Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Decent trope bingo with ANTMJ

A dreadful CiF piece by Not-the-Minister, which ends up saying basically nothing about Obama, Guantanamo or anything else. Highlights:

Niebuhr, a son of German immigrants who became a Lutheran pastor to Detroit autoworkers,....

Strictly true, but rather a misleading description of a man who spent most of his life as a New York theology professor.

Some on the left have criticised Obama for not shutting Guant√°namo immediately ...

Who on "the left" exactly? Ah, John Stewart cracked a joke on The Late Show.

Gitmo recidivism is currently running at 11%.

From the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology: "Recidivism refers to reoffending, or the repetition of criminal acts by a convicted offender."

See any difficulties there Alan?

The piece finishes off with an absurd Springsteen reference and a quote from Obama about how earlier generations confronted fascism and communism.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Bunbury said...

Prison in the US usually has a recidivism rate of 60%.

2/03/2009 08:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CiF also has a piece by William Shawcross about democracy in Iraq. I'm surprised that Shawcross is interested in democracy in Iraq: the last time he wrote in the Guardian (August 2002) he said that it didn't matter who replaced Saddam: it could be a military man.

Moussaka Man

2/03/2009 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous John Fallhammer said...

This article on wikipedia has some links at the bottom to reports by one Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall University. The third one in particular nails this lie about recidivism.

2/03/2009 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

I wonder how the Democratiya 100 Club is going?

Any news on the Euston Manifesto? Last update Aug 10th last year.

Here's our hero Alan (in what looks suspiciously like his favourite blue M&S shirt) with a few neocons and Paul Berman. Awful decor too - what you call that?

http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/?s=Alan+Johnson

2/03/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Thanks for that link John. Very interesting.

I think there is also another point to be made that the kind of humiliation and torture practiced at Gitmo is quite likely to foster radicalism and encourage terrorism.

The Palestinian psychiatrist Dr Eyad Sarraj has written extensively of the link between torture and suicide bombings and I also remember this this piece on the 9/11 attacks and their links to torture.

2/03/2009 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I think Euston has been dead for some while. As I have pointed out before, given it was presented as 'saving the left', it is odd that none of the (mostly wealthy) people closely involved in it were prepared to put up a small amount of money (£100 each?) to give it a chance of success.

But then again that is perhaps to miss the point of all these launches, which is short-term publicity, isn't it?

2/03/2009 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

I note that three of the people included in the count of "recidivists" are there because they wrote an op ed in the New York Times against imprisonment without trial.

2/03/2009 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

How about a watch on Aaro's latest? Surely the great man's predictable stance further cements his place as the poor man's Thomas Friedman?

2/03/2009 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends

Truly ironic. There's no sense that Alan NTM even understands this quotation - if he did, he'd realise how it undermines almost everytihng he's written in the last 6 or so years. But it sounds nice I guess.

And i can't really work out whether he's trying to even make a point, or not. Obama has to make some difficult decisions - alan NTM has identified a few but is fencesitting about all of them.

thanks. for. that.

Citing Jon Stewart as 'mainstream left opinion' is pretty weird as well.

blimey - word verification is 'Shalit'!

2/03/2009 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

More evidence that the Decent Left has lost an empire, and not yet found a role.

2/03/2009 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I think that there are three things going on here.

1. Decents generally, and Norman Geras in particular, want to claim Obama for their side. Geras has been, even for him, obsessive about David Miliband's "War on Terrorism" Grauniad article. "Obama agrees with us, the not-yet-murdered!" I've been meaning to post on this, but it's all a bit tedious. (I did write a long comment here which sorts of says what I think.

2. Alan Johnson, as only Alan Johnson can, continues to seek out the front line of today's struggle and with a few well-considered words in tehgrauniad, a timely manifesto, or a popular website, leaps to public recognition, just like Churchill in our darkest hour. The nation will recognise its true leader and hoist him onto its grateful shoulders and carry him thrice round the playing fields.

3. Even if 2 doesn't quite come off, surely ANTMJ will be indispensable to the dead-tree media as the best interpreter of Obama's obscure philosophies. Who among those actually present in Washington would have seen that the true message of the inauguration was actually delivered in song by Bruce Springsteen? (Note to ANTMJ, Springsteen hates his nickname because he "hates bosses.")

2/04/2009 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"More evidence that the Decent Left has lost an empire"

It wasn't much of an empire, a crap pub nr Euston, a column in the Evening Standard, a Spectator blog, er...

2/04/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous saucy jack said...

"Springsteen hates his nickname because he "hates bosses"
Except for Walmart bosses, evidently.

2/04/2009 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who among those actually present in Washington would have seen that the true message of the inauguration was actually delivered in song by Bruce Springsteen?

