Monday, August 18, 2003


The first line of this article is so loaded that I don't know how anyone could take the rest of the article seriously. {Unfortunately, it's in this morning's Irish Times and a subscription is needed to read it.}

The first line reads, "Educated Americans often say rather mournfully that Tony Blair expresses American values and goals better than the current US President." I'm not sure who Anatol Lieven considers to be "educated", but I know plenty of educated Americans who can distinguish between Tony Blair's support in the foreign policy sphere and the type of domestic policies he advocates for Britain. Blair's policies would make him unelectable in the US, probably even in Massachussetts. Of course, it's Lieven's "ignorant masses" who would doom candidate Blair.

Fortunately, the article is so turgid that understanding the point of it is a chore and there isn't any great need to dissect it in detail. I think his point is that Tony Blair should not try to connect himself with Americans' distorted concept of freedom.

The way he links the Balkans, the Taliban and the American south is stomach-churning, however. While the American south has had its problems and for a long time was well short of being a model of freedom and democracy, today's south is nothing like Afghanistan or the Balkans.