11 November, 2006

Blair to talk to Iraq Study Group

Next week, Tony Blair is to speak to the Iraq Study Group over a video link. The ISG, headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton, is reported to be considering changes in the administration's Iraq policy. The Guardian has been briefed by UK officials that, although Blair will not call for a quick withdrawal of troops, he will recommend the US attempts to break the deadlock by opening talks with Syria and Iran. The paper goes on to say that Blair will link progress in Iraq with "a re-energised push for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

The Palestine-Israel link with Iraq is the unmistakable voice of the Foreign Office "Arab Legion", that is, those FO officials whose line has long been, appease the Arabs and never mind Israel. After Donald Rumsfeld's departure, I imagine the mandarins are hoping that American foreign policy will return what the they regard as normal: the surrender and compromise of the Clinton era , with no such vulgar business as war being allowed to disrupt the diplomatic gravy train.

Tags: ,

No comments: