Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, September 20, 2004
Iraq as a nascent United Kingdom, but with a larger Northern Ireland to manage, is Mark Steyn's counter to the 'explosion on every street corner' picture provided by Auntie's reporting.
a post-Saddam Iraq might wind up merely with "a thug who's marginally less bloody.

But a new thug is still better than letting the old thug stick around to cock snooks at you. If Saddam had been toppled, the nutter du jour would have come to power in the shadow of the cautionary tale of his predecessor".

That's still the bottom line. It is the stability of the Middle East - the stability of the Ba'athists, Ayatollahs, Sauds, the Arafats and Mubaraks - that has enabled it to export its toxins.

Given that much of what we now know as the civilised world [Europe] will be Muslim, it seems prudent to ensure that what is already the Muslim world is civilised. And, for those who say that Islam is incompatible with democracy, we might as well try to buck that in Iraq today than in France, Scandinavia and Britain the day after tomorrow.
From the UK Telegraph (registration required).