Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

A look at the relationship between Bush and Blair with a look at Shroeder too.

Blair is not taking the easy way by playing such an active role in the controversy over what to do about Iraq. His support for the Bush administration on this issue is also provoking lively public debate in Britain. Especially from critics within his own Labour Party, Blair has been hearing the accusation that he is behaving like Bush's lapdog when it comes to Iraq.

That is a cheap shot. Indeed, considerably more than in Schröder's case, there are ample indications that Blair's stance on the Iraq question is based in inner conviction and a sense of statesmanlike political responsibility. This week, his heartfelt speech to the House of Commons moved a good many doubters in his own party ranks to voice only mild criticism of him in Parliament. Blair can hardly be accused of being a warmonger. Rather, his decisiveness about using military force against a dangerous tyrant like Saddam Hussein bespeaks consistency. The British prime minister took the same position on the NATO intervention in Kosovo and the lightning campaign against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Schröder's stance, which rejects military action in Iraq even with a United Nations mandate - by now a rather isolated position in Europe - is certainly not as consistent as that of his social democratic colleague in London.

Aside from supporting Bush, Americans have come to realize that Blair is one of the few world leaders tham may actually understand America and understand our unique position right now.

It is reported that, in Bush's White House office, there stands a bust of wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (whose mother, by the way, was American), loaned to Bush by Tony Blair for the duration of his term in office. In contrast to some Continental Europeans, for Blair America is not some suspect hyperpower but a fundamentally positive, historically proven and democratically rooted force for order, without whose existence the world would hardly be a more comfortable place.

Something the whiners still don't seem to understand. They are like Brian in the life off Brian. They have no concept of how to haggle. They just accept whatever offer their opponent makes. "Okay, I'll let you search thise here outhose for WMD and then you must lift the sanctions and get out of Iraq" "Sounds good to us" "No, no no. Now you say the outhouse and all of your palaces"

Here we have another confirmation of the old insight that dictators of Saddam Hussein's ilk can be impressed, if at all, only by the credible threat of military force. Logically, then, those who believe that a war could be prevented by truly far-reaching and unhindered checks of Iraq's weapons potential should support a new, airtight UN resolution such as Washington is pushing for. But not all members of the Security Council are prepared as yet to follow that logic.

Then the article sort of falls apart in an attemp to be even handed. 1) Blair and Bush never tried to say Saddam must go for being involved in September 11th. 2) Saddam is a part of the War on terror. We are capable of fighting on more than one front. 3) As far as I know the Resolutions concerning Iraq are binding resolutions (they must be observed) and the resolutions concerning Israel are non-binding (more like suggestions).

< email | 10/01/2002 10:09:00 PM | link

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