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December 18, 2011


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the 'recruiting sergeant' argument [i like the british spelling] was simultaneously a moot point and a red herring - the fact is hitchens and sullivan were both suckered by the bush/cheney talk about 'freedom'- their outrage had something overwrought and disengenuous about it -
meanwhile havel has died - not the greatest of playwrights he nevertheless saw the opportunity to rewrite the playbook on contemporary moral courage - and he took it - with no showboating or playacting -
amidst all the eulogies from colleagues and friends of the grandstander hitchens i hope some of them will take time to devote a line or two to one of the real heroes of our time - a shyer man but no less a lover of life -
the dalai lama was by to see havel last week - and according to the photo i saw it was the dalai lama who bowed his head in respect -

James Hamilton

I must confess that when Freedland says this:

"What he does not consider is that his opponents might be just as repelled by jihadism, just as determined to defeat it, as he is—and yet, in good faith, believe that Bush’s tactics would not weaken the bin Ladenist enemy, but strengthen it"

I really struggle to remember anyone putting the argument who I would describe as "just as repelled by jihadism". Certainly, none of the main protagonists. The loudest voices wanted the jihadists names written against the stars. (Obviously, the second half of the paragraph - the idea that Bush's policies would only bolster the enemy - was a common trope and in that Freedland is quite correct).

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