As he prepares to leave power, Tony Blair understandably tries to focus on the one thing history will say he got right. We can argue over how well it is being fought, and whether we have chosen the right ground on which to fight it, but the so-called "war on terror" is a clear necessity.
Islamic terrorists have no political goals which could be accommodated. Nothing short of our destruction or surrender will satisfy them.
At this point in history, we can easily defeat them if we have the political and moral will. Blair - to his credit - knows that. Unlike the leftists in his Party and the bitter and envious governments of Western Europe, he also knows that without the leading nation of the West, there can be no victory.
I believe history will say that Osama bin Laden's attack on 9/11 was as great a blunder as the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor. The USA would have sat by stoically while the Caliphate was restored by infiltration in Europe. Why should Americans have intervened in the affairs of a continent riddled with anti-Americanism? Only 9/11 - or something very like it - could have awoken them. Given some historical distance, I think it will one day be seen that the victims did not die in vain,
Whenever one nation is seen as "too powerful", there are bound to be resentments. Kipling warned Americans of their destiny at the end of the 19th Century. Yet America does not throw her weight about like European imperialists of the past. Buy her goods and services and she will not even notice your politics. She has no imperial ambitions.
European resentment of the USA is jealousy, pure and simple. For the French, it is almost unbearable that one Anglo-Saxon superpower should have been succeeded by another. For the Germans, arguably the most civilised Europeans, it must be hard to see an uncultured consumer nation at the head of the Western World. But Blair is right. If they - and the strange alliance of British snobs, leftists and Muslims who hate America - cannot put those resentments behind them, we are lost.
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair condemns anti-US 'madness'