|Screw the globophobes!||Globophobes, allez vous faire mettre!|
|Another one just opened.
||Encore un qui vient de s'ouvrir.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
|Pali Psycho Death Cult©® and willing henchman||Le Culte Psychotique de la Mort palestinien©® et ses tristes sbires|
|The brat wasn't shot, there was no massacre in Jenin, Kill faster, Total war.
||On n'a pas tiré sur le sale gosse, il n'y a pas eu de massacre à Jénine, Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale.
Wanting to explore "a myth", the English National Opera seems to be preparing a Springtime for Kaddhafi, RV informs us, while directing us towards Syria which, besides attempting to sign an arms deal for Russia's SA-18, may soon be, according to GPF, the target of an American air strike.
Referring to the escalating attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq by Iraqi insurgents, [a former senior U.S. intelligence official told United Press International that] "Syria is complicit in the (anti-U.S.) insurgency up to its eyeballs."And how about doing an Iraqi Freedom, swooping in, and getting rid of the entire régime, once and for all? Indeed, couldn't that have been done in April or May 2003, and in less than the three weeks it took to topple Saddam? (Wishful thinking…)
"Syria is the No. 1 crossing point" for guerrillas entering Iraq," Gary Gambill, editor of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, said. He added that Damascus "does nothing about it." An administration official said Syria has "camps in which Syrians are training Iraqis for the insurgency and others where Iraqis are training Syrians for the same purpose" which could be hit by U.S. air strikes.
… Recently, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that senior Baath Party officials from Iraq are operating from Syria where they provide financing and direction to the cells of Iraqi insurgents killing Americans …
U.S. officials told United Press International that money, direction, weapons and personnel are flowing into Iraq from Syria, ending up in Iraqi cities such as Iskanderiya, Baqouba, Latafiya and Fallujah.
… In addition to Syria being used as a rear area for insurgents, it is a key center of finance for former Saddam Hussein officials who are leading the insurgency, thanks to stashes of Iraqi cash that could run as high as $3 billion, which is all in the Syrian banking system, according for former and serving administration officials. There are also allegedly "many millions of dollars" from Palestinian groups flowing into Syria that are also being used to help finance anti-American guerrilla groups in Iraq, these sources said.
|Waiting for the weekend while playing with their navel ring||Toujours attendre les prochaines RTT en se tripotant le piercing au nombril|
|Zeropa thinks that it is 'reality based'. Better check the definition.
||La Zéropa est convaincue d'occuper un espace 'à base de réalité'. L'heure est venue de vérifier la définition.
|Sorry, the DNA taken from the hair of your left eyebrow doesn't match the DNA from your right foot toenail.
Speaking to Nicolas Weill, Luc Ferry denounces the archaism of the political establishment, the lack of courage of the MPs, and their "almost obsessional" attachment to the media.
The former education minister charges that
the president of the republic probably prefers to have by his side professional politicians who owe him something rather than lay people who owe him nothing. The latter … have nothing to lose or, at least, much less than those for whom politics has become the profession.For Francis Mer, politics has become a "trade for life", and in spite (or because) of that, the world of French politics is lacking in "professionalism"; specifically, it is lacking in that
"breath" that exists between the public and the private sectors, notably in the United States.Saying that he calls himself a champion of the "free market, albeit not an extremist", the former economics minister calls on his colleagues to follow the example of the English, "who manage their administrations like a private enterprise", instead of the Omertà that exists in France.
The response to the two men's criticism (as noted by Jean-Baptiste de Montvalon) is not always reassuring — listen to this description of a calling (politician/member of parliament) that its supposed to be that of someone who serves the people:
This job can't be improvised. It's a specialty which has its own language, its own code of conduct, its own culture, and its own mores.
While both Chirac and his foreign minister, Michel Barnier, have firmly denied any change in France's policy on Iraq, they appear to have softened their language on some of the main areas of controversy with the United States in Iraq.Of course, this is all realpolitik. Everything France does and says (or, conversely, doesn't do and say) is presented as being proof of superior wisdom, tolerance, capacity for reasoning, love of justice, avant-garde vision, etc: that is the message when Paris vigorously opposes Uncle Sam abroad and… that is the message when Paris tones down its voice to adopt "a new balancing act".
