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 The disgusting truth about the British military

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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:30 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I did not say that " Mass murder and torture by the way are (not) the preserve of the British", Lestat,....

You didn't have to. In two posts you referred to democratisation, neo-colonialism and wars of conquest. Since neither Iraq or Afghanistan can be accused of those sins, your implication is that the US and UK are solely responsible for mass murder and torture. And since the thread is about the evil British Army that leaves the UK as the last country standing.

cactus flower wrote:
Most wars wouldn't happen, or would be very short, if the politicians had to have a referendum on them. There was massive resistance to taking part in the Second World War and Iraq is now deeply unpopular in the US.....

So how do you propose that the world deal with the Hitlers, Saddams and Mugabes.

cactus flower wrote:
I haven't drunk Coca Cola since the day of the invasion of Iraq. I only need the other billion and a half users to join me ....

Quite right too it's really bad for you. As a political statement though, it's as sensible as renaming chips Freedom Fries.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:33 pm

Lestat wrote:

cactus flower wrote:
I haven't drunk Coca Cola since the day of the invasion of Iraq. I only need the other billion and a half users to join me ....

Quite right too it's really bad for you. As a political statement though, it's as sensible as renaming chips Freedom Fries.

Depends on how you define the sensibilities of a political statement really. It probably will have very little effect on the policies of Coca Cola and is unlikely to bring down their empire. It may, however, satisfy one's personal conscience that they are living by their principles. Everything need not be measured in incraments of the net worth of the action. Taken to its natural conclusion, what is the point of a single person's vote, save in the rarist of circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:09 pm

Lestat wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I did not say that " Mass murder and torture by the way are (not) the preserve of the British", Lestat,....

You didn't have to. In two posts you referred to democratisation, neo-colonialism and wars of conquest. Since neither Iraq or Afghanistan can be accused of those sins, your implication is that the US and UK are solely responsible for mass murder and torture. And since the thread is about the evil British Army that leaves the UK as the last country standing.
cactus flower wrote:
Most wars wouldn't happen, or would be very short, if the politicians had to have a referendum on them. There was massive resistance to taking part in the Second World War and Iraq is now deeply unpopular in the US.....

So how do you propose that the world deal with the Hitlers, Saddams and Mugabes.

cactus flower wrote:
I haven't drunk Coca Cola since the day of the invasion of Iraq. I only need the other billion and a half users to join me ....

Quite right too it's really bad for you. As a political statement though, it's as sensible as renaming chips Freedom Fries.

This was one of them.

Quote :
My own two-pennies-worth on this is that none of the things Hermes describes are aberrations. They are the bread and butter of neocolonialism and of the neoliberal agenda: and indeed of all wars of conquest and occupations.

What you're saying Lestat is about as logical as saying that because someone once said cheese and another time said moon, that they said the one is made of the other.

Afghanistan is an occupied country. The reasons for its occupation are strategic (oil pipelines, training camps and location in relation to oil rich regions).

Why does Ireland feel the need to participate in this occupation? I can't find anyone who can tell me. "Why not" is not a reason. And far from being the preserve of the British, every bastard seems to have a hand in it.

The not drinking Coca Cola is not a political statement it is a personal trade boycott. It hasn't done my health any good as I have been drinking our local tap water instead. If you want to cover Hitler, Saddam and Mugabe, that would be well worth while but I think that it might take several threads. This one is about Hermes contention that the British military are disgusting.

I think you're right Johnfas and that ultimately force comes into it, but it should be held in reserve for when everything else has been tried and when it is likely to be successful. When its reached for as the first response, as became the case in Ireland, there's a certainty that it will push things backwards not forwards.

Does anyone else remember a thread on P.ie on how great the British army was?
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:44 pm

As much as I agree with the title and the contents of the OP, I didn't write it. Very Happy

Tis skeery how similar Aragon's views are to mine.

Leftie takeover!!! affraid Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:56 pm

cactus flower wrote:

Does anyone else remember a thread on P.ie on how great the British army was?

Most armies have the ability to create outcomes both meritorious and less so. It is difficult for an organisation, primarily based on instruments of death, to carry out that outcome in a meritorious manner though.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:09 pm

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Does anyone else remember a thread on P.ie on how great the British army was?

Most armies have the ability to create outcomes both meritorious and less so. It is difficult for an organisation, primarily based on instruments of death, to carry out that outcome in a meritorious manner though.

The thread was full of posts watering at the mouth at the thought of the nobility and purity of spirit of the British Armed Forces as well as a bit of fascination with their spiffing military hardware. Perhaps all the posters were UK, but I don't think so. I found if a bit odd, to say the least.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:10 pm

Hermes wrote:
As much as I agree with the title and the contents of the OP, I didn't write it. Very Happy

Tis skeery how similar Aragon's views are to mine.

