Seventeen years ago Tony Blair permanently blemished his CV by becoming George W Bush’s warmongering lapdog in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The New Labour leader, who has been credited for leaving a blueprint for social democratic government during his period in office among other things, will always be remembered as the British prime minister who led Britain into a murderous, illegal and calamitous war in Iraq.
The war’s legacy leaves him damned for all time, Jonathan Freedland once wrote, referencing the scathing Chilcot report which was critical of the war and Blair’s role in every aspect of it.
Sir John ruled that the decision to invade was taken “before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted” and that military action was “not a last resort”.
He added that Saddam posed no “imminent threat”, which in effect, declared the war needless.
An Iran with the bomb, or bombing Iran
Yet the destabilising effect the war had on the region could soon be surpassed if Donald Trump’s acts of aggression towards Iran leads to the use of nuclear weapons that would destabilise the entire world.
Iran confirmed this week that it will no longer abide by any of the limits of its unravelling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after a US air strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.
It ends an accord that blocked Tehran from having enough material to build an atomic weapon and presents an impending choice for the US: An Iran with the bomb, or bombing Iran.
The US response has been typically Trumpian.
Johnson has largely sat on the fence since the news of Soleimani’s assassination was brought to him while on holiday, yet even he couldn’t ignore the president’s blatant disregard of the 1972 UN convention.
On Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said cultural sites were protected by international law, and Britain expected that to be respected.
Yet when push comes to shove, there may be little Britain can do to stop Trump’s reckless behaviour.
Crucial trade talks
As the crisis in the Middle East escalates, the UK is looking to conduct crucial trade talks with the US which could turn Johnson into Trump’s lapdog in order to make a success of Brexit.
As Peter Oborne wrote here, “Johnson risks being drawn into conflict whether he wants to or not.
“And Brexit is not the only factor pushing Johnson towards Trump.
“If conflict escalates, it will be hard for Johnson to stop Britain getting dragged in.
“The only way to do so would be an outright repudiation of US conduct.”
With trade negotiations at such a delicate stage Johnson finds himself more in the pocket of Trump than Blair ever did with Bush.
The impending conflict could soon spill over, and there will be little Britain’s Brexit Prime Minister will be able to do to stop it.