Only a few months ago, French officials would still call for "an end to the occupation" and demand a concrete date for the withdrawal of coalition forces in Iraq. Thursday this demand was muted.
So far, it doesn't seem to be working…
[During the visit of Iraq's interim president Ghazi al-Yawar, Paris stressed] that it is ready to plan for a long-term cooperation with Bagdhad on issues ranging from education and health to archeology. French officials are also quick to stress that France is ready to pull its weight in the reconstruction of Iraq, pointing notably to its agreement to scrap €4 billion, or $5.2 billion, of debt owed to it by Baghdad.Update: Following the historic Iraq election, President Ghazi al-Yawer derides one of the central tenets of French foreign policy as "complete nonsense"…
But so far French goodwill has not won that much tangible appreciation.
While Germany has trained some 1,200 Iraqi police officers in the United Arab Emirates since March, a French proposal made in July for a similar effort has so far been ignored by Iraq.
"We explicitly renewed the proposal today, but there was no reaction," said one of Chirac's aides, who declined to be identified, after Thursday's talks.
The decision to bring the searches to a halt is linked to the risks run in Iraq and to the absence of any new information on potential non conventional arsenals. On December 10, 2004, [Charles] Duelfer was attacked near Bagdad during a routine mission, and two bodyguards were killed.In the meantime, RV directs us to NewsMax (No WMDs? Tons of Uranium, Sarin Gas, Buried MiGs):
… Every suspect site in Iraq was the object of thorough searches. Most of them had already been pillaged and emptied of all their equipment. …
[What Saddam Hussein was hiding for the most part] was the technical means to allow him to resume the production of weapons of mass destruction after the lifting of the UN's sanctions. …
[Instead of throwing in the towel,] Bush would do better to explain to the American people just what U.S. forces did find in their search for banned weapons in Iraq — starting with, for instance, the 1.8 tons of partially enriched uranium Saddam had s[t]ocked away.
…And if Bush needs more ammunition to refute [top House Dem Nancy] Pelosi, he could cite the discovery of Sarin gas-filled artillery shells.
…And if the White House wants some dramatic imagery to show how easy it was for Saddam to hide banned weapons, how about those photos of the 30 Iraqi jet fighters that weapons searchers found buried in the sand near Baghdad.
…No weapons of mass destruction? President Bush needs to spend more time examining the evidence and less time working through his mea culpas with Barbara Walters.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Hailed by the French for Defying Bush, Iraq's President Calls Members of the "Resistance" What They Really Are
Before telling the Sheikh's story, Claude takes the time to poke fun at the Americans and the neo-cons. He goes on to wax admiringly on the 'humanitarian' who has "defied" George W Bush, who "never shrunk from speaking his mind to the occupier" (suggesting that anybody who does not challenge the Americans — "the occupier" is taken as a given — can be nothing but a boot-licker or a poodle), and who allegedly wants the Americans to leave as soon as possible. (I always thought that Dubya was supposed to appreciate leaders who were honest and who spoke their minds.)
It is almost as an aside that Claude drops three or four lines about the Sheikh's views on the "rebels",
those forces of evil who boast no program, no idea, and who defile religion.While Iraq's president is in France for a visit, Jacques Chirac and Michel Barnier are trying to get their country to improve relations with both Iraq and Washington, writes Claire Tréan in one of those articles in which the independent newspaper does little else but rehash French government press releases and spell out the world situation as seen from the Quai d'Orsay (with itself as the incarnation of wisdom and reason).
Expressing the "sadness of the Iraqi people and government regarding the kidnapping of that innocent journalist" (Florence Aubenas), Ghazi al-Yawar made another pointed remark whose (not so) subtle message it is not at all certain was understood by French leaders and media entranced by an Iraqi official who "defies" the Americans:
That makes but one more manifestation of blind terrorism which makes no distinction between human beings, religions, gender, or nationality.Yes, that's right. The man lionized by Patrice Claude — a representative of an élite hailing the "resistance" to an "illegal occupation" — called the members of said resistance terrorists, and terrorists for whom the victims' nationality makes no difference.
Update: Following the historic Iraq election, President Ghazi al-Yawer derides one of the central tenets of French foreign policy as "complete nonsense"…
Applause, mingled with boos and hisses, is about all that the average voter is able or willing to contribute to public life.
