The Corner

A Useful Idiot

The late Sir Peter Ustinov was a wonderfully gifted man, but, when it came to his political and moral judgments, like so many gifted men, he stunk. Stephen Pollard has more:

“Not that it was only Communists [Ustinov] defended. He opposed the military action against the Taliban in Afghanistan and criticised moves against Osama bin Laden: “You can’t fight terrorism without becoming a terrorist yourself.” Is that right, Sir Peter? What a shame he won’t be around to point that out to al-Qaeda’s next victims.

“He opposed – as if I needed to tell you – the Iraq war and thus would rather Saddam Hussein were still in power. Not just Saddam: he considered it quite wrong that Slobodan Milosevic should have been removed from power and put on trial. He should have been left alone to murder at will. Intervention against ethnic cleansing in Kosovo “was a mistake because it was not done through the UN”.

“There were some people he did want to convict, though: businessmen. “The formation of the committee for the World Criminal Court is very important because there are corporations more powerful than many governments.” Stalin: OK; business: criminal; al-Qaeda and the US: moral equals. Murdering Chinese dissidents: good; removing tyrants: bad. That was the world view of Sir Peter Ustinov, “humanitarian”.”

That’s nicely – and devastatingly – put. What’s more, I suspect that the examples that Stephen gives (it’s well worth reading the whole piece) will come as news to many. Can you imagine that the same would have been true (or that the obituaries would have been so kind) if Ustinov’s beloved monsters had been on the ‘Right’?

Yet again we are reminded that some apologists for mass murder are more equal than others.


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