28 September 2006

Michael Wolff

Astonishingly ignorant column in Vanity Fair by Michael Wolff.

"Brand America, which ruled the global marketplace with its vision of cool capitalism, has been discontinued. This is Bush Country now, and the world is recoiling from a new image that makes the U.S. as much a danger to its friends—including chief enabler Tony Blair—as it is to its enemies"

You WHAT?? "cool capitalism"? Capitalism may be tolerated in Britain, more than in mainland Europe, as a necessary evil, but only a handful of lunatic-fringies like me would ever have called it "cool".

Similarly with the YouGov poll Wolff quotes - I'm sure the results would not have been greatly different in August 2001 or in 1998. Clinton was talked about in very much the same terms as Bush is now. The first reaction in Britain to September 2001 was largely a sniggering "Now they see what it's like".

As the infinitely better-informed Robert Kagan wrote in the lecture I mentioned here, 'Samuel Huntington warned about the "arrogance" and "unilateralism" of U.S. policies when Bush was still governor of Texas.'

If American commentators like Wolff can be so unaware of what is really going on in Britain, of all places, what are the chances of there being any insight into what's going on in Iraq or Pakistan?

At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseam: The major global conflict today is between the EU core and the USA; Britain is very divided regarding the conflict; the antics of primitivist Islam and the war on terror are a sideshow, but may in the long run develop into a proxy war, if the EU position goes from hoping the Islamists can damage the USA to supporting them outright. Blair is as enthusiastic about invading Iraq as he was about invading Yugoslavia, and would have been pushing Bush to invade Iraq had any pushing been necessary.

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