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Rodentus Maximus

Posted April 23, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The upside of John Winston Howard's return to public life.

At Blunty.

2 Responses to ‘Rodentus Maximus’

tqft swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

Some days I think I should help TA get elected and do his worst. Then it will never happen again (hopefully) or are people really that stupid.

I expect there may be a surprise in Qld for the LNP. Given the media coverage of the Fed's I have hope as the latest 2PP I saw had 45-55 favouring the LNP federally. Which isn't good but as not as bad as it could be. Of course it could be a whitewash as many are expecting.

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JG reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

You don't think Labor can sidle back between now and Sept? Then again, there's a lot I don't agree with that they're doing right now. Still, I can't believe that Tony would get the majority of the vote. Surely Australians won't shoot themselves in the head come the Federal Election. What's the alternative? Greens are looking like the best option.

Johnny, Man of Steel, should make some pump walk DVDs when he's GG. Wonder if he owns a Fitbit. I do, but I've been lazy these last two days.

Off to GC to be an extra in a short film tonight. Should be fun.

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Boston

Posted April 18, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

I made a real effort not to follow the story in Boston too closely when it broke. I scanned what little was known, and then quickly withdrew into deadline because the mounting derp and horror were kind of derpy and horrible.

Before retreating I did have an interesting conversation with some other journos about the graphic images coming through the net. The sort of things which have always arrived in newsrooms after these events, but which are rarely, if ever published.

I honeslty wondered if people wanted that sort of graphic coverage. Apparently many do, because they were self publishing it.

Anyway, I thought I'd try work through those thoughts at Blunty.

26 Responses to ‘Boston’

Murphy mutters...

Posted April 18, 2013

If I felt the need for an update on Boston, I turned to the calmest, most rational source of all.

Wikipedia, which was frequently updated as new information came in. It was calm, even if it was not always right. If it was wrong, it fixed it quietly without a lot of drama. And unlike the twitter and facebook feeds, there were no sidewalks awash in blood.

The other calm, rational voice was the three minute tactical analysis provided on STRATFOR's YouTube site.

Otherwise, I tuned most of it out.

With regard to wikipedia, I started doing that after the Adam Lanza Newtown shooting. I found my blood pressure stayed reasonable and the facts I got, such as they were, were just as reliable as anything else.

Perhaps journalists used to write the first draft of history and we academics like to sneer at wikipedia because you can't quite be sure who edited it. But as we march into the future, I have a feeling that the first draft of history isn't going to be written by journalists. It'll be written at wikipedia.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Bunyip would have you know...

Posted April 18, 2013

"The other calm, rational voice was the three minute tactical analysis provided on STRATFOR's YouTube site."

Thanks for that Murph. I found that useful.

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 18, 2013

Thanks Murph, I've not thought before about wikipedia as a reliable news source, or as the first draft of history. Very interesting.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

The video didn't say anything that I didn't already suspect or know intuitively but I found it helpful just to listen to someone say, "This is what is going to happen," in a very calm, rational tone.

We could use more of that and less Hollywood Hystrionics.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Legless puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

The footage that affected me the most was the videos of the immediate aftermath of the explosions where so many people ran *towards* the explosions. Ignoring the human instinct to flee danger they ran to help thier fellow man. Without them, the butchers bill may have been higher.

Bunyip would have you know...

Posted April 18, 2013

I must admit, having been caught on the edge of a bomb blast* as a teenager (either 1979 or 1980), my first instinct was to run. My fear at the time was that there was a second bomb, set to go off a couple of minutes after the first. Therefore, I found it quite viseral to watch those people pivot and run into the smoke. In retrospect, wish I had been one of them.

*It was part of a bungled extortion campaign against Woolies. Cnr of Park and George Streets, Sydney. Wish I could find an online link, but my Google Fu is not strong today.

Murphy reckons...

Posted April 18, 2013

I sometimes think that running toward someone in danger to help is hardwired in to some people. We had a bank robbery back in my security officer days, an armed one I might add, and for some stupid reason, I ran toward it instead of away from it.

Same thing with saves as a lifeguard. I've worked with guards who often say, "I hope I never have to save someone," and by that they mean, "I don't think I can hack the responsibility of this job." There is no shame in that unless you accept the paycheck for sitting in the chair for the other 90% plus of the time when nothing happens.

Me? I get an andrenaline rush when such an opportunity pops up.

Again, I think it might well be hardwired and perhaps not something to be ashamed of if you respond more sensibly.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted April 18, 2013

I think the rules have changed JB, and not for the better but that is just me being old. However, I believe that there is still a modicum of choice to view or not to view, listen or not, to the various levels of coverage and derp. You don't have to listen to Jones, look at News.com video footage or watch the ABC coverage if you do not wish to.

An interesting question : can the younger generation "automatically" block out what they do not wish to see or listen to, where as us older folk need to analyze before turning away?

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TC asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

I don't know whether I'd count as the younger generation you're talking about BPC (I'm 30-something), but I'm certainly good at automatically tuning out. Unfortunately this seems to have left me possibly more sensitive to goings on than others might be, so when I do decide to tune in I need to be sure to do it in my own time.

I haven't read Blunty yet but I'll remedy that soon. I haven't seen the graphic coverage you're alluding to, JB... and it's not something I'm rushing to find.

Perhaps people want to focus on the graphic images of the event because it makes thinking about the loss of children, siblings, parents and friends move out of focus a little? (yeah, I try to think the best of people as a general rule)

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tqft puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

Not going there. I did read your piece and skim the comments but you don't need to hit the delete button.

Not JB or his piece or even the comments. The whole shebang.

So much derp (and still coming through). and the wife wonders why i tune out the tv news. If I start not going to stop.

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Lulu asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

Some people might want the wall-to-wall graphic images but not everyone - and that includes me. I don't need to see visual evidence of exactly what happens when bombs & human bodies collide at close quarters. And I think it can be a bit death-porny to seek it out.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 18, 2013

Agree on death porn.

Legless puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

I've seen one "Death Porn" clip. Back in the early days of the internet I clicked on a video where a young Russian soldier had his head cut off with a spade. I had nightmares for weeks about it. His helplessness and the horror of seeing that spade go through a real humans neck really got to me.

Since then, I've deliberately avoided links showing graphic death. Saddam's hanging, Ken Bigley's beheading, sniper-cam shots - never seen them. Hell, I've never even seen two-girls one-cup. The desription of that was enough for me to feel sick.

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 18, 2013

There will always be those folk who get a thrill or have a compulsion for this sort of thing. Like the crowd that attend public hangings, they might noisily fill a small town square, but the great majority of people very deliberately stay away.

I don't think the seeming ubiquity of these images had much to do with popularity. A product of some enthusiastic pushers, rather than a mass desire to pull in these images.

I think many of us, out of curiosity, might have gone out of our way to look at some graphic images once in a lifetime. That usually cures you forever. Bloody horrible. I appreciate the mainstream media's censorship of these images.

Sympathy to all victims of violence everywhere.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted April 18, 2013

The Mrs turned the telly on that morning as we were getting ready for work. She likes to watch the most popular breakfast show (you know the one I mean) Well, the event had not happened that long ago and they were already into full-talking-head-derp-mode. It took almost 10 minutes before they stopped talking to some athlete (who wasn't there) to get some sembalance of the proper news. Then after the add break and a showing (again) of the bomb blast in slo-mo thay started talking to some wanker about Paul Revere for fuck's sake!

My mrs saw the signs and turned the crap off before I popped a kidney

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013
Slackness, Dick. Intolerable slackness.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 19, 2013

Yeah the BT seems to have changed it's format so that I couldn't do the usual series of mouse clicks to get to the BI blog either.

I put 'blunt instrument' into the search box at the top, which is all very well when you type over 70WPM as I do. A skill that doesn't translate terribly well to a touch screen on an ipad.

If there's a new short-cut to get there from the Brisbane Times or the SMH or other, it would be good to know.

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pi reckons...

Posted April 19, 2013

Isn't most news trainwreck psychology?

