Saturday, November 11, 2006


Bush Weakness Offers Opportunity to Blair

That splendid blogger Paul Linford recently declared he was not going to comment on the US Mid-term elections, the reason being, as far as I could make out, that they offered little traction on what happened this side of the Atlantic. In my comment on his post I begged to differ in that I think there is a strong connection. The Guardian today supports this view by suggesting Bush's drubbing offers Blair the chance advance his view that talks should be opened up with those two demonised states, Syria and Iran. Our prime minister is due to give video linked evidence to the James Baker's bipartisan Iraq Study Group(ISG). He will, it is suggested, argue for accelerated 'Iraqi-isation' of the security forces, greater internal political cooperation within Iraq itself; and in addition a renewed push for progress in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict plus multilateral regional talks.

It is clear that the Democratic victory and the removal of Rumsfeld has produced a more fluid situation in which Bush is open to new policy directions (indeed he seemed to be inviting us, in one TV clip, to send him suggestions on a postcard). Martin Kettle suggests foreign policy has been virtually subcontracted to the ISG which is striving to find a way of withdrawing from Iraq with, failing honour, at least some dignity. On Global Warming too we are likely to see the Democrats forcing debates in Congress and some unfreezing of the White House suggestion that this is a smoke and mirrors argument created by Europeans keen to hobble the US economy. In other words there is a substantial dividend payable to us from these results. But, as someone wholly fascinated by US politics, I am just as interested in those probing powerful enquiries a Democratic Congress will now set in train.

I would suggest Nancy Pelosi looks no further for her starting point than the Guardianfilms award winning Iraq's Missing Billions made by Ali Fadhil. This film explores why nearly $20bn, earmarked for reconstruction in Iraq, just disappeared, almost certainly the result of corruption either in Iraq or at the US end. The film maker risked life and limb in making his film and this truly shocking misappropriation of money, allocated to improve the daily lives of Iraqis, deserves to be subjected to the light of an inquiry.

Iran believes in wiping Israel out. Where would talks with such a state get us?
I think Ahmadinejad is a lot of piss and wind and serves this stuff up for the masses. I'm sure he'd be different in serious negotiations, just as Khruschev-another irrational grandstander- was.

Incidentally Michael( I know that's not your real name), I'm a bit curious(given that you don't run your own blog) of your colourful role as scourge of the leftie blogs(not that I'm an especially head-banging version of that). Do you live in UK? Were you in the armed forces? You are clearly to the right of Cameron but do you approve of him? Reply directly if you wish to maximise privacy...
You might be right on our friend in Iran, but I think we can agree that there are a lot of people in Iran who disire the destruction of this democracy and ally. I think their policy, and their support of armed terrorist groups just makes it impossible to believe that talks wouldn't be a waste of time.

I agree you are not a head banging lefty, and I occasionally agree with the posts here. No secrets. Of course Oakeshott is not my real name, but I know that the Liberal-lefty elite would poison my career if my real name became associated with such views. I just don't have time to run my blog, which is a shame, though I doubt many would read it. I am a UK citizen, and last lived there for the years 2003-2005. I am now a resident of Japan, and work for a Japanese governmental agency. I have never been in the army, though my younger brother is an officer who has led a 10 week tour of Iraq. I have real worries about Cameron. My main concerns are the emphasis on what I believe is the phoney environmental agenda, and the lack of tax cuts for hardworking people. Faced with a choice, I would vote for him before Brown. I am considering for one of the other fringe right wing parties, but not the BNP because my wife is Asian. I can however see that the actions of the mainstream parties, and their unwillingness to protect British people from terrorism, is boosting this party into a real force, inspite of the statements of the likes of Nick Griffin.
Oh! And I thought you were THE Michael Oakeshott, writing from beyond the grave.
To be fair, the reason I gave for not commenting on the US mid-term election was that I don't understand American politics!
That's fair enough but it's interesting that very few of my recent posts on US politics have attracted any comment at all.
So they just die of no air?
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