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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This is our Guernica

Jonathan Steele, the Guardian's senior foreign correspondent and Dahr Jamail, a freelance American journalist explain the significance of Fallujah and the price paid in that "hotbed" of anti-American insurgency.

We still don't know the true cost of American attacks. Casualty figures vary wildly, but thousands of civilians may have been murdered. This town, the "symbol of defiance", is still under siege and atrocities are being reported by the few brave journalists entering the city.

"Dr Hafid al-Dulaimi, head of the city's compensation commission...reports that 36,000 homes were destroyed in the US onslaught, along with 8,400 shops. Sixty nurseries and schools were ruined, along with 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries.

"Daud Salman, an Iraqi journalist with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, on a visit to Falluja two weeks ago, found that only a quarter of the city's residents had gone back. Thousands remain in tents on the outskirts. The Iraqi Red Crescent finds it hard to go in to help the sick because of the US cordon around the city."

Read the whole thing. This is Iraqi "liberation" in the trenches.


Anonymous JC said...

France suffered rather a worse fate in terms of infrastructure loss in the second world war, especially during the 'liberation phase' after the Normandy landings. Does this in some way invalidate or detract from its liberation from an oppressive regime?

Dump Iraq, Antony. You're flogging a dead horse. The more Iraqis openly praise the US invasion and themselves resist the foreign Jihadists who kill their neighbours and kin, the more your thoughts on this seem like the rantings of an obsessed anti-American fantasist.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Glenn Condell said...

You are the fantasist mate. Give me one reputable survey that supports your contention about Iraqis praising the occupation (not 'invasion', which is after all in the past).

Another anonymous keyboard warrior.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

Also interested in comments By General Richard Myers, that insurgent attacks continue at the same level than they did 12 months ago.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:23:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

The message is clear. We simply do not know what happened in Fallujah. Believing the US military isn't an option. Numerous eyewitness reports are emerging that tell a horrific tale. What exactly did the US do there to quell the insurgency? Until we know, we should only presume the worst.
As for 'dumping' Iraq. Thanks for the advice, but there are still many questions to be asked, questions that pro-war supporters like to ignore, not least of which is the fact that, as Glenn rightly says, survey after survey proves that Iraqis want the occupation to end. Western commentators ignore the fact that one of the major policy platforms of the parties on January 30 was the removal of all foreign forces.
What happens in Iraq strongly determines the future direction of US foreign policy. I know where I stand...

Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:01:00 am  
Anonymous JC said...

Warrior? I make a point of contention with Antony, and I'm a "warrior"? You've got rather a thin skin, my friend, to get so excitable over the expression of mild disagreement.

Lastly, I've been signing "JC" (which are my initials) on weblogs for the last two years. You are the first maniac to accuse me of doing so out of 'cowardice'.

Grow up and learn to play civilized with the adults, child.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:00:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

Antony, if, as you say, there is a total absence of credible intelligence on the status of Fallujah (which I find to believe) why then must we 'assume the worst'? Better to suspend judgement until the facts are in, I would have thought.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Glenn Condell said...

'You've got rather a thin skin, my friend'

I've got a hide like a rhino jc.

The phrase 'keyboard warrior' sometimes accompanied by 'of the Fighting 101st' is an internet trope often employed by us knee jerk anti war leftists to describe people like you, who are happy for the US to kill thousands of innocent people for gain, in our name.

You answer the description I'm afraid.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:15:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

That is pathetic, even by leftist standards. Petty demonization through petty over-simplification. It is people just like you, on the left and the right, who will tear this country apart one day. Stupid little polemicists who can't engage in civil discourse.

You answer that description, I'm afraid.

Also, I saw some other posters discovered that you're in charge of examinations at Sydney University. Why am I not surprised.

How can you, in good conscience, hold such a position? You are evidently powerfully biased, a total political partisan. If you had a shred of integrity you would admit to a conflict of interest (as well as a total divorce from necessary academic objectivity) and resign.

I'll be writing to your employers so that they are, in any event, aware of your partisan activism.

Friday, April 29, 2005 6:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Glenn Condell said...

'Also, I saw some other posters discovered that you're in charge of examinations at Sydney University. Why am I not surprised.'

I'm at a loss to make sense of this. Why shouldn't I be? Or rather, what is it about my employment that bothers you? Is it germane to any of the discussions here? What is your employment? Or are you as ashamed of it as you are your own name? Are all University employees suspect to you? Why? Is it the result of your own research or are you faithfully rendering the attitudes of what you imagine to be your class of people? Do you feel safer retreating from argument into this sort of adolescent labelling? Come to think of it, I would too, given the paucity of weight in your 'arguments', a description I'm unsure your predigested group-thunk talking points deserves.

'How can you, in good conscience, hold such a position?'

Jesus. How can you, in all honesty, even ask such a stupid question? Don't you realise how close you run to the fascism of the 30's? Would you purge the universities, a la Horowitz and Pipes? No liberals in management eh? You're channelling McCarthy which wouldn't be too worrying except for the fact that there seems to be thousands of you appearing new-minted every week.

There are always more sheep than shepherds, but never more so than now.

'You are evidently powerfully biased, a total political partisan. If you had a shred of integrity you would admit to a conflict of interest (as well as a total divorce from necessary academic objectivity) and resign.'

Well you couldn't even apply for such a job, could you? Your biases would rule you out of anything remotely involved in providing a service to the community. Perhaps you work in hedge funds or liquidations.. what exactly do you do?

And as an aside, there was a huge protest against VSU yesterday, which ended up on the Library lawn, with the Chair of the Academic Board congratulating students for protesting and assuring them that the University stands with them, from the Senate down. Support for VSU at he University is miniscule.

So you'd have to get rid of all of us you see. May as well just abolish Unis altogether eh? Why not a pre-emptive strike? After all, if we're not with you, we're against you right? And we all know what that means nowadays.

Anyway, my role is totally non-academic. I run examinations, not write them. And whatever my political leanings, they have no bearing whatever on my work, which is purely administrative. Under your regime, the fact of my public employment would bar me from political activity altogether... is this the drift of your thinking, such as it is? Who exactly would be allowed to open their mouths in your ideal world? Would political beliefs be part of your application form for jobs? Can’t you see where you’re headed?

'I'll be writing to your employers so that they are, in any event, aware of your partisan activism. '

Puny little proto-fascist. (My tit for your tat - 'stupid little polemicist') Go right ahead you cowardly shill.. what will you sign your name as, when you make your report, Mr Public Accountability? jc? Anonymouse?

Whatever it is you do, I can't imagine you work any harder than I do. I take my work seriously and I'm proud of what I do and how I do it; just quietly, my employers agree. It's all of a piece... I'm proud also of my name and of the opinions I have thought long and hard to arrive at. Compare and contrast.

'Stupid little polemicists who can't engage in civil discourse.'

Do you want to engage in civil discourse? OK, fine.

I will politely ask the following question and hope for a reply with civility written all over it:

Do you agree with the use of depleted uranium in the bombing of civilians and would you therefore be happy for an enemy of ours, real or imagined, to do the same to your street, your family, your community? Or is it OK for us to do this in the absence of any such commensurate opponent?

Sorry, I realise there's three questions there, but I didn't think, in the spirit of civility, that you'd mind.

Also, I’d like to make clear that I am happy to debate with you, civilly or otherwise, here or elsewhere, any time you like. My preference is for full disclosure; names, occupations, beliefs, etc. Maybe Antony would agree to host us. Over to you.

Saturday, April 30, 2005 1:26:00 pm  

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