One of the things that is wrong with America is that everybody who has done anything at all in his own field is expected to be an authority on every subject under the sun.
The first and great commandment is, Don't let them scare you.
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
This nation was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the principle — among others — that honest men may honestly disagree; that if they all say what they think, a majority of the people will be able to distinguish truth from error.
This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.
|Shock and awe||Secousses et effroi|
|After a resounding success in round 1, let's move on to round 2. Authors previously published or not: New Paris publisher starting activity in July 2005 is looking for manuscripts from daring French language authors. Contact publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Leftist humanist poets need not apply.
||Suite à un succès retentissant lors de la 1ère étape, nous passons à la 2ème. Ecrivains débutants ou confirmés: Nouvel éditeur parisien qui démarrera son activité au mois de juillet 2005 recherche des manuscrits inédits de la part d'écrivains qui osent. Contactez l'éditeur à email@example.com. Poètes humanistes de gôche s'abstenir.
Meanwhile, Tom Heneghan of Reuters informs us that
Evangelical Christians in France face growing problems as authorities enforce secularism, favor Muslims or view them as supporters of President Bush, French Protestant leaders say.
Evangelicals, who make up 40 percent of the French Protestant Federation, complain of bureaucratic hurdles when trying to open churches and of being seen as sects because they differ from France's traditional faiths.
Leaders of mainstream and evangelical Protestants, who together make up only about two percent of the population in traditionally Catholic France, stress religious freedom is not under threat. But the problems have prompted them to speak out.
… Stephane Lauzet, secretary general of the French Evangelical Alliance (AEF), [and] Jean-Arnold de Clermont, head of the main umbrella group, the French Protestant Federation (FPF) … said that many French, unfamiliar with the varied faces of Protestantism, linked the evangelicals with the U.S. religious right and with Bush, highly unpopular in France.
The left-leaning weekly Le Nouvel Observateur ran a cover story last spring with a picture of Bush and the headline "Evangelicals — the sect that wants to conquer the world."
The magazine apologized after the FPF and AEF protested. …
The deeper problem, he said, was that some French officials wanted to limit religion's role in public life and squeeze all churches into large groups like the FPF to deal with them easily. Most of the new evangelical churches are outside the FPF and remain totally independent.
"The local authorities want to deal with the religiously correct and that means what they can recognize," Clermont said. "When they don't recognize something, they want a good conduct certificate from the Federation, but they are not all members."
Lauzet said even some energetically secularist bureaucrats betrayed hidden religious prejudices. "To them, anything that's not Catholic is a sect," he said.
(Gregory be praised)
(Hallelujah, brother RV)
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
The newspaper Sabah recently published a poll of 4,974 Iraqis living in and around Baghdad. Nearly 88 percent support military action against the terrorists. A survey by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies suggests that the insurgents' archfoe, the prime minister Ayad Allawi, is the most popular prospective leader in the land.
(Thanks to Carine… and to Ashamed Frenchman, who adds:
"Understand better why I'm talking often about fascism in my no-pasaran comments?")
Left-wing billionaire and Bush-hater George Soros was not content to spend millions to thwart a Bush victory in last November's presidential electionwrites Insight's Kenneth R Timmermann in the New York Post (Merci à Grouik).
Now his Open Society Institute in New York is joining forces with pro-Tehran lobbying group to promote the interests and the viewpoint of the Islamic Republic of Iran …Meanwhile, John Vinocur discusses the fading neocon ideology in Bush's second cabinet;
Mikhail Khodorkovsky writes a letter from a Russian prison;
and Elisabetta Povoledo reports that Italy's ban on smoking is getting off to a fuming start:
Regarding the "tough new law that bans smoking in public places — one of the strictest in Europe", Andrea Pinketts, a Milan-based crime writer and pro-smoking activist, said
Looking at human history, intolerance has caused more damage, even death, than smoking ever did
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.Today's birthday is Jack London, the American author (1876-1916) who wrote
A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.
Even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government.
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.
In the general course of human nature, A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will.
It is the advertiser who provides the paper for the subscriber. It is not to be disputed, that the publisher of a newspaper in this country, without a very exhaustive advertising support, would receive less reward for his labor than the humblest mechanic.
