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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 2, 2005 / 23 Nisan, 5765

Blair will win, but he'll still take a beating

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After the last British election, the nickname-crazed George W. Bush took to calling Tony Blair ''Landslide.'' He might have to come up with an alternative term of endearment by the time this Thursday's results are in. The prime minister will win the election, but he's lost the campaign, which in the end will prove more decisive.

If one were to outline the Bush administration's preferences, they'd run:

1. A Blair victory. Ol' Landslide was the president's key sidekick in the Coalition of the Willing. And, even though Iraq hasn't figured much in this campaign, a defeat for Blair would be seen as a Spain-like repudiation of the war.

2. A Tory victory. On the other hand, even if Blair goes down, he'd lose to the Conservative Party. And, though British Tories are not entirely comfortable with the evangelical cowboy aspects of this administration, a Conservative in Downing Street is still better news for Washington than that wacky anti-war Socialist who took over in Madrid.

Alas, Washington's likely to wind up with a third option: a Labor victory, but with a weakened Blair. Unlike U.S. presidents, British prime ministers aren't elected to ''terms.''

The Parliament the voters choose on Thursday can sit for five years, but the prime minister could be gone in one or two or three. Margaret Thatcher won her third election victory in 1987 but was bounced by her party in a grisly act of matricide after a turbulent few weeks in 1990. Maggie's 11-year run was the longest since Lord Liverpool 200 years ago. It's unlikely Tony Blair will hang around long enough to equal it. The main consequence of this election is that his designated successor, the more conventionally Laborite Gordon Brown, will take over sooner rather than later. That's bad news for Washington.

On the other hand, for all the big-hearted Texan backslapping, the Bush-Blair chumminess has always been overstated. Dubya and Landslide agree on the war on terror, and that's about it. On everything else — the U.N., Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, Iran's nuclear program — Blair is all but indistinguishable from Jacques Chirac. If Bush has a soulmate in the inner councils of the Coalition of the Willing, it's John Howard in Australia. Howard's with Bush not just on the war but on all the other stuff, too. Indeed, the Aussie prime minister is publicly far blunter on, say, the uselessness of the U.N. than Bush is.

Blair's is a cautionary tale. Unlike George W. Bush, who wanted to topple Saddam because he wanted to topple Saddam, the prime minister felt obliged to square it with his deference to progressive hooey like ''international law,'' so he framed the case against Saddam in technical legalistic terms such as the threat Iraq presented to British bases in Cyprus, only 45 minutes away as the WMD fly. The narrow legalisms proved to be untrue, and Blair has paid a much higher price for that than Bush has.

There are millions of Americans who take the view that there's no such thing as a bad reason to whack Saddam. So, even in the worst slough of his 2004 media despond, Bush still had the support of his party, Congress and half the American people. The British prime minister, by contrast, went to war with tepid support from his party, parliament and people, and, despite winning said war, has managed to lose support with all three groups in the two years since. In particular, his party — viscerally anti-war and mostly anti-American — loathes him. The most tortured moment in political interviews is when some Labor candidate is asked whether he or she supports Blair and after a long pause replies through tight lips, as Yasmin Qureshi did this week, ''He is the leader of the party at the moment.'' Blair may be a global colossus but back home he's the lonesomest gal in town. The problem with the war on terror is that once it was framed as an existential struggle for Western civilization, it was all too predictable that the left would act as it did the last time we had one of those, the Cold War: They'd do their best to lose it.

I feel rather sad about this. At one level, Tony Blair is an absurd figure: In the jurisdiction he's supposed to be governing, the hospitals are decrepit and disease-ridden, crime is rampant in the leafiest loveliest villages, in the urban areas politics is fragmenting along racial and religious lines, and the IRA have been transformed with the blessing of Blair's ministers into the British Isles' homegrown Russian Mafia. But, in the jurisdictions for which he has no responsibility, Blair flies in and promises to cure all. He's particularly keen on Africa: Genocide? AIDS? Poverty? Don't worry, Tony's got the answer. He can't make the British trains run on time, but he can save the world.

By the time this election was called, the British had fallen out of love with Tony Blair. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, they haven't fallen in love with anybody else. But, in the artful way of highly evolved political systems, the electorate are doing their best to signal to the prime minister that this Thursday's "five-year mandate" is in fact one year's notice. As a matter of practical politics, the French referendum on the European Constitution later this month will be much more decisive than the UK's own general election when it comes to determining how Britain is governed. If the French reject the ludicrous Euro-constitution, they'll be rejecting it for Britain too. If they sign up for it, it will probably be a fait accompli for the British — and the final stage of the submersion of America's closest ally in a European superstate increasingly hostile to Washington will be under way.

James Bennett has had great success in recent years promoting the concept of the ''Anglosphere.'' I'm all for it. L'Anglosphere, c'est moi, pardon my French. I divide my time, as the book jackets say, between Britain, America and Canada. Throw in Australia and New Zealand and you've got the only countries who were on the right side of all three of the 20th century's global conflicts. But Canada, being semi-French, is now a semi-detached member of the Anglosphere. And, after three decades of Euro-regulation, the British are, alas, more European than some of us would like to admit. Blair has spent the last four years playing good cop to Bush's bad cop in a global Anglospherist buddy act. His electors haven't acquired a taste for it.


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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