Saturday, August 20, 2005

Neo-conservative nonsense

The nonsense that keeps being spouted in the wake of the London bombings and in the name of Mr Blair’s “legacy” continues to amaze me. This revisionist troll called Graham calls himself “centre-left” whilst singing from the same hymn sheet as both Neo-conservative gangs of four on either side of the Atlantic.

Graham’s essay does actually raise a few decent points but on the whole is hopelessly confused and badly written.

Graham said:

It is such a frustrating, disheartening part of the emerging discourse. The idea that the terrorists who blew up innocent people on 7/7 were possessed with some kind of humanitarian concern for the innocent dead in Iraq, or were waging a political campaign like the IRA for the removal of the the US [sic] from Iraq, is clearly wrong. These are men devoted to the violent supremacy of their warped dochtrine [sic].

My response:

No one is condoning terrorism and no one (including the terrorists themselves) considers terrorists to be “were possessed with some kind of humanitarian concern for the innocent dead in Iraq”. But if you can’t see that 50 years of failed foreign policy by the US, the UK and the rest of Europe, has created an entire army of young Muslims vying for our blood, you must have been living on a different planet altogether.

See also “Suicide bombers without a cause” and
“How Jihadis really feel about us and the US”


Graham said:

Blair's domestic legacy isn't difficult to discern at this time (although I'm sure many will disagree with my assessments). We know that his stewardship will be defined by an uninterupted [sic] period of economic stability and growth, as he is predicted to leave the government at the end of next year. We know that the policies that have been the bedrock of securing that success were fought for and won by his courageous attempt to bring the Labour party into the mainstream of British politics. The Labour party's current viability in government, (three successive election victories, and predictions of a fourth)
as a result of his youth, charisma, moderate vision, and appeal to middle England, are where Tony Blair's legacy begins.

My response:

Mr Blair is a pathological liar who misled the British people over the link between 9/11 and Iraq and the WMD dossier. Mr Blair led the British people into a war against which a clear majority existed, and still exists today. As the head of Government, he is expected to carry out the will of the people, that’s called democracy. Instead, Mr Blair systematically does what HE FEELS is right, regardless of the people who so stupidly, and once too often, placed their trust in this manipulating intellectual nitwit.

Graham said:

There was nothing popular about stading [sic] up to Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with 16 successive security council resolutions. There was nothing popular about backing the United States when the French refused on any basis to agree to a second resolution directly threatening military action for another breach and continued non-compliance.

My response:

You’re a revisionist. Your historical knowledge of the Middle East goes back to about last Tuesday. Saddam Hussein was a Western creation. The US and UK (as well as Europe) supported Saddam unreservedly and armed him to the teeth, to provide a barrier against the fundamentalist Muslim revolution in Iran. The US also supported Saddam in an eight year war against Iran. The US and UK governments make political mint out of the geo-political and historical ignorance (“Cognocenti”? Ignoranti, more like) of people like you. See also this post.

Graham said:

I supported the war in Iraq. And, I continue to support it. I continue to believe that the free world should be active in trying to manage the threats posed by fascistic, dangerous regimes. But, there have have [sic] been some awful mistakes in securing and rebuilding Iraq after the war.

My response:

Nothing has been secured at all. But we’re pretty sure this little sortie cost about 100,000 civilian lives, at least we can take comfort from that? Is it surprising there is so much vitriolic hatred emanating from the Middle East towards the unholy "US-UK" alliance. Besides, with the US as an ally, who needs enemies?

Graham said:

Was this even Democratic? Was it not up to the Iraqi people to determine their economic future when elections could be held? Was it not incumbent upon us as self-perceived liberators to safeguard the big decisions that the Iraqi people would face, and might in turn be united by... like the direction of their economic policy? Wasn't there some other way of managing the requisite private investment other than opening up Iraq's borders to everyone? Has this not aggrevated [sic] the perceived notion of the US being occupiers and not liberators?

My response:

You’re almost making sense now. The US and UK aren’t liberators at all.

Graham said:

Post war Iraq, has been, in my opinion a mismanaged failure [sic]. The British Empire invaded arab [sic] nations centuries ago under no professed intension to liberate their inhabitants... without any pretense [sic] that they were anything other than invaders and occupiers, and yet, miraculously, they managed the economic growth and security of those nations with a great deal more efficiency than has taken place in Iraq.