Learn to think continentally.
Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.
A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Selon une étude publiée en janvier 2004 par l'Atelier parisien d'urbanisme (APUR), 12 % des foyers parisiens, soit 210 000 personnes, vivent avec moins de 670 euros par mois, soit au-dessous du "seuil de pauvreté" défini par l'Insee. …Back in September, La Croix released figures from a Fondation de France poll showing that the French were less and less generous.
Ce pourcentage pourrait même, logiquement, être réévalué … il n'inclut, en effet, ni les étudiants ni les personnes âgées de plus de 65 ans, deux catégories largement exposées, elles aussi, à la pauvreté. En outre, le seuil de pauvreté, défini au niveau national, ne prend pas en compte le coût du logement, très élevé à Paris.
And that, while poverty seems to be on the rise in all of France.
(David R Henderson explains what causes individuals in a free society to be naturally more generous than those in a welfare state [scroll to the subhead entitled "Are Market Economies So Lacking in Virtuousness in the First Place?"])
Between the war-crazy Americans and the trigger-happy Muslims (see the hatred on their evil faces), a rational, lucid, wise, tolerant, reasonable, peace-loving French(wo)man (or European) with the face of innocence who lives only by the pen…
Now, imagine you are a regular reader of a French (or a European) newspaper, and you see (self-serving) opinions like this one on a daily basis, not only in cartoons but on the op-ed page and inside "objective" articles: who, offhand, of the three characters (and the societies each represents) do you think is better suited to solving problems in the world, whether in Iraq or anywhere else?
(With apologies to W)
"Not Unusual" for French Citizens (and Reporters!) to Agree Wholeheartedly with Their Government's Foreign Policy
Captured on Aug. 20 on the road from Baghdad to Najaf, held in five different locations, tried by a self-styled Islamic court, Malbrunot and his Arabic-speaking colleague, Christian Chesnot, 38, of Radio France Internationale, came away with an impression of a well-organized movement that had a clear strategy. A militant who said he had trained in Osama bin Laden's Afghan camps listed the objectives as: the overthrow of the Egyptian and Saudi regimes; the defeat of American forces in Iraq; the driving of a wedge between Europe and the United States; the re-creation of the Arab caliphate; and the prosecution on a wide front of a war against the West, depicted as one of self-defense.The article gives a lot of information about the men who kidnapped Malbrunot, a former actor, and Chesnot, but the point of this post is that, unfortunately, it gives more information about the mainstream media, both abroad and in the United States. Just read the introductory paragraph:
"I think we are alive today because we are French," Malbrunot said.
[The French reporter] gives a blunt assessment of where America's Iraqi war is headed: "Straight into a wall."Can you ever imagine a journalist, American or foreign, saying that an American citizen's support for the Iraq war is "not unusual", given the Bush administration's support for same?! And that citizen, to boot, is (supposed to be) an objective, fact-finding journalist?
Not an unusual view for a Frenchman, given the country's opposition to the war.
There are so many things to write about in what is supposed to be an uncontroversial sentence that I hardly know where to start… Let's try anyway:
- People outside the United States, or Frenchmen, at least, think it entirely normal for the country's citizens to support their government's foreign policy (at least in its general direction);
- When a given country's reporters and national media (and citizens) echo their governments' (self-serving opinions), that testimony is not put into doubt at all;
- What is worst is that members of America's mainstream media — who are so ready (and rightly so) to question a domestic opinion-maker — accept this without blinking, without even thinking twice.
The first was an interview with France's foreign minister:
Michel Barnier … is calling for a "new relationship" with the United States and says its first test will be the capacity of President George W. Bush and his European allies to advance a Middle East peace within the next six months.Notice how the bulk of the responsability is put on others, with little (if any) guilt for bad U.S.-French relations admitted on the French side. If/when a failure arises, the French can say, "see, we told you, we knew it all along…"
"For me, President Bush has a historic responsibility," Barnier said in an interview on Friday.
This sugar-coating of the French position is also how Barnier characterizes what some call France's betrayal of Uncle Sam:
The EU should be recognized as a steadfast "ally of the Americans," he said, adding: "An alliance does not mean allegiance. It should mean partnership."All fine words and sentiments worthy of respect. The only problem, as I have said before, is that they are used arbitrarily or, rather, in an entirely self-serving way.
