Monday, July 16, 2007

New Statesman July 16th

The cover of this New Statesman (July 16th) attends to both Chavez and Campbell. In a week of too-much Campbell there's an interesting piece by Martin Bright and Chris Ames focussed on the 'nucelar timelines' element of the infamous Dossier and they provide a detailed concordance that shows the much-denied political interference. John Kampfner reviews the book.

Alice O'Keefe is rather critical of Chavez: 'From hero is tyrant' is the subtitle and it comes with a picture from an esqualidos demo with a vast red Chavez como el diablo head. The story is one of polarization, the tome is critical of Chavez -'power-crazed' and sympathetic to the opposition, especially over RCTV. O'Keefe says 70% of the population oppose the closure of RCTV (which is presented in simplified terms that distorts the issue). There are hints about the significance of the role of the military. A Harvard 'conflict resolution specialist'William Urry is quoted on the symptoms of an incipient civil war. Hmmm, I was expecting the New Statesman to be much more friendly to Chavez than this! The extensive comments are pretty polarised, but not that illuminating. On balance the critics (i.e Chavez defenders) have it, but I think 'wrong' is a better charge than 'biased'.

Rageh Omaar reports on the 'Battle for Pakistan's Soul' after the military assault on the Lal Masjid and its extensive death-toll. Impressive piece, prognosis poor.

Shiraz Maher on 'How we can rid Britain of violent extremism', which arges that 'the general culture of extreme Islamist dissent can, and often does, give rise to terrorism itself.' Maher (who has come to fame through his friendship with the failed Glasgow suicide-bombers Bilal Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed via Hizb ut-Tahrir) wants a challenge to the general ideology of radical Islamicism.

And in a Radio column Andrew Billen writes rather positively about George Galloway on TalkSport.



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