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"He gave the EPP promise, of course, and promised to champion the people of Darfur "

Has Cameron mentioned the word 'Darfur' again since becoming leader?

I couldn't agree more with David Frum. Cameron's uncertainty on foreign policy is definately troubling

Cameron tells people what they want to hear. The liberal left; the BBC and Michael Moore’s gullible army of followers have succeeded in turning a significant chunk of the population against America and Israel. Being an ardent atlanticist I’ll admit Bush doesn’t help our case, John McCain in 2008 would be a fantastic help to maintaining and strengthening the special relationship. In the mean time however we cannot waver in our support for the American line and for our Israeli allies. Israel was indisputably spurred into conflict by a Hezbollah revitalised by Iran and Syria. Hezbollah’s private army is more powerful than the Lebanese army and for the sake of Lebanese sovereignty and Israel’s security the existence of a Hezbollah with the capabilities of kidnapping Israeli soldiers or firing missiles into Israeli territory is unacceptable. The Israel hating left is silent on the fate of the kidnapped soldiers, silent on Iranian and Syrian sponsored terrorism and silent on missile attacks into Israel. The escalation in the Middle Eastern conflict was not initiated by Israel and could be ended by Israel’s enemies immediately. It’s a no brainer. Israel’s critics have infiltrated the British elites at every level; the Foreign Office and much of the media – especially the BBC – and now it seems even some parts of the Conservative Party. We need to resist this – we need more Conservatives to join Conservative Friends of Israel.

I think he and William Hague have spoken about the crisis, Chad. Wasn't it mentioned in a PMQs?

John McCain in 2008 my money is on Mitt Romney

William Hague always seems to take up a nondescript position between the parties to any dispute whether it be Arab/Israeli, EPP exit/europhiles.

His leadership of the Conservatives was of similar ilk. He tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. Cameron would do well to be rid of him, or Hague's indecisiveness and blandness will come to characterise Cameron's leadership.

While we dither and show no support, Israel has no choice but to defend herself. The Iranians will take note of our weakness and be encouraged...

..just as the Europhile and corrupt EU bureaucrats are now delighted. Hague has threatened those who wish to fight corruption in the EU like Roger Helmer with deselection.

Cameron's leadership will be attacked for it domestic slant, which sometimes sounds like weakness but in fact is intelligently thought out policy, when you read the detail. But Hague's approach to foreign affairs is disasterous, and will kill off the hopes for the Cameron Conservative era. He should go, and someone else be brought in urgently.

Mr Cameron has make a basic and fundamental mistake in welcoming back the old guard, foremost amongst them being Hague. Hague is keen to show how he has changed and is inflicting his newly-discovered liberalism on the party. In doing this he wins the approval of the liberal establishment he once took on - he seems to find that cosier. The plaudits of the media and Clarke & Heseltine mean more to him than a principled Conservative foreign policy. The clutch of political recidivists now dominating the upper reaches of the party should be shown the door before the whole political machine is denatured beyond correction.

I haven't read the article, but on the distinction between Burkeans and Churchillians, has Brooks never read Reflections on the Revolution in France and its successors? Burke's reaction was Churchillian. Burkean thought is perfectly comfortable with the idea that threats to civilization and the established way of things need to be faced with military might. Pitt the Younger declared war on France in 1793 precisely because of Burke's warnings. One might think William Hague would know this, too...

Would Mitt Romney being a Mormon pose a problem though? Some people think so...Romney, from what I know though would make a good candidate.

George Allen wouldn't go down well in Britain...If the special relationship is to survive we need a moderate Republican. An isolationist Democrat or someone on the right in the Republican Party winning in 2008 could further damage America’s image here which would be extremely depressing as it would invariably strengthen the anti-American camp.

Can't believe I'm defending Hague, but here goes! It is all too easy to paint people as pro or anti-American. All Hague is doing is to apply Conservative values to the international arena. Something which should always distinhuish Conservatives is their pragmatism. What kind of politician would look back at the Iraq war and not have the slightest doubt about the philosophy which brought us into that war? We have important values - freedom, liberty, truth - which have historically bound us to the Americans. Unfortunately President Bush is undermining many of these things. It is not anti-American to point out that in pursuing terrorism we must not give the terrorists the victory they seek (e.g. torture, prisoner abuse, wiretapping). I know many Americans who would go far further than Hague in their criticisms and many decent Republicans are among their number. Bush is not America any more than Blair is Britain. Is it really left-wing and anti-American to be thoughtful and nuanced about very complex issues? Well done William.

