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New UK book: Bush and Blair conspired for war in Iraq

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The Mail on Sunday today is reporting that a book due out this week has more information on Bush and Blair's interest in going to war, regadless of what they said publicly. It doesn't come as much of a surprise, but the facts seem to be increasingly slipping out. When the book hits the street later this week, Blair and Jack Straw should be put back on the defensive.

Immediately afterwards, the two leaders gave a Press conference in which a nervous-looking Mr Blair claimed the meeting had been a success. Mr Bush gave qualified support for going down the UN route. But observers noted the awkward body language between the two men. Sands' book explains why. Far from giving a genuine endorsement to Mr Blair's attempt to gain full UN approval, Mr Bush was only going through the motions. And Mr Blair not only knew it, but went along with it.

The description of the January 31 meeting echoes the recent memoirs of Britain's former ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer.

Meyer, who was excluded from the private session between Blair and Bush, claimed the summit marked the culmination of the Prime Minister's failure to use his influence to hold back Mr Bush.

In view of Sands' disclosures, Blair had every reason to look awkward: he knew that despite his public talk of getting UN support, privately he had just committed himself to going to war no matter what the UN did.

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