Mohamed Atta and his bunch of crazed loons knew that by flying hijacked planes into New York’s twin towers in 2001 they were heading for eternal infamy.

The act itself resulted in slightly less than 3,000 deaths. There have been hundreds of thousands more killed by terrorism and wars on terror since but none has become as symbolic as those killed on 9/11.

The power of what Al-Qaeda did that day and their attempt to ferment a deathly final struggle between themselves and the West was woven between the lines of Lord Chilcott’s quietly devastating report this week.

For Tony Blair bought into this doomsday scenario, convinced himself after the Twin Towers that this was a fight to the finish between civilisation and barbarity, in a way that surpassed the wildest expectations of the extremists.

So much so that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were crowbarred into his mission with no allowance for dissent nor a cold-eyed examination of the evidence.

For of course there was absolutely no link between Saddam and the Islamic fundamentalists who sprang from the middle east via Afghanistan any more than there were weapons of mass destruction a short trip outside Baghdad.

Blair began to talk of this as a straight forward fight between Good and Evil that would encompass the globe.

Unlike his friend Bush who was simple minded enough to really believe it, Blair had no such excuses. But unbeknown to us his barrister-brain and practical politician’s nous had been switched off as a messianic will took over.

A different Blair emerged almost as if it were waiting for this moment to fulfil its destiny.

It is no real surprise that he describes himself now as a deeply religious man.

Even though most of us knew the war was a “bad idea” we still thought, at the time,  that our Prime Minister had some semblance of rational thinking for taking us there.

He had none.

And here’s the thing. As a worn-out, shadow of a man masochistically prostrated himself in front of journalists this week it is apparent that he still does believe it.

Amid all the desperate, and I have to say sad, pleas for a fair hearing he again sought to tell us we had to choose which side we are on.

As if the murderous Islamists were a coherent army ready to march rather than a rag, tag and bobtail collection of fanatics springing from different septic wells wherever in the world there is strife and poverty.

That is not to underestimate their enormous threat but to understand that the response has to be more intelligent than a latter day crusade.

Blair’s demise truly deserves the overused adjective Shakespearean. He did not start off on the wrong side of history, those of us who remember the mood of the nation as he walked into Downing Street in 1997 know that.

But to watch him this week at his press conference and the next day in the radio studio was in a way tragic. Like Lear raging to himself on his damned heath no-one is now listening to Tony Blair. Only he is unaware of that fact.

In a way the Chilcot report has massively overstated the UK’s role in all this. Bush and the US would have gone to war in Iraq without us anyway.

For the former President was always a zealot.

Mohamed Atta and his medieval gang of half-wits turned our Prime Minister into one too.

On 9/11 the hijackers went straight to hell not the paradise their simple minds were convinced was awaiting them. But they also got their victory.