A few years back (at the completion of the 2004 election) I decided that there was nothing I was going to read or hear in the news over the intervening three years until the next federal election that would change my opinion on whether I was going vote against John Howards government. One 'stop the boats' scare too many.

So I stopped watching news. Stopped reading it. Stopped listening to it. Stopped talking about it. When it came on television I either muted and looked away, switched the channel, or if I wasn't in the position do those things, walked out of the room. When people started talking about news, I'd ascertain whether the thing they were talking about directly related to them, or whether they were just talking about something in order to satisfy some morbid sense of curiosity.

'twas an enlightening three years. What did I learn? As much as if I'd watched the news. Missed the tsunami coverage for a week, until someone mentioned it. Tragic business. I reckoned though, that if you'd heard on the news that a tsunami was coming, and you should head to the hills, that would be a useful use of 'news'. But that didn't happen. I read sports news. People queried why. I said : "Because I'm interested in seeing people at their best, not their worst". Same justification exists for reality television I guess.

So I gave the whole boston thing the big miss. One image managed to sneak through the drag-net, that only made me determined to avoid that shit altogether. Blunty post kind of confirms my worst fears.

I'm definitely in the minority. But I think I'm a happier person for it, and I don't think just the fact that I don't know, or want to know, anything this new explosion of gore on the other side of the world, lessens me. It only makes me think that perhaps I might to take another hiatus from the 'news'. There'll be a lot less stress in my life, and there's no chance I'm going to be voting for mr rabbit, so I'm not sure I'm going to be missing much.

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tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted April 19, 2013
And again today. Even though I had tech problems I didn't miss much

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 20, 2013

Got that motherfucker.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 20, 2013

I'm real curious as to their motivation.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2013

I am too.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 20, 2013
2 fkn retards who have little in the way of support IF FKN ANY which is a fkn good thing and decided, that as they are from the shallow end of the fkn gene pool they would have a crcak at Uncle Sam, more likely they got tangled up in the balkans..NO..nay really. Just another pair who get to me god early!...or not!


I see ya fkn turned on SPELL CHEKER FOR ME YA MUPPET!

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Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2013

It is a terrible thing that has happened.

I can't see why they did it.

Media Attention?

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted April 21, 2013

i.imgur.com/O8Sibu6.jpg

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Paging Dr Havoc

Posted April 16, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The Queensland Country Women's Association seems to have suffered a psychotic break and allowed packet cakes into the baking comp.

At Blunty.

18 Responses to ‘Paging Dr Havoc’

tqft has opinions thus...

Posted April 16, 2013

Not sure you will see much traffic today

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted April 16, 2013

Nah. Prolly not.

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JG asserts...

Posted April 16, 2013

Standards have slipped indeed. Packet mixes considered real cakes by the CWA? All you have to do is add water for the synthetic crap to rise.

These are the end days. Mourn, faithful cake eaters.

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Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted April 16, 2013

Pitchforks and torches are what is needed at CWA HQ, ASAP. Must be a Whitewings imposter embedded at CWA.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 16, 2013

CAPPEM.. FKN CAP"EM FKN ALL!, Packet mixes, that shit prolly fkn started at the same time those bastards starting fkn around with the milk and thinning all that good shite outta, see what happens when ya let alledgedlyfkn smart bastards into the shop ot out back, shit goes fkn south fast, Thi milk, skinny fkn milk latte fkn milk and then...BAAFKNZINGO its PAcket shit in the CWA,, no place for that crap unless its painted fkn green and fed to some poor bastard in the fkn middle of nowhere i say.

AGAIN!...GET OUUTA THE FKN COUNTRY RIGHT THE FKN NOW BEFOER I ACP YA SKANY FLEA RODEN CARCASSES!

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JG is gonna tell you...

Posted April 16, 2013

I really laughed out loud (is there any other way?) at that, Havoc. You're a riot. I bet you're like that rowdy muppet (you know, the head banger), except without hair. What's its name?

You sure you haven't eaten any of the plastic stuff? No red food colouring? You're overexcited, but I can understand why. The CWA have gone too far this time.

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JG ducks in to say...

Posted April 16, 2013

Animal. Yep, that's the one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtetyHQimgY

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 16, 2013

INDIGO, you really should be looking at a animated pic of say...Bruce Willis, he's more how I look, perhaps built a slightly wee better I am and with the mind of a fkn GOD!

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JG would have you know...

Posted April 16, 2013

Your modesty is admirable, Hav. Reminds me, I should see that new BW movie - A Good Day To Die Hard. Maybe you could secure a gig as Brucey's double.

I'm sure you'd scare the CWA ladies into making real cakes again. Maybe you should go to one of their meetings, Havoc.

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted April 16, 2013

My awesomeness at Decorating cakes knows no fkn bounds and would scare them, plus.......gods don't do that sorta shit!, I've reverted to type, death, choas and mayhem follwed with a nice red and some Margret River selected cheeses!

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted April 16, 2013

Dear Indigo
An example of HAVOCK's cake decorating. Maximum AWSM!!

http://i.imgur.com/u6LSE.jpg

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JG would have you know...

Posted April 17, 2013

Havock has lovely nails, w. ;)

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tqft mumbles...

Posted April 17, 2013

Must try harder.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 17, 2013

INDIGO, A GOD A WORK..RIGHT HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_9WdFYN-jc

JG is gonna tell you...

Posted April 18, 2013

Hahaha!! Awesome, H. You're a natural on camera. I also checked out your clip on waiting for coffee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CH3bJrGXrI&feature=endscreen&NR=1

I reckon you need a TV show, mate.

Of course, there's be a lot of beeps to cover you. :D

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 20, 2013

Havock can fix FKN anything!

He is an alchemist that can turn gold into stainless steel with nothing but a grinder.

People laughed at Newton, they laughed at Einstein but I have seen what Havock can do with mine own eyes!

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Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted April 20, 2013

Just Sayin-

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-20/dodgy-profiteroles-blamed-for-listeria-outbreak/4641302

Paging Dr Havoc...

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First they came for my bar tender

Posted March 28, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

One of the daffiest ideas I've ever seen floated in public debate.

At Blunty

13 Responses to ‘First they came for my bar tender’

DNABeast puts forth...

Posted March 28, 2013

I thought alcohol consuption was mostly a self-regulating system. Slightly delayed of course. and painful. Very painful.

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Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

I'll bet you dinner that you could get this through with a little thought. I'll even suggest you could get it through with broad, enthusiastic support. You just need to be strategic.

You don't start off saying "we're going to monitor, track, tax and regulate everyone's drinking, including YOURS, peon, mwahahaha!" You start by targeting it at anyone on the bottom tax bracket or who's getting benefits (not the middle-class benefits, obviously, just the ones that help out the lower socio-economic rungs).

You declare that true-blue Aussie families are fed up with supporting those lazy non-starters who pocket the tax dollars of decent hard-working Australians and blow it all on irresponsible drinking. The government has an obvious duty to the silent, decent majority of ordinary Australian families to make sure their hard-earned wages aren't subsidising the dangerous and self-indulgent habits of certain fringe elements that have unfortunately attached themselves to our society.

Anyone who objects, you label as a bleeding-heart "snivel-libertarian" (thank you Mister Laws) tree-hugging do-gooder who just wants to hand over the wealth from our productive citizens to already-indulged minority groups so they can get violently, criminally drunk on the taxes of honest, traditionally-minded Aussies like you and me.

Frame the ad campaign right, get a couple of sympathetic shock jocks on board and craft your sound bites carefully and before long you'll have made sure that everyone understands that the real targets here are Those Sorts of People (while of course being shocked, shocked at the inflammatory, politically-correct hysteria of anyone who comes out and says you're demonising the unemployed, migrants and Aborigines as a smokescreen to get this thing through).

If the liquor industry arcs up about it, you just say that after a fruitful round of consultation you're going to assist the industry to adapt to the new selling regime with a special adjustment package, which is what you call your multi-million-dollar subsidies to the biggest brewers and grog merchants to keep them sweet. Any small producers not big enough to fund an electorally harmful ad campaign can of course go fuck themselves.

