Brits are armoring up

James Lewis
Richard North of the British blog Eureferendum has been beating the drums for years for British Soldiers to get far better protection from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the government is finally responding --- under the media radar, as it turns out. British Soldiers will now get another 145 Mastiff vehicles, which are "mine resistant" V-shaped trucks that have an excellent record of protecting their passengers from roadside bombs.

Which raises the question, "What is Gordon Brown, the new British Prime Minister, really thinking?"   The answer seems to be "nobody knows." On the one hand, Brown has his Left Labour wing, which controls the BBC and the Guardian and any number of mind-numbed robots of the Left. They reflexively hate the Iraq war and America. On the other hand, there is a  need for Brown to deal with reality in some sane fashion. The Mastiff story illustrates how Brown works above the radar to please his Left, and under the radar to cope with reality.

Reality: British soldiers were dying in thin-skinned Land Rovers. The BBC-Guardian-Left didn't want to hear about it. They just wanted to stick it to the Americans, and walk away from Iraq. Solution: pretend you're disagreeing with Bush, but under cover of distracting media headlines, double the number of up-armored Mastiffs to almost 300. OK.

If that's the game, it casts a whole different light on the British withdrawal from Basra. For the Left, the withdrawal is just hunky-dory because they've decided that Iraq is lost, and losing  serves Pressident Bush right. They'd rather stick it to the fire brigade than put out the fire of Middle East pathology. Brown's solution: Loudly announce a Basra withdrawal, cut down the Brits to 2,500 troops in Iraq, and send the rest to Afghanistan. It's just a shell game. The United States will just respond by adding 2,500 troops to Iraq, and reduce the planned commitment of troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is justified in the eyes of the Left, because the Taliban shielded Bin Laden who ordered the 9/11 assault on New York City and Washington, D.C. So that's a "defensive war" (even though Al Qaida has killed thousands of innocent civilians and scores of Coalition soldiers in Iraq.)

So Gordon Brown is playing double games. Well, he's a politician, and he's keeping competing interests happy.

What is puzzling, if that's Brown's operating procedure, is, "What is he doing with the EU Constitution?" --- more properly called the Great EU Con-Job, which will turn even more British sovereignty over to the unelected Commissars of Brussels. On the surface, Gordon Brown is all in favor of bringing in the exact same EU Constitution that French and Dutch voters rejected a couple of years ago, under the absurd cover of a new "EU Treaty". Since it's not called a Constitution any more, Brown says that no voter referendum is needed. British voters are rolling over and playing dead over for this farce, even though dozens of EU pols have agreed in public that, yes, this is all a lie.

So Gordon Brown seems to be selling British sovereignty down the creek. But there's a "but." The British system is so tangled and layered  --- having grown over centuries, without any explicit constitutional framework --- that Brown may simply be counting on his implicit powers to turn around on a dime, junk the European Union, and return to the Atlantic Alliance, if he feels like it down the road. On the other hand, if it works out conveniently the other way, he may turn his back on the United States, and get into a menage a trois with Germany and France. It just depends on what's convenient in the coming years.

This is all very weird by American standards --- which is not to say that our politicians don't try to do the same thing. Under a written constitution which people can actually understand, like the US Constitution, political games can only go so far. In British and European politics there are so many matters of interpretation that normal people really can't figure out what's going on. Which may be why British voters don't seem to care a bit about British sovereignty being drowned in the European swamp. They know it's all an impenetrable game. 

It was Charles de Gaulle who said that politicians lie so much that they're not even sure any more when they are telling the truth. So you put a French, German, and British politician in the same room, how do you tell what's really going on? You can't. It's the ultimate hall of mirrors. All you can hope is that somewhere in their heads, sanity and reality are still playing a big role.

And that's the optimistic interpretation ....

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
Richard North of the British blog Eureferendum has been beating the drums for years for British Soldiers to get far better protection from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the government is finally responding --- under the media radar, as it turns out. British Soldiers will now get another 145 Mastiff vehicles, which are "mine resistant" V-shaped trucks that have an excellent record of protecting their passengers from roadside bombs.

Which raises the question, "What is Gordon Brown, the new British Prime Minister, really thinking?"   The answer seems to be "nobody knows." On the one hand, Brown has his Left Labour wing, which controls the BBC and the Guardian and any number of mind-numbed robots of the Left. They reflexively hate the Iraq war and America. On the other hand, there is a  need for Brown to deal with reality in some sane fashion. The Mastiff story illustrates how Brown works above the radar to please his Left, and under the radar to cope with reality.

Reality: British soldiers were dying in thin-skinned Land Rovers. The BBC-Guardian-Left didn't want to hear about it. They just wanted to stick it to the Americans, and walk away from Iraq. Solution: pretend you're disagreeing with Bush, but under cover of distracting media headlines, double the number of up-armored Mastiffs to almost 300. OK.

If that's the game, it casts a whole different light on the British withdrawal from Basra. For the Left, the withdrawal is just hunky-dory because they've decided that Iraq is lost, and losing  serves Pressident Bush right. They'd rather stick it to the fire brigade than put out the fire of Middle East pathology. Brown's solution: Loudly announce a Basra withdrawal, cut down the Brits to 2,500 troops in Iraq, and send the rest to Afghanistan. It's just a shell game. The United States will just respond by adding 2,500 troops to Iraq, and reduce the planned commitment of troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is justified in the eyes of the Left, because the Taliban shielded Bin Laden who ordered the 9/11 assault on New York City and Washington, D.C. So that's a "defensive war" (even though Al Qaida has killed thousands of innocent civilians and scores of Coalition soldiers in Iraq.)

So Gordon Brown is playing double games. Well, he's a politician, and he's keeping competing interests happy.

What is puzzling, if that's Brown's operating procedure, is, "What is he doing with the EU Constitution?" --- more properly called the Great EU Con-Job, which will turn even more British sovereignty over to the unelected Commissars of Brussels. On the surface, Gordon Brown is all in favor of bringing in the exact same EU Constitution that French and Dutch voters rejected a couple of years ago, under the absurd cover of a new "EU Treaty". Since it's not called a Constitution any more, Brown says that no voter referendum is needed. British voters are rolling over and playing dead over for this farce, even though dozens of EU pols have agreed in public that, yes, this is all a lie.

So Gordon Brown seems to be selling British sovereignty down the creek. But there's a "but." The British system is so tangled and layered  --- having grown over centuries, without any explicit constitutional framework --- that Brown may simply be counting on his implicit powers to turn around on a dime, junk the European Union, and return to the Atlantic Alliance, if he feels like it down the road. On the other hand, if it works out conveniently the other way, he may turn his back on the United States, and get into a menage a trois with Germany and France. It just depends on what's convenient in the coming years.

This is all very weird by American standards --- which is not to say that our politicians don't try to do the same thing. Under a written constitution which people can actually understand, like the US Constitution, political games can only go so far. In British and European politics there are so many matters of interpretation that normal people really can't figure out what's going on. Which may be why British voters don't seem to care a bit about British sovereignty being drowned in the European swamp. They know it's all an impenetrable game. 

It was Charles de Gaulle who said that politicians lie so much that they're not even sure any more when they are telling the truth. So you put a French, German, and British politician in the same room, how do you tell what's really going on? You can't. It's the ultimate hall of mirrors. All you can hope is that somewhere in their heads, sanity and reality are still playing a big role.

And that's the optimistic interpretation ....

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/