An end to deference

Wars, just and unjust, are always, and by definition, the fault of some leader or other. National leaders enter conflict with others for all sorts of reasons, hardly ever pure. The difference now is that the citizenry feels free to say so. The readiness of grief-stricken parents and widows to ‘blame’ Tony Blair (or Geoff… Continue reading An end to deference

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When voting really matters

The courage and optimism of the Iraqi people who voted on Sunday is obvious. We (all of us – pro- or anti-war) need to set aside our cynicism for a minute and acknowledge the significance of this vote. If it had turned out to be a phony exercise or just PR for the coalition it… Continue reading When voting really matters

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A lot of ifs

If people of good will turn out to vote in large numbers. If courageous officials and volunteers can see election day through without chaos or fraud or a bloodbath. If candidates are not assassinated en masse once elected. If the Americans (and the British) can be trusted not to drop the Iraqi people like a… Continue reading A lot of ifs

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Too easy

Timothy Garton Ash is doing heroic work on both sides of the Atlantic – more important than ever as the fog of war thickens – to articulate the complicated, nervous, ambivalent support for Blair and the war amongst lefties and liberals who think the ‘no war’ stance is just too easy… The Guardian, New York… Continue reading Too easy

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Reporter/cyborg

On Tuesday, in The Guardian, before the war began, I wrote: “Our proximity to the fighting is unarguable. The collision of network-era news gathering tools, weblogs and interconnected internet communities will produce a kind of ecstasy of information and communication. The war will be fought as if it were on the other side of the… Continue reading Reporter/cyborg

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Essential

As the bombing begins, Azeem reminds me to revisit Where’s Raed, a blog kept, apparently, by a young Iraqi from within Iraq – from Baghdad itself, in fact.

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War analysed

Always excellent David Walker opens the new series of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis with a subtle look at our definition of the national interest in the context of the planned attack on Iraq. He talks to: Lord Owen, Lord Skidelsky, Professor Philip Bobbitt, Professor David Coleman and Professor Paul Hirst. You can listen to the… Continue reading War analysed

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