A.J. Johnstone's Essays

I have always been fascinated with the drama of history and international politics, and I have always admired the approach of The Economist newsmagazine: their careful analyses are impartial, they provide enough background information that novices to a story can grasp the issues involved, yet the depth of their comments provides food for thought for even the parties involved in the story, and their writers commonly suggests constructive solutions to the issues that they cover. In a world so filled with problems, it seems to me that if more people made serious efforts to offer some solutions, at least some of these problems might be resolved. My ideas may be simplistic or naive, but if some small part of even one of these proposed solutions inspires some reader to find a better solution, then my idle hobby is worthwhile. It was with this model in mind that I returned to school to pursue a career in journalism. During the course of my B.A. degree, however, I was seduced by computers and the larger paycheques of the high tech sector. This section keeps alive my interest in international relations and the theories that attempt to understand the forces that drive these events. These pages are my forum for expressing my ideas in these areas:

  • An Arab-Israeli Peace Plan, 2nd ed. PDF—Oct. 3, 2003—This is my second attempt to devise a plan that will bring security and prosperity to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, protect and provide access to the holy sites in the region, and provide economic opportunity for all. Perhaps this effort will allow me to put this obsession aside.
  • The Roots and Legacy of Gaullism in Canada—Aug. 9, 2002—In the sixties, a convergence of interests between France and Québec led to a diplomatic dispute with Ottawa. The political agendas that were developed then continue to influence today's events, both in Europe, throughout the world, and in Canada.
  • Perception, Paradigms and Prejudice—Aug. 6, 2002—People tend to view prejudice as an evil philosophy, but if prejudice is caused by something more basic and more universal, then we may fail to recognise many prejudices, and our efforts to combat it may be doomed to failure.