Marketing it as a punitive measure against those people already seen as down-and-outs lets you get it into law. Massage some stats from the Institute of Criminology and/or Family & Community Services to "demonstrate" that the measure is working to reduce irresponsible behaviour, and it just becomes part of the landscape - people stop thinking about it.

Then you start talking about what a useful revenue measure it is, and point out that it's discriminatory to just point it at the least fortunate in our society. That's easy, you just co-opt the rhetoric from all the people who've been saying that since the measure's introduction and pretend you came up with the point yourself. Ask why a hard-working, decent blue-collar Aussie with his small family business in Western Sydney should have to cop this measure for his well-deserved beer on Friday arvo, while the chardonnay-sipping fat cats in the inner city are exempt and can use yours and my tax dollars to fill their wine cellars as often as they like. Knock off the means test and issue the cards to everyone.

Done and dusted.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted March 28, 2013

I feel like a cigarette.
Darn it! Too effen expensive.

Bunyip mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

Oh, and it will stop the kiddez binge drinking...

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JG asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

Bizarre proposal. Talk about Orwellian. We know your every move; your every purchase. Won't affect me too much as I don't buy much alcohol, but for those who drink a lot, I'd say it's a terrible invasion of privacy.

Almost as bad as footballers demanding a tax break. *&*ing whinging pussies.

Anyway, Happy Easter you lot. Don't drink too much.

JG :)

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted March 28, 2013

JB, I did enjoy your biblical self-help reference, Onan the Barbarian.

There used to be a workshop visible from the train line as you left Fortitude Valley.
It had a sign advertising 'Onan Parts Service'. Used to amuse me.

Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted March 28, 2013

Dorothy Parker called her budgie Onan, because he spilled his seed everywhere.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted March 28, 2013

PNG represent in the comments.

Enjoy your socialised drinking Ausfailians. Happy Easter from the Land of the Free.

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pi mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

I wonder if the same response would exist for something like pot, if it were ever de-illegal'd, and regulated. I mean... drugs, the ones that doctors prescribe, can be tracked. It's not like they are, but they could be.

One of the biggest (legitimate) objections to pot legalization is the mental-health link. It's there. It's real. It can't be ignored. Registration requires mental-health checks, just like a doctor won't (err... shouldn't) give you access to drugs for something that would adversely affect your 'health'

Isn't this the same as alcohol... just about a century past the possibility of it occurring?

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Therbs asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

I believe Mr Bangar would offer an alternative.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted March 28, 2013

Hmmm ... I believe that I will will review your Google Glass (REQUIRED to be on whenever a citizen is in public) videos for the night(s) in question in order to measure your suitibility for obtaining:

1. Employment

2. Insurance

3. Additional taxes.

Welcome to 2014.Georgie was off by 30 years ... not bad for rounding-up.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted March 29, 2013

OT ...sorry ... but has anyone else seen the trailer for The Wolverine yet? AWSM SAUCE. Wolvie v Ninjas in Japan.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 29, 2013

Seems wacky now, but more of this sort of stuff will happen and not just as proposal. More to the point, if government doesn't get into it, the private sector will and it will be much harder to wrestle back some meagre control.

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Respond to 'First they came for my bar tender'

Ten years after a war starts

Posted March 19, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

It surprised me to learn a decade had passed since the invasion of Iraq with only a couple of interesting columns and blogs really noting it. Thought perhaps I should add to that. The war itself has been thrashed out all over, but I got to thinking about the mass psychology of going to war, and the role the media plays in that.

Hence todays Blunty.

112 Responses to ‘Ten years after a war starts’

Mat D mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

Only in the past week have I noticed Reuters, CNN and NBC putting up articles on a journalists memories, etc.

It has being rather a blink and you miss it moment!

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

I won 500 out of a neocon by betting him before the invasion of Iraq that no WMD will be found.

My current favorite is people going back and tracking the predictions of members of Likud as to when Iran will have nuclear strike capability. Apparently it's been "within a year" since the late 1980's.

I'm willing to bet a bottle of Bushmills that by 2015 some sort of substantive, but ultimately ineffectual, military strike will be made on Iran.

If only someone had repeatedly blugeoned Churchill as a baby, so much of the 20th century would have been less fucked up.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

Yeah. Would've been much more orderly if only he'd let that Hitler bloke run things.

w from brisbane snarkily puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2013

Did Churchill win the war?

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

I think he might have had help from the Yanks.

M

w from brisbane unnecessarily would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

...and a lot of dead Russians. I think there were troops from a variety of countries.

Murphy reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Fortified with Spam in a Can flying P-39s and driving Studebakers I do believe the Reds might have helped to a degree.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Blarkon reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Can you goodwin your own site?

Hitler would have been defeated and the allies would have won without Churchill.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

If Britain had stayed in the war long enough for Japan to miscalculate and attack Pearl Harbor. Without Churchill that's a very big if. There's any number of ways events could have played out with a Nazi regime in charge of Europe, the UK Finlandized, and Berlin brokering a settlement between Tokyo and Washington. Plenty of ways the war could have gone on too. But to make a blanket assertion that Churchill was meaningless to the outcome betrays either lack of knowledge about what the Sovs used to call the correlation of forces in 1940-1, or a naive confidence in the fighting resources of the British Empire.

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

Wouldn't the Soviets have rolled over Berlin eventually?

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

LEND LEASE!

Murphy asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

Ah, fuck the Yanks. They didn't do anything.

;) Well, except fuck up the planet.

Christ, we haven't had this new shiny blog up not a week and we've got ourselves a fucking flamewar. What a mess.

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2013

Are you suggesting BLARKON that the Empire would still have been in the stoush or that its all Churchills fault.....or do you have him mixed up with CHAMBERLAIN!

Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

Trolling one's friend's new blog is a bit of a faux pas old scaley chap. However I'll play along:

Britain MIGHT, and I emphasise might, have been better off having some sort of ceasefire with nazi Germany giving itself time to reorganise and rearm. But Hitler would have done the same so more likely it would have been a cold war between the two empires.

But Britain could have kept it's Empire that way. Assuming that keeping a fading Empire would have been good for Britain, which I doubt actually.

So. A world without Churchill would have been horrible for mainland Europe, Russia and wherever else Hitler colonised but maybe better for those parts of the British Empire that suffered from the not being adequately prepped for independance. A slower, more gradual process might have saved much misery in India and Africa.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

I supported the war, pretty loudly as I recall. I did so for a number of reasons.

First, as a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, I felt we had betrayed the Shia in the south and the Kurds to the North who rose up against Saddam during the later stages of the war only to be smashed down after the American cessation of hostilities. I saw more than my share of refugees at Safwan, where my division was stationed until we withdrew. It left a nasty taste in my mouth. It was my hope that the 2003 Invasion would reverse that stain.

Second, intelligence is almost always of a dubious nature but when General Colin Powell backed it up, I was sold. It is only later that I learned he was cynically manipulated by folks who realized he was the only man with the credibility to pull it off. I think it explains a lot of the reason why he served only one term as an otherwise decent Secretary of State.

Third, the antiwar opposition had expended a lot of energy describing in gleeful detail how folks like myself were going to be slaughtered in the Mother of All Battles. We had crappy weapons which were overpriced, idiot leaders who didn't know what they were doing and the troops themselves, myself included, were the Dudley Dumbass Dregs of Society. If we got our asses killed, we had it coming to us, right? They turned out to be wrong about everything in 1991 and thus when they cranked up the machine again, many, including myself, were like, "You were wrong last time, why listen this time?" Which is why the likes of Paul Krugman and others were told to go fuck themselves.

Lastly, depending upon which lens of history you use, it was and is still possible to think that perhaps, just maybe, Iraq could become something other than a tyrannical butcher's bill. True, the "History of the Middle East" is often trotted out as an answer to it never happening but then representative governments have taken hold in other parts of the planet where, "The History of Japan," or "The History of Korea," might otherwise indicate that it would never happen. "The History of Germany," too.

