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36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely changed my perspective
Before reading this book I had more of a libertarian attitude about drugs, especially cannabis, and didn't expect this to change. I knew Hitchens was no stranger to logical argument after reading his excellent book, "The Rage Against God," but I had yet to hear a good case for stronger laws against drugs.

After reading "The War We Never Fought," I have to admit...
Published 22 months ago by L. Bailey

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1.0 out of 5 stars Every Square Wants to Form a Circle
Is it not strange that the "morally right" want to inflict discipline onto the miscreant in order to correct them and bring them back into the fold? But they are also aware that the violence they administer is much more debilitating than the drug they wish to obliterate which is projected to have a hydra quality. This sense of self elevation reminds me of the...
Published 15 months ago by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles


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1.0 out of 5 stars Every Square Wants to Form a Circle, 31 May 2013
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
Is it not strange that the "morally right" want to inflict discipline onto the miscreant in order to correct them and bring them back into the fold? But they are also aware that the violence they administer is much more debilitating than the drug they wish to obliterate which is projected to have a hydra quality. This sense of self elevation reminds me of the prefects in Lindsay Anderson's film "If." After being subject to violence, the trashed boy seeks revenge and embarks on a will to power to revenge all and sundry.

This is a book about the thoughts of someone who thinks extremely highly of himself, a man who wills himself to be heard above the throng. Peter has now positioned himself as thinking for the common man, obviously because they do not think for themselves, according to him.

So Cannabis is deemed evil along with rock music etc, the return of the square. Peter lives in the 1950's, Andy Pandy is stuck firmly inside his head, a land where he plays conkers and throws pooh sticks under the bridge. He larks about with Just William, snaps tuck with Billy Bunter and takes the side of Little Lord Fontelroy when he is being taunted. The Radio is always turned to the Archers and John Major is bowling down the leg.

What this little boy seems to miss is an emotional quiver within. Clearly childhood is a sacred place for Peter, as it is for many of his acolytes.

Fast forward to the 21stC for Peter it is all about the reified rage, replete with bursting high blood pressure whilst wandering around the land as Cassandra proclaiming the end of the world is nigh. More like Fraser in his Dad's Army world he broadcasts that we are all doomed; the liberals are leading us to the edge of the precipice etc etc.

These Daily Male sentiments are expressed to gather like minded suckers within the Peter fold, previously we had John Junor and Peregrine Worsthorne; each uncritical unreflecting angry beings. Peter needs to sell his books to someone and revenge his childhood ghosts. Why not just copy a template and blame the 1960's for all ills?

His views to me waft forward like someone paranoid after smoking too much dope. You often find rattling bones dropping out of cupboards with these angry "types." After all the anger is all a deflection for the real problem, a long ongoing depression, stretching all the way from childhood to the present. You see the 1950's were never like the biscuit tin depictions. Instead it was running away from the red faced drunk who wielded the leather belt. Peter and his ilk do not wish to remember this, instead they want to project.

For those who have not fallen into Peter's zombie dance, I would suggest as a start instead, read Howard Becker's "Outsiders" rather than this offaling. This appeals to those who never experienced the bacchanal who lack the Dionysian spirit; the eternal square.

He is right about psychiatry however. It is all hocus pocus - but people gravitate between the sedentary drugs and the Dionysian for different reasons. The first obliterates emotions and make you become like Peter - except minus the anger, the second are great for laughter sex and creativity. Peter wants a world without drugs as he turns the radio dial backwards in frequency.

Someone is obviously depressed here - previously they may have munched on considerable bottles of Prozac. Apparently they have also tried Cannabis and it has triggered off some latent paranoia.

However that is not the drugs fault, it is like blaming a car for an accident - the drug has triggered off those sublimated childhood emotions. Just because they have been suppressed and hidden, it does not they do not exist. The protective sheen of anger has held it all in place and should this fragment - then by golly you better watch out.

That is because according to certain male codes, emotions are verboten, unless it is a weary sigh of nihilism whilst clutching a teddy bear and Spengler's "Decline of the West." Clasping it to the bosom; it creates a little tear to run down the corner of the eye.

