Tony Blair's only semi-viable excuse for taking over a week to comment on the botched execution of Saddam Hussein is that he's been so tied up with the latest hitch in the Northern Ireland peace process that he hasn't had time to think about Iraq. His efforts extend to a special opinion piece in Monday's Irish Times (subs. req'd) urging Sinn Féin and the DUP to act on what he assesses they already believe. The tilt of his argument clearly indicates that he views the Sinn Féin stance as the more fragile of the two at the moment --
In particular, I recall time and again being told that the IRA would never decommission; they would never give up violence; they would never commit to exclusively peaceful means. But they have done all these things. Sinn Féin has demonstrated one of the most remarkable examples of leadership I have come across in modern politics. It has been historic and it has been real.
For better or worse, Blair's approach makes for an interesting contrast with that of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who apparently hasn't initiated a conversation with either Gerry Adams or Ian Paisley in over 2 months. It's not clear whether Tony and Bertie have coordinated their indulgent/play hard-to get act.
UPDATE: The slide into pop psychology continues. After Tony's affirmation of Gerry's contribution, Gerry says that Ian Paisley just needs some "space".