Catching up with today’s hard copy version of the London Times (link outside the UK requires subscription), takes a little of the pleasure out of a return to the old country, thanks to the typically irritating efforts of the prominent columnist Simon Jenkins, a writer as reliably condescending as he is reliably wrong.
It’s a little unfair to extract a sentence or two from a long article (which basically is concerned with the need for, uh, a more sensitive approach in the fight against Islamic extremism), but these words are worth repeating just for what they reveal about the extent of anti-Americanism among a significant contingent of Britain’s chattering classes:
“American liberal democracy scarcely knows itself. Habeas corpus is suspended. A presidential election is held under the aura of war. As Jan Morris wrote in the Times, America has returned to being “an organically militarist nation, proud of its power…and comfortable with its allegories.” The American soldier abroad is no more a figure of jocular affection but rather a Tolkein Orc, an armoured monster spewing indiscriminate death.”
John Kerry has said that he wants to improve America’s image abroad. Quite how he proposes to deal with such irrationality escapes me.