June 20, 2005

Tony Blair


From The Jerusalem Post: Blair: EU on verge of irrelevancy to its citizens.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday the European Union was at a crucial crossroads and must change course if it is to remain relevant and responsive to its citizens. ...

A visibly furious Blair argued that French and Dutch voters' rejection of the union's proposed constitution demonstrated that the EU's leaders were out of touch with citizens' concerns.

"This is a moment when Europe has to take measures of fundamental reform to reconnect ... to the priorities and concerns of the people in Europe," he said. "The 'no' votes in the referendums cannot be ignored; they represent something deeper across Europe. ... It's time we responded to it."

From AP: Memos show British concern over war plans. (Via LGF)

When Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about "regime change" in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.

President Bush wanted Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein. ...

Details from Rice's dinner conversation also are included in one of the secret memos from 2002, which reveal British concerns about both the invasion and poor postwar planning by the Bush administration, which critics say has allowed the Iraqi insurgency to rage.

The eight memos all labeled "secret" or "confidential" were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals. [Emphasis added]

Posted by Forkum at June 20, 2005 10:10 PM