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IT APPEARS TO BE PART of a pattern of degrading British defense forces that has been going on for a long time, and accelerated when the Blair government came to power. It also seems part of the fundamental incoherence and lack of joined-up thinking characteristic of the Blair government that it has demanded more and more of the armed services while starving them of equipment, treating their personnel badly, and degrading many aspects of their identity and traditions. As an example of the last, despite the Royal Navy’s proud, ancient, and succinct motto, “Fear God. Honour the King,” HMS Cumberland was recently obliged by diktats of political correctness to install a special Satanist chapel to accommodate the religious requirements of a Satanist crewman.
Skimping on combat equipment, including instances of sub-standard and unreliable ammunition and a shortage of flak-jackets, has already been blamed for many British deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has happened despite warnings by serving soldiers, senior officers and others. A senior officer in an Australian warship back from duty in the Gulf told me British forces there appeared to be living on cheese or tuna sandwiches — much to the disgust of U.S. troops guarding oil-rigs who were also fed the same rations. The Times has recently reported films that show British troops in Afghanistan, lacking helicopter re-supply, being forced to forage for corn-cobs in fields in pre-Napoleonic style.
At a different level, it seems further evidence of incoherent thinking that the Blair government apparently believes that it can trade on a special relationship with the U.S. with these shrunken, dwarfish, armed forces, or be respected in Europe as a major power. It all seems to bear out what certain critics have been saying from Day One: the Blair government is largely composed of people — a significant number of them were student radicals in the 1960s — who actually don’t like Britain.
The latest cuts to the Navy are, apparently, to save the sum of about U.S. $500 million a year. This is from the government that spent about U.S. $2 billion on the useless and purposeless Millennium Dome, in the country with the fourth biggest economy in the world, which will be spending at least — at least! — U.S. $20 billion on the 2012 London Olympic Games, and the country which in 2005 spent about U.S. $170 million on Christmas presents for pet animals and about U.S. $80 billion on gambling. Oh, not to mention about U.S. $5 billion planned for new Ministry of Defense offices in Whitehall.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?