Wednesday, January 04, 2006

David Aaranovitch

I hope my spelling is write. I have followed this guy's career as a columnist in first the Independent then the Guardian and latterly the Times.

Its tempting to write that I have never ever agreed with anything he has written but of course that is not true.He has written about the rise in anti-semitism and its promotion in many Middle eastern countries. Cannot disagree with him on much of what he says on this issue.

In the run up to the general election when I wanted the "Blairite line" on something I just waited for David to put the message out. I particularly enjoyed his tortuous defence of the council tax. His robust defence of the invasion of Iraq and subsequent events is however slightly painful to observe. His own talents as a writer actually expose the paucity of his arguments rather than concealing it. In a recent attack on fellow columnist Mathew Parris he challenged Mathew and others to admit that nothing would have changed in Iraq, evil things would still be happening under Saddam, 1000s would be dying as a result of sanctions etc. No doubt this is true and I am sure Mathew Parris will have responed far more elequently than I can manage.

The question for David Aaranovitch and others is why was Iraq so special? David and others have abandoned the arguments about WMD and claim that the war was an act of liberation. So why have we not invaded Russia to liberate the people of Chechnya(the few Putin and the Russians have not exterminated that is)? China has a terrible record on human rights but their leaders are feted in Downing Street(and the pages of the Times!). Clearly an invasion of either country is impractical in military terms but surely we could manage to invade the Congo, Sudan Zimbabwe perhaps Burma certainly Syria and if we are after terrorists perhaps Saudi Arabia. There are numerous other countries around the world with atrocities taking place why were they not invaded for their own good?

One of the things I admire about David Aaranovitch is that he admits his personal faults in writing. He was devastatingly honest about battling a weight problem ( and I recognised all the same excuses he trotted out as examples) and admits spending time looking for references to himself on the internet.In this he shows that he is on the same level as the rest of us. If you spot this David perhaps you would leave a comment.....


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