Sentimentality, saccharine thoughts and chronic vitriol all go together in one toxic stir traversing the same emotional polarity. Mark my words, unless this is resolved it will lead to cancer - soul cancer begins before the physical cancer takes over.

Meanwhile I will turn down the volume, isn't it always the case that anger is always aloud.
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36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely changed my perspective, 15 Oct 2012
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
Before reading this book I had more of a libertarian attitude about drugs, especially cannabis, and didn't expect this to change. I knew Hitchens was no stranger to logical argument after reading his excellent book, "The Rage Against God," but I had yet to hear a good case for stronger laws against drugs.

After reading "The War We Never Fought," I have to admit I've changed my view. Hitchens is clearly a very intelligent man who despises drugs not because of Puritanical instinct (as some have accused him of) but because he's studied their effects on society. His writing style is very readable yet not condescending- this is a man who knows how to employ the pen.

I'm not going to try to lay out all his arguments here, but I would strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to gain more knowledge of the drugs debate.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this!, 31 Dec 2013
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What a great book to read, for once a clear and honest look at the drug problem in the UK.
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26 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended, 22 Oct 2012
By 
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
The writer, George Walden, says that people who use the words 'right wing' and 'left wing' are antiquated because, in the UK anyway, we've moved from a class system into a caste system. Check out Theodore Dalrymple on You Tube explaining how this happened.

A person from the upper caste, with his barbed wire fence, and his guard dogs, will probably be slightly out of touch with the 'give it to the people' drug debate.

Even though I like Peter Hitchens, he is also up there with the brahmins of public opinion, but this doesn't matter because you will be surprised that Peter supports 'working class' people and he hates party politics with the two 'dead party's' and he is probably as smart as his brother and he is far from the stupid conservative cliché. The reason he sometimes sounds somewhat stupid, you see, is because he gets paid loads of money for doing it. If the Daily Mail paid me, I would do the same.

Peter Hichens actually makes sense concerning the drugs debate. Hitchens says he is arguing for the person from the estates and millionaires are not. He argues that millionaire celebrities are not the people we should listen to because they are selfish and going after their own interest with pseudo social rhetoric.

It is only the selfish well to do who have taken MDMA and psilocybin and haven't been harmed by it (like me), indeed, who have gained some fancy philosophical insights, who want to give it to the masses (me also). Even Carl Sagan wanted to give pot to the masses; alas we are both out of touch then.

Friedrich Nietzsche says somewhere that there is a selfish whim behind every social musing and this is why you can see Russell Brands tonsils shouting at Peter on You Tube. Brand just wants to get high again.

So don't be put off by the mud being flung at Peter Hitchens. He's far from 'right wing' because, like the word, he is just at out of touch as his friends in the Guardian (they are the ones calling him right wing because want drugs legalised, though they never say they want their kids to experiment with drugs) and the celebrity idols (who call him Thatcher and also want legalisation). These clowns are all from the same caste. They have never been in a council estate and they think the opinion of Sir Richard Branson, who recently gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee as part of drugs policy inquiry, matters. Branson lives in a palace, what does he know?

All the poor, but very bright, people I know from the lower caste just tut tut and roll their eyes, or look at you funny, at the suggestion that we should sell heroin and pot in Asda, and they should know. They look at you with a, 'you poor fool' or a 'you're crazy' look because they live in the toughest parts of the country. Yes these people may be at the bottom end of the scale, but they are witty and sharp and insightful, even though they are at the bottom of the caste. They are far from the 'proles' of Orwell' imagining and they don't need spokes people fighting there corner. We should ask them to give evidence at the Home Affairs Committee, and not billionaires.

Anyway this is a worthy book and should be read. You will be surprised and how smart Hitchens is!

You can also read an essay Theodore Dalrymple wrote called 'don't legalise drugs' online. Dalrymple also wrote a book called 'Romancing Opiates' which is well worth a read too.

Highly recommended!
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well reasoned, well argued and utterly needed, 3 Jan 2013
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
It is my understanding that many will instantly dismiss this book because of its author, because some find Hitchens' style and opinions to get right up their nose. It is needed.

