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« The Weakly Standard (4): Schmitt | Main | Sensation; Bush-Blair same-sex marriage in Windsor !! »

The Weakly Standard (3): Spruyt


Mexican Riviera: Tsunami expected end Februari 2006!


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White sands, so virginal, so innocent. Even Jack Abramoff hasn't been here to corrupt the indigenes... But, suddenly, the image is full of busy men (no women). Busying themselves to sell the weakly truth in another setting: With their friends, their clients, their admirers and their groupies. Sailing around in a very American part of the Pacific, just miles from where George Bush, on the 1st of May 2003, proclaimed on a navy ship: "Mission completed!"

Osama bin Laden's sleeping divers' cells will be busy, too, at the end of Februari 2006. One moderate boom!, and... the neocon cabal will be beheaded. A sudden end to the exclusive conversations with your favorite Weekly Standard writers. Hundreds of dollars down the drain.

Is it decent, to enjoy a loveboat cruise, visiting poor Mexican outcast neighborhoods, while tens of thousands GI's wage their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan?
We should see this cruise as a working party. It is a serious effort to keep the course at a crucial crossroads of shifting paradigms.

What do we mean by that?

Let us take a recent article from our favored weekly.

In the December 19 edition, we spotted one of our Dutch acquaintances: Bart-Jan Spruyt. He "leads the Edmund Burke Stichting, a Dutch conservative think tank", says the WS (p. 17) and he writes about Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author, so his article is in the cultural section of the paper. This must be a compromise, for Spruyt is not a litarary critic and his article does not deal with literature, but with Islam and it's threatening entry into Europe. Bart-Jan is against a Turkish membership of the EU, and the American (and neoconservative) policy is very much in favor of it. So, Bart-Jan has an eccentric opinion. Moreover, it is based upon a rejection of Islam as a religion, while an established neocon axiom is just the contrary: any religion is a structuring ethical tool to prevent chaos and loose morals in the popular masses.

Why did the neocon political bureau decide to have this dissenting and lightly irritating opinion, be it in the cultural corner, printed on it's pages? Not because of Spruyt's qualifications as a literary critic. We know him as an excited busybody, "Wichtigtuer" and "touche-à-tout", but au fond, he is only a journalist. Any editorial official at the Weekly Standard would have seen, only reading Spruyt's text, that Spruyt has even not read most of Pamuk's books. Orhan Pamuk, during a long writers' career, produced a series of very various books. A common feature of those texts is an absolute refutation of Bart-Jan's central proposition. Reading Pamuk, one cannot but be impressed by the modernity of Turkish life: Turks enjoy, what Europeans and Americans enjoy; they have problems where we have them too.

The only book Spruyt mentions more than once, is "Snow", a story situated in an isolated city, far away in the North-East of Turkey, where secularists and islamo-fundamentalists struggle with each other. As a modern Turk, Pamuk rejects the corruption and hypocrisy of both contenders. In the good old European novelist tradition, he chooses for the tragic, impossible, relationship between the visitor and an independent woman he meets during the blizzard. More European, you die.

Is Bart-Jan Spruyt perhaps a "must" for the neocon PB, as he is considered "the leader" of the Edund Burke think tank? No, not at all: Spruyt is an employee of the Foundation. The leadership of a Dutch "Stichting" is reserved for the "bestuur", the management. Until recently, this "bestuur" was composed of a typical Dutch assembly of well-known representatives of the different political and cultural composites of the country: former prime minister Van Agt, former Finance minister Ruding (also former ceo of the CitiBank), etq. Some months ago, they resigned all, but for Professor Andreas Kinneging, a former aide to liberal-conservative leader Bolkestein. As far as I know, Kinneging is now the sole member of the "bestuur", and his friend Spruyt is, now that American pharmaceutical concern Pfizer has discontinued it's subsidies, the only employee of the "stichting". A very small "think tank" indeed!

I have no explanation of the enigmatic appearance of jolly Spruyt in the Standard. Is he planning to emigrate to the States? Did the editors tend a pitfall for him, in order to be able to dissociate themselves from this extremist?

Only if some people who plan to participate in the WS-cruise, would agree to put these questions before their favored WS writers, we may get an answer. So, please, if you are preparing your trip on the WS love-boat, contact me, so that we can finetune an intelligent interrogation of our favored writers!

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Reader Comments (1)

Okay, you do that, and I'll back you up.

December 30 | Unregistered Commenterveggiedude

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