I think I'll put all my political and so on posts as cuts, so anyone who doesn't want to deal with me on those topics, perhaps to preserve friendships or their simple Friends list morning pleasantness can avoid them easily.
Ok, I suspected there might be some political bias in my Government prof when he referred to the current US president as "The Cowboy" three times in 10 minutes on my first (his second) day of class. Maybe he just likes Doonesbury. I can't hold that against anyone. Of course, last semester I asked that government prof "If the Soviets weren't supporting the Nicaraguans, where did those MiGs come from? Were they grown on expropriated banana plantations?" That was a little harsh of me.
Anyway, back to the book. The title of my class is Arab-Israeli Politics, which is of course a fraught subject. Since I arrived in town late, I'm a bit behind in my reading, so I decided I'd do some catching up today. Principle assignment: "How Israel was Won" by Baylis Thomas. I look through the table of contents and introduction and decide "Ok, this looks like a general Israel is Evil book, I'm used to reading that perspective." I'm certainly familiar with dozens of arguments that believe to prove it. Anyway, I start reading. I quickly come to a part where is mentions that after long provocation "Arafat, a schoolboy in the 1948 war, organized the Fatah movement for excursions into Israel."
I need to dig up the Chronicle of Higher Education which has the work on Arafat by one of his biographers that I think would refute the first part, or at least give me a source for same.
But it's the second half of that sentence that really bothers me. Excursions bring to mind picnics, in my mind. Whether you call them Freedom Fighters, Guerillas, Terrorists, whatever, the Fatah activities were not picnics. Incursions, attacks, direct action... The world has dozens of words to describe what they were doing, forged in the revolutions and decolonization of the past sixty years. But excursion to me represents a direct denial of reality, an unwillingness to admit what was actually going on, or that perhaps the side the author chooses to favor could be less than innocent and perfect.
So I'm going back to my biography of the Percys, which is interesting, less objectionable, and could benefit a great deal from some charts, better maps, family trees that led me to care who the members were, etc.