Why did Tony Blair back the Iraq war? Various theories have been put forward. He did so out of a sense of personal conviction. He did so because he saw it as his Christian duty to rid the world of an evil dictator and spread democracy and human rights. He did so because he genuinely believed Iraq possessed WMD.
There's only one thing wrong with those theories.
They're complete claptrap.
Back in April, I wrote in The Spectator:
Blair’s apologists would like us to believe that their man acted out of conviction, but the truth may be rather more prosaic. The going rates for retired politicians on the American lecture circuit are impressive: Bill Clinton gets $250,000 a time, and Blair, as Washington’s most loyal lapdog, will certainly be at the top of the scale. In addition, there are those lucrative book contracts. As Wheatcroft concludes, vast numbers of lives may have been cruelly sacrificed by the Iraq enterprise, but Anthony Charles Linton Blair will surely be a richer man as a result.
Now, six months after leaving Downing Street, The Daily Express's Patrick O'Flynn reveals what our Tone, the 'conviction' politician has been up to.
His cack-handedness in the property market used to be a national joke but within six months of leaving Downing Street,Tony Blair is already a millionaire several times over. He is estimated to be earning up to £1million every month, mainly through lucrative after-dinner speeches in North America. He has also secured a £5million deal for his memoirs.
While Mr Blair has done very well out of his relationship with America, the awkward fact is that there are many who have not.
The botched invasion of Iraq has been the biggest foreign policy disaster for decades. Its impact has made the world a more dangerous place. It has so far cost the lives of 174 British service personnel. Thousands more have been injured.
The compensation they have received has been scant. Lifetime awards for those maimed in battle range from just £1,000 to a maximum of £285,000 for those with permanent and multiple debilitating injuries – that’s a couple of nights’ work for Mr Blair these days.
As Britain prepares for its final, inglorious withdrawal from southern Iraq in circumstances that fall far short of victory or vindication, the sight of Mr Blair hitting the jackpot must leave a sour taste for thousands of forces’ families.
I'm sure "the sight of Mr Blair hitting the jackpot" must indeed leave a sour taste for thousands of forces' families. And let's hope it makes those naive idiots who thought the British Prime Minister was a "conviction" politician who sincerely meant well, realise how they were duped.
The simple truth is that Bliar did it for the money.
Like the rest of them.