The Week That Was
November 22, 2003

1. New on the Web: STEPHEN HAYWARD PROVIDES A FINE SUMMARY OF RECENT HAPPENINGS IN CLIMATE POLITICS. It is a perfect opener for the forthcoming COP-9, which begins its Annual Gabfest in Milan on Dec 1. (For the uninitiated: COP stands for "Conference of the Parties [to the Kyoto Protocol]. Some 180 national delegations try to make sense about the real meaning of the 1997 treaty - which may go down the drain unless Russia ratifies.)

2. NYET TO KYOTO: THE KYOTO PROTOCOL WILL LIKELY SOON DIE ON THE STEPS OF THE KREMLIN, as Russia legislators are no longer fooled by its 'illusionary' benefits and the unrealistic emission levels it sets out for the country. (National Post)

3. RESEARCH DEBUNKS GREENHOUSE THEORY: Proof exists, but believers would rather denounce than debate


5. KYOTO PROTOCOL IS A PREDATORY TRADE STRATEGY Masquerading as an Environmental Treaty (Financial Times)



8. INFANTILE RESENTMENT: A Sober British Appraisal That Includes Kyoto

2. Nyet to Kyoto

With so much of the fate of the Kyoto agreement riding on his work, you'd think the Russian government would give Alexander Nakhutin a better deal. Russia's chief greenhouse-gas emissions forecaster currently works out of the Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, a mostly empty, crumbling building on Moscow's outskirts, with a pack of ragged dogs slumbering under the portico.
Down a lightless corridor and up a flight of dank stairs, the door to Nakhutin's lab swings open on a bright surprise: There's a fresh coat of paint, lots of light, and plenty of high-end computer equipment. Sadly, however, the gear isn't for Nakhutin's research. It's for his new printing company, he says. "My business income subsidizes my research budget," the Russian Academy of Science section head explains. "Without it, I couldn't do any science."

Unorthodox as his funding methods may seem to Western eyes, when it comes to global warming research, Nakhutin is a very heavy hitter. In a study released last year, Nakhutin found that through five years of rapid economic expansion since 1999, Russian greenhouse-gas emissions have ballooned as much as 13% annually. If Nakhutin's projections are correct -- and he is one of only a very few researchers with access to the best Russian industrial data -- by the time the Kyoto treaty is due to be implemented in 2008, Russian carbon emissions will be 6% greater than they were in 1990, or 30% higher than originally envisioned.

This is a forecast that spells deep trouble for Kyoto planners at the headquarters of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Geneva. That's because the entire Kyoto concept is structured around predictions that when Kyoto is implemented in 2008, Russian greenhouse gas emissions levels will be 20% below levels in 1990 -- the baseline year for Kyoto emissions targets, and the last year in which the Soviet economy operated at full throttle.
Kyoto planners believe that between 1991 and 1999, the collapse of the Russian economy reduced greenhouse gas emissions there by 39% -- a figure they've always said will be only partially offset by Russian economic growth before 2008. According to their projections, after 2008, Russia will be in a position to make billions by selling "carbon credits" to Europe, Canada and Japan on the carbon-trading marketplace at the centre of the Kyoto concept.

Kyoto planners say the prospect of billions in profits from carbon credit sales will persuade Russia to join the Kyoto club. And they say countries with emissions greater than they had in 1990 will be able to meet their Kyoto emissions reduction targets by offsetting their excess emissions levels with pollution credits purchased from Russia.

If Russia's "carbon surplus" proves illusory, though, the supply of carbon credits available on the Kyoto pollution market will be very tight. That's going to make things difficult for many countries hoping to purchase credits to offset pollution increases since 1990.
While Nakhutin's research upends Kyoto planners' projections in Geneva, where it really hits home is in the Kremlin, which is under heavy pressure from Kyoto planners, and politicians in Europe and Japan, to ratify the agreement. Due to a legal stipulation requiring that Kyoto must be ratified by countries responsible for at least 55% of the greenhouse emissions from industrialized nations in 1990, the Kyoto agreement cannot survive without Russian ratification.

