Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Brown's Hearts and Minds

This is a good piece by Jonathan Freedland defining Gordon Brown's posture on terrorism - basically a global hearts and minds campaign as opposed to the War on Terror approach. Of course, the two shouldn't have been mutually exclusive, but somehow they were. Iraq was lost on day one as soon as it became clear that the only American policy was force majeure. The clownish John Bolton remains a true believer in this with his idiotic 'just try and stop us' rhetoric, but he's probably the only man - except, perhaps, Dick Cheney - not to notice that the insurgents/terrorists have, indeed, tried and have stopped American power, not least by successfully undermining support for the war. Brown's position is, under the circumstances, understandable. Its weakness is, of course, that it must, ultimately, be predicated on the threat of the kind of power that only the Americans can deliver. Also he's allowed anti-terrorism to become entangled with his mania for big, centralised spending. Massive aid programmes, he seems to think, will give us the moral authority to defeat terrorism. After his massive aid programme that succeeded only in making the NHS slightly worse, this is not a persuasive argument.  


  1. Somehow anyone who tries to occupy the moral high ground without having the respect of those he is talking to always struggles.

    Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    Unfortunately this definition failed to mention, "unless the terrorists are from America or Britain & call themselves governments

  3. Right, anonymous. It's like a twelve year old trying to define child abuser without factoring in how incredibly abusive his own parents are compared to everyone elses's, no?