Sunday, April 14, 2002
Matthew Parris has words of warning for the peaceniks:

We who question the principle of invasion as a route to world peace make a mistake if we let our doubts about the principle impel us into predicting immediate and embarrassing failure at every step along the way. Rather as in the classic courtroom defence — “my client was not present when the burglary took place, and if he was, he did not commit it” — we doubters have sometimes tried to establish more than we needed to or reasonably could, and in doing so undermined a much stronger case. The sun may shine for a while on Pax Atlantica. We should not get involved in short-range weather forecasts.

Although I am not as sure as he is about the chance for a peaceful Afghanistan - countries built of mountains tend to naturally decentralise (ask William Tell). Nor would I say that the Serbs completely lost the standoff - the demanded NATO troops are not in Serbia proper. However he is right in the main point, just because you think that something is stupid in the long term it doesn't stop it succeeding in the short term.

Indeed, it is distinctly odd how the same people who would rightly discount the short term effects of extra government spending on health, believe that the short term effects of a superior military force bode well for a permanent world order.


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