He's been in the job less than 24 hours, but already UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to give America's pro-Iraq-occupation neocons apoplexy.
All the pre-changeover statements from the Brown camp have been carefully understated, but The Guardian, in looking at his proposed cabinet changes, gives the game away.
It is expected that David Miliband, 41, the moderniser urged by some Labour MPs to challenge for the leadership, will be thrust into the Foreign Office - at three years older than the UK's youngest ever foreign secretary. If confirmed, it will be a bold move as he privately regards the intervention in Iraq as a great error.Milband is definitely anti-occupation, although his appointment will be seen as a bone thrown to the younger generation of Blairite suits in the Labour Party. But its the name of Malloch Brown that will have the National Review's op-ed writers reaching for their medication!
...Mrs Beckett fought hard to keep her job as foreign secretary, but, in a difficult conversation, Mr Brown said he needed fresh faces. It is thought he may bring into government Mark Malloch Brown, the former deputy secretary general at the UN, who has been a fierce critic of the Iraq war.
Recall that the WSJ recently accused Malloch Brown of being a puppet for George Soros' attempt to discredit and destroy Paul Wolfowitz. (No, really. And other neocon cheerleader factories followed. As if Wolfowitz needed any help in destroying himself.) Malloch Brown has also been scathing on the Bush/Blair quagmire in Iraq and has tied it to credibility problems in Palestine, which is Blair's newest area of irresponsibility.
Yet his qualifications are undeniable except to the conspiratorially-challenged. Jeffrey Sachs, no limp liberal, described Malloch Brown in the 2005 Time Top 100 Leaders list as having overflowing "charm, toughness, sophistication, experience, vision."
Nice one Gordo! Giving Malloch Brown a top Foreign Office ministerial post to hold the inexperienced Miliband's hand would serve Tony right for hanging around like a bad poodle-fart behind the sofa for so long, instead of handing over the reins of power two years ago, and at the same time hopefully remove half of the world's most destabilizing voices by giving every neocon pundit an aneurism. Britain's new PM may have no charisma, but he knows how to knifefight.
Update Malloch Brown did indeed get a Foreign Office post.
Malloch-Brown, now a lord, had fierce spats at the U.N. with then U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who accused the Briton of discrediting the world body with his criticisms of the White House.It may be a junior ministerial post, under the actual Foreign Secretary, but Asia, Africa and the UN covers most of the powderkeg issues (North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, Islamists in the Horn of Africa etc.). That's pretty clearly a hand-holding brief for Malloch Brown and a definite snub to Blair and Bush's neocons.
As deputy to U.N. chief Kofi Annan, Malloch-Brown derided President Bush for what he called ``megaphone diplomacy'' on Darfur by trying to persuade Sudan's government to accept a U.N. peacekeeping in Darfur, but refusing to defend the organization to Americans.
Malloch-Brown's appointment to a junior role as minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations could be an attempt by Brown to distance Britain from the Bush administration, said analyst Alex Bingham at the Foreign Policy Center think tank.