He was asked if an alliance meant allegiance at moments of crisis like the Iraq war. "It is never allegiance," Barnier said, his pale blue eyes assuming a steely hue. "An alliance is a partnership based on mutual respect."
Thus, the French never make these "allegiance" comments (or those concerning "what should only be interpreted as friendly constructive criticism") regarding countries such as China, Vietnam, Russia, (Saddam Hussein's) Iraq, etc. Conversely, they do not regard with a respectful eye other nations' breaking of their "allegiance" to (or alliance with) with France. In those cases, they lose their "mutual respect" for the UK ("the poodle"), Spain ("Bush's small messenger"), and the Eastern countries (who "are not very polite and would have done better to keep quiet")…
Update: Following the historic Iraq election, President Ghazi al-Yawer derides one of the central tenets of French foreign policy as "complete nonsense"…
Solzhenitsyn on Artist-Supporting Régimes and on the Easiest and Most Comfortable Course to Take in Life
For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.
Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.
I can say without affectation that I belong to the Russian convict world no less than I do to Russian literature. I got my education there, and it will last forever.
I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.
If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?
It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.
|This is what happens when you don't have the US Marines double-parked outside||Notre Dame de Paris Delanoë s'engage à envoyer des moto-crottes|
|US military droppin' chronic and French State TV has to admit that it don't stop.
||L'armée US met le paquet et la télé franchouille de l'Etat n'essaie même plus de redorer le blason de ses pious-pious |
Monday, January 10, 2005
Shortly before Franco's death, in 1975, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi delivered to [a Spanish socialist senator] $50,000 to help him liberate the province of Andalusia from Madrid's tyrannical control. Gadhafi dreamed of restoring an Islamic state in southern Spain that would recreate the glory of Granada, the last Moorish redoubt in the Iberian peninsula, seized by the Catholic monarchs in 1492.Thus begins Carlos Alberto Montaner's article Islam's Gaze is Stuck on the Past.
There is something terribly sick in a culture that neither forgives nor forgets, that looks permanently toward the past, convinced that all the truths have already been inscribed in a sacred book that determines who are the infidels who must be vanquished or exterminated.
Within that moral aberration lies the infinite capacity of Muslim Arabs to inflict harm to others and to themselves without the slightest vestige of remorse. That's something that has nothing to do with the existence of Israel or the position of the United States, as exemplified by the periodic massacres in Sudan, Algiers, Syria, Jordan or Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
This reflection comes to mind after hearing of Yasser Arafat's death. It is true that his disappearance opens a space to the hope that peace may come to the Middle East if Arafat's authority is inherited by Palestinians who are willing to coexist serenely with Israel. But to anyone who knows the despotic behavior of the Arab ruling classes, their manifest contempt for human life and their cult of violence should harbor no illusions.
On the other hand, it is hard to believe that the whole of Palestinian society truly sympathizes with the murderers in Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad. The guilty party is the Palestinian elite, which establishes its hierarchy by means of force and the subjugation of the weak. Ordinary people undoubtedly shudder in horror at the sight of the suicidal assassins who strap bombs to their waists to blow up buses or supermarkets.
These same people must be tired of living in poverty, terrorized by their own bullies in an atmosphere of bloodthirsty heroism fed by the victims those bullies can exact from their enemies — even if victims are innocent children — or by the ``martyrs'' they contribute, fanatical youths goaded to their deaths with the help of the darkest superstitions and the vilest promises.
|Crawling back||Ramper à quatre pattes|
|France tries to patch things up with the USA. The US will not meet France half way. Let the French swine make the whole trip over. The Zeropean Union tries to patch things up with the USA. The US will not meet them half way. Let the zeropeans make the whole trip over. The UN tries to patch things up with the USA. The US will not meet them half way. Let the bureaucrappers make the whole trip over. Didn't some paternalistic spittle shooting clown-faced shithead jabber that their was no problem at the UN?
||La Fwance tente de réconcilier avec les USA. Les Etats-unis n'ont pas à faire des concessions à ces crapules. C'est aux franchouilles de faire la totalité du chemin vers les USA. L'Union zéropéenne tente de réconcilier avec les USA. Les Etats-unis n'ont pas à faire des concessions à ces crapules. C'est aux zéropéens de faire la totalité du chemin vers les USA. L'ONUzi tente de réconcilier avec les USA. Les Etats-unis n'ont pas à faire des concessions à ces crapules. C'est aux bureaucrottes de faire la totalité du chemin vers les USA. Il n'y avait pas un connard de bouseu paternaliste qui postillonnait avec sa bouille à bozo en baragouinant qu'il n'y avait pas de problème avec l'ONUzi?
