Blair's apology for Iraq is a sorry sight
The big problem for Tony Blair is that he can't say his critics are using hindsight - because it was foresight, writes Declan Lynch
If you did European History in secondary school, you may have a vague recollection of the Ems Telegram.
This was the 'dodgy dossier' of its day, a version of a meeting between the French ambassador and a Prussian dignitary which had been edited - or , if you like, 'sexed up' by Bismarck in such a way as to give the impression that the encounter had been more belligerent that it actually was.
It enabled Bismarck to get what he wanted - a war with France - just as the 'dodgy dossier' about weapons of mass destruction enabled Tony Blair to get what he wanted, which at the time tended to be whatever George W Bush wanted.