I haven’t yet completely read former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s book, The Journey, but have read enough reviews, excerpts, and interviews to be impressed that he represents the best of the special Anglo-American relationship that has been so important to the world for the past century. Margaret Thatcher he isn’t, but he is about as good as it gets as an ally in terms of the courage that was so important to the West and America during the most critical moments since 9-11-01. And he is still doing yeoman work in defending the Iraq war policy he helped implement as well as the important elements of the Bush Doctrine, in spite of the heaps of abuse he has endured from his own people for doing so. He is also equally as certain that Iran is up to no good, is outraged at the role it has played and is playing in Iraq and Afghanistan, assigns that regime the moral equivalence of al Queda, and is convinced that it should be vigorously confronted.
In economic policy, he has some very pointed criticisms of the tired, worn out myth that the recent financial meltdown was primarily the fault of the bankers. In fact, he says “the market did not fail, one part of one sector did”, and adds that government, regulations, politicians, and monetary policy failed, but it was not a conspiracy of the banks. Another gem is his remark that “The most important thing is to encourage strong growth, for the economy to create wealth.” (Somewhere I heard that) And he makes a final point on domestic policy that should be heeded by those who would lead us beyond election day 2010: “…..in the 20th century, a progressive party that stands essentially for the state and big government is not going to succeed. Simple as that.” Very perceptive stuff, coming from a progressive.