Thursday, November 17, 2005


I am curious about these American admissions of the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah and the existence of torture in Iraqi-run prisons. Could this be a 'softening-up' process by which the American authorities are preparing their public for a sharp exit? Call me cynical but the claim that nothing's changed so we might as well cut and run seems to spring to mind.

But the British being idealistic - including Blair - in this respect, won't see it as an excuse to leave, I suspect. Instead it'll be a justification for pressing ahead and getting even more involved - just as the government seems to be doing in Afghanistan in recent days, what with the Americans pulling out and London trying to rouse a new coalition.

Never has the claim made by Robert Kagan in that text of neo-con arrogance and pride, Paradise and Power, seemed more apposite: 'Americans do the cooking, the Europeans [i.e. the British] do the washing up'.

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