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March 27, 2008



I notice that the Stop the War Coalition will be present and lending its support too.

In an act of organisation that makes the D-Day landings look like an improvised village green kickabout it wants to organise a 'wall of noise' outside the cathedral.


Edit for typo.

That should have read: "I noticed that the Stop the War Coalition will be present and lending its support too."

Terry McCrann

While endorsing your general observation about American isolationism, then and now, I want to take issue with your 'if only' alternative 1930s geo-political universe.
You are of course not alone in articulating the view that WW11 could have been avoided by a more robust regional or global (adding the US) response to the rise of Hitler post-1933.
I invite you to contemplate the 'alternative universe' that might have evolved as a consequence of success. And the precise comparison with today's situation centred on Iraq. And which is why you et al are precisely correct in continuing to support the Iraq war even ex post facto.
Hitler may have been contained, to a degree similar to post-1991 Saddam. And the world then 'advanced' peacefully to, say, 1950 with a nuclear armed Nazi Germany facing a nuclear armed Soviet Union.
Do you sincerely believe that would have edded as positively as WW11?
The entirely fortuitous reality of WW11 was that it was fought at PRECISELY the right time. With nuclear weapons 'arriving', as you know better than most, at precisely the right time, after VE-day in August 1945.
Would not the same be true of Iraq? That the war was fought at precisely the right time. Otherwise we might now be contemplating a nuclear-armed if 'contained' Iraq facing a nuclear armed Iran?
As always. Best wishes.

David Duff

Only a minor comment on what was a minor point in your post. You quoted a State Department official as saying: "'Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images,' which are routinely published in the Arab press, "as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief." He was not thereby endorsing any counter-measures against the publishers, nor was he suggesting the the reproduction of such slogans and images be banned. As I read it he was only stating what anyone of a considerate and polite disposition would say, such things are simply bad manners.

Oliver Kamm

David, you have interpreted the State Dept spokesman correctly. My point was that this was certainly not "what anyone of a considerate and polite disposition would say" in response to a campaign of violence, arson and threat. It particularly ought not to be what the government of a Western democracy says in such circumstances.

David Duff

Well, I suppose, America being America, he didn't need to spell out the unspoken message that if anyone progressed beyond slogans and cartoons in the US of A 'they would be handed their ass on a plate', or some such diplomatic version!

sackcloth and ashes

I wish I'd kept the clipping, but I recall a 'Sunday Telegraph' article in 1994, when Geoffrey Wheatcroft stated that the war in Bosnia was inevitable once Slovakia seceded from Yugoslavia.

I kid you not.

Louis Proyect

"When writing about foreign policy, I'm sometimes accused - especially, indeed monotonously, by the people who post comments at "Comment is Free" - of being a mouthpiece of the US State Department. This is obviously absurd as well as false: I'm far more hawkish than the State Department."

Ha-ha! This is really funny stuff. I love it!

Oliver Kamm

Good to have you back, Mr Proyect. I had feared that your misadventures in the discussion about the Cuba Missile Crisis might have deterred you.

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