According to Nakhutin, when Kremlin officials reviewing the case for Russian ratification got wind of his findings, they expressed "worry," and demanded details. "We have a full-scale carbon emission inventory underway right now," he says. "The government wants this information for a decision on whether or not to ratify Kyoto."

Nakhutin's results won't be in for a while yet, but even so, enthusiasm for Kyoto in the Kremlin is fading fast. Back in the spring of 2002, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to press the Russian Parliament to ratify Kyoto. But in the face of accumulating evidence, Kyoto planners in Geneva failed to anticipate a major boom in Russian carbon emissions when they projected Russian emissions 20% below 1990 levels in 2008, the Kremlin has been looking hard at its alternatives.
Last March, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development concluded that ratifying Kyoto was not in Russia's interest. In June, Putin's top economic adviser, Andrei Illarionov, told reporters that Kyoto offers Russia only "illusory" benefits, and would force Russia to undertake expensive restructuring. "The U.S. decided that these expenses were excessive," Illarionov said. "I'm not convinced that Russia can afford expenses that the world's richest country couldn't afford."
At an international climate change conference in Moscow in September, President Putin joked that global warming might benefit Russia. Then he said Russia would have to continuing investigating whether or not to ratify Kyoto. "The decision will be taken at the end of that work, and in conformity with Russia's national interests," he said. A few days later, Mr. Illarionov said he doubted Kyoto's "effectiveness."

Although Dr. Nakhutin's studies are still underway, the Kremlin likely already knows enough about rising Russian greenhouse gas emissions to realize Kyoto planners got their estimates wrong. Russian economic growth was 10% in 2001. In 2002 it was 6%. Seven per cent growth is expected this year. President Putin says the economy may double before 2010, and triple before 2020.
Under these conditions, it's no surprise Russian views on Kyoto are themselves facing a climate change.

In an assessment of the case for Kyoto ratification published last year, the Kremlin acknowledged that Russian greenhouse gas emissions are rising fast, and that energy consumption per unit of GDP will have to be reduced by 36% over five years if greenhouse gas emission levels are going to be 20% below 1990 levels in 2008. Last May, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov raised this energy conservation figure to 50%.

At the Russian Ministry of Energy, just across Red Square from the Kremlin, Oleg Plujnikov, the Ministry's deputy head of ecology, says energy efficiency is now "mandatory" for Russia. Unfortunately for Kyoto planners, however, Russian energy efficiency specialists like Igor Bashmatov, director of Moscow's Center for Energy Efficiency (CENEf), say such pronouncements are disingenuous at best.

With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bashmatov carefully reviewed the Russian government's actual spending on energy efficiency and found it disastrously below official pledges.

According to the CENEf, for the period between 2002 and 2005, the Russian government has only allocated 14% of the funds it promised to energy efficiency. Worse, says Bashmatov, only 4% of that money is spent directly on efficiency: the rest goes on subsidies to increase oil and gas production. "The best indicator of commitment is allocation of funds," he says, "but we've never really seen anything more than verbal support."

According to Bashmatov, negligible political commitment means the 36% increase in Russian energy efficiency needed to hit Kyoto targets is out of the question: In the face of massive economic growth and emerging evidence of a huge boom in Russian greenhouse gas emissions, the Kremlin, it seems, has abandoned its own case for Kyoto ratification.

As long as this remains the case, when it comes to the Kyoto treaty, the rest of the world might as well save its breath. Without Russian participation, Kyoto -- as we know it -- will be just another grandiose idea consigned by restless Russians to the dustbin of history.
Paul Webster is a writer who has reported on climate change issues in Russia for Science and New Scientist.© Copyright 2003 National Post


3. Research debunks greenhouse theory
EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12 November 2003

Too many scientists have based their research, their reputations and their incomes on the greenhouse theory.

