Alarm bells started ringing as I listened today as Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon huffily dismissed the very idea that the Pentagon’s demand for UK troops to cover them while they flatten Falluja might have some political dimension. This is purely an operational matter, they huffed indignantly, and any suggestion that it might be connected with the upcoming US election and that Dubya might get some vote-mileage out of it is so ludicrous it’s inconceivable and it’s purely coincidental anyway.
Alarm bells? The apologist poodles were as fawningly awful as ever – so nothing there to trigger any alarms – the pair make Uriah Heep look like a star pupil in a self-assertiveness class. No, it was remembering Paul Krugman’s first rule of dealing with the Bush regime that set the bells ringing. This simply says: don’t expect things to make sense in terms of their stated goals.