Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/18/19

Westminster: Bulldog, Not Poodle, for Best in Show

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 76576
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Details   DMCA

As of July 23, members of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party will have chosen a new leader. On July 24, Queen Elizabeth II will appoint a new prime minister, almost certainly that new party leader. The two remaining contenders for those jobs are former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The elephant in the UK's political room at the moment is, of course, Brexit. But another issue looms large as well, especially from across the Atlantic. That issue is foreign policy, particularly the UK's tendency to throw in with US military interventions in the Middle East.

On July 16, when asked about the prospect of the UK joining the US in a war on Iran, Johnson responded bluntly while Hunt prevaricated.

Johnson: "If you ask me if I think, were I prime minister now, would I be supporting military action against Iran, the answer is 'No."'

Hunt: "The risk we have is something different, which is an accidental war, because something happens in a very tense and volatile situation."

On the one hand, it's naive to take any politician at his word, especially when that politician is lobbying for election to public office or a party leadership position. On the other, a seemingly straight answer is probably a more reliable indicator than a transparent dodge.

Johnson gave that seemingly straight answer -- the answer of a bulldog relentlessly focused on his country's interests rather than on maintaining its "special relationship" with the United States.

Hunt's answer, unfortunately, immediately brought to mind former PM Tony Blair's unconvincing denial of accusations that he was US president George W. Bush's "poodle" in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"I choose my own way "" Blair insisted. "[T]hat region of the world -- most of all the people of Iraq -- would be in a far better position without Saddam Hussein. Does that mean that military action is imminent or about to happen? No. We've never said that. We have said 'Here is an issue. It has to be dealt with. We will deal with it, but how we'll deal with it is an open question.'"

Blair ended up committing the UK to what turned out to be a ruinous project for pretty much everyone involved. An official inquiry into the fiasco, conducted by Sir John Chilcot, resulted in a 2016 report accurately characterized by The Guardian's Richard Norton-Taylor as "an unprecedented, devastating indictment of how a prime minister was allowed to make decisions by discarding all pretence at cabinet government, subverting the intelligence agencies, and making exaggerated claims about threats to Britain's national security."

Johnson's seemingly firm position is no guarantee that as prime minister he would wisely refrain from joining in future US military adventures.

Hunt's decision to muddy the waters is virtually a guarantee that, like Blair, he would prioritize maintaining the "special relationship," no matter the cost in blood and treasure to the United Kingdom, and no matter the damage to the cause of world peace.

Choose wisely, Tories. It matters.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Aircraft Carriers: Give Truman and Ford a Burial at Sea

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.