This makes me laugh. Which is good because I’ve been trying to bring it up but found it so crushingly depressing/infuriating I couldn’t really bring myself to. First, the item at issue:
In a devastating verdict on Tony Blair’s decision to back war in Iraq and his “totally one-sided” relationship with President Bush, a US State Department official has said that Britain’s role as a bridge between America and Europe is now “disappearing before our eyes”.
Dr Myers’s undiplomatic presentation is extraordinary in three regards. The first is the cynicism with which he expects that a prime minister should conduct British foreign policy. He appears to be surprised that Mr Blair really seemed to believe in the justice of the war in Iraq and failed to demand, never mind secure, any precise “payback” or specific “reciprocity” before endorsing Saddam Hussein’s removal from power. He also chose to place no value whatso-ever on Mr Blair’s personal standing with elite and ordinary Americans alike as a result of having stuck with his principles on Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a curiously narrow cost-benefit analysis.
The second aspect is what it reveals about the mindset of certain sections, at least, of the State Department. The content of this address was as harsh on Mr Bush as it was about Mr Blair and leaves the impression of a State Department that is aggrieved at its loss of influence in recent years (although it has been somewhat revived under Condoleezza Rice) and regards the White House and the Pentagon as institutional enemies. The implementation of American objectives abroad is hard enough without those working for the US Administration using this forum to muse that it might be better for Britain to end its efforts to be a bridge between Europe and the United States.
Yes, the people at the State Department are, indeed, ignorant selfish fools.