Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Comment Trail:

@ The Spine

@ Solomonia

Worth challenging your reading attention span:

@ Bob's: Balkan history as never seen before

I recently began to read Robert Kaplan's seminal account about that region "Balkan Ghosts" which I intend to finish. I am declaring my intention here by way of committing myself to this task. That is because after I read the first ten pages, I put the book down and so far have not been able to open it again. I used to think that Bin Laden's minions were highly imaginative and innovative in the horrorist brutality they inflict upon their victims (like Daniel Pearl's gruesome fate). I thought they were harking back to a distant medieval past when human beings were not yet, well, conceived as quite human, or better still, not all equally human. I was mistaken. The creativity of the human mind, when it is engorged with hatred and instructed by authoritative leaders, is boundless when it comes to inventing new forms of slaughtering outsiders. I'm referring to this passage, one of the opening scenes with which Kaplan sets up the stage for introducing the reader to the kind of historical ghosts he will be visiting. Do note that this horror took place in 1940, not 1490!

@ Glavin's blog:

Terry continues to demand his scalps (in the unlikely event that some reader might not get the allusion, here is an explanation)

And reports the shocking news about the Afghanistan qwagmire of Confidence, Progress And Optimism :)


At 10:07 AM EST, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

Now the Jews have territory to defend.

Welcome to the real world.

At 10:20 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong."

Benjamin Disraeli

At 11:35 AM EST, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

I dont know what you are on about, but the criticism of Israeli security policies as war crimes and crimes against humanity are the result of now being a majority in a country that claims itself to be Jewish.

Jews now have their own history for which they are responsible for, and no longer are merely victims.

As I said, welcome to the real world. Must be terribly disconcerting for Jews, this new homeland, is a major shift from their long walk in the wilderness worldview. Their Leftwingism doesnt pan out where Israel is concerned. Cognitive dissonance.

At 12:29 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"I dont know what you are on about,"

You have outstayed your welcome on my blog. I suspect you have been chased away from every forum in which you ever participated, so now you abuse the open comments policies on blogs such as Solomonia or mine.

I may delete your comments if you continue to speak about a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the world or if you continue to express delight at the prospect of Israel's destruction. You are insufferable. More suitable companions you can find among your old friends on Delphi. At least one of them would gladly share your views. Why don't you try to become friends with her? Don't come back here unless you are capable of making rational, factually based and well-argued conversation.

At 4:49 AM EST, Blogger bob said...

What did you make of this claim at The Coming Anarchy?:
Sources close to former President Bill Clinton report that the president read the manuscript [of Balkan Ghosts] shortly after publication, greatly influencing his decision not to commit US ground troops to the region in the early 1990s (and only attack with air strikes when the conflict reached a crisis point in the later 1990s). Kaplan’s argument, in a nutshell, is that the peoples of the Balkans have been killing each other for centuries. The logical interpretation is that outsider intervention would do precious little good.

At 7:19 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I saw Kaplan many years ago in an interview with Charlie Rose in which Charlie asked him about this rumour. Kaplan was very vehement in his denial that this was his intention. He said he wanted to make the opposite point, actually, that it was time to insert an outside intervention to put a stop to these kinds of Balkanic atrocities.

You can hear him here, around 16.1 time...


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