My response:

A “mismanaged failure”… Could you point out a few examples of “well-managed failures”? Just curious…

"miraculously"... What's the magic word? Abracadabra! You twit!



Graham said:

It doesn't matter if I, and others who thought like me were right to support the war. The reality is it has failed thus far because the primary objectives have not been achieved.

My response:

So, now it doesn’t really matter anymore whether you were right or wrong about supporting the war? Dear me. You twitch and slither until you don’t understand yourself what on Earth you’re talking about.

Graham said:

It was very sad for me to see Tony Blair sail into a healthy 9-12 point lead during the build up to the British general election as the public debate focused upon domestic issues, only for Iraq to rear its head in the last two weeks, and for that lead to be consequently eroded to three points of an embarrisingly [sic] limp opposition Conservative party.

My response:

“It was very sad for me… [blah, blah, blah]: I think you’re simply a sad reactionary knee jerker.

Graham said:

The terrorism on September 11th, in Bali, Madrid, London, and now Egypt has nothing to do with the operation of Iraq. Two of those attacks took place before the war in Iraq had even begun. Like I said, in my opinion, this terrorism is the last throes of a failing theocratic facistic [sic] ideal. These terrorists cannot stand the incompatibility of their pre-eminence with free societies, and the way freedom spreads throughout all nations over time.

My response:

If you’re going to call people “fascists” (a grave allegation), at least have the courtesy to spell the word correctly.

Oh, yes, the American Neo-cons are only in it to “spread a little freedom”. You’re extremely naïve.

Do read up on the “anti anti-terrorism bill bill”: a fine example of Mr Blair’s “legacy” and New Labour’s idea of “freedom”.

Graham said:

But, Blair's legacy, so sadly spoiled by the failure of Iraqi reconstruction, is now a very easy place for anxious ideologues to lay blame.

My response:

“so sadly spoiled by the failure of Iraqi reconstruction”. So sadly, so sadly, can you hear those words in your head? If I had my way, Mr Blair’s legacy would be spoiled rather by being indicted as the first British Criminal of War.

Finally…

You, Sir, are very, very confused… Also, do try and use a spell checker, it makes you look less like a troll.

Keywords: ,

9 Comments:

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Graham said...

Hey Gert,

Just found this.

In spite of the fact you seem to have called me all types of names :) in your comprehensive rebuttal to my points on Blair's legacy, I promise to go through this, if you are interested for me to do so, and give you my counterpoints.

Am just a little tired now after a late nights work. In regards to your need to label me as a "Neo Con," (a very pleasant chuckle that gave me this morning) and your inability to square some of my opinions (like my support for the Iraq war) and the fact that I am a liberal and left of center... I would recommend you check out some of my other articles. Many people read my blog and I don't think that any of them have ever mistaken me for a "Neo Con" before.

I'm look forward to reading your entire article :).

 
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At 11:06 AM, Blogger Graham said...

Well, to begin I should make it clear that any labels that you ascribe to my position on the Iraq war don’t really concern me. What I attempt to do on my blog is express my opinion on a variety of issues regardless of where that opinion falls on the political spectrum. I am quite baffled by your need to attribute labels and political stereotypes as a means to assert your disagreement with me. What possible purpose is served by pigeonholing me as a “neo-conservative,” and a “troll,” when my views on Iraq are typically shared by the vast majority of Democrats in the US, including the platform John Kerry articulated at the 04 Election. Aren’t these labels somewhat subjective? Is John Kerry a Neo-Conservative? Is Bill Clinton? Consequently, isn’t the name calling somewhat redundant if it is your intention to demonstrate how confused and outlandish my views are?

The second thing is that I apologize if the bravado of my blog title rankles with you. I don’t claim to be a great thinker, or a great writer for that matter. I don’t claim to be educated, or well informed, and I always welcome debate and competing points of view. + I always try to keep an open mind. I simply enjoy exploring (rambling to you :P) my thoughts and ideas on a variety of issues. Those ideas stand on their own merits, right or wrong… but they are mine (my judgment) regardless of your attempts to categorize or demean them.

