Britain matters alright, but is this how you wanted us to matter?
Britain was not cut down to size over the Syria vote. Right now, it exerts an influence unparalleled in recent times, though not necessarily for the best, or for long
There is going to be so much more to say. But let's just kill dead one nasty little thought from the self-hating Left: Last Thursday's vote in the British parliament to do nothing on Syria means the precise opposite of what Polly Toynbee et al at the Guardian think it means.
If they think we have been cut down to size, they could not be more wrong. In fact, this is one of the rare instances for decades that Britain has taken a massive leading role in influencing the West on a major foreign policy, indeed civilisational, issue: that we do not respond to a psychopathic dictator aiming at setting a precedent over the use of chemical weapons.
Now, just for a moment, let's leave aside the debate about whether the real issue is Iran; not Syria. Yes it is; but American friends should not delude themselves that Britain voted against action in Syria because we were keeping our powder dry for the big one. This was a vote for international disengagement.
And guess who is loving that, and actually understanding that better than staunch supporters of freedom in America. Yes, indeed. President Obama got the point. And he has used it ruthlessly to put one in the eye of those who want America to be a force for good in the world by following us in sending it to Congress.
Now he has time to muddy the waters. (You think he did it because it's an exercise in popular democracy? Come off it...) A great excuse for doing nothing, in the end. Oh, and who is next up for doing nothing? Why France, which is also following the British "lead".
All we need now is Russia to do the same (did the horse already bolt? Duma democracy at work?) and Britain will have never had so much influence since the high point of Empire.
Say what you like about Syria and what we should do. But are you absolutely sure this was the leading role that you wanted Britain to take?
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