Note: Link fixed (h/t Dave)
One aspect of Dalrymple’s thought that hasn’t been much discussed is the extent to which he is passionately “anti-war” (I put this word in quotes because supporters of military action also claim to be against war, but to consider it sometimes a necessary evil). On two occasions when discussing these issues with him, I have seen him respond with something close to indignation at the arguments in favor of military action. Now, at the Hilarious Pessimist blog, he responds to the House of Commons’s vote against attacks on the Assad regime in Syria:
For once the House of Commons has performed its function of restraining the executive branch of government. Such is the intellectual probity of our political class that if Mr Brown had been re-elected most of the Labour MPs would have voted for intervention in Syria and most of the Tories against, but we must be grateful for small mercies…
For Mr Cameron to have claimed that the vote was a triumph of democracy rather than a defeat for him was just what one might have expected from a professed admirer of Anthony ‘Bomber’ Blair. Intellectual spivvery can hardly go further; but future historians will surely find it curious that politicians who have consistently cut expenditure on the armed forces (in order to preserve their capacity to bribe civilian voters with so-called benefits) seem ever more enthusiastic about intervening militarily in distant countries without the faintest idea of what they are trying to achieve thereby, except perhaps personal aggrandizement on the world stage.