I was sorting out some old magazines over the weekend and came across an article on European unity that I wrote in July 1996 for a Buddhist periodical, says Eddy Canfor-Dumas. It is uncomfortably prescient...

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Blair became a neocon after 9/11.

By agreeing to support the USA come what may he committed the UK to the neocon agenda, which had wanted to get rid of Saddam ever since Bush Senior failed to do it during the first Gulf War.

His problem then was persuading a sceptical public, Parliament and Labour Party to back him and in this he succeeded brilliantly. He stretched and twisted the truth and was able to do so because ultimately, as the Prime Minister, a lot of people gave him the benefit of the doubt.

He has gravely damaged the reputation of that office and is in no small part responsible for the low opinion in which politicians generally are now held.

Very sad to see such an able man, who was elected trailing clouds of glory, sink to this and take so many colleagues down with him.

The Cabinet, the civil service and the intelligence agencies were all supine to an astonishing degree. In the end, with a few honourable exceptions, when faced with the choice between their careers and political/personal integrity, they chose their careers, as to have gone against Blair and his crusade would mean only one thing - the exit.

A truly shameful episode in UK political history, worse even than Suez.

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