This is John Howard's response to the death of Yasser Arafat
"I think history will judge him very harshly for not having seized the
opportunity in the year 2000 to embrace the offer that was very courageously
made by the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, that involved the Israelis
agreeing to about 90 per cent of what the Palestinians wanted."
I hate it when politicians make appeals to this figure of History as final judge and arbitrator! Really and truly, where is this great umpire supposed to be sitting? I wasn't aware that this was a tennis match. I thought teleological views of history were supposed to have died out in the 19th Century. But no, here it is, John Howard has endorsed the view that one day a great Cosmic Arbiter will reach out his giant finger, place it against the globe of the earth to stop it spinning, and then start drawing up tallies of Good and Evil in His Holy Excel Spreadsheet. Though I suppose it's not as absurd as when Bush talked about "the dustbin" of history, as if History were a movie in the making and the Nazis ended up on the cutting room floor.
Why doesn't Howard just come out from the bushes and admit that what he's really
talking about is history, as judged by John Winston Howard
? Oh, that's right, because that would involve the indication of subjective
judgement taking place, and then misguided souls might mistakenly get it into their heads that all
views of these things are political -
and heaven forbid that we become skeptical about this so-called "bi-partisan" blather, intended to stifle debate by pretending that there wasn't ever one happening in the first place...
Is there any place - the T. A. B. perhaps? - where I could place a bet about what Age
columnist and long-time neurotic-about-the-left-winger Gerard Henderson
will devote his next column to? $5 says it's the hypocrisy of the left in mourning Arafat.
Oh, and $10 says that Pamela Bone
's next one mentions Rwanda. I reckon I could nail a trifecta at this rate...