Thursday, September 16, 2004

Tim Collins is Shrill

A brief clarification for the uninitiated: Shrill is the favourite word of Dubya's defenders for those critics of the substance of his policies. As far as we can recall, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was the first recipient of the word, for daring to point out back in 2000 that Dubya's tax and spending plans didn't add up and that huge public debt would be the result. Shrill indeed. But anyway, as with other words sometimes seen as abusive, being Shrill is now a badge of honour -- Brad DeLong is helping keep track of such things.

So: Tim Collins is shrill. Who? The British Army officer who made a stirring speech to his regiment just before the war in Iraq, a speech so good that:

It was said that the US President even had a copy of the speech pinned to the wall of his White House office.

Indeed, Tim became the toast of the vast rightwing conspiracy, especially its ex-Canadian/Unionist wing. But now he's talking freely about his impressions of the Iraq war 18 months on from the big speech, and he's not happy:

[interview with Radio 4] "There was very little preparation or thought for what would follow on after the invasion itself," he said.
"Nature abhors a vacuum and so do politics. If you knock something down you must be prepared to put something in its place or live with the consequences."
He said the evidence pointed towards the invasion being a "cynical war" inevitable to vent anger on Saddam Hussein's regime, with no regard to the consequences for Iraqis.
"In which case it's a form of common assault," he said.

Which is all exactly right. Looks like Dubya might have to do some redecorating.

UPDATE: It's official. With additional links.

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