By Goodwin Ginger
The Guardian just broke the story that the UK has parted company with the US over Israel’s disproportionate retaliation in Lebanon. The headline reads “British Split with Bush as Israeli Tanks Roll in.” It would be nice to think that Blair realized the degree to which the civilian death toll was simply an unacceptable level of collateral damage but we suspect that his bellicose stance was threatening to undue Labour as its left flank rumbled toward what could have been a mass revolt. The UK’s rebuke of Israel represents a serious fracture in the Anglo-American front.
As for Harper, his callous description of Israel’s response as “measured” may indeed cost him the next election. As it is going to be much tougher for Harper to justify his extreme position in light of the UK defection. For it will be hard to argue that Blair is soft on terrorism or that the UK is naive with respect to the dynamics within the region.
The only thing that may save Harper is that the Liberal leadership candidates can not seem to find the spine to condemn Harper’s callous war mongering. We suspect the big winners from Harper’s ill thought foreign policy position maybe be the Bloc inside of Quebec and the NDP in the ROC in the next election. If the NDP is smart they will take the lead on this issue.
As an aside: At the demonstrations across Canada today the anger over Lebanon was directed more at Harper than it was at Israel.