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Kevin Sampson

"When Tony Blair steps down as British Prime Minister this year, Americans may come to feel the same way."

I have to agree. I'm not a huge fan of Blair or his government, but he has displayed more spine than any other politician in Europe, hands down. More than most of our own politicians, for that matter.

Steevo

Well the thought of us withdrawing is an interesting suggestion with regards to some conservative and libertarian Americans. Simply for the fact that the "the virus of anti-Americanism that has so much of Europe in its grip" is deep and resentment here I believe cannot help but grow. Anti-Americanism existed long before 9/11 and was growing, abated briefly in the immediate aftermath of the attack, only to come back with a vengeance as never before with the possible exception of revolutionary war days tho in different form.

One thing is for certain, if a Democrat is elected to office any thought of the US withdrawing (Iraq the exception) goes out the door. If anything just like with Clinton we may be policing all around the world, of course with UN and EU approval but that won't be difficult for common Leftist goals. I think immoral nationalism will remain with most Europeans because it reflects fundamental weakness of identity within the Euro psyche. If it 'softens' with the eevil Bush gone it'll be skin deep at best in my opinion.

If a Republican is elected I still don't believe we will engage in any serious policy-making in that direction but isolationist sentiment will probably grow. Who knows.

Hil Hunt

Try writing it this way: "Political editor asks independent question." Or perhaps: "Journalist makes his own mind up what the story of the day is." Since when does blindly following a politician's agenda guarantee "a safe just and prosperous world", to quote your own raison d'etre?

TomTom

Blair doesn't have a foreign policy - simply empty posturings. He is a master at mouting off but cannot back up his words with resources.

I would like Tesco to offer vouchers so we could collect for soldiers to have boots and proper equipment instead of computers in book-less schools.

Blair dived into Kosovo to help a terrorist group, the KLA advance its cause; yet tells us we should ffight in Afghanistan against terrorists because the Afghans cannot be bothered.

He tells the British Army not to provoke tribal leaders in Iraq and only fire if fired upon, and signs us up to the ICC so lawyers can send runners around Basra hunting for human rights cases funded by the British Govt against British soldiers.

We had Col Tim Collins cleared; Col Mendonca cleared - both left the Army after being screwed by Blair and his Attorney-General.

Just what is this great foreign policy ? Blair gets an itch and suddenly it's a few soldiers with naff equipment getting killed by the enemy if the USAF doesn;t get them first, or an "ally" which refuses to provide info on how men are dying so British forces can understand how shafted Pat Tillman's parents must feel ?

This has been an absurd era of Blair acting out grandiose fantasies and doing so by blowing a penny whistle and pretending it was a trombone.

This silly posturing man has no idea what he is doing and has utterly debased everything he has touched. If this country plunges into civil disorder in the coming decade it will have much to do with the rottenness Blair has caused at the heart of British national identity

JF

Yet more evidence that the BBC must be destroyed (I feel like Cato the Elder). It would be win-win to eliminate the license fee: consumers save money, and an insidious propaganda organization begins to fall apart.

As far as isolationism, I'm not sure the US will ever go back to those days. However, when Europe prefers to attack the US instead of Russia, China, and all of the other human rights violators in the world, it encourages us to leave the UN. And when it refuses to spend on its own military and turns its back on us in our fight, it encourages us to dismantle NATO. I would embrace both of these developments, as they would serve to strengthen the US and weaken the EU, which would also be a win-win.

Ash Faulkner

I think domestically, Blair has been a wasted opportunity. Things can only get better turned out to not be so true. Things aren't drastically worse - and they could be - but in ten years, there's surprisingly little to show for domestic progess.

On the international front, though, the opposite is true. After 9/11 Blair realised that our interests are the same as America's, and he showed considerable political courage, of a sort that I thought was slowly dying and I would never have expected from him, and for that, he deserves credit at least.

greg

What a ludicrous article

Jon Gale

Seems that EVERYONE ignored Blair's 'foreign policy agenda'.

No sign of it on the Telegraph, Sun, Daily Mail, Sky News or ITV websites.

The Great BBC Conspiracy must even more powerful than we thought!!!!!1111!!!1

malcolm

Blimey, for the first time ever I agree with every word Tomtom has written on this subject. Perhaps the reason Joe, that the British media (not just the BBC) ignore Blairs words on foreign policy is because (a) he's a liar and utterly discredited but more importantly (b) he will be gone shortly so whatever he says is of little consequence.

Dennis

On the international front, though, the opposite is true. After 9/11 Blair realised that our interests are the same as America's, and he showed considerable political courage,

Ash Faulkner
The collective 'our' you refer to must be a selected group of persons, with an economic interest in profiting from the misery inflicted on helpless nations.
The majority of persons I have exchanged ideas with, do not contend that our focus internationally should be following a strategic path that sees a 'perpetual war on terror' as our only avenue for resolving current global challenges.

PM Blair has not displayed anything more than conniving cunning in his dealings as a statesman. Politicians should be applauded for respecting domestic/international legal institutions,conventions and frameworks.
A leader can only gain political capital by giving due weight to the opinions of their populace and reflecting this in the legislation and the(domestic/foreign) policies they enact.
Mr Blair has relied on the media(incessant spin) and a divided,useless & compromised opposition( Conservatives Major-Cameron)to maintain his facade.

Teddy Bear

Dennis writes "A leader can only gain political capital by giving due weight to the opinions of their populace and reflecting this in the legislation and the(domestic/foreign) policies they enact."

