Christopher Meyer, the debonair diplomat who served as Britain’s ambassador to Washington from 1997 to 2003 however later argued that his executive let itself be suckered into supporting the American invasion of Iraq, died on July 27 at his vacation house in Megeve, within the French Alps . He used to be 78.
His loss of life, it appears from a stroke, used to be showed via a number of officers, together with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
As Britain’s envoy from 1997 to 2003, all over the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Mr. Meyer had quietly banned the time period “special relationship” to explain the alliance between Britain and the United States, arguing that Washington obviously thought to be its ties to different countries — Israel, for instance — to be significantly extra important.
Breaking with many different European countries, Britain was the Bush management’s leader spouse in its invasion of Afghanistan after the 2001 terrorist assaults in New York and Washington, and in its beef up of Washington’s claims that Iraq used to be growing and deploying guns of mass destruction.
Mr. Meyer, alternatively, maintained, privately on the time and later in an unapologetically indiscreet ebook titled “DC Confidential” (2005), that with out enough evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed the ones guns, and missing each additional beef up from the United Nations and plans to control Iraq as soon as Hussein used to be toppled, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mr. Bush had upfront reached an settlement to invade Iraq, which he later stated were “signed in blood,” on the president’s Texas ranch in April 2002.
“History’s verdict,” Mr. Meyer wrote, “looks likely to be that it was terminally flawed both in conception and execution.”
He later said, although, that Washington may neatly have long past to warfare with out Britain’s beef up.
Sparing only some from reproach, he wrote dismissively of Mr. Blair’s ministers. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott answered via brushing aside the previous envoy as a “red-socked fop” — a connection with his penchant for flashy hosiery. (Unfazed, Mr. Meyer followed the Twitter deal with @sirsocks, below which he weighed in as not too long ago as a couple of weeks in the past at the Conservative Party management race.)
Christopher John Rome Meyer used to be born on Feb. 22, 1944, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Thirteen days earlier than he used to be born, his father, Reginald, a Royal Air Force flight lieutenant, died when his airplane used to be shot down on a bombing project over Greece. He used to be raised via his mom, Eve, and his grandmother in Brighton.
He attended boarding college at Lancing College in West Sussex, studied in Paris and graduated with a point in historical past from the University of Cambridge. He then studied on the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy.
In 1997 he married Catherine Laylle Volkmann, who ran Parents and Abducted Children Together, a world marketing campaign, to permit divorced and separated oldsters get entry to to their kids. She survives him, in conjunction with two sons, James and William, from his marriage to Françoise Hedges, which resulted in divorce; 3 stepsons; and a grandson.
Mr. Meyer joined the Foreign Office in 1966. He used to be posted in Moscow, Madrid, Brussels and Washington and spent a yr at Harvard as a visiting fellow. In 1994 he was pressative for John Major, the Conservative high minister.
He served in short as ambassador to Germany in 1997 earlier than being appointed envoy to Washington later that yr. His tenure as Britain’s longest-serving post-World War II ambassador to Washington would surround Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, Mr. Bush’s squeaker victory in 2000, the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan and the prelude to the warfare in Iraq.
He used to be knighted in 1998.
In his memoir, Mr. Meyer wrote that Jonathan Powell, Mr. Blair’s leader of workforce, had ordered him to get as shut as imaginable to the White House. He were given as shut as he may within the Bush management: He performed tennis with Condoleezza Rice, the nationwide safety adviser; went white-water rafting with Donald H. Rumsfeld, the protection secretary; and befriended his next-door neighbor, Vice President Dick Cheney.
After he retired in 2003, Mr. Meyer served for 6 years as chairman of his nation’s Press Complaints Commission, a self-policing frame that he helped toughen.
He later wrote books and articles and often posted on Twitter, the place he puzzled in 2020 why The New York Times used to be, as he put it, so unremittingly Anglophobic. “Is it Brexit, where the paper is more royalist than the king for the Remain cause?” he asked, “Is it its loathing of Boris, whom it thinks ludicrously is a mini-Trump?”
He additionally hosted tv documentaries, together with a BBC collection, “Networks of Power” (2012), wherein he sought to spot the attributes that robust international towns and their influential population percentage.
“I thought, this is really interesting — what makes these cities tick? Who makes them tick?” he told The Guardian in 2012. “And I started off with a hypothesis, which I think has been more or less justified by the filming, which was: Perhaps they have more in common with each other than they do with their own countries. Having watched Mumbai, Moscow and Rome, I would say the common trait is an alarming degree of nepotism.”
The real issue, he added, was that “it’s your nature to enclose your self with individuals who you assume will advance your pursuits, with whom you’ve gotten some very important compatibility, and with whom you get on.”