I’ve long wanted one of those black-on-red Che Guevara posters but with Brent Scowcroft’s bald head in place of the windswept Argentine’s. This hero of mine was never honoured in such vivid style. And even in Washington, that Valhalla of statues, most still standing, he is unlikely to have a monument.

Obituaries of the aide to four presidents, who died earlier in August, describe a career of radical prudence. He helped to winkle the last US troops out of Saigon. He discouraged Western triumphalism as the Berlin Wall fell. He advised friends against the invasion of Iraq. And all of this as a man of the Right. It was a life spent averting and undoing the mistakes of true believers, to vastly more resentment than thanks.

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