- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 15, 2003

Nobles: British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is a true friend and a stalwart ally of the United States.
It wasn't so long ago that many Americans, particularly Republicans, found it difficult to imagine Mr. Blair as an ally, much less the trouble-tested brother that he has become. When he assumed the prime ministership in 1997, he seemed a British Bill Clinton. And why not? Both had similar life stories. Where Mr. Clinton came from a poultry-producing state in the South, Mr. Blair came from a coal-mining district in the North. Both married high-profile, opinionated lawyers. Mr. Clinton played his saxophone on Arsenio, Mr. Blair played his guitar with the band Ugly Rumors. Most importantly, both were leaders in the third way movement and young for their ascension to their nations' highest offices.
When George W. Bush became president, it would have been easy for Mr. Blair to step back from his friendship with America. Rather than maintaining the "special relationship," Mr. Blair could have become a sort of younger Jean Chretien taking his pokes at America, obstructing its policies and enjoying the resulting accolades at home and abroad.
Instead of taking the low road to world approval, Mr. Blair took the high path of true friendship. Since September 11, Mr. Bush has had no better friend, America has had no better ally. Mr. Blair has been a stalwart supporter of America's actions throughout the war on terrorism. He's risen nobly, not to mention eloquently, to defend Mr. Bush's policies on the floor of the House of Commons, and he's sent British soldiers to bleed with Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr. Blair has paid an ugly price for his friendship with Mr. Bush and America particularly at home. His public popularity has suffered and, earlier this week, he was blind-sided by a revolt by colleagues in the Labor Party, who threatened to resign over his Iraq policy.
Yet, he continues to stand by his friend, Mr. Bush, and his ally, America. For his determination to root out the evil he sees in the world, and his willingness to pay whatever price and bear whatever burden is necessary, Tony Blair is the noble of the week.

Knaves: See-no-little-evil inspector Hans Blix.
It's hard to believe that Mr. Blix knows as little as he publicly declares with regards to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. On paper, few seemed better poised to know. After all, before he was appointed chief U.N. weapons inspector he had spent 16 years (1981-97) studying Iraq's nuclear program as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
While serving in that post, he had the highly educational not to mention humiliating experience of having been utterly deceived by the Iraqi government, which had managed to hide from him the existence of a highly advanced nuclear weapons development program. It was only discovered in the aftermath of the Gulf War, and Mr. Blix admitted later, "It's correct to say that the IAEA was fooled by the Iraqis."
Mr. Blix vowed not to be fooled again. He got off to a Sherlockian start, aided by U.S. intelligence and abetted by willing inspectors. His first report to the United Nations was devastating in demonstrating Iraqi non-compliance. Yet, even though he has continued to find more and more evidence of Iraqi non-compliance, Mr. Blix has seemed determined to see less and less evil.
In his public testimony about the report he released earlier this week, Mr. Blix somehow forgot to mention the combat drones that the inspections teams uncovered. He also failed to talk about the cluster bombs they found, capable of unleashing chemical and biological agents.
When asked about those startling omissions, Mr. Blix merely minimized their existence and promised to continue to investigate. There seems little point in waiting for that, given how tightly he has already fixed the blinders to his face.
When the war comes, we will have Mr. Blix to thank not for his noble efforts to conduct a thorough and honest weapons investigation but rather for his knavish determination to see so little evil in Iraq.

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