FREE MINDS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST

Friday, August 22, 2003

Held in low esteem
My friend Chibli Mallat is being excoriated for a clause he wrote in a commentary in today's Daily Star on the bombing against UN headquarters in Baghdad. Chibli wrote: "I promised de Mello to write to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whom I hold in high esteem, about the usefulness of a UN role, and I did."

Evidently, his holding Wolfowitz in "high esteem" was too much for some. Alas, I cannot out Chibli's private correspondence, which simply proves that academics are monumentally petty people, but I do take perverse pleasure in seeing that the ideological divide on Iraq is as sharp as a knife--and that Western intellectuals especially are impaling themselves on it.

It's a Zuleika Dobson moment: mass suicide by different ideological suitors, and the river is filling with bodies. Oh well, at least Saddam is gone.

For a PDF view of today's Star opinion page, go here.

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