maandag 25 augustus 2008

The Independent over Bernard-Henri Lévy

The Americans have sent blankets and the Estonians doctors, but it is the French, surely, who have come to the rescue of South Ossetia's people, with their offer to send nouveau philosophe Bernard-Henri Lévy.
One of a brigade of intellectuals dispatched from Paris, Lévy has made quite an impression at the Tbilisi Marriott, where he is ensconced with an entourage of personal cameraman, photographer, publicist and bodyguard.
"It's not too difficult to spot them," says a fellow guest. "They are all loafing around in the foyer puffing clouds of smoke, and gesticulating meaningfully. BHL is in his element going around in a crumpled white shirt, hair coiffed into a sort of wind tunnel effect, and reeking of perfume." Pressed as to his purpose in entering the war zone, Lévy stresses his visit wasn't mere tokenism. "I am an involved intellectual," he insists. "I came because I think the stakes are huge."
It isn't, in fact, the first time that he has engaged in international diplomacy. As well as positioning himself as a key negotiator in the Bosnian conflict, Lévy recently travelled to Darfur.
Perhaps it is his experience with grim detail of warfare that has helped him look on the bright side.
"There is one not-so-bad thing to come out of this conflict," he notes philosophically. "And that is that Georgia is now on the map."

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