Friday, 2 October 2009

Image Over Substance

This time it’s Obama, not Blair or Brown. In fact it appears that Brown deserves some rare praise, for disagreeing with Obama over the announcement of an Iranian nuclear facility discovered by French, British and US intelligence.

The story suggests that Obama delayed the announcement in order not to “spoil the image of success” of UN disarmament talks he was chairing. You know, spoil the image of success by admitting abject failure. By actually giving an accurate assessment. By being realistic and facing the truth.

What on Earth is the point of the image of success? Are the people of Israel going to be comforted by being told that there aren’t any nuclear weapons targeted at them, if later someone admits that there are and Obama knew all along? Are they going to be comforted if they have the image of safety as those nuclear weapons fly towards them?

Sarkozy’s comments on Obama’s naivety make a lot more sense now, although I have always considered him both naïve and more interested in perception than reality. I have described him as an American Tony Blair, and that is not a compliment.

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