Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: October 2005

Israel accused of 'road apartheid' in West Bank

Sadly, this isn't very surprising. I know why Israel feels it has a moral imperative to commit such actions -- they want to prevent any means that Palestinian militants can use to attack Israelis -- but since these actions are usually at the expense of innocent Palestinians, there's really no morality there. Conservative Israelis need to sit down and think about what their government is really doing, what their attitudes and behaviour are fostering, and what the bigger picture really looks like -- and they have to go first, if they need a moral imperative so badly. Only then can we ever get to a path which leads to the disappearance of Hamas and their ilk, and the birth of a free Palestine co-existing with Israel for mutual benefit. #link


Missing in Action

Out for a walk this morning with the iPod, I was listening to a recent episode of On The Media which just happened to feature a short interview with former war correspondent Richard Gizbert, who was — allegedly — fired by ABC News for his refusal to cover the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gizbert is no milquetoast; a veteran of warzones in Somalia, Rwanda and Chechnya, he merely decided that he’d done his bit, and chose his family and well being over the story and the danger that comes with it.
It’s ironic how I listened to this programme just hours before The Guardian confimed that its Baghdad correspondent Rory Carroll is missing, presumably kidnapped. (BBC News has some more information.) Aside from being shot in crossfire or caught in a road bombing, it’s the worst case scenario for any warzone journalist; it’s the kind of situation that no doubt prompted Gizbert’s decision.
As a Guardian reader familiar with Carroll’s work (particularly his vivid dispatches from South Africa during his previous posting) there’s a visceral kick to news like this, something only compounded by learning that he’s a fellow Irishman, who worked his way up through the ranks like any other journalist. A decade ago he was likely where myself and my classmates are right now. I can even see one of my collegues following his path someday. I can picture this same thing happening to one of my friends, and it gives me a chill down my spine.
I don’t know Rory Carroll but, in a weird way, I feel like I should. Right now, however, I can’t do much but wish for his safe return and hope he’ll get through this unscathed.
Update 20/10: The Guardian has announced that Rory Carroll was freed and is apparently unharmed. Tomorrow’s paper I’m sure will have more on the story; he’s not the only person connected to the Saddam Hussein trial who’s been kidnapped this week, after all.


The Observer on the Muji phenomenon

This is a great article. I'm a fan; Muji just happens to manifest my preferred design aesthetic. And besides, their branch in Dublin is the only place where I could find a plain black pencil case. #link


Visual Editors

They could do with some help on their own page layout. Can you say 'irony'? #link


National Geographic's WildCam Africa

Real-time video from a watering hole in Botswana, and the single coolest thing I've found online this year. I've only been watching for ten minutes and I've already seen an ostrich, an elephant and a crocodile having lunch! Oh boy! #link