Friday, January 25, 2008

Marko tries to be dignified, but trips on the mat

Keen students of decency will get a good deal of pleasure from Marko Attila Hoare's spirited assault on Splintered Sunrise and all those who link to him. As it happens, my view of the former Yugoslavia is much closer to Marko's than it is to Splintered's. Given that, my toleration of Splintered, on the grounds of his wit and style, must brand me forever, in Marko's eyes, as a moral degenerate of the worst kind. A brief taster of Marko's denunciation:

Splintered Sunrise is not a serious blogger. He uses words like ‘Stalinophobic’ [in the comments] and ‘imperialised’. The meaning of ‘Stalinophobic’ is all too self-evident; ‘imperialised’ apparently means ‘made subordinate to imperialism’. No doubt James Joyce would have been proud. He frequently posts titillating pictures of lad-mag models on his blog, which also links to pornographic websites, and he muses on masturbation and female pubic hair. The combination of Red-Brown politics, sleaze and personal nastiness that characterises his site is highly distasteful.

"Not a serious blogger". Surely Mae West herself couldn't have managed such a put-down.

21 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

Good to see "serious" in there.

What does the James Joyce reference mean? Does it mean "an Irish writer who is not as good as James Joyce"?

Re: TFY, I've said before that it was regarding the disintegration of that state, and Western intervention therein, that a lot of the current name-calling kicked off: "you oppose intevention, therefore you are at best an apologist for various horrid things and people". Some of the people who engaged in this activity ought to have known better.

(I was and am an opponent of Western intevention, by the way, and I am known to use the term "the bombing of Yugoslavia", so if Marko or anybody else wishes to apply the rhetorical handcuffs, now's the time to take me away, guv'nor.)

1/25/2008 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger mcgazz said...

Surely Marko meant SS was an 'unserious' blogger?

http://decentpedia.blogspot.com/2007/08/unserious.html

1/25/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Poor old Marko. I was going to say that at least he had some good points about the post itself, but he doesn't, really. He has some good points about the Serbian Radicals, who I'd characterise as a thoroughly evil bunch of bastards; I was a bit shocked by that post by SS* myself, and would have taken him up on it if it wasn't for Rule Two**. But the last thing Splinty ever does is claim the moral high ground - and wittering on about Hitler and Gerry Healy lacks something in persuasive power. And that's without even getting into the Serious Spanking from a Serious Blogger.

I've said before that it was regarding the disintegration of that state, and Western intervention therein, that a lot of the current name-calling kicked off: "you oppose intevention, therefore you are at best an apologist for various horrid things and people"

Yes and no. I was an Eastern Europe geek in the 80s, and I was very much on the same side as Marko when it all went bad in the former FRY. Actually most people on the Left in Britain who had been following Balkan politics were on that side; it was something like a 90/10 split. (It seems to have been much more even in France, for some reason.)

When it became an issue on the broader Left, of course, the split was a bit different - and not only on the grounds of opposing intervention. There were apologists for "Yugoslavia" on the Left; it was argued that Milosevic's Yugoslavia was the linear continuation of Tito's FRY, or that it was a socialist state, or that it should be supported for its staunch resistance to imperialism. The anti-war movement was very different in that sense from the anti-Iraq war movement, which focused much more tightly on questions about the war itself ('is it legal?', 'will it make things better or worse?', 'has the British state got any right to do this?')

But I think you're basically right about the Kosova conflict being the cradle of Decency. Personally I haven't budged at all on the local shibboleths (like "how do you spell Kosovo?" or "when did Yugoslavia cease to exist?"), but I have changed my mind about the importance of international law; yes, there are genuinely bad things going on which are also opposed by Western imperialism***, but no, that doesn't mean Western imperialism has either the right or the ability to sort them out (even assuming it has the desire, which is debatable in itself). Marko seems to have drawn the opposite lesson - there are genuinely bad things going on which are also opposed by Western imperialism, so... Wa-hey! Go Western imperialism!

* Surely no coincidence!
** "Don't even mention Yugoslavia."
*** At a certain point in time. Western imperialism was perfectly happy to do business with Milosevic in its time; see also Noriega, Saddam Hussein, etc, etc.

1/25/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger The Exile said...

I crossed swords briefly with this character over at HP - he suggested that I should be banned for making the quite reasonable comment that Gimlet Kamm was a cockroach. This suggests to me that he is, like his mate, a bit chippy and insecure.

Turning to this posting, I find the notion that this same character should take it upon himself to decide what is, and what is not, serious blogging, a bit risible. He seems to think that anything of which he disapproves falls into the not serious category.

Blogging is many things, but surely anyone who blogs regularly and over an extended period of time is a serious blogger?

1/25/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

There were apologists for "Yugoslavia" on the Left

It's not really being called an apologist for Yugoslavia which was the problem. It was being called an apologist for Milosevic (or "genocide", or "fascism") on the grounds that one did all or any of the following:

a) opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia ;

b) opposed Western military intervention and cast doubt on its motives ;

c) considered the war a multi-sided conflict, even if one didn't consider the guilt equally shared ;

d) spent time casting doubt on some of the claims made by others about the war ;

e) referred to Yugoslavia as Yugoslavia.

In particular (d) was (and is) likely to have one called an apologist for Milosevic, but what is one to do? It's not uncommon in situations of war that one needs to spend time rebutting things that are said about one side or other, even (or especially) if one opposes the accused. "In the long run it does not pay to tell lies", even if those about whom the lies are told are implicated in unspeakable things.

1/25/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Incidentally, I don't think people should be referred to as cockroaches. Everybody goes too far now and then, self included, but it is too far.

