Hitch takes the long view on Tony Blair:
He now operates under the somehow touching name of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which can sound rather like a body set up to express faith in Tony Blair. His principal day job is to serve as mediator for the “Quartet” of powers that supervise the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” This means regular efforts to reconcile Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the Holy Land. Cheer up, I want to tell him. At least it's a job for life. ...
When Tony Blair took office, Slobodan Miloevic' was cleansing and raping the republics of the former Yugoslavia. Mullah Omar was lending Osama bin Laden the hinterland of a failed and rogue state. Charles Taylor of Liberia was leading a hand-lopping militia of enslaved children across the frontier of Sierra Leone, threatening a blood-diamond version of Rwanda in West Africa. And the wealth and people of Iraq were the abused private property of Saddam Hussein and his crime family.
Today, all of these Caligula figures are at least out of power, and at the best either dead or on trial. How can anybody with a sense of history not grant Blair some portion of credit for this? And how can anybody with a tincture of moral sense go into a paroxysm and yell that it is he who is the war criminal? It is as if all the civilians murdered by al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be charged to his account. This is the chaotic mentality of Julian Assange and his groupies.
We don't know what his complicity was in the torture of human beings, and so the term "war criminal" cannot be applied as of this moment. (It is, anyway, a technical legal term, not some kind of insult. Under international law, George W. Bush is a war criminal. There is no dispute about that outside a tiny coterie of legal mediocrities and political hacks and a general public as yet unable to grasp that their ex-president should be in jail.)
And how does the Catholic convert Blair react to the fact that Iraq is now cleansing and murdering its once considerable Christian population, as Moqtada al Sadr increasingly calls the shots in the new government and as torture appears to be routine in the criminal justice system in that country? He is understandably quiet.