It also bears repeating that Hussein could have prevented this war by giving U.N. weapons inspectors unfettered access and verifying that he had destroyed his stockpile of WMD -- as per the agreement he had made with the United Nations.
But the temptation to accuse both Bush and Blair of lying is so irresistible that no fact will get in the way, it seems. Wheatcroft even writes without qualification, "Planning for the war was under way starting with Bush's inauguration in January of 2001."
Then, there's the gossip that Blair is not really in charge. Wheatcroft writes, Blair "completely surrendered to (treasury chief Gordon) Brown all control of the management of the economy." It must be true: A labor official once inadvertently called Brown "prime minister."
Why is it that elites come up with the same silly caricature -- dimwitted, pious, manipulative yet manipulated -- for two very different men?
Gerald Dorfman, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, said Blair is bright and in charge, even though he disagrees with the PM on Iraq. What's wrong with leaving it at that?
Democratic Party operative Bob Mulholland, who has a history with Blair, also vouched for Blair's smarts and authority. When I asked Mulholland what he thought of Blair enduring the same bad rap as Bush, he replied, "It goes with the turf. When you're in office, you take the good with the bad."
OK, but couldn't the dish on Blair at least be original?