Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Davos' Dispatches 2007

National Review Managing Editor Jay Nordlinger visits Davos every year for the World Economic Forum and his daily dispatches are always worth the time. Below are links to the first four with a teaser quote from each.

Jan 29 - Part IV

I ask him (Mahmoud Abbas) about that Palestinian state along the ’67 borders: Will Palestinians accept that state, or will they regard it as a prelude to more? In other words, will the bulk of Palestinians accept the permanence of Israel? (A prominent Arab journalist groans, clucks, rolls eyes.) Abbas says yes, yes, yes: “We want to live in peace and end the conflict. Just give me the guarantees on the ’67 borders,” and that will be it.

As we so often say, in affairs both personal and societal: We’ll see.

Jan 28 - Part III

from Adnan Pachaci, Iraqi parliamentarian:

“We have inherited a terrible legacy: the culture of violence, the culture of corruption, and also the culture of dependence on government. When I returned [from exile] in 2003, Iraqis said to me, ‘Why isn’t there a government in place? We want the government to tell us what to do.’ I said, ‘I hope there will come a day when you tell the government what it should do.

and Saeb Erekat, senior negotiator Palestinian Authority:

Finally, Erekat makes this highly interesting statement: “I don’t care about the Palestinian cause anymore; I care about Palestinian society” — the very survival and hopefulness of the people.

Jan 25 - Part II

Novelist Paulo Coelho:

In his remarks, Coelho observes that there are only four stories — four types of story: 1) love between two people; 2) love concerning more than two; 3) a struggle; and 4) a journey. Every story we’ve ever encountered, he says, belongs to one or more of those categories. Some of the dinner’s participants try to refute this, or find exceptions, but they cannot.

Jan 24 - Part I

And Paul Wolfowitz, now of the World Bank, is here. Remember what Mark Steyn said about him, when Wolfowitz was in the Pentagon, and the world’s Most Reviled Neocon? He has a name that begins with a scary animal and ends Jewishly.

(Oh, my!)

I should really say something about global warming, Topic Number One at Davos. (emphasis added) In the course of her remarks, Arianna says that there is no more debate over global warming: Everyone agrees that this is a real and perilous phenomenon. The likes of Michael Crichton are seen as kooks, unfit for respectable society.

And I agree with Arianna: Debate has been (largely) shut down (is the way I would put it). And this is not necessarily a positive development.

In my view, global-warming activists scored a big lexical and rhetorical coup when they decided to call skeptics, or opponents, “deniers” — paralleling with “Holocaust deniers.” As it happens, there are real deniers — Holocaust deniers — in Tehran, who, even as they deny the first Holocaust, are fervently vowing a second. This is a genuine threat, right on our doorstep, and all the world, it seems, is wringing its hands over “climate change.”

And wouldn’t it be a shame if all dissent and questioning on global warming were crushed? If skeptics or challengers were excluded entirely from the conversation? Surely global-warming activists have enough confidence in their position to mix it up with critics now and then.

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