A Reader Comments On Enoch Powell And Abu Ghraib

May 29, 2004

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A Turkish Reader Comments On A Displaced American Quant; Peter Brimelow Responds

From:  [Name Withheld]

I googled around on "Enoch Powell" today, stimulated by seeing, this week, a prominent U.K. Commodities analyst invoke the opening passage of Enoch Powell's great speech­—

"The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evil…Those who knowingly shirk it, deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after."

—to defend Washington's activities in Iraq (which struck me as utterly anomalous.)

So I found your essays. Do you realize how much more timely they are now, than when you published them?

Most obviously, as you noted last Easter, are Powell's reservations on the price of domination. His comment (and yours) resonate frighteningly:

"After eleven Mau Mau terrorists were beaten to death in the Hola camp in Kenya in 1959…Powell said in a famous speech: 'I would say it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, to stand in judgment on a fellow human being and say, 'Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow.' "

"My [PB] emphasis…looking at alarming developments like the Homeland Security Act, I wonder about that recoil upon our heads."