Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Thursday, December 25, 2003
Kevin picked up an interesting report from the Guardian:
Whitehall insiders confirmed that Mr Blair's decision was partly out of anger over a US veto on his proposed visit to British troops in Iraq during the Christmas holiday.
....Mr Blair and Mr Bush have had at least three phone conversations during the past seven days which Whitehall officials described as "increasingly terse".
A Downing Street insider said: "Relations between the two are at the lowest ebb since they first met.
I suppose I can understand why Blair felt a need to get permission from the US for a visit - just as a matter of practicality, since we presumably control the airports and probably a lot of the sea traffic as well. But why wasn't this just a formality? What earthly reason could the US have for turning down a request by Blair to visit his own troops?
The only thing I can think of is that a full visit by Blair would have made Bush's sneak-in-n-out visit look chicken by comparison. Which it was. So it seems that, rather than allow a visit which might, for some people, make Bush look bad, we're now going to antagonize one of our two remaining aliies.
So much for the theory that Bush can actually put pressure on Sharon to make some concessions that will cool down the West Bank. He can't afford to at this point - the Israelis are the only ones left still talking to us!
Correction: The above item actually comes from the Mirror, which is a less reputable source than the Guardian, so it may be doubtful.