So then, that Iraq, eh? We've sodded that up right bad, haven't we?
I supported the war -- just -- because the general idea of using military force to get rid of dictators, when circumstances permit, is appealing, and maintaining the alliance between the United States and Britain is probably worth its price too. But more importantly, it had never occurred to me that Britain and the United States could invade a country thousands of miles away with the intention of destroying its government and have no plan at all for what to do next.
(As an aside, whatever the government's publicity material said, nobody sensible really believed that Iraq had chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in 2003. And I should remind you that, should you now be moved to say something about the threat of `weapons of mass destruction', you are a priori not sensible, for reasons I needn't repeat. Neither did the war against Iraq have anything to do with `terrorism' in the September 11th sense, however much the United States is keen to define local Iraqi insurgencies as `terrorism'.)
My anti-war friends have typically responded to my surprise about the cack-handedness of Coalition plans for post-war Iraq by saying, roughly, ``Of course they had no idea what to do next -- what did you expect?''
This time round it turns out that they were correct. However, I have a horrible feeling that many of these people would have said the same about almost any exercise of military force. It's just a pity that in the two most recent cases -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- they have turned out to be correct. Nobody asks them about Sierra Leone or the Falklands.
Since I haven't written anything here for a bit, some random updates. Chris Brooke encourages us to classify things as to whether they're splendid, meaning `coherent, and I approve'; rubbish, meaning, `coherent, and I disapprove'; or nonsense, meaning `incoherent'. So in that vein, I bring you:
- Anthony Wells brings us various issues of his marvellous Swivel-Eyed Loons update (chiefly about the UK Independence Party, though since they're not the only loons in British politics we can hope to see diversification in the future) and also this interesting discussion of polling methodology, with a bonus Swivel-Eyed Loons update at the end. (Expect more on this front now that Robert Kilroy-Silk -- ``a hard man to ignore, but worth the effort'' -- is going to lead their party list at the European elections.)
- Privacy International and no2id are running a public meeting on ID cards on May 19th; please come along.
- Recess Monkey is an amusing web log written by a Parliamentary staffer.
- Ireland's decision to abandon electronic voting.
- Microsoft's decision to abandon NGSCB.
Many things, but the one that's in my mind right now is news that the author of the `Sasser' Microsoft Windows virus has been arrested. (And there was much ignorant rejoicing in the press.) Two comments:
Firstly, these things are really getting out of hand; on Wednesday I was delayed by about two hours on a simple journey from Reading to London by a `signalling fault' at Slough; apparently the signalling on that part of the railway is run on Windows NT. Coincidence? You decide. Why are people building critical infrastructure on this rubbish?
(Sorry, no graph or holiday photos this time. Also, thanks to Tom for correcting a typo.)