Tuesday, February 20, 2007

...and people are stupid

Little bit of politics from CiF.

27 comments:

Valerie said...

Excellent article (though I think your headline sums up your own article all too well). I do think some US politicians may care about the Iraqis, but all of them are too much politicians not to recognize that at least large portions of the population of the US are insular, parochial (huge as it is), hypernationalistic. It's a frustration to those of us who have some inkling that the US is not the be-all and end-all of humanity. Really we should make travel abroad compulsory; too many people I speak to seem rather unaware of the larger world, and to have an ingrained belief that people who don't speak English must be less intelligent than they are.

Billy said...

Great stuff, especially the "if only Bush had read Dickens" bit.

spike said...

Tim

what's up with your RSS feed? It's currently spewing a seemingly random list of posts from your archives at the moment, so I get terribly confused about what's new and old. If you know the appropriate place to hit it with a large hammer, please do so.

Cheers
Chris

patroclus said...

Chris: it is because Tim is labelling (and therefore republishing) his old posts. I have the same problem.

Tim: Well said. And I'm delighted to report that I'm in the clear as regards conscription to serve in Iraq, because my archives say so.

Tim Footman said...

Valerie: It's not just Americans, believe me.

Billy: The wonders of blogging. If I think of a good line after a post, I can put it in the comments. The whole notion of esprit d'escalier becomes redundant.

And talking of retrospective additions, sorry about the RSS/labels thing, Chris & P. Think of it as the equivalent of Marathon rebranding to Snickers. It raises my profile, but 50% of the people who now notice me want to punch me.

patroclus said...

No, I mean I have the same problem in that I'm currently re-labelling old stuff too, so anyone who subscribes to my site is currently being 'treated' to tons of old crap from the old days.

I mean socio-historically fascinating gems from my sparklingly witty archive.

Murph said...

I think it would be only fair if that great writer of fiction Alastair Campbell was in the Vanguard of this new wave of recruits. "Kelly's Heroes" would be a fitting title.

realdoc said...

In a fight I always think Putin would win out of the world leaders. Blair would be crap but with any luck might shoot himself whilst trying to clean his rifle.

Fantastic photo in G2 in the Guardian today of the cabinet having just heard the Yanks had invaded. The words piss-up and brewery come to mind.

First Nations said...

billy: we have to teach the man to read first. as it is he has to learn his speeches phonetically, like Puffi Amiyumi.
hey tim-m feel anything this morning in your neck of the woods? stay away from the damn beach!

Will said...

Owned

Side-splitting proposal

There's a quite exceptionally hilarious, original and startling - oh, yes, and deep, and also courageous - piece of satire at Comment is Free by Tim Footman. He states his view on the Iraq war:

I opposed the war from the start but, perhaps perversely, I don't want coalition troops to return for the foreseeable future. Untainted by sectarian labels, a non-Iraqi force appears to be the only thing that prevents the country from slipping into complete anarchy.

Clear enough. Then he goes on to the satirical bit:

[H]ere is the chance for the hawks of 2003 either to atone for their sins, or to demonstrate that they still believe they were in the right. Every politician in the United Kingdom and the United States (and Australia and Spain and Poland and Thailand and Honduras and Tonga and every other country in the coalition) who voted for the war, and every journalist or other public figure who supported it, should be sent to Iraq immediately. As each neocon senator or hawkish hack emerges blinking onto the streets of Basra or Fallujah, a legitimate grunt or squaddie or Royal can be sent home. I'm particularly keen to see Melanie Phillips dressed as Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now.

If I wasn't clutching my sides, what I'd say is that Tim forgot to explain why he shouldn't now be sent to Iraq, as one of them coalition troops he doesn't want to see returning for the foreseeable future; and he forgot to explain why, opposing the war, he shouldn't have made himself available for being tortured by Saddam's torture outfits.

If you look at Tim's profile, by the way, you'll find that he does his share of the most difficult and dangerous jobs society has to offer, having been a firefighter, lumberman, construction labourer, and worked at both sea and mountain rescue. Oh no, sorry, my mistake - he's a writer and editor.

Annie said...

Norm (whoever he may be - oh, he does the difficult and dangerous job of univesity lecturer) does not allow comments on his blog. Wuss.

Anonymous said...