You wrote:

No one is condoning terrorism and no one (including the terrorists themselves) considers terrorists to be “were possessed with some kind of humanitarian concern for the innocent dead in Iraq”. But if you can’t see that 50 years of failed foreign policy by the US, the UK and the rest of Europe, has created an entire army of young Muslims vying for our blood, you must have been living on a different planet altogether.

My Reply:

I do disagree with you, and yes, I do believe we are living on different planets, lol. To argue that 50 years of a failed foreign policy by the US and the UK has, in isolation, been the cause for the rise of Islamic terror is frankly naïve. To quote another one of my posts:
“While to many, the innocent loss of life in Iraq and Afghanistan is offensive, they would be wrong to ascribe a similar humanistic value system to the murderers in London… these terrorists are not motivated by the loss of life in Iraq, they are motivated by the fact that the West would intervene in Iraq at all, and via its actions, threaten their supremacy. It is their wounded ego, and not wounded innocents that inspire their violence.
Osama Bin Laden does not weep out of empathy for the young that have been callously murdered in Palestine by the Jewish military (in fact I think he finds the U.S. military presence in his homeland Saudi Arabia much more offensive)… he weeps because the mere existence of Israel is a blight on the supremacy of his world view. I hope people of all denominations and creeds might slowly begin to see that the violence we saw in London, and the violence we saw in Madrid and New York was the brutal throes of a failing supremacistic and fascistic ideal.”

I don’t dismiss that the issues you raise have been contributory factors… that have exacerbated the polarization between the Arab world and the West, but there are larger issues involved that I don’t think you grasp.

You wrote:

Mr Blair is a pathological liar who misled the British people over the link between 9/11 and Iraq and the WMD dossier. Mr Blair led the British people into a war against which a clear majority existed, and still exists today. As the head of Government, he is expected to carry out the will of the people, that’s called democracy. Instead, Mr Blair systematically does what HE FEELS is right, regardless of the people who so stupidly, and once too often, placed their trust in this manipulating intellectual nitwit.

My reply:

You are incorrect. The majority of the British people supported the Iraq war when it began. I was in the United Kingdom during the entire lead up to the war, and in spite of the protests, and constant public dissection of the arguments, pros and cons, 50+% of the British people agreed with the action in the aftermath of the failure to acquire a second resolution at the United Nations. These polls are widely available on the ICM, You Gov, and Mori website. I also don’t think you grasp that we live in a “representative democracy,” and the way that system functions is that every four/five years we elect officials to act on our behalf. Even in the event that public opinion polls were in opposition to the war it would not be an undemocratic action for Tony Blair to act on the mandate given to him by the House of Commons and House of Lords. The implications of what you consider Democracy to mean would probably require referendums on every major government action and, as a result, the immediate re-instatement of Capital Punishment alongside some pretty draconian legislation against homo-sexuality…

Tony Blair does not simply do what he feels is right. He has a chamber of elected members of parliament upon whose support he relies. The political make up of that chamber is ultimately our responsibility as voters, and it slightly contradicts your viewpoint that the two parties which accrued the most votes at the last election both supported the Iraq war. Would this have been the case if the action in Iraq was such a grave offense against Democracy? If this process is insufficient for you then your issue is a constitutional one, and certainly not the sole responsibility of Tony Blair.

You Wrote:

You’re a revisionist. Your historical knowledge of the Middle East goes back to about last Tuesday. Saddam Hussein was a Western creation. The US and UK (as well as Europe) supported Saddam unreservedly and armed him to the teeth, to provide a barrier against the fundamentalist Muslim revolution in Iran. The US also supported Saddam in an eight year war against Iran. The US and UK governments make political mint out of the geo-political and historical ignorance (“Cognocenti”? Ignoranti, more like) of people like you. See also this post.

My reply:

Just because I have a different interpretation of events to you does not make me a revisionist, lol. Since when did you write history? Where did anything I state negate the role the West played in consolidating Saddam’s position, and worse, arming him? Your comprehension of my argument seems to be constrained by your personal perspective. Even though I say absolutely nothing that is inconsistent with your accounting of history, you presume I am ignorant and call me names.