It is needed because, as this book plainly and honestly points out, the debate on drugs and the law in Britain has been heading in the same biased direction amongst the political masses for some time - longer than most would think, which is one of the key arguments in Hitchens' case. As someone who grows tired with the poorly reasoned arguments of the pro-drug lobby, this book is recommended as a champion of sensible thinking. In fact, there is nothing terribly new or extraordinary about the arguments in this book, just a simple clear-headed (i.e. not high) plight for the general salvation of everyday morality in modern Britain.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scooby Dooby Don't, 27 July 2014
By 
J. D. Aspinall (South West England) - See all my reviews
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There will always be some humans who say they have ‘the right’ to take drugs. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they don’t. Which is it? One thing is certain, when a person claims ‘It’s my body, I can do what I like with it,’ there is a flaw in their reasoning.

Does the argument change when a person believes that they do not ‘have’ a body, rather they ‘are’ a body? Listening to some, it is clear the belief in the illusive ‘I’ is alive and well, and why not? The foregoing, when considered at length, can bring a chilly realisation…

One can see, straightaway, there will be (or should be) several other persons involved in our lives who would wish it that we take care of the body we have or are. My aunt is rapidly dying from lung-cancer and I would prefer that not to be the case.

If drug-taking is wrong, what makes it wrong? This is easier to answer if the drugs taken are illegal. One could find sanctuary within the walls of the law. But that’s far too easy, and dangerous. Who wants to be left holding the logic which states if something is legal it is morally right? Not me, thank you. Then again, who wants to argue drinking caffeine is morally wrong?

I am happy to be corrected here, though I remember reading that, on a chemical level, nicotine breaks down caffeine and a person recently free from cigarettes should also cut their coffee intake because without nicotine, the caffeine has a greater affect on their brains.

The affect might be greater irritability, insomnia or restless sleep – the affects of caffeine are well known, yet their affects are not considered a moral problem. Why not? Caffeine, the common name for trimethylxanthine, is a drug, a chemical a person freely ingests which has affects upon their brains they might not experience if they didn’t take it, yet it gets a free pass from any moral questioning.

That free pass could be because of the affects themselves. Ingest enough C8H10N4O2 and you might be less calm, but unlikely to be up for a spot of the old ultra-violence because of the mixture of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen you just ingested. We all consume chemicals which are unnecessary for survival, so if taking illegal drugs is wrong, I doubt it’s wrong because they’re illegal; taking them is wrong because of their affects and it’s the affects which make them illegal. It’s a small point, but it’s one which filters coffee and cola out of an argument they should not be in to begin with.

The moral questions come about, Peter Hitchens writes, when the affects of the drugs taken stupefy the taker into incoherence or dangerous behaviour they would not otherwise indulge in. This argument tends to bring up the question of alcohol. If booze is legal and is the cause of sickness, murder and other kinds of death – then why should certain drugs, especially cannabis, remain illegal?

Hitchens devotes chapter seven to this question, ‘What about alcohol and tobacco, then?’ He points out that this question is one of the key parts of the debate and states (with dry humour)

‘Once a substance is legalised, it is extremely difficult to declare that it is illegal. That is why we should be so careful about legalising cannabis and other currently illegal drugs. If this turns out to be a mistake, it will not be easily put right.’

Who says Hitchens has no sense of humour? He obviously does. Next he’ll be telling us that ‘alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, has been known to produce all the effects of drunkenness.’

It is to his credit that he uses humour this way. It might be a sign his arguments are so obviously sound that he can afford to inject a little humour here and there. A person could be forgiven for expecting a sermon or a bossy lecture from the chap. No doubt Hitchens is capable of that, but he doesn’t do it in this book.

There are other examples of his dry humour. On the question that a person has the right to do what they want to the body they either have or are, because doing so is a fundamental freedom, closely allied with freedom of speech and freedom of thought, he states

‘I realise that in our secular society, an appeal to the authority of Mount Sinai or the Holy Trinity is not likely to be decisive.’

