War on Iraq is already under way

Jonathan Manthorpe: “Even so, sorting through reports from various places and sources around the region suggests that around 100,000 U.S. and British troops are on the ground around Iraq.”

This sounds about right. A rule of thumb is to double what the U.S. Army says is the number of troops in a region, to take leaks of plans for war to indicate that war is a fait accompli, and news that fighting has begun to indicate that fighting began some time ago.

I have two problems with Condoleezza Rice's statement quoted here:

“'History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world,' said Rice. She went on to refer to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, a piece of history that still resonates strongly with British people.”

History is also littered with cases of action that lead to very grave consequences (Britain's entry into World War I is a good example), and appeasement is not always necessarily an ineffective tool in foreign affairs (what about late 19th-early 20th century American appeasement of the British?).

Jonathan Manthorpe is one of the very few reasons to read the Vancouver Sun. Actually, I just admire his job, writing a column about the disparate places of Southeast Asia and the travel that accompanies it.