How long, oh Lord

When the Earl pulled out his bloody great tool at tea
To do the pageboy wrong,

His chaplain cried in incredulity

“How long, oh lord, how long!”
And so, I suppose, we are meant to cry when we see the length of the President’s willy, stretched out alongside Saddam Hussein’s. But the question ‘How long?’, when applied to this war, has another sense, which is brought out very clearly in Thomas Friedman’s call to arms in the New York Times today. It is as good and clear an argument for the war as you will find. It is pitched at grown-ups, and addresses serious problems. But it really does commit the West to generations of imperialism — and so of wars — all around the Muslim world:

Let’s start with the good and honest concession that he makes: “

what really threatens open, Western, liberal societies today is not Saddam and his weapons per se. He is a twisted dictator who is deterrable through conventional means. Because Saddam loves life more than he hates us. What threatens Western societies today are not the deterrables, like Saddam, but the undeterrables
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