The Corner

History Has Us “by The Throat”

Columnist Martin Woollacott of the Guardian has a somewhat-puzzling piece today that exemplifies the lack of seriousness still displayed by many intellectuals and politicians in the U.K. about the war. In addition to the obligatory reference to “the lie” about WMD, the column also suggests that “much of what Saddam did during his years in power was aimed at staving off a Shia succession,” by which Woollacott appears to be making a point about unintended consequences — as if widespread torture, murder, starvation-socialism, and military adventurism were unavoidable tools for suppressing dangerous religious extremism, and we outsiders just didn’t understand.

I’m not saying that Woollacott makes no thoughtful points. But taken as a whole, it’s a good example of how muddled the elite thinking continues to be about what is going on — and what is at stake.

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

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