I B Tauris has realised that one can never have enough of Sir Simon Jenkins, the renowned newspaper columnist. It has collated his articles from The Times and The Guardian on recent Western interventions, from the Balkans via Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya, interposing Sir Simon’s pithy reflections on the 1,200-word pieces he penned, often twice a week, over the course of fifteen years. When was he right and when was he wrong, he asks himself in interjected paragraphs printed in bold type?
As Jenkins helpfully explains, ‘this book is not a history of that period or an essay on military intervention. It is a commentary on events as I saw them at the time, commentary in context.’ He is not a foreign correspondent or war reporter, though he has toured some warzones, but rather a clever metropolitan witness, from London rather than Washington, DC, where true power lies.
The story begins with liberal humanitarian intervention as it evolved in the wake of Bill Clinton’s inertia during the Rwandan genocide. The fall of Soviet communism provided the West