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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

An ethical blank cheque

Richard Drayton, senior lecturer in history at Cambridge University, The Guardian, May 10 2005:

"The ‘good war’ against Hitler has underwritten 60 years of warmaking. It has become an ethical blank cheque for British and US power. We claim the right to bomb, to maim, to imprison without trial on the basis of direct and implicit appeals to the war against fascism.

"When we fall out with such tyrant friends as Noriega, Milosevic or Saddam we rebrand them as 'Hitler'. In the 'good war' against them, all bad things become forgettable 'collateral damage'. The devastation of civilian targets in Serbia or Iraq, torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the war crime of collective punishment in Falluja, fade to oblivion as the 'price of democracy'."

14 Comments:

Blogger Anthony_ said...

And the alternative is??? You lefties like to complain without giving us an a reasonable and workable alternative.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:15:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Anthony,

That's a tired line isn't it? You keep insisting that the left has no workable alternative, when it has been on the table from the start. You're just refusing to hear it.

How about the the cessation of support for tyrants. Just today, Netenyahu equated the election of Hammas to the rise of Hitler. Perhaps he was drawing parallels between Hitler's support from the West to Hammas being the recipient of support from Israel.

Stem the ferocious quest for resources at the expense of other countries.

Cease the slaugher in Iraq and prevent such disaters from being repeated.

It's not that hard Anthony. Just think outside the imperialist, right wing box.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 12:40:00 pm  
Blogger Anthony_ said...

Mate I only started posting on this site since the other day. How have I been keeping insisting on something from one or two posts? Unless you mean some other Anthony out there...somewhere that isn’t me.

Sure where applicable these Tyrants should not of been funded I agree. However they are here now and need to be dealt with.

Also apply your resources line to the real world...it would take years to bring about alternative renewable resources there is no on/off switch.

The slaughter happening in Iraq is not due to the American troops but these so called insurgents. It’s much easier to strap bombs to their chests and kill civilians then to take on the yanks.

At the end of the day it’s not the Western Democracy’s that are at fault. It’s really simple...religion. You have all these idiots following some archaic nonsense telling them the other side is wrong.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:00:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

who are the insurgents fighting against anthony? little green men,

and the americans are just there to adjudicate?

actually read about why we supposedly went to war, and then have a look at the truths have come out, and then actually think about why we are still there,

i saw some photos this morning on a site called unembedded.net that made me want to grab every apathetic australian by the hair and drag them to that bombed out country to really have a look at the results of this war, to make them REALLY stop and think about this war machine we are involved with,

most "left wingers" dont want dead children laying in bits in the street, explain to me what is wrong with that sentiment

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:25:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Sorry for the confusion Anthony,

as you may have guesses, there is more than one of you on this forum.

Re Tyrants. The problem is that the US doesn't seem to be learnign from it's mistakes. It continues to protect and support the House of Saud, Karimov, Mubarak and Abdullah.

The Iraq thing is a touchy topic with me, suffice to say that there were no car bombs or suicide bombings going off in Baghdad priot to 2003. If the US had not invaded, the Iraqi's woud not have been radicalised to fight back and each other.

The Iraq situation was not about religion. Nor was Afghanistan.

As for archaic nonesense and idiotic followers , ther are plenty in the West, and some of them, like Lt. Gen. Boykin hold powerful positions in the US military.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/16/attack/main578471.shtml

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger Anthony_ said...

Addamo : Yeah like I said *all* religion is archaic nonsense be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim whatever.

On the tyrants...your right they haven’t learnt at all no argument there. Again your correct what needs to happen is for a new fuel source to come along that will make oil redundant and reduce the Middle East into the insignificant desert it is. There may be some hope on this..even Bush is talking about alternative fuels.

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,18006224^661,00.html

Smiths: These insurgents are not taking on the Americans head on, they would lose. They have resorted to vile terrorist style attacks as it’s more productive to their cause. They don’t give a damn about the people. You really think the Americans (no matter how wrong you think the war is) would purposely target civilians?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 5:48:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Addamo_01
Robert Fisk was talking about the Dawa Party the other day .
Look it up on Wikipedia - an interesting party to say the least and perhaps Iraq was having problems without the US stomping about .
I'm not saying they have less now but the place has had multiple problems for many years - decades even.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 5:55:00 pm  
Blogger JohD said...

Unfortunately it is more than just a comparison to Hitler that is providing the blank cheque. Our revulsion for persecution of an individual by the State provides more cover. If a person is being crushed by the apparatus of State, we know it is wrong, but we don't need a codified International law to know it is wrong.

In any social or political system, if we want to know who exercises power, we look for the one that enforces the law. When the International Community voted to codify the Human Rights Laws, they had no inkling what it would lead to.

When a Human Right is declared and codified; it leads to three possible responses to a violation: actions that are neutral towards that violation (Tibet); actions that support that violaton (Palestine), and actions that oppose that violation (Iraq). Far from bestowing any right upon the victim, all these actions bestow rights upon the enforcers (or enablers as the case may be). The Right not to be torture therefore becomes the Right to prevent torture, which is a hop skip and jump to the right to bomb torturers, and create collateral damage.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:36:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Anthony,

Your summary of the insurgent activity is simplistic. The US forces have pitted the Shia against the Sunni, by sitting by and allowing the Shia militia, the Wolf and Badar Brigades to terrorise the Sunni population. Many of the attacks on the population would likely fallinto the catergory of revenge attacks.

Late last year, 2 British SAS soldiers were captured, disguidsed as iraqi's in Basra. They were driving a car fillwed with explosive and a remote controlled detonator. The British basically blew holes in the prison walls to release them.

Commn sense would suggest this was part of the clandestine operatinos to incite conflict between secular factions.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:56:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

boredinHK,

I am aware that the situation in Iraq was insettled, and some suggest Saddam's regime was ready to implode.

Either way, the US invasinon has certainly not stemmed the violence. Iraq may possibly have headed to wards a Civil War without the US invasion, but as it stands they are headed for one after the US invasinon.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 1:46:00 am  
Blogger AL said...

About Abu Ghraib. See:
.
.
supportmpscapegoats.com
.
.
And while you're there, sign the petition.
.
.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 2:44:00 am  
Blogger Anthony_ said...

Addamo_01 the Sunni were the oppressors of the old regime. Don't really feel sorry for them...paybacks a bitch aint it.

Besides most of the civillians dying are not Sunni, the terrorists...oh sorry "freedom fighters" are targeting the Shiaites. It's funny don't you think that alot of these "freedom fighters" are not Iraqi??

Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:15:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

Naturally, any conqueror is going to play one group against another. For example, I think about 90% of the forces that the British used to control India were Indians.

There's that astonishing statistic that at the height of British power in India, they never had more than 150,000 people there.

That was true everywhere. It was true when the American forces conquered the Philippines, killing a couple hundred thousand people. They were being helped by Philippine tribes, exploiting conflicts among local groups. There were plenty who were going to side with the conquerors.
Noam chomsky

its worked for thousands of years, and its working in iraq

Thursday, February 02, 2006 1:32:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

"It's funny don't you think that alot of these "freedom fighters" are not Iraqi??"

Sorry dont; have a clue what you mean here. Shia and Sunni in iraq are both Iraqi as far as I can see.

Adn shile payback may seem inevitable, it doesn't bode well for security. Soon we will see revenge upon revenge spanning generations, much like we saw in Nothernm Ireland, but on a much larger scale.

Friday, February 03, 2006 12:31:00 am  

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