Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Bloggers versus Terrorism’s Useful Idiots

Once again other bloggers have beaten us to it, this time on the latest examples of jaw-droppingly foolish, albeit interestingly varied drivel from David Hirst, Robert Fisk, George Monbiot and John Pilger. We thank Scott Burgess (at The Daily Ablution), Michele (via the same) and Norm Geras for taking the trouble to fisk them, again in interestingly varied ways.
We also thank Norm for alerting us to this article by Andrew Anthony, which serves to show, first, that not everyone who opposed the war in Iraq was a fool and, second, that the Guardian is not entirely given over to appeasers and apologists. (If we’ve sometimes given a contrary impression, on either of these points, that’s because we’ve sometimes received a contrary impression. No doubt we should try harder to heed the advice of Grandma in The Catherine Tate Show: “Fackin’ chill aht!”)
Still ... the weather’s getting better, Mahler’s Fifth is on our CD player, and we have work to do and nothing else to blog about. There’s also the depressing consideration that many times more readers will come across the work of the five journalists we’ve mentioned than will ever see the online writings of the three bloggers. It’s especially at times like this, and on issues like this - so important that they seem to need commenting on, so enormous that no comment will affect them - that we find ourselves thinking, again, about blogging and the wider world. Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from a comment placed by Nick at 4 Glengate on one of his own posts (though we’d replace “political activity” and “politics” with just “life”):

“... please don’t assume that this blog is the only, or even the most important, aspect of my political activity. It’s not, it’s among the least important - it’s a place to let off steam and discuss things that don’t have a forum in practical day-to-day politics. And it means I get to debate with people on the other side of the world, which is cool, and a privilege that previous generations of socialists couldn't have dreamed of. But it’s still only a blog. The real world is somewhere else.”

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