Nice speech, David

David Cameron urges the international community to seize a “massive opportunity” to spread freedom and democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring.

A nice speech from a British prime minister anxious to establish his historic legacy before things go completely tits up at home, but there is no shortage of heads of state and government willing to cock a snook at liberal interventionist western leaders, inconsistent and bereft of moral authority as the latter are. As for Libya, the newly liberated Arabs and Berbers of that land have every reason to be thankful for NATO support in their revolution, but they should treat us with caution. That said, preferential oil import and arms export contracts would be most appreciated, thanks very much.

Still, bleak as the situation may at first appear, there is reason for optimism. As the Economist says, “promoting human rights in thick-skinned countries is not a hopeless cause”.