julian barnes on peaceniks and warniks

Whether or not you think writers have a worthwhile perspective on world events, at least they write about it well:
“So, peacenik, you lost. We told you so. Sure, it wasn’t exactly the pushover we’d war-gamed. The Iraqis didn’t rise in rebellion as we promised, the flower-throwing was a little tardy, but that was just because we’d underestimated how terrorised they were. Still, a three-week campaign with a couple of hundred coalition dead; the end approaches, and the Iraqis are dancing on fallen statues. Soon your fellow peaceniks can start trucking in the relief and nation-building can begin. May I hear a squeak of rejoicing?
So, warnik, you think you’ve won? Please consider this. On Monday afternoon your guys thought they had found Saddam in a restaurant. A US plane dropped four very clever 2,000lb bombs on it. The next night, BBC News showed an enormous crater and its correspondent said that no one who might have been there could have got out alive. According to Peter Arnett, the sacked NBC correspondent, the targeted restaurant was still intact, but three neighbouring houses were reduced to rubble instead. According to most people, Saddam escaped. When asked about this, Torie Clarke, the US defence spokeswoman, said crisply: “I don’t think that matters very much. I’m not losing sleep trying to figure out if he was in there.”
This war was not worth a child’s finger by Julian Barnes.


4 Responses to “julian barnes on peaceniks and warniks”

  1. JeanNINE Says:


  2. earl Says:

    I don’t get it. Is Julian for or against this war.
    Here’s a question is the freedom from tryanny for 20 million people worth one child’s finger?Is this war solely about the death of Saddam or might it just possibly be about removing his grip from their throats. Perhaps it is actually retribution for Uday’s vile acts. He, of course, is the man that responded to a young lady’s rebuff by kidnapping her, torturing her for months and then feeding her to his guard dogs.

  3. Big John Says:

    “Soon your fellow peaceniks can start trucking in the relief and nation-building can begin.”

    Sorry Julian! There is no way in hell Bush is going to allow the peaceniks (and/or the UN for that matter) to screw up Iraq the way they screwed up Kosovo. What the UN did to those people shouldn’t happen to a dog.

    Four years after the war there, and the Kosivars are worse off than ever. The power is off 2 of every 6 hours, and the plants were not touched!
    Before the war they EXPORTED power!

    The economy (such as it is) is largely dependent on paychecks obtained thru working directly for the UN personnel, including prostitution. Graft runs rampant, and little is done.

    Capitalism will restore Iraq, not UN socialism.
    That’s been tried many times, and fails miserably each time, because it isn’t self-regulating like the free market. Okay, some people may make a lot of money in the process, but IT WORKS. It does not lead to poverty stricken dispair, like socialism does.

    Let the UN stick to making sandwiches, ’cause it’s all that bunch is good for.

  4. erik Says:

    Big John,
    I hope you never come to South Africa so you can keep your precious illusions about capitalism saving the world intact. Ask children working in Nike’s sweat-shops in Malaysia if they agree with you that capitalism doesn’t leave poverty behind.
    Also, let me remind you that it was your government who bombed Kosovo’s power stations out of existance, and that it is your government that now refuses to contribute towards re-construction. I’m sure Kosovars are deeply grateful for having had the immense fortune of being liberated by American fighter jets.

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