So rather than debate the growing evidence that the greenhouse theory is fundamentally flawed, many greenhouse-believing scientists have begun viciously attacking those who question its conclusions and denouncing any agnostic as a heretic -- especially ones presenting uncomfortably challenging proof.

Witness Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Both are noted solar physicists. Earlier this year, they published an exhaustive study of the climate of the past 1,000 years or so in the journal Climate Research. They examined more studies on historic climate trends -- 240 in all -- than any previous researchers, and concluded the 20th century was not unusually warm. In the past millennium there had been at least one other period when, worldwide, temperatures were as much as 2 C to 3 C warmer than the 1990s.

This was not a particularly startling conclusion. There have been dozens of papers written by geologists identifying a Medieval Warm Period running from about 800 to 1300 AD and a Little Ice Age spanning 1300 to about 1850. Soon and Baliunas merely confirmed that these earlier studies were right.

But Soon and Baliunas were both vehemently attacked. Myths were spread that they had cooked their findings (as good scientists do, they acknowledged in their article the very limitations in their results that have been used to try to discredit them). Three junior editors at the journal that published their study resigned claiming embarrassment that their employer published shoddy research. Then the controversy sucked down the editor-in-chief.

However, when an independent review was conducted of the Soon/Baliunas article, no misrepresentation was found nor any shortcomings with Climate Research's peer-review process. (These latter facts are often left out of news stories on the controversy, though.)

The reason for the hissy fit over Soon/Baliunas is simple though. The pair do not shy from drawing obvious conclusions from their research: if the warming of the 20th century is not unusual, then it is likely natural, meaning the Kyoto accord is an exercise in futility. And even if the warming is not natural, it is not extreme and thus nothing to worry about.

This is a threat to the greenhouse religion. Therefore the pair must be burned at the stake.

The same fate is likely to befall Canadian researchers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who have just destroyed the "hockey stick" theory on recent global warming for the British journal Energy & Environment. (Questioned the theory, or called it into doubt might be less-charged wording, but I'll stick with destroyed.)

The "hockey stick" has been among the holiest of holies in the greenhouse priests' liturgy. It purports to show relatively stable climate for the 900 years from 1000 to 1900, then a sharp spike upward from 1900 to today. Its implications for the greenhouse theory are so central that it formed an integral part of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's vaunted 2001 report, the one that claimed to confirm disastrous manmade greenhouse warming.

We have known for a long time that the hockey stick compared apples and oranges -- reconstructed temperatures from 1000 to 1900 (temperatures deduced from studying tree-ring growth and ice cores, et cetera) and measured temperatures from 1900 onward. When the 20th century's temperatures are "reconstructed," they don't show the warming the hockey stick shows.

But what McIntyre/McKitrick also reveal is the data used to craft the hockey stick are based on "collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation ... obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation ... and other quality control defects." The wrong places, the wrong dates and the wrong numbers were jumbled together to produce the results the authors desired -- that industrial societies are threatening the planet and only global regulation by the UN can save it.

Three "unjustified truncations" were uncovered by McIntyre/McKitrick. Of 112 temperature records used to create the hockey stick, 13 were incorrectly copied down, 18 mismatched the year and temperatures, 19 made unjustifiable extrapolations to cover missing data, 24 contained obsolete data and all 28 that used tree-ring data miscalculated the information obtained by reading the rings. That's a total of 105 records with errors, although some contained multiple errors, so there were more than seven data sets that were error-free, but not many more.

Emperor Kyoto has no clothes. It's time we called him on it.
Lorne Gunter, Columnist, Edmonton Journal


4. New GAO study shows why Europe benefits while U.S. suffers under
restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions

by Tom Randall, November 12, 2003

Issue: An October 28 report by the General Accounting Office demonstrates
why Europe benefits and the U.S. suffers under any climate change scheme,
such as the Kyoto Protocol or the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act
(S.139), which restricts the emissions of carbon dioxide. The report,
ironically, was requested by Senators Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and
presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA) in an apparent effort to gather
information to promote the Lieberman-McCain bill.

