Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Thursday, January 13, 2005
Nazi IRA man's statue beheaded. All that headline lacks to achieve perfection is mention of royalty. ("The theme of the party ... was Colonials and Natives." Tasteful. Very tasteful.)

I don't really approve of the destruction of the statue, little as I think Nazi IRA Guy Sean Russell deserves to be commemorated by anything more that a disdainful line in the history books. But how often does one get the chance to use the word "iconoclast" literally? Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre saw the opportunity, and took it.

It is a little unfair of the Times to call Russell part of the "the legacy of its [the Irish Republic's] neutrality during the Second World War". De Valera cannot be blamed for Russell. Part of Russell's mission was to overthrow De Valera. I suppose the Times could have meant that the erection of a statue to this ally of Hitler's was a thing that needed to be confronted.

De Valera's visit to the German Embassy to sign Hitler's condolences book, that was a bit of neutrality that needed confronting.

Incidentally, note the quote from Robert Fisk. In 1983 he wrote a book called "In Time of War" about Ireland, north and south, during World War II. I read some of it at someone else's house; I seem to remember it was a quite good historical work, respected by reviewers. And now he has the honour of being specifically exempted from attack by Bin Laden. Bin Laden thinks it's OK to kill Iraqi and American civilians en masse and behead aid workers, but not acceptable to harm Robert Fisk. [ADDED LATER: this isn't because he has a soft spot for blokes called Robert. It's because of Robert Fisk's favourable coverage of him.] The treason of the clerks indeed. Someone ought to do a comparative study of the descents into self-created hells of Fisk and another once-respected historian, David Irving. Irving is a fan of Fisk's ("the bravest journalist of the year")* but not vice versa.

*You google.