Superb. He continues from humour to seriousness

‘It is perhaps hard to see how anyone who valued either speech or thought should wish to spread the use of a drug that fuddles thought and makes speech halting and incoherent, but it is so.’

That is a fair example of the book’s tone or style. You get simple, logical arguments, offered using plain English as their delivery system. Splendid.

Another example, after quoting several cases of cannabis users committing violent or mindless crimes – and to refute the idea that the drug ‘chills out’ (my phrase) its users, he says

‘I am making no claim here beyond these modest points: if cannabis is a peace-promoting drug then its effects are not always evident in its users.’

Well, quite. My eldest son has been far too fond of cannabis for some years and his behaviour when smoking the stuff is upsetting. He can be obnoxious, paranoid, needlessly argumentative, downright abusive and sometimes violent. During the periods he doesn’t smoke the garbage his behaviour is significantly different. Nothing else he ingests seems to have this effect on him. Without the example of my eldest son I might well shrug my shoulders and fall-in with the crowd who make the ‘what about alcohol?’ point, but I cannot. And I know my son’s mother has, many times, been anxious that he stop smoking it. My interest is declared.

I have never been fond of this country’s political class, at any level, from Westminster to ‘my’ local councillors. It is my belief they are – all of them – entitled to no privacy whatsoever and every aspect of their lives is a legitimate target for public scrutiny and press intrusion. And I do mean intrusion. I should like to know what they do, where they do it and with whom, and how much of my money they spend doing it. (I have a good friend, a psychiatric nurse based in Cardiff, who told me he and his colleagues had been out on the town, more than once, on ward funds. Another friend, a finance officer in a school told me that, many times, school funds had been used to throw leaving parties for teachers and to buy presents for them and so on. Hardly is this Watergate, but it is significantly irritating.) Yet those politicians who are (possibly) not corrupt in that sense – don’t feather their own nests – but ‘tinker’ with the laws and carry out their social experiments on the rest of us, are perhaps worse than the politician who rakes off a few quid. Some of the characters within Hitchens’s pages – and not all of them politicians – are guilty of poisoning society in a sense. They might not have meant to do it, yet that says nothing about what they actually did do. You’ll have to read the book yourself.

The next time (if there is a next time because he seems to have sorted his life out at the moment) my eldest son punches holes in a bedroom door while his younger brother and sister are watching, I might invoice Paul Mcartney for the repair.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winning Argument, 29 Mar 2013
By 
Mark Bertenshaw (Kingston upon Thames, SURREY United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
Whilst it is obvious that Mr. Hitchens' personal morality is the spur for writing this book, what strikes me most is that the majority of this book is pure investigative journalism (remember that?). Like most of my generation (I'm 41), I had bought into the concept that Cannabis is a harmless drug - and generally a bit of fun. Hitchens explains in forensic detail how we have come to this point, and why, for the good of the whole of society, we should have never let it happen.

There are a very few places where I can't agree with him, such as his unintentionally funny obsession with the evils of "rock" music (yes, he does use the quotations). However where he presents the facts rather than his feelings, he conclusively wins the case that there has been no "war on drugs" in the UK.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, 22 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
I have most of Peter Hitchens books they are always well written and researched. I often argue with pro drug people on forums (the kind of people who condemn the book without reading it) this book is another piece of ammunition to counter their lies. 5 stars naturally
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16 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last the truth, 25 Nov 2012
By 
Young Goblin (Bradford, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
Finally a decent put down to the cannabis lobby - ie those trying to convince themselves it's harmless and the clueless MPs etc who are worried they'll look "out of touch" if they don't go along with the former.
This'll probably not get good reviews as amazon will be inundated by the cannabis obsessives but don't let that put you off - like all Hitchens books well written well-researched and not afraid to offend those who need offending.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Hitchens is uncompromising when it comes to humbug and lies and a is champion of liberty., 10 April 2013
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This review is from: The War We Never Fought (Hardcover)
All of Peter Hitchens books bring clarity to subjects which too many influential people would like to wrap up in a wooly fog and spout authoritarian lies and platitudes.
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The War We Never Fought
The War We Never Fought by Peter Hitchens (Hardcover - 27 Sep 2012)
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