There are no contradictions, only degrees of humour.
Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari
I think these remarks are dead on.
We use the Brits because they've done this stuff a lot. They've sat down with thugs throughout their history, including us in our early days, I suspect ... a point we never miss an opportunity to remind them of.
This sense of not just an "imperfect union" but an imperfect world, this (for lack of a better word) sense of humour, which Obama and Petraeus seem to share, gives me a strange kind of (not at all tranquil) hope for life in the Empire during the Obama Adminstration.
(PS I'm only just starting to realize the profound service to the citizenry that Talking Points Memo is performing.)