So, it wasn't as cut and dry and Krugman might think.

As it turns out, in retrospect which the hazy hindsight that is never quite as 20/20 as we like to think it is, neither side was wholly correct in their predictions. Bush Junior and the Neocon predictions were widely incorrect, particularly WMDs. The Antiwar folks tended to be wrong about the nature of the initial invasion, then wrong about the insurgency, followed up by being wrong about the Surge. On the other hand, throwing the Bathists out into the cold was a mindnumbingly stupid mistake which should carry criminal consequences.

What will be interesting, I think, is what will be written about Iraq not on this day but perhaps twenty to thirty years from now. With greater distance and more information, much of it still classified (or simply lied about) we may gain a better understanding of just what went wrong.

My two cents.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

With the great respect (I haven't been in a war and hope that stays the case), does what you say come down to 'right, but for the wrong reasons'?

I have always been anti-war and in this case was vehemently opposed. I never felt that there would be a slaughter of US or Aus troops and would never want that, however. I just felt that it was the wrong reason to place you guys in harm's way.

I guess I think that being 'right, but for the wrong reasons' is still wrong. In this case tactically, geo-politically and humanly. I'm not sure that we saved the people or made the world a safer place. In a broader sweep of world events, the evolving Arab-spring might indicate that change was a-coming anyway and change led from within is almost always more peaceful. So, I think that it was a mistake that the media and the politico classes were complicit in and have to live with. My fear is that they still have no problem living with it, despite the histories now being written.

Like you, though, I will continue to be interested in how this seen over the coming decades. When the true truth is known, maybe I'll happily change my mind.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2013

What was the greater atrocity, Dave?

Stand by and let Saddam continue to run his slaugtherhouse or try to do the right thing and straighten it out?

The Clinton Era verified that we were willing to intervene in the affairs of others in a military manner, something we had, for the most part, gotten away from after Vietnam. With the genie out of the bottle, how could the liberals complain when Bush Junior copied their homework assignment?

I'd say it was the right call, poorly executed.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Dave W mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2013

From my perspective (someone whose exposure is limited to new reporting), it replaced a despotic murderer with random car bombings. I can't claim any quality knowledge on this but the right decision made for the wrong reason and poorly executed doesn't sound great. As for the greater atrocity, Murph- Zimbabwe, North Korea, China, Haiti, Sudan? Hell, what about the cartel wars in Mexico? Nah, I wouldn't see that a lesser of two evils argument works here, seeing as there were plenty of other places where a human rights justification was equal or greater.

I think Iraq is this generation's Vietnam, without the quality music or protest movement.

I think it was also a shitty distraction from the proper job, Afghanistan, that actually had some popular support and a reasonable casus belli.

Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2013

I agree with all that Murph said basically.

Respond to this thread

Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

Nice Murph. As you say, it will be even more interesting in a few decades to see what is said. Rarely is as cut and dried as some think.

As opposed to killing all the conservatives up front and leaving it to the rest.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2013

One should read a book detailing the political descent into madness called Dereliction of Duty by H.R. McMaster. I have to say, it is a book which changed my thinking on Vietnam. McMaster's assessment of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and McNamara is damning in the extreme.

They KNEW we'd lose Vietnam but it was important to send a message to the communists. As a result, we lost 58K sending what could have been written in a letter and mailed off.

Frankly, McNamara should have been shot.

I suspect we may find something similar about the actions of the Bush Administration. It is just a matter of time.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

One will do so. I think there was considerable ignorance by the American leadership with regards the power balance and leadership mindset in Iraq before '91. Same applies to Vietnam in the 60s. Uncle Ho was a bit different to his western portayal. Whether it was wilful ignorance to achieve some geopolitical goal, I don't know. Again time will tell.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2013

The whole thing, based on lies had one redeeming feature; the hunting down of Saddam. Will America draw itself into Iran? Hopefully not with the GOP on the outer.Writing blank cheques to invade then rebuild other countries isn't really a good government business model.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

At best with Iran I see an Air and Naval campaign with some limited use of special ops. And to be honest, no one here has the stomach for that. Not after years of dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan. No one is going to have any patience for the same story we heard in 2003.

And to be honest, if I were the President, I'd simply let it be known that if a terrorist organization got their hands on a nuke, we'd simply assume it was an Iranian nuke and consider it a nuclear attack by Iran upon the United States of America. For every nuke they release in the wild, we'd strike back with three in kind until every major population center was dust. Won't work with the Iranians? Maybe not. I'm sure some felt that way about the Japanese until Truman effectively took that course. In any case, I'd lay the ultimatium down and leave it at that.

As for vets of that war, I see my fair share of them on campus where I teach. Most of them do not have much patience for the antiwar types. Most of them are not repentant veterans though I do know of one or two (one converted to Islam, his business I guess). Most of them absolutely have zero patience for people who tell them the war was pointless, a lie or a farce. To them it was personal, they lost friends, they lost years of their own lives, they gave bits of their bodies and certainly they gave their minds. Some are worse for wear from the experience, others are stronger, contrary to what th popular culture would have you think.

It is strange to be in a position where I tangentially discuss criticisms of their wars as examples for my history classes. I always see them bristle, as if they are about to be attacked. I remember being in their shoes when I was a student (of course my critics were not veterans, not a fucking one of them) and I always try to explain that sometimes in order to understand history, you have to take yourself out of the equation.

That is a very hard thing to ask a vet. Trust me.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Bunyip mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

"To them, it was personal, they lost friends, they lost years of their own lives, they gave btis of their bodies, and certainly they gave their minds"

It's the grey which confuses the black and white narrative of bumper sticker politics.

I've been a bit of a peacenik over the years, but I am proud of what my father and uncles went through in WWII, and I felt a similar pride in the ADF when they stared down the Indos in Timor. So... you're right Murph, we should honour the costs for those that fight.

Similar to the Vietnam vets. For whatever reasons we consider the politics, those young men and women wenter over and were changed by it. A lot of them went because we, as a society sent them there.

I wasn't going to post on this subject, given my craven lack of knowledge or experience on the realities of modern warfare, but that letter of Adam Denny's over on Blunty really summed it up for me. That* is the cost of war; the psychological and physical scaring of a young man, and the impacts it had on his family and friends.

*As opposed to the impacts of where it is raged. During the conflict in Lebanon in the 70s or 80s, a Lebanese shopkeeper apparently berated a bunch of Western journalists: "How dare you call this a civil war! This is the most uncivil of wars".

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Brian mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

I thought the war was dubious. My initial reaction was 'Why go to a place, where the most radicalized elements stated purpose was to kill Americans'? It also looked like a jerk reaction. 'If we can't get Osama. We'll get someone'. Of course there were commercial interests who thought it would be a good business idea. Iraq's power generators were European. After liberation it was decided that they had to be replaced by American . . . . .that was in IEAust magazine. . .multinational names at that. Much of Iraq's modern infrastructure was at oldest 30 years old. A friend had a hand in building some.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

Engage the enemy as far forward as possible, Brian.

They'll travel to Iraq where we can kill them by the bushel as opposed to them hijacking more planes to chuck into skyscrapers. Though to be honest both Bush and Clinton should be horsewhipped in the public square for not bagging that son of a bitch before 9-11.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

BrianC ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

This consideration. Fight them over there rather than here, is not to be discounted. The Mulla's and the Imam's have written them selfs into a corner with their literal interpritation of the Sura's concerning war. They can not suffer a "Infedel" to rule on Islamic land. We can see what these religous maniacs are capable of doing to their own people, i dont think we want to see what they would do to ours if they got the chance again.

Matthew K reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Murph: "Bush and Clinton should be horsewhipped in the public square for not bagging that son of a bitch before 9-11."

That just was not an option before 9/11, had they done so the re would have been screams of "Warmonger!" etc. Even more so I mean.

