Here's an edited transcipt of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech before the US Congress, via The Independent. You can read the whole thing, but I want to point out a few paragraphs that illustrate that Tony Blair really does understand the world situation, and really is America's friend and ally.

The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defence and our first line of attack. In some cases, where our security is under direct threat, we will have recourse to arms. In others, it will be by force of reason. But in all cases to the same end: that the liberty we seek is not for some but for all. For that is the only true path to victory. ...

There is no more dangerous theory in international politics today than that we need to balance the power of America with other competitor powers, different poles around which nations gather.

Any alliance must start with America and Europe. Believe me if Europe and America are together, the others will work with us. But if we split, all the rest will play around, play us off and nothing but mischief will be the result of it.

We are part of Europe - and want to be. But we also want to be part of changing Europe. So don't give up on Europe. Work with it.

It is not the coalition that determines the mission but the mission, the coalition. But let us start preferring a coalition and acting alone if we have to; not the other way round. True, winning wars is not easier that way. But winning the peace is. And we have to win both.

Excellent. America is really fortunate to have such a committed friend in Tony Blair and the UK. As Blair points out, our coalition is strong because we share the same mission. He is a worthy recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal that was awarded to him today.



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