Friday, September 02, 2011

Waggy finger watch

Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, has made a speech in which she rejects the phrase "war on terror" as unhelpful. Elementary induction predicts that the waggy finger of Professor Norm will soon be wagged.

71 Comments:

Anonymous bubby said...

Lots of stuff about root causes too. The beligeratti won't be happy but of course Norm knows a lot more about the motives behind terrorism than the former head of MI5.

9/02/2011 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

His latest profile is Michael Ezra who manages to both endorse "rights based libertariansm" and deplore the ability of left-wing activists to restrict the power of governments to "defend our way of life". So it goes.

9/02/2011 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

"Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > "I have an aversion to Communists".

Really? you never mentioned it before, fancy keeping something like that a secret.

9/02/2011 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

I also love that Mike thinks "left wing activists trying to restrict the ability of the west to defend itself" represent the greatest threat to peace and security. Naturally! We have nukes, don't you know.

Because of course, the last decade of more or less unlimited largesse and finance for warmakers throughout the first world has led to a significant increase in peace and security. God forbid those lefties somehow manage to partially inhibit the power of western nations to bomb whoever they like, whenever they like, for whatever reasons they choose to or choose not to give. That would be awful.

9/02/2011 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous bensix said...

I have an aversion to Communists...

I feel sorry for Ezra. He was born 50 years too late.

9/02/2011 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

What's really most amazing about the EMB speech is how close it is to the critiques of the WOT which have been made by the left. The root causes, the description of 9/11 as a 'crime not an act of war', the significance of the Palestinian issue, Iraq plus support for dictators contributing to terrorism, the perception amongst many in Muslim majority countries that West only wants their resources. Someone like Chomsky has been making these arguments for years. So either the left were right all along or EMB has joined the appeasers and root causers.

9/02/2011 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

and then Norm wants to ask whether any other national orchestras had been protested against other than the Israeli. Someone has already pointed to the Campaign for Soviet Jewry's actions against that empire's musicians, a quick use of a search engine would reveal LGBT activists protest homophobic censorship at Greek National Opera[Sorry if I can't tell the difference between orchestra and opera, I may be the sort of hoodlum and barbarian not often encountered at Hampstead dinner-parties]. He finishes with the now traditional abilty to mind-read the motives of those he can't understand:
They did it because the musicians playing were mostly citizens of the Jewish state.

9/02/2011 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

To be fair, this is a military band which puts it on a different footing to a plain old civilian orchestra, but nonetheless.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3943575.stm

9/02/2011 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exra sounds a bit quaint, doesn't he? It's like saying with an assumed air of deprecating self-importance, "I have an aversion . . . to Muggletonians" or "I have devoted my life to the struggle against Bryanite populism".

CW

9/02/2011 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand ME's dinner-party-from-hell conceit. Clearly Hitchens despises Kissinger, and the homophobe Podhoretz would revile the libertine and bisexual Hitchens. But why should Kissinger have enough sense to loathe Podhoretz, or am I missing something?

DW/CC

9/02/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was saying much of what EMB said just under 10 years ago. However I expect that Prof. Norm will say that the over-the-top reaction to 9/11 was quite natural and it was people like me who were out of step etc etc etc

Guano

9/02/2011 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Norm:

If it's about Israel and not about Jews (as the partisans of these poisonous initiatives always claim), there are sure to have been some recent occasions when the performances of Russian and Chinese, and (while I'm about it) American and British, musicians have been targeted in a similar way

Interesting that what people actually say is no longer acceptable as evidence. Also, why doesn't this logic work the other way? If it's about anti-semitism and not about Israel, then there are sure to have been anti-Black, anti-Muslim and anti-Irish protests with similar flimsy political covering. Or does nobody hate anyone except the Jews these days?

9/02/2011 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

If it's about Jews rather than Israel, shouldn't people be boycotting other orchestras with Jewish players?

9/02/2011 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Ezra. He was born 50 years too late.

I think whatever era Ezra was born in, he'd have been fighting the battles of 50 years ago.

9/02/2011 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Quite.

9/02/2011 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Zubin Mehta, the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic, is, of course, not Jewish. Daniel Barenboim is though, and his concerts are pretty much never protested.

9/02/2011 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Brownie said...

