Saturday, June 04, 2005

Conservative Moonbattery

Life is too short to rebut all the nonsense that gets published. But The Weekly Standard, normally a sane publication, just published a piece by Irwin Steltzer that might have been written by Al Gore.

In fact, on close analysis, it was probably written by the famously lefty Brit Foreign Office, and the Weekly Standard should know better than to give it a mouthpiece.

Steltzer is a director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Economic Policy and claims knowledge of the UK:

As a consultant to several U.S. and United Kingdom industries with a variety of commercial and policy problems, Speltzer oversaw market strategy, pricing and antitrust issues, and regulatory matters.

Here's a selection of his thoughts on the coming Blair/Bush meeting.

What Bush Owes Blair

IT'S PAYBACK TIME IN WASHINGTON. Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, is coming to town to discuss the state of the world with President Bush: His steadfast support of Bush and America in Iraq entitles him to more than a friendly photo-op.

No it's not payback time. Blair believes, as do many Brits, that terrorists with nukes must be contained. If Speltzer thinks that British fighters have died just to get Blair some US political payback, he's dead wrong.

Steltzer goes on (my ellipsis and emphasis):

Now is the time, (Blair's aides) think, for Bush to capitalize on those developments to convert Europe into an outward looking, pro-American ally, rather than a "sulking alternative pole of attraction."

In order to do that, to put the East European countries firmly on the path to market-based economies and pro-American foreign policies, Blair, who will be president of the E.U. for a six-month term starting in July, and chairman of the G-8, is hoping that the president will reach out to Europe at the G-8 conference next month in Edinburgh.

Fair enough, the US can maybe help the New Europe with good trade deals. But it turns out that's not what Blair has in mind:

That will require Bush to support--indeed, to lead--in addressing two problems: climate change and African poverty.

WTF?? WTFF??? What can the junk science of climate change have to do with fixing Europe? And what has Africa got to do with it? The Europeans didn't give the US credit for rescuing the Tsunami countries, or for its massive AIDS program to Africa, so what chance they'll roll over for these initiatives?

After wobbling a bit (Kyoto is not being observed by its signatories, would cripple the US, doesn't include the big polluters), Steltzer moves back on-message to Africa.

Which brings us to Africa. Blair has two reasons for wanting to tackle the problem of that continent's poverty. The first is pure Blair: It is the right thing to do.

Humbug! Define "Right", "Tackle", "Problem" and "Poverty"!

Blair's second reason is more practical. The restive left wing of his Labour party has always supported antipoverty and development programs aimed at bringing Africa into the modern age, no matter how ineffective those programs might be.

Well, that's clear. Bush has to pay African dictators so that Blair's lefty party won't chuck him out. Steltzer concludes:

Whether Blair can persuade the president that we are indeed at a turning point in European history, and that he should seize the opportunity to reassert American values and leadership, is not at all certain. The president has to consider not only the validity of his friend's arguments, but the fact that Blair's success as E.U. president and G-8 chairman, and therefore his political standing at home, very much depends on whether he can rally the president to his cause. Payback time.

Well, at least they concede that their arguments aren't valid!

This Foreign Office fantasy demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of this administration. Bush, like Reagan, bases his policies only on the truth as he sees it. And that's his strength. If he signs up to Blair's lies, he loses that strength.

So, Blair will be disappointed. Bush will politely tell him that the US will not sign up to Kyoto, period. And that if the Europeans want to help Africa they just need to buy their food there. And maybe channel their aid through the US smart aid program.

On the strength of this disgraceful article, I've downgraded the Weekly Standard to a weekly read.

And put them in the Victim trending Criminologist category in the ETF Ecosystem.

Update 1: Fixed my spelling of Stelzer