Leftie takeover!!! affraid Wink
Don't worry Hermes I'm on to it. Wink
I've invited http://stiffrightjab.com/ to be our sister website. That should balance things out.

Aragon's somewhat rose-tinted view of John Pilger can be put aside I think, the man has a reasonable enough record when it comes to reporting. I think Noam Chomsky's argument that criticism of Pilger stems mainly from jealousy is a fairly petty, it isn't obligitary to like him. I find him very predictable myself.

What he's writing about now though, the UK's woeful military record, is a worthy subject and fair play to him for bringing it up. It is a bit of an old subject, the disgraceful treatment of old-servicemen and disregard for innocent lives are hardly breaking news. That doesn't make them any less deserving of debate and indeed condemnation. And the old chestnut about Pilger not condemning Iraqi or terrorist military abuses is ridiculous, does anyone expect militants or terrorists to stick to the Geneva Convention? It's fair to expect the UK to though.

That said, I suspect most people aren't going to be too bothered by this report. I, for one, am not; I can only speak for myself. Of course I think such things are atrocious but I also think they are, to a certain extent, inevitable. I already know stuff like this happens and I am accustomed to it. If you want to call me a hypocrite, fine. I'm only human.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:39 pm

johnfás wrote:
Depends on how you define the sensibilities of a political statement really. It probably will have very little effect on the policies of Coca Cola and is unlikely to bring down their empire. It may, however, satisfy one's personal conscience that they are living by their principles. Everything need not be measured in incraments of the net worth of the action. Taken to its natural conclusion, what is the point of a single person's vote, save in the rarist of circumstances.

The point wasn't to affect Coca Cola's policies. Coca Cola is obviously an American symbol and Cactus Flower's protest was obviously intended against the US. To be effective of course, such a protest would require the whole country to participate. Even then it would need to be directed against all US companies/products. There isn't much point in boycotting Coca Cola if you drink Sprite from the same factory. The net effect would impact on the Irish economy first since the US companies are just names. The actual jobs are Irish. Not that it matters anyway. That kind of thing might make the individual feel better but it makes the powers that be sit up and take no notice whatsoever.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:41 pm

Lestat wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Depends on how you define the sensibilities of a political statement really. It probably will have very little effect on the policies of Coca Cola and is unlikely to bring down their empire. It may, however, satisfy one's personal conscience that they are living by their principles. Everything need not be measured in incraments of the net worth of the action. Taken to its natural conclusion, what is the point of a single person's vote, save in the rarist of circumstances.

The point wasn't to affect Coca Cola's policies. Coca Cola is obviously an American symbol and Cactus Flower's protest was obviously intended against the US. To be effective of course, such a protest would require the whole country to participate. Even then it would need to be directed against all US companies/products. There isn't much point in boycotting Coca Cola if you drink Sprite from the same factory. The net effect would impact on the Irish economy first since the US companies are just names. The actual jobs are Irish. Not that it matters anyway. That kind of thing might make the individual feel better but it makes the powers that be sit up and take no notice whatsoever.

If you think that numbers would help Lestat you are welcome to join the boycott, thereby doubling its effectiveness. Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:05 am

cactus flower wrote:
The straw men are out if force today. Very Happy Very Happy I did not say that " Mass murder and torture by the way are (not) the preserve of the British", Lestat, and I did say the number of our soldiers in Afghanistan is small, Ibis - and all the easier to pull them out. Btw your comparison of what is happening in Afghanistan with a football match I find bizarre.

Really? Take a large number of young men, put them in a situation of aggressive opposition to each other, and you get some ugly incidents, whether it's a football match or a war - indeed, in a war, the participants are there to do ugly things to each other. It's what they're paid to do, and trained to do.

I would have issues if we were talking about an institutional policy. In the case of the US that is what we are talking about - a policy, moreover, which has been given the OK from the top of the US government. In this case, however, despite the hysteria, we are talking about something that was prosecuted as a crime by the government in question - whether the soldiers closed ranks or not is irrelevant to the larger question, because people do that.

To go from incidents to a "disgusting truth" is exactly the kind of shrill hysteria that makes me wonder what the subtext is - the British Army is not the Lord's Militia, or the Janjaweed, and no amount of Pilgerism makes it so.

cactus flower wrote:
Kate P, the most interesting suggestion I saw in a long time was in the Anarchist thread - the suggestion is that politicians and governments should be subject to recall by the public between elections. Most wars wouldn't happen, or would be very short, if the politicians had to have a referendum on them. There was massive resistance to taking part in the Second World War and Iraq is now deeply unpopular in the US.

Massive resistance by whom, ffs? Certainly not by the British, definitely not by the Germans - and not even by the Irish, 70,000 of whom joined up to fight. Had there been a referendum here, it's possible Ireland would have entered the war, not stayed out - as it was, a good chunk of the electorate voted with their feet to join the war.

cactus flower wrote:
Ibis from time to time suggests that the numbers out in the streets demonstrating is indicative of whether people are seriously opposed to what their governments are doing. That leaves out the extent that people are unconvinced on the basis of experience that protests have any impact.