If it's about Jews rather than Israel, shouldn't people be boycotting other orchestras with Jewish players?

If it's about Israel, shouldn't people be boycotting mobile phones and most desktop PCs?

9/03/2011 12:49:00 AM  
Anonymous saucy jack said...

"If it's about Israel, shouldn't people be boycotting mobile phones and most desktop PCs?"

If it's supposedly about Israel but really about Jews, shouldn't they be doing that also? Unless the Israeli mobile phone and PC industry is entirely run by Arabs based in some Silicon Galilee?

9/03/2011 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger hardindr said...

Worthy of discussion?

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/hp020911.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/13/left-and-libertarian-right
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/17/nick-cohen-democracy-murdoch-mladic

Review of Herman and and Peterson's book: http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/65265

9/03/2011 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

If it's about Israel, shouldn't people be boycotting mobile phones and most desktop PCs?

The arguments-to-impute-anti-Semitism get weirder every day.

9/03/2011 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger cian said...

Daniel Barenboim is though, and his concerts are pretty much never protested.

Actually I have a vague memory of a concert he did of Wagner pieces being protested against in Israel.

If I'd attended and somebody had said to me "thanks for supporting Israel", I'd probably not want to attend anything else by an Israeli orchestra again just in case my attendance was similarly interpreted as political support. Not the best tactics by the Israeli supporters, there.

9/03/2011 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I'm not touching Ed Herman's views on massacres with a twenty-foot pole... except to say that the tone carries as much information as the substance. I never quite trust anyone who presents the people they disagree with as contemptible.

9/03/2011 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

@hardindr

the Cohen article has already been discussed here


http://aaronovitch.blogspot.com/2011/07/fair-and-balanced.html

9/03/2011 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

I wonder what, self confessed 'staunch admirer' of Tony Blair, Norm would make of this

9/03/2011 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Or Nick Cohen for that matter who was so keen to send those 'terror suspects' - or was it Libyan dissidents - back to Libya to be tortured and/or murdered. No he praises those self same dissidents. Funny old world.

9/03/2011 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Coventrian said...

Here's a classic quote from Sarah AB on the HP site.

2 September 2011, 10:00 am
"Tim – I think ‘free Palestine’ has some uneasy implications – though I agree there isn’t anything wrong in supporting Palestinian self-determination."

Uneasy implications, what can she possibly mean?

9/03/2011 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

"but of course Norm knows a lot more about the motives behind terrorism than the former head of MI5."

I would say he probably does. That's because a) he's not the head of MI5 and b) He's not the head of MI5 and c) he's not the bloody head of MI5

*granted, the profile shit with Ezra is risable but that is an entirely differnt subject.

9/04/2011 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

You might have to help me out with a point-by-point explanation on your a-c......

9/04/2011 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

@Coventrian - you have to understand that if anyone uses the word free, it must mean Judenrein. They have taught her well, young HPer.

But what's this?

Sarah AB — on 25th August, 2011 at 10:18 pm

WRT HJ – I suppose there is a certain amount of satirical self-deprecation here – maybe – but it certainly seems unfortunately expressed – perhaps the interview flattens what he said unfairly though.

So when Howard Jacobson says,
it was terrific to see the Asian communities on telly and not to have to think about terrorism, and not to have to think about the thing I’m always thinking about… do they want to kill Jews?”
We have to understand the context, give him every benefit of the doubt.

On a personal note, this comment, from someone with posting rights at HP, sank to a new low:
Alec Macph
2 September 2011, 9:48 pm

Sorry, Gene, could Skiddy be kept off this thread? Of all places, the thought of his salivating over haranging teenage girls is skin-crawling.


Brownie, nice to see you back.Do you have a copy of your comment about how I should go back to my toadying at AaaroWatch, as the original has gone the way of all flesh?

9/04/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

...AaaroWatch

Talk Like A Pirate Day isn't for another two weeks.

9/04/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

okay...

