June 27, 2007

When a lame-duck draft dodger pardoned a major crook and fugitive— along with his very own drug dealing half brother— American public opinion was righteously outraged. It was par for the course for Bill Clinton, but at least he didn’t saddle the country with anything worse than having to put up with a ghastly person like Mark Rich walking freely around in polite society. His buddy Tony Blair has done better. Even lamer than Clinton was when he handed out the pardons, old Tone has burdened this country with a nice “high representative” who will decide when and if the British Lion will roar. How’s that for a long goodbye?

Mind you, it’s not as bad as it sounds. What they actually decided down Brussels way was to help Europe speak with one voice, creating a more powerful EU foreign policy. This way Uncle Sam can speak to somebody who speaks for Europe, and give orders to one person instead of many. Uncle Sam, after all, has been confused of late, and as he’s getting on in years, we Europeans have to help him out. Hence internal distractions are out, one voice, that of Brussels, is in. Bravo, Tony. You kept your most lethal thrust for last. Now it’s up to Gordon the Illegitimate to figure it out. And I thought Greek politics was a joke.

And speaking of jokes, they sure are eyeless in Gaza nowadays. The struggle between Hamas and Fatah is not a fight between good and bad guys, but a fight to the death between bad guys only. The struggle is over money, moolah and guns which Mr. Elliott Abrams, a convicted perjurer, has been funnelling to Fatah ever since Hamas won a legit election 15 months ago. Abrams is head of the Middle East desk at the State Department and an ardent Zionist. Last time he snuck arms to people it was for a good cause, the Contras in Nicaragua. His plan for Gaza was to empower Fatah in order to refuse the handover of real power to the electoral winner. In cahoots with Israel, his plan has been a resounding success. The fact that Gaza will now become an international base for global jihad is immaterial. What Abrams’s father-in-law, old Poddy, (Norman Podhoretz) says goes.

Following Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, there was a window of opportunity to turn that miserable place into a Middle East Macao, or even Hong Kong. That was James Wolfensohn’s plan, the ex World Bank honcho. He acquired greenhouses Israeli settlers had abandoned and offered them to the Palestinians. For a brief moment it worked. Flowers, fruit and vegetables for export were being produced until Israel sealed the border and everything went to waste. Issues of security were the excuse. Some were legit, most of them were not. End of story. And in came Abrams with guns and money.

What I find incredible is that there are still people around who wonder why the Middle East is up in flames. Andrew Alexander explained it very well last Friday. 90 years ago Britain initiated a policy of providing a Jewish homeland in Palestine — on predominantly Arab lands. Then Israel was created on land that supposedly belonged half to the Arabs and half to the Jews. But not for the first time, the Jews took a bigger slice. After beating back the Arabs in four wars, Israel now controls the West Bank, the Holy Sites and the Gaza Strip. We Greeks lost Constantinople in 1453, and as late as 1922 were still trying to get our lands back. (We failed miserably but got Onassis and many other good Greeks to move to the mainland). So I ask you, dear readers: Why are people surprised and bored by the fact that only ninety years on Arabs are still smarting over the seizure of their lands? I know I am stating my facts rather plainly, but plain facts are real facts, not propagandistic bull.

But on to less depressing subjects. Like Princess Di and those making millions from her life and death. I recently reviewed Tina Brown’s opus on Diana for the Standard. I gave Tina an A for research and regurgitation of unfounded gossip most likely invented by so called royal correspondents, and a D for originality. One thing is for sure. She deserves the millions she will make because rehashing a life covered ad nauseam by the tabloids would have scared even Hercules away. Now I read a review of the book in The New Yorker which is the kind I would give to something written by my children. The reviewer, one John Lanchester, obviously doesn’t know a lot about the subject. Just what he read in Tina’s book. He still thinks there’s a chance Diana’s life and death will push the Windsors off the throne. Everything is possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

If you want a great read instead of such crap, try Blood Rock, the latest thriller-historical novel by James Jackson. I will not spoil it for you. Just try it, because although it takes place five hundred years ago, it is relevant as hell today.     

The Spectator.  (Photo found at www.backingblair.co.uk.)


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