Michael Gerson likes Tony Blair, in part because he says things like this:
"They [the terrorists] are prepared to play a long game," he told me, "and they believe that we are not."
"The reason why the stance of a lot of public opinion is quite defeatist in my view is because we are still saying, ’Well, they’ve got a point, we understand their grievance, maybe it is our fault.’ . . . We get rid of two of the most brutal and terrible dictatorships, who’ve killed hundreds of thousands of their people, we then say you can have a United Nations-backed process of democracy -- and you say that provoked them to terrorism. I mean, explain that one for me."
"If those two external elements [al Qaeda and Iran] were not there, this thing [Iraq] would be very nearly manageable," Blair told me. "Sometimes you have to come to a very simple conclusion, which is that your enemies decided to fight you."
Gerson closes by citing something that probably comes from Harvey C. Mansfield’s The Spirit of Liberalism:
Thirty years ago, Harvard political theorist Harvey Mansfield mockingly asked, "Who today is called a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?" By this high standard, Tony Blair is a liberal.
Gerson’s evident admiration for this side of Blair says a lot about him, and about his former employer as well. If my other choices are crabbed isolationism, heartless realism, and internationalist pacifism, then I choose this.