Do you need an explanation?:
The reality of the threat that Saddam posed to his own people, the security of the region, and to the wider world didn’t cease to exist because of our complicity in his ascendence. He was still a problem that needed to be dealt with. Even those who disagreed with the war recognized this.

You wrote:

Nothing has been secured at all. But we’re pretty sure this little sortie cost about 100,000 civilian lives, at least we can take comfort from that? Is it surprising there is so much vitriolic hatred emanating from the Middle East towards the unholy "US-UK" alliance. Besides, with the US as an ally, who needs enemies?

My reply:

I agree with you a great deal. But, the facts you recite don’t necessarily negate the validity of taking action to remove Saddam. The war itself was one of the most expedient and efficient military campaigns in the history of modern warfare. There are costs associated with any such military intervention… and the costs incurred by the initial invasion and toppling of Saddam’s regime were considerably less than most Anti-war protesters suggested they would be. The vast majority of loss to civilian life, and British and American soldiers has been during the post war rebuilding effort… that I contend has been mismanaged.

Are you a pacifist? Did you agree with military intervention in Serbia? Would you have supported military intervention in Rwanda to halt the genocide in the 90’s as Clinton has retrospectively stated he should have pursued? Upon what basis do you expect diplomacy to mitigate the problems the world faces when 16 successive Security Council resolutions against Saddam, in the aftermath of the gulf war, which was fought to liberate the Kurds from Saddam’s invasion… were completely ignored. Does your far superior grasp of history stretch back to the League of Nations and the cause of its demise?

And the hatred emanating from the Middle East… the concern for the loss of life and the Human Rights abuses by US and UK troops that have been widely publicized are not the basis upon which an Islamic Terrorist decides to murder innocent people in a maniacal act of suicide/homicide. Yes, it is most certainly the means by which terrorism has thrived, and acquired the political masquerade of “liberating Iraq from US occupation,” … and that is why I am so staunchly in favor of attempts to internationalize the military presence that is currently in Iraq, a policy eloquently proposed by “neo-con,” John Kerry at the last US election.

You wrote:

A “mismanaged failure”… Could you point out a few examples of “well-managed failures”? Just curious…
"miraculously"... What's the magic word? Abracadabra! You twit!

My reply:

You do know this is my blog, right? My own personal space to ramble, whinge, proselatyze, and yes, make grammatical mistakes too. It’s my place to explore issues from my own perspective and, in spite of your enormously high opinion of yourself, you are not the only judge of whether what I write is worthy.

I should have said “a failure as a result of mismanagement.” Damn, you really undermined my whole argument right there.

If you’re attacking me for having poor grammar and spelling you should be aware that out there in the blogosphere it does get much worse than “mismanaged failure.” You should also know that you’re not always coherent yourself. I think anyone willing to consider my opinions with an open mind could easily grasp what I was trying to say.

You wrote:

Graham said:

It doesn't matter if I, and others who thought like me were right to support the war. The reality is it has failed thus far because the primary objectives have not been achieved.

You wrote:
So, now it doesn’t really matter anymore whether you were right or wrong about supporting the war? Dear me. You twitch and slither until you don’t understand yourself what on Earth you’re talking about.

My response:

You’re not really paying attention. I’m saying that, even if getting rid of Saddam Hussein was right, as I contend it to be, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation currently in Iraq, which is screwed up. I’m not saying at all that the question of whether the war in Iraq was right or wrong doesn’t matter. Of course it does. I wouldn’t be here discussing it with you if I thought that. I wouldn’t have had innumerable debates littered all over my blog with people on the left, and also on the right, if that was what I believed.

Your implications about me “slithering” are disienguous and not worthy my response

You wrote:
Graham said:

It was very sad for me to see Tony Blair sail into a healthy 9-12 point lead during the build up to the British general election as the public debate focused upon domestic issues, only for Iraq to rear its head in the last two weeks, and for that lead to be consequently eroded to three points of an embarrisingly [sic] limp opposition Conservative party.

My response:

“It was very sad for me… [blah, blah, blah]: I think you’re simply a sad reactionary knee jerker.

My reply:

There you go being all mature again. It’s when you make statements like this that I really open my mind, take your points seriously, and examine my perspective ;). You are a very impressive communicator.

