History Test

John Rentoul

keith14 68456b 300x200 History TestCompare and contrast, paying particular attention to the ways in which the authors express support of and opposition to the proposition.

Keith Richards, interviewed by Caitlin Moran in The Times (pay wall) (via Iain Martin):

As for Tony Blair: “I wrote him a letter [about the Iraq war], telling him he had to stick to his guns. I got a letter back, saying, ‘Thanks for the support.’”

Sebastian Faulks at the Brook Green Literary Festival (via Norman Geras):

“History dropped off the curriculum at GCSE,” Faulks said. “There are a thousand secondary schools who entered not a single candidate at GCSE and you can also see it in politicians. If Tony Blair had a better grasp of history in the 20th century, rather than simply living in the moment, he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.”

Footnote: Blair took history at O-level and A-level at Fettes College.

Photograph of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards: Rex

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  • John

    I’ve read your links and I don’t think they support your conclusion. Some helicopters in 1982 do not amount to “copious amounts” of weaponry – helpfully the USA provides many examples of countries around the world that do have these “copious amounts” – check out the TO&E of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, South Korea etc. The chemical agents do not refer to actual chemical weapons, but chemicals that could be used in the making of chemical weapons – and it points that finger pretty widely around the world.

    I’d pick a different reason for being opposed to the war myself than thinking it was about American ‘pique’ at its arms sales.

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