Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, April 10, 2003
UNCLE HAS SAID SOME STUPID THINGS in his time, although never on this blog.

But I could never conceive of taking a position as staggeringly, face-numbingly stupid as that of Guy Rundle in this morning's Aus. There is this quiet but stern voice I hear at times when serious folly threatens. Such as the moment I'm about to follow the coyote over that cliff, or say "I love you".

Bear in mind that Rundle is giving his considered second thoughts after his Sunday sermon in favour of having his country's men and women in uniform destroyed.

That considered statement, made in the Age, drew notice from Mr Saluszinsky in yesterday's Aus, and the editors, through a misplaced kindness I presume, have given Rundle the right of reply. Rather, the right to self-evisceration.

In fact, the article of mine he quotes from began with the suggestion that the "most humane result" would now be a quick coalition victory. Had the Iraqis fought back tooth and nail against the coalition, my support would have been with them and against our troops – for whatever that is worth to anybody. Given the partial nature of Iraqi resistance, the article was an expression of profound doubt about what to hope for.

Did you get that? My country's enemy is only worth supporting if it's killing lots and lots of my fellow-citizens.

If our enemies neglect to do that, I get confused.

Uncle has neve identified dissent with treachery.

It takes a man of enormous moral vanity and intellectual perversity to invent a kind of dissent that is devoid of any other meaning.

Unless you think that Rundle really does love murderous tyrants like Saddam Hussein. Or like the ones his intellectual progenitors used to love - Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, even if they fail to produce collectivist rhetoric.