What the report determined, in part, was that Europe has more than met any
CO2 reduction targets; therefore measures such as Kyoto would impose no
restrictions on their economies but the burden on the U.S. would be
enormous. Hollings and Kerry, interestingly, left the following report data
out of the floor debate:

While U.S. CO2 emissions rose by 22.5 percent from 1980 to 2000, those of
Europe¹s principal economies dropped dramatically: Germany 22.3 percent,
United Kingdom -10.1 percent and France -119.9 percent. While the European
reductions were, in part due to closing of high-emission East German
facilities and switchover to North Sea natural gas, they were to a great
extent due to these countries¹ economies falling apart, often with
unemployment rates not seen in the U.S. since the Great Depression.

Comment 1: It should be obvious why Margot Wallstrom, the European Union¹s
Commissioner for the Environment said, "[Global warming] is not a simple
environmental issue where you can say it is an issue where scientists are
not unanimous. This is about international relations, this is about
economy, about trying to create a level playing field for big business
throughout the world. You have to understand what is at stake and that is
why it is serious."

Comment 2: Global warming has always been about trying to make Europe¹s
hopelessly socialist economies competitive with the United States.

Comment 3: It is ironic that what Europe couldn¹t pull off, many Democratic and liberal Republican Senators are trying to foist on the nation with the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act.

5. Kyoto Protocol is a Predatory Trade Strategy Masquerading as an Environmental Treaty
Letter to the Editor in the Financial Times
by Marlo Lewis, Jr. November 17, 2003

Michael Grubb ("The world must keep its nerve over Kyoto", November 13) wants the US and Russia to ratify the Kyoto protocol. What a surprise! Mr. Grubb works for the Carbon Trust, an organisation set up and funded by Tony Blair's government to facilitate business compliance with Kyoto's energy suppression mandates. Kyoto would confer competitive advantage on UK businesses vis-a-vis their US counterparts -- but only if the US participated. If neither the US nor Russia ratifies, the treaty is dead. And if Kyoto dies, the Carbon Trust has no raison d'être.

As is widely known, Kyoto would impose greater burdens on the US than on Britain, France, and Germany. Owing to a combination of factors unrelated to environmental concern - stagnant continental economies, low population growth, Britain's switch from coal to natural gas, France's reliance on nuclear power, and Germany's closure of obsolete East German factories - those countries are within easy reach of their Kyoto target. In contrast, a growing population, robust economic growth in the 1990s, the world's highest per-capita vehicle-miles traveled, and the world's largest coal reserves ensure that US carbon emissions will exceed the US's Kyoto target by at least 30 per cent.

As for Russia, Kremlin officials such as Andrei Illarionov, the presidential economic adviser, now realise that ratifying Kyoto would mean, "dooming the country to poverty, backwardness and weakness". Gone forever is the dream of a multi-billion-dollar windfall from selling surplus emission credits. Russia's economy is growing so rapidly that emissions could exceed the country's Kyoto target by 6 per cent in 2008.

Even if implemented by all industrial countries, Kyoto would have no discernible effect on climate change. Kyoto is essentially a predatory trade strategy masquerading as an environmental treaty.

As Margot Wallström, the European Union environment commissioner, put it: "This is about international relations, this is about economy, about trying to create a level playing field for big businesses throughout the world." There are, of course, two ways to level the playing field: reduce EU energy taxes and regulation, or increase US energy taxes and regulation. Mr. Grubb and his sponsors obviously prefer the latter.

6. Back To The Dark Ages As Researchers Delete Dodgy Climate Data, 15 November 2003

Since the publication of the recent study by McIntyre & McKitrick (M & M) (Energy & Environment, 14,751-771, 2003 ), in which they found extensive statistical processing errors in Michael Mann's `Hockey Stick' theory, there have been some strange happenings.

