April 16, 2008
Good grief, Gordon Brown!By James Lewis
Just before Prime Minister Gordon Brown's trip to Washington, he leaked a gratuitous media insult to George W. Bush, with whom he meets today. Said the UK Telegraph, in a big headline, "Gordon Brown calls for revival of US greatness."
Translation: "Up yours, George!" Right on his first trip to the United States, when Mr. Brown is expecting to be welcomed by the very man he just ripped. It's typical of Gordon Brown's clumsy political style. He is in big political trouble back home, so he rips the United States a new one. Expect Bush to respond by paying a lot of attention to the Pope.
Gordon Brown is the Jimmy Carter of Great Britain. He makes constant pratfalls, but is possessed by a kind of blind self-righteousness -- just like Jimmy Carter -- and never seems to notice his own snafus. As a result, his domestic popularity has been dropping like a stone.
Brown and the Labour Party have capsized British sovereignty in favor of the EU, and he is now said to be trying to figure out "what it really means to be British." National sovereignty used to be the key to that. But now "Britishness" has turned into a post-modern Zen koan. What could it possibly mean? You have to be a Buddhist monk to figure it out. Well, Baroness Thatcher could tell him, or even Tony Blair. Or the PM might just ask the Queen. No doubt she remembers what being British used to mean.
You see, the United States is not beloved in socialist Europe, living as the continent does in welfare fantasyland, where no serious choices ever have to be made. Europe has shown us nothing but its bare backside since 9/11/01, in return for sixty years of military protection. So being unpopular over there means exactly rien, nichts, and nyshchevo. Europe has preemptively castrated itself in the face of rising Islamic fascism and a newly aggressive Russia.
As soon as they realize that they can't dodge those threats, they will once again become our friends, because we always rescue them from their blunders. If one day we walked away from NATO, Europe would crumble.
The real and urgent question is therefore whatever has happened to British greatness? When Vladimir Putin ordered the public poisoning of a Russian defector in London two years ago, using radioactive polonium just to show everybody who really did it, the UK did exactly nothing in response. The last Chancellor of Germany was publicly bought off by Gazprom, the Russian oil monopoly. Nobody arrested Herr Schroeder for passing a law favoring Gazprom just before he took that well-paying job. France's former president Jacques Chirac is in trouble over a dirty tricks scandal involving the political abuse of a French intelligence agency, and his party has credibly been accused of involvement with the Saddam Food-for-Oil scam. The EU itself is so rife with financial shenanigans that it has never once passed its own annual audit. But under Gordon Brown, Britain has decided to throw in its lot with Brussels and to open a split in the Atlantic alliance.
So it is hardly the United States that needs to revive its national greatness.
If you wonder why Britain abandoned its military commitments to Iraq right in the middle of the war, why they have secretly tried to make nice with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and why Parliament is now ceding British sovereignty to Brussels, it is Labour and the Gordon Browns who must be held accountable.
It is they who have sold British pride down the Chunnel.
In the UK, Christopher Booker and Richard North have been complaining at the tops of their lungs that British soldiers are being sent into battle in nothing more than fancy dune buggies. As a result, British soldiers keep dying from IEDs while other nations are equipping their soldiers with highly effective mine-resistant vehicles. The Brits on the battlefield have not received proper air support, helicopters, or even protection from mortar rounds. According to EUreferendum blog, the reason is simple: money and careerism in the bureaucracy. Money is the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has for the last fifteen years been one Gordon Brown. Yes, the same guy, today's Prime Minister.
So is the United States ready to "return to greatness," as the PM demands? Well, shucks, Mr. Brown. We hardly know what to say. In standing up against years of screaming European agit-prop in favor of a foolish and cowardly retreat in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of us think the United States has shown its greatness.
If you don't understand that, you might remember this famous line from Winston Churchill:
That was Churchill against the Nazis: By comparison, Islamofascists are just simple rock-throwing yahoos. Some of us believe that President Bush has lived up to that Churchillian standard, while around the world silly liberals have lost their heads.
There was a time when Englishmen would have understood that perfectly; aye, and Scotsmen like Gordon Brown, too.
Now if you want to publicly trash the President of the US on your first day in the country, go ahead: It's a thriving cottage industry. But your reception in Washington, D.C. depends in part on the good will of the President and his supporters, and a gratuitous insult is just politically stupid. Nobody cares what you think in private. But to squander political points for no reason at all will earn PM Brown no favors from Obama or Hillary, who are busy trying to throttle each other right now. And if John McCain is elected, he's just been put on notice that when things get tough, he will not be able to rely on the Prime Minister of Britain. Shaft one US president, and the next one may just learn that lesson.
