The latest WP outtake from Woodward’s book looks at Tony Blair’s steadfast, risk-it-all support for the Bush war plan. A sampling:
If it would help, Bush said, he would let Blair drop out of the coalition and they would find some other way for Britain and its 41,000 military personnel in the region around Iraq to participate.
“I said I’m with you. I mean it,” Blair replied.
Bush said they could think of another role for the British forces — “a second wave, peacekeepers or something. I would rather go alone than have your government fall.”
“I understand that,” Blair responded, “and that’s good of you to say. I said, I’m with you.”
Bush said he really meant that it would be all right for Blair to opt out. “You can bank on that.”
“I know you do,” Blair said, “and I appreciate that. I absolutely believe in this, too. Thank you. I appreciate that. It’s good of you to say that,” the prime minister repeated in his very British way. “But I’m there to the very end.”