Handy - that means that even when people don't protest, one can claim there's "really" a lot of opposition. Funny, though, the way we nevertheless have protests - like the ones against the driving licence changes, which produced a government U-turn. And the fishermen's protests. And the farmers protests. And then of course there's the taxi protests. And the anti-war protests.

cactus flower wrote:
Passive resistance I think can have a big impact, whether it is in the form of strikes or boycotts of places and products. At the end of the day, you have to be prepared to replace the government if the government won't listen.

I haven't drunk Coca Cola since the day of the invasion of Iraq. I only need the other billion and a half users to join me ....

Well, funnily enough, you would need to do something...public, let's say....to draw their attention to the idea. A public protest, perhaps - something like that, anyway. Sometimes the point isn't to "bring down the government" in one fell swoop, but to make a visible point that lets others know how you feel. Protesting in the comfort of one's kitchen is invisible.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
What you're saying Lestat is about as logical as saying that because someone once said cheese and another time said moon, that they said the one is made of the other.

It's perfectly logical given that we aren't discussing the Disgusting truth about the Taliban.

cactus flower wrote:
Why does Ireland feel the need to participate in this occupation? .

To liberate Afghanistan from Taliban oppression? Also we are rotating 14 lads through the HQ of a large operation every year. That experience will be put to good use on other missions.

cactus flower wrote:
And far from being the preserve of the British, every bastard seems to have a hand in it..

It's only 40 countries.

cactus flower wrote:
The not drinking Coca Cola is not a political statement it is a personal trade boycott. It hasn't done my health any good as I have been drinking our local tap water instead. ..

You only think that. A can of Coke contains 17 spoons of sugar. Not consuming that is good for you.

cactus flower wrote:
If you want to cover Hitler, Saddam and Mugabe, that would be well worth while but I think that it might take several threads. This one is about Hermes contention that the British military are disgusting...

I don't really. It's Aragon's thread and I'm sure that he and Hermes think that all militaries are disgusting that aren't fighting the US/UK/Israel. They are so confused that they probaly think the British Army that liberated Belsen was disgusting.

905 wrote:
And the old chestnut about Pilger not condemning Iraqi or terrorist military abuses is ridiculous, does anyone expect militants or terrorists to stick to the Geneva Convention? It's fair to expect the UK to though..

We know that the terrorists don't obey the rules. Pilger isn't a terrorist and as a journalist has an obligation to act responsibly.

cactus flower wrote:
If you think that numbers would help Lestat you are welcome to join the boycott, thereby doubling its effectiveness. Very Happy Very Happy

I'm a diabetic so my boycott of Coca Cola products pre-dates 9/11 Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:24 pm

ibis wrote:
Take a large number of young men, put them in a situation of aggressive opposition to each other, and you get some ugly incidents, whether it's a football match or a war - indeed, in a war, the participants are there to do ugly things to each other. It's what they're paid to do, and trained to do.
There is something wrong there if you are seriously comparing football injuries with roasting children alive. Perhaps you would admit it is disproportionate.
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Kate P, the most interesting suggestion I saw in a long time was in the Anarchist thread - the suggestion is that politicians and governments should be subject to recall by the public between elections. Most wars wouldn't happen, or would be very short, if the politicians had to have a referendum on them. There was massive resistance to taking part in the Second World War and Iraq is now deeply unpopular in the US.
Massive resistance by whom, ffs? Certainly not by the British, definitely not by the Germans - and not even by the Irish, 70,000 of whom joined up to fight
The popular opposition to war in Britain in 1938-9 is a well masked piece of history. You would have to search hard in histories of 'appeasement' 'pacifism' and so on to find it. There were mass demonstrations against the coming war: it was not popular until it was up and running and news was replaced by propoganda.
Quote :
In the aftermath of World War I there was a great revulsion against war, leading to the formation of more peace groups like War Resisters' International and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

The Spanish Civil War proved a major test for international pacifism, and the heroic work of pacifist organisations and individuals in that arena has been largely ignored or forgotten by historians, overshadowed by the memory of the International Brigades and other militaristic interventions.

