Alex Massie is unhappy with Cameron on Iraq:
You might think, even nine months from a general election, that foreign policy might be informed by some contemplation of the national interest and that this could be reckoned more important than short-term party political advantage but you would, of course, be mistaken. And, perhaps, depressed.
Even so this is dismal. If this report is accurate it means the Prime Minister thinks there is a right thing to do but that he is not prepared to take any action that might allow him to do the things he thinks are the right thing to do. There’s no advantage in doing so, you see. And so, instead, we will do things the Prime Minister thinks are not the right thing to do. And this will be considered good politics or even some kind of small victory.
Considering how consistently bad Cameron’s judgment on foreign policy has been over the last decade (see Iraq war, Georgia, Libyan war, Syria, etc.), it isn’t such a bad thing that he has been forced once again by fear of public opinion to avoid involving Britain in another conflict. What Cameron thinks the right thing is for Britain on these issues and what has actually been the right thing for Britain have usually not been the same, so it can’t be such a disaster for Britain that he is not able to indulge his hawkish preferences in this instance. Evidently, Cameron learned something from his rebuke over Syria, and it seems that he even learned one right lesson: don’t try to commit Britain to military action that the public strongly opposes. It would be better if Cameron had learned a more substantive lesson that the kind of foreign policy he favors is unwise and dangerous, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen. If the only way to get through to Cameron that the British public won’t support interventionist policies is to make him realize that pushing for them is politically dangerous for him, I suppose that will have to do.