TONY Blair may well allow himself to fall for the idea that George W Bush will display a more consensual approach during his second term as US president.
But he should not expect anyone else to swallow this tendentious nonsense.
In one sense, the Prime Minister has to purport to believe such claptrap, because he has based his entire record of unquestioningly backing President Bush on his supposed moderating influence on the White House.
He has also implied that the British-US "special relationship" can lead Mr Bush to embrace his own professed concerns for the environment and for a just settlement for the Palestinians.
But there is no evidence to support Mr Blair's fantasies or to indicate that Mr Bush intends to move away from the goal of global domination spelled out in the Project for a New American Century and in the military policy of full-spectrum dominance.
Mr Bush has no intention of signing up to the Kyoto Protocol, although he may participate in an internal US charade to gull the unwary into believing that he is having fresh thoughts about global warming.
On Palestine, far from Mr Blair influencing Mr Bush, the opposite applies, with the British Prime Minister first accepting the refusal to deal with late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and then choosing to swallow US acceptance of Israel's plans to annexe most of the West Bank.
Yet Mr Blair sees Mr Bush's decision to visit Europe at the end of this month as "significant."
The US president is prepared to accept "old Europe" as his allies only to the same extent that he tolerates Mr Blair.
His administration's idea of co-operation is that "allies" fall in line with White House wisdom whether or not they have been consulted as to their opinions.
The French, German and Spanish governments are, at present, opposed to demeaning themselves in the same way that Mr Blair has done for Britain.
This does not mean that they won't find themselves co-operating with Washington on occasion when united action by imperialism is judged expedient, as happened during the dismemberment of Yugoslavia or the recent pressure on Ukrainian voters to elect a pro-NATO neoliberal president.
But they remain opposed to involvement in an illegal, brutal occupation of Iraq, which meets only the energy and politico-military needs of US transnational capital.
They are aware of the political damage that they could suffer as a result of being sucked into the morass of Iraq, having the electoral defeat of Spain's "democratised" Francoite Jose-Maria Aznar as a reminder.
Mr Blair is unlikely to suffer that fate, since the Tories were as submissive to Washington as he was and the Liberal Democrats' pre-war peace stance has degenerated into de facto participation on the grounds of "finishing what we started."
Parliamentary paralysis over the ongoing occupation emphasises the vital importance of building support for the planned national demonstrations on March 19 to demand the immediate return of British troops from Iraq.