NOAM CHOMSKY ON EXPERTISE & CREDENTIALS

"In my own professional work I have touched on a variety of different fields. I've done my work in mathematical linguistics, for example, without any professional credentials in mathematics; in this subject I am completely self-taught, and not very well taught. But I've often been invited by universities to speak on mathematical linguistics at mathematics seminars and colloquia. No one has ever asked me whether I have the appropriate credentials to speak on these subjects; the mathematicians couldn't care less. What they want to know is what I have to say. No one has ever objected to my right to speak, asking whether I have a doctor's degree in mathematics, or whether I have taken advanced courses in the subject. That would never have entered their minds. They want to know whether I am right or wrong, whether the subject is interesting or not, whether better approaches are possible - the discussion dealt with the subject, not with my right to discuss it.

But on the other hand, in discussion or debate concerning social issues or American foreign policy, Vietnam or the Middle East, for example, the issue is constantly raised, often with considerable venom. I've repeatedly been challenged on the grounds of credentials, or asked, what special training do you have that entitles you to speak of these matters. The assumption is that people like me, who are outsiders from a professional standpoint, are not entitled to speak on such things.

Compare mathematics and the political sciences -- it's quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is concern for content."

— Noam Chomsky, pp. 6-7: Language and Responsibility. Based on conversations with Mitsou Ronat. Translated by John Viertel. New York: Pantheon, 1979. [French original: Dialogues avec Mitsou Ront. Paris: Flammarion, 1977]

Now, have you heard of daniel davies's comments about Mugabe's slum clearances and his claim to *expertise* on Vietnam. He claimed...

"I know quite a bit about guerilla wars, because 1) I was the research assistant for a book about Vietnam and was present at a large number of face-to-face interviews with senior commanders on both sides",

It was a book about railways.

9/04/2011 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Yes,Jim lad, but I missed a Pirate Regatta a couple of weeks ago, and I'm davyjonesing.

9/04/2011 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

also - the despotic tendencies inherent in specialised expertise are, and is very annoying. Don't you think?

9/04/2011 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really understand the point Will's trying to make above, but if he thinks that C20th war didn't have a lot to do with railways, then he's wrong about that.

Chris Williams

9/04/2011 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I confess I'm struggling with Will's point as well. He's not confusing

a. the fact that people without professional qualifications and experience in a field may nevertheless know a great deal about it;

with

b. the likelihood that those with aforesaid professional qualifications and experience nevertheless do probably know a fair bit about it?

(I may be misunderstanding, and if I am, apologies. But it would help on this occasion if Will went at it a little more directly, I think.)

I also have no idea what's going on with Mugabe, slum clearance, Vietnam and railways.

9/04/2011 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger hardindr said...

RE Chomsky:

"A man's got to know his limitations..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrFV5r8cs0

9/04/2011 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

I notice Nick Cohen and his decent chums are a lot quieter on tony Blair personally assisting gadaffi's son with his phd. weird - they were so upset about other aspects of that story...ny Blair personally assisting gadaffi's son with his phd. weird - they were so upset about other aspects of that story...

9/04/2011 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2010/jul/21/steve-bell-mi5-invasion-iraq

9/04/2011 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Will's Chomsky quote is self-refuting, as the people he is citing to verify the worth of his mathematical-linguistic ideas are people with mathematical credentials--university mathematicians--not random self-educated people.

9/04/2011 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@BruschettaBoy re. Barenboim - maybe this part of his wiki entry will explain why he doesn't get picketed?

In 1999, Barenboim and Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said jointly founded the West-Eastern Divan orchestra. It is an initiative to bring together, every summer, a group of young classical musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and Arab countries to promote mutual reflection and understanding. Barenboim and Said were recipients of the 2002 Prince of Asturias Awards for their work in "improving understanding between nations." Together they wrote the book Parallels and Paradoxes, based on a series of public discussions held at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In September 2005, presenting the book written with Said, Barenboim refused to be interviewed by uniformed Israel Defense Forces Radio reporter Dafna Arad, considering the wearing of the uniform insensitive for the occasion. In response, Israeli Education Minister Limor Livnat of the Likud party called him "a real Jew hater" and "a real anti-Semite."


redpesto

9/04/2011 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

However:

Daniel Barenboim has been vilified by some leaders of the boycott movement on the grounds that the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Arab-Israeli youth orchestra he created with Edward Said, is promoting ‘normalisation’ with the Zionist state.

9/04/2011 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Norm of Normblog currently bandwaggoning himself to the Hitch, who's been perpretrating the 'not enough blame to go round' fallacy:

There was always some "intellectual," however, to argue in each case that the policy of Tony Blair, or George Bush, or the Spanish government, was the "root cause" of the broad-daylight slaughter of civilians. Responsibility, somehow, never lay squarely with the perpetrators.

