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Defenders of democracy
On July 29th, 1998, in the midst of Oslo-era optimism, Yasir Arafat made a speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference's Jerusalem Committee in Morocco which roughly translates as "We shall continue to act against the settlement onslaught...to save holy Jerusalem from the Judaizing monster...Israel has started the war over Jerusalem...but with Arab and Islamic assistance, this shall be our faithful jihad--to defend holy Jerusalem from the danger of Judaization and the Zionist plot."
On October 21, 1996, at a rally near Bethlehem, Arafat said: "We know only one word, jihad, jihad, jihad. Whoever does not like it can drink from the Dead Sea or from the Sea of Gaza."
Both of these speeches were in Arabic, and were in sharp contrast to the language being used in English. Sadly, the phenomenon of concilliatory and democratic language in English coinciding with the language of war and domination in Arabic is not unknown and was not limited to Arafat. If anything, it is becoming more prevalent as militant segments of the Middle East learn that they can get the sympathy of journalists in the UK.
Similarly, another group in the UK dedicated to imposing their will on others have begun using the language of democracy to justify why they should be allowed to subjugate and terrorise others. Yes, that's right, dear readers. In just a few hours, the smoking ban will come in on the other side of the bridge, and, listening to the smoking lobby, you'd think the Government was introducing detention without charge or was introducing a system whereby people could be jailed without committing crimes (ASBOs, if anyone missed the reference).
Yes, dear readers. Smokers are democratic martyrs. Having their right to smoke stripped from them. They are concerned with freedom. A smoker is no longer just someone indulging a chemical dependency. Someone with scant regard for others. A smoker is now engaging in resistance protecting our liberties.
This is why I really shouldn't indulge in satire when the mood strikes me. I imagined I was really being funny. I didn't realise that people would use similar speeches to promote smoking. Or maybe I did, and just felt like linking to those two entries...
So, anyway, here's my suggestion to any smoker who feels victimised by not being able to poison themselve with cigarettes in pubs: Nicotine Patches. Or gum. Or maybe try quitting. But, as someone who hates going to a pub and having my eyes sting, my throat scratch and my clothes and hair stink, I will not be a source of much sympathy. You'll get more than a suicide bomber gets from me though.
Comment from davide
Don't Worry.. Be happy!
I'm calm and happy. They can bleat all they want. They lost. No amount of democratic language is going to detract from the one, simple fact. They lost. They are no longer able to poison my air in an enclosed space solely in the pursuit of their pleasure. They lost.
And the world can only be a better place for it.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.