s against the war is acting out of some venal impulse or fear. Tony Blair is a great leader for Britain. He’s in an ugly position, but he still argues well from that position. I hope he remains as Prime Minister despite the fact that he hitched his wagon to President Bush and has not been well rewarded for it.
We’re also seeing Labour cabinet members in the UK resign to the back bench in protest against the war. Robin Cook’s resignation speech, delivered yesterday, was a masterpiece. As an American, I find the utter apathy of Congress toward the war to be galling and pathetic. The Republicans are willing to line up behind Bush on just about anything, and the Democrats are too scared and pathetic to step up to the plate and make themselves heard. I’m not sure why the UK’s political status quo seems so obviously superior to ours, but listening to any chunk of the debate going on today in the House of Commons will clearly illustrate just what a dreadful state we’re in.
Update: A transcript of Tony Blair’s speech is available. In reading it, I realize what a bad speaker, and a bad leader, President Bush really is. Tony Blair, despite being stuck with the bag of crap that America’s bad faith has created, makes a compelling argument for taking action against Iraq. President Bush has never come close to doing anything of the sort.