Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Gone Fishin'

Another day draws to a close, and so I open up Blogger and think about what to write. Well, for one thing, I won't be updating tomorrow! I know, you're probably as upset as I am, but there it is. I've been offered a two week position as an administrative assistant with a university department (running residential careers workshops for second year post-graduate students) and there will be no internet access pretty much throughout the duration.

Tomorrow I'm actually helping in that department, and then I'm as normal on Friday, but for Monday to Thursday next week and Monday to Wednesday (at least) of the week after I'm effectively persona non internetis as the old Latin phrase goes. noisms and I are looking into some workaround, so that I'll write something in advance and he'll post it in my name, but I just didn't have time to get anything prepared for tomorrow. I'm hoping to get things so that there will be material for at least three posts between next Monday and Thursday, and then definitely one on the Friday, so let's be hopeful, yes?

Of course, the great news today was the release of journalist Alan Johnston, after nearly four months I was beginning to think that perhaps he was going to become another casualty of the senseless conflicts in the Middle East (yes, senseless - there doesn't seem much sense in people on either side of the struggles who say they want peace but act by picking up a gun). And from all of the talk that certain groups in the region are saying, maybe his release is an all round positive step forward for the future stability of the region.

I hope so.

It's good to see that something brilliant like this has been recognized today, but the cynic in me is already wondering about what the next ridiculous news story will be that rises up (I'm thinking celebrities in jail, celebrities being stupid, Big Brother, you know, the usual rubbish) and completely takes over top stories and headlines...


hellmarx said...

"...the senseless conflicts in the Middle East (yes, senseless - there doesn't seem much sense in people on either side of the struggles who say they want peace but act by picking up a gun)..."
I've actually stopped commenting on this kind of stuff, which is - frankly - just saying nothing! Lack of analysis of the political situation, of war dynamics, you're basically saying that in any kind of violent conflict both sides are equally guilty cause none of them is willing to give up! But there's no chance for defense against suicide bombers and kassam-missiles with flowers....

noisms said...

I have to agree with hellmarx. It's all very well saying that conflicts in the Middle East are "senseless", but it's equivalent to denying the people there any intelligence or wisdom - you're effectively accusing them of having no sense, which most of them quite plainly do have.

Israel certainly has a right - a duty, in fact - to defend its own citizens against terrorist attack. Often the only way to defend against the type of terrorism Israel faces is to use force. It is entitled to do this by law, and it is in no way "senseless".

Likewise, most Palestinian terrorist organizations use force to achieve certain goals - the creation of a Palestinian state in the case of Fatah, or the destruction of Israel in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah. Their actions are the opposite of senseless (however distasteful I might find them).

Just telling people in a bitter war that they ought to just "have more sense and act for peace" might make you feel nice, but it means nothing to the actual conflict. A real solution will involve much more practical methods than saying "just put down your guns".