Monday, May 29, 2006


Blair, it won't have escaped your attention, is very keen on the "special relationship". So keen is he, in fact, that the Whitehouse appears to be quite literally setting the limits to British foreign policy (via). There's the full horror of the George Bush's "with us or against us" rhetoric. Blair, although he may talk a good game on occasion, just doesn't have the strength of character to challenge the Whitehouse on pretty much anything. It's almost embarrassing.

In the Whitehouse today, the great new threat to world security is the Iranian nuclear programme. This, despite the fact that there's really no evidence of any sort of illicit nuclear weapons work being done in Iran.

Blair has, unsurprisingly, echoed the US government line at every opportunity including refusing to rule out military action. It has even been suggested that Jack Straw was removed from the post of foreign secretary because his assertion that military action was "inconceivable" provoked displeasure in the Whitehouse. Given the link above, it hardly seems beyond the realms of possibility.

I wonder then, what the US government makes of the new Iraqi foreign minister? (Via.)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology and the international community should drop its demands that Tehran prove it's not trying to build a nuclear weapon, Iraq's foreign minister said Friday.

"Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now," Hoshyar Zebari said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki.
You can see the problem, I think.

Interestingly, Zebari is a Kurd, not a Shiite. The US government assisted in the creation and protection of the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north after the first Gulf war and the Kurds are generally regarded as Washington's strongest ally in Iraq. It seems likely that Zebari is stating the position of the Shiite dominated Iraqi government rather than representing his own faction.

Whatever, you think of the position, it's clear that Iraq's foreign minister has broken from US policy to a far greater degree than Blair or Straw ever would. You can say what you like about Iraq but at least they've got politicians of courage and conviction who refuse to kowtow to the Whitehouse. Wouldn't it be great if we had some of them here too?

And then there's the serious matter of the substance of this new Iraqi government's foreign policy. This is the government we send our troops out there to die for, remember. And for what?

To create a new ally for the Iranian mullahs. Oh goody.

Can anyone tell me whether George thinks this new Iraqi government is "with us or against us"?

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