Monday, June 25, 2007

Bliss & Dazzle

While going through some old files, many of which I haven't seen in years, I discovered a forgotten passage from a pro-imperialist Brit writer who took immense glee in attacking Iraq. See if this rings any bells:

"It is beginning to look as if Saddam Hussein has given the West a chance once again to establish its unchallengeable preeminence in a manner impregnable at once to moral obloquy and military resistance. Not only will our arms have prevailed in a most spectacular fashion. So also will our ideals. Nothing is ever forever. Sooner or later the Third World will throw up other challenges. But if the [Iraq] war ends as it has begun, there can be no doubt who are the masters now -- at any rate for another generation. We have the laser beams and they have not. And the we who matter are not the Germans or the Japanese or the Russians but the Americans. Happy days are here again. Bliss it is in this dawn to be alive; but to be an old reactionary is very heaven."

Okay class: who wrote this? I know it sounds like a certain imperial mouthpiece, but it's not who you think.

This was Sir Peregrine Worsthorne in The Sunday Telegraph, January 20, 1991. Who knew that ol' Perry would set the rhetorical tone for those who urged an invasion of Iraq in 2003? Or that his chest-thumping would be aped by the guy who predicted "a fairly brief and ruthless military intervention . . . The president will give an order. [The attack] will be rapid, accurate and dazzling . . . It will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi people as an emancipation. And I say, bring it on"? And when I read Worsthorne's thoughts on Israel's land grab in 1967:

"[L]ast week a tiny Western community, surrounded by immensely superior numbers of the underdeveloped peoples, has shown itself able to impose its will on the Arabs today almost as effortlessly as the first whites were able to do on the Afro-Asian native in the imperial heyday."

I realize that my old mentor has not gone the Norman Podhoretz route, as I initially thought. He is much more in tune with Sir Perry, who, in the Final Days of the Nixon administration, continued to defend a discredited, corrupt and unpopular president until it no longer mattered. Another feature the two have in common.