All Politics Is Loco, Ctd.
So last week I lamented the fact that Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds seemed to be letting his own personal dislike for a particular politician cloud his better judgment. Well that same disdain now appears to be affecting his vision.
Linking to a Times piece on a recent assessment of the U.S.-UK "special relationship," Reynolds adds, in obvious reference to the Obama administration:
Yeah, so far this “smart diplomacy” thing isn’t living up to the promises
The article is sensationally titled "It’s over: MPs say the special relationship with US is dead." It's also, seemingly, the only part Reynolds actually read. Let's see what this report - compiled by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee - has to say about Mr. Obama's foreign policy blunders. From the actual article:
The report also warns that the perception of the UK after the Iraq war as America’s “subservient poodle” has been highly damaging to Britain’s reputation and interests around the world. The MPs conclude that British prime ministers have to learn to be less deferential to US presidents and be “willing to say no” to America.
The report, entitled Global Security: UK-US Relations, says Britain’s relationship with America is “extremely close and valuable” in a number of areas, particularly intelligence co-operation. However, it adds that the use of the phrase special relationship, in its historical sense, “is potentially misleading and we recommend that its use should be avoided”.
In an apparent rebuke to Tony Blair and his relationship with President George W Bush, the report says there are “many lessons” to be learnt from Britain’s political approach towards the US over Iraq.
“The perception that the British government was a subservient poodle to the US administration is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the MPs say. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”
While the relationship between the American president and the British prime minister was an important part of dealings between the two countries, the cabinet and parliament also had a role to play. “The UK needs to be less deferential and more willing to say no to the US on those issues where the two countries’ interests and values diverge,” the MPs say.
They are also critical of the US use of extraordinary rendition and torture. The report calls for a comprehensive review of the use by the CIA of British bases, such as that on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, to carry out extraordinary rendition.
So the article, citing the perception of British subservience to American interests during the Blair and Bush administrations, could just as easily have been titled "Picking Up the Pieces: Challenges Facing the Brown and Obama administrations." Obviously, for dramatic, contemporary effect, the Times went in another direction editorially.
As I noted in my first post, I'm certainly not naive to the realities of political and ideological gamesmanship, but this is still disappointing coming from a smart guy with such reach and ability to influence people.
It's also kind of sloppy. If I, for the sake of argument, were to misleadingly title a post "Glenn Reynolds doesn't read the articles he links to," and then provided an entirely different item for my evidence, I sure hope someone would read it and call me out on that.
Let's hope Reynolds updates with a correction.