With the start of World War II, pacifist and anti-war sentiment declined in nations affected by war (Wikipedia)
Once a war is up and running the instinctive reaction is support and protectiveness of the troops. In the first rush of blood to the head, there is an agressive reaction against anyone putting forward an anti war position - anyone who demonstrated against the Falklands War in London could vouch for that.
When the body bags start coming home there is a rethink.
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Ibis from time to time suggests that the numbers out in the streets demonstrating is indicative of whether people are seriously opposed to what their governments are doing. That leaves out the extent that people are unconvinced on the basis of experience that protests have any impact.
Handy - that means that even when people don't protest, one can claim there's "really" a lot of opposition. Funny, though, the way we nevertheless have protests - like the ones against the driving licence changes, which produced a government U-turn. And the fishermen's protests. And the farmers protests. And then of course there's the taxi protests. And the anti-war protests.
Congratulations! Your straw man has had a little straw baby. bounce Very Happy

"One" did not claim that. "One" stated that the fact that people are not on the streets is not in itself proof that they are not opposed to something. A lot of people pre-Iraq had the experience of mass demonstrations being ignored and ineffective. Do you think that experience would encourage them to keep on demonstrating?

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Passive resistance I think can have a big impact, whether it is in the form of strikes or boycotts of places and products. At the end of the day, you have to be prepared to replace the government if the government won't listen.

I haven't drunk Coca Cola since the day of the invasion of Iraq. I only need the other billion and a half users to join me ...
Well, funnily enough, you would need to do something...public, let's say....to draw their attention to the idea. A public protest, perhaps - something like that, anyway. Sometimes the point isn't to "bring down the government" in one fell swoop, but to make a visible point that lets others know how you feel. Protesting in the comfort of one's kitchen is invisible.
Excellent! Does that mean you are going to join me and Lestat in not drinking Coca Cola ? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy The campaign is going well, we are on a roll.

Lestat wrote:
The point wasn't to affect Coca Cola's policies. Coca Cola is obviously an American symbol and Cactus Flower's protest was obviously intended against the US. To be effective of course, such a protest would require the whole country to participate. Even then it would need to be directed against all US companies/products. There isn't much point in boycotting Coca Cola if you drink Sprite from the same factory. The net effect would impact on the Irish economy first since the US companies are just names. The actual jobs are Irish. Not that it matters anyway. That kind of thing might make the individual feel better but it makes the powers that be sit up and take no notice whatsoever.
Nearly everything in this is just plain wrong, Lestat. Firstly an economic boycott is not "just a protest". It has an impact beyond demonstration of opinion.

Secondly Coca Cola uses Ireland as a conduit through which it passes massive profit beyond all conceivable relation to a couple of bottling plants, for tax avoidance purposes. If production was reduced it would be even harder for them to justify this back in the US. The number of jobs is small and they are poor quality. Boycott of South African products didn't on its own bring the apartheid regime to an end but was welcomed and appreciated by the ANC.

Unless a boycott targets a clearly recognisable and identifiable product it can't be implemented. Coca Cola is an iconic US product.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Nearly everything in this is just plain wrong, Lestat. Firstly an economic boycott is not "just a protest". It has an impact beyond demonstration of opinion.

Secondly Coca Cola uses Ireland as a conduit through which it passes massive profit beyond all conceivable relation to a couple of bottling plants, for tax avoidance purposes. If production was reduced it would be even harder for them to justify this back in the US. The number of jobs is small and they are poor quality. Boycott of South African products didn't on its own bring the apartheid regime to an end but was welcomed and appreciated by the ANC.

Unless a boycott targets a clearly recognisable and identifiable product it can't be implemented. Coca Cola is an iconic US product.

Yup, that's more or less what I said alright.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:46 pm

Lestat wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Nearly everything in this is just plain wrong, Lestat. Firstly an economic boycott is not "just a protest". It has an impact beyond demonstration of opinion.

Secondly Coca Cola uses Ireland as a conduit through which it passes massive profit beyond all conceivable relation to a couple of bottling plants, for tax avoidance purposes. If production was reduced it would be even harder for them to justify this back in the US. The number of jobs is small and they are poor quality. Boycott of South African products didn't on its own bring the apartheid regime to an end but was welcomed and appreciated by the ANC.

Unless a boycott targets a clearly recognisable and identifiable product it can't be implemented. Coca Cola is an iconic US product.

Yup, that's more or less what I said alright.

I'm happy we are able to reach agreement, or at least mutual understanding Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:18 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I'm happy we are able to reach agreement, or at least mutual understanding Very Happy

I'm confused by the fact that you said I was wrong, then went on to correct me by repeating what I said and now you believe we have reached mutual understanding.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:09 am

Lestat wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I'm happy we are able to reach agreement, or at least mutual understanding Very Happy

I'm confused by the fact that you said I was wrong, then went on to correct me by repeating what I said and now you believe we have reached mutual understanding.

Well can we at least agree that you are confused then ? Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:32 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
Take a large number of young men, put them in a situation of aggressive opposition to each other, and you get some ugly incidents, whether it's a football match or a war - indeed, in a war, the participants are there to do ugly things to each other. It's what they're paid to do, and trained to do.
There is something wrong there if you are seriously comparing football injuries with roasting children alive. Perhaps you would admit it is disproportionate.

No, because the comparison is not quantitative but qualitative.

