Tony Blair is to be at talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
We must all hope most fervently that the talks are productive, but it is a pity that Tony Blair is the speaker for the Quartet - UN, US, Russia and EU.
Basically his message has to be that firing rockets at other people is not a good idea; it helps neither side, on the contrary it harms everyone. Warfare is destructive, not constructive. It brings about chaos, turning perfectly good buildings into rubble, and reasonably good human beings into little blobs of jelly, it creates grief, anger and hatred that complete a vicious cycle of destruction when the other side takes revenge.
Blair can bring all his verbal skills, both political and also his training as a barrister to bear on the assembled company. He can make the best speech of his life against the folly of war. He could make the best speech anyone has ever made in the whole of human history about the folly of war. But in the end, both sides can just look him in the eye and say:
"Oh yeah? And what about Iraq?"
And that is the sad truth. Maybe that is the Cunning Plan: to get both sides thinking the same thought.
Maybe his mentor Peter Thompson should talk to him about the great Christian doctrine of repentance. If Tony Blair actually stood up and said
"Look, I have done war. Got the T-shirt. It doesn't work. The invasion of Iraq was a ghastly error. We did succeed in deposing Saddam Hussein, but at a cost that is too great for humanity to bear. I'm sorry. We goofed. I should not have supported GWB. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa".
Then, possibly, he might get through to his target audience.
Or maybe still not. It might be simpler to get someone else to be the Quartet's Peace Envoy.
Sorry Tone. Nothing personal. Just political realism.