November 12, 2001

Blair: Just Get Out of Uncle Sam's Way
Go Home


"Operation Veritas" is the British commitment to the American "Operation Enduring Freedom." Nevertheless, when one looks at the actual commitment it is actually rather puny:

However, we can not forget our purely naval contribution to this war for a landlocked country:

Of course, there will be troops along in due course, although the proportion will probably be insignificant. For example in the Kosovo adventure British aircraft flew in 4% of sorties (yes, you read it right).


Therefore, if we are of so little value militarily, at least in the present form, what value do we give to America? Firstly, we encourage others to join. That's right, the polyglot armies of Western Europe can also send their symbolic detachments. At least the English grunts speak the same language as the Americans. Now the Americans can also worry about communicating with Flemish or Sicilian privates there to prove the virility of their Prime Ministers. So there's no chance of communications problems. So what else does British participation do? Well, it makes the war look "international", as if the rest of the world really thought that Britain has its own independent foreign policy. The argument could be made that there was no reason for America to seek the support of the rest of the world; al Qaeda was a threat, end of story. Only the most demented pacifists would think that America was not in her rights to remove a threat (the morality of bombing civilians aside).

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Emmanuel Goldstein is the pseudonym of a political drifter on the fringes of English classical liberal and Euro-sceptic activity. He is a former member of the Labour Party, who knows Blair and some of his closest buddies better than they realise, yet. He has a challenging job in the real world, working for a profit-making private company and not sponging off the taxpayer in politics, journalism or the civil service. "Airstrip One," appears Mondays at


So what is Tony Blair for? Well he can go around the world speaking for America. After all, he's seen as a moderate and is well connected with the American regime. Then so is Colin Powell, in spades; and Colin does not have the pratfalls that Blair has in places like Damascus.


It seems that the only way that Britain helps is by standing in the way of America. After all, the British are stopping America going into Iraq, according to every reliable report. The British are worrying about sending in ground troops. Does America need this? In the case of Pakistan, which has a similarly moderating influence, it clearly does need it; as America can't launch any strikes without Pakistani help. But for Britain?


My feelings on this fight are clear, I don't have any. As far as I am concerned, this is a fight between America and Al Qaeda. If America wants to pulverise Al Qaeda in any way it seems fit, then it is entirely America's concern. The only problem I have is Britain's involvement in somebody else's fight (believe me I would be far more het up if we fought on Al Qaeda's side). Some do not see it this way: Iain Duncan-Smith, for example.


Now Iain Duncan-Smith is a creature of certain Washington think tanks, most notably the Heritage Foundation. While not being a "neo-Conservative", he is most certainly well plugged into the Washington conservative establishment. And what do they want? Well, a widening of the war. And who is the biggest hurdle to this? Why, it's Britain. The logical response for these people would be to tell Britain to go home with a nice thank you card. So what should Iain Duncan-Smith do to help his friends inside the Beltway? The logic of this situation would be that he should oppose British involvement in the war, as should the American Rupert Murdoch (proprietor of the Sun and Times) and the Canadian Conrad Black (Telegraph). Let's get out of America's way.

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