Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, May 24, 2004

"James Delingpole gives both barrels to the ‘pea-brained’ isolationists who fill the papers — even The Spectator — with their defeatist snivelling." Indeed he does.

Maybe — money-grubbing whores as most of us are — it’s too much to expect any journalist to demonstrate virtues like consistency, responsibility or maturity. But I do think in the case of Iraq we ought to struggle to make an exception. It is, after all, the issue on which our security and stability for the next 50 odd years most depend.

The pacification of the Middle East is not going to be quick, easy or pretty. No one ever said it would be. But to those pea-brained, isolationist chicken-lickens of the media who ask what it all has to do with us, here’s a very simple explanation. It’s to lessen ever so slightly the chance that the next time you or I get on to a bus, a train or an aeroplane, the very last words we ever hear are a bearded but otherwise ritually shaved man in a headband yelling, ‘Allahu akbar.’