Portents of war

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The Independent Online

In such times, the nation, understandably, looks for reassurance that the traditions which have sustained it for so long are being maintained. It is rarely let down. See, inter multa alia, the RAF promising to bomb a bit better this time, and the Army waiting for boots while it kits itself out in Millets.

In such times, the nation, understandably, looks for reassurance that the traditions which have sustained it for so long are being maintained. It is rarely let down. See, inter multa alia, the RAF promising to bomb a bit better this time, and the Army waiting for boots while it kits itself out in Millets.

Now the always reliable security services weigh in with a vital dossier on Iraq, cited by General Powell, largely comprising the unedited and out-of-date musings of a postgraduate from Monterey. Some see our spies in the images of Fleming and Le Carré. We prefer the usual combination of Peter Sellers, Terry- Thomas, Norman Wisdom, Frankie Howerd, George Formby and Private Pike.

And also in this case, irresistibly, Wormold, Greene's Man in Havana, who passed off sketches of vacuum cleaner parts as missile plans. We say: check the general's pictures for a plug and flex now!

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