M & M found embarrassing statistical errors in Mann et al's original work and now Mann claims that some of these errors were not part of the original `Hockey Stick' at all, but were accidentally included in an Excel spreadsheet which they sent to M & M, and that M&M should have looked at the data on Mann's FTP site instead. This suggests the errors were recent and did not contaminate the original `Hockey Stick'.

However, M & M have stated in various forums that they asked for FTP data, not for a separate Excel spreadsheet -- and, in fact, Mann's web page listed in his original paper of 1998 (MBH98) does not link to the FTP data at the University of Virginia. After Mann disclosed the Virginia FTP location, M&M found the identical file at Mann's FTP site as was sent to them, plus the same data in a `MATLAB' version, both files dated August 2002.

However, just days after the publication of the M & M paper, these key files were deleted from Mann's University of Virginia FTP server sometime between October 29 and November 8, 2003. Why were they deleted? Why were they deleted just after the release of the M & M paper?

Whatever the reason for the deletions, it was all too late. Here are the original files - (files can be obtained from John Daly)

pcproxy.mat pcproxy.txt

More file deletions were to follow. Some data used in the M & M study was originally located at Mann's old FTP site at the University of Massachusetts. Mann's web page on MBH98 links to this FTP site. Shortly after M & M made an initial reply to Mann's claims on an internet `blog' site, on November 13, 2003 (a reply that said that they had new results to report about the Virginia FTP site), the entire Massachusetts FTP folder on MBH98 was also deleted before M&M were able to copy it.

The deletion of the University of Massachusetts FTP site is surely the strangest event yet. The mere deletion of these files, which had been on public view for over a year and probably as far back as 2000, implies an attempt at concealment. We can only wonder at what they contained.

The Hockey Stick was uncritically and enthusiastically embraced by the IPCC, the U.S. National Assessment Team, and the whole greenhouse industry, even though it overturned previous scientific knowledge about the climate of the last millennium. As such, its conclusion should have been subject to rigorous scientific scrutiny and replication. It wasn't. Instead, it took two outsiders to do the audit that the industry itself should have done. In finding so many faults and errors in the Hockey Stick, the whole sorry episode reflects badly on the competence and the motives of the `peer reviewers', the IPCC, and the US$4 billion research industry.

7. Russia strikes a blow for freedom on Kyoto

by Elizabeth Nickson, National Post, October 11, 2003

Praise that more-than-a-little-terrifying ex-KGB strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Who would ever have thought that the Russian government, which has made one bad decision after another for oh, 100 years or so, could suddenly turn on a dime and throw a major spanner into the not-so-very-secret and incredibly well-managed effort to destroy democracy and the nation-state? One had to pause this week, and ponder with delight, the perfect ironies of human life.

The forces of evil are still wondering why Russia did not ratify Kyoto. "What could it be?" they ask. "He needs the money! He really needs the money! Hey, it's probably not enough money. He's holding out for a better deal. We've got to come up with more money! Well, that's easy enough. There are thousands of funds to plunder. Rockefeller, now. They can pay off the Russians. And we'll have our presshhhus gold ring." Then they all bend over their crystal and wait for another message from Mordor.

I prefer to think that the one country that has suffered more from the madness of International Socialism can see its stalking horse bearing down on them again, and they all started screaming and hiding under tables. "We don't care how much money you'll give us, we are afraid! Very, very afraid!"

"Kyoto," said Jacques Chirac at The Hague in 2000, "represents the first component of an authentic global governance." Well yeah, no kidding. And income distribution on a scale hitherto unimagined before in history. Or as Margot Wallstrom, the European Union's Environment Commissioner says, Kyoto is about "the economy, about levelling the playing field for big businesses worldwide."
Pause with me for a moment and hum a few bars of The Internationale.

