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John McCain is a someone who has been through a lot and acquitted himself well. His ability to sum up a man has been well-honed by his experience and so his view of Mr. Cameron is all the more devastating for this.
By their fruits shall ye know them.
Now seen only by a few as the decadent, characterless, PR man that he is, such a view of Mr Cameron will become commonplace by the time of the next General Election.

Well said John Coles. Senator McCain is not the only one who feels deceived - you can add all of those, including myself, who voted for Dave on the strength of his EPP pledge and positive-sounding rhetoric. We believed he was a conservative. Now we find just an empty PR shell whose only policy is to have no policies, in the hope his trendy image alone will get him elected. This is the man who has hitched the Conservative Party firmly to the stern of Blair's Titanic, ignoring the looming iceberg of public opinion on Labour, Blairism and spin.

It's hard to imagine anyone less "decadent" than David Cameron. There's nothing louche about the man, unless smoking a joint at school and joining a fancy dress drinking club at university counts.

John Coles is either a barking religious fundamentalist or a nasty UKIP troll. Either way, bog off!

It seems the UKIP idiots are up early this morning. Its not the Conservative ship that is sinking with the Blair Titanic its the UKIP rowing boat that seems to be letting in water by the day.
Come the election day I suspect they will have lost so many supporters there headquarters will be the telephone box at the end of Nowhere Street!

There has been a sense of "making it up as he goes along" with Cameron, that his political behaviour is reactive rather than instinctive, so if McCain feels he was wooed by Dave to give his blessing at the tory conference under false pretences, it is not hugely surprising.

I wouldn't call Cameron decadent or characterless. He's obviously a pleasant man, an image which most politicians fail to project (for obvious reasons). But apart from a couple of years as a flim-flam merchant, he's never had a job outside politics. This, together with his lack of ministerial and executive experience, exposes him and he'll make more mistakes like this.

The tactic of distancing the Conservatives from the Republicans in America has been badly handled; the worst aspect is that it looks cynical.

Well cry me a river. Much as you might want the Conservative Party to be the UK branch of the GOP, Editor, we aren't - and thank god for that.

We stood by the Bush adminstration on the eve on the Iraq war. We believed what they said about WMD. We accepted their assurances that plans for post-war Iraq had been properly thought out. We cheered as the neo-cons spoke of human rights and ignored the roar of US military aircraft as they flew out prisoners to be tortured in some 'friendly' secret police HQ.

Now we have learned from our experiences, it is a great shame that the Republicans haven't.

"The Tory-GOP divide is becoming more serious. After Friday's criticisms of George W Bush from Peter Ainsworth..."

Well diddums, the Texas oil baron is on his way out anyway, so will be pretty much irrelevant to David Cameron's more environmentally-sound premiership.

"...the News of the World has confirmed ConservativeHome's story of January that John McCain is disappointed by David Cameron's more dove-ish policy on Iraq."

And McCain has had his chips too. The only slight cause of concern is the suggestion that Rudolph Giuliani has doubts regarding the conviction of David Cameron, but given that is mere speculation on the part of Fraser Nelson, it's nothing to get too worried about.

Disappointed in McCain for this. I wonder howe DC decieved him or did McCain deceive himself? Did DC tell McCain that he approves of American strategy in Iraq? I seriously doubt it.McCain,Guiliani and Romney must learn to realise that British support for American foreign policy decisions will never again be offered as unthinkingly as they have been in the past few years. If that upsets them, well too bad it's a tough world and Britain is the best friend the US has got.
The fact that Bush officials are appalled about anything is quite irrelevant, they will soon be gone, not a moment too soon.
PS Fox handled himself well on Marr show today. I wonder if it is true that he is being considered for Party Chairman again?

Well cry me a river. Much as you might want the Conservative Party to be the UK branch of the GOP, Editor, we aren't - and thank god for that.

I seem to recall that the editor was only one among a vast concourse of Tories braying about the "catch" of McCain at last year's conference. Possibly Mr Lindley was not among them

Seems this briefly-blissful marriage is now ending by mutual consent. McCain is a man of considerable distinction and his appraisal of Cameron is spot on.

Policy-lite and principle-free "Dave" breezes on his happy way, supported only by the fickle froth of opinion polls and by men of the calibre of Jack Stone and Councillor Lindley.

I hand to think what will happen when the polls turn sour.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a position on a matter based on available information, and changing it as the situation changes.

