A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

04 July 2007

Another Freedom to Celebrate

Alan Johnson is released by the efforts of Hamas. Whom the Bushies hate so much that they subverted the fragile Palestinian democracy to try and oust them from power.

I generally think Hamas are dorks for their refusal to try for a two-state solution. But I also believe that they were democratically elected, and being so can change a radical party, I think. If softening your approach can get you more votes, and the trappings of power are still attractive, then you may just find a taste for negotiation rather than war. Of course the Bush administration stands out as a foul example of how that can go wrong, too. Anyone remember "compassionate conservatism"?

If Britain had continued to treat the IRA as criminals rather than a legitimate political force in Ireland, would there be peace in Ireland now?


At 1:48 p.m., Anonymous Philipa said...

Good post with difficult questions Metro. I'm pleased Johnston is free.

At 2:30 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Not especially original, sorry to admit. The Economist, left-wing rag that it is, commented that the Bush administration needs to engage in productive talks with an endless parade of like regimes, including Kim Jong Il's--where diplomacy appears to have temporarily worked, and Iran's, where it's unclear.

Of course this does not suit the Bushies, because in their monochrome ideology "you're either with us or against us".

And Democracy means never having to say either "we're sorry, we were wrong, and we apologise" or "Let's talk."

I'm not certain I'm one of us, but I know I'm not one of them ...

At 2:40 a.m., Anonymous Philipa said...

Ah, funny you should mention The Economist - I saw Jesse Norman in a debate (yes, that debate) and learned that he'd written a book about Compassionate Conservatism (details here) and has answered some criticism about it (listed, same link) and I have to say I've not read the book but certainly was impressed with Jesse - he doesn't make it sound half bad..

At 7:25 a.m., Blogger Metro said...


I see nothing wrong with the idea of compassion, nor of conservatism.

But the Bush-ian combining of those two words refers to something that is neither compassionate nor conservative.

Sullivan's assessment is correct: "What the Conservatives need now is not re-branding but an actual philosophical and policy basis for action."

That is, a complete reworking of the philosophy that has come to dominate modern conservatism, particularly that in the American form.

Until US conservatism, as expressed in the Republican party, reclaims its ethos, it is fit only for the dung heap.

At 3:51 p.m., Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I love how the US is always saying it wants to spread democracy throughout the world blah x3, yet when a legitimately elected government comes in, like Hamas, they get all huffy!

At 5:07 a.m., Anonymous Philipa said...

Good points.
I'm not sure anyone actually knows what the Conservative party in the Uk stands for any more.

At 2:55 p.m., Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonsoir M Metro

I also a glad Mr Johnson is free, but

Num - Are you a Kommunist

This seems to be the Marxist doktrine of the False Equivalent

Were the IRA a legitimate force of Freedom Fighters

... or were they a Bunch of Murderers legitimising their Protection Rackets by the pretence of Gaelic Nationalism ... robbery etc is one way of paying their mortgages or seeking a career path for non-educatinal achievers

--- or were many of them Paranoid Psychopaths, using an out=dated 19th Century to pretend respectability for their appalling Atrocities & Bestialities

Alles Gute

Der Graue Adler

At 1:40 a.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

But who ever said that the sane and the reasonable were effective change agents? Certainly change wasn't brought in, say, South Africa, until things threatened to become universally deranged.

Also: who says they're peace in Ireland, or that the British ever cared about that? They cared about peace in London, and they achieved that. The death rate in Belfast has decreased, but attacks are still a given. And I say that as someone who just answered a quiz stating that I'd vote for Sinn Fein if I had the chance.

At 11:48 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Herr Adler:

Whatever the IRA started out as, and whatever they became, they were a force, and they had to be reckoned with.

They were an un-uniformed force dealing in terrorism. However, with the advent of Sinn Fein, a legal outlet for otherwise illegal sentiment and a path to something more civilized, the inportance of "The Cause" diminished, and thus also did that of the IRA.

If we take as read that most of Israel's neighbours tacitly recognize the necessity of dealing with the situation on the ground in realpolitik time, then we are concerned mostly with the radical 10% or so.

Since the political party claiming to represent the 10% was democratically elected, the civilized nations should have sat them down at the table and tried to explain that the cost of power was a more concessionary attitude.

Instead, the US blustered and threatened before the elections, and squeezed off Palestine's supply of money after.

Thus sacrificing realpolitik to ideology.


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