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Rogue State
Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 1,047
Loc: Wales (yes it is a countr...
Last seen: 9 years, 10 months
Blair's "Special" Relationship
    #2704995 - 05/20/04 11:46 AM (14 years, 4 days ago)

Conservative leader Michael Howard has called on Tony Blair to speak out publicly when he disagrees with President George W Bush.
Mr Howard says he still supports the war in Iraq despite the difficulties facing the coalition.

But he accuses Mr Blair of undermining his accountability to Parliament by keeping any disagreements with President Bush secret.

No 10 said airing differences in public would "undermine troops' morale".

'No candour'

Mr Blair's official spokesman said the prime minister, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had all told Cabinet colleagues that differences with the US over Iraq were better dealt with privately.

He said they did not believe it wise to use "megaphone diplomacy" or to "shout from the sidelines or in the full glare of publicity".

Earlier Mr Howard told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that his backing for troops' work in Iraq did not prevent him picking up on government failures.

"Of course I don't want him [Mr Blair] to speak against America," he said.

"But we have the most extraordinary position where anybody who reads the American newspapers knows exactly when Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, disagrees with the president.

It means there can be no meaningful accountability to Parliament.

"But we never know when or whether the prime minister disagrees with the president."

The Tory leader said Mr Blair had failed to answer his questions about the British Government's view on how power should be handed to Iraqis on 30 June, saying the issue was being discussed with the US.

Mr Howard continued: "It is very convenient for him, this new doctrine of confidentiality, because it means that we never know whether or when he does disagree and it means there can be no meaningful accountability to Parliament."

The Tory leader contrasted Mr Blair's approach with that of Margaret Thatcher, who despite her close relationship with Ronald Reagan had spoken out when she disagreed with him, such as over the 1983 invasion of Grenada.

In an article in the Independent newspaper, Mr Howard also accused the government of making policy on Iraq "on the hoof".

  "If we are strategically defeated in Iraq, global terrorism takes a huge leap forward

The Spectator magazine quotes unnamed Tory official saying the White House has let it be known it believes Mr Howard has not been supportive enough of the war.

One official reportedly said: "The White House feels that he is not standing shoulder to shoulder with Tony Blair. It is furious with him."

Republican congressman Peter King said he was disappointed in the Tory tactics, saying Mr Blair had put differences on strategy to Mr Bush.

Troop dangers?

Former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson accused Mr Howard of trying to pick up votes "at the expense of our forces fighting with immense difficulty on the ground".

Airing differences in public risked handing operational details to the enemy, Mr Mandelson told BBC Radio 4's World At One.

But Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Michael Moore ( :tongue:) said: "Britain is in a very influential position, we are told. We should be using that influence."

Britain's former representative Sir Jeremy Greenstock said Britain did make its views known.

'Privacy necessary'

"We do not have our arguments in public because a lot of the detail is confidential," Sir Jeremy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"There is a lot of defence work and intelligence work involved in this and we go through it in immense detail and that has to be done in private.

The now retired diplomat said he was increasingly convinced that Iraqis had to take charge of setting the policy framework for security after the 30 June power handover.

He warned: "If we are strategically defeated in Iraq, global terrorism takes a huge leap forward."

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Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2,633
Last seen: 14 years, 4 days
Re: Blair's "Special" Relationship [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #2708420 - 05/20/04 11:17 PM (14 years, 4 days ago)


But Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Michael Moore ( ) said: "Britain is in a very influential position, we are told. We should be using that influence."

Are we talking about the lying fat bastard here or someone else?

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Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: Blair's "Special" Relationship [Re: shakta]
    #2708613 - 05/21/04 12:06 AM (14 years, 4 days ago)

He's a bastard?

To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.

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