I would be more worried if Cameron adopted a position on an issue in a state of flux, such as Iraq, and refused to adjust it as things on the ground change.

What you need in a leader is an ability to react to changing circumstances. The Americans have undermined their own Iraq efforts by sticking to a single plan for too long, even when it was shown to be flawed, and it has cost them and Iraqis a great deal. If Cameron disagrees with the Americans then he is right to act accordingly.

I'm sorry, I wasn't aware the Conservative Party and UK foreign policy was formulated to please Americans.

If you feel it's the wrong policy, Tim, then say so using your own words. Pointing out that a foreign politician disagrees indicates nothing more than an implicit desire to see our foreign policy formulated to meet the needs of that country, not ours.

What you need in a leader is an ability to react to changing circumstances

Such as ignorant public prejudices? No wonder the Cameroon philosophy has been ticketed as "Say anything to win"

The Americans sense the shifting sands of the shifty Cameroons. Take the fact that the US is Israel's staunchest ally. In the past that proud stance has been shared by Britain's Conservative Party in the face of increasing public anti-semitism.

Cameron's recent visit to Israel did nothing to dispel the clear impression that he and his acolytes are busy selling out on Israel.

It's why leading members of CFI have ditanced themselves from Cameron. I'm sure McCain and other American allies of Israel are only too well aware of what is going on.

I'm glad that we're finally (as with Mrs T) getting back a foreign plicy which is based on British interests not on what America wants us to do. How those who laud the US can complain about the EU with a straight face I don't know. We should be beholden to neither.

The same Cameroon loyalists who celebrated McCain addressing the Tory conference now celebrate the fact that we are distancing ourselves from his views on the war on terror. You cannot have it both ways guys.

Are people seriously contending that Conservative foreign policy should first ask what the GOP would like us to do?


As for the Tory history of being pro-Israel, we also have a history of being pro-Arab and have traditionally tried to balance the two. Britain may have given the world the Balfour Declaration, but it also gave the world TE Lawrence.

Yes 'Umbrella Man' we can have it both ways. IO want the USA to bhave with some skill on the world stage and in the middle East in particular. The current Administration has signally failed to do this. We hope McCain will be better but if all he is going to do is follow the same line as his predecessor then he should expect to be heavily criticised by British Conservatives.

I believe that the special relationship is really important to the UK- and I share the concerns that others have about the demonisation of the US. However, if this story is accurate, it would seem like a rather unwelcome attempt by the GOP to yank the Conservative Party's lead - like Bush tried with Howard.

I could understand that reaction had Cameron lead a personal attack on Bush - but being ever so slightly lukewarm on Iraq and critical of the US environmental record? This is minor criticism from a friendly party - not an all-out assault! It certainly doesn't merit this sort of hostile riposte - as if we were under some obligation to support ever nuance of republican party policy!

Fortunately for Cameron I would guess most voters in this country don't have a particularly high view of the republican party or the current US administration - and that those who do are unlikely to vote Labour. They can provide us with some nice PR opportunities - but nothing which will massively effect the outcome of our elections. If we win, the GOP will be looking for our help again soon enough.

This is not about whether the Tory-GOP relationship is strong or weak Mr Editor.
McCain, Giuliani and Bush know that we are in a war where the stakes could hardly be higher.
Cameron does not seem to know that we are at war. He conveys no sense that defeat in Iraq would be unthinkable.

Should also add that Ainsworth is a prat for making such guiless comments - is he really Shadow Cabinet material?

It must be possible for Cameron to distance himself from Bush and the Neocons, who are desperately unpopular in the UK, without completely ruining either the UK's relationship with the US or the Conservative's relationship with the Republicans.

Unless you are the kind of Europhile who aches for the US to be supplanted on the world stage by a Federal European state then you must accept the need for us to enjoy good relations with the one remaining world superpower.Bearing in mind the likelihood of a Democrat President being elected next time it is even more vital to differentiate between the NeoCons and the Country itself when making pronouncements upon America.

Foreign policy does however seem to be an area badly handled by the Tories at present and it is certainly far too important for the somewhat chaotic focus group approach that seemingly prevails currently.

I want to see the Tories confronting the menace of increasing anti-semitism and it's obvious that Cameron, notwithstanding his rather obvious cavortings in Israel last week isn't the man for the job.