Yes, but what ANTMJ missed was Obama's fanatical support for the abolition of private property.

Check this out (2 mins 40 sec - 3 mins 30 sec) and then tell me that Mad Mel was wrong about Obama.

2/04/2009 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

That link doesn't work. Let me guess: Obama admits that he eats babies, but being a liberal insists that they meet organic standards, and that he prefers 'the white ones'. No? Then I humbly suggest that Mad Mel was wrong about BHO.

2/04/2009 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck! i meant this (i hope that works)

Baby eating you say? That sounds suspiciously like population control, which results in a blind eye to genocide. I'd expect no less of a Cultural Marxist president.

2/04/2009 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

"It wasn't much of an empire, a crap pub nr Euston, a column in the Evening Standard, a Spectator blog, er..."

But they could kid themselves they were influential so long as their neo-con allies had a voice in the White House. So far, Obama has shown a commendable intolerance towards Decentism which is very difficult for the partisans of that tendency to spin in their favour.

2/05/2009 01:19:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

So far, Obama has shown a commendable intolerance towards Decentism which is very difficult for the partisans of that tendency to spin in their favour.

Which is exactly why you find people like NTM having to misread Obama's speeches and take certain statements from 'people who inspired him' out of context (funny how the 'person who most inspired him' this time last year was Jeremiah Wright, eh) in order to essentially claim him for their side - this article is full of that.

Obama is, to an extent, the worst nightmare for Decency and the final nail in its coffin. They claim opposition to the Iraq war was motivated, in the main, by 'anti-americanism' and yet there is an opponent of the Iraq war in the White House. They initially ridiculed Obama until it was clear that he was going to win and then swtiched sides at pretty much the last limit - then spent most of their time claiming that people who had admired Obama from the start were really anti-american etc etc zzz.

This has also exposed the extent that Decents in general bought into neoconservatism despite spending a great deal of their time claiming otherwise. Look at what it's reduced Nick Cohen to - writing the same article once a week in the Standard about how people will have to get rid of au pairs because of teh credit crunch and spending the rest of his unconvincingly claiming that he saw the recession coming, that he represents the true left wing in Britain - and ignoring foreign affairs completely (NC didn't write anything about Gaza last month).

a vocal opponent of the iraq war in the white house? looks like TGISOOT is over.

2/05/2009 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

It's not over - they've just relocated to the Conservative Party. I've said it before; Michael Gove will take us into the next war.

2/05/2009 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

... yet there is an opponent of the Iraq war in the White House.

OC, the only problem with your thesis is that the Decents don't like Jimmy Carter either. (I think there was a H'sP post recently accusing President Carter of anti-Semitism or something - I couldn't be arsed to read it. It's here should you dare to doubt me.) You see, the Decents know about 'sleeper agents' who are under the mind control of foreign powers. Even Presidents can hate the United States. Because only Harry's Placers are loyal to the true, essential, United States.

Also, you left-liberals have been eerily silent (to coin a phrase) on the man's full name. Barack HUSSEIN Obama people. Read more at Atlas Shrugs, updated with daily details of how persecuted Israel is...

2/05/2009 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

the only problem with your thesis is that the Decents don't like Jimmy Carter either

I guess I had forgotten that, or let it slip my mind - I have a tendency to let my eyes glaze over when Decents discuss Carter since they seem to hate him for pretty much no reason. Though I'm not sure they would have hated Carter when he was in power, if that makes sense.

I do agree with this:

only Harry's Placers are loyal to the true, essential, United States.

Reminds me of that Cohen article about Palin...

2/05/2009 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Though I'm not sure they would have hated Carter when he was in power, if that makes sense.

Certainly does, particularly if we accept Justin's view that the DL are essentially Labour Atlanticists. The LAs have done a backflip of similar proportions over the British nuclear deterrent; back in the 1960s, "unilateralism" (ie, the belief that European countries should have their own nukes, rather than relying on the US umbrella) was considered anti-American, stupid, definitely French and either jingoistic or suspiciously commie.

2/05/2009 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

It'll be interesting to see what Obama's view is on Britain replacing Trident. Two obvious possibilities are 'you can't afford it' and 'I'm not letting Michael Gove near them'.

2/06/2009 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenn Greenwald now has a post
(6th February) de-bunking the recidivism claim.

Moussaka Man

2/06/2009 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger 1981Marcus said...

There's another problem with the statement about Gitmo "recidivism" running at 11%, which is that the figure is completely made up. The number keeps changing, bizarrely often going down, and nobody ever gives the slightest inkling of what the figure's based on, or which ex-detainees are supposed to be the recidivists: not one name, date or place, not one scrap of evidence, just statements that 12 have reoffended, no we meant 5, no 29, er 25, hey we lost the election so let's call it 61...

2/07/2009 12:48:00 AM  
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