December 6, 2006
As Tony Blair flies out to meet George Bush, the latest admission of failure in Iraq has made the two leaders appear even more isolated.
After telling the UN assembly in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the former Secretary of State admitted in May 2004 the claims were "inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading".
Colonel Tim Collins
The Army colonel made a famous rousing speech to troops on the eve of battle. But in September 2005, he declared: "History might notice the invasion has arguably acted as the best recruiting sergeant for al-Qa'ida ever."
The former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq admitted in January 2006: "It [the invasion] was a much tougher job than I think I expected it to be... we really didn't see the insurgency coming."
Contradicting the usually upbeat rhetoric, the US ambassador in Iraq said in March: "We have opened a Pandora's box". And unless the violence abated, Iraq would "make Taliban Afghanistan look like child's play".
The former foreign secretary, one of the cheerleaders for the war, said in September: "The current situation is dire. I think many mistakes were made after the military action - there is no question about it - by the United States administration."
Gen Sir Richard Dannatt
The British General admitted in an interview in October: "I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates [them]."
Regarded as one of the intellectual godfathers of the war, Perle changed his tack in November, admitting that "huge mistakes were made" in the invasion of Iraq. "The levels of brutality we've seen are truly horrifying," he added.
Last month, the noted neoconservative said: "The national security team... turned out to be among the most incompetent in the post-war era. Not only did each of them have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly."
A memo from the hardline former defence secretary revealed this week that he had been looking for a change of tactics. "In my view, it is time for a major adjustment... what US forces are doing in Iraq is not working well enough..."
Yesterday, Mr Rumsfeld's proposed successor was asked at a Senate hearing whether the US was winning the war in Iraq. "No, sir," he replied. And he warned that the situation could lead to a "regional conflagration".
Tony Blair ...
George Bush ...
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