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Thursday, February 09, 2006

News bytes

- Hysterical hack David Horowitz - a man rather fond of a former oil man - has just released a new book, "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America." It promises to be a challenging read. One of his targets, Robert Jensen, has already responded and reminds the rabid Zionist that questioning the Iraq war and US foreign policy is a patriotic duty.

- Sami Ramadani, a political exile from Saddam's regime and a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, argues that the mainstream media is deliberately distorting the will of the Iraqi people:

"Only complete withdrawal will satisfy most Iraqis. And if genuine liberty and independence are not forthcoming, the spiral of violence will intensify from Afghanistan to Palestine."

- Debate over Victoria's racial vilification laws continues and church leaders are asking for change.

12 Comments:

Blogger Wombat said...

Jensens measured and eloquent rebuttal really goes to show who is the rabid party in this debate.

People like David Horowitz are actually an war critic's best ally.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 11:17:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

I tend to mix Horowitz up with that Pipes fellow. They look a bit alike, with the faux progressive goatee, and they share professor-hunting tendencies.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:42:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

I picture them running into a Shia late night get out-of-Israeli-jail Ho Down and being recognised...

Thursday, February 09, 2006 7:59:00 pm  
Blogger Progressive Atheist said...

Here's an interesting tidbit.

Scooter Libby, who got indicted over the CIA Plame leak, thought that anytime anybody used the word 'neoconservative' it was anti-Semitic.

http://www.slate.com/id/2129634/&

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:45:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Unless of course, they themselves were "neoconservative".

Friday, February 10, 2006 10:41:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

How shrill they are!

Reminds me of Christopher Hitchens fulminating about the BBCs pronunciation of Wolfowitz. I kid you not.

It's as if they're priests of some sort and their bullshit is holy writ, sacred dogma, and our concerns, even the odd respectful question, is heresy, blasphemy, mortally sinful.

We're so imprinted with such an aversion to 'classic' tropes of antisemitism that when we see a cabal composed largely of Jews stage-manages a war which they have been trying to sell on Israel's behalf for a decade, we aren't allowed to call it what it is.

The cabal thrives in this aversion, takes advantage of our 'good manners' in ignoring their shenanigans and plans even more Israel-friendly adventures while the iron is hot. They know enthusiasm is on the wane in the US, so they're wasting no time.

Scooter and Judy are as he said just two little aspen roots among clusters in the forest, making subterranean connections not for perusal by the likes of us.

But Patrick Fitzgerald seems to believe that other people can indeed penetrate that forest, when they have the law, and the future health of their country on their side. Good on him.

Friday, February 10, 2006 10:56:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Nicely put Glenn, but please, don't get me started on Hitch.

Mr. Hitchens is author of all he surveys and everything he surveys is the subjective corollary of his own bipolar straddling of all opposites. What fails to meet his delusional projections, he conjures out of the interstices, and by-golly his chimera will anthropomorphize no matter what! If it's a religious nut he needs to make his case, then a religious nut he'll have; if it's a dictator, sure enough one will materialize; and if theocracy's to be the great satan, then every state he designates for ruin will be run by extremist, jihadist fruit-jobs! That's how the Hitchens universe works: Post hoc ergo propter hoc, it doesn't matter if the reality needs retrospective tailoring so long as it can be forced to fit the shape of his cock-eyed vision.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:07:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

And most people just blame Hitchens' weirdness on the drink!

There's a slew of inter-related reasons for his apostay. I personally feel he's been compromised somehow; they have something on him and it's bad enough that he'll junk his precious reputation to prevent it getting out. He would not be the only one; most assets become that way thru blackmail or some other hardball option, such as family threat.

But there is always a core who will tailor their work according to the dictates of power, simply because it's power. Hitchens' work is shot thru with apparently self-deprecating asides full of name-drops and clues to his regular supping at the top tables.

Last, there is the old Trotskyist longing for order imposed ruthlessly in pursuit of some ideological abstraction, in this case world freedom and democracy, courtesy of the USA. The old Hitch would have vomited at the very thought, but he was (ideologically) homeless after Communism collapsed everywhere, and those neocons were so nice to him (there is the added allure of ethnic if not religious affiliation) that he threw his not inconsiderable lot in with them.

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of his soul, always assuming it exists. Regrets, he's had a few? He must know he made a dreadful mistake, a personal strategic blunder comparable to the disaster he lent his name to.

And that points to another factor in the conundrum - he was spectacularly wrong and an ego like his is probably just incapable of admitting to others, and perhaps even to himself that 'I was wrong.'

And an apology would be light years further away.

Friday, February 10, 2006 6:02:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Good observations Glenn,

Fleckenstein wrote the best dissection of Kitchens I have read so far:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=4&ar=6

I tend to agree with Fleckenstein’s opinion that Hitch used 911 as an opportunity to jump ship from the left. I don’t know if this shift has been so much case of him being compromised, as him seizing the opportunity to align himself with the lucrative gravy train that finances right wing think tanks.

It’s obvious that a man of his intellect cannot possibly believe half the crap he spits out, but as you say, he has invested far too much in this war to turn back and his ego would never accept such acquiescence. He realises that his position on the war is unsustainable so his more recent columns have toned down his arrogance and seems to be making efforts to engage the middle ground. I suspect that he’s covering his bases in case he needs to jump ship again. I have also noticed he is getting rather lazy in his pro war columns, suggesting he is getting bored with the subject.

Not satisfied with mere strawment to knock down, Hitchens has constantly resorted to one of the most absurd rhetorical devices -- the "oh, it would have been worse if we hadn't decided to commmit mass murder and fuck the whole damn thing up." In typically disingenuous fashion, apologists like Hitchens invariably portray opponents of the Iraq war as being so petty and mean-spirited as to regret any genuine improvement in the post-war environment there.

Using Hitch’s argument, we should have invaded the Soviet Union to prevent all the chaos predicted for them. They had even greater internally disruptive forces that Iraq, yet managed to resolve them without much blood at all. So to pretend that things were going to be so bad as to justify the resultant deaths of several hundred thousand people, is weak.

For a person who supposedly dislikes fascism, especially Islamo-fascism, a term for which he credits himself for inventing, he sure looks like one, tastes like one and smells like one. Who else but a fascist put the right of some state over the individual rights of life and self determination of the Iraqis? How the hell does he get to skip over the essential issue of WHAT RIGHT DID WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE CHANGES?

I won’t be expecting a apology anytime soon. For now, Hitch resorts to taking any development in Iraq, irrespective of whether it is a positive or negative one for the Iraqi’s, and distorting it to suggest it is all somehow evidence of the puzzle falling into place. It would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic.

I used to love to read Hitch, even though I disagreed with him, but as I said earlier, Hitchen’s columns are becoming less and less interesting. He’s descended into being just a pathetic fool with so much blood on his hands that there isn't enough gin in the world to wash it clean.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:05:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

I thought Hitchens, despite his conversion to the true path of neoconservatism, has remained pretty "lefty" regarding the Palestine/Israel question?

Saturday, February 11, 2006 7:44:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

He doesn't touch on the Palestine/Israel issue that much, but leans slightly to the left yes. Everythign else, he is most certainly right leaning.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 12:55:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

"It's as if they're priests of some sort and their bullshit is holy writ, sacred dogma, and our concerns, even the odd respectful question, is heresy, blasphemy, mortally sinful."

Are you sure you're not describing environmentalists?

Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:25:00 pm  

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