"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The history that suits you

Dear Madam,

The central feature Iraq war as spelled out by Kevin Myers (28/7/05) is that "The US-led coalition is only present in that country by the invitation and legal authorisation of the democratically elected government there." For the sake of historical accuracy and in order to frame the debate in its true context, it might have been helpful for Mr. Myers to add: The democratic government, elected under the coalition authorities rule and under the watch of an occupying force which is/was known to be hostile to many Iraqis and present in that country only by ignoring the rule of International Law.

Yours sincerely,

An Irishman's Diary
by Kevin Myers

"Extremist Muslims' belief that their way is right and everyone else is wrong and is immoral is the same as that of the twisted Christian fundamentalists who have bombed gay venues in Atlanta and London, who seek to ban gay parades in Belfast. . ." So wrote Morgan Carpenter to this newspaper the other day, writes Kevin Myers.

I'm not sure whether Morgan is a man or a woman, and it matters only in the pronoun that s/he uses. But is s/he serious? Does s/he really believe that an attempt to ban a gay parade in Belfast is the same as murdering 50 people in London, 200 in Madrid and 3,000 in New York? Because - speaking for myself, that is; Morgan might have different opinions on this - I think I'd rather be simply banned from walking down a street on a particular day than be blown to pieces all over it at any time.

Moreover, one cannot reasonably compare one isolated bombing at a gay bar in Atlanta in 1997 by a lunatic (who also bombed an abortion clinic in Alabama) or the isolated bombing of another gay bar in London in 1999, with two dead, by another lunatic, with the worldwide explosion of genocidal hate in recent years. Or can s/he? It's hard to say. Given the culture of moral equivalence which has swept through our bien-pensant classes, in which a perceived insult to one's sexuality registers pretty much the same on the offensiveness scale as a railway carriage full of dead bodies, who knows?

continued... The Irish Times