About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Sadly, only Sharon could have done it
On the other hand, one feels a sense of (belated) justice in the Israeli government finally seeing the foolishness and arrogance of its multi-decade attempt to force Palestinians out of their land. Billions of unwisely spent dollars (some of which paid up by American taxtpayers) are going to be buried by bulldozers, and rightly so.
But the most ironic thing of them all is that the man who finally had the "courage" of orchestrating all of this, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is also the same person who was instrumental in pushing the Israeli government to start the settlement to begin with. Moreover, it is astonishing that it is this man, who in some quarters is known as "the butcher of Sabra & Shatila" (from the name of two Palestinian villages in Beirut were people were killed and raped by Israeli troops under Sharon's command) who will finally bring some justice and balance to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Let us hope he won't get nominated for the Peace Nobel Prize!)
Why did it take someone like Sharon? Because, for all the clamor on the Israeli extreme right, they really can't argue that he is a soft-hearted liberal! Had a liberal government attempted this, it would have never worked because it would have rallied all of the opposition in a strong unified front. But as it is, the Israeli right is too divided about their own leader, and progress is being made.
I wonder what that tells us about human reason (or lack thereof), and more importantly national and international politics. Perhaps we need a figure like Sharon in the White House to pass a national health reform? Hmm, anybody can suggest a candidate I can vote for in 2008?