Where are our foreign-policy hawks?


by Sunny
18th January, 2008 at 8:46 am    

People on the right of the political spectrum usually constitute of a group called ‘foreign policy hawks‘. These people like to see a strong defence force and are quite hawk-ish (as opposed to being dove-ish) on foreign affairs. In America they’re all foreign policy hawks – Republicans and Democrats.

Here, the traditional position to take on the left is to be somewhat dove-ish and try and understand the concerns of other countries when they do things we don’t like. In other words: let’s negotiate and talk rather than start waving around guns and warships. I say traditionally because 9/11 turned a whole bunch of lefties into foreign policy hawks and they start bandying about stupid phrases like “moonbats” etc.

Anyway, this post is about foreign policy hawks in general, especially on the right. Where the hell are they? This was yesterday:

The diplomatic standoff with Russia entered a dangerous new phase yesterday as British officials denounced “a pattern of intimidation” by Russia’s security services against British Council staff.

The Foreign Office complained of unacceptable behaviour, after Russians working at British Council offices in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg were called in for questioning by the FSB, the successor to the KGB, and visited at home by interior ministry officials.

There is a pattern here of the Russian government flexing its diplomatic and military muscles since the murder of Alexander Litvenko in London. My point is, if this was a country like Iran, we would hear shreiking all over the place. And yet, there is complete silence on this issue from the right.

At the Spectator, apparently the home of the right, there is nothing on their main blog. Melanie Phillips is still harping on about ‘Slouching towards Dhimmocracy‘ (she just changes the words around slightly every day)… and Stephen Pollard is as boring as ever. Nothing on at Iain Dale or EU Referendum. On ConservativeHome CentreRight they’re actually thanking the Russians for saving them money!

Bloody hell, our right-wing foreign policy hawks really are lame and useless. Where’s our Ann Coulter? Do they only get worked up when those damn muzzies are involved? Or maybe they get easily scared of the Russians? Either way, a very poor show.


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  1. sonia — on 18th January, 2008 at 10:54 am  

    heh, are you suggesting we need the hawks to have someone to slag off/define against..

  2. Anon — on 18th January, 2008 at 10:59 am  

    Not what you’d call a major blogger, but Laban Tall has something about the Russia/UK spat.

    http://ukcommentators.blogspot.com/2008/01/jacqui-smith-david-miliband.html

  3. Aaron Heath — on 18th January, 2008 at 11:06 am  

    Where’s our Ann Coulter?

    I’ll take the job for the right money – seems a piece of piss. Plus, I consider the high-heels and mini-skirt a perk. ;)

  4. Samuel Coates — on 18th January, 2008 at 11:15 am  

    Er, you’ve misattributed Jill Kirby’s (Director of the Centre for Policy Studies) post on CentreRight asthe ConservativeHome editorial line there. Alan Mendoza (Director of the Henry Jackson Society) rebuffed her post on the same page.

  5. Sid — on 18th January, 2008 at 11:20 am  

    The problem with being a lefty-hawk is that you would have to become, real or perceived, a Blair arse-wiper. Still this didn’t dissuade Nick Cohen, who went on to support torture but, as far as I know, doesn’t wear a blonde wig or skirt and high heels. But who can tell anymore?

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:22 pm  

    I think it’s quite disgusting how we all rely on foreigners these days. Look at our football teams, some of them can’t even speak english. Not to mention the manager being from some grease-eating foreign country. And now I see it’s entering into our politics too. If we’re going to have policy hawks, let’s have British people in charge. Why does the policy hawk have to be foreign? It’s multi-culturalism gone mad

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:23 pm  

    And they should be eagles, as they inspire more pride in anglo saxons

  8. Kismet Hardy — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:24 pm  

    What next? Lesbian policy pigeons? I don’t know

  9. Sid — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:27 pm  

    pro-war ostrich?
    islamist hoopoe?
    Mad-Mel Moorgi?

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

    It’s lefties like you that are to blame Sid. With your policies. What we need is baseball bats and you know it

  11. Sid — on 18th January, 2008 at 1:34 pm  

    *hangs head and shuffles feet*

  12. soctrates — on 18th January, 2008 at 2:09 pm  

    hmm… silly question really. How about Jack Straw, Alan Milburn, George Robertson and the ringleader Tony Blair. Oh and let’s not forget the ‘pretending not to be a hawk’ Gordon Brown.

  13. Don — on 18th January, 2008 at 3:22 pm  

    Sunny,

    Russian harrassment of British Council staffers is pretty small beer, surely? It’s a familiar gambit and both sides know the rules. Despite the Guardian’s description of it as ‘a dangerous new phase’ nobody is expecting a serious escalation. It’s a game both sides have been playing for sixty years or more, jockeying for advantage while urbane men in overcoats arrange matters as they stroll through Hyde/Gorky Park. Or maybe I’ve read too much Le Carre.