It's a perennial favourite from assorted buckpassers (and pointing it out is one with me). E.g. of course the noisily outraged interference put out during the crucial first weeks after the latest riots, despite Cameron/Jonathan Evans/everyone having predicted them (prediction being the flip side of explanation, but with added credibility since it obviously can't be just an ad hoc reaction tailored to fit prejudice).

Other ritual incantations in the Hitchens piece:

Conflating 'anti-Jewish' with something less toxic and more widespread (viz., anti-US-govt; context: 9-11 CTs. The prior conflation of Mossad with Jews. Jews with Teh Jews and specific allegation with programmatic defamation remain implicit).

Al-Qaida demands the impossible—worldwide application of the most fanatical interpretation of sharia—and to forward the demand employs the most hysterically irrational means. (This combination, by the way, would make a reasonable definition of "terrorism.")

Even if you choose to accept the first sentence despite about 15 reasions not to, there's really no possible excuse for going along with the second. Finding counterexamples (or indeed counterstatistics) is left as an exercise.

9/04/2011 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

+ Bill makes the same mistake ejh points out Will seems to be making, i.e. confusing

not(informed implies credentialled)

with

informed implies not-credentialled

I don't think this fallacy has a name, buit it obviously is one.

And of course C would not appeal to the uncredentialled - addressing as he is those who tend to demand credentials.

9/04/2011 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Tim,

No, I'm not. What I'm doing is pointing out that Chomsky is allowing credentialed persons to be the judges of whether his ideas are valid or not. And its not simply a matter of appealing to Chomsky's hypothetical credentialist audience--does Chomsky imply that he himself, a non-credentialled person in mathematics, would be a judge of mathematical ideas? For that matter, would credentialled mathematicians be listening to Chomsky's ideas if he weren't a well-known and well-credentialed academic in his own field?

There's also a nasty hint of appealing to the "Two Cultures" style cultural cringe of humanists to the sciences in it.

9/04/2011 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Tim - I think that's the fallacy of transposition.You're giving it in the form:

not p implies q = p implies not q

I think, having only really read Will's original comment very briefly and thinking that a not particularly authoritative statement by Chomsky(he's talking the difference between hard science and politics, in terms of how much your formal qualifications are considered or used as an argument) to either diss dsquared or attack Ms. Bullying-Manner without having any real form to his argument, making it hard to care about it without at least a better formulation and probably not even then.

9/04/2011 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Yeah I was only (fleetingly) interested in the logic chopping invited by 'is self-refuting'.

The surrounding ishoos are more messy, e.g. 'not listening to' v 'dismissing', this Geras person's hanging on B-M mark I's (and the rest of the 'if you knew what I knew' crowd's) every word, testimony v argument etc etc.

Chomsky's rejection of rank appeal to authority fair enough in general though o course.

The fallacy is not (just) transposition because 'not' has wide scope in my first schema, but zzz.

9/04/2011 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Barenboim has been criticised for more than just the "normalisation" thing. Raymond Deane, in a lengthy article back in 2009 wrote the following:

"In the midst of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead”, the onslaught on Gaza beginning in December 2008 that led to the killing of some 1400 Palestinians, Barenboim wrote a newspaper article that, while critical of the carnage, similarly repeated a number of Zionist propaganda tropes.[8] Hamas is “a terrorist organisation”, rather than a legitimate resistance movement, and must “realise that its interests are not best served by violence”, although this offensive followed the Israeli breach of a ceasefire long maintained by Hamas. The war in Palestine is “a conflict between two peoples who are both deeply convinced of their right to live on the same very small piece of land”, not a brutal colonial assault by a powerful state on a virtually imprisoned civilian population. Of course “it is self-evident that Israel has the right to defend itself”, a truism that, except possibly for the 1973 “Yom Kippur” war, has never had any bearing on Israel’s relentlessly belligerent actions against its neighbours.

This article almost certainly played a role in causing the cancellation of Barenboim’s projected attendance at an opera performance in Ramallah in July 2009, lest it be disrupted by demonstrations."