Annie, surely he doesn't claim that he *should* be doing difficult or dangerous jobs instead though, which is kind of the point of the original post I thought. unless the original piece isn't actually about anything (as it comes across), in which case I'll disregard it totally.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Norm (whoever he may be - oh, he does the difficult and dangerous job of univesity lecturer)...

Annie, that's just a tu quoque and you know it.

Annie said...

Well, I would if I knew what a tu quoque was.

My point was... it's a bit cowardly to have a go at someone else's post and offer no comeback or possibility of debate. Unlike our Tim.

Will said...

Annie;

You're not very bright are you?

Tim has his own blog. He can post a 'comeback' here if he wants. I personally can't wait for it.

Anonymous said...

I presume Tim is busy fighting the coup in Bangkok at the moment?

Or fighting Imperialism in Kosovo and Afghanistan?

Anonymous said...

No.
After watching the brave non reaction to Rwanda and Bosnia,he devoted his life to writing.

First Nations said...

someone's undermedicated.

Tim Footman said...

Hey, look who's taken advantage of the time difference. Hello Norm, and Dave A and Nick C and all your little Eustonite chums, all of whom have doubtless joined up to fight the infidel without us looking, copies of Ferguson's Empire clenched proudly between their buttcheeks.

Look, I just wrote a cogent argument for the coalition staying in Iraq, which surely means I think things can get better. That practically makes me a neocon. Roll over Don Rumsfeld and tell Chris Hitchens the news.

And the whole Normblog article is based on tu quoque, ad hominem, morituri te salutant, fetuccini primavera and any other slab of Latin cliche you can scrabble up. Which doesn't, incidentally, mean that you're more clever than Annie; just that you read Asterix when you were a kid. Woopy doo.

Annie, I apologise on behalf of this gatecrasher. Shall I block anonymous comments, do you reckon?

Anonymous said...

What are you doing to oppose the illegal coup in Bangkok Tim?

Jun Okumura said...

"University lecturer"? Why, I lecture universities all the time too. And unruly children. Young boys who don't give up theirs seat to their elders. Dogs, hamsters, cows...

So I guess my question is, if I lecture a lecturer, will that make me a meta-lecturer?

Tim Footman said...

Not quite sure whether Will and Anonymous are the same person, or just crouching under the same virtual rock.

But anyway. The coup was illegal, in that it contravened the constitution, but that was dead anyway. Thaksin, the previous PM, managed to make a complete laughing stock of it, completely blurring the line between his business and political personae. His 'democratic mandate' was based on industrial-scale vote buying, which all his opponents endeavoured and failed to match. As far as 'legality' and 'democracy' goes, the coup was a matter of rearranging deckchairs.

One legacy that Thaksin has given Thailand, thanks to his dodgy dealings in Singapore and Burma, is a heightened sense of xenophobia, which was recently given substance by the tightening of the foreign ownership and residency laws. Right now, any non-Thai who starts telling the locals about what's good for them is probably going to make matters much worse.

Tricky business, this telling-people-they-want-Western-style-democracy, innit? Ask W.

Jun: Oooh... don't get meta on me...

Anonymous said...

So you reported an illegal regime change and are not doing anything to oppose it?
Maybe a new biog of Aaliyah?

Tim Footman said...

Had the US-led coalition's removal of Saddam been as effective and peaceful as the Thai coup, I think we'd all have forgotten about it by now.

Would it not make more sense to carry on this discussion at CiF, since that's where the article is? Not that they allow anonymous posts there of course...

Anonymous said...

Had the Saddam regime has been as anodyne as the Thai, then Regime change would not have occurred.

And all the polls of Iraqis show a minimum of 61% in approval of the coalition overthrow of the Ba'athists.

Jun Okumura said...

FYI: Shi'ites and Kurds make up about 80% of the Iraqi population. Does this mean one fourth of the Shi'ites and Kurds think Saddam Hussein did it better?

And that's assuming all the Sunnis want to go back to the Ba'athist regime.

Annie said...

Will – ooooOOOoooo! (as I believe it is written.) No, I’m not very bright – I didn’t know, for example, that knowing Latin phrases is a measure of intelligence, so thanks for clearing that up. And I didn’t understand why Tim’s job undermines his argument, though Lord Norm’s job does not undermine his argument.

Don’t block the comments Tim – they are v entertaining, these CiF-ers, though they do get their knickers in a twist. We’re all much too nice and agreeable…