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Kate P, the most interesting suggestion I saw in a long time was in the Anarchist thread - the suggestion is that politicians and governments should be subject to recall by the public between elections. Most wars wouldn't happen, or would be very short, if the politicians had to have a referendum on them. There was massive resistance to taking part in the Second World War and Iraq is now deeply unpopular in the US.
Massive resistance by whom, ffs? Certainly not by the British, definitely not by the Germans - and not even by the Irish, 70,000 of whom joined up to fight
The popular opposition to war in Britain in 1938-9 is a well masked piece of history. You would have to search hard in histories of 'appeasement' 'pacifism' and so on to find it. There were mass demonstrations against the coming war: it was not popular until it was up and running and news was replaced by propoganda.

Conscientous Objection is a pretty well-known piece of the war's history, in the UK at least. However, the total number of CO cases in the UK for WW2 was 60,000, of which 18,000 were dismissed as false claims. Note that this is less than the number of Southern Irish that volunteered - indeed, less than the number of Northern Irish that volunteered.

cactus flower wrote:
Quote :
In the aftermath of World War I there was a great revulsion against war, leading to the formation of more peace groups like War Resisters' International and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Why do you think people cheered when Chamberlain proclaimed 'peace in our time'? The question is whether war-weariness is the same as pacifism.

cactus flower wrote:
Quote :
The Spanish Civil War proved a major test for international pacifism, and the heroic work of pacifist organisations and individuals in that arena has been largely ignored or forgotten by historians, overshadowed by the memory of the International Brigades and other militaristic interventions.

With the start of World War II, pacifist and anti-war sentiment declined in nations affected by war (Wikipedia)
Once a war is up and running the instinctive reaction is support and protectiveness of the troops. In the first rush of blood to the head, there is an agressive reaction against anyone putting forward an anti war position - anyone who demonstrated against the Falklands War in London could vouch for that.
When the body bags start coming home there is a rethink.

Not really - the US has a great aversion to body bags, but most of the 'imperial' nations haven't got the same issues. If they had done, WWI would have been over by Christmas.

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Ibis from time to time suggests that the numbers out in the streets demonstrating is indicative of whether people are seriously opposed to what their governments are doing. That leaves out the extent that people are unconvinced on the basis of experience that protests have any impact.
Handy - that means that even when people don't protest, one can claim there's "really" a lot of opposition. Funny, though, the way we nevertheless have protests - like the ones against the driving licence changes, which produced a government U-turn. And the fishermen's protests. And the farmers protests. And then of course there's the taxi protests. And the anti-war protests.
Congratulations! Your straw man has had a little straw baby. bounce Very Happy

"One" did not claim that. "One" stated that the fact that people are not on the streets is not in itself proof that they are not opposed to something. A lot of people pre-Iraq had the experience of mass demonstrations being ignored and ineffective. Do you think that experience would encourage them to keep on demonstrating?

I'm sure that's not my straw man, but yours. What I have pointed out is that you cannot simply claim to speak for a majority when there is no evidence for the majority in question - and yes, that the complete absence of demonstrations tends to indicate either that opposition is not widespread, or not deeply felt. Admittedly, in the case of the EU, it's probably more the latter than the former.

I have also pointed out that one cannot use the argument that 'demonstrations are ineffective' as a way of dismissing the lack of demonstrable opposition, since people do demonstrate, have continued to demonstrate, and show every sign of going on demonstrating.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:55 pm

ibis wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Whatever the noble cause of the 21st century is, it cannot be justified that those who claim to pursue of freedom and human rights deliberately and unnecessarily undermine both in that pursuit.

That, at least, is undeniably true. My concern with most of these sorts of issues, though, is the criticism is far too often one-sided. I appreciate that we both have the ability to put pressure on, and bear some responsibility for, actions taken by other EU nations, but, despite that, I find denunciations like Aragon's simply too shrill and one-dimensional to be anything other than off-putting.

In turn, I appreciate that I have a moral responsibility not to be put off by that - but equally I feel Aragon has a moral responsibility not to put people off, and he clearly feels his moral duties in the matter more strongly than I.

In his documentary 'Arming the World' Pilger interviews a campaigner in London who showed him a picutre of a boy taken during his last minutes of life. His mother had been expecting him when his family left Afghanistan before the invasion, returning eventually in the belief that things were settling down. She described how her little boy was full of excitement and the stories he'd been told about home, how they all were looking forward to seeing their relations and visiting the places about which he been told. The moment he had been anticipating for months finally arrived and he ran from the family car laughing and happy into a field beside the house - and was immediately blown up by a landmine. There was no comfort they could give him while he died - his lower body was ripped apart and his arms were so burned they couldn't be touched without causing him intolerable pain. All you could see of him in the picture was his beautiful face, blackened by the explosion. I can't begin to describe the look of agnoised hurt and bewilderment on his face. It would have been merciful for him to have been instantly killed, but no, he had nearly ten minutes of unspeakable horror to go through - time enough to feel every wretched miserable thought, to witness his parents and relations despair and to understand a reality casuists like Ibis do their best to air brush out of consideration.

