We were halfway across the narrow pontoon bridge on the Tumen river which separates China from North Korea in a remote area not far from Vladivostok when I reflected that what we were doing was completely mad. By then, however, it was too late to turn back. Approaching rapidly was the red-and-blue flag with its central star, and, beyond it, a grimy concrete blockhouse containing the border police of the hermit state.
Now that Dr Blix has done his work, how will Saddam Hussein cope with the latest threat from the West to both his political stability and his sanity? It seems that, as a softening-up exercise before vaporising Baghdad with expensive ordnance, we have begun to export British lunatics to Iraq. And, because this is total war; because we are seriously angry with Saddam, it is not quite enough that we should dispatch George Galloway.
George W. Bush announced during his State of the Union message that America and its allies will disarm Iraq with or without the UN. If America, as appears increasingly likely, gets war, it will be thanks in large part to Tony Blair and Britain. But what will Tony Blair and Britain get thanks to America?
A typical American would answer (a) that's the wrong question, and (b) quite a lot.