Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nice catch

A bit of boilerplate anti-Guevara from Aaronovitch in the Times. He may have had some heroic qualities, but he executed people in cold blood ... etc. etc. Ditto the IRA, ditt Baader-Meinhof. Really, Oliver Kamm himself could have written this (but with some obscure latinisms I suppose.) However, Danny Morrison (Belfast) in the comments (yes, that one I suppose) reminds us that Aaro is more forgiving of extra-judicial killings when the perps are the British state:

“it was pretty much inevitable that some security force personnel would be tempted to use loyalist terror groups as a shadowy proxy … yet we are contemplating imprisoning the policemen who were trying – albeit illegally – to stop the terror?”

Update, by bruschettaboy: and indeed, who can forget some of Aaro's more stunning pieces written during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Morrison's comment is a rather obvious distortion of that piece. Follow the link and decide for yourselves.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/apr/20/northernireland.observercolumnists

10/28/2008 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Is it?

It doesn't look that way to me. It looks more like an endorsement of running a death squad policy.

Aaro also said that Between 1969 and 1999 thousands of British citizens were killed, the large majority by republicans.

Anybody know if that is true. I was watching a Peter Taylor documentary the other day, and he claimed that by far the greatest number of civilians were killed by Loyalist paramilitaries.

10/28/2008 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I think British soldiers would count as "British citizens". Even so, for those who want to pursue head counts, "the large majority" would be pushing it.

10/28/2008 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

There's a list here (which includes the army) and the IRA is just under half, so with other republican groups will clearly be in a majority - not sure if it's large or not - someone needs to add it up. Lots of other numbers on that website.

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/tables/Organisation_Responsible.html

10/28/2008 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of 3636 deaths, 2139 caused by Republicans (source McKitterick, Lost Lives). And bubby seems not to be able to read.

10/28/2008 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Nor do you, bubby. I didn't say that Aaro was endorsing anything, just that he was "more forgiving" of murder by the state - where he finds himself able to understand the temptation to cross a line - than he is of murder by revolutionaries of various stripes. That's a pretty common pattern in Aaro's writing, he's always pleading "understanding" for those in power and denying it to their opponents.

10/29/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Sorry should have been, "nor do you, anonymous".

10/29/2008 07:51:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Just a quick thing on this piece - it bears all the hallmarks of the Cohen/Aaro approach to art. Which is:

if there is applause/praise for a work of art which I disapprove of for political reasons (and which I have almost certainly failed to understand), I will interpret it as applause for the things I disliked/misunderstood in the work of art.

He is also grossly unfair to Decent whipping-boy Ronan Bennett. 'A former republican prisoner', well maybe, but Bennett was acquitted of the first crime he was imprisoned for, and was let off the second time, too. Is Aaro still pissed off that Bennett correctly called Martin Amis a racist?

aaro decides that hunger - a film he has not seen (another typical feature of Decent arts criticism) is not actually about Bobby Sands - even though it is, and by all accounts it's entirely about the morality of hunger striking and political imprisonment. Aaro is opposed to Bennett's review, which doesn't even look all that controversial, as opposed to the film. I'm reminded of andrew Anthony who has a track record of writing columns based on having read a review of a book.

Also: is Aaro thus opposed to the way Major and Blair dealt with northern Ireland? It certainly looks like it. In fact isn't the review just a rehash of the 'terrorism is bad' argument?

10/29/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you will find that Aaro was militantly in favour of the Major/Blair approach to the peace process.

10/29/2008 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

That's a pretty common pattern in Aaro's writing, he's always pleading "understanding" for those in power and denying it to their opponents.

It's a pretty common assumption amongst Decents that governments (Western democratic ones anyway) always act out of the best possible motives and those who oppose those actions do so out of the worst motives, and are usually irrational.

10/29/2008 01:04:00 PM  

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