To the Editor:

One wonders what Queen Elizabeth I, as England faced Philip II's armada and Catholic Europe, or Winston Churchill, as the United Kingdom battled Hitler and Nazi Germany, would have made of Prime Minister Tony Blair's statement following the September 11 attacks that "we could have chosen security as the battleground. But we did not. We chose values." ("A Battle for Global Values," January/February 2007).

A political leader's first obligation is to national security. Values are a collective ethos of a country or people and should be exported by example, not at the point of a gun. By cloaking the Iraq war in talk of "values," Blair and President George W. Bush began what may be the greatest and most tragic failure in the story of Anglo-American foreign policy.

John L. Eastman

New York City