Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, February 24, 2003
WHEN ROBERT "CUDGELS" MANNE sets out to misrepresent his opponents he forswears no rhetorical weapon. As we have seen before.

Is today's situation with Iraq and the other rogue states like that in Europe in the 1930s, as many, including Uncle, have discovered?

Not if you:
*insist that the comparison is also asserting that decadent Iraq today equals resurgent Germany then,
*ignore the post-WWII phenomenon of global Islamism,
*ignore today's weapons of mass destruction, which require no industrial state for their delivery,
*assert that Saddam, unlike Hitler, was provoked by his neighbours into attacking them.

No, I didn't make up that last point.

In 1980 Saddam had grounds to fear hostile actions of the new Islamist regime in Iran. In 1990 Kuwait was threatening the postwar Iraqi economy by demanding debt repayments and, through overproduction, by driving down the price of oil.

By Cudgels' standards there are few oil-producers in the world today that lack the grounds for war. Not to mention a dozen others, including North Korea.

The sub-editor's picked this Cudgels tirade for what it is. He titles it: History rewritten, war justified. Only dictators' wars, but.