Monday, January 04, 2010

John Major's Revenge

Sir Major calls out Tony Blair on Iraq War

Revenge, when executed most masterfully, is often executed over a very long period of time.

More than 12 years after being defeated by Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister Sir John Major may be very close to having his revenge. And he's waited a very long time indeed for it.

When Sir John Major took power as the British Prime Minister, it was in relief of Margaret Thatcher, a leader whose autocratic tendencies had made her increasingly unpopular with the British public and increasingly at risk of sparking an outright revolution within her own party.

Likewise, when current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown took power as Prime Minister, it was in relief of Blair, a leader whose foreign policy missteps and the use of Prime Ministerial power that facilitated them had made him increasingly unpopular with the British public and increasingly at risk of sparking an outright revolution within his own party.

As has been the case for Brown, Sir Major's tenure as Prime Minister seemed ultimately doomed from the very beginning. Much of this was due to his predecessor's actions.

Considering the declining state of Thatcher's mental health, time -- and human decency -- have sorely limited Sir Major's opportunities to seek retribution on his Prime Ministerial predecessor.

But there's always the next best thing: seeking retribution against the man who defeated him.

Sir Major -- who was the Prime Minister during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War -- recently weighed in on the events swirling around Britain's Iraq War Inquiry. Sir Major has joined the growing ranks of those who are suggesting that Blair deceived them in order to gain their support for the war.

"I had myself been prime minister in the first Gulf War, and I knew when I said something I was utterly certain that it was correct, and I said less than I knew," Sir Major said. "I assumed the same thing had happened and on that basis I supported reluctantly the second Iraq war."

And while Sir Major would very likely agree that the removal of Saddam Hussein as the President of Iraq was a good thing, he doesn't feel it was sufficient justification for the war.

"The argument that someone is a bad man is an inadequate argument for war and certainly an inadequate and unacceptable argument for regime change," Sir Major insisted. "There are many bad men around the world who run countries and we don't topple them, and indeed in earlier years we had actually supported Saddam Hussein when he was fighting against Iran."

To call the developments coming out of Britain's Iraq War Inquiry "revelations" would be in error. As a matter of fact, many British commentators have been suggesting for yers that Blair deceived Brits in order to make the case for the war, and that the Inquiry is really only confirming those suspicions.

With Labour MPs like Ken Purchase suggesting publicly that Tony Blair left no legacy, and left Gordon Brown with little opportunity to leave one of his own, Sir John Major knows full well that Tony Blair's historical legacy will very much be decided by the Iraq War Inquiry.

Sir John Major has waited a long time -- nearly 13 years, in fact -- to get his revenge on Tony Blair.

After all these years, he may finally have it.

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