Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stay away from the dangerous inquiry

The big news of the day, at least in my eyes, is the British inquiry into the Iraq war. In my morning news surf I came upon this gem of a paragraph from the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6645270/Iraq-inquiry-Britain-rejected-regime-change-as-illegal-in-2001.html).
The inquiry into the war, which cost 179 lives, opened yesterday with a promise from Sir John, a former Whitehall mandarin, to "get to the heart of what happened" and "not shy away" from criticising anyone who made mistakes.
So the first thing to realize is that you don't want to attend this inquiry in person, as you may be one of the 179 lives it takes/has taken. Or is it a new accounting formula, where the price of the inquiry is measured not in dollars, but in lives?

I often wonder how statements like that get past an editor. Even taking it at face value, I'm fairly sure more than 179 lives were 'taken' by the Iraq war. The restriction in the number is, of course, to British servicemen only, but if you are going to limit a number like that I think you are honour bound to include the limiting factor.

And why is this inquiry in the hands of a fruit (mandarin)? Well, that's a noble British tradition from way back.

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