Monday, June 26, 2006

There is something to be said for reading the first few chapters in the book shop, before purchase

Tariq Ali (who considers himself a leftist) might like to know that when I bought his book "Bush in Babylon" I was looking forward to something really good, but I threw it down and didn't bother reading past the intro when he started on with his anti-Zionist crap. And Phyllis Chesler (who also considers herself a leftist) might like to know that when I bought her book "The new anti-semitism" I was looking forward to something that might reflect what I felt when I tossed Tariq's book into the "read later - maybe next century" corner. But I threw her book down too, when she started on about being a proud American. At about the first page. I did pick it up again though, and persevere. And she certainly had some things to write which I would agree are saliant points, although her American bias was a turn-off. Perhaps I may pick up Tariq Ali's book again although his mania, Jungvolk, Jugend and anti-Zionism are certainly off-putting.

Sooner or later I'll get around to reading Andrew Wilkie's "Axis of deceit", but I shouldn't promise myself it will be any more edifying. Especially after I just finished Rod Barton's "The weapons detectives" in which Rod Barton, a weapons detective, remains puzzled up until almost the last minute when the American and United Kingdom leaderships are making public statements about weapons of mass destruction which do not match up with the intelligence he is writing for them. It's a thriller alright. Right at the very point when it's nearly too late and after thousands of Iraqis have already been imprisoned, tortured and killed and after a colleague of Barton's has died in circumstances that somewhat might suggest assassination, Rod Barton comes out of the shadows and declares "we went to war on a lie". I read the whole thing.

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