And the big climax... You wrote:

You, Sir, are very, very confused… Also, do try and use a spell checker, it makes you look less like a troll.

My reply:
Like I said, I don’t know or care about what a troll is. My opinions are mine, and informed by own faculties and judgment. I’m not surprised you find the notion of supporting the Iraq War, but disagreeing with the way rebuilding effort has been waged, “confusing,” because your world view and perspective seems fairly narrow... in keeping with your ability to grasp viewpoints in opposition to your own.

In regards to my ability as a writer, regardless of my errors, regardless of your twenty year seniority, regardless of your supposed superior wisdom and knowledge… my writing, in terms substance, ideas, and readability is considerably better than your own.

My apologies for any spelling errors :).

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Dear Graham,

Your reply:

Well, to begin I should make it clear that any labels that you ascribe to my position on the Iraq war don’t really concern me. What I attempt to do on my blog is express my opinion on a variety of issues regardless of where that opinion falls on the political spectrum. I am quite baffled by your need to attribute labels and political stereotypes as a means to assert your disagreement with me.

My reply:

You call yourself centre-left and a liberal and a bit further down in your post, dissenters are called “ideologues”, but I guess these don’t count as labels… You’re easily baffled, but then small minds usually are. Your “attempt” is very feeble.

Your reply:

He [Osama Bin Laden] weeps because the mere existence of Israel is a blight on the supremacy of his world view. I hope people of all denominations and creeds might slowly begin to see that the violence we saw in London, and the violence we saw in Madrid and New York was the brutal throes of a failing supremacistic [sic] and fascistic ideal.”

I don’t dismiss that the issues you raise have been contributory factors… that have exacerbated the polarization between the Arab world and the West, but there are larger issues involved that I don’t think you grasp.

My reply:

If you can’t see that what is being condoned in Israel/Palestine to support the Israeli occupation of large swathes of Palestinian land, causes justified anger throughout the Muslim world then you’re burying your head in the sand. It’s a major contributing factor to the phenomenon of suicide bombings.

“supremacistic”: now you’re creating neologisms. Graham, try sticking to existing words, you seem to have enough trouble with them.

As regards the larger issues, you keep mentioning these without giving us a little taster of what you might think they could be (apart from “theocratic facistic” [sic] regimes of course!)

Your reply:

You are incorrect. The majority of the British people supported the Iraq war when it began. I was in the United Kingdom during the entire lead up to the war, and in spite of the protests, and constant public dissection of the arguments, pros and cons, 50+% of the British people agreed with the action in the aftermath of the failure to acquire a second resolution at the United Nations. These polls are widely available on the ICM, You Gov, and Mori website

My questions to you:

Did you not believe the 45 minute warning was simply farcical?
That the Hutton whitewash was sickening?
Did you, after all the inspections and the expert opinion of Hans Blix, still believe that Iraq held any WMD at all?
Do you still believe Saddam Hussein was in any way connected to 9/11?

All these “reasons” were used as justifications for invading Iraq, by Bush and Prez Bliar.

Your reply:

Do you need an explanation?:
The reality of the threat that Saddam posed to his own people, the security of the region, and to the wider world didn’t cease to exist because of our complicity in his ascendence. He was still a problem that needed to be dealt with.

My reply:

Yes, that’s very American: first create the problem, then botch things up trying to solve it, then make a Hollywood blockbuster about the whole thing. Apocalypse now, here we come, finally a sequel to that sick piece of war glorification. Why am I not surprised this is one of your favourite films?

What about Rwanda, Zimbabwe, etc etc etc etc. Well, no oil, no Bucks Rogers!

Many, including myself feel the US poses a serious risk to the world’s security. Should we start putting together an expeditionary force to remove Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Condy from power? Personally, I’m all for it.

Your reply:

There are costs associated with any such military intervention… and the costs incurred by the initial invasion and toppling of Saddam’s regime were considerably less than most Anti-war protesters suggested they would be.

My reply:

Oh, well, guess that makes it alright then. Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, now can we? “The cost was less than protesters suggested it would be”: you make me feel sick. And no, I’m not a pacifist. But you’re still a myopic troll.