Those who hate Israel like to hide behind the weasel-phrase "anti-Zionist". It's just the sick old hatred coming out again and there are signs that Cameron's Conservatives are becoming infected.

Three cheers for the Americans, who have the guts to stand up to this cancer.

While the republicans may have overreacted to some conservative criticism Cameron must realise that an issue like iraq is too important to score a few political points on.

At the moment conservative party criticism seems to be merely negative, a good friend provides constructive criticism, but maybe this fits in with Camerons 'have no policies and dont offend anyone' strategy.

The special relationship is vital to britains interest and the conservative party must do all it can to help reverse the growing anti-americanism in this country

Mr Forsyth.Critism of Israel is not anti-semitic. Attacking people for attacking a country who as been treating the Palestines in a cruel, dispicable way for years as being anti-semitic is nonsense.
I have long thought that Isreal does itself no favours in the eyes of the world when it for instance shoots young men who are doing no more than throwing stones at troops.
In that area I believe there are no good guys. Both sides do things that no civilise person could defend. I believe that the only way forward is to try and bring people together and Isreal for one as got to recognise that every critism of them is not anti-semitic.

The more various Republicans attack Cameron for not agreeing with them the clearer it becomes just how totally subservient we (as a country and a party) have become - Republicans seem to think they have the right to expect Conservative support and get stroppy when there is any disagreement.

Well guess what - they only deserve our support for good ideas.

The initial invasion was a catastrophic blunder (but thanks to IDS we supported it anyway and screwed our electoral chances into the bargain - and we still dont dare admit the obvious), then instead of a meaningful surge of 50,000+ (as McCain wanted) Bush only sends 20,000 which wont do anything.

But oh no, we are not allowed to express scepticism or disagreement.

McCain would be better off attacking Bush.

"Much as you might want the Conservative Party to be the UK branch of the GOP, Editor, we aren't - and thank god for that."

Yes, indeed, thank God that the rudderless Tories don't have any policies; the leadership making up their views as they go along - then changing them when they become inconvenient. My, they're sounding more like the Lib-Dems day by day.

David Cameron's job at the moment is to be the main opposition to the government in the UK and to WIN the next GE.
Therefore he should be campaigning on issues which matter to the UK electorate domestically and building a foreign policy around Britain's interests, so this bit of hypocritical whinging from the Republicans is laughable.
As for "The Tory-GOP divide is becoming more serious", well I don't think it can be any more damaged than when Bush snubbed Michael Howard before the last GE!
We are at the moment watching the runners and riders in both the Democratic and Republican parties fight to be the candidates for presidency. David Cameron and the Conservative party should not be compromised by affiliating themselves to one candidate or party because, if trying to stem Anti-American feeling is to be the objective then a Conservative government must build a strong relationship with the incumbent of the White House and not automatically tie itself to a discredited or unpopular party both sides of the Atlantic.
Blair seemed to have a more equal partnership with Clinton, but ended up becoming Bush's "poodle". I don't think that it helps to build bridges with the UK Conservative when McCain plays this kind of card, especially in light of the present Republican regimes treatment of our party.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were as closely allied as any British Prime Minister and US President have ever been.

But the difference between the relationship between Mrs T. and Ronald Reagan, and the Blair/Bush one, is that on the rare occasions Maggie thought Ronald Reagan was wrong, she would tell him so in words of one syllable, as she did over Grenada.

The challenge for any future PM after Blair, be it Brown, David Cameron, or anyone else, is to rebuild the sort of friendship with the US in which we can be candid friends, support them when they are in the right, but also tell them things they need to know but won't like hearing.

That is not going to be easy to do. But we won't get there either by constantly attacking the US or by the sort of fawning subservience which Tony Blair so embarrassingly demonstrates.

Mr Forsyth.Critism of Israel is not anti-semitic

Depends who's making it Jack. Nice to see that you can spell "semitic", though.

Care to answer my earlier question about whether you are or have ever been a member of the Conservative Party?

Then we can set your attitude in context.

Don't start that ball rolling, Alex. Jack Stone's unique style of grammar, his dropped aitches and misspellings would take another Blog all on its own to correct.

My thanks to Ted Haggard for his invitation to "bog off". His e-mail address cheers me with the knowledge of Mr Haggard's cyber residence.

Is it worth pointing out that being hawkish on the war has gone badly out of fashion?

