Friday, November 05, 2010


The [London] Times Literary Supplement arrives on our doorstep every week, and I use it to make myself expert about books I'll never read. Recently I even had a foray into the Letters to the Editor section, got published, got answered back, all very satisfying.

In a summer issue someone named Sudhir Hazareesingh reviewed Christopher Hitchens' autobiography Hitch-22. The follow-up issue (September 3) just came before my eyes this week, and the Letters page made me smile. Hitchens himself had some darts to shoot at the review of his book, but the prize zinger came from another reader, Gunde Green, hailing from Glenview, Illinois. He [she?] writes:

Sir, – Perhaps Professor Hazareesingh, in his review of Hitch-22, can clarify his comment that:

"Hitchens also shows no sense of nuance or measure when it comes to Islam: he has no conceptual apparatus to make sense of Islam’s complexity and diversity, as well as the very real potential of its democratic incarnation . . . ."

Is this in reference to Islamic beheadings, stonings or hand amputations?

Nyah nyah nyah nyah!

(I think it's my first)

Apparently the rumors of a 34-ship escort for the President's Indian safari have been greatly exaggerated. Okee-fine. Point taken. [The story about the coconut disarmament, however, was absolutely true.]

The more important point to be made is that Mr. Obama has danced and dallied and Israel-bashed his way through an excursion to a country whose relationship with the United States was brought into magnificent bloom by President George W. Bush in a way which has been far misunderestimated and under-appreciated (and under-reported) in the public and media mind.

But this relationship has actually deteriorated since 2008, due to the current President's neglect of America's friends, even as he bows and scrapes to her enemies -- one of the prime examples (England is another) of Obama's rank failure to do as he promised, that is, to boost the world's regard for the United States.

How's that hope and change working for everybody?