“A COMPLETE RENAISSANCE”….Tony Blair spoke in Los Angeles today. The Guardian reports:

Tony Blair called for a fundamental reappraisal of British and US foreign policy yesterday, admitting that excessive emphasis on military power and failure to address the Palestinian issue had left the west losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East.

In a speech to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, the prime minister admitted “we are far from persuading those we need to persuade” that western values were even-handed, fair and just in their application. He said there was no point disguising the damage being done to the cause of peace in the Middle East by the war on the Lebanese border, but suggested that when the war finally ended “we must commit ourselves to a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those that threaten us”.

I don’t know if he really means it, and if he does mean it I don’t know if he has any chance of getting anyone in the Bush administration to pay any attention to him. But at least he seems to be saying the right things. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.