What this means (for him and those like him), is that the politicians we elect for the qualities we perceive in them, and are held accountable and responsible for instituting the policies to the best of their abilities, should actually be controlled by the media like the BBC and Guardian, who have no accountability or responsibility, but are the ones who 'think' for Dennis and his kind.

Even a stopped watch will be right twice a day, so sometimes your conclusions will be right. Don't think of it as wisdom though.

Dennis

Teddy Bear writes-What this means (for him and those like him), is that the politicians we elect for the qualities we perceive in them.

I object to being considered as being in 'intellectual league' with anyone.
I do not create perceptions of politicians, unfortunately, I had youthful expectations based on the manifesto pledges & grand speeches they made prior to their election. I have learnt through bitter experience that ideas such as 'ethical foreign policy' can mean
a)Selling weapons to Sierra Leone during a UN arms embargo b)Aiding Gen.Pinochet to escape a Spanish request for his extradition on torture charges. c) Attacking Kosovo,establishing a policy of intervention into the affairs of a sovreign nation without UN approval,etc.
As for the BBC & Guardian, I lost faith with most mainstream news opinions, hence my patronage of sites like this.
Teddy..On wisdom... while it's ok for to take the 'soft, fuzzy & childish' form,your name suggests,it should not carry through into your thought processes.

Teddy Bear

Dennis, you write that "As for the BBC & Guardian, I lost faith with most mainstream news opinions, hence my patronage of sites like this."

Very nice, but I haven't seen you express one view that didn't come from sources like the BBC or Guardian, with no more independant research, real thought, or reason, put into it than in the original spin.

For example - you write "PM Blair has not displayed anything more than conniving cunning in his dealings as a statesman. Politicians should be applauded for respecting domestic/international legal institutions,conventions and frameworks."

Pure BBC!
Do you know why the UN (which you still call a respected international institution)didn't support ousting Saddam?
Are you familiar with the oil for food scandal? The contracts that Russia, France and Germany had with Saddam at the time? That Hans Blix was in charge of the UN nuclear agency (IEAA) in the 80's and declared Iraq had no advanced nuclear weapons programme. That was his view until Israel destroyed it.
This is what you think should be respected?

Blair and Bush have been conniving and cunning with regard to the Iraq conflict, but not in the way you mean it, or the BBC report it. More for diplomatic purposes in not being able to disclose the full strategy behind this invasion. Churchill was also conniving and cunning, and this for certain goals can be entirely positive.

Don't worry about my 'soft, fuzzy' side, you're getting the Grizzly ;o)

Dennis

Teddy Bear writes 'Blair and Bush have been conniving and cunning with regard to the Iraq conflict, but not in the way you mean it, or the BBC report it. More for diplomatic purposes in not being able to disclose the full strategy behind this invasion.'

I can name PM Eden-Suez, Pres Lbj-Gulf of Tokin, Pres Kennedy-Bay of Pigs,etc as examples of leaders conniving and the disasters inherent in such enterprises.
A short hop through history will show you leaders with contempt for their citizens opinions leading their countries into disastrous wars.

What "full strategy", What"diplomatic purposes"???
I guess ruining a country, killing it's citizens, pilfering it's economy and needlessly expending the lives of our servicemen in the process can in some circles be seen as a well planned and executed strategic success.

Teddy bear writes "Churchill was also conniving and cunning, and this for certain goals can be entirely positive".
I agree that Churchill was cunning however, in each instance, he developed a clear view of the issue at hand and acted in the best interests of the United Kingdom.
What were the goals that PM Blair was aiming at? Has he achieved them? Who has benefited Geo-politically, financially from the endeavour?
I would dare to suggest that Islam in Iran is possibly the largest beneficiary of our Middle East campaign. We eradicated their secular foe, strengthened & expanded their religous alliance with the Shia of Iraq and provided our soldiers & armour as test-pieces for their experimental munitions.

Teddy Bear

Dennis, I really 'smell a rat' where you're concerned. Somebody genuinely interested in debate would have no problem acknowledging where they were proved wrong. You however omitted any mention of the 'respected international institution' (vomit) that you deemed the UN to be. Finding yourself on shaky ground there, if you were genuine, you might have realised that you need to rethink your position, but instead you go charging on into your seemingly 'left' leaning chasm. Leads me to think you are not interested in truth or facts at all, but another kind of agenda.

Want to prove me wrong? Well for starters if you want to know more about what was going on in the Arab world prior to 9/11 and why Bush and Blair might have "developed a clear view of the issue at hand and acted in the best interests of the free world" then read 'The High Cost of Peace' by Yosef Budansky. Whatever, if you choose not to, please stop using the Guardian and BBC as your bible of truth, or is it your local Imam?

Dennis

Teddy Bear can you direct me to the paragraph that includes me designating the UN as a 'respected international institution'.
I have stated on previous posts that I regard the UN as a fundamentally flawed institution.
My view is not formed from the current challenges it faces, but the imbalances built into it at it's inception.
What 'agenda' could I possibly have? Stop being so paranoid and angry.

TB writes-Whatever, if you choose not to, please stop using the Guardian and BBC as your bible of truth, or is it your local Imam?

I have previously stated to you that i do not form my opinions based on any news organization. I am neither left, right, centre,centre left, far right...simply a person with a mind.
Regarding the 'Imam' comment, i had a modicum of respect for your ideas, however I now have a picture of your intellectual make-up, and choose to refrain from any further conversation with yourself.
If a retraction of this sentence is not fortcoming, I shall be compelled to refer the statement to the editor.

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