James Forsyth

An ally let down

An ally let down
Text settings
Comments

The total lack of interest surrounding Gordon Brown’s visit to the United States is a testament to how shamefully detached from the Iraq project Britain now is. Back in the hey-day of the Bush and Blair relationship, the arrival of the British Prime Minister the week after Congress had held hearings on Iraq and the President had outlined his strategy for the next few months would have been a major event. But now it is little more than a footnote—Brown makes page A12 of The Washington Post while The New York Times does not deem his landing worthy of even one column inch.

In the highest reaches of the Brown government, there exists a simplistic mindset that thinks of Afghanistan as the good war and Iraq the bad one. Never mind that the strategic consequences of failure in Iraq would be worse than those of failing in Afghanistan or that this Labour government has a moral responsibility to see through what it started.

What the recent events in Basra have demonstrated beyond doubt is that the situation that Britain left behind was unsustainable, something that the government and the military were repeatedly warned about before British troops withdrew to the airport. America has not been an easy country to be allied with in recent years, the diplomacy of the Bush administration has left much to be desired. But the truth is that Britain’s behaviour towards the new Iraqi has been worse on a much more fundamental and serious level.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articlePolitics