April 16, 2003

THEY ALL GOT THE MESSAGE--SYRIA, IRAN, N. KOREA, THE SPECTATOR...:

Tony Blair's Syrian connection (Douglas Davis, 4/12/03, The Spectator)
Tony Blair has staked much of his personal and political prestige on attempting to tame the young Syrian President, Bashar Assad. His hard work has been rewarded with embarrassment and humiliation. When the Prime Minister visited Damascus in October 2001, preaching a message of sweet reason and an end to violence, he was forced to listen in silence as Assad defended Palestinian suicide bombers and compared them to the French Resistance fighters against the Nazis: "Resistance to liberate land is an international right that no one can deny."

Then, when Bashar visited London in December, he made Blair squirm again as he described the plethora of Palestinian terror headquarters in Damascus as "press offices". And between lunch in Downing Street and afternoon tea with the Queen, he managed to paint his host as "an ostrich that buries its head in the sand" for believing that a reformed Palestinian Authority would produce peace in the Middle East.

It is difficult to know just who persuaded Blair that he could charm Bashar and pacify Syria, but it was a massive policy miscalculation, and one that Blair seems determined to pursue.


Was there a regime change at The Spectator too? Typically a redoubt of High Tory Europhilia and Ameriphobia, it not only runs this Syria-bash, but turns over its cover to American neocon Michael Ledeen, The end of the beginning: Syria and Iran are preparing to launch a terrorist campaign against coalition forces. The only answer is regime change in both countries (Michael Ledeen, 4/12/03, The Spectator), and has a the newly conservative William Shawcross praising America, Pax Americana: Europeans are hypocritical, isolationist and deluded in their attempts to hobble the greatest power on earth (William Shawcross, 4/12/03, The Spectator). Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2003 5:08 PM
Comments

I must have been reading a different

Spectator. Mine had Steyn in it almost every

week.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 16, 2003 6:07 PM

oj: It runs articles from people who both agree and disagree with America.



I only read the thing when I've got time to kill and a bookstore is nearby but I can't remember anything that would be remotely Europhilic.



Paul Johnson's articles do get tiresome though since his Catholicism has gone a little too strongly to his head.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at April 16, 2003 8:17 PM
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