Earlier this week I posted about the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. Responses to that post on the blog and on Twitter have been instructive to say the least.
It showed that, unlike most bloggers, I can no longer just squeeze out any old brain-fart and expect what has become an established readership to just deal with it. That sort of mentality is clearly good enough for the Leader of the Federal Opposition (and his Giggle Squad in the press gallery) but, having flailed professional journalists for not doing the background work necessary on such an issue I am defenceless to the usual barbs of "don't know what you're talking about".
My parents were great admirers of Plucky Little Israel and I absorbed that. When I first became interested in politics I just assumed that the political problem of Israel and its neighbours was an intractable one, but then I thought the same about communism. When Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and after the Oslo Accords when Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat almost all of what he wanted for a Palestinian state only to have it rejected, I gave up on following Israel's troubles with Palestine and other countries in the region. It represented another failure for moderate, transactional politics, which I regarded then (and now) as the harbinger of dark times politically. I hadn't really paid much attention to the politics of the region since - unless you count the so-called "Arab Spring", which doesn't really relate to Israel anyway.
This doesn't mean I'm now knee-jerk anti-Israel, far from it. Over at the other post in the comments section I've attempted to give some nuance to my views and how they've changed. I'm not sure that the debacle in Iraq means that all cries of "Wolf!" (or, to use the old libertarian scenario, the cry of "Fire!" in a theatre) are to be derided and dismissed. I'm still biased against the Iranian regime, but I still don't have a cogent response to the bush-lawyers of "international law". You can see I have a way to go.
Say what you will about my appalling ignorance of Middle Eastern politics, and the degree to which I've been sucked into facile propaganda, etc, etc. When you're done with piling on, dare to gainsay the following statement: my knowledge of Middle Eastern politics today is well above that of the average member of the Australian Parliament, including some who've copped a junket there.
Now I'm doing a lot of reading about Israel and its place in the Middle East. As with any other issue I can say that there's a lot of good stuff and a great deal of crap out there. I'm not out to reinforce any biases because that hasn't done me much good. Doubt that I'll be flying too many more kites as I have with this issue, and I will stick to the core business of Politically Homeless: the inadequacy of the conservative response to a time of great change, and the apparent death-wish of the Australian media in refusing to address the changes to its own environment and the stuff which they presume report to us.
Update: Yes, I have seen this.