Blair goes along with us to bomb Iraq.
February 20, 2001 4:29 AM   Subscribe

Blair goes along with us to bomb Iraq. Britain was ready to soften boycott against Iraq. We changed Blair's mind. Drudge reports more sophisticated equipment used by Iraq supplied by China.
posted by Postroad (3 comments total)
With this, Blair is officially Bush's Bitch. There's a fair political tightrope for him to walk between satisfying those who favour an Anglophone alliance over a European one, but this is a moot point, given that the US has shown, under several administrations, that Britain doesn't really matter all that much in the global arena, apart from when it's strictly expedient. And it also makes Our Glorious Tony look good, apparently, when he strolls about with GWB this week at Camp David.

It embarrasses me. At least the French and Germans don't feel the need to crawl.
posted by holgate at 12:01 PM on February 20, 2001

Yeah, thewebtoday (which is getting quite good lately) said it was "information war" taking the phrase "fiber optic link" literally. It didn't make sense to me, though, because the article said they could detect planes from farther away. To me this sounds like it could be an experimental out-of-line-of-sight fiber-optic-relayed laser radar system [text]. Hmmm. See also (loading slowly: who else is researching this?). Combine that with the assertion that in recent weeks sorties and challenges had increased, and it sounds like Iraq was using its new technology to try to either better evade or more quickly challenge the no-fly patrols.

Oh, and holgate: the smart sanctions idea, which is both "easing sanctions" and "making sanctions effective", is now under consideration by the US -- could have been a pay-for-play type of deal. Also, they do allege that aircrews were fired on.
posted by dhartung at 10:18 PM on February 20, 2001

the smart sanctions idea, which is both "easing sanctions" and "making sanctions effective", is now under consideration by the US

We blew that one ages ago, I think. I remember a series of depressing BBC interviews with Scott Ritter over the past couple of years, explaining the impossibility of dealing with both sides when policing the sanctions.

Which makes me sceptical about the timing of this latest revelation, particularly given Blair's visit to the US. He'll be the first EU leader to play political footsie with GWB, just when he, Chirac and Schröder are starting to make noises over the ostensible leadership of European foreign policy in the wake of Bush's long-stated retrenchment.

We play with Iraq like cats, waiting for movement before pouncing once more. All this while other allies in the region have quite the capacity to turn "rogue" without a second's notice, just as Iraq did itself in the late 80s.
posted by holgate at 10:58 PM on February 20, 2001

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