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Showing posts from January 22, 2009

The audacity of pragmatism

Business Times - 23 Jan 2009


The audacity of pragmatism

Obama's inaugural address lacked flourish but revealed an important part of his nature

SEVERAL veteran Washington hands who had been around when John F Kennedy delivered his inaugural address in 1961 ('Let the word go forth . . . that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans') and who have studied other famous addresses - Abraham Lincoln ('With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds . . .'), Franklin Delano Roosevelt ('So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself . . .') and Ronald Reagan ('Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.') - have been complaining of a certain let down after watching Barack Obama give his address.

'It was a downer,'…

Gaza Post-Mortem: A Pyrrhic Victory

I agree with most of Meron Benvenisti's conclusions:Despite the revulsion from the operation, one cannot ignore the fact that Israel scored a victory and demonstrated the futility of continuing the Palestinian resistance. Now the Israelis will have to wrestle with the spoils of this victory, with millions of beaten and mourning Palestinians living under a totalitarian, discriminatory regime and with a world that does not reconcile itself to insane violence. A small minority of ashamed Israelis sadly contemplate that stage of the national movement, the one that at its inception embodied so many lofty ideals. A pyrrhic victory indeed.(read the rest)