18 April 2007

Is the poodle slipping the leash?

If what Hilary Benn, Britain's international development secretary, is saying in Washington this week is any indication, the Blair government is starting to drift significantly from its cozy relationship with the Bush administration. Consider:
  • While Bush continues to refer to "the war on terror," Benn insists Britain has rejected the phrase as counter-productive. He claims it only encourages terrorists by inflating their sense of importance. Furthermore, he says, it will take much more than military means to overcome the problem and, in any case, there is no clear enemy with an organized set of objectives.
  • He also insisted achieving global peace and prosperity requires give and take, implying criticism of the Bush administration's tendency to rely on military force and economic sanctions.
  • He reaffirmed his country's support of the International Criminal Court, an institution the Americans have attempted to sabotage.
  • He repeated Britain's call to close Guantanamo.
  • And as for World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, who Bush continues to support, Benn observed, "what's happened is very, very damaging to the bank .. and it simply can't continue."
All this is enough to make one wonder if the poodle isn't slipping the leash.

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