I gave up worrying "Why do they hate us?" on the evening of September 11, 2001. But, if I were that [guy wearing an Osama bin Laden T-shirt] watching the infidels truck in water, food, medical supplies and emergency clothing for villagers whose jihad-chic T-shirt collection was washed out to sea, I might ask myself a more pertinent question: "Why do they like us?"
The path of the tsunamis tracked the arc of the Muslim world, from Sumatra to Somalia; the most devastated country is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and the most devastated part of that country is the one province living under the strictures of sharia.
But, as usual, when disaster strikes it's the Great Satan and his various Little Satans who leap to respond. In the decade before September 11, the US military functioned, more or less exclusively, as a Muslim rapid reaction force — coming to the aid of Kuwaiti Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, Somali Muslims and Albanian Muslims. Since then, with the help of its Anglo-Australian allies, it's liberated 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.
That's not how the West's anti-war movements see it. I found myself behind a car the other day bearing the bumper sticker, "War Is Costly. Peace Is Priceless" – which is standard progressive generic autopilot boilerplate, that somehow waging war and doing good are mutually exclusive. But you can't help noticing that when disaster strikes, it's the warmongers who are also the compassion-mongers. Of the top six donor nations to tsunami relief, four are members of George W. Bush's reviled "coalition of the willing".
… one day the smarter lads in the Osama T-shirts will begin to wonder what they're getting in return for their glorification of a multimillionaire whose followers these days spend most of their time killing Muslims — in Iraq, in Turkey, in Saudi Arabia, even in Indonesia. With friends like that, who needs tsunamis?
… Maybe it's time for the western self-loathers … to ask themselves: Why do we hate us?
(Thanks to Valerie and Valerie)
Yeah, I know: it is the same post as W's below…
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Not a squeak of protest from the West's anti-war movements as members of the Iraqi "resistance" murder an Iraqi socialist
Our so-called liberal elite stands back and lets Iraq's fascists fight freedom with terrorwrites Nick Cohen in the Observer.
Last week occured an event which was scarcely reported but which further called into question the notion of a principled liberal-left, let alone one coherent and confident enough to form an elite.
Hadi Salih, international officer of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, was tied and blindfolded and tortured by Baathist 'insurgents' loyal to Saddam Hussein before being forced to kneel, strangled by electric cord and shot.
I shouldn't be shocked that there hasn't been a squeak of protest from the anti-war movement at the killing of a brave socialist, but I am. Two years ago I believed that after the war people who opposed it for good reasons would vow to pursue Blair and Bush for what they had done to their graves, but have the intellectual honesty to accept that Saddam's regime was fascist in theory and in practice and the good nature to offer fraternal support the Iraqi socialists, democrats and liberals in their deadly struggle.
More fool me. The Stop the War Coalition, which organised one million people to march through the streets of London, told the kidnappers and torturers from the Baath Party and al-Qaeda that the anti-war movement 'recognises once more the legitimacy of the struggle of Iraqis, by whatever means they find necessary'. Its leading figures purport to be on the left, but have cheered on the far-right and betrayed their comrades by denouncing Iraqi trade unionists as 'Quislings' and 'collaborators'. There have been a few honourable protests: Mick Rix, the former leader of the train drivers union, walked out in disgust saying that the anti-war movement was putting the lives of Iraqi trade unionists at risk. (Its denunciations of better and braver men and women than the British pseudo-leftists could ever be were reported in Arab newspapers which circulate in Iraq.)
Rix was joined by Unison and Labour backbenchers, but that's been about it. Not only the Stop the War Coalition but the bulk of liberal-left opinion in the country and on the planet, is at best indifferent to the fight to stop the return of tyranny and at worse wants to spite the Americans by having the bombers stop elections. If you doubt how widespread this malign impulse has become, ask why it is that the BBC has never covered the story of the totalitarian nature of the leaders of the anti-war movement when it would have had kittens on air if, say, the Countryside Alliance had been a front for the British National Party.
