Friendly Fire

It happens in wartime; it's tragic; it's embarrassing. But why did the Pentagon have to lie about it? It's the lying that undermines alliances, not the incidents. The Telegraph rightly vents here:

It is the Pentagon's resistance to assisting in L/Cpl Hull's inquest that is the most disturbing aspect of the case. As the United States' most loyal ally, frankly we deserve better. The Ministry of Defence has presented a feeble spectacle, wringing its hands but unwilling to press the issue with Washington. Then, out of the blue, the video is leaked to a Labour-supporting tabloid (which, to its credit, defied Pentagon threats and published it). If it proves to be the Government that leaked it in an attempt to bounce Washington into action, what a depressing reflection that is on New Labour's methods – and our alleged special relationship with Washington.

Clive Davis notices similar spluttering at the conservative Spectator:

There is little grasp in Washington of the resentment felt in this country by people who are instinctively pro-American but also rightly reluctant for Britain to be treated as the 51st State, a ploddingly dependable Delaware off the coast of mainland Europe ... Each time America treats its most trusted ally in this way, the harder it becomes for Atlanticists to take a stand against those who, in increasing numbers, would like to see Britain put some distance between itself and the US.

Bush and Cheney have managed to lose even the British Tories. And they hope to win over the world's Muslims?