And

"Already in 2004 Barenboim stated that “[a]n hour of violin lessons in Berlin is an hour where you get people interested in music. But an hour of violin lessons in Palestine is an hour away from violence and fundamentalism…”[10] This insulting formulation led the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) to decline any further funding from the Foundation."

Of course Ramallah's not London but there could still be protests at a WEDO event.

9/05/2011 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

In my experience, assaults on credentialism tend to lead not to exciting new ideas but to phenomena like "Bill Kristol, Middle East expert." If anyone gets by on "ideas" rather than credentials, its the typical American Cable News bloviator.

9/05/2011 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I also have no idea what's going on with Mugabe, slum clearance, Vietnam and railways.

I think someone is trying to revive Harry's Place by appealing to the "I Love 2005" nostalgia vote.

9/05/2011 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

To be honest if someone thinks that writing:

"a conflict between two peoples who are both deeply convinced of their right to live on the same very small piece of land"

rather than

"a brutal colonial assault by a powerful state on a virtually imprisoned civilian population."

makes you a propagandist who deserves to have his concerts protested against, then we are pretty much dealing with the kind of person who glues fifty pence pieces to the pavement here; they want to go "Gotcha!" and they will do no matter what action you take yourself.

9/05/2011 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Surely you earn more than 50p in the time it would take you to bend down to pick one up, and so wouldn't really be affected by such a scam?

[Sorry if this constitutes a personal attack,but Tu quoque, I think we're pretty much dealing with the kind of person who comes to somewhat different conclusions about Israel than you and a purely above the belt response might be more appropriate]

9/05/2011 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

At least Normblog seems to be on the right side of the elctrodes:
But 'working with' shouldn't accommodate being in breach of the UN Torture Convention - not ever

9/05/2011 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I think that joke was first done by Douglas Adams in the 80s, so to allow for inflation we should be talking about £2 coins now.

9/05/2011 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Bill - aye, for such a slight word, a great deal of hard work is being required of 'rank' in 'rank appeal to authority'.

But shurely "Bill Kristol, Middle East expert" is fraudulent credentialism (has this latter term just been coined right here and now?), rather than a consequence of rejecting ranko-credentialistic deferentialism?

9/05/2011 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Perhaps the finger will be wagged at Malcolm Rifkind, who has just defended the Libya torture shenanigans with "In the Second World War we had an alliance with Stalin..."

9/05/2011 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

BB - if the best you can say for Barenboim is that he posits zionist conquest and Palestinian dispossession as being more or less equal then you might be proving Raymond Deane's point. But of course he made far more points than just the one you mention.

The whole article is here:
http://tinyurl.com/ya5stm3

9/06/2011 01:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Google shows two previous appearances for "fraudulent credentialism" with this the closest in meaning:

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/archive/index.php/t-97887.html

9/06/2011 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I do think that if Barenboim constitutes part of the enemy, then you're probably taking on more enemies that you ought to be.

(Declaration of interest: I've seen Barenboim conduct, and would unhesitatingly do so again.)

9/06/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

I think his approach is problematic that's all. I think that's all that Deane is saying. Obviously neither of us is in Palestine where any protests against WEDO/Barenboim were expected to take place and would have presumably had more spontaneity about them than the RAH business.

9/06/2011 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

so i get asked to explain myself and then explain myself and then there is nothing in response except some blwerggHHH babble? Fuck. I expected more from you lot. I was growing to like the discussions here as well (just reading them that is).

i promise to come back here if you lot are sensible and aren't just fuckking about. if not i won't bother. It will save us all the usual shit.

9/06/2011 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

Off topic but "Dude" Hitchins's latest offering on the 9/11 decade is worthy of HP.

http://www.slate.com/id/2303013

9/06/2011 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

I would try to do more than snigger at the phrase
the peddlers of shallow anti-Western self-hatred
but I'm not that deep.

9/06/2011 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Asteri - I misread you at first as having said that "Hitchins's latest offering on 9/11 is worth a decade of HP."

I agree with what you actually said and what I at first thought you said.

9/07/2011 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

HP are currently in a great tizzy )7 posts past few days) about how they really really hate the EDL (honestly guv!) even though their commenters don't, but hate the anti-EDL even more. There's seems to be a great deal of hand-wringing about the merits of turning the other cheek, forgiveness and compassion (towards EDL members) as well, sentiments not previously much in evidence at HP.

