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Thursday, July 01, 2004
What CW Forgot to Mention

In re-reading the archives of this blog I found this little entry by CW: ""Michael Moore Conservatives"?

Adrian Woolridge, the Economist's Washington correspondent and co-author of The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, writes in The Weekly Standard on how the Tories are beginning more and more to resemble American liberals. What are the reasons for this? One's Tony Blair:

American conservatives may regard Blair as a reincarnation of Winston Churchill, but for most Tories he is the devil incarnate, a cultural vandal who is destroying great British institutions, from the House of Lords to fox hunting, in the name of nonsense such as "Cool Britannia." Tories resent Blair for showing more backbone in dealing with America's enemies, in the form of al Qaeda, than he showed in dealing with the IRA; some of them are also bitter at George W. Bush for bestowing the Churchillian mantle on a left-wing lightweight.
For more reasons, read the whole article."

I think the following paragraphs are a bit more revealing:

"BUT THERE ARE DARKER REASONS for the Tories' embrace of Michael Moorism. One is social snobbery. The Tory Old Guard was much happier with Rockefeller Republicans, with the sort of people who were impressed by Oxbridge colleges and London clubs. George W. Bush represents an America where people actually believe in God, rather than treating religion as a convenient fiction, where people believe in business, rather than dismissing it as a rather grubby pastime, and where people believe that gun ownership should be extended to the masses, rather than confined to people who own grouse moors.

A second might be termed "imperial snobbery." The easiest way to get the chaps in the golf club guffawing is to ask what it would have been like if the Americans had ruled India. The British are convinced that they are much better at understanding "Johnny Arab" than the Americans. (A hint: The way to deal with Arabs is to coopt their local leadership rather than to blather on about democracy, something Johnny has never understood and never will.)

It is axiomatic in Tory England that the coalition's problems in the war on terrorism would melt away if only the British were in charge and the Americans playing second fiddle. U.S. military incompetence is now a running joke in the British press. Unnamed officers queue up to ridicule the Yanks for being heavy-handed in Iraq (look at the way American troops dress up like Darth Vader while the Brits wear berets); for not being brave enough to flush bin Laden out of the caves of Tora Bora (which the SAS would happily have done); and for having no idea how to police war zones (which the British learned how to do in Northern Ireland). Americans may be good at blowing things up; but they have no talent for the more subtle arts of war.

The last is Britain's traditional Arabism. Hostility to Israel is restricted to a Buchananite rump in the United States; in Britain it is widespread on the right (as on the left), with fans in the foreign office, the business world, and the upper reaches of the Conservative party. Middle England has thoroughly internalized the left's view of the rights and wrongs of Israel and Palestine, a view that is propagated daily by the BBC, the Church, the universities, and the influential "camel corps" in the foreign office. One of the most popular political programs in Britain is a radio show called Any Questions? that takes selected panelists to town halls across the country. The burghers of Tory Britain react to discussions of the Middle East in much the same way that radical students might in the United States. Denounce Israel as a WMD-armed rogue state and you are guaranteed cheers and applause; defend Israel and you are booed. Indeed, anti-Israeli sentiment is the only area where internationalist Tories are in clear disagreement with John Kerry."

To sum it all up, the Torries think that they are better imperialists than we are. Honestly, that's not a contest in which America should participate. Sorry, I feel no pity for the Torries.