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Is There a World Leader Exchange Program?

British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave a press conference the other day to talk about his government's position on taking action against Iraq. I watched the part of it excerpted below on BBC World News, and can confidently report that this was delivered looking neither at a TelePrompter nor at notes:

You would think from some of the discussion that we're dealing with some benign liberal democracy out in Iraq.

We're dealing with a regime that routinely tortures and executes it's political opponents, that probably was responsible for up to 100,000 Kurdish people dying in a brutal campaign in order to enforce Iraqi rule.

We're talking about a regime that was responsible for a million people dying in the Iran/Iraq war, the annexation of Kuwait and that was trying to develop these appalling weapons and indeed actually used these weapons against their own people.

Now the issue is making sure it's not a threat.

And either the regime starts to function in an entirely different way -- and there hasn't been much sign of that -- or the regime has to change. Now that is the choice, very simply.

Our last President was Bill Clinton, who was as articulate as Blair but generally a spineless poll-watcher, so it went to waste. Bush seems to have a spine, but is unable to express himself clearly except in the most controlled contexts. To have a President with convictions and the ability to articulate them? It's hard to imagine.

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