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TheWah mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2013

I think the world had changed before the second Iraq invasion in a way that caught western leaders off guard. On one hand the concept of true open democracy was being lauded as the most ideal political situation but then the governing bodies needed to keep things secret from the masses due to strategic reasons. This made them all look either incompetent, when the reasons for going to war were shown to be patently false (WMDs), or just plain evil.

We don't have the stomach to re-do another Iraq as a people because we are aware of the way we were manipulated last time by our own leaders. Even if it was the right thing to do next time, like Iran maybe, the people won't trust the leaders at all. To the detriment of everybody on both sides.

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

That is a very hard thing to ask a vet.

I get that, for reasons you've just listed. But is that the same thing as saying it's the wrong thing to ask a vet?

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Murphy mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

Nocturnalist, my personal experience is that they have to come at the questioning of their war, or any war, in their own way and in their own time.

Any given veteran here in the United States is already laboring under a fairly common misconception, namely that they are a psychological ticking time bomb waiting to explode all over everyone, or shoot themselves, or end up homeless, or whatever. The Veteran gets to deal with that, gets to deal with the glad handing bastards who say, "Thanks for your service," who never served while also dealing with the other bastards who ask, "How does it feel to prostitute yourself out to the military for college money?" and "Why didn't you get a real job?"

Chuck in the conservatives who treat veterans benefits as, "entitlements," which should be cut from the budget, well, when the liberals aren't trying to reallocated them to someone else.

In any case, you are going to get a brick wall if you hit them with it too soon and too directly. They'll brush it off and write you off as another asshole not worth listening to.

At least American vets tend to be that way. I don't know, things might be different elsewhere.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

I don't think there weren't many in Australia for that war. In late 2002, one after another recently retired head of the Australian military, came out strongly against Australia being involved in this war outside the framework of the U.N. I assumed they were speaking somewhat for the current millary leaders, which is how these things often work.

For example, Admiral Alan Beaumont, who had served as Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said "I don't believe there's any justification for us joining the United States when we believe they are wrong. I don't think we should be in there supporting them at all unless it's through the UN."

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

I can't even read the thread over at the Blunt. Typical crap with the exception of Adam Denny's comment. I think the blog would have been better served without a comment thread.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Respond to this comment

yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

I can't say much that Murph hasn't already said rather well.

Amazing to me that there was evidently no plan for after we got done with the 'war' part in Iraq. Well, I'm sure there is-in some file cabinet, between 'Iceland Invasion' and 'Klingon Attack'. But evidently nothing got distributed to anyone who needed to run the place.

We'd have been better off to have a few dozen ex or current FBI guys start tracking down bin Laden after 9-11, offing him in just the manner we did, but maybe 7 or 8 years earlier-and calling it good.

Afghanistan, well, it's been a mess since Alexander marched through. The Mongol Khans-sorry, KHHHHAAAAANNNNS!, the British, the Russians, and now the US, have all been there-and the place is still a confederation of tribal fiefdoms. Iraq was dysfunctional when Saddam ran the place, and about the best I think anyone can hope for is a 3-way split-Kurds north, Shia east of the Euphrates, and the Sunnis west of same.

To coin a phrase....oops!

Matthew K reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Yes exactly, there was no plan beyond "Iraqis will be pleased to see us, suddenly become democratic after decades of mushroom existence under a dictatorship that lied to them. There'll be big party with jelly and ice cream and it'll all just be peachy!"

Before the invasion I was watching Question Time and the late Christopher Hitchins was asked if he agreed with it. He replied that if the US was prepared for the long haul colonialist experience of staying there for decades until Iraq was a proper functioning country then yes, but as he suspected America did not have the patience for that and it would be a bodge job then no.

Very precient that man.

Trashman mutters...

Posted March 20, 2013

Murph, now who's splitting hairs?

Most people would accept as a Democracy a country with the following conditions: universal suffrage, multiple political parties, two houses and an executive.

The details may differ, but the end result is the same.

Civil institutions do not just appear fully formed and rooted into the culture overnight. It takes years.

As Damian has said these responses are beneath you. I may disagree with your conclusions or politics at times, but rarely have I seen you totally, factually wrong.

Wishing does not make it so.

Respond to this thread

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

The book that brought Iraq most into focus was me was Imperial Life in the Emerald City ( http://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Life-Emerald-City-ebook/dp/B000JMKTK0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363658449&sr=8-2&keywords=emerald+city+iraq )

Which basically went into detail about how little planning the allies had made for a post war society.

This is what it comes down to. Yes you can go in and smash the joint. Yes there will be splosions. But unless you actually know what the fuck you're going to do after you smash stuff, the situation is unlikely to improve.

I brought up Churchill for a reason - he's the textbook example of how some plans that can seem good at the time (partition the Ottoman Empire this way, use the Palestinian mandate in that way, overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and install the Shah, treat Ghandi as a terrorist) can lead to extensive fuck ups for generations later.

Iraq isn't fixed. Aghanistan isn't fixed. More people have lost their lives during the occupations in each country than during the entirety of the Taliban's and Hussein's reign.

And we can't say we "gave them freedom" - because freedom isn't something you give - it's something people take for themselves.

The underlying problems in that region haven't been solved. Those come back to the way that saint Churchill and the British foreign office drew up the map after the Ottomans empire fell. Until those are dealt with (and can you imagine what Iran would be like if the secular democratic government that Churchill overthrew with American help in Operation Ajax)

Murphy reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

We gave the Germans their freedom. Well, the West Germans anyway, which led the way to the East Germans getting theirs eventually. We gave the Japanese their freedom, same to the South Koreans which make perhaps eventually lead to the North Koreans getting theirs.

To say, "you can't give freedom," is to split hairs. You can create conditions which lead to the establishment of free institutions and societies. Under Saddam, that wasn't going to happen.

And I gotta say, the Taliban were bastards by any standard. To say it would have been better to leave them in power frankly sickens me. Then again, what do you expect from a bunch of religous kid and goat fuckers?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Blarkon reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Germany had a substantial democratic tradition before the rise of the Nazis. Japan did as well (arguably from the 1850's through to the 1920's). Democracy and freedom were restored - they weren't implimented from nothing. Those peoples had already developed a democratic tradition. They'd done it themselves. They weren't given the gift of democracy by a benevolent Uncle Sam.

Only American revisionism has democracy arising through American intervention. This myth is dangerous because you have people believing "we can take this fucked up state with a dictator and turn it into a thriving modern nation".

As long as Americans buy into the myth that they are "Democracy Jedi" - forever the good guys bringing freedom to the downtrodden - this sort of overreaching bullshit will continue to happen.

As for Afghanistan and the Taliban - if the US hadn't intervened in the 80's by directly supporting another militant group, might it just be another harmless recovering former soviet republic?

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

What? The Weimar Republic? Seriously? Or are you talking about electing the HRE? Christ, we must have different definitions of democracy then, brother. Wow.

Japan had a democratic tradition? WTF are you smoking?

We didn't build representative societies in the countries I mentioned out of some sense of a divine mission to spread whatever you like about the planet. To be blunt, we did it so the communists wouldn't take hold, so it was rather self serving us of. We also did it to avoid fighting a third world war if we could help it.

There is no revisionism in it at all, except what you make of it. None at all.

Well, except for some farcial notion that Germany and Japan had democratic traditions prior to getting their guts stomped out in World War II.

That is actually a pretty good one, Blarkon. I don't even think the farthest left leaning peer that I work with could agree with you on that one. Sheesh.

Blarkon asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

For a historian Murph, you don't seem to know shit about the history of Germany in the 1800's.

Blarkon asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_German_Confederation

"The North German Constitution of 16 April 1867, created a national parliament with universal suffrage (for men above the age of 25), the Reichstag. Another important organ was the Bundesrat, the 'federal council' of the representatives of the allied governments. "

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Constitution

"Under the Meiji Constitution, a legislature was established with two Houses. The Upper House, or House of Peers consisted of members of the Imperial Family, hereditary peerage and members appointed by the Emperor. The Lower House, or House of Representatives was elected by direct male suffrage (with property qualifications). Legislative authority was shared with the Diet, and both the Emperor and the Diet had to agree in order for a measure to become law. On the other hand, the Diet was given the authority to initiate legislation, approve all laws, and approve the budget."

