August 05, 2006

Thatcher's Rule: Never Admit Mistakes. Ever.

That is the one unifying thread between the US, UK and Australian governments over the past decade, isn't it? And it has worked quite well for them (though the wheels have now fallen orf and they have no original, alternative ideas)...

Indeed, it's hard not to think of the current Lebanon agression as anything but the Bush-Blair-neocons' only-available fling at double-or-nothing. E.G.:
I am told that the Israelis informed George W Bush in advance of their plans to "destroy" Hezbollah by bombing villages in southern Lebanon. The Americans duly informed the British. So Blair knew...

Blair, like Bush, had no intention of urging the Israelis to slow down their bombardment, believing somehow that this struggle was winnable...

One close aide recalls that when the Prime Minister was preparing a foreign-policy speech in his Sedgefield constituency in 2004, a year after the invasion of Iraq, he considered a mea culpa of sorts, but changed his mind, asking his team: "Do we want headlines of 'Blair: I was wrong' or 'Blair: I was right'?"

Whatever he may think alone at night, the Prime Minister is locked in a spiral of self-justification for his actions in Iraq, his broader Middle East policy and his unstinting support of Bush.
Looking back, Blair seemed a decent PM whilst ever he was focussed on domestic issues only. I suspect he took little interest in foreign affairs until he became PM, whereapon he immediately fell into the Bush-neocon trance (for lack of historical perspective). Whaddayareckon?


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