Supporting troop 'surges' and such like seems so... 2005.

I would guess that Fraser Nelson is just making it up and it is just a story to get at Cameron. (Remember the Sun stuff about the probation bill.) I think we should think twice before taking anything the Murdoch press say seriously.

Our Editor, and too many on this blog, are too sensitive about criticism of America. To criticise America is not necessarily to be anti-American. Remember, not so long ago, while IRA terrorists were blowing up our cities and killing our people, American politicians were protecting IRA terrorists in the USA and American citizens were funding the terrorists. But I still speak as a long term friend of America.

David Sergeant (18:12): I have my own sources that back up what Fraser has written.

Jennifer Wells (13:01): "This is not about whether the Tory-GOP relationship is strong or weak Mr Editor. McCain, Giuliani and Bush know that we are in a war where the stakes could hardly be higher. Cameron does not seem to know that we are at war. He conveys no sense that defeat in Iraq would be unthinkable."

I agree with you Jennifer. I was wrong to emphasise the politics of this rather than the strategically-shared common interests. I do not think that we should be close to america because of a puppy-like love of America but because of our shared interest in defeating Islamism.

"...but because of our shared interest in defeating Islamism."

I have no interest in defeating Islaam.

Who really gives a toss what McCain says? McCain gave a really lousy speech to conference in 2006, and will never get the GOP nomination. Rudy is a man the British Conservatives can do business with!

Editor, you must realise that many - perhaps the majority - of Conservatives are closer to the Democratic Party? I know you want to introduce religion in to the party and forge closer links with "NeoCons" who support more authoritarian policies, but Conservatives, like the British people, are more in tune with liberal values.

To add what David Sergeant said, we need a couple of 'Clause Four' moments - disestablish the CoE and tell Murdoch and News International to get stuffed (to put it mildly).

I wrote Islamism - not Islam, Valedictoryan.

Editor, Islamism is not an evil to be defeated. It's only some Islamic groups that are linked to terrorism.

When Christians like yourself start talking about defeating Islamism, I fear that a Crusade is what you have in mind.

That article in NOW had the hand of Murdoch all over it.

Where else would the young juorno get his material from? Does anyone think the NOW has credibility with McCain?

Wise up.

BTW Editor, to quote from the Wiki article you pointed at:

Some Muslims do not see a difference between Islamism and Islam at all, saying "If Islam is a way of life, how can we say that those who want to live by its principles in legal, social, political, economic, and political spheres of life are not Muslims, but Islamists and believe in Islamism, not Islam"?

Many people like you Valedictoryan may not realise that there is a distinction between Islam and Islamism but there is a real and established academic distinction. I accept, however, that there is scope for confusion. For the record I do not want to see Islam defeated by our governments but I do want to see the ideology of Islamism defeated.

I wonder what the angle to all this is, taking it at face value. Could it be that, mindful of the lack of support for Blair on Iraq from Labour M.P.s, the G.O.P, with Murdoch, are trying to browbeat Conservatives to stay onside with Blair because if there is another vote Blair will need the Tories.

Just trying to make sence, I cannot imagine that all these G.O.P. luminaries are really that concerned. Some of them probably think Cameron is a Scottish Nationalist.

"McCain, Giuliani and Bush know that we are in a war where the stakes could hardly be higher. Cameron does not seem to know that we are at war. He conveys no sense that defeat in Iraq would be unthinkable."
Right, so it is the McCain, Giuliani or Bush view and their strategy which is correct and that David Cameron and his team does not seem to know we are at war!!!
Unbelievable considering the mistakes made by the Bush administration before, during and after the war.
I have relatives in the military and I refuse to let the neocons in the Republican party use them as cannon fodder to continue a policy which failed the day after the invasion of Iraq because politicians both sides of the Atlantic did not listen, or provide adequate resources for the military to do the job needed. Criticising a leader of the opposition in the UK over a presiding Republican party which even now can't do more than a token increase in troops is laughable.
The fact that these mistakes have been compounded by the way Afghanistan was put on the back boiler and allowed to become about the most dangerous place for a UK soldier is beyond belief, anyone fancy being a British soldier in Helmand at the moment with sod all equipment and not nearly enough troops!?!!

Cameron and Hague may have come to the conclusion that they cannot keep writing foreign policy cheques with our military. It is already running beyond maximum capacity and in serious danger of being unsustainable in both Iraq and Afghanistan with the continued under funding from the present Labour government.

