Thursday, November 02, 2006

Boris recants

You can see a perfect example of the sea-change I wrote about two days ago from the brilliant commentator and Conservative MP Boris Johnson in today's Daily Telegraph. Johnson is the shambolic-looking but razor-brained voice of the Telegraph and I would be willing to bet that more readers buy the paper for his Thursday column than for any other single reason (except, probably, the cartoonist Matt). Here he is today completing a u-turn on Iraq:

"It is now commonplace for people like me, who supported the war, to say that we "did the right thing" but that it had mysteriously "turned out wrong". This is intellectually vacuous. It is like saying British strategy for July 1, 1916 was perfect, but let down by faulty execution. The thing was a disaster from the moment we invaded, and it wasn't poor old Rumsfeld's fault for failing to send in enough troops, or failing to do more "planning" for the post-war. No quantity of troops could have prevented this catastrophe; and the dreadful thing is that I think Saddam knew it."

"As long as we are there [in Iraq], the terrorists know that they can maximise the damage to Bush and Blair by blowing up our troops, and so we incite the very violence we are trying to quell. We need to plan for withdrawal, and we need to understand why, why, why we were so mad as to attack Iraq without working out the consequences."

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