Monday, March 22, 2004

Fairly Busy Evening

Lots of blogs visited - including the (to our eyes) oddly hyphenated Anti-Podean Journal, which has some interesting posts on New Zealand politics and has been kind enough to link to us - but not much to blog about, beyond recommending the following:

(1) Via Marcus at Harry’s Place, this editorial from the Scotsman, which reviews what would be very likely to be happening now in Iraq if there had been no war, and concludes as follows:

“A poll of Iraqis last week indicated that the majority of them believe life in their country has improved compared with a year ago. Let theirs be the final verdict.”

If only the anti-war loudmouths, who claim so unconvincingly to be democrats, could accept that anyone’s verdict but their own, on any subject, was final ...

(2) This response to the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the “spiritual leader” - or, more aptly, the “Godfather” - of Hamas, in which Oliver Kamm rightly criticises both Jack Straw and Javier Solana, and points to the terrible and unenviable tasks that would face any Israeli government, not just the present one.
Do we need to add that we do not support the present Israeli government, and would very much like to see it replaced by a more congenial one? Do we also need to add that the choice is up to Israeli voters, not to anyone else? The fact that it even occurs to us that such statements of the obvious may be necessary, in order to forestall misinterpretation, is itself a sad commentary on the state of the current “debate” about Israel, in which basic facts about its liberal democratic polity and the serious threats to its very existence - and the lives of most of its citizens, Jewish and Arab - are deliberately obscured by unrelenting and hysterical rhetoric that exaggerates the crimes committed in its name (and, yes, some of them are crimes) in order to misrepresent it as a fascist or racist state far worse than any of its enemies.

(3) Following on from our post yesterday about British universities, this column by Professor John Sutherland, who teaches English at University College, London, in which he tells the sad story of one former student who fell through the cracks in the system, but also suggests, plausibly, that those cracks are beginning to be filled.

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