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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
HariWatch III

Thanks to Sean Fear for pointing me to this enjoyable thread in which Johann is thoroughly slapped around* - and deservedly - by those better informed than he, after he stoops to describing British soldiers and policemen in Northern Ireland as terrorists like the IRA, and compares post-war Ulster to an apartheid state. Anyone who has witnessed the events of the last week and can still not see the difference between an armed terror group and the lawful armed forces of a democratic nation is severely ethically deficient.

For most of the time I have read Johann Hari, I thought of him as a typical smug young liberal. In fact, after reading an interview recently, I discovered he has long suffered deep depression - which he interestingly appears to link to his atheism. It's hard not to recall G. K. Chesterton's words: "When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything." Johann Hari certainly represents that well. He appears to move effortlessly from one wacky, radical cause to another to fill this void: from anti-'transphobia' to opening the floodgates to release the huge majority of prisoners.

But none has yet been as filthy as the cause of Irish Republican fascism that Sinn Fein-IRA represents. Hari rightly excoriates those in the press like John Pilger and Tariq Ali who support terrorism in Iraq. But the majority of Iraqis at least make clear they want British and American troops to leave their country, preferring instead independence. What's the IRA's excuse? Or rather, what is Johann Hari's, besides the fact that Iraq is distant enough to allow him to indulge his fanciful humanitarian internationalism?

Well, a pat on the back from me for your concern for Iraqis, Johann. But next time please spare a thought for literally thousands of men, women and children closer to home; those who have been bombed, shot, kneecapped and mutilated by the terrorist vermin to whom you compare this country's soldiers and police, who earn a fraction of your salary defending you from them and guarding your freedom.

* Well done to the excellent Tangled Web blog for that.

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