Mario Vargas Llosa, a writer I’ve had the great honor of meeting, wrote two Sundays ago (link in Spanish)
Con la misma claridad con que en otras ocasiones he aplaudido a Holanda por las reformas que ha sido un país pionero en llevar a la práctica –la eutanasia, la discriminalización de las drogas y el matrimonio gay– dejo sentada mi desilusión por esta rendición vergonzosa del gobierno y la opinión pública de un país democrático ante el chantaje del fanatismo terrorista.
With the same clarity that I applauded the Netherlands in the past when it was a pioneer in allowing euthanasia, legalising drugs and institutionalising gay marriage, I am disillusioned by the disgraceful surrendering of a government and the public opinion of a democratic country to the blackmail of terrorist fanaticism.
Brussels Journal comments,
Perhaps Vargas Llosa should ask himself whether the moral relativism of the Dutch, which led to the euthanasia, free drug consumption and gay marriage he applauds, might not have caused the disgraceful attitude of appeasement towards fanatics.
(both links via Gateway Pundit). In Vargas Llosa’s defense, I must add he also said in the same article that when he met Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
le agradecí que hubiera expresado con tanta coherencia y de manera tan persuasiva lo que yo siempre he creído: que toda ‘identidad’ colectiva –nacionalista, racista, cultural o religiosa– no es otra cosa que un campo de concentración donde desaparecen la soberanía y la libertad de los individuos.
I thanked her for expressing with such coherence and so persuasively what I’ve always believed, that any collective “identity” — nationalist, racist, cultural, or religious — is nothing other than a concentration camp where the individual’s sovereignty and liberty disappear.
Reynolds, like Coulter, is an author. In his recent book “An Army of Davids,” he argues that the thousands of bloggers out there are supplanting the despised MSM. That may be so, though as a member of the MSM I certainly hope not. But I for one think the style of writing employed by Coulter and the many lawyer-writer-bloggers out there, though amusing, is limited.
Compare Coulter or Reynolds, for example, to the great political humorist P.J. O’Rourke, who made a career out of visiting and understanding places before writing about them. If O’Rourke wanted to take on the Jersey Girls, he would do so with a sentence so wittily constructed that even their supporters would laugh.
This new breed of right-wing wannabes epitomized by Coulter is not up to that level. And all of their flailings at the mainstream media fail spectacularly in pointing out the true mistakes and biases of the journalistic establishment.
I’m not sure if Paul hasn’t figured out that Coulter is not a blogger, Reynolds is not a social satirist, and O’Rourke (at least to the best of my knowledge) isn’t a lawyer or a blogger, or maybe it’s a case of apples or oranges and all that.
Paul forgets the Rathergate mess — and other similar instances — when he believes that bloggers’ “flailings at the mainstream media fail spectacularly in pointing out the true mistakes and biases of the journalistic establishment”. From the days of Drudge outing the Monica scandal, the true mistakes are there to be unveiled by the blogs: For as long as a member of the MSM treats Dickspeak as evidence, bloggers will post on it. The genie’s out of the bottle, Paul.
But never mind that. I agree with Paul when he says the following,
Anyone can travel to a war zone and write about it. I would strongly recommend this for any of the critics of the MSM who are seeking to get out the real truth about Iraq. Go for it, guys.
Which brings me to three other writers I’d love to meet, the three Michaels in the sidebar: Michael Fumento, Michael Totten, and Michael Yon. And let’s not forget Bill Roggio. Those bloggers have gone for it, and written about it. And as far as I know, only one of them is a lawyer.
Vargas Llosa did go to Iraq early during the war and wrote a fascinating book everyone should read, Diario de Iraq.
Now, if only Vargas Llosa would blog . . .