The global environment crisis (which doesn't exist) has been created to promote the biggest bureaucratic boondoggle that the heaven-born have ever dreamed up: the Global Governance Agenda. The first step was to persuade national governments to cede jurisdiction in key environmental areas to the UN bureaucracy. Pretty much already done, except for those pesky Russians. As Robert Bork says in, Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges, international tribunals routinely exceed their jurisdiction, seriously damaging both sovereignty and self-government.
Refresh my memory, who elected them? The UN, as was conclusively demonstrated this year, has no accountability and spends rafts of our money, however it wants. When things get tough, they take business class back to Manhattan and go out for a comforting four-star expense-account dinner. A friend tells me of the limos, Broadway plays, parties and fun laid on for friends of cousins of members of the Canadian delegation when they go to New York. Bureaucracy at the international level is a glittery upper-class life, lived largely outside the law. Radwanski to the power of 100. Kyoto would treble their number.

And sooner or later, they'll talk us into letting them have their own money, without going to national governments, and asking. The very last string of democratic accountability will be clipped. These plans have been formulating for decades. A 0.5% tax on foreign-exchange transactions would raise US$1.5-trillion annually, nearly equivalent to the U.S. federal budget. User fees imposed on companies operating in the global commons, taxes on international airline tickets, geostationary satellite orbits and electromagnetic spectrum are other thefts ... er, taxes they're working on.
The big enchilada is the carbon tax. So rich, it would virtually elevate such silent behind-the-scene actors as Canadian Maurice Strong, who, forgive me for saying this, comes up in all the research as the key player in global governance, to the realm of Emperor. For bureaucrats and academics everywhere, global governance is the ultimate realization of Britain's 19th-century empire. The Victorians wanted India to be ruled by the ultimate academic elite: impartial, incorruptible, omniscient. By 1947, 400 million Indians had been ruled for almost a hundred years by 1,000 English civil servants. Heaven-born indeed.

Next stop: every corner and hiding place in your life. Your property, your car, your food, your house, your job, the way you treat your children, wife, husband, parents. Any business you start, any idea you have, all will be filtered through the geometrically increasing number of international laws, regulations, prohibitions, committees, vetting functions and courts that already operate.
Luckily it's all based on one piece of badly flawed reasoning.

Kyoto is founded upon the precautionary principle. It is the reason why David Anderson [Canada's environment minister] can say that Chrétien must ratify Kyoto, even if the scientific community is profoundly divided on whether warming is happening, if human activity is causing it -- and finally, if decreasing emissions can stop it. The precautionary principle is promoted heavily by the environmental left, who seem to have captured our government, and who certainly steer the global governance agenda. It means: if anything could possibly cause harm, it must be stopped.

In May this year, 40 members of the international scientific community, at a conference at London's Royal Institution, delineated what discoveries would have been prevented if science at the time had been governed by the precautionary principle.

This is a partial list: fire, steam trains, cars, rocket power, the space program, commercial aviation, physics and material science, the mobile phone, high-voltage power grids, the Internet, in vitro fertilization, iron, the jet engine, knives, the discovery of DNA, the electric light bulb, chlorine, antibiotics, the discovery of America, oil, open heart surgery, organ transplants, measles vaccine, in fact, every medical advance, and drug, molecular biology, neural lesions, the telephone, water supply and distribution, X-rays.

Nothing, nothing we do has no theoretical risk. Nearly everything worth doing is fraught with risk. Freedom means the freedom to fail, over and over and over again. And when you do succeed, you can create antibiotics and make rafts of dough. That would mean rafts of dough that are not wrenched by parasites from the efforts of ordinary men and women operating with the real risk of failure, in the real world. Somewhere the heaven-born have obviously never been. Shut down the UN. Somewhere along the line, it turned into Mordor.

