View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, July 14, 2003

A win over the Andrew Wilkies of the world is one thing. We can't forget that institutions matter. Oxfam is British-based food-aid NGO. Feeding starving people is nice, a good thing to do. (Letting in genetically-modified grains, or donating to these guys, so that the people in question could feed themselves would be better, but then all those staffers at Oxfam might have to find real jobs.) For some reason, Oxfam Belgium seems to think that putting Israeli fruit farmers out of business is somehow going to further this end.

Belgium has just passed a change to their notorious war-crimes legislation, requiring plaintiffs to actually be Belgian residents or citizen before presuming to conscript the Belgian courts into their pet causes. Belgium is the home to NATO headquarters, EU headquarters, and a sense of bigoted self-righteousness that has developed primarily from being a highway for German troops on their way to Paris. Created as a buffer to prevent Franco-German wars, Belgium has apparently decided that "neutrality" equates with "moral superiority." Oxfam Belgium has apparently decided that "moral superiority" equates with "greater brutality." Belgium, having been saved twice from becoming part of Greater Brutality, would probably think differently if there were actually a price to be paid for this moral blurriness. Sadly, Oxfam Belgium's sole export seems to be hatred and anti-Semitism, which most Americans have the sense to boycott already.

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