Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Funniest thing is that I jumped at that article, couldn't resist posting it because it opened up vistas of London unexpectedly bursting into Euro-blooms like a kind of Prague Springtime ... then when I accessed the poll I'd set to try it out, I too found myself voting "against" the possibility of change, "for" the depressing smog of Transatlantic Ties As Usual.  But maybe we're both wrong, some subterranean psychological force is at work, biding its time? The UK military is seriously embittered and more and more outspoken every day, online readers' letters drip with anti-Blair/anti-US venom. One thing I've always noticed is that success in a war strengthens and entrenches not only the current leader but the system and policies he/she represents, while a lost/messed up one has exactly the opposite effect - the urge is to make those responsible pay heavily, string them up by the heels and make a 180° turn, head off on a new course leaving all those nasty bitter humiliating memories behind. The Falklands crowned Maggie and destroyed Videla, the Afghan war boosted the jihadis and dug the USSR's grave... endless other examples.  The Iraq mess is what it is, possibility of half-way decent face-saving solutions less and less probable. Afghanistan "may or may not" be going the same way, but what modern army ever won a guerrilla war against Afghanis? Now it's being presented as "Nato's great testing-ground", OK? which is very ambiguous - the UK military is openly sceptical, already pointing the finger at the US for bad decision-making, counter-productive tactics etc etc.  Is all this really just "business as usual" for the Special Relationship, can it really go on and on absorbing so much venom, so many knife-stabs without falling into convulsions? sooner or later?  And if Afghanistan - with its Pashtun vs Tajikis-etc. ethnic split constantly widening, continues to spiral down from not-so-good to downright bad to unspeakably worse Iraq-style, as it quite probably will because the days of colonial wars are long long gone, hard not to think the "Special Relationship" will come under some heavy strain. A large component of the UK is already identifying Britain's over-submissive relationship with the USA as the root cause of its troubles.

Of course the UK is not made up solely of "ordinary people" and soldiers - and I'm well aware that in liberal democracies the big business and finance establishment is where most of the real power is.  But - IF Afghanistan goes the way of Iraq to such an extent that no face-saving is possible -could a mixture of business interests and sheer inertia really do away with the collective urge/need for a cathartic day of reckoning, a Guy Fawkes figure to burn - with relative sharp change of political course away from the tainted "old course" and onto some kind of "new road to a better future" - which far as I could see, must necessarily involve rotating Britain's collective neck towards Calais and beyond, away from the transatlantic "failure-factory"?

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Mon Oct 16th, 2006 at 07:06:24 PM EST
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