William Shawcross is the prominent British author of the somewhat notorious Sideshow, the wonderful Allies: The U.S., Britain, and Europe, and the War in Iraq, and many other books. When I recently referred to him as an “occasional reader of Power Line,” he wrote to protest that “constant” would have been more accurate. He is indisputably a friend of the United States. Today he writes to note that he is holding his breath as he watches the news from Iraq and to alert us to “two recent small contributions,” letters to the Times and Guardian. First his letter to the Times:
Coalition support in Iraq
The Times, August 18, 2003
Sir, Matthew Parris (Comment, August 13) invites me and others who supported the overthrow of Saddam to admit that we were wrong and apologise. No thank you, Mr Parris.
All the Iraqis I know still believe they have the first chance in their lives to build a decent society. It is simply not true, as Mr Parris claims, that Iraq “is going to hell in a handcart.” Millions of Iraqis have had great successes in rebuilding large parts of the country. In other parts, they have been hampered by mistakes of the coalition, but above all by the brutal backlash from the Baathists and the Islamofascists who, as Amir Taheri eloquently wrote (Comment, August 16), will use any methods to stop democracy succeeding in Iraq.
I not only believe that their courage and commitment deserve continued support from the coalition, but I also believe they will get it. This is one of the most important causes of our time. Matthew Parris’s great talent would be better employed supporting rather than denigrating it.
Here is his letter to the editor of the Guardian responding to Naomi Klein (he adds that she “is realy awful!”):
The force behind fanatics
The Guardian, August 16, 2005
Naomi Klein claims that western racism is Islamic terrorism’s greatest recruiting tool. (Comment, August 13). Oh yes?
Is it because of western racism that al-Qaida has included the United Nations among its principal targets? Is it because of western racism that in August 2003 an al-Qaida suicide bomber murdered more than 20 people in the UN headquarters in Baghdad, including the secretary general’s special representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello?
Vieira de Mello was one of the UN’s finest officials, who had defended Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo and had then assisted East Timor to independence from Indonesia. Al-Qaida exulted in the murder of this “heretic” sent to Iraq by Kofi Annan, “the criminal and slave of America.”
Al-Qaida is inspired by Islamofascism, which cannot be appeased. No one is helped by pretending otherwise.