British foreign policy must be decided on British interests, and that judgement needs to be independent of US interests. Since Suez and Vietnam we have established that our interests do not always coincide. I want to see a Conservative Party that is ready to be independent whenever that is the right course. Cameron will be supported in this, provided he shows himself to be consistent and principled.

I have just tucked my kids up in bed and have returned with horror to this discussion thread. Everyone is talking about the UK national interest as if American interests are alien to our own. If we walk away from Iraq we will condemn the Iraqi people to terrible danger and create a state vulnerable to terrorist domination... and please don't you backwards-looking bloggers respond by saying that that is the creation of Bush-Blair. That's you just playing politics. Statesmanship demands that we avoid the terror state emerging.

Coming to this thread a little late as usual, I think that the “special relationship” with the US has to have a special place in UK foreign policy. I can’t remember who said that the relationship between the US and the UK should be “solid but not slavish”, but it was very true. America has been a staunch and protective ally to us in history, and I am proud that the we here in the UK have stood by the side of our friends in their darkest hours, as after 9/11.

That does not mean, however, that we should not have a strong debate with our allies about the means we employ in foreign and defence policy. We should be able to agree with the US administration on their aims. As Tim has written on here, those terrorists who pervert Islamic ideologies as an excuse to attack us are an equal threat to us all, and we should stand together against them. A strong, honest dialogue between administrations on either side if the Atlantic, however, should not be seen as a threat to that unity but as a vital role for the UK in influencing detailed policy in difficult regions such as Iraq, and should be pursued to the fullest. It is in the interests of the whole international community that we get this right now, and if that sometimes means British Conservatives raising their voices in private, so be it.

Scotty is right to be angry above – the Government betrayal of our armed forces in terms of woefully equipping them for the tasks that Blair’s foreign policy has given them is shameful. I believe that an incoming Conservative Government should ensure as an early priority that our brave servicemen and women are given the backing and the resources to complete their tasks where required. I hope that this is a conversation that Fox and Osborne will have already had.

Jennifer, I think you are fooling yourself. Barring a miracle we have lost in Iraq already. The actions of Britain and America have made a bad situation (Hussein) worse. The country already out side the Kurdish area already under terrorist domination. That is not me playing politics ,it is just being honest.

This in the Sunday Times by Irwin Stelzer from an account of a lunch with George W Bush and Andrew Roberts: "I then asked what the relationship of the US and the UK would be in a postBlair world. Roberts told Bush that the United States would have no problem with Brown, who is pro-American. David Cameron, was another matter, said Roberts, citing the Tory leader’s speech on the fifth anniversary of September 11, calling for an end to Britain’s “slavish” relationship with the United States. Bush was unperturbed. The special relationship is “unbelievably powerful”, he said, and transcends such differences as exist between any president and prime minister. “Who would have thought that a left-of-centre prime minister and a conservative president could combine as we have done to try to bring democracy to Iraq?”"

"if we walk away from Iraq we will condemn the Iraqi people to terrible danger and create a state vulnerable to terrorist domination... and please don't you backwards-looking bloggers respond by saying that that is the creation of Bush-Blair. That's you just playing politics."
I am sorry Jennifer but we condemned the Iraqi people to terrible danger and created a state vulnerable to terrorist domination a long time ago. If you do not accept that then you have failed to watch the news every day of the last soon to be 4 years.
And I resent the label "backward bloggers saying that it is the creation of Bush-Blair", sorry but they managed to create another theatre of war which has damaged our standing in the Middle East still further! I also find the accusation that we are playing politics even more offensive in light of the way that Blair & Co have treated news management of the situation in both Iraq and Afghanistan to suit their domestic political situation.
Everything that Blair has done since the "dodgy dossier" has been about playing politics and the way that our service personnel have been treated by this government is beyond contempt.
The one unspoken rule of any government in Britain has been broken by Blair, the voters expected that what ever else their were told or spun by a government they would always be honest about the reasons for going to war.

I thought John McCain was a superior option to George Bush but his time has gone.....he might survive to the Convention enough to broker a job as VP or Head of the CIA or Defence Secretary....but frankly I think Mitt Romney, whom I have met, is probably a better option for the Republicans.

Those writing that American foreign affairs form a significant influence upon our own are correct. But how, from this, do they argue that American foreign affairs or our own are benefitted by the war in Iraq?