Murphy would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

No civilian control of the military. And it wasn't too hard to undermine that Constitution.

Sheesh. Try again.

As for German and Japan, merely writing a rough copy of the Constitution of the United States does not a representative society make. Both of them would fail pretty handily by the 1930s.

You bore me, Blarkon.

Trashman puts forth...

Posted March 20, 2013

Having a constitution doesn't necesserialy mean much either Murph.

The UK doesn't have one, and very few would say we aren't a democracy. The US has one and it hasn't protected much. The Patriot Act? As an outsider that seems to shred most of your freedoms. It even seems broadly equivalent to the infamous 'Night and Fog' decree in Germany in 1941.

Democracy won't survive long if a nation gives in to extreme nationalism. Hitler was voted in legally remember.

On the other hand democracy requires stable civil institutions that take time to take root. This can't be done overnight, hence the colonial card being played.

The world is undoubtedly a better place without Saddam, but taking down him then? When Afghanistan was on and had UN approval? The execution was great, but the occupation was botched from the start. I don't think anyone could argua that.

As an aside, have you read about the last of the LBJ tapes being declassified. What it reveals about Nixon is exlosive what if? stuff.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2013

Actually, the United Kingdom is a Parliamentary Monarchy.

You'd be hardpressed to find a true democracy on the planet, as it is properly defined. Even the United States is a Federal Republic, not a true democracy.

damian would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2013

"We gave the Germans their freedom. Well, the West Germans anyway, which led the way to the East Germans getting theirs eventually. We gave the Japanese their freedom, same to the South Koreans which make perhaps eventually lead to the North Koreans getting theirs."

Not sure if your understanding of the words here is very different from mine, but Murph this stuff is beneath you.

Respond to this thread

Mat D is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

Just being looking at some of the write ups on BBC, CNN and the likes on what Kim Jong Un is up to with his pose of North Korean Generals. How is it that the US can sit by with this lad and all his minions creating and firing missiles that are nuke capable (to a point).

Why is the US not doing what they did in Iraq to North Korean?

The Korean War in the 50's was the first UN war, the first hot war of the cold war, had China involved and is almost completely forgotten. Yet Iraq in the 2003 and prior in 1991 seems to be at the forefront as Saddam likely had WMD's,

The Kim dynasty does have WMD's and nothing is being done about it. Why?

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

Because they have a selective recognition of "Saber Rattling". North Korea isn't a threat to anyone but itself.

Des has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

no oil?

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

I suspect that there's a recognition that North Korea is in the "too hard" basket. That any action taken is more likely to make things worse than better.

With Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran is is more possible to entertain the fantasy that intervention will on the balance of things be positive. I think it's definitely a fantasy and that the only reason this wasn't more widely seen is our political class and commentariat's evolution away from being able to perform long term thinking.

Which makes sense. Our society is undergoing rapid technological and social change itself - we don't know what our society will look like in 2 decades - so how the fuck can we work out what a society will look like after a war and invasion?

Murphy asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

The North Koreans aren't a threat, not a serious one. They'd be nuked if they tried anything overly stupid and the South Koreans can handle everything else on their own with basic US backing.

It might also be dim memories of a cold winter march away from the Yalu River. The Chinese tend to frown on folks they are not friendly with getting too close.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

ps: Oh, but it is about the oil. For Christ sakes. Seriously? WTF?

Respond to this thread

Des asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

re Murph...you read the comment thread and think it should be censored! nice! don't like those people who after ten years of being bullied and vilified for not buying the yankee-doodle Bin Laden (cia asset) fairy tale, dare to declare that YES, they were right all along, and you got suckered in! well i'm sorry for the grunts who were doing the killing of locals; that will haunt them all their lives, but i'm sorrier for the hundreds of thousands of murdered and maimed locals, at the hands of the 'coalition of the willing'....the only reason we went along for the rides is that we have no choice. we have no sovereignty. we can never behave in a way that is overtly at odds with the United States and Israel. EVERYONE i knew smelled a rat, and could see through the Colon Powell scam. We all protested against it. i'm sorry if you don't like hearing this. that is the reality from where i stand.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2013

No, I read the comment thread and thought it was pretty much a standard issue Leftist rehash of the usual Anti-Americanism we usually see in such discussions.

Bush wasn't a real president. Bullshit. He won the electoral vote. He's president. Period. Don't like that result? Say the Supreme Court made it illegitimate? Well, to be fair, Gore went to Court first. To be more fair, if you look at other elections in American History, the Election of 2000 was far more legitimate than the Compromise of 1877. You go google that up, I'll wait.

Or the general, "Fuck the US and let them do it all on their own." Fine attitude to take. It caters directly to the mindset of half the populace on any given day and up to two-thirds on worse days. Personally, I'd have been perfectly happy if we took one giant step back from the job of policing the planet, wiping the asses of allies and generally cleaning up messes we did not create, the litany of which can be traced back to European Imperialism back to the 19th Century and earlier.

Instead, Clinton and Bush both get us in deeper, both for the wrong reasons based upon some fucked up notion of Wilsonian Foreign Policy and gaining, "The Respect of the Global Community."

Bah! Handle your problems on your own. Please. We can use the savings to balance the budget. God knows we've subsidized the defense of half the fucking planet since the end of World War II.

Then there is the typical, "Oh, it was the result of the Arms Industry," the Evil Military Industrial Complex. You know, it was a bullshit story when Gerald Nye ponied that one up for the reasons we got wrapped up in World War One (a European War we didn't start but got to go and help clean up thanks to Woodrow Wilson) and it is a bullshit story now.

So no, Des, I don't have much patience for what was said there because it is the same old crap which makes reading novels like After America such rich satire for people like me.

Didn't say a word about censoring it. I just said it was a waste.

M

Trashman is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2013

True up to a point, but it has to be said that the US has done it's fair share of empire building and mess creating in the 20th century.

To be blunt, anything the US has done has been for it's own reasons. Altruism is rarely a factor. The same can be said for any other government, it's just that as the biggest fish in the pond you make a much bigger splash than anybody else.

The various locals in the ME holding a grudge for 500 years doesn't help though.

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

Des, we don't listen to people like you because you're the type that thinks America is the root cause of everything bad that ever happened in the modern world. Your type is yippy and tiresome, somewhat like a Chihuahua, without buggy eyes.

As my esteemed colleague HM Emperor Blarkon has pointed out, the root causes of a lot of the current trouble in the Middle East goes back to long before the US set foot there. Perhaps try reading and learning something instead of trotting out crap, and then you can come back and talk with the adults.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

What Yankeedog said, with more class.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Des puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2013

oh don't hold back...i'm interested to hear what you would like to do to me! i remember you made some comment about how you would have dealt with me back in your private security days......!!! the mind boggles. cheer up old son, we're all in this together... victime of Government controlled by corporate interests. why wouldn't one suffer from depression! we are all angry and confused . it is the Zeitgeist. hugs.

Des is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

oh don't hold back...i'm interested to hear what you would like to do to me! i remember you made some comment about how you would have dealt with me back in your private security days......!!! the mind boggles. cheer up old son, we're all in this together... victime of Government controlled by corporate interests. why wouldn't one suffer from depression! we are all angry and confused . it is the Zeitgeist. hugs.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2013

Lord, I forgot. It is Des.

Why did I even fucking bother?

What an ass.

Des has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

oh lets throw a pity party for poor Murph! must be time for beddy-byes. sweet dreams.

Murphy reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Who are you again? I gotta say, I seem to loom larger in your overly inflated opinion of yourself than you loom in my memory. In fact, I barely remember you at all.

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Bunyip mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

Fark. Well. Just learnt to not copy from here (when the submit button does not seem to work) paste to Word, then copy paste back again when I have a second go...