    Iran, on the other hand is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as being unpredictable, having an unstable chain of command and a leader who doesn’t play by the rules and is looking for a PR spectacular. I doubt if there is the same level of pragmatic personal contact between UK and Iranian spooks as there is traditionally perceived as existing between UK and Russia.

    The Litvenko murder did, of course get massive coverage and quite rightly. But no-one expects this current squabble to result in anything worse than a few diplomatic expulsions, cancelled cultural exchanges and maybe a temporary cooling of commercial activity. Certainly not stumbling into a military situation which no-one can control.

  14. vhxn — on 18th January, 2008 at 4:26 pm  

    What’s up next about the different policies.

  15. Boyo — on 18th January, 2008 at 4:34 pm  

    On a broader point, and perhaps it is because of the dark evenings, I think what we are actually seeing is the “decline of the west” in action.

    By which I mean the superiority of US-led “soft” power is globally beginning to flag and many of the assumptions that many of us still labour under are becoming obsolete – what I mean is we are seeing the rise of the totalitarian capitalist states in Russia and China (and Dubai for that matter) and there ain’t a damn thing we can do about it (indeed we have helped facilitate it). And it’s happening rapidly, not helped, it must be admitted, by the paper human rights tiger that America, not least, has turned out to be.

    On every front the values many Picklers here take for granted are under attack. The totalitarians, whatever their hue, are on the rise. This is the lens through which we should interpret global politics.

  16. Tony Sharp — on 18th January, 2008 at 7:38 pm  

    In the overall scheme of things this Russian handbagging is pretty minor stuff. We hawks prefer to speak up about genuine problems not faux rows like this.

    You can tell it is a trivial spat because Miliband tried to act like Rambo when he delivered his statement. If it was a major issue he would have been tip-toeing as gently as a Bolshoi ballerina.

    You will be able to tell how really insignificant it is the next time you see British Ministers gladhanding a delegation of Dmitris and Ivans as if nothing has happened. The real concern is Iran, despite dove-like attempts to tell us that nothing is happening and to move along.

  17. Refresh — on 18th January, 2008 at 9:08 pm  

    ‘The real concern is Iran, despite dove-like attempts to tell us that nothing is happening and to move along.’

    So what is this concern about Iran? Or if I could put it another way, what is it about policy towards Iran we should be worried about?

  18. soru — on 18th January, 2008 at 11:46 pm  

    Or if I could put it another way, what is it about policy towards Iran we should be worried about?

    The _british_ foreign policy establishment very much sees Iran as virtually indistinguishable from Russia:
    1. non-friends
    2. we’d lose a war with them
    3. some of their nutters do mad secret stuff.
    4. they have money and gear

    It’s only the US where candidates run for election on a policy of ‘setting Iran back 5 to 10 years’.

    Which, in turn, is probably because point #2 is not so much true for them (plus, the whole ‘death to Satan USA’ thing, which they don’t have much of a sense of humour about).

    soru

  19. digitalcntrl — on 19th January, 2008 at 1:59 am  

    Ann Coulter against the Russkies??

    Nah, she is in love with muslims.
    Some of her more famous quotes….

    “Bumper sticker idea for liberals: News magazines don’t kill people, Muslims do.”

    “They’re never very high in anyone’s caste system, are they? Poor little Pakis. ”

    “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

    “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.”

    “These people can’t even wrap up genocide. We’ve been hearing about this slaughter in Darfur forever — and they still haven’t finished. The aggressors are moving like termites across that country. It’s like genocide by committee. Who’s running this holocaust in Darfur, FEMA? This is truly a war in which we have absolutely no interest.”

    What a gal eh???

  20. Rohin — on 19th January, 2008 at 2:26 am  

    Those quotes are shocking digitalcntrl!

    Is this anti-Russian sentiment motivated by PP’s recent hack?

    I used to love Russia. This was based solely on the Soviet national anthem, which makes me feel so patriotic even though I have only been there once. And I’m not Russian.

    But we’ve got a new Russian girl on our team at work who is USELESS so now I hate them all.

    I don’t think impotence is purely a British hawk/right wing problem, there’s a limp-wristedness that pervades both sides of the spectrum.

  21. Desi Italiana — on 19th January, 2008 at 5:12 am  

    Hey, I’ll be the UK’s Anne Coulter. And I’m brown! Everyone will have a field day. I’ll be like the UK’s Michelle Malkin– not white, a women, and have atrocious views not only on foreign policy, but every other issue too.

    “Ann Coulter against the Russkies??

    Nah, she is in love with muslims.”

    Anne is in love with Catholic brown men who write shitty books with crappy logic.