So Gordon Brown just shot himself in the tootsies for no reason at all. Good grief, Charlie Brown!
It's not just foreign affairs. Mr. Brown is amazingly inept domestically as well. Look at PM Brown's recent proposal to coerce organ donations from Britons unlucky enough to die under the gentle ministrations of the National Health Service.
In the Prime Minister's words, it is a "different approach to consent."
Can you feel Big Brother breathing down your neck? Bet you didn't think he was after your body organs so soon.
It is morally disgraceful to desecrate the dead in this way, before the mourners have even come to terms with their loss. It also creates perverse incentives for the National Health Service. Already aging people in the Netherlands are being provided euthanasia, sometimes even for non-fatal illnesses. If the NHS needs a few fresh human livers, why not help the dying along, to provide spare parts for the living? Once you open that hell-gate, the arguments for compassion and for saving money are endless.
Brown's proposal recalls Shakespeare's sardonic point in Hamlet, after another desecration of the dead:
Mr. Brown no doubt believes in thrift when it comes to securing fresh human organs. After all, the State has put all that money into your body during your lifetime, and if you're now ready for disposal and there still some tread left on those old tires, why shouldn't the State have the right to recycle your usable parts? I mean, who owns your body anyway?
The next logical step is -- why not rob your body even before you're dead? After all, all of us have two lungs, and we can survive on just one. We have two kidneys, an extra liver lobe, and an extra half brain that most of us may not need. There's always a need for more fresh blood for surgeries, so why not have compulsory blood donations while your body is still ticking over?
Of course body snatching isn't quite right when it is done to executed criminals in China, and to murdered civilians in the Balkans, but if the medical bureaucracy decides to make it legal in the UK for purely compassionate reasons, you understand, who could possibly mind? There is no absolute morality, after all. If you can recycle living human fetuses, why not adult spare parts?
The British health service now has a special agency for such matters, called the "Human Tissue Authority." Edgar Allan Poe could have used it for endless horror stories.
The amazing thing is that nobody raised a fuss in the UK about Mr. Brown's "progressive" proposal for recycling organs. This is not your Granddad's Britain any more. Alas.
PM Brown is the ultimate bloodless technocrat. For a man like that, the French and Germans are natural partners. They are all socialist bureaucrats who have managed to shelter under the US defense umbrella for sixty years, and now brag that they deserve the credit for keeping the peace. Under Brown's government Britain has tilted more and more toward the new Carolingian Empire. Nobody seems to mind. Britain has lost the taste for sovereignty.
The practical question is whether a helpless EU will quickly fall under Russian domination, or whether it would become a Muslim vassal in a few decades. Neither the Russians nor the Muslims are afraid to fight and die, which gives them an instant edge over Europe. The Russians have rediscovered the Orthodox Church, and that combination of state and church has waged war against Islamic invasions for more than a thousand years. If Europe falls to Islam, it will soon be torn between a resurgent Russia and a new caliphate.
Like it or not, the United States is the world's only trustworthy cop. Sooner or later, even Europe will come back to that basic fact of life. In fact, as long as it serves their goals, the Europeans are not against American "unilateralism" at all. They demanded that Bill Clinton engage in bombing Kosovo, after all.
In a rational world the Atlantic Alliance would remain intact, with Europe playing a responsible world role, much as Britain used to. But that requires Europe to face reality far, far better than it does today, hypnotized as it is by its vision of everlasting infantilism. Today the elites live in denial.
This is not a sustainable situation, and it will get worse as nuclear technology spreads around the world. In a rational world rogue regimes would be told in no uncertain terms that nuclear weapons are forbidden to them, as long as they are irresponsible actors. Europe is not helping to block Iranian nukes, because it is unable even to will its own survival. It has become a hostile-dependent ward of the United States.
Unfortunately Gordon Brown has never shown any sign that he understands how great the danger really is, and how little time we have before the danger becomes impossible to reverse. Brown is just like our Democrats in that respect. The Left would rather sabotage our very survival than fight the mortal danger that is staring us in the face.
Some Israeli intelligence experts now expect an Iranian nuke in 2009. If the bomb goes off next year, think of it as a "Welcome to the White House!" present for whoever wins the election.
Sadly, there are no Winston Churchills on the horizon.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com