A primrose path of error
Since I'm here, Alex Massie's response to neo-con Bill Kristol's departure from the NYT was good too.
Update Fri 30 5:00 pm. The point I'm trying to make here is this: the Spectator publishes blogs by Clive Davis and Melanie Phillips. If you subscribe to the RSS feed, you get both. I can't see what David T is complaining about. It's not like the Speccy can be accused of one-sided Israel-bashing. The perfect example of this has arrived. Mad Mel, last Thursday on Geert Wilders: "So the inevitable has now come about in the teetering civilisation of Europe, and it has happened first in the Netherlands. One of the supposedly most liberal societies on the planet wants to criminalise someone for telling the truth." (She quotes the Beeb too; presumably they can be trusted ... sometimes.) Clive Davis is more of a link blogger; his Geert Wilders post today is just a link to and quote from Ian Buruma:
Whether Mr. Wilders has deliberately insulted Muslim people is for the judges to decide. But for a man who calls for a ban on the Koran to act as the champion of free speech is a bit rich...
The lawsuit against Mr. Wilders has been hailed in the Netherlands as a good thing for democracy. I am not so sure. It makes him look more important than he should be. In fact, the response of Dutch Muslims to his film last year was exemplary: most said nothing at all. And when a small Dutch Muslim TV station offered to broadcast the film, after all other stations had refused, the grand champion of free speech resolutely turned the offer down.
I think Buruma understands civilisation and democracy a lot better than Phillips does. We've discussed Buruma before. He has good enemies: Paul Berman and Nick Cohen. Nick hates Buruma for actually trying to engage Ayaan Hirsi Ali in debate as if she were a public intellectual or something rather than a figurehead.