Your reply:

If you’re attacking me for having poor grammar and spelling you should be aware that out there in the blogosphere it does get much worse than “mismanaged failure.” You should also know that you’re not always coherent yourself. I think anyone willing to consider my opinions with an open mind could easily grasp what I was trying to say.

My reply:

Out there in the blogosphere. Yes, out there in the blogosphere there are blogs about last night’s episode of Desperate Housewives, written in text message English. In that respect your blog is actually better, well done.

And, oh yes, I did grasp perfectly well what you were trying to say (but do try harder), it’s still reactionary pap though.

Your reply:

Your implications about me “slithering” are disienguous [sic] and not worthy my response

My reply:

That’s very deisegouneonoesu of u!

Your reply:

There you go being all mature again. It’s when you make statements like this that I really open my mind, take your points seriously, and examine my perspective ;). You are a very impressive communicator.

My reply:

Touchy and childish as well as misinformed.

Your reply:

My apologies for any spelling errors :).

My reply:

Don’t worry: I’m used to it by now.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Hey Gert :),

I guess I should take it as a compliment that I have stirred you up to such an extent. It is always said that you can judge a person by his enemies, and those that disagree with him... and while I certainly don't consider you an enemy (I've rather enjoyed the debate - if not your insults)... I do think it's a sign that I must be doing something right to have had this type of impact upon such a dogmatic and spiteful bully.

You wrote:

GRAHAM: Well, to begin I should make it clear that any labels that you ascribe to my position on the Iraq war don’t really concern me. What I attempt to do on my blog is express my opinion on a variety of issues regardless of where that opinion falls on the political spectrum. I am quite baffled by your need to attribute labels and political stereotypes as a means to assert your disagreement with me.

GERT: You call yourself centre-left and a liberal and a bit further down in your post, dissenters are called “ideologues”, but I guess these don’t count as labels… You’re easily baffled, but then small minds usually are. Your “attempt” is very feeble.


I identify my overall political persuasion to people who perchance across my blog.I didn't call dissenters, lol, ideologues. I was referring to those who are ideologically opposed to Tony Blair, regardless of the Iraq war, or any of his domestic policies... for example: The Daily Mail. I was certainly not using a label as an end unto itself to assert why my perspective is right, and someone else's is wrong, as you do frequently... That was what I was highlighting in my previous comment. You're obviously an intelligent man, and I know you are capable of distinguishing between the two.

You wrote:

GERT: If you can’t see that what is being condoned in Israel/Palestine to support the Israeli occupation of large swathes of Palestinian land, causes justified anger throughout the Muslim world then you’re burying your head in the sand. It’s a major contributing factor to the phenomenon of suicide bombings.

My reply:

What are you saying! Of course I see it. Where do I say anything that is inconsistent with this? Do you really even read what I write? I clearly recognize the myriad of contributory factors to Islamic Terror. What I was disagreeing with was your contention that US and UK foreign policy has been, in isolation, responsible. Something that you conveniently avoid addressing.

You wrote:

GERT: Graham, try sticking to existing words, you seem to have enough trouble with them.

My reply:

I think I'm quite good with words :P

You wrote:

GERT: As regards the larger issues, you keep mentioning these without giving us a little taster of what you might think they could be...

My reply:

http://thecognoscenti.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-did-terrorists-attack.html
http://thecognoscenti.blogspot.com/2005/08/iraq-and-war-on-terror.html

You wrote (this is my fave):

GRAHAM: You are incorrect. The majority of the British people supported the Iraq war when it began. I was in the United Kingdom during the entire lead up to the war, and in spite of the protests, and constant public dissection of the arguments, pros and cons, 50+% of the British people agreed with the action in the aftermath of the failure to acquire a second resolution at the United Nations. These polls are widely available on the ICM, You Gov, and Mori website

GERT: My questions to you:

Did you not believe the 45 minute warning was simply farcical?
That the Hutton whitewash was sickening?
Did you, after all the inspections and the expert opinion of Hans Blix, still believe that Iraq held any WMD at all?
Do you still believe Saddam Hussein was in any way connected to 9/11?

All these “reasons” were used as justifications for invading Iraq, by Bush and Prez Bliar.