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Des ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

excellent Yankee Poodle, i'm glad you are so proud of your work. pity i'm not a yank. i guess thats the problem...Your stupid war, your shame, your confusion and regret, your lashing out, your tame insults when confronted with a less subjective view....wouldn''t you just like to drone me right up my ass right now, cowboy? and what's a fucking yippy. yippy yourself old son!

Respond to this comment

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2013

Yankeedog, it has been quite awhile since Des and dropped by, hasn't it? I mean, I'd quite forgotten how annoying he is.

It is refreshing to be reminded that twits like this one exist in the world.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

Who's Des?

Des asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

okay, i'm outed, i'm The Des, the very same one that always seems to be attracted to the fray when the Yankee Dogs start yabbering. its a guilty pleasure. btw John, did Jane mention we ran into each other in town recently? lovely to see her!

Murphy puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2013

John, I think he might be a coding error.

Not that a coding error should be censored, because I'm sure coding errors, like zombies and sparkly vampires, have rights. Can't just go fixin' them or anything.

Des mutters...

Posted March 20, 2013

look Murph, my young son of a gun, i know you can't believe i exist as a living organism, and that you would like to do nasty things to me, but reading between the lines, i believe you are a sensitive person who is troubled and confused by the betrayal you feel but can't acknowledge to yourself. yes, you bought into a bunch of principles that those who control you don't believe in. it hurts, right? and it hurts when some prick from Brizvegas calls you out on your fundamental problem.....such cognitive dissonance that you are experiencing is common to returned servicemen, and obviously manifests in depression and anger. i get that. you feel under seige from people who don't value what you put yourself on the line for. i hope one day you can divest yourself of these cloying vestiges of your own past, and grow up to be a tolerant and balanced person, who moves through the world unburdened by such crushing psychological burdens...because right now you are lashing out at the wrong people. and you are throwing stones at an avatar, behind which is a person you don't know, who actually knows quite a bit about your journey, your life circumstances, and your struggle to keep your head above water...i have read your 'pondering tree' blog many times.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2013

blah blah blah

So?

Des would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2013

so, i am saying i understand your circumstances, and therefore i can forgive your insults and nasty comments.. when i first lurked around here years ago, i just thought you were some hotheaded blowhard, but i made the effort to understand you by reading your blogs, which present an entirely more moderate annd less boorish persona. that is interesting in itself...how you project this rude and obnoxious front, here at the burger, which clearly belies the complex person and the deep thinker you actually are.

therefore i pay no heed to you nasty little insults, and instead imagine a big sensitive bear under a pondering tree.

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

Frankly, this whole thing just makes me really really sad.

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BrianC asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

I cant respond to Des directly so I'll try i obliquely.

  • re Murph...you read the comment thread and think it should be censored! nice!

He didnt say that, he said he had read it and that it was typical leftist crap. He said it might have been better served without commentry, not to take away anyone comments at this point.

  • don't like those people who after ten years of being bullied and vilified for not buying the yankee-doodle Bin Laden (cia asset) fairy tale

I honestly cant remember seeing anyone bullied at anytime for protesting against the war. As for Bin Laden being a CIA assett. sigh. No he wasnt, the Taliban government grew out of something called the Mujahideen, which was in part supported by the Americans and lest it be forgotten other western block countries. Because it was in _every ones_ even in the end Russia's to stop Russia gaining control of Afghanistan. If they had A'stan then they had Pakistan, then they would be strong enough to take Iran and Iraq giving them effective control over the gulf and the worlds oil Supplies.

  • , dare to declare that YES, they were right all along, and you got suckered in! well i'm sorry for the grunts who were doing the killing of locals; that will haunt them all their lives,

Yes... your sorrow is overwhelming. It verily pours from your pores, weep, woe, decry, pain!

  • but i'm sorrier for the hundreds of thousands of murdered and maimed locals, at the hands of the 'coalition of the willing'....

Hyperbole much? Certainly thousands regrettably, but you might be willing to lay more blame at the hands of insurgents if you ever had to make the call about returning fire into a clay abode that was lobbing mortars at a Girls School. No one comes out smelling well after fighting an insurgency. We at least have rules, and court systems to catch a punish those who step out side the lines of what we are willing to accept in law.

  • the only reason we went along for the rides is that we have no choice. we have no sovereignty.

Id be willing to let this go if i believed you were talking about ultimate sovereignty laying in the hands of the House of Windsor, but i do believe you talking about that 51st state bullshit. It offends me, that you think this country is the barrel boy for America, we arent the truth of the matter is that America, Canada and Australia are unique countries, we are english speaking democracies born from colonialism raised to interdependency from out own hard work. The reason why we end up in the same place as them so often is because we have the same national and international interests.

  • we can never behave in a way that is overtly at odds with the United States and Israel.

Please see above.

  • EVERYONE i knew smelled a rat, and could see through the Colon Powell scam.

It seems then that you and everyone you know where smarter than all of the western worlds intelligence agencies and media groups. Because even places like France that said it wouldnt go, said it was likely that Saddam had WMD's

  • We all protested against it. i'm sorry if you don't like hearing this. that is the reality from where i stand.

Once again your sorrow abounds it washes over me in waves of grief, woe woe pain and wrack.On another note. Its important to note that WMD's or not. Saddam was continually ignoring, disregarding and outright flaunting the UN human rights restriction placed on his military and began doing so soon after American forces deployed to A'stan. Ultimately this was a war that was going to be fought as soon as Saddam saw those planes hit those towers. If Junior didnt find a reason to invade Saddam was going to give him one, because he believe that American wouldnt fight two wars in the middle east on separate fronts. Like Desie said, "That's the reality from where i stand."

BrianC is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2013

Gah...

UN Security Council, Not Human Rights, though his bombing of Kurd and Shia communties with Chemical Weapons and the outright slaughtering of entire towns by his "Republican Guard" do fit into the Human Rights realm

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Des mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2013

wow, this is the thread that just keeps giving! thanks Brian C, for the enlightening lecture. your perspective is, like all of ours, utterly subjective, and no doubt grew organically from the place, time, and circumstances of your own life. My life is not yours. you have simply bitten back at me with a highly arguable bunch of your own observations.

Well, i'll agree to disagree. you can feel emotionally attached to whatever country you like, and if you are wedded to American foreign policy at a personal level, good on you. the argument you are trying to have with me is fatuous and pointless. And YES, it was patently obvious to the more informed people that i knew at the time, that the WMD thing was part of a set up, along with all the trowelled on propaganda of the EMBEDDED mainstream media. don't tell me you bought into that at the time....mind you, i was 40 at the time. i guess i was just wiser! sorry!!

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2013

"NIKE"

from ORBIT!

FK'EM!

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Brian asserts...

Posted March 19, 2013

My guess is that in 10 years this debate will have been useless. Australia and America will be net oil exporters and places like Afghanistan will be fought over by India and China.

They'll be all sort of good moral reasons put forward but it will still come down to what a Greek Skeptic said 2500 years ago - 'Might makes Right'.

Nothing changes. Just the names of the teams.

And Democracy is only a marginal improvement on Despotism. Ie America versus China. And I won't recap a debate that goes back before Plato.

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Jacques Stahl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2013

JB, you have the gift, thank you for using it so wisely.

I think it was Wellington who said: there is nothing sadder than defeat on a battlefield except victory.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

I wonder if we'll ever get past this binary, polarised battle space of entrenched positions and dismissing the opposition as dupes, or pie eyed idealists.

Over time my opinion has mellowed to an extent. At the time I bayed for the only blood to be spilled was Bush's, Blair's & Howard's. since I have come to the conclusion that there are worse things than an armed intervention. Of course the "Butcher of Baghdad" hyperbolic horsesh!t in the Murdoch media was pro-war propaganda. But it is equally unarguable that the Bathist regime needed to be removed.

I thank the H man for helping me come to that conclusion.

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damian would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2013

It's beyond question that Saddam and the Ba'athists were a horrible, corrupt and murderous regime that had to go one way or another. That doesn't mean life under the regime was terrible or onerous, arguably for its region Iraq was relatively liberal and tolerant - certainly for women. It's also beyond doubt that life for ordinary Iraqis now is immeasurably worse than before the intervention. That doesn't mean we (anglophone allies, plus ring-ins) did it deliberately, didn't do all that was possible to make it otherwise.

