I can barely wait to get my hands on a copy of Tony Blair’s memoirs, due to be released on September 1. I feel like a ten year old Harry Potter fan might have felt in anticipation of a new Harry Potter book.
The News of the World website carries the following story by Ian Kirby, the newspaper’s political editor:
TONY Blair’s much-hyped autobiography is more like “a love letter” to ex-US President George W. Bush, say insiders who have seen drafts of the book.
The former Labour Prime Minister will shock his party and infuriate anti-war protesters by lavishing praise on his “highly intelligent” and “visionary friend”.
“It is the biggest and most unapologetic defence of Bush and his ideas ever written,” said one aide last night.
The News of the World can reveal Blair says he thinks Bush was the only politician in the world with the courage and commitment to take on al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The comments will reopen Labour’s wounds over the Iraq war. Four of the five party leadership candidates have said they would not have invaded Iraq.
But Mr Blair also insists Bush was “sensitive” and “fully aware of the consequences” of the 2003 invasion. Former advisers who’ve read the book say they were shocked at the strength of Blair’s commitment to Bush, who was internationally derided for his handling of the Iraq war.
Blair’s pal told us: “It is basically an extended love letter.
“Tony says he was wowed by Bush’s strength, courage and conviction and saw him as a highly intelligent and visionary friend.
“He says the Americans were the only ones with an effective vision on how to deal with al-Qaeda and Iraq.” The ex-PM backs the US for the way it tried to deal with near-civil war in Iraq after the invasion.
He even defends the Americans’ decision not to put hundreds of thousands of troops into Iraq to ensure stability, and says it was right to go to war without a second UN resolution authorising the invasion.
When he gave evidence to the Chilcott inquiry, Mr Blair refused to apologise for any of the events associated with Iraq. But our informant warned: “If people are expecting him to say sorry they’ll be disappointed.”
Recall the following from 2007:
Hat Tip: John Rentoul.