UK minister lashes out at Bush administration

The US government has failed to produce a coherent foreign policy, undermined the fight against terrorism and impeded the search for peace in the Middle East, an outspoken member of Prime Minister Tony Blair's Cabinet said in an interview published Thursday. Peter Hain, Blair's Northern Ireland secretary, departed markedly from the prime minister's support for US President George W. Bush and declared that the American leader's "neo-con mission has failed." "The problem for us as a government ... was actually to maintain a working relationship with what was the most right-wing American administration, if not ever, then in living memory," Hain was quoted as saying. "It's not only failed to provide a coherent international policy, it's failed wherever it's been tried, and it's failed with the American electorate. "So if neo-con unilateralism has damaged the fight against global terrorism and taken the world's eyes off the ball of solving the Middle East conflict, for example, we've got to really get back on that agenda," Hain was quoted as saying.