But let's all observe the proprieties of a drawing room parlour game, shall we? How much more important is that, after all, beside this unimportant little incident of which there are hundreds being repeated in the Middle East every year - in addition to many other forms of carnage and slaughter.

As to 'one-sidedness' - you are right Ibis. The mainstream media is criminally one-sided about what is going on and should be indicted for enabling war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and very likely Iran too. Against that baying-for-blood mob, with their lies about weapons of mass destruction, Pilger is a fairly solitary beacon of light and truth - reporting facts - not sides. Just because those facts do not tally with what you would prefer to believe or can comfortably withstand, it does not follow either that Pilger should not be talking about them or that there is automatically a set of counter-facts that must be deployed to 'balance' things out. If a mugger hits you over the head and steals your wallet, there are no mitigating facts to justify describing what he did as something different - or as having elements of social conscience about it. The US and the UK invaded Afghanistan so as to lay an oil pipeline across that country. The reason they are still there is to protect the pipeline and has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing democracy or any of the other fairytales we have been been told. This noble cause is just another of the disgusting lies pouring from our politicians about what is happening. We no longer demonstrate because we know we are wasting our time appealing to liars.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:29 pm

Aragon wrote:
ibis wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Whatever the noble cause of the 21st century is, it cannot be justified that those who claim to pursue of freedom and human rights deliberately and unnecessarily undermine both in that pursuit.

That, at least, is undeniably true. My concern with most of these sorts of issues, though, is the criticism is far too often one-sided. I appreciate that we both have the ability to put pressure on, and bear some responsibility for, actions taken by other EU nations, but, despite that, I find denunciations like Aragon's simply too shrill and one-dimensional to be anything other than off-putting.

In turn, I appreciate that I have a moral responsibility not to be put off by that - but equally I feel Aragon has a moral responsibility not to put people off, and he clearly feels his moral duties in the matter more strongly than I.

In his documentary 'Arming the World' Pilger interviews a campaigner in London who showed him a picutre of a boy taken during his last minutes of life. His mother had been expecting him when his family left Afghanistan before the invasion, returning eventually in the belief that things were settling down. She described how her little boy was full of excitement and the stories he'd been told about home, how they all were looking forward to seeing their relations and visiting the places about which he been told. The moment he had been anticipating for months finally arrived and he ran from the family car laughing and happy into a field beside the house - and was immediately blown up by a landmine. There was no comfort they could give him while he died - his lower body was ripped apart and his arms were so burned they couldn't be touched without causing him intolerable pain. All you could see of him in the picture was his beautiful face, blackened by the explosion. I can't begin to describe the look of agnoised hurt and bewilderment on his face. It would have been merciful for him to have been instantly killed, but no, he had nearly ten minutes of unspeakable horror to go through - time enough to feel every wretched miserable thought, to witness his parents and relations despair and to understand a reality casuists like Ibis do their best to air brush out of consideration.

But let's all observe the proprieties of a drawing room parlour game, shall we? How much more important is that, after all, beside this unimportant little incident of which there are hundreds being repeated in the Middle East every year - in addition to many other forms of carnage and slaughter.

You assume, I take it, that because I disagree with your tone in the matter, I disagree with your basic message. I don't - nor do I think it needs to be a drawing-room debate, with a curtain discreetly drawn over the dead children and the mutilated bodies, the blood and the ruin.

My disagreement is purely based on the issue that you choose, as Pilger does, to demonise one side of a conflict. That is not being anti-war, it's simply picking sides.

Aragon wrote:
As to 'one-sidedness' - you are right Ibis. The mainstream media is criminally one-sided about what is going on and should be indicted for enabling war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and very likely Iran too. Against that baying-for-blood mob, with their lies about weapons of mass destruction, Pilger is a fairly solitary beacon of light and truth - reporting facts - not sides. Just because those facts do not tally with what you would prefer to believe or can comfortably withstand, it does not follow either that Pilger should not be talking about them or that there is automatically a set of counter-facts that must be deployed to 'balance' things out. If a mugger hits you over the head and steals your wallet, there are no mitigating facts to justify describing what he did as something different - or as having elements of social conscience about it. The US and the UK invaded Afghanistan so as to lay an oil pipeline across that country. The reason they are still there is to protect the pipeline and has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing democracy or any of the other fairytales we have been been told. This noble cause is just another of the disgusting lies pouring from our politicians about what is happening. We no longer demonstrate because we know we are wasting our time appealing to liars.

All of which goes to demonstrate what I said above. You're simply one of the sides - which, to me, makes you part of the problem. You can't build one-sided solutions to wars. Indeed, war itself is just such an attempt to find a one-sided solution.

