“Blair made his fateful decision on Iraq for reasons that were both honorable and understandable,” he writes:
The years after the Kosovo war were the heyday of liberal interventionism on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of the political spectrum – fed by guilt at the west’s reluctance to intervene in Rwanda and the Balkans.
Mr Blair was worrying about Iraq long before Mr Bush took office or the twin towers were attacked. I remember meeting him in his Downing Street office, early in his first term, and noticing that the only book on the table in front of him was Jonathan Randal’s After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness, about the plight of the Iraqi Kurds.
One suspects that he is right to suggest that “In 20 years’ time many Britons may look back on the Blair era with considerable nostalgia.”