You could write a book on how the left has gone right. …
(cheers to Mister Hoffmann)
Le Monde Confirms Indirectly that the Guides of Its Iraq Correspondants Are Often Sympathizers of Saddam
… these often friendly, intelligent, and courageous men are the eyes, the ears, and the unarmed protectors of the reporters. And sometimes they are their true friends. …As an example, the Le Monde correspondant points to Tareq, a man with nerves of steel described as "a modest former official in Saddam Hussein's defunct information ministry".
The best "fixer" … has friends or acquaintances in the maximum of social circles. … He … knows where to find the minister's assistant for an interview, the appropriate religious or tribal sheikh, even the sympathizers with the resistance who can make contacts. … it is often the "fixer's" responsibility to track down the right subject to speak to.
[The correspondants'] "fixers" have almost become reporters themselves.
Patrice Claude doesn't seem to realize it — he doesn't even realize how subjective his and his colleagues' articles have become — but he has basically confirmed everything that Naseer Flayih Hasan wrote recently. He has confirmed that the reporters are little interested in interviewing the common man (and woman) in the street — the Iraqi citizen — always seeking out members of the élite: the experts, the leaders, even (especially?) the representatives of la résistance…
To quote Naseer Flayih Hasan:
… their dogmatic anti-American attitudes naturally drew them to guides, translators, drivers and Iraqi acquaintances who were themselves supporters of the regime. These Iraqis, in turn, affected the peace activists until they came to share almost the same judgments and opinions as the terrorists and defenders of Saddam.This is illustrated by the weekly mediator's column, in which Robert Solé prints a letter mentioning the "100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, victims of the horrors of politics", thereby using controversial (and discredited) statistics to lend credence to the theory of the tragedy visited upon Iraq (and the world in general) by Dubya and friends…
The rule of thumb: if a piece of "information" allows for the castigation or the mockery of Uncle Sam, do not hesitate to use it and, insofar as possible, keep the rumor alive…
Notice to the American People: If You Voted for Bush, It Is Because You Are Traumatized and Quivering with Fear
Thanks to Le Monde and other European heavyweights, we now know that we are traumatised and shaking with fear, and that we live in "an America that feels threatened although that doesn't mean it approves Mr Bush's aggressive policy."
Patrick Jarreau, who should know better (since he is Le Monde's correspondant in Washington), calls Bush's victory nothing less but the grip of fear. The text is more of the same… (Earlier, Edwy Plenel, among others, had explained that Dubya's election victory was due, basically, to Americans being frightened and/or bamboozled by Karl Rove and his ilk, comparing the discourse on moral values with the speeches of Nazi-collaborator Philippe Pétain. [When Bush isn't being compared to Hitler, he is being compared to a Stalinist or a fascist sympathizer…])
I suppose PJ, when moving around the DC area, sees inhabitants much like I saw them on my recent visit to Texas, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada: cowering in terror. Except of course, I never really did see any locals livid with fear; everybody was pretty laid back and, if one did happen to bring up 9/11 or Iraq, it was not fear that came to people's faces, but anger. Anger and determination.
So might it be that PJ hasn't actually met many traumatized Americans, either?
Never mind: needless to say, you know how it is: Europeans know better… As always.
Reporting on the Cultural Wars: Quoting the French Government Officials and Caricaturing the Americans
- "the pugnacity of the Americans"
- "an economic battle … led daily by the Americans"
- lots and lots of examples on the "tactics of the Americans", including a "scale in the pressure of the Americans", an attempt to "rid the [Unesco] text of its substance", and the lobbying (through the MPAA) of the Americans
- the fact that, as a French delegate said, "'in order to avoid the worst, there was no choice but for Jacques Chirac to intervene with the Americans'"
And what is the language that is used, both by the politicos and by the journalist?
The Americans, the Americans, the Americans. As I have written before, the use of this general word allows for a caricatural view of the situation — and of …the Americans — which, needless to say, is how many, if not most, French citizens view citizens of the United States and any situation involving …Americans.
And why not? With articles and independent newspapers such as these…