I like to joke that I am never wrong, then correct myself: oops, yes I was wrong once, that was on March 25, 2008, around ten in the morning. Nonsense, of course. But I do want to say, however arrogant it may appear, that I have been generally right in my political predictions. The point is not to assume a peculiar form of dispensation, but to show that being right requires only a little practice.
Here are just three examples.
1. Terror. Returning to London from a literary symposium at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in mid-June 2005, I entered the Tube station at King’s Cross on the Piccadilly Line and immediately saw that this would be an ideal place for Islamic terrorists to strike. Considering the growing Islamization of the U.K., the atmosphere of threat, the wariness of authorities to move against Islamic supremacism or even to name it, the proliferation of terror preaching imams at radical mosques, and the fact that a heavily trafficked, unsecured public transport site is a perfect venue for urban mayhem, King’s Cross seemed an obvious target. I wrote as much in the then-in-progress manuscript of The Big Lie. The attack occurred shortly afterward, on July 7, 2005. My editor Malcolm Lester had me cancel the passage prior to publication lest readers assume I had inserted it retroactively to surreptitiously affirm my prescience.
2. Obama. I wrote to my Jewish friends — some of them prominent figures in literature and journalism who were ecstatic over candidate Obama’s comforting July 23, 2008 Sderot address to the Israeli people — that the man was not to be trusted and would assuredly go back on his word. Although he was riding a wave of popularity and goodwill, I predicted that despite his syrupy phrases and consoling manner he would eventually show his true colors as Israel’s devoted enemy and would do everything he possibly could to harm the Jewish state. All that was needed to arrive at this conclusion was a modicum of research into Obama’s history, his mentorship by Marxists and Muslims reflexively sympathetic to the Palestinian victimhood narrative, and a close reading of body language and exaggerated inflection. My colleagues were amused and not a few disturbed by my evident cynicism. “Israel has a true friend in Obama,” one well-known commentator opined. To another I wrote: “Nothing this fellow says can be believed, not a single syllable. He is a liar from the womb. How can you not see that?” His reply was to accuse me of advanced paranoia.