Monday, September 11, 2006

Foreign policy speech - Another soft soufflé from Cameron

I have just waded through David Cameron's foreign policy speech, delivered earlier today.

For the most part, it is an elegant exercise in assinine platitudes.

He says there should be more "humility and patience" in foreign policy. A statement of such solidity that you could make marshmallows out of it.

He wants a "new multilateralism" and says "democracy cannot quickly be imposed from outside".

He wants to wage a war on incorrect semantics - he doesn't want terrorism waged by a single protagonist against a single, amalgamated foe or 'global jihad'.

He says "Bombs and missiles are bad ambassadors" and that there should be greater effort put into helping undermine dictators from within.

There is no apology from him for supporting the war in Iraq - and no clue as to how Saddam Hussein could have been toppled "from within".

He says we should be friendlier to the Gulf states and Turkey.

He says "force should be a last resort".

At the end of this sea of turgid generalisation there is one paragraph which at least states some sort of position which is different from Tony Blair:

"We must not stoop to illiberalism - whether at Guantanamo Bay, or here at home with excessive periods of detention without trial. We must not turn a blind eye to the excesses of our allies - abuses of human rights in some Arab countries, or disproportionate Israeli bombing in Lebanon."

However, any criticisms which Cameron has made previously of Guantanamo or Israeli bombing in Lebanon have been sotto voce.

Another soft soufflé shuffle from Cameron.

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