Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Have you heard? Dave's not up for Iran!

Hum it would be churlish to dwell overlong on the silly name-calling (Oh Dave, we all say silly things about nasty states when we're being diplomatic, do we have to remind you "a beautiful country perfect for a short break or longer visit"?) given that, apparently, thank God, Dave has drawn back from the brink of insanity when it comes to taking our uniquely successful gift for humanitarian war on the road to Baghdad. There is more joy in heaven at a single sinner who repents etc etc.

Although, actually, he says "I can tell readers that in my contacts with US and British officials and politicians, off the record, hush-hush and all that, I have found zero appetite for an Iranian adventure and zero expectation that the position will change". Guardian readers don't need reminding, though Times readers might, that Dave's mates in high places have sold him the occasional pup and this is not actually a guarantee that Aaro won't drop the diplomatic strategy as soon as the wind changes. But for the time being at least, let us salute the prescience of Matthew Norman's Media Diary:

AS FOR PETSY'S colleague Mark Steyn, he is now quoted by Coral as even-money favourite to be the last columnist insisting that occupying Iraq was a spiffing idea, and that it's all going too rippingly for words. A week ago, Mark and David Aaronovitch were bracketed at 7-4 joint favourites, but the odds have been changed in response to Mark's latest piece, about the scandal of White House personnel leaking the name of a CIA agent.

These are people far away of which we know nothing, seems to be Mark's argument, and let's not bother our pretty little heads with trivia such as President Bush's senior staff endangering a woman's life to punish her husband for dismissing the confection about Saddam buying uranium in Niger for the laughable cobblers it was.

It is now accepted that, whereas David might wobble slightly if the Pentagon deployed tactical nuclear weapons in the suburbs of Baghdad, Mark would not buckle in his support for Mr Bush if he took out Des Moines, Iowa with a 100 megaton warhead. A worthy favourite, and still good value if and when he goes odds-on.

It is a fact worth occasionally remembering about Aaro that he is, at heart, sane. Now how about a similar negative pledge from Nick? C'mon Nick, are you in favour of the diplomatic option in Iran? Would you agree that Iranian culture is a bit more complicated than Sharia and (worse) liberal leftism? Are you going to take another contrarian turn against the war this time? Let's be 'aving you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guardian readers don't need reminding, though Times readers might, that Dave's mates in high places have sold him the occasional pup

Times readers may also be unaware of Aaronovitch's very good two part response to the article you cite where he deals with what he wrote and also comprehensively sees of the critics on all matters Iraq.

Part 1: Was I wrong about Iraq?

Part 2: Was it worth it? Ask those who know

And that was before the elections!

As for the main premise of your article, I am totally baffled by your point. As Aaronovitch himself points out, it's only ever been people like yourself (you know the types) who have claimed there would be a Iran war, joined a by a tiny few on the far reaches of the conservative right in the US - although even there I'm not sure who Aaronovitch is referring to. Don't blame Aaronovitch just because you have no grasp of what is going on in the world my boy.

PS. Mathrew Norman does the same gag every few weeks. Who do you think he will be supporting in the December 15th general elections by the way? I hear Allawi is tipped for a comeback.

11/02/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Reading Dave's Mea Culpa again, how does he get from

"From the outset of the Iraq debate I was a WMD agnostic"

to admitting to That Post?

Even in his explanation it's not clear.

11/02/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem is that Blair hasn't ruled out some form of military action against Iran - so DA could easily fall back into line depending on if/when that happens, possibly using the 'non-proliferation' argument.

Oh, and Gary - if I remember DA's two-parter correctly, he pretty much had to dump the WMD argument in order to fall into line with Blair's switch to a 'humanitarian intervention'. And would you trust Blair or Bush to swear that there's nothing planned for Iran given what they've said over the last four years?

11/02/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get a horrible feeling that Nick will be calling on all true democrats and real socialists to support the MEK in their heroic campaign to bring freedom, secularity and all good things to Iran, or at least get themselves delisted from the State Department's shitlist of terrorist groups.

11/02/2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

In fact with Nick, could you really hope that any argument against attacking Iran wouldn't be turned on its head, almost certainly blaming liberals in the process, after he'd read something over his summer holidays?

11/02/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

sorry, Gary, but I heard that tune when it was called "we have no interest in regime change for its own sake, indeed Saddam could stay in power if he only cooperated with inspectors" and am thus quite keen to be *quite* sure about who is and isn't in the orchestra this time.

PS: Thanks for those links; I'd been meaning to put them in the sidebar for ages but couldn't get the Guardian search engine to cough them up as they weren't listed with his column when I last looked. But have a look at this sentence from the first one:

", and wouldn't that war end in an Iraq - and a Middle East - that was safer and freer than before?"

it's the "and a Middle East" bit that worries us, because if it means anything it means Iran, or Syria, or both.

11/02/2005 06:23:00 PM  

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