December 27, 2003

More Israel History

I returned The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs to the library today, after a few days of cramming it into the interstices of all my other holiday activities. This is a five-hour miniseries containing interviews with key figures, when alive, and actual footage from events as they happened.

I was fascinated by this documentary, and came away with an even greater impression that there is no good side/bad side dichotomy, no absolutes of good and evil. There are in fact some pretty nasty characters on both sides, but the average people on both sides are caught up in a cycle of violence and territoriality which seems to magnify the darker aspects of human nature.

Between this and what I've read so far, I don't really see any resolution to the conflicts in that region of the world during my lifetime. Sure, temporary solutions that seem to be the lasting peace, but nothing that will last several generations. Still, I suppose that's kind of a trite observation, considering how short a time ago the last battles in Europe were fought...

Posted by dpwakefield at 05:34 PM

April 01, 2003


But enough of creating straw men and burning then down with a righteous match.

Neal Pollack

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:22 PM

January 25, 2003

Astroturf Redux

Now we know where the astroturf came from. Via Follow Me Here:

"eager partisans used the [Republican National Committee] site's automated e-mailer this month to spam just about every newspaper in the country with a letter to the editor that begins: 'When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership'. ... nearly 50 papers, including the Boston Globe and the Financial Times, actually ran the thing, each one under the name of a different, and presumably genuine, local author."

Apparently, the RNC site awards points to members for activism that can then be traded in for prizes, from bumper stickers to fleece pullovers. So not exactly astroturfing in the accepted sense of the word, just a clumsy campaign.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:10 AM

January 21, 2003

Astroturfing In Action

Good catch, Rebecca!

Posted by dpwakefield at 06:32 PM