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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dave and the neo-cons

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, whose book 'Yo Blair', I recently reviewed for The Spectator, has an excellent piece in today's Guardian on the influence of neo-cons in the Conservative Party.
Before Cameron was elected as Tory leader, I warned that those expecting a new departure in foreign policy under 'Dave' were likely to be disappointed:

In foreign policy, he (Cameron) is an unreconstructed hawk, his campaign masterminded by the neoconservative trio of Tory MPs Osborne, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey, all enthusiastic cheerleaders for Pax Americana. Osborne hailed the "excellent neoconservative case" for action against Iraq in 2003 and denies that the invasion has radicalised Muslim opinion.
Gove and Vaizey are signatories to the statement of principles of the Henry Jackson Society, which has its UK launch next month. The society - named after the US Democratic senator who opposed detente with the Soviet Union - campaigns for a "forward strategy" to spread "liberal democracy across the world" through "the full spectrum of 'carrot' capacities, be they diplomatic, economic, cultural or political, but also, when necessary, those 'sticks' of the military domain". Calling for the "maintenance of a strong military with a global expeditionary reach", the society bemoans the fact that "too few of our leaders in Britain and Europe are ready to play a role in the world that matches our strengths and responsibilities".
The list of Henry Jackson patrons reads like a Who's Who of US foreign-policy hawks: including the former CIA director James Wolsey, William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, and Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defence Policy Board and the man many see as the architect of the Iraq war.
Cameron himself voted for the Iraq war, believing that to vote no "would have been to break the US-UK alliance which has been the cornerstone of our peace and security". Saddam, according to the new Tory saviour, posed a threat not just to the Middle East region, but "to the world", and like all good neocons Cameron blamed the conflict on the French and their promise to veto any second UN security council resolution.

The removal of neo-con extremists from the upper echelons of power on both sides of the Atlantic is, as I've said on many occasions, the most urgent task facing all true democrats, be they of the left or right.
The choice facing us is stark: a course of endless, illegal wars, egged on by a tiny minority of fanatics, or peace and security based on respect for the sovereignty of nations.
I plump for the latter.
How about you?

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