America's reputation in the Middle East and elsewhere has suffered massively from the engagement in Iraq for no tangible benefit. The kindest thing we can do, and I hope we are doing, is help them wrap up this whole tedious misadventure sooner rather than later.

If McCain mistakes his own nation's interests, all the more reason to act as a friend of America by telling him that he is misguided. If we can't say it, who can?

So John McCain feels deceived by Dave. Welcome to how the rest of us have been feeling for some time.

This is hilarious. McCain criticises Cameron for failing to support the very policy that is wrecking his own chances of getting the Republican nomination.

I suspect that the reasons for McCain's sluggish progress are more complex than that: I don't think either Giuliani or Romney is running on a "Quit Iraq" ticket. Not even Hilary is doing that....yet! All of them are too well aware of just how high the stakes are, whatever one's criticisms of Bush.

"Editor, you must realise that many - perhaps the majority - of Conservatives are closer to the Democratic Party? "

American politics don't really match ours. The Democrats and the Republicans are much broader churches than British political parties,

I imagine that many British Conservatives would feel they have much in common with conservatives in the Democratic Party. But I should think the average British Conservative would have very little in common with the centre and left of that party. In general, I think the average British Conservative would feel more comfortable with the centre of the Republican Party.

"disestablish the CoE and tell Murdoch and News International to get stuffed (to put it mildly).

Which would get us a handful of left wing votes in Haringey and Islington perhaps.

My guess is that McCain is heading for the same fate as Ken Clarke: to be forever written up as The Man They Should Have Picked by journalists who don't agree with his party. McCain is probably having similar problems with his activist base.

It's always difficult to read these things from the outside. Personally, I can't see how on earth there should even be a debate over nominating Rudy Guiliani - if he was a British Tory, we'd snap him up, wouldn't we? - but a lot of our cousins over there are sitting on their hands. Funny people, activists.

You applying for the E-H seat, Sean?

No. I'm not applying for anything this year, Justin.

The only pity is that we didn't move more towards the Party's present somewhat tentative position in around the autumn of 2003, i.e. once it became clear there were no WMD. Many of us who supported the war at the outset feel embarrassed at being duped, and so do most Brits who were not in the minority who were against the war in the first place.

It is deeply unConservative to support American actions uncritically when they are no longer in our national interest. PERIOD. If Brown is so stupid as to continue the present stance when he has the chance to reverse it, then we really will be in with a good chance of beating him at the election. Sadly for our narrow party interest, I doubt he will be that stupid, and Cameron isn't so stupid as to be the last man left supporting the Bush Presidency either. Fox, however, may be...

It is deeply unConservative to support American actions uncritically when they are no longer in our national interest. PERIOD.

But Londoner: I'd be very surprised if any one ever advocated uncritical support of the Americans when it was against the UK national interest. Isn't that what the argument is all about?

I'm not particularly impressed by the "if I knew then what I know now" theory. Bit gutless, don't you think? I've got more time for Brian Haw.

And since you're bound to ask: yes, I supported the invasion of Iraq. And if I'd known then what I know now, I would have advised the Americans to hire some better project managers.


if we really are all about defeating Islamist extremism then Iraq is an even greater debacle than it's considered already. Saddam Hussein was not an Islamist, but Iran (to whom we have now handed regional hegemony on a plate to) is an Islamic Republic ruled by the Ayatollah's, sponsoring Hizbullah, and preparing to arm itself with nuclear weapons. And our deployments in Iraq mean we have tied our own hands behind our own back when it comes to dealing with them. Great.

Thank you Adam. Another reason why it was not in our national interest to invade Iraq.

If you make a mistake, it is best to rectify it sooner rather than later. Some might call this the "if I knew then what I know now" syndrome - I would characterise it as the "if in a hole, stop digging" syndrome.

But it's not just that - certainly for me I only supported the invasion because I believed the Government when they said that there were WMD potentially dangerous to us. Those who supported it for other reasons (regime change, regional Middle East power plays etc) may well be content to continue to support it, but those of us who had our credibility exploited cannot take the same view. And we particularly blame the Americans for this further erosion of faith in our own institutions (i.e. that on matters of war and national security our Governments play it straight) as Blair was clearly egged on in this because of the "personal chemistry" between these two superficial, unintellectual and historically ignorant characters.

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