The Archbishop is right

But does he have to defend the generally indefensible British empire to make his point?

LONDON (Reuters) - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the world's Anglicans, has launched an attack on the United States, saying it has lost the high moral ground since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Williams, a longtime critic of the war in Iraq, said in uncharacteristically blunt language: "We have only one hegemonic power at the moment. It is not accumulating territory, it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That's not working."

Asked in an interview with the Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel, if he thought the United States had lost the high moral ground since the 9/11 attacks, he replied "Yes".

Drawing comparisons between British imperialism and the 21st Century United States, Williams said: "It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering and normalizing it.

"Rigthly or wrongly, that is what the British Empire did -- in India for example."

"It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put things back together again -- Iraq for example."

(Reporting by Paul Majendie)