Posts About England
When Random House and other big publishers drop controversial novels, they forget their responsibility to defend our open society.
An attack on the publisher of a controversial new novel on Islam threatens all of us.
Think China buying up the world’s resources is threatening? Get used to it.
Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has done much to ingratiate itself with the West, sometimes at the expense of its own pride and national interests. It went along with the West in dismantling former Yugoslavia. Britain would have received more cooperation on the Litvinenko case if they had opted for friendly persuasion and mutual respect.
Russia's law should dictate the answer to this question. But there is another question behind the one asked: "Should the Brits ask the Russian authorities to hand over the man accused by them of assassinating the ex-KGB agent?" I am not sure the answer is yes. Why would a British court be more objective, or do more justice?
London has no problems that are entirely London’s alone. Neither has New York, Paris, Berlin, Budapest or any other city. My daughter lives in London, so my view of this situation is somewhat emotional. Yet I worry not just for her but for all of us. How can we be so short-sighted to make our own existence so insecure?
Car bombing has developed as a unique weapon of desperation in the hands, mostly, of Islamic extremists. We have not seen it in East Asian cities, which have more homogeneous populations than London and strict standards of public security. But is this phenomenon a result of Iraq? The bombings do seem to extend outwards from there...
The bombs in London make me no less and no more safe where I live. We have had enough violence and bloodshed not to be moved by the discovery of what appear to be amateurish attempts at bomb-making. I am afraid that the tranquility the West has enjoyed will not remain a permanent condition.
Blair should push for a Marshall Plan for the Palestinian Authority, to demonstrate to the Palestinian people that the Quartet's efforts will improve their lives. Hamas and other radical groups have used Islamic charity funds to win impoverished hearts and minds through economics. Western funds must be tapped to provide a real alternative.
Tony Blair has left behind a series of unfinished political initiatives in the UK. Many Britons believe that he was a prime minister in love with media attention rather than serious substantive policies. His record on Iraq will be his biggest obstacle as envoy. He will need to overcome a resume of attention-grabbing tactics and focus on real strategy.
The first thing Tony Blair should do is rethink the whole concept of a "Mideast envoy." What the job needs most now is not a mediator but a truth-teller. The struggle for peace is no longer between Israelis and Palestinians. It is against the jihadi axis (Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Syria and Iran) that wants to block peace at all cost.
Blair should consider the lessons of his successful peace-making efforts in Northern Ireland and the failures of the Quartet's efforts to date in the Middle East, and re-launch a peace-making effort that includes all the principal parties in the talks. If Blair does convert to Catholicism, he should also remember the church's dictate on repentance.
Britain knighted Salman Rushdie like many British citizens before him, honored for their service to Britain. Protesting this internal affair is like protesting against granting British citizenship to Rushdie, or to any other individual. Rushdie is not the first and will definitely not be the last writer with a Muslim name to be accused of blasphemy.
This opening of old wounds is a desperate attempt to polarize communities. It is simply a bad idea -- be it honoring Rushdie or promoting the violent ideas of bin Laden. Both are misguided efforts rooted in an aimless desire for more violence. Few have read Rushdie's book, and equally few have read Khomeini's fatwa.
Personally, I find all knighthoods needlessly provocative. But if my country is foolish enough to continue to hand them out, I cannot see why Salman Rushdie should be disqualified. Britain waited 18 years after Iran issued its fatwa against him before knighting Rushdie. Calling that needlessly provocative is more than ridiculous.
There is no reason for Muslims to take personal offense to this gesture, which has been given to a variety of personalities from many nations. The problem with Muslim fundamentalism is that it demands submission to its zealotry. By insisting that we yield to their "sensitivity," they seek to impose their values on nonbelievers.
What a good boy Tony is! After 10 years, he has waited until his last days at Downing Street to vent his rage at the press. Mistrust, contempt and one-upmanship are common and neutral between power and the press. That, at least, is much healthier than cronyism. The press may be punished, but can never be eliminated.
I agree with Tony Blair about the news media. But I disagree very strongly with his omission of issues that are far more important than the ones he raises: ownership of the media, the decline in readership and the difficulty of covering the costs of producing serious and authoritative news in a very changed world.
Look who’s talking about sensationalism. Someone should remind Tony Blair that it was not the media but his government that “sexed up” intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- famously known as the September Dossier -- to stir up support for a war against the non-existent danger posed by Saddam Hussein.
Certainly, journalists do not have the high moral standards of today's politicians. How could they have the indignity to reveal Blair's cover-up of bribery in arms deals with Saudi Arabia? They couldn't even take a hint and keep quiet about Blair's lies on Iraq. How sensational! Even The Economist stooped to such lows. As a practicing beast myself, I understand his outrage.