Melanie Phillips


We recently received a very nice letter from Melanie Phillips, author of an extraordinary essay on the slighter of innocents in Beslan. Originally published as her Daily Mail column, the essay is entitled "A war unlike any other." It is well worth reading, if you have not done so already. A short excerpt:

It is argued, though, that the war on Iraq has merely recruited yet more enraged Muslims to al Qaeda's cause. But it was al Qaeda that attacked the west, not the other way round; and it was Saddam's Iraq that carried out acts of terror against the US. The west is merely seeking to defend itself in a war that has been declared upon it. In wars, repeated attacks take place. To blame this not on our attackers but on ourselves takes appeasement to new depths of absurdity.

And this is a war unlike any other we have known. It is not being fought between states or with conventional armies. Its perpetrators hide their fighters among civilian populations, so to act against them produces an outcry. They target civilians in order to terrorise and demoralise. And they use children as victims, whether slaughtered in their schools or brainwashed and intimidated into becoming human bombs.