(incorporating "World of Decency")
posted by Vinny at 12/21/2005 01:06:00 AM
Here's the relevant extract, posted under a somewhat lax and self-serving interpretation of the "fair use" doctrine:IT IS with genuine concern and fraternal sympathy that we turn to the vexing matter of David Aaronovitch and his anguish over Iraq. Of all newspaper columnists, the Times man has been perhaps the most hawkish, rigorously supporting the invasion and refusing to reveal the tiniest chink in his armour of self-righteous certainty. Others have succumbed to CP Snow's trusty counsel to the pundit who has made a bish on a major issue of the day (CP's precise advice, from memory, was "bite the bullet, and say: 'I dropped a right bollock on this one'"). But not David, whose doughty effort to hold the line has even extended to a bold comparison between Saddam and Hitler. Last week, however, saw what leading professors of journalism believe to be the first chink. In an article directed at his Times colleague Matthew Parris, who recently wrote: "Nobody seriously now thinks the invasion was a good idea...", David offered an apology of sorts, although it's hard to be sure whether he modelled it on Basil Fawlty's ironic self-flagellation following the O'Reilly building fiasco or Hirohito's surrender speech ("the war having developed not necessarily to David Aaronovitch's advantage..."). Disregarding the embittered tone, the question seems to me that of whether columnists, however grand, are significant enough in a global context to dwell at length on their own misjudgements. Some will think that they are. Others may suspect that apologies for geopolitical disasters, even heavily sarcastic ones, are more properly the preserve of the world leaders responsible for them. Are readers frantically concerned with David's ego being bruised by Matthew Parris? Perhaps they are. Even so, a feeling in my bones suggests that the only thing now required from David, on the matter of Iraq, is a prolonged period of silence.ON REFLECTION, I think I'll ask my friend Peter Riddell, the bucking bronco of The Times, to take David under his wing. Although still young himself and prone to schoolboy howlers (you will recall the recent front-page disaster, when he misinterpreted a self-evidently rogue poll to suggest a Tory leadership win for David Davis), Peter is a two time winner of the Thin Unpompous Columnist of the Year award from the University of Nebraska. Just the man to have a go at persuading David to stop taking himself quite so seriously.
Somewhat OT, Armando Iannucci considers Iraq in today's Torygraph:"That was what was so tragic about Tony Blair's bloody-mindedness; his folly was to think that war has a beginning, middle and end, and that we can always draw a line and move on. He would make a terrible historian."Supporters of the invasion of Iraq would like to portray those of us who opposed it from the start as a pack of self-righteous moralists now smiling inwardly at the terrible mess it's causing."Far from it; the mess only makes sadder something that was tragic to start with. One value judgment I'm prepared to make, though, is this: if you were in favour at the start, but have changed your mind since, then that's understandable."If, however, you still believe it was a good thing, then, unfortunately, you're a fool."Sadly, another sane writer is leaving the Telegraph. Bastards.
But do not fear, as so is Mark Steyn. So if Daley has gone too, then one can open the Telegraph whilst eating again.
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