Thursday, February 24, 2005

Happy Fun WorldTM?

Dr Clam said:
Not relevant to this post at all, of course, but isn't all the most recent news from Israel/Gaza, Syria/Lebanon, and Australia-Japan/Iraq just bluebird-on-my-shoulder top-of-the-morning excellent? Happy Fun WorldTM, here we come!

Well, yes, it is very exciting that Australia is going in just when Iraq needs some Country like ours with extremely good hearts and minds credentials. I also think that 450 of our soldiers is worth at least 1400 of the Dutch soldiers we are replacing - with the extra benefit of being a third of the possible targets.

I'm not sure what good things are happening in Syria/Lebanon except for the recent assassination meaning that the US will feel more empowered to snoop around and crack down on Syria's activities? I'll have to look at Syria more closely - it is a critical country in my Game theory model as the most likely spoiler entity of Israel-Palestine diplomacy. As far as Israel/Gaza is concerned, there are some positive signs, but as far as the overall issue all the current activites are "posturing" for possible advantage when there is a possibility of peace in a future with subdued spoiling entities. Of course I'm happy with Israel getting any advantage in that respect (eg. connecting settlements their side of the wall etc.) because they are inherently more capable of moral and magnanimous behaviour than either the neo-state of palestine or the neighbouring Arab influences.

As far as the overall Israeli-palestine model goes, the "spoilers" definitely want the Iraq conflict contained in Iraq, while Israel (and Palestine) would gain advantage if the conflict spread to Syria and/or Iran in a way which the US could control the money flow to terrorist organisations attacking Israel, as this would create the possibility of Abbas controlling *all* militant factions in Israel.


Dr. Clam said...

In Syria/Lebanon, I was thinking of the 'people power' multipartisan response to Hariri's assassination- and also I guess the way that the EU and US seem to be in complete harmony on ending the Syrian occupation now. And it is only fair for me to admit that the news from Aceh also seems to be very good. :)

How can we get Androoo to pay attention to your blog, do you think?

Anonymous said...

I pay attention, but I don't want to post. Because my position is frequently more or less diametrically opposed to to one or both of yours but *not as strong*, in order to engage in debate, I would need to firstly develop stronger-felt opinions, and secondly, make sure I log all my sources of information.

It's just too much hard work. Besides that, I really hate being disagreeable, and I worry that robust debates will affect our friendships in ways I don't want them to.


Dr. Clam said...

I think that as individual short-lived human beings we have a limited amount of time to figure out where we are and what we are doing, and where we ought to be and what we ought to be doing. I think we need all the help we can get to do this, and resent every minute in which I must talk about trivialities instead. We all need flaws in our logic to be pointed out, because of our tremendous human capacity for not noticing the obvious. (By 'we all' and 'our' I mean 'me' and 'mine' of course...)
Thus, I would urge you to make being more disagreeable a major part of your Five Year Plan for 40 year-old Andrew. I am confident that greater understanding of the basic assumptions that mould your worldview can only strengthen our friendship. Or do you think your basic assumptions are so different from ours that we may as well be different species? That would be a valid reason to stay quiet. I don't mind being thought of as a sort of lemur.

Andrew Shellshear said...

Three arguments against.

First, I don't care *enough* about these subjects to want to debate them (I do care about them, but not as much as you). Topics I care more about include science, the environment, and the arts, particularly literature, music, and film. I would be more likely to join in on these topics of discussion.

Second, broadly speaking, we have "clearing the air" versus "picking at sores". There are *some areas* in which we have fundamentally different viewpoints, and in which it would take an enormous amount of debate to resolve our differences, if it were possible to do so at all. See also: "Land War In Asia".

Third, I already feel much too guilty about not doing the things I ought to be doing. I don't want to start a new thing that will suck up even more time and energy.