9/07/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

There's already two great comments on one of the HP EDL posts that say the Labour Party and students who wear CCCP t-shirts are as bad the EDL itself.

9/07/2011 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

For a bunch of warbloggers, they're pretty touchy about violence, aren't they?

Blow up a shack full of women and children with hellfire missiles - fine! Kick a woman in the face - Ah, the fascism!

9/07/2011 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Maybe we could have some kind of sliding scale of evil?

Invading countries and murdering hell out of thousands of people - "Democracy promotion".

Firing high explosives into heavily populated urban areas and killing hundreds of people - "Self defence"

Torturing people for information - "A departure from universal values"

Sending people to be tortured in another country - "Falling short of expected standards"

Kicking somebody in the face - "Literally worse than Adolf Hitler"

9/07/2011 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Added to FR's list: touching the Israeli flag equivalent to genocide AND holocaust denial!!

9/07/2011 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Martin Wisse said...

To be fair, those other things only happen in strange far away countries on the evening news, while the face kicking could've happened to them personally, which is why it's worse than Hitler. Just like it's allright to order an invasion of a country on a whim but not alright to call somebody a mass murdering douchenozzle for it.

9/07/2011 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

We also could add.

Wiping out a Pakistani village in a drone attack "counter terrorism." Arab dictators shelling a city "genocidal campaign".

9/07/2011 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

On the topic of unwagged fingers - nothing here on Iraq mk II, i.e. Libya? It does seem to be squarely within the remit.

This invasion is particularly Risk-like in that the NATO troops on the ground (since at least late Feb) are relatively few high impact ones - special forces, covert agents, strategic advisors (not to be confused with generals), military trainers, suppliers of arms, scouts etc, while the flow of the war is steered from the air with the cannon fodder being comprised of locals; very Grand Chessboard.

Super quick summary - hostilities mounted with 'day of rage' campaign (outside influence involved) Feb 17th - immediately becomes effective armed uprising. US/UK special forces and spooks hanging around since at least late Feb, arms from Egypt from the start. West gets UN sign off for 'humanitarian' intervention in what is already a full-scale civil war - regime change objective clear. All ceasefire offers and moves rebuffed or ignored. March: leader of rebel army assassinated, expat CIA man takes over. Predictable course - post-'Mission accomplished' factional carnage, tame authority invotes NATO troops in, permanant US bases, Western oil and reconstructuion contracts, neoliberal constitution.

(Also racism leveraged with talk of Gaddaffi forces being foreign blacks; not at all genocidal violence ensues. Also much ludicrous propaganda, e.g. Gadaffi giving viagra to troops for rape campaign - faked rape vid circulated, story was pushed by Rice and picked up by wassocky ICC chief prosecutor. All discoveries of executed Gaddaffi troops automatically described as shot by own side for refusing to fire on protestors.)

A few links, not necessarily news to AWatchers (+ caveat lector):

Organisers of 'day of rage' Washington based:
http://www.hermes-press.com/FR_libya1.htm

Obama offically authorised CIA to arm rebels in late Feb:
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/30/134994729/mazzetti-talks-about-cia-operations-in-libya

-super-resourceful organiser mentions getting $75000 worth of automatic weapons from Egypt right at start of uprising, Feb 18:
http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/libya-unrest-gaddafi-strikes-back-as-rebels-close-in-on-tripoli-87712

The odd - but not impossible - tale of the rapid shift from protests to efficient use of armed force (army barracks overrun by using tanks from, er, army base):
http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/world/2011/02/battle-army-base-broke-gadhafi-hold-benghazi

Military advisors on ground, Feb. 24:
http://www.crethiplethi.com/libya-us-military-advisers-in-cyrenaica/usa/2011/

Rebel military chief Younes killed by 'allies':
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/29/us-libya-idUSTRE76Q76620110729

Younes successor Hifter pretty clearly has CIA background:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/26/111109/new-rebel-leader-spent-much-of.html

Libya as model for elective interventions:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/world/africa/29diplo.html?_r=1&src=recg&pagewanted=all

Phase 2 plans floated publicly;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029013/Libya-war-British-troops-act-peacekeepers-Gaddafis-downfall.html

9/09/2011 01:59:00 PM  

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