Arabist Revolt


Fifty-two former British diplomats have penned a joint letter of protest to Prime Minister Tony Blair, in what the Financial Times editorial board is calling "possibly the most stinging rebuke ever to a British government by its foreign policy establishment." Interestingly, the primary focus is not the war in Iraq, but rather Blair's role in George Bush's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The lede:

We the undersigned former British ambassadors, high commissioners, governors and senior international officials, including some who have long experience of the Middle East and others whose experience is elsewhere, have watched with deepening concern the policies which you have followed on the Arab-Israel problem and Iraq, in close cooperation with the United States. Following the press conference in Washington at which you and President Bush restated these policies, we feel the time has come to make our anxieties public, in the hope that they will be addressed in parliament and will lead to a fundamental reassessment.

London's in a screw-the-yanks tizzy; one Guardian column, by a former BBC correspondent, is headlined "We Have To Kick Against the Pricks." There's a useful Brit-press roundup and much commentary over at the generally pro-war Harry's Place.