February 05, 2008

Strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

Just as the genocide in Darfur has refused to confine itself within the borders of the Sudan, but has now destabilised neighbouring Chad, so anything that happens in Pakistan or Afghanistan, whether we cause it or not, will come back to us in the shape of fleeing people, apocalyptic ideologues, weapons proliferation and the export of terror.

Fortunately, it isn't just David Miliband who recognises this. Today America may decide that the next presidential election will be between John McCain and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. All three recognise that America must continue to be the ideological and physical arsenal of democracy. Thank God.

Voices of sanity returned to the Times of London editorial page today after this past weekend's back-to-back calls for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan (neither of which seemed to spend much time thinking about the consequences of such action). That's not to say, however, that everyone here in London is watching what they say:

Prince Andrew has accused the Bush administration of failing to listen to Britain on post-invasion tactics.

In a rare and outspoken interview with the International Herald Tribune, the Duke of York said the Iraq war had induced a "healthy scepticism" towards America.

He said there was a feeling in Britain of "why didn't anyone listen to what was said and the advice that was given".

Here's a tip for Prince Andrew from the crew at Abu Muqawama, free of charge: in the United States, we view you royalty with great affection. But that affection is very different from the respect we give to elected representatives.

We've only had one king back home in Tennessee, and his name was Elvis. We don't need another one. In fact, we kinda thought you lot would have figured that out around, oh, 1776.

Now if you were Gordon Brown or David Cameron or someone with an actual popular mandate, we would be happy to accept and criticism or suggestions you might have. But come on, dawg, you're not even really in line for the crown anymore, are you? You're tits on the proverbial boar.

And what you're doing spouting off about Iraq, something about which you know nothing, is beyond us. Do you really want to get into the recriminations game here? Do you? Because before you do that, you might want to interview your boys about their experiences in southern Iraq. Ask the younger officers -- not the generals -- if they're happy with the way things turned out and whether or not the British Army was covered in glory.