Discover more from American Guardrail
Cameronism and the Death of Britain
The heir to Blair, and his speech in College Station, Texas.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, center, speaks to U.S. and British defense chiefs on June 10, 2014, during a defense chiefs strategic dialogue in London. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Hinton, U.S. Navy/Released)
David Cameron is a herald for change, though not in the way he thinks.
Speaking at the MSC Wiley Lecture Series, hosted at Texas A&M University on Friday, April 1st, 2022, Cameron emphasized several topics — chiefly among them the idea of greater Western unity in the face of Russian action in Ukraine. Included among his remarks were quips reminiscent of TIME Magazine’s perspective, and the largely neoliberal perspective that the “bad guys are winning” — Erdogan, Putin, and Xi, among the named antagonists in his view of the world. That because these bad guys are winning, or at least acting, the West must move to oppose them. And, with any suggestion of the “West” acting, action entails America.
Cameron continues to be set on the idea that the West can conjure and sustain this idea of unity, and that the United States (who is obligated to lead, for some reason) cannot lead the world behind a pulled-up drawbridge. Cameron believes that the United States must forcibly insert itself into world politics on the side of the West (and particularly Britain, from his perspective). Yet, at the same time, Cameron ackowledges that the United States has sacrificed immensely to enforce the world order that has been created. In doing so, it is facing the problem of being a supporter of the world, rather than its people.
Cameron spoke defensively of how many in the US — rightly, by his admission — perceive the United States to be lagging domestically, while also acknowledging and particularly emphasizing that foreign aid and overseas military engagements are of particular importance to US national security. His view is that even if we have sacrificed so much to prop up this world order, there can be no increase in action large enough from the rest of the West to replace even part of our contribution. The United States must continue.
Tell us, then, Mister Cameron — when is it enough? When can we draw the bridge and focus on our people? By your metric, it is impossible. If there are bad men around every corner, gaining office in countries (by your admission, some of them even elected legitimately!) and opposing the West, retraction or cooperation is simply unimaginable. That there is no perspective but our own, and that every action taken must be in the interest of the West! When you stare down American university students, knowing that many of them carry debt simply for school, that their parents carry debt for medical bills, all because their government has decided that the world is worth more than them — you advocate their abandonment by their government.
Cameron spoke evasively of hoping for a coup in Russia, Putin’s removal, and subjection to some sort of war crimes tribunal. Putting aside the correctness of such a tribunal, or how useful or impartial it would be, Mr. Cameron brushes by the possibility that such a coup would be bloody. As has been the case in Ukraine, any “we hope so” (which is typically not just a “we hope so”, but instead explicitly supported via back-channels or covert operations) coup or color revolution typically fails to resolve peacefully once the West picks one side or another. The Arab Spring is particularly a case of this problem where the West has to pick up the pieces. We Must Act! And thus we are still engaged all over North Africa and the Middle East, enabling and trying to “fix” failed states.
We are obligated to stand beside freedom and those values that Mr. Cameron spent so much of his speech trumpeting. In doing so, we must involve ourselves with whatever faction or side in these civil conflicts better reflects opposition to “authoritarianism” — even when those opposition forces funnel arms to terrorists, take child prisoners, or if the authoritarians simply refuse to cooperate with the West. Cameron’s particular example of Syria is exhausting because the use of chemical weapons was never conclusively linked to the Assad regime, and the possibility that rebels using them — when they also held chemical weapons — was never ruled out. Is Assad such an idiot that he would act in the one way that was guaranteed to aggravate the West more when he was winning the civil war? But alas, an investigation is too much. We Must Act! After all, the Syrian Free Army is a perfect paragon of freedom, totally not composed of gangs, terror cells, and madmen.
Mr. Cameron also spoke at length, in response to a question about “mental health” in the modern era of politics, about how the right to anonymity is unnecessary for the modern era, effectively endorsing the elimination of the right to anonymous free speech in Britain. As has become apparent in the British Isles for the past 20 years, the British people are clearly not free in this regard. Perhaps you could call it a semi-authoritarian regime? After all, patriots in the Colonies galvanized men to action and disseminated information through anonymous means — perhaps he’s a bit upset about having lost the colonies to this freedom that he now sees no value in.
All the while, discussing the possibility of Americans retreating from the international stage to repair their broken nation, Cameron threw small little punches at the Trump administration. The only credit given was that the administration pressured increased contributions to NATO from other European nations (a feat that Britain achieved, and of which Cameron was rather proud). Cameron more or less begged for Americans not to go any further than they did in 2016. Joe Biden, for Cameron, is a happy steady-state, still sending weapons and funding intelligence service coups and actions across the globe. Foreign aid for foreign nations, not American aid for the American nation.
Again, I ask, when is it enough? The collapsing infrastructure, the dead American boys sent home in boxes, the billions and billions sent to Ukraine on a dime, but the American bureaucracy can’t solve our roads, schools, infrastructure, cities? Money is so easily spent away over the seas that bound the American nation from East to West, but spending it closer to home is impossible? It’s never enough. We do not live in the United States, but in the Global American Empire.
The Global American Empire does not serve its citizens; infrastructure fails (and no, not even the recent package will fix this problem), citizens languish from drugs haphazardly prescribed by doctors paid to push opioids, and men die overseas for unwinnable, undefined strategic objectives. American neighborhoods rot from crime. All the while the administration claims record job creation on the “recovery” from COVID, with inflation destroying whatever potential growth most families could see in their paychecks. Families are destroyed and the culture war’s insanity rages on. Food is more expensive, and gasoline is made more expensive deliberately so, but the ESG investors are happy. All is at peace in the Empire.
David Cameron was a herald for change in his unintentional ushering in of the populist moment with his Brexit referendum gamble; and while he derides the populist right and paleoconservatives as foolish for seeing Putin as a “genius,” what these movements see in Putin is at least a man that places his nation first. He has no grand expenditures abroad at the scale of the United States, sending riches to lands where the people do not care for him or the Russian people. He does not send the blood, sweat, and tears of Russian men and women to support gender ideology in Pakistan, or to fund transgender surgeries in Russian oblasts. Fault the man for his failings diplomatically, or that he “has no morals” by Cameron’s description, but Ukraine joining NATO posed a security risk to Russia. This has been Russian policy for upwards of 30 years, and has been put forth in my previous piece, this outcome was easy to avoid. Yet Cameron, blindly, stood on the stage and said he was proud to have supported the entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO in 2008, while also condemning the wars in Georgia, South Ossetia, and Ukraine as if they were unrelated.
For the sake of the British perspective, I will pose the same thought experiment as I did with the American perspective; suppose the Russians or Chinese entered a security agreement with the Republic of Ireland (ignoring the political likelihood, of course; the Irish are far too gone, as is apparent with their perspectives on abortion) and stationed troops there. The possibility of ostensibly-hostile troops on a land border with the United Kingdom; is this acceptable?
Such thought exercises, as is tradition, are considered ridiculous. If you cannot fathom Russia’s perspective on NATO expansion, then such a comparison is useless. But this lack of understanding from multiple angles of perspective is exactly how the British seem all too eager to continue begging the United States into their constant export of dollars and materiel for the sole benefit of everyone but their citizens. If it is to their benefit, then that’s all the consideration that needs to be made.
We are entangled in it all, unable to extract our lives and our dollars from this system that is strangling us. We serve the world, but the world serves only our masters. This is not a special relationship — it is hardly special. We, the American people, share this relationship of subservience with the rest of the Western world, but there is a word for this kind of relationship: parasitism.
In search of a new American regime.