My reply:

Why quote me if you're not even going to directly address my point? You claimed that the war in Iraq was undemocratic citing specific reasons, including the opinion of the British people at the time, and the fact that Tony Blair "gets to do whatever he feels like." I identified why your reasoning was flawed.

You wrote:

GRAHAM: Do you need an explanation?:
The reality of the threat that Saddam posed to his own people, the security of the region, and to the wider world didn’t cease to exist because of our complicity in his ascendence. He was still a problem that needed to be dealt with.

GERT: Yes, that’s very American: first create the problem, then botch things up trying to solve it, then make a Hollywood blockbuster about the whole thing. Apocalypse now, here we come, finally a sequel to that sick piece of war glorification. Why am I not surprised this is one of your favourite films?

My reply:

You read my profile, awwww :).

You wrote:

GERT: Many, including myself feel the US poses a serious risk to the world’s security. Should we start putting together an expeditionary force to remove Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Condy from power? Personally, I’m all for it.

My reply:

I agree with you passionately in terms of the threat posed by the current administration to world stability, security, and the whole concept of multilateralism. There are Democratic means available to rectify this, hence why I got involved with Kerry campaign while I was in LA, and will try to do more in 2008.

You wrote:

GRAHAM: There are costs associated with any such military intervention… and the costs incurred by the initial invasion and toppling of Saddam’s regime were considerably less than most Anti-war protesters suggested they would be.

GERT: Oh, well, guess that makes it alright then. Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, now can we? “The cost was less than protesters suggested it would be”: you make me feel sick. And no, I’m not a pacifist. But you’re still a myopic troll.

My reply:

I was highlighting that the catastrophic casualties suffered in Iraq, the basis upon which you discredit the entire operation, were not as a result of the initial invasion, but as a result of the failed rebuilding effort. If you're not a pacifist, then how can you condemn me for believing that the military intervention to remove Saddam Hussein was the most expedient and impressive in the history of modern warfare? Am I not entitled to think that this is a good thing? Does the "making an omelette without breaking any eggs" scenario not apply to any military intervention? Am I being myopic, or you?

You wrote:

GRAHAM: If you’re attacking me for having poor grammar and spelling you should be aware that out there in the blogosphere it does get much worse than “mismanaged failure.” You should also know that you’re not always coherent yourself. I think anyone willing to consider my opinions with an open mind could easily grasp what I was trying to say.

GERT: Out there in the blogosphere. Yes, out there in the blogosphere there are blogs about last night’s episode of Desperate Housewives, written in text message English. In that respect your blog is actually better, well done.
And, oh yes, I did grasp perfectly well what you were trying to say (but do try harder), it’s still reactionary pap though.

My reply:

I will try harder... I do try harder. I'm here discussing my perspective with you in the face of your continued verbal assault, aren't I? Blogs about "Desperate Housewives written in text message English" were not what I was referring to... to show that my blog, comparitvely speaking, isn't that insufferable to read.

Let's face it Gert, we could always put your blog beside mine and see which one is the more engrossing, provocative, interesting, and engaging as opposed to a celebrity themed weblog :).

You wrote:

GRAHAM: Your implications about me “slithering” are disienguous [sic] and not worthy my response

GERT: That’s very deisegouneonoesu of u!

My reply:

What's I find very funny is that you go on to call me childish in the next paragraph of your rebuttal.

You wrote:

GRAHAM: There you go being all mature again. It’s when you make statements like this that I really open my mind, take your points seriously, and examine my perspective ;). You are a very impressive communicator.

GERT: Touchy and childish as well as misinformed.

My reply: Lol.

Gert, I think that you should maybe take all of the time and effort that you have applied to your rigorous analysis of my writing and thinking, and direct it toward your own thought processes...

In light of everything that you've said... in light of all of your insults, judgments, name calling, and spite... do you really think me noting the fact that you are a poor communicator equates to being touchy and childish? I know you said we lived on different planets, but, as I mentioned before, you are plainly an intelligent man, capable of dexterous and complex contemplation and theorization. You insult yourself more than you insult me with the above comment.

To be perfectly honest, I think you're confused, my friend, and not I. But, I've appreciated the debate, and am happy to continue on at your leisure.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Dear Graham,

I posted a large reply here a little while ago but a problem at blogger caused it to be deleted. Very frustrating, I've not had this happen before and hope it won't happen again either!

