Psychoanalysing a Poodle

When psychoanalysing W becomes tiresome, why not start on his faithful pal? This comes from the Australian press.

Blair’s false faith in special relationship
James Button
December 4, 2006

You read the news from Iraq – the death squads, the increasing number of kidnappings of government workers, the mosques used as execution chambers, the 3700 people murdered in October alone – and you wonder: what is going on inside the head of Tony Blair?

The question may not interest the many British commentators, from the left and right, who regularly assert that Blair has messianic delusions, is a liar, or even an outright scoundrel.

But those who see Blair as both more complicated and more decent than the caricature allows – a man whose strengths and flaws are in the normal range – must wonder how he feels. Does he believe he made a catastrophic mistake? Does he turn off the unbearable TV news, lie awake at night? He wouldn’t be human if he didn’t. As his prime ministership enters its final months, and rumours spread that both the Government and the bureaucracy are stalled, awaiting his departure, he is still feverishly announcing policy initiatives. Yet he looks older almost by the day; the once-easy smile is often a fixed grin. He seems oddly pumped up and his words sound at times overblown. “Here, in this extraordinary desert, is where the future of world security in the early 21st century is going to be played out,” he told British troops in Afghanistan two weeks ago.

Last month he came as close as he ever has to conceding the war had gone wrong. When the interviewer David Frost said the war had been “pretty much a disaster”, he briefly agreed, then quickly added that if Iraq was “difficult” it was not “because of some accident in planning”.

Read the rest here.

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