Sunday, May 20, 2007

blair and america

I'm not someone who normally spends a lot of time castigating Blair for the nature of his relationship with George Bush - not because I think it's been a success, but because I detect a very real and rather daft strain of anti-Americanism from the argument whenever I hear it. I'm all for a 'special relationship' with America, so long as it doesn't compromise a special relationship with Europe or, for that matter, anyone else with whom we have shared interests. And I totally sympathise with the government in that they have to deal with whoever runs America, even if it is a bunch of right wing fucks. Of course Blair has to have good relations with the US government, and I can even to an extent sympathise with his notion that if we offered support on Iraq we might have been able to exert influence on other matters, such as Palestine, even if that did not come to pass.

However, I do think his relationship with Bush did harm Britain's relationship with the world and our international standing, and I continue to regard Iraq as a terrible, foolish mistake. Anyway, my point in saying all this is that while I do not often slag off Blair for being close to America, I was interested to read the comments attributed to Jimmy Carter, who went further than most in high office have in damning the actions of our two administrations. Carter, a former US president himself, is obviously not anti-American (although certain Republicans would doubtless claim that he was) so his opinions seem worth hearing, uncoloured as they are by a certain fashionable disdain for all things Stateside.

Asked on BBC radio how he would characterise Blair's relationship with Bush, Carter replied:

"Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient. I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world".
Hmm. Pretty much what I reckon.

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