(I also seem to remember John Sitton using the phrase about Leyton Orient fans in the celebrated fly-on-the-wall documentary.)

1/25/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger The Exile said...

I didn't call any person a cockroach - the reference was to Gimlet Kamm. The short-arsed little fucker called me a pimp. Now if he had called me a sleaze bag porn merchant he would have been on solid ground, but it annoyed me that he conflated the two trades.

Seriously, he got lippy and had to be put in his place. And the only reason his mate arrived was because Gimlet went running for help.

I have to admit it was all a very good laugh...

1/25/2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I note that Marko is a member of the Henry Jackson Society, which is named after Henry Jackson, who not only was the Senate's most enthusiastic advocate of Japanese-American internment during WW2, but actually advocated that after the war, the Japanese-Americans should not be allowed to return to their homes, as their loyalty would always be suspect so they should not be allowed to live on the Pacific coast.

Also, there are numerous supporters of the Vietnam War on his blogroll (including Scoop), and a couple of apologists for US policy in South America in the 1970s. So we're none of us as pure as we want to be.

1/25/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Madam Miaow said...

Do these attempted maulings mean Splintered is doing something right?

1/25/2008 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

not necessarily, but the would-be maulers are doing something wrong

1/25/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anti-war movement was very different in that sense from the anti-Iraq war movement, which focused much more tightly on questions about the war itself ('is it legal?', 'will it make things better or worse?', 'has the British state got any right to do this?')

The question of the Iraq war's legality was, and remains, utterly redundant. If France had come on board, delivering the required UNSC vote - would this really have meant all the difference as to how one viewed the invasion?

Of course not - particulalry as France and Russia opposed regime change because they both had massive oil contracts with Iraq and were waiting for the sanctions to be lifted.

As for Kosovo - no one questioned the legality because it was never taken into account. NATO simply bypassed the UN altogether. Can't get much more illegal than that.

Your memory of a "tightly focussed" anti-Iraq war movement is pretty different from the one I remember. Yes, everyone moaned about the "illegal war", and some argued persuasively that things might simply get worse...

But leading the movement from the very start were the same old faces who backed Milosevic. And they made the same old arguments about Imperialism. Only this time the US president was a born again Republican from Texas led by a sinister cabal of people with jewish sounding names.

"Tightly focussed"??? The fact is that the anti-Iraq war movement is as disparate as it gets.

I mean, did you know before this thread that "ejh" was a right wing isolationist whose spiritual home would be anti-war.com?

1/25/2008 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

leading the movement from the very start were the same old faces who backed Milosevic. And they made the same old arguments about Imperialism.

I don't have any objection in principle to arguments about imperialism are fine by me. It's the positive arguments in favour of imperialism's enemy of the day that I had trouble with during the Kosova intervention - and there was much less of that at the time of Gulf War II.

"Tightly focussed"??? The fact is that the anti-Iraq war movement is as disparate as it gets.

Yes, it was. It was a highly disparate movement, united only by its focus on a single issue, viz. opposition to the war.

1/25/2008 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ouch, haplography.

I don't have any objection in principle to arguments about imperialism; arguments about imperialism are fine by me.

Could we have some kind of identification, anonymous? It's useful to have some clue where the person one's arguing with is coming from, most of all in an argument like this.

1/25/2008 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I mean, did you know before this thread that "ejh" was a right wing isolationist whose spiritual home would be anti-war.com?

I beg your pardon?

1/26/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Martin Wisse said...

Heh.

Does this anonymous coward really think innuendo like "a sinister cabal of people with jewish sounding names" wins them any points?

The beauty about the antiwar movement back in 2002/03 was that almost everybody but the professionally deluded could see that the war was going to be a disaster, was based on blatantly false arguments and both illegal and immoral. Didn't matter if you were high Tory or radical SWP.

1/26/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous harry said...

"Tightly focussed"??? The fact is that the anti-Iraq war movement is as disparate as it gets

Which part of the word 'coalition' don't you understand?

1/26/2008 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

The great bulk of the anti-war movement was made up of people like me; Healeyites as in Denis. The whole framing of the Decent Left as in opposition to some bunch of ridiculous plastic gangster Trots nobody outside London has ever heard of is profoundly dishonest, and more ridiculous with every passing day.

Frankly, I was in favour of Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, which for something north of half the Decent Social Register makes me a fascist warmonger (see Greasy Nick passim), and one of the main reasons I was against Iraq was because I thought we were going to lose.

(I note that this puts me in disaccord with most of the Aarowatch gang, but then, them's the breaks.)

Being in favour of "intervention" in the abstract, divorced from the political, ethical, strategic, and logistical specifics, makes as much sense as being in favour of "surgery" in the abstract, divorced from the actual differential diagnosis of the patient; and is likely to be just about as dangerous. I really cannot think of anything more stupid than being "generally" or "intellectually" in favour of interventions per se.

1/27/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous darkhorse said...

"Being in favour of "intervention" in the abstract"

As the Decent vs Indecent brouhaha only really took off with the debates over the invasion of Iraq, surely this is just a method of reframing of the Iraq war argument to general principles, in order to have a slightly more comfortable position to argue from, to avoid uttering the dread four-leter word I**q.

It is safer ground to argue the general, "I am in favour of intervention and you or not" rather than the specific "I was in favour of the invasion of Iraq and you were not", for the obvious reasons.

1/27/2008 02:18:00 PM  
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充氣娃娃|AV|情趣|衣蝶|

G點|性感丁字褲|吊帶襪|丁字褲|無線跳蛋|性感睡衣|

2/01/2010 07:27:00 AM  

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