Quote for the Day

"To visit the US at present, as I have done, is to experience an overwhelming sensation of drastic impending change. It's not merely that President Bush, to whom Blair so disastrously tethered himself, is "in office but not in power". Most Americans can't wait for him to go, Congress is beyond his control, and the Senate majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, has told him that the war in Iraq is lost - for which statement of the obvious Reid was accused of "defeatism" by the vice-president, Dick Cheney.

Besides that the portents range from Paul Wolfowitz's travails at the World Bank to the Senate interrogation of Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general, and the trial of Conrad Black. This might sound like the "succession of small disasters, oh trifling in themselves", in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On ("a Foreign Secretary's sudden attack of dysentery at the funeral of George V, an American ambassador found strangled in his own gym-slip...") And yet there really is an observable pattern.

Along with the collapse of Bush's authority, all these episodes are connected to the great disaster in Iraq. And all illustrate the hubristic, impenitent arrogance of the people who have been guiding America's destiny - as well as ours, alas - for the past six years. What one senses so acutely are the conditions building for a political perfect storm, which will engulf and destroy the whole neoconservative project," - Geoffrey Wheatcroft, the Guardian.