A steadying influence

by Chris Bertram on August 9, 2005

Christopher Hitchens in Slate “asks”:http://slate.msn.com/id/2124157/ :

bq. Isn’t there a single drop of solidarity and compassion left over for the people of Iraq, after three decades of tyranny, war, and sanctions and now an assault from the vilest movement on the face of the planet?

Needless to say there isn’t a mention of the fact that they wouldn’t be under assault from “the vilest movement on the face of the planet”, nor would that movement be as strong as it presently is, but for the policy that Hitchens and his co-thinkers promoted in the first place. Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice at first, but Hitchens doesn’t believe that since he claims:

bq. Bad as Iraq may look now, it is nothing to what it would have become without the steadying influence of coalition forces. None of the many blunders in postwar planning make any essential difference to that conclusion. Indeed, by drawing attention to the ruined condition of the Iraqi society and its infrastructure, they serve to reinforce the point.

The “steadying influence of coalition forces” …..

PledgeBank (again)

by Chris Bertram on August 9, 2005

I posted before about “PledgeBank”:http://www.pledgebank.com/ and, specifically, about Nicola’s pledge (see also “accompanying blog”:http://justonepercent.blogspot.com/ ) for people to donate 1 per cent of their income to charity. Sadly, the first version of that pledge failed to attract the 400 pledgers needed. So she “relaunched it with a target of 100”:http://www.pledgebank.com/onepercent . With just under a couple a weeks to got she is 32 short, so come on CT readers, get pledging and help Nicola to succeed this time!

Hugo winners announced

by John Quiggin on August 9, 2005

The Hugo award for best novel went to “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel” by Susanna Clarke, beating a strong field. Charles Stross, whose Iron Sunrise was also a contender, took out the best novella prize for The Concrete Jungle. And I’ll be surprised if we don’t see Ian McDonald, Iain M. Banks and China Miéville among future winners of the award.