  22. digitalcntrl — on 19th January, 2008 at 3:43 pm  

    @desi italiana

    Well I would think Anne and the Catholic brown man (aka Dinesh D’Souza) would be a perfect fit. I mean most of Dinesh’s viewpoints could easily work with Anne’s:

    A few of my favorite Dinesh D’Souza Quotes:

    “The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.” (from D’Souza’s book, The End of Racism)

    “If America as a nation owes blacks as a group reparations for slavery, what do blacks as a group owe America for the abolition of slavery?” (from The End of Racism)

    “Am I calling for the repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Actually, yes.” (from The End of Racism)

    “…within the United States, black males have (you may be surprised to discover) the highest self-esteem of any group. Yet on academic measures black males score the lowest. The reason is that self-esteem in these cases is generated by factors unrelated to studies, such as the ability to beat up other students or a high estimation of one’s sexual prowess.” (from D’Souza’s book Letters to a Young Conservative)

    “[f]or many whites the criminal and irresponsible black underclass represents a revival of barbarism in the midst of Western civilization.” (from D’Souza’s book The End of Racism)

    “What impact did the abortionists, the feminists, the homosexual activists, and the secularists have on the Islamic radicals who conspired to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Unfortunately, this crucial question got buried, and virtually no one has raised it publicly.” (from The Enemy at Home)

  23. foreign policy hawk foundation — on 19th January, 2008 at 4:48 pm  

    Sunny

    It’s quite simple really.

    September 11th, July bombings, Madrid, and the countless of other attempts by ISLAMIC radicals pose an ACTUAL threat.

    Nothing to do with them being brown, I’m afraid Sunny.

    Just the fact they keep trying to indiscriminately murder us in our own towns. Geddit yet?

    Russia is extremely unlikely to fund or attack Europe. When was the last time Russia attacked Britain? How many Brits have they killed? None!

    And last, but not least. Russia is a superpower. As is China. And America.

    One cannot consider going to war with a superpower. You will loose.

    Superpowers will not go to war with each other. They will all loose.

  24. Desi Italiana — on 19th January, 2008 at 7:45 pm  

    The End of Racism is a book that never ceases to amaze me, with it’s crude and astonishing racism.

    Definately Anne’s type of man.

    **

    Seriously, though, Anne is a wanker. She really, really is.

  25. Don — on 19th January, 2008 at 7:47 pm  
  26. Desi Italiana — on 19th January, 2008 at 8:01 pm  

    Dinesh is so fine, he blows my mind.

  27. El Cid — on 19th January, 2008 at 9:31 pm  

    Jees, why do sooooooooo many people spell “lose” wrong?
    Lose rhymes with booze, loose rhymes with moose, as in loose woman, geddit?

    You’re partly right though fpfhj. Don’t forget the Russians — or a Russian — killed a man on our soil and endangered other British citizens.

    However, it’s easier being a hawk when you’re big and powerful.

    We weren’t exactly hawkish with Iran when they had our sailors. How embarrassing was that!
    There also seems to be a notable difference in the way the US and UK have acted in Iraq/Afghanistan. Our military strategy seems a little less hawkish too.

    So maybe there’s a deeper cultural explanation behind the lack of British hawks.

  28. El Cid — on 19th January, 2008 at 9:32 pm  

    seems i cant abbreviate. i mean fphf

  29. digitalcntrl — on 19th January, 2008 at 9:52 pm  

    Meh, unfortunately the desi christians that have a high profile here seem the lunatic fringe falwell worshipping types (i.e. D’Souza, Jindal, etc.). When your books get endorsed by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage you know something must be up.

    Seriously, though the Reps (esp Karl Rove) are trying to make inroads into the desi community over here ever since they realized that american desis are loaded. It is working to some degree, the Indian community used to be solidly democratic but I do se a growing number of reps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEsdj203RcM&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVf75c5tEgs&NR=1

    LMAO Bobby Jindal sounds like a ole boy from the heart of Dixie.

  30. digitalcntrl — on 20th January, 2008 at 5:08 am  

    Ok this guy puts Ann Coulter to shame…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn_8Jjo_Zc0&feature=related

  31. Ros — on 20th January, 2008 at 11:56 am  

    Brit diplomatic antics make me yawn.
    I’m more curious about India’s amateurish attempts at foreign policy and diplomacy.

    Could Desi Italiana, Sid or Sunny help to shift gear to this topic?

  32. Desi Italiana — on 20th January, 2008 at 7:36 pm  

    “I’m more curious about India’s amateurish attempts at foreign policy and diplomacy.”

    What diplomacy? :)

    The BJP’s foreign policy would provide fodder for about a gazillion posts.

    As for India’s foreign policy, it’s “We’ve got bombs…watch out, Pakistan!” And India always seeks regional leverage- as does Pakistan- through allies, with each of them vying for the US’ attention.

    Then India quietly helps sustain the Maldivian and Burmese government by supplying arms to the regimes there…

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