Alex Salmond is completely accurate in terms of international laws and precedents when he and his fool Macaskill refused to attend an American enquiry into the Lockerbie bombing. The Americans are now saying that he was invited and not instructed to attend as some news outlets have been saying; there is no precedent for one country demanding that someone from another country attend anything. Would the American president respond positively to such a request/demand? ‘who is this dude Salmond tell him to go take a hike’ America does not; despite appearances rule the world and their behaviour over this enquiry has been like that of an undemocratic bully.
Salmond however as usual cannot stop himself from swaggering and grandstanding and by doing so he has managed to turn a success into a setback. He could and should have dealt with this in a different way but; as is often the case he proves himself to be out of his depth and the buffoon MacAskill with him when it comes to the world stage that they so covet. These American politicians are chasing votes and elections are not far away and he has given them an out by behaving as he has. They; particularly the Republicans will point the finger at Britain for failing to cooperate and in turn blame Obama for not acting tough enough. Unfortunately Salmond is nowhere near intelligent enough to cope with this and the Republicans will be thanking their lucky stars that they are dealing with a foreign affairs novice and a dim one at that.
Salmond had he had a bit more nous should have lectured the Americans on international law in a polite genial way and then agreed to attend because he has as he keeps saying ‘nothing to hide’ and as a friend of America he would be delighted to accommodate them in this grave matter. With the proviso repeated as often as possible that he is doing this out of friendship and compassion (remember that word) because no one can make him do it etc. etc. Instead; what he has done is play into the hands of the right wing politicians and the febrile American media who will now castigate him and Scotland and by association Britain for saying ‘we are clean’ Can’t you hear the booming riposte all over America; whipped up into a rage “if you are clean what are you afraid of” The reactionary American press and media outlets know their clientele and they are not a pretty bunch; think of the Tea Party Protesters (look it up) they are now a massive group and they say variously that Obama is a) a Terrorist b) a Marxist and c) not even a real American and a lot more.
Salmond’s craving for the limelight has once again led him into a position where he cannot win and neither can Scotland; oh he might never attend and he might brazen it out but; as every good and smart politician knows perception is everything. He and us will be perceived as disloyal and devious so; come on, if our hands are clean then let’s help our American friends to find closure. Because we want to not because they can force us; because they know they can try to force us but we know they can’t. Let's do it for the right reasons and possibly teach our US cousins a thing or two about manners and behaviour.