Here's a crazy idea - instead of asking ourselves how can we best serve the White House, why not decide British foreign policy on the basis of we ourselves think and what we judge to be in Britain's interests? If coincide with the US interests, great and we'll have a better reason that just so we can have George and Condi like us. If not, so be it we're acting in our interests, doing what we think is right.

What a shame that between the neo-cons and Arabists the party doesn't have an isolationist wing.

Observer: "What a shame that between the neo-cons and Arabists the party doesn't have an isolationist wing."

After all we're not affected by anything that goes on outside our borders apart from, that is, terrorism, immigration flows, environmental pollution, economic turmoil and other unimportant things.

"I think he and William Hague have spoken about the crisis, Chad. Wasn't it mentioned in a PMQs?"

Yes, it was something as feeble as that.

I really thought, after making a repeated point of it during the leadership campaign that Cameron was going to make a real effort and as he said, "champion" the Darfur issue when everyone else seemed to be ignoring the growing crisis, but it was pretty much forgotten come 6th December.

I don't understand these '51st state' Tories; Euroscepticism is fair enough but why would any patriot want this country to be the lickspittle of the USA?

I hope he tip-toes faster, further, deeper.

"What a shame that between the neo-cons and Arabists the party doesn't have an isolationist wing."

Or at least a Realpolitik wing. We should decide our policies solely on Britain's national interest, and if we agree with the USA then fine and if we dont, then so be it.

At the moment we seem to have a policy of sucking up to the USA for "influence" in exactly the same way we suck up to the EU in excahnge for "influence".

Shouldn't the term be zionist and not neo con..

....and in return we get no influence at all. The EU despises Blair as Bush's ambassador, and the White House treats him with contempt.

At the moment we seem to have a policy of sucking up to the USA for "influence" in exactly the same way we suck up to the EU in excahnge for "influence".

Fair Point ! Palmerston was right.

Let us immediately declare war and reclaim the colonies.

I’m afraid that Mr Hague continues to disappoint - what with this, following the failure to quickly exit the EPP. We need leaders, "Churchillians", who, to quote the quote in the editorial, "know that occasionally civilization is confronted by enemies so ideologically extreme and so greedy for domination that decent nations must use military power to confront and defeat them". Any nation has a right to defend itself and Israel is surrounded by enemies who deny its right to exist. When will we get leaders who instead of trying to say what the liberal left, the BBC et al want to hear, will instead counter their views and lead public opinion to re-establish a proper sense of right and wrong - on this and other issues?

From Frum - In parliamentary debate on Thursday, shadow foreign secretary William Hague delivered a stinging critique of the Blair government 's Middle East policy that could have come straight off the editorial page of the Guardian.

(And indeed Hague's speech was admiringly front-paged in the paper the next day:

In the Commons, many Labour MPs were furious that the the shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, was prepared to be tougher in his warning to Israel than [Foreign Secretary Margaret] Beckett. "I think we can say that elements of the Israeli response are disproportionate, including attacks on Lebanese army units, the loss of civilian life and essential infrastructure and such enormous damage to the capacity of the Lebanese government, [which] does damage the Israeli cause in the long term," he told MPs.

Hague, a former Conservative leader himself and once upon a time a staunch Atlanticist, mocked Blair for this “too close” relationship with George Bush. He described the Israeli determination to end Hezbollah terrorism as "understandable" - but pointedly did not actually endorse that determination. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon.

Hague's lost it.

When Hague fudged the EPP issue I said he should go. When Hague wandered off into Bilderberg la la land I said he should go. Now Hague's gone courting Guardianistas with his BBC approved views on Israel so once again I say he should go and once again I say that he is starting to represent evrything that I thought the Conservative party didn't stand for.

Cameron is following Howard by isolating himself from The White House............let's hope the Us doesn't isolate itself too much from Great Britain..........that was the root cause of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy.........US Neutrality Acts

Editor - when is the next Conservativehome "popularity poll" due ? I expect to see Hague sunk without trace and Davis off the scale !!

we must not give the terrorists the victory they seek (e.g. torture, prisoner abuse, wiretapping).

Actually they want us dead or converted to Islam. And I think their preference is dead.

