Blair failed to understand that America’s really special relationship is with Israel, not Britain. Every time that George Bush had to choose between Blair and Ariel Sharon, he chose the latter. Blair’s special relationship with Bush was a one-way street: Blair made all the concessions and got nothing tangible in return.
American policy towards the Middle East was doomed to failure from the start, and the end result has been to saddle Britain with a share of the responsibility for this failure. The premise behind American policy was that Iraq was the main issue in Middle East politics and that regime change in Baghdad would weaken the Palestinians and force them to accept a settlement on Israel’s terms. The road to Jerusalem, it was argued, went through Baghdad. This premise was wrong. Iraq was a non-issue; it did not pose a threat to any of its neighbours, and certainly not to America or Britain. The real issue was Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and America’s support for Israel in its savage colonial war against the Palestinian people.