Thursday, February 22, 2007

So long sucker... the poodle at your throat

David Seaton's News Links
If you were looking for a clear sign of how close we are to war with Iran, Tony Blair's move is it. The British are saying, "this is where we get off". If we weren't just a hair's breadth away, Blair would never have taken this step at precisely the moment that Bush is "surging".

The move is both subtle and brutal, timed perfectly to do the maximum amount of political damage to Bush's position at a critical moment. It shows graphically, but with indirection, that there is no international support (outside of Israel) for an attack on Iran.

Perfidious Albion strikes again. The master touch. It reminds me of the recipe for Oxford University's fantastic lawns given by their head gardener. "Plant the finest seed, then water it and dung it... for six hundred years." They get it in their mother's milk, you can't learn this stuff in any school.

It will be interesting to read Charles Krauthammer's opinion on Blair's move. Will the neocon Rottweiler go for Blair's cartoid? How will Rudolf Murdoch play it? What will the Weekly Standard, the Kagans and the Krystols have to say? DS
Ally's Timing Is Awkward for Bush - Washington Post
Abstract: No matter the military merits, the British move, followed by a similar announcement by Denmark, roiled the political debate in Washington at perhaps the worst moment for the White House. Democrats seized on the news as evidence that Bush's international coalition is collapsing and that the United States is increasingly alone in a losing cause. Even some Republicans, and, in private, White House aides, agreed that the announcement sent an ill-timed message to the American public. "What I'm worried about is that the American public will be quite perplexed by the president adding forces while our principal ally is subtracting forces," said Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), a longtime war supporter who opposes Bush's troop increase. "That is the burden we are being left with here." The notion that the British pullback actually signals success sounds like bad spin, added Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). "I think it's Alice in Wonderland looking through the looking glass," he said. White House officials said they had known for a while that the British were moving in this direction and that Prime Minister Tony Blair informed Bush of his decision during a secure videoconference Tuesday. But the rest of Washington was taken by surprise, and Republicans were put back on their heels, just as they were beginning to feel more confident that the fight over war strategy was shifting their way.(...) The news of Britain's partial withdrawal, though, swamped the funding debate for at least a day. "The timing of the British announcement is very unfortunate," said Nile Gardiner, a scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "The British decision is going to be used as a political football by opponents of the president's Iraq plan." READ IT ALL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the perfidiousness you see in the British withdrawing; after all, the Italian government just fell over a similiar issue.

Had I been at Jonestown, I suspect I would have politely declined to partake of the Koolaid, and made for the exit. To my mind the die may be cast, and it's now sauve qui peut.

The US foreign policy establishment has hardly consisted of rubes; when the British were fighting the Nazis, the US politely insisted that the Brits sell off all their family silver (Lend-lease) before letting themselves get involved. If anything, Wilson, House, FDR and Eisenhower ran circles around the Brits. And after the war, the US insisted that Britain leave Africa, India, and even Suez.

The British are under no obligation to commit hara kiri.