LONDON — It is becoming impossible not to feel sorry for Tony Blair, Britain’s departing prime minister.

Here is a man still in his prime who has led his country as chief executive for almost a decade, who has kept Britain at the center of world affairs, who has presided during a period of greatly increased wealth and prosperity (although admittedly with a huge increase in debt), who has shown himself to be one of the quickest minds in politics and to have had both unquestionably good intentions and sometimes deep insights into the complexities of modern government.

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