8. Infantile resentment
The Spectator (U.K.) 11/22/03

By the time this magazine hits the streets it will be jostling for space with about a million marchers. It is important to be fair to those who have turned out to parade their hatred of the American President. Some of them may be inspired by principled objections to, say, the treatment of prisoners in Camp Delta, or US steel tariffs. These are indeed powerful points to be made against Mr. Bush's government. What has brought so many folk on to the streets, however, is a much broader case: that the President is a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomises the arrogance of American foreign policy, and who by his violent and ill-thought-out actions in Afghanistan and Iraq has made the world a more dangerous place.

In so far as this may be an accurate representation of the marchers' beliefs, it deserves an answer. Let us dispense with the trivial abuse. The President was duly elected. He cannot help his buzzard-like appearance. Whatever the deficiencies of his syntax, they do not justify the loathing in which he is held. It is said, next, that he is brutal and unilateralist, and in this respect the Left attempts to differentiate him from Bill Clinton, feminist, liar and all-round feng shui king, against whom they would not dream of marching. They point out that Bush believes in the death penalty. But Bill Clinton, be it ever remembered, flew back to Arkansas on the eve of one poll to throw the switch on Ricky Ray Rector, who was so mentally ill that he asked his guards to save his pudding for when he returned from the electric chair. So much for the conscience of the unimpeachable liberal.

Bush is blamed for shelving the Kyoto Protocol. Not only is this document based on dubious science. It has been ignored by most European countries, would entail devastating cuts in US growth, and was only signed by Al Gore in the full and cynical knowledge that it would have no hope of clearing Congress. Bush is attacked for refusing to submit America to the jurisdiction of the International Court. Bill Clinton was no less reluctant. So the argument turns on the 'war on terror', and it is here, in the view of the marchers, that Bush has been misguided if not positively evil.

We cannot know, of course, how another administration would have reacted to the murder of more than 3,000 innocents in Washington and lower Manhattan. Suffice it to say that the President has enjoyed more or less continuous bipartisan support. Whatever the problems of Afghanistan today, American taxpayers have paid for the removal of a barbaric regime, and installed free speech, the rule of law and the emancipation of women.

As for the war in Iraq, the marchers might reflect on this. English men and women, and many others, this week avail themselves of the ancient freedom of assembly. At huge expense to the taxpayer, and attended by every courtesy from the Metropolitan Police, they are allowed to insult and humiliate the leader of a country which has guaranteed peace in Europe for 50 years and which is Britain's most important ally. As they bawl and wave, they might bear in mind that this was precisely the kind of behaviour forbidden in Iraq these last 25 years. It is no thanks to the marchers, or their supporters, that the Iraqis now have the freedom to demonstrate without being shot or tortured. It is thanks to the man whose visit they deplore. If their protest has any semantic value, if it amounts to anything more than a spastic yelp, the marchers must mean that the liberty they enjoy is a liberty they would have denied the Iraqis.

There is something chilling in the refusal of the marchers to see the irony of their position; and that is because the march is only partly rational, and only partly about Bush. This is about America, and a certain infantile resentment of the only superpower. It is certainly sad that Mr. Bush has failed to persuade the world of his cause, and that America is not blessed, at this critical point, with eloquence. That is no excuse for the anti-American sentiment now rising like scum to the surface of modern Britain. We can forgive the anti-globalisation nutcases, who refuse to see that free trade offers the best long-term hope for the poorest of the planet. We indulge the traditional histrionics of Harold Pinter or Tony Benn. More pernicious is the poison of British middle-class conservative anti-Americanism, hidden during the Cold War and now potentiated by Bush.

That this new anti-Americanism is an ignoble feeling, to do with jealousy and impotence, is proved by the haste with which those who feel it deny it. There has always been scope for cheerful Churchillian exasperation at American folly and excess. That is not the feeling abroad among conservative anti-Americans. Too often they view America with a cold, snotty, arabising, Philbyesque contempt, and openly desire her defeat. That is a mistake. America has fought for freedom not only in Iraq, but also at Guadalcanal and Omaha Beach, not to mention Bosnia, where western Europeans apathetically connived in slaughter. America deserves better. So does Bush, and so does the world.




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