Further, you seem to assume that people are taken in by the guff about 'building democracy', and need to be shaken from their complacency - and again you're wrong. The US excepted, most of the warfaring nations have a good idea of what war entails, and why their countries are there - they either think it's legitimate (where do soldiers come from?) or necessary. They're quite willing (and always were) to bring to trial those who they feel committed criminal actions under the cover of war, but they don't recognise war as a crime itself. Accusing them of being the criminals just puts people's backs up when they don't recognise the crime. It's easy, it's cheap, and it keeps the blood hot amongst the converted, but it certainly hasn't persuaded the masses.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:08 pm

Ibis said
Quote :
What I have pointed out is that you cannot simply claim to speak for a majority when there is no evidence for the majority in question

Would you remind me what you are referring to here?
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:46 pm

Quote :
All of which goes to demonstrate what I said above. You're simply one of the sides - which, to me, makes you part of the problem. You can't build one-sided solutions to wars. Indeed, war itself is just such an attempt to find a one-sided solution.

All of which goes to show that you have singularly failed to grasp the facts of the situation or even of what I wrote. The internal logic of what you say here is bonkers. The US/UK concoct a justification for an invasion and then you talk about the necessity for Afghanistan to have to behave as if that fact was irrelevant - to embrace and absorb its murderousness and illegality. This has nothing to do with 'sides' - it has to do with facts. And the facts are that that the arms-sozzled west has invaded one of the most defencless and abjectly poor nations in the world for its own ruthlessly selfish purposes. Pilger has simply pointed to those facts. The one-sidedness is all in the death toll, the destruction and the savage impoverishment of an already seriously disadvantaged nation of people.

Quote :
Further, you seem to assume that people are taken in by the guff about 'building democracy', and need to be shaken from their complacency - and again you're wrong. The US excepted, most of the warfaring nations have a good idea of what war entails, and why their countries are there - they either think it's legitimate (where do soldiers come from?) or necessary.

I know full well that you are not as stupid as you are making out here. Where do soldiers come from? In the case of the US, the most junior, most numerous and most vulnerable levels - they come from among the most disadvantaged and the most susceptible to the propaganda of the US government apparatus. In deed we have seen much evidence that these young men and women have been targetted by the US military to enlist. They need their cannon fodder. Meanwhile I believe it is still true that not a single one of the children of any congressman or senator has a child in Iraq. If I am wrong, Im very certain that their number would be counted on the fingers of one hand. Meanwhile the official death toll is more than 4K while a further 7K have committed suicide on return from duty. A far greater number again are maimed/disabled by war and huge numbers are suffering serious mental disorders and committing murders and other crimes that exceed the national average by a seriously worryig factor (will get the precise figures).


Quote :
They're quite willing (and always were) to bring to trial those who they feel committed criminal actions under the cover of war, but they don't recognise war as a crime itself. Accusing them of being the criminals just puts people's backs up when they don't recognise the crime. It's easy, it's cheap, and it keeps the blood hot amongst the converted, but it certainly hasn't persuaded the masses.

Has there ever been a criminal whose back was not 'put up' by being accused of the crimes they have committed? Like Blair and Bush for instance - the biggest war criminals of them all. Crimes are what they have committed and crimes is what they should be described as. Kissinger's nobel peace prize was once described as the day satire died. Blair's appointment as Middle Eastern 'Peace Envoy' was the day its body was mutilated and put on public display.

Again, the discomfiture of people over here at hearing the truth is not a reason to not hear it. As well recommend the appeasing of Myra Hindley or Jack the Ripper in case their delicate sensibility to hearing their actions described for what they were read out in court. Why do you sanitise these things? If people get upset by hearing them it's because they are too accustomed to being kept from the truth, by the deliberate drugging of both their ability to think about and feel the truth of what is going on. The truth is never, ever a bad thing no matter how alergic some people are to it.


Last edited by 905 on Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling error; I fixed a quote - 905)
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:19 pm

I’m afraid I thought the above was a bad post Aragon. You assert that it is a fact that the Americans and British went to Afghanistan for ‘ruthlessly selfish purposes’. Would you not concede that that it is not universally agreed? Or don’t such opinions count? There are some (including myself) who feel that they had good reasons for invading Afghanistan, and that therefore to argue otherwise would be to take a particular side.

I think you make an excellent point about the soldiers, though I would consider the possibility that not all soldiers are recruited from prospect-less circumstances. Other than that you sidestep what it was ibis was talking about: the public acceptance and support for military affairs. Support for the ‘war on terror’ was quite strong a while back unless I’m mistaken. Closer home, armies and their business are seen as a necessary evil and their existence and actions are tolerated. So, I believe.

