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Britons snort at Blair's award

President Bush awarded the Medal of Freedom to Blair, whose legacy is clouded by the Iraq war.

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Old pals: President George W. Bush bestowed America's highest civilian honor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday.

Jason Reed/Reuters

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Normally, an international statesman's acceptance of an award from an ally is cause for pride in their home nation.

Tony Blair's receipt of America's highest civilian award at the White House Tuesday, though, was greeted with a chorus of disapproval in Britain, where anger at the former prime minister's decision to join the invasion of Iraq has not abated.

Many also questioned why Mr. Blair, who is now a Middle East envoy for the "Quartet" – the US, European Union, United Nations, and Russia – had time to go to Washington to collect the Presidential Medal of Freedom while the Israeli offensive was still under way in Gaza.

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