Tag Archives: Bill Kirkman

In Conversation With A Well-Known Author: A Discussion On Future Of West Asia With Bill Kirkman

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!



Not much has changed in Middle East since my last conversation with Bill Kirkman in 2006. Israel and Palestine relations continue to remain tense even as US has given way to tactical shift in its policies aimed at bringing stability in that region. It has become more people oriented than relying absolutely on state-to-state negotiations.

Obama’s words make that aspect very clear– “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see…..Look to the future that you want for your own children – a future in which a Jewish, democratic state is protected and accepted, for this time and for all time. … There will be many voices that say this change is not possible. But remember this: Israel is the most powerful country in this region. Israel has the unshakeable support of the most powerful country in the world. Israel has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be.” 

It would be interesting to know the views which flowed between us as we discussed this very sensitive issue seven years back.

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My Viewpoint:

This has reference to Bill Kirkman’s article A war that is morally indefensible published in The Hindu on August 06, 2006. Well, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers by the Hamas and brutal murder of some of its soldiers by Hizballah were enough to fan the suppressed desires of Israeli. It’s time to acknowledge the fact that in war both the sides end up as losers. Let’s not intercept it as clash of civilization but clash of religious ideologies. However, it’s a harsh reality that none of the religious ideologies advocate violence but the fallacious interpretation of them by their followers leads to volcanic atmosphere. A situation which is cashed-in-on by the US and its like-minded allies to serve their vested interests. Unless the followers come to elevate their consciousness, it would be nothing sort of foolhardiness to expect miraculous changes in the future. 

President Bush must heed to the words of Churchill: ” The statesman who yields to war fever ….is no longer the master of policy but the slave of  unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” Surely, the way events have taken shape in Iraq, shattering American hopes one after another, should be enough for the US to intercept the dangers in pursuing imperialist designs in the name of restoration of human rights. 

However, Americans love to ignore the lessons offered by past debacle. Had US remembered setback it received in Vietnam, it would have certainly curtailed its habit of pulling the strings of weaker nation on one pretext or another.

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Words Of Bill Kirkman: 

Thank you for writing. I was interested in your comments. I agree that in war both sides end up as losers. I take a very gloomy view of the future of West Asia.

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About Bill Kirkman: 

” He began his career as a journalist on the Wolverhampton Express & Star, which he joined on graduating from Oxford. Bill then moved on to The Times, where he was Africa Correspondent and Commonwealth Staff Correspondent in the early 1960s, covering the period of rapid de-colonisation. He is the author of Unscrambling an Empire (Chatto & Windus 1966) and has been a columnist for The Hindu since 1994. He was a frequent broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Africa Service in the 1960s, and with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the 1990s. In 1983 Bill was awarded the MBE for services to journalism…..Bill was Head of the University Careers Service from his arrival in Cambridge in 1968 until 1992 (following four years as Careers Advisor at Oxford) and University Advisor on Public Relations 1992-1996.” 

Source: Wolfson College Cambridge

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A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

Suggested Reading:

Bill Kirkman: A war that is morally indefensible; The Hindu, Aug 06, 2006.

Max Fisher: How Obama just reframed the Israel-Palestine conflict;  The Washington Post, March 21, 2013.

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