I also believe, as ibis apparently does, that the public do recognise that their soldiers can commit unacceptable crimes and that they should be brought to justice. As we all should know, what counts as unacceptable is very subjective, considering the circumstances, and I think best left to those most capable of judging. Yourself and Pilger seem to think that many of the actions of the British army are criminal, and that they should be brought to justice. If the law decides that that it the case, then so be it. But in my opinion you cannot pronounce that judgement yourself and then expect everyone to agree with you. You have judged Bush and Blair to be war criminals, have any courts? I don’t think the public has judged the British army to be criminal, neither have the courts. Correct me if I am wrong.
Aragon wrote:
Has there ever been a criminal whose back was not 'put up' by being accused of the crimes they have committed?
Remember that the accused is not a criminal until they have been convicted.
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PostSubject: Re: The disgusting truth about the British military   Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:30 pm

The trail of destruction in Afghanistan seems to be getting worse and worse: is Karzai's position becoming untenable?

http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/mhgbidkfidsn/

Afghan president condemns civilian deaths

An Afghan human rights group said today that at least 88 people, including 20 women, were killed in a joint Afghan-US coalition military operation in western Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the violence and said most of the dead were civilians. Karzai, lamenting that his efforts to get the US and Nato to prevent civilian casualties had not been successful, said in a statement that the Afghan government would soon announce "necessary measures" to prevent civilian deaths. He provided no details. Meanwhile, an Afghan school principal and a police official said Afghan army troops tried to hand out food and clothes today to Afghans in Azizabad - the village in the Shindand district of Herat province where the operation took place Thursday - but villagers started throwing stones at the soldiers, who then fired on the Afghans and wounded up to eight.

US coalition spokeswoman Rumi Nielson-Green said Thursday's operation was led by Afghan National Army commandos, with support from the coalition. Originally the coalition said the battle killed 30 militants, but Nielson-Green said five civilians - two women and three children connected to the militants - were among the dead. Ahmad Nader Nadery, commissioner of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said one of the group's researchers visited Azizabad on Friday and found that 88 people had been killed and 25 houses had been damaged, including 15 that were destroyed. Nadery said the information was preliminary and the group would publish a final report. He did not provide a breakdown of how many of the 88 were civilians or militants.

He said 20 women were among the dead, and the rest were men and children. The Interior Ministry has said that 76 civilians were killed, including 50 children under the age of 15. Karzai's office said at least 70 civilians died. The Afghan Ministry of Defence said 25 militants and five civilians were killed.

The US coalition said it would investigate the claims of civilian deaths. "Obviously there's allegations and a disconnect here. The sooner we can get that cleared up and get it official, the better off we'll all be," said US coalition spokesman 1st Lt. Nathan Perry. "We had people on the ground."

Ghulam Azrat, director of the middle school in Azizabad, said he collected 60 bodies Friday morning after the bombing. "We put the bodies in the main mosque," he said. "Most of these dead bodies were children and women. It took all morning to collect them."

The differing death tolls for Thursday's airstrikes were impossible to verify because of the remote and dangerous location of the battle site. Complicating the matter, Afghan officials are known to exaggerate civilian death claims for political payback, to qualify for more compensation money from the US or because of pressure from the Taliban. The operation was launched after an intelligence report that a Taliban commander, Mullah Siddiq, was inside a compound presiding over a meeting of militants, Azimi said. Siddiq was one of those killed during the raid, Azimi said.

More than 3,400 people - mostly militants - have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to figures from Western and Afghan officials. Later a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan exploded killing 10 civilians, according to an Afghan police chief. Matiullah Khan said the civilians were riding in a small bus when the bomb exploded in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province. Roadside bombs are typically aimed at Afghan and Nato troops but often are triggered early and kill civilians.

In neighbouring Helmand province, meanwhile, provincial police Chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal says a battle between Taliban fighters and Afghan police on Friday killed 17 militants.

Related Links: 23/08/2008 Afghan president condemns civilian deaths
19/08/2008 French troops killed in Afghan gunfight
16/08/2008 More than 30 Afghan militants killed
14/08/2008 Afghanistan: Killed aid worker linked to University of Ulster
30/07/2008 Soldier killed in Afghanistan
28/07/2008 Nato troops kill two children in Afghanistan
27/07/2008 NATO kills 50 militants in Afghan battle
26/07/2008 Nato forces kill four civilians at checkpoint
23/07/2008 Irish soldier hurt in Afghanistan 'recovering well'
23/07/2008 Nato soldier dies in Afghanistan ambush
20/07/2008 US will continue war on terror, Obama tells Karzai
19/07/2008 Nato soldier killed in Afghanistan blast
14/07/2008 Nine US troops killed as Afghanistan violence escalates
11/07/2008 Afghanistan: US airstrike 'killed 47 wedding party members'
02/07/2008 NATO general calls for more air support in Afghanistan
28/06/2008 Militants killed in Afghanistan clashes

http://www.breakingnews.ie/World/mhqleygbgbcw/
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