Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cum On Feel Tha Moralz Owtrage!

Ahhhh, can you dig it, nobody does a "Will-you-condemn-athon" quite like Marko "Slightly more inclined to support an aggressive foreign policy than"[1] Attila Hoare.

I am pretty sure that the government of West Bengal are bastards and that this is more important than whatever warmed-over I-can't-believe-it's-not-Marxism they claim to believe in. But hey guess what? The US Army has killed and raped people in Iraq! It's true. I believe that the accepted euphemism is "errors of postwar planning" for the killing and "regrettable lapses" for the rapes. Certainly, anyone applying the epithets "brutal" or "criminal" to the actions of the US Army in Iraq would be "picking over the rubble" and excommunicating themselves from the Euston Manifesto. Half of the Decent Left didn't even bother with a token harrumph about Israel using cluster bombs in the last week of the Lebanese invasion. But seriously, nearly a million people have died in Iraq. If the Decent Left were consistent in applying these sorts of standards, then Harry's Place would be all-Bush-bashing, all the time, rather than occasionally having Gene stick up a "heyIdidn'tvoteforhimmmkay! Look, some bus drivers!" post once a fortnight.

As far as I can tell, the tendency in modern vanity politics to not only demand that your enemies "condemn" the contents of your email inbox every morning, but to specify the form of words in which they do it, originates from Peter Tatchell. It's pretty juvenile to be honest. I think that it's pretty clear that Noam Chomsky isn't in favour of murdering and raping protestors in West Bengal (evidence: he's said so), and equally clear that Marko doesn't think that Abu Ghraib was OK (although actually the worst he could find to say about it was "our enemies will always highlight our errors[3]") so what does anyone really gain by trying to pretend otherwise, on no better evidence than if I was writing about your political allies, I'd be a lot more outspoken in condemning their crimes? Nothing. Aaronovitch Watch officially deprecates this moronic debating tactic; for anyone who disagrees with us, here is a list of people who have probably failed to condemn the atrocities in West Bengal; if you start right now, you'll probably reach "Aaronovitch, D" by afternoon tea.

[1] I realise that when "Greater Surbiton"[2] was launched, we said in high moral tones that we were not going to make cheap jokes about Marko Attila Hoare's name, but realistically that was never going to last.
[2] Which we would like to remind readers is in no way a joke about Serbs being aggressive, along the lines of "greater Serbia", because that would be bad.
[3] "Errors!" "Errors!" Innocent prisoners beaten to death! "Errors"! Hold me upright, I think I'm fainting at the sheer insufficiency of this condemnation! No hang on, I'm OK, it was just a fart.


Blogger ejh said...

It's fortunate that the mouse has the function of displaying titles without our actually having to click on the link, as it sometimes tells us we don't really need to bother.

Marko (and not just Marko) actually reminds me of an ex-alcoholic who's become an advocate of Temperance to such a degree that he regularly condemns to hell anybody who actually touches alcohol, heedless of the fact that 99% of drinkers take it in greater moderation - and hold it rather better - than he ever did.

And, like some ex-drinkers, renouncing the bottle hasn't lessened his liking for a fight.

12/12/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of the will-you-condemn-a-thon, I found myself getting very angry recently when sometime Harry's Place poster 'wardytron' declared that, unless British Muslims signed "some sort of huge petition or something", he would conclude that 'the wrong impression' (ie a negative one) about Muslims would actually be 'the right impression'.
The 'will-you-condemn-a-thon' in this context is a demand that some generally apolitical people sign a political statement (in the form of a petition) before 'wardytron' will concede their basic humanity.

12/12/2007 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Also see

12/12/2007 10:45:00 PM  

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