Bye, Bye, Blair

British PM Tony Blair will step down on June 27. Here from the archives is Geoffrey Wheatcroft's big Blair profile in the June 2004 Atlantic.

I'll just return to my token stolen-from-my-grandfather point about Blair, namely that he was more significant in selling the Iraq War in the United States than is commonly recognized. Lots and lots of Democrats who would never in a million years have taken George W. Bush's word for it that there was this huge Iraqi WMD threat and a reasonable American military plan to take it out, were perfectly prepared to be convinced by the fact that Blair, who one would think had access to more detailed information than any of us sitting at home reading the newspaper. In retrospect, obviously, this turns out to have been a terrible heuristic, but I think it was one that influenced a lot of people at the time.