Brass neck skills from supremely righteous Sunday rag The Observer today, which uses the five-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to assess its impact. I imagine the papers will be full of anguished screeds on the subject all week, but I doubt whether any will come to a more boneheaded conclusion...
The consequences are grave, and not just for Iraq. It will colour the decision that future leaders take when they contemplate using military power for any purpose other than self-defence. It is a blow to the idea of 'liberal intervention'. But does that blow have to be fatal?
That's just a taste of the editorial, but a representative one.
Let's imagine that Dr. Bollocks, lead surgeon at Bumcrack County Hospital, announces a bold new strategy for combating cancer - say, an experimental vaccine. I'll call it the Bollocks Formula.
The staff proceed to administer the Bollocks Formula to cancer patients, who start to show signs of improvement. After a few weeks, though, they start dying... In ones or twos at first, but the trickle becomes a flood and suddenly even patients who haven't even been vaccinated are dropping like flies. Within months, thousands of patients are dead or gravely ill.
Dr. Bollocks is distraught, and calls a press conference... At which he warns the public about the grave dangers of refusing to treat cancer patients at all, and bemoans their wavering faith in the Bollocks Formula.
Or let me put it another way - after we took an action, in the face of strident opposition, that was supposed to improve the lives of Iraqis but instead killed hundreds of thousands of them and condemned them to live in a chaotic failed state at the mercy of U.S. taxpayer-funded militias at best... Well, I'd say that the damage done to the doctrine of liberal intervention is the least of our fucking worries.
Because that's the deal... It's not about us, dipshits. Britain is long beyond the point where anything we say or do can ameliorate the situation, and frankly, if our reaction to the Iraq invasion clusterfuck is to bleat about how it has shit in our ideological chili, maybe it's time we ordered a tall drink of shut-the-fuck-up.
I always thought that the biggest problem the British public had was hardcore ideological lunatics, determined to bend the world to their vision. Now, after five years of this bad, bad craziness, I'm starting to think that the biggest problem is well-meaning morons who just will not ever learn from their mistakes.