Tony Blair on “Courage”

by JimLarkinsGhost on September 1, 2010

The former Prime Minister’s memoir has arrived.  While the British press seems most fascinated with his revelations about his drinking and his troubled relationship with his successor, Gordon Brown, Americans might be more interested in his continuing defense of the Iraq War and the men who made it happen.  Here’s a particularly nauseating selection in which he pronounces his admiration for George W. Bush:

I was asked recently which of the political leaders I had met had most integrity: I listed George [W. Bush] near the top. In what was a fairly liberal audience, some people were aghast. Others tittered, thinking I was joking. But I meant it. He had genuine integrity, and as much political courage as any leader I ever met …

 He was, in a bizarre sense (bizarre because it appears counterintuitive), a true idealist.

Like so many who bend over backwards to give Bush credit, Blair seems to be fetishizing his stubbornness and unrealistic idealism.  

 This point should be so terribly obvious, but also so often seems lost:  political courage and idealism are not necessarily good things in and of themselves.  Hitler had a hell of a lot of political courage.  Charles Manson was a true idealist.

It is not enough to “stick to your guns,” as so many have said of Bush.  It is not enough just  to stand for something – anything.  The important thing is what you stand for.  And Bush fails that test miserably.

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