In brief: my suggestion is that I put together a post with my own views on Foreign policy, the Middle East and GW II, rather than continuing the debate in a space that's not an actual forum.

You can then comment on that, if you like.

I think it would be more constructive and also more interesting for readers. Not that many visitors read also the comments, so we're really just "talking to ourselves", something we could do via email (gmeyers@gmeyers.plus.com, feel free).

Perhaps you could do the same? You raised many good points in your comments, on issues that were clearly lacking in your "Blair's legacy" post.

We actually agree on a lot more than we might think. On other aspects we'll continue to agree to disagree, I'm sure.

When I've got the post up, I'll drop you a line at your blog.

Thanks for spending time here to clarify your positions, I know how time consuming it all is.

Best regards,

Gert.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Hey Gert,

Where did that thing you wrote go :(. God, I hope you didn't read back what I wrote and begin to dislike me all over again.

Well, animosity aside you've thoroughly earned my respect... and I am very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on this new blog, if you'll have me.

LIke I said, thanks for the dialogue, I did thoroughly enjoy it. I like to be challenged and in all of my arguments online, and PR work online, I must say that I rarely, if ever, have I felt so challenged... if that means anything to you. I'm sure I have a lot to learn from your ideas, perspectives, and knowledge in the future so I'll be coming back to read your stuff frequently.

Be well up there in Yorkshire.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Dear Graham,

I found the reply I posted back in the email blogger sent me before things went wrong, so here it is, the unadulterated original. I apologise for the hiccup and I suppose it proves one should always keep a back up of everything one writes.

The more you defend yourself, the more I get to see your true colours and the more I like them.

If your post actually hit a nerve with me, it’s because to me it was essentially a hagiography of a man that I quite liked up to GW II, without a great deal of arguments for your Blairite apologist approach. I don’t like old fashioned terms like treason or betrayal, but by Mr Blair, I and many with me feel personally betrayed. So naturally, when I see someone defending the PM so rather slavishly and without a great deal of argument, I get on the counter-offensive.

Initially (I’m not quoting now), you seemed to follow New Labour’s extremely vague party line on “deeper underlying causes” for Islamist terrorism, when really you accept (and so do I) that there are a myriad of reasons, the occupation of Iraq being one of them, Palestine another and there are other causes as well. Mr Blair continues to deny any link to Iraq and that’s extremely irresponsible. As the outgoing PM, Mr Blair has an excellent opportunity to make some amends and complete his legacy on a positive note, instead he and his government are increasingly behaving like mandarins. What strikes me as frankly an obsession with “National Security” by Blair et al of course always goes down well with the general populace who are easily lulled into a false sense of security (it itself a grave danger), but that doesn’t make it a great political achievement.

The opposition is largely paralysed because of their initial support for the war (a tactical mistake on their part) from which they feel they can’t got out of (for the Tories there are of course other factors as well). That in itself is a sad side-effect of this sorry saga of a foreign invasion that has so far cost so much and resolved so little. I’ve always maintained from the start of GW II, that the military action has made the world a more dangerous place, not a safer one. I’m far from alone in this opinion and can see the violent evidence emerge at an alarming rate. The rift between the British Muslim communities and the rest of this country is also creating climate of fear and suspicion, despite of the “shoulder to shoulder” rallying cries. Unless the West is willing to invest more time, effort and sense to resolving Middle Eastern issues to which we are, at least partly, to blame, we will continue to breed young men that are willing to sacrifice their lives to blow up as many of our loved ones as they can. That this isn’t justified is entirely beside the point because it won’t stop it from happening, time and time again.

I haven’t right now got the time to answer to all your last remarks, although I’ve read them with interest. Thanks for taking the time.

Nor is the comments section of a blog the ideal debating space, that’s what fora are for.

Instead I suggest I put together a comprehensive review of my ideas and opinions regarding Western foreign policy in the Middle East, GW II and the causes of Islamist terrorism. You can then comment on that, if you want to. I will take a few days if not more, to do so, I’m busy too.

I’ll drop a line on your blog when it’s up.

Best regards,

Gert.

 

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