Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hate in black and white

If anyone needs pointing at why rightwing hate bloggers are risible specimens, check this out.

It's a hatemonger spitting venom at me. Why? Oh well, you can't know that, because this bastion of "freedom" excised my comment.

And he's put in the comment-vetting feature...

You know, I associate censorship with the right wing. They're the only people who have anything to lose by the truth frankly spoken. The other side of politics need not fear. Adlai Stevenson had them right way back then.

I watched some of the coverage of the debates on Fox News, which is part of my cable package (well, it's not cable, but I'm fucked if I know what we should call it -- digital? But you can have digital telly that isn't Foxtel.)

You know, we all saw it. Even on a charitable reading, Bush talked a load of laughable nonsense and Kerry told the truth. Of course, Bush knows you need only tell the flimsiest of lie and the spin will make it something world-shattering, and Kerry, lumbered with the need to be honest, says he will do something different, but because he has no actual idea what the detail of something different will be, he looks less credible. But how can he know what the detail will be? He knows he will take a more inclusive line with others, but how can he know how we will react? How can he have the answers to Iraq, when no one can know what will happen? The simple, unwavering message of Bush is the greatest lie of all -- it is altogether the wrong approach to a world that does not stay fixed and does not permit one-size-fits-all solutions to its problems. In any case, Bush has wavered -- he justified invading Iraq several different ways and Saddam went, pace Bush, all the way from having a massive arsenal of WMDs, to definitely having programmes, right down to having the intention of restarting his programme if we took the pressure off. (Well, hello, we have to ask whether you'd have got the votes you needed in Congress if that was how the threat was put to it.) He has switched from Saddam supported Al Qaida to Saddam let Abu Nidal live in Baghdad. Well, you know, Mohammed Atta went to uni in Germany. There's nothing there. He went from we'll win the war on turr to we cannot win (the truth, of course) and back to we will win!


I learn from the Guardian that there's a real possibility of Blair's losing the election in the UK. This is quite astonishing. His opponent, Howard, is a slimy git, who makes you want to turn away when he comes on TV. He couldn't win a popularity contest if the other entrant was a fresh turd.

But up to 2 million people marched in the streets to say no to the war. And that was before we *knew* the fuckers were lying about it. Now the extent of Blair's lies and his craven bootlicking of Bush has become well known and apparently he's not assured of victory.

I'd like to see the Brits pull their troops out. I wonder whether Blair is considering it. It would be extremely popular in the UK. There would be no announcement until after Nov. 2, I would have thought. There's a school of thought that if we left the Yanks in it, Bush could lose his election. He would spin it that we had no spine, but I think this is a lie too far. The Americans know that we've backed them all the way, shoulder to shoulder, etc. If we backed out, questions are going to trouble even their clouded minds.

We're not doing any good there. We know that. We don't kid ourselves the way the Yanks do that we're actually doing anything practical there. We're just getting our boys killed. If we took them out, it would just ratchet down the tension a little.

I know that the media in the States is talking up their effort in Iraq. The place will fall apart if they're not there, they say. Well no. It's falling apart *because* you're there. Most of the shooting is by you or at you.

I saw on Fox News that helicopter gunships had fired at "terrorists" in some place or other. I thought, no wonder our American friends are so misled. They truly believe that the place is rampacked with bloodthirsty Al Qaedistas and the marines are all that stand between them and the heads of the entire Iraqi population. Of course, the more moderate media in the UK tell a more accurate story, reflected in the free Arab media, such as it is: there is a general insurgency with broad popular support. Some of the insurgents are part of the Al Mahdi militia, and are equally as popular as the Yanks, but many are just young guys who are fucked off with the occupation. There are very few Al Qaedistas in there (largely because there have never been that many Al Qaedistas).

The people on the receiving end are, as ever, mostly civilians. Take the American soldiers out and there would still be fighting. The Yanks would still be blamed for destroying the stability of Iraq (it's quite possible to believe that, yes, they are better off without Saddam, but no, they actually aren't better off with a destroyed infrastructure and economy!).

You know, if one of the presidential candidates had told the truth, he would have killed his chances right there and then. Because the truthful answer, when asked what is the right course in Iraq, is "fucked if I know". How can you ever bring its many strands together? Saddam did it by force (and also, it's quickly forgotten, by being extremely popular -- fascist leaders are usually very good at making their people feel good about them, and people are much keener on a damned good war than is good for them) but can it be done by consensus? Probably not. Iraq is a typical postcolonial country -- an absolute bollocks. Iran works because its people are largely Persian and Shia -- the former a culture that goes back millennia and has a language distinct from those around it. Iraq is of course mostly Arab with those pesky Kurds making up the numbers. They are largely tribal, or more accurately clan-centred. I remember in Africa that people would often have family across national borders and being "Malian" or "Guinean" was not anything like as significant for them as being "Diallo" or "Toure" or whatever.

Still, Switzerland is multiethnic. It works. It's a sort of federation, though. Maybe...

But you don't hear a federal Iraq suggested. I suppose there are too many players who fear that it's too short a step from a federation to three (or more) states.


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