Thursday, December 22, 2005

Terror and Tranquility

I was out having a jar with one of the new crop of Irish Times journalists last night. I wouldn't necessarily agree with him on many things, but he's nothing as lazy or complacent as some others on the opinion pages.

My own personal favourite is Tony Kinsella, whose qualifications or experience for gracing the pages of our national paper of record seem obscure, apart from being a old mucker of O'Foole.

Other than the juvenile piece of google vomit Post Washington published this year - which, to be fair to Fintan O'Toole, seems to have had little input from him, judging by the difference between it and his previous books - Kinsella has appeared from time to time to stoke complacency and spread cliche, as in this piece on the risks of terrorism.

Mark Steyn, who may or may not have lost his space in the Irish Times as well, highlights an interesting contrast that had not occured to me before:

...they like to mock Bush, Cheney, Rummy and co as the real terrorists – the ones determined to maintain America in a state of “terror”. Oddly enough, this was how the left chose to live during the Cold War, when the no-nukes crowd expected Armageddon any minute: fear of the phenomenon sold a gazillion posters, plays, books, films and LPs with big scary mushroom clouds on the cover. When nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, progressive opinion was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom and the handful of us who survived would be walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now anyone with a few thousand bucks and an unlisted Islamabad number in his Rolodex can get a nuke, and the left is positively blasé.