Feel free to criticise the tactics employed in the war on the merits, but drop the cant that by employing methods not quite as tough as the ones the army used on the IRA in the 1970s we are somehow "letting them win".

Editor - "After all we're not affected by anything that goes on outside our borders apart from, that is, terrorism, immigration flows, environmental pollution, economic turmoil and other unimportant things."

Well, I hope my isolationist leanings aren't quite that extreme! Of course I would want to co-operate internationally on these issues.

To unpack my overly laconic post - I meant that Britain should refrain from getting involved in foreign conflict after foreign conflict - isn't the current tally under Blair seven armed interventions? - and that we should intervene militarily only when it suits our national interests (as other posters have pointed out), which ought to be very rarely.

There are major problems with the notion that our foreign policy should be based on the principles of liberal interventionism.

Firstly, we simply do not have the resources to make repeated intervenions.

Secondly, we have been suckered by the false hope of nation building. What made the invasion of Iraq so foolish was the glib assumption that western democracy could just be rolled out like astro-turf in a country with a different culture, a different religion, a different conception of the relationship between church and state and no prior experience of political liberty, and on top of all this, seismic sectarian tensions, which are now threatening to rip the country apart.

Thirdly, we will get no thanks for intervening. Even though we meant well for the Iraqi people, and freed them from a dictator, the whole Muslim world gives us no credit for this, but only blames us for everthing that has gone wrong. Even if there were no trouble in Iraq now, and the coutry were functioning well, I suspect we would still get no thanks. Muslims would hate us for attacking a Muslim country - regardless of the outcome. Samuel Huntingdon identifies liberal interventionism as the west's achilles heel in its relationship with the rest of the world. We believe we are acting on the side of justice; other countries see only arrogance and a bully throwing its weight around.

Continual meddling in the affairs of other countries, and naive attempts to export democracy, are not conservative.

Looking at recent polling Hagues' recent speech on Israel resonates far beyond the usual anti Israel Guardianista clique but with the majority of the country.I'm very glad that he hasn't followed in a knee-jerk fashion the fairly widely discredited neo-con position on the middle east.
I'm with Jon Gale British foreign policy should be designed to further the interests of Britain.If that coincides with that of the EU or USA great,but if it doesn't we should argue our case too.
Welcome back Henry Curteis (William) I look forward to every thread being turned onto the EU, the EPP and Murdochs' rampant Europhilia!

Step away from the Midddle East and focus on Bosnia. The decade long failure to deal effectively with Milosevic and the Serbs shows the limits of diplomacy if nothing else does.

If Bosnia kicked off today, would we intervene to stop the genocide? Sadly, I think not.

The shame is that Bosnia occurred whilst the last Conservative government was in power.

I'd like to think we learned some lessons and would now acknowledge that we needed to do more to stop the bloodshed.

Malcolm, there may be a lot of oversimplification and very poor execution of the neo-cons' Middle East policy but I don't see a credible Plan B. The classic Clintonian policy of appeasing extremists - pursued so assiduously in Northern Ireland and the Middle East - led to 9/11. I am quite sure that large sections of the supposedly liberal middle classes in this country support Hague's approach. After all, the Munich Agreement was wildly popular at the time. That is precisely why we need courageous leadership.....of which Blair, if you believe his rhetoric, is offering rather more than Cameron.

It comes as no surprise to be reminded that there are sections of the Tory Party who are only too willing to make common cause with corrupt tyrants, in the selfish and mistaken belief that by feeding the crocodile, they will save their own skins. These people were profoundly wrong in the 1930's and they will be proved wrong again.

McGowan is right. There is no plan B. And Blair has shown enormous courage but that doesn't mean that Cameron should under any circumstances follow suit. It is fine to triangulate limply with Hague for now, coming out firmly either pro or anti would be a gift to Blair and the opposing camp. Personally I do not believe we should ask Israeli civilians to pay the blood price of the ceasefire so our daily news intake can be a little less distressing. The heart cries out for an end to the pictures of the (actually rather limited) bloodshed, the head knows it's not that simple.

Love the way Hague has gone from hero to zero in the space of a couple of weeks.

Not quite hero to zero, houndtag, but the EPP and this new angle on Israel are, in my opinion, worrying mistakes on his (our) part.

I hope it is not the start of a trend. We must realise that the the Europeans are not our friends and nuzzling up to French foreign policy in the Middle East is a mistake.

The US are our natural allies and we forget this at our peril.

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