Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bad Road Ride

I found a new book, "THE ROUTES OF MAN How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover, reviewed in the WashPost and spotted this paragraph:-

These first two chapters of "The Routes of Man" are the only ones in which construction of a new road is the central issue. In the others, Conover travels the highway in Kenya and Uganda, running from Mombasa through Nairobi and on to Kampala, that is thought to have been where the AIDS virus initially was transported and where it is still an appalling reality of daily life; he passes through the Israeli checkpoints on the West Bank, where "roads have shaped up as a principal battleground"; he takes a week-long auto tour in China with members of one of that country's many "car clubs"; and he hangs around with an ambulance crew in the incredibly dangerous Nigerian city of Lagos.

The author himself sets out his writing thus:

"In this book I present six . . . roads that are reshaping the world. I do it by joining up with people on them -- travelers to whom they matter in an immediate and practical way. The roads are presented roughly in order of increasing complexity, which is also the intentional order in which I traveled them over the past several years. Each has a theme: development vs. the environment, isolation vs. progress, military occupation, transmission of disease, social transformation, and the future of the city."

Well, since the roads through Judea and Samaria (hint: WB) are quite dangerous due to Arab terror and Arab driving proclivities and their curves are by themselves a world wonder, and the reviewer seems not to have been alerted to that from his review, am I to conclude that the author blames the checkpoints rather than the real reason they are there in place?

Judge (from the publisher's blurb):

In the West Bank, he monitors highway checkpoints with Israeli soldiers and then passes through them with Palestinians, witnessing the injustices and danger borne by both sides.

I would suggest to any of his readers that they try traveling the roads with us, the Jewish residents, and avoid stones through windshields, molotov cocktails and the drive-by shootings. Get a feel of it.

I went to his site and found several photographs in a slideshow and one indeed have an army jeeps after a firebomb attack that failed. However, the security barrier is a "separation barrier" and besides roads, Conover gets involved in IDF T-shirts and driveways.

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