Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cameron restates Tory support for America

This morning Iain Dale has written an insightful piece about the David Cameron's speech saying - quite rightly I think - that Cameron is not an anti-american as has been inferred by the Telegraph. The line being put out on this speech in most of the press, is that Cameron is breaking with the "neocons" in the White House and taking up the in vogue anti-american position.

However, whilst some on the right here and also in the US see Cameron as some sort of lefty fop, I'm not sure that is really true, and I'm not really sure whther the speech shows that either. If you read it, it appears to simply restate British foreign policy with the added caveat that we intend to be louder about our disagreements with the US than we have been under Blair.

For some reason though a number of commentators inist on saying Cameron's break with the US is evident where he says, "Bombs and missiles are bad ambassadors. They win no hearts and minds; they can build no democracies. There are more tools of statecraft than military power."

However, surely that position is precisely inline with the current thinking in the US State Department (take it's current approach to Iran for example). You'll note though that Cameron does not say the fundamental aim of building democracies is wrong. He merely states there are many ways in which to do it. He also says he wants to retain the "strengths of the neo-conservative approach" but acknowledge where the approach has failed. Again I think this is inline with the US State Department today isn't it?

For some reason all I can think of is a police cordon with someone saying "Move along, there really is nothing to see here".


Tapestry said...

Spot On Dizzy. Cameron's making noise to attract votes, playing focus group politics. Americans are a bit surprised by it all.

In fact Brits have been dismayed by Tony Blair's willingness to take orders from Washington all the time - as is perceived. People want a change so Cameron has to fill the media with the impression that he's disagreeing with the Americans.

But of course the Americans have moved on anyway.

Anonymous said...

I’m glad Iain came in with a nuanced assessment of Cameron’s speech. This idea that if you criticise the US government you’re automatically “anti-American” (whatever that dumb term means) is a tedious as if you criticise Israel’s policies you’re an anti-Semite…

Martine Martin said...

I couldn't agree more.

The Telegraph really have it in for Dave. It's so blatant. I don't think it matters whether you like Cameron or not, the way they've been twisting everything he does is just not cricket. If they're going to criticise him I'd rather they did it for things worthy of criticism rather than make things up.

Of course he wasn't being Anti-American, it wasn't anywhere in his speech. He was merely exercising the forgotten art of constructive criticism - not undeserved I must say. Funny how that is somehow seen as a crime now.