Friday, March 16, 2007

Anti-Americanism in Britain

Jonathan Foreman, writing in NRO:

I have met senior judges and lawyers who really, truly believe that Blair and Bush lied about WMDs. I pointed out to one top barrister that if Saddam’s WMD threat had been a lie rather than an error, then surely the Coalition would have been better prepared for the moment when no WMDs turned up. Or if the Bush-Blair alliance was so evil, would it not have been willing to fake the discovery of the forbidden weapons? It was clear the barrister had never even thought the matter through.

Moreover the British chattering classes are convinced almost to a man (or woman) that Guantanamo is at best a gulag in which all the detainees are innocent victims of paranoia and aggression, and where the quotidian tortures rival those of the Gestapo. They “know” that the war in Iraq is really about stealing oil, doing Israel’s evil bidding, boosting corporate profits, or some vicious combination of all three. The war in Afghanistan is equally “pointless” and “unwinnable.”

They fully buy the media line that radical Islamism is somehow a creation of these wars rather than a phenomenon that predated 9/11, and that solving the Palestinian question will somehow bring peace between Shia and Sunni and end bin Ladenite dreams of restoring the medieval caliphate.

But even if the Blair haters did have a clue about the reality of terrorism and today’s wars, the really important thing about anti-Blairism is that it is a cipher for the envious, ill-informed, elitist, and bigoted anti-Americanism that is endemic among the British upper middle class. Blair is constantly, endlessly condemned as “Bush’s poodle.” Supposedly he is so keen to win Washington’s favor that he has ignored and even endangered British interests. Indeed by (allegedly) uncritically siding with the U.S. on all foreign policy and security questions, he has supposedly provoked Islamist terrorism in the U.K. — as if Islamist extremism didn’t exist here before the Afghan and Iraq wars. There are shades here of the Nuclear Disarmament hysteria of the 1970s when British governments were said to have endangered an otherwise safe island by allowing the basing of U.S. nuclear bombers in the U.K.

Read it all.

(via Melanie Phillips)
Post a Comment