26 MAY 2007, Page 24

An interest in war

Sir: I read Andrew Roberts’s Biggles-like comments in Blair: A Modern Tragedy (12 May) with amazement, given the still-deepening catastrophe in Iraq as reported week by week. Blair ‘a true hero of the English-speaking peoples’? Oh, come off it! And how can a reputable historian like Roberts trot out the simple-minded Bushite line about ‘a war on terror’? Then again, Roberts reckons that Blair ‘put the best interests of his country before his own political survival’. Tell that to the families of the 148 British servicemen killed and some 5,000 wounded in the cause of Blair’s ‘legacy’. Just the same, Roberts’s fawning endorsement of Blair’s world policy surely warrants a ‘k’ in the resignation-honours lavender-list. Or at least a promotion to head prefect.

As for poor Willy Shawcross and his moral passions, will he never accept the plain evi dence that the chances of a strong and stable democracy permanently ruling a unified Iraq are virtually nil? I myself would certainly say nil, tout court.

Correlli Barnett Cambridge