Honour and greatness are two words that should signify the two of the loftier ideals in the achievements of men. Honour though, along with what it brings in baggage, is a word that seems to have gone out of fashion. To call anyone honourable, let alone a professional sportsperson, these days almost consigns them to a bygone age; it is not something sportspeople strive to be known for any longer. And yet it should be!
Yesterday, as Denmark took on Finland at the Covid-delayed 2020 European Champs, the Danish star, Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field and needed immediate and…
After his sensational Tour de France win in 2019 I couldn’t imagine anyone else getting close to Egan Bernal, the diminutive Colombian climber, for the next few years, such was the depth and manner of his victory.
He was young, only 22 at the time, and he surely had the cycling world at his feet!
Or so I thought. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that.
But then in 2020 it all fell apart. He was outpaced, out ridden and, in the end, dropped out, as another sensation, 21 year old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar trampled his countryman, Primoz Roglic…
I don’t think I’m giving anything away if I say that Anne Applebaum, in the final pages of ‘Twilight of Democracy’ (1) suggests that the future of democracy could go either way; it could go well, or it could go badly wrong!
Democracy has always been a fragile entity; open to misuse, exploitation by bad or extremist actors, and most of all perhaps by failure, a basic inability to live up to its own ideals.
‘…there is and always will be only one state between the river and the sea and (they, the Israelis & Palestinians, should) focus their efforts on making that state a viable home for all of the territory’s inhabitants, Jews and Arabs alike.’
This slightly edited quote above is from a 2019 Foreign Affairs article by Yousef Munayyar in which he suggests that a one state solution for Palestine and Israel is now the only viable or even possible option moving forward.
Since that was written much has happened in the region. So, in the midst of yet another flare-up of…
The horrors and bloodshed occurring yet again in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank between the Israelis and the Palestinians have not lost any of their shock value. Time after time we have witnessed this multi-generational struggle tip over into conflict with deaths on both sides, but invariably and perhaps predictably, the brunt always being borne by Palestinian civilians.
Ilan Pappe, the Israeli historian and long time critic of his countries policies towards the Palestinians, says that since the turn of the century successive governments have made no attempt to hide ‘their racist ideology’ vis a vis their treatment and…
In his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Looming Tower (1) Lawrence Wright tells how a crucial miscalculation by US commanders not to reinforce ground forces in November 2001 as they launched the first thunderous attacks on Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s fortified cave in the Afghan White Mountains, allowed bin Laden and a vital part of his entourage to escape across the border and into hiding in the Tribal Regions of Pakistan.