<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.6em;">But the comedy that suggests an abstract idea of freedom that you can neither eat, nor use to pursue happiness is somehow worth the sacrifice and bloodshed</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.6em;">, is a bitter and dark bathos. Tell it to the dead, maybe they'll listen. For the living, life is too short for that shit.</span>

damian reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Meh. That was something in the comment engine, and not me. Using Chrome on Windows, 25.0.1364.172.

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Matthew K has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2013

Too much to read and respond to here. And we've all been over it before.

Murph has put it very well and I broadly agree with what I've seen of his comments here.

Me?

Well I was for it but Iraq hasn't worked out perfectly yet if ever, Iran and China have done better out of it that us.

But.

What would the naysayers have done with Saddam? We either dealt with him Bush style or took our foot off his neck and did a deal with him, which he was willing to do but that would have made us complicit to some extent in any crimes his regime would have commited in future. And he would have. There would have been blood on our hands either way.

Deal with Saddam or do a deal with him, there is no "nice" way to have solved the Iraq problem, and I'm afraid to say that the anti war arguement still boils down to not having any realistic, workable idea what to do and loudly distracting attention from that lack. Bush and his buds at least had a plan, however crap, and in the yawning abscence of any other it was his that won out. If the anti war brigade were so opposed they had ample opportunity act in the years before, they did not.

"Inaction has consequences too."

One final thought.

Iraq might well be Syria on steroids now if the if the Arab Spring revolts still took place in a world without Bush's invasion. Imagine Syria and Iraq burning together, the Balkans on steroids. They might yet.

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Mulga reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

Second, intelligence is almost always of a dubious nature but when General Colin Powell backed it up, I was sold.” – Murph

Damn straight - Dubya's intelligence is dubious. I wasn't fooled though, and I’d venture to guess, nor Des. Plenty saw through that pantomime.

General Powell did what all good soldiers do: follow orders and he delivered a pack of lies to the world as directed. It appears that the only difference between you and Colin Powell Murph, is rank. That, and the fact that General Powell has since apologised for fanning that smokescreen.

So get off your high horse Murph because you look like a prominent fool up there. And when you’re down here at ground level, please desist from signing off with “Respects”..When done so at the close of an ad hominem attack, it is clearly disingenuous.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2013

You'll note that in certain responses, I did not use the usual, "Respects," signature.

You might even note that I'm not using it now in my response to you.

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w from brisbane bitchily reckons...

Posted March 19, 2013

This will be counted as the 33rd comment, but really it will be the 78th comment.

Why? Because thread comments don't count and I want all you thread commenters to remember that!!!!

damian mutters...

Posted March 19, 2013

(This isn't really here)

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2013

Mulga: "General Powell ... delivered a pack of lies to the world as directed."

Always a mistake to assume somebody else's mistake is a deliberate lie, it smacks of lazy reductionism.

Saddam's supposed support for religious terrorists I'd always raised an eyebrow at. But there was good reason to assume Saddam had WMDs, most informed people in positions of power assumed so because Saddam went out of his way to give that impression.

Personally I assumed it was little more than some longer range scuds with a WW2 type nuke duct taped to the top, but that would have be enough to kick off a shitstorm.

I wonder if the accusations of lying aren't themselves lies, that plus the lack of any credible alternative plan to deal with Saddamn's Iraq. This shrill and dishonest attitude that still makes me deeply distrust many of the useful idiots of the anti war movement.

Des ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2013

i distrust 'useful' idiots who copped the propaganda ten years ago. maybe you were still in shorts, and thought John Howard was a decent bloke, and that Top Gun was a good representation of reality. get over yourself! keep wiping that egg off!

Des would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2013

i distrust 'useful' idiots who copped the propaganda ten years ago. maybe you were still in shorts, and thought John Howard was a decent bloke, and that Top Gun was a good representation of reality. get over yourself! keep wiping that egg off!

Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2013

Wrong again. Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot

Interestingly you are making the same mistake of attitude that GW Bush etc made with regards to post invasion Iraq.

This is real world politics, dogmatic certainty might be emotionally satisfying but is a poor guide.

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Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2013

Wow.

Just .... wow.

Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2013

Indeed Wow. Twat. And his mate. Buinch of know it all retards that are apparently omniscient.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 20, 2013

I mentioned the war once but I think I got away with it.

Holy crippled brain cells Batman, we have a live one. At first I thought it was Treeman but there's no Bongingham riff.

Nurse, a pint of Creme de Menthe thanks!

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Lulu asserts...

Posted March 20, 2013

I'm not so sure - despite the lack of riff, I can see run-on sentences & general batguano bonkersness which look very familiar.

Des puts forth...

Posted March 20, 2013

LuLu, whoever you are, you are very wrong, and are crossing a line, showing your ignorance. Address the issue, or be silent....otherwise you are just some idiot having a cheap shot, without supporting any position. you are a sheep looking for acceptance in this inbred little herd. you drew first blood, sister!

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Des ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2013

this is priceless...getting cyber gang-banged by a posse of tough talking crypto-fascists. and i'm not even treeman....maybe you can lobby to have my thoughtcrimes excised from this august page. maybe you can have me determined by majority to be a TROLL!!! fuck. grow up. handle it, kids.

Trashman is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20, 2013

Sorry, my post was aimed at Des, not Therbs.

Just to be clear (and civil) :)

Matthew K mumbles...

Posted March 20, 2013

"crypto-fascists"...

So who's supporting the expansionist dictator with fetching facial hair, bogus military uniform and a penchant for genocide here?

To listen to Murph talk you'd think he had something against them.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted March 20, 2013

Yep, Creme de Menthe is extremely tough. Tougher than the toughest thing in Tough City, Toughland.

Trashman reckons...

Posted March 20, 2013

Perhaps if you had something valid to say, rather than shouting THEY LIED and saying you knew it all the time. Post facts and citations and lose the ad hominems and maybe people will respond more favourably.

I disagree with Murph in this thread. But we, and other, can keep it (reasonably) civil.

Internet tough guys get ignored. Just a thought.

Des mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2013

Apparently you've been aiming your post at me! i'm sorry i had a go at anyone, and dared to suggest an alternative opinion, in a manner that shocked and repelled your delicate sensibilities. what a joke. i don't need politeness lessons from you or anyone in this thread... i've been round here for years, and have been Mauled by Murph a few times. and Havock, and i know the game. So thanks Mr Trashman for the advice, but you may notice you are wrong on at least one count....i have hardly been ignored by the chickenhawks, and that got me off. we all have our own reasons for being here....i'm certainly looking for an online Men's Shed to hang out at! i only ever comment on the issue of murderous invasions of sovereign nations by a country that we as Australians have to support. Now i don't give a shit if you think i that my tone was too aggressive....i believe its called a rant. an expression of opinion. As i say, i feel like this attempted gang-up is like being surrounded by a posse of grwling, hissing POSSUMS. i am sooooo sorry to anyone i have offended.

Trashman ducks in to say...

Posted March 21, 2013

Gang-up? You have no idea. Please, please go onto the Arrse site and pull this crap. The serving and ex-squaddies will turn you into roadkill.

http://www.arrse.co.uk

I don't get the impression you want to change minds with reasoned argument, you sound like a child, who confuses wishes and opinions as facts. Opinions are not facts and rants get ignored. We may respond to them, but the content will get ignored.

Seems a bit pointless really.

Trashman is gonna tell you...

Posted March 21, 2013

Gang-up? You have no idea. Please, please go onto the Arrse site and pull this crap. The serving and ex-squaddies will turn you into roadkill.

http://www.arrse.co.uk

I don't get the impression you want to change minds with reasoned argument, you sound like a child, who confuses wishes and opinions as facts. Opinions are not facts and rants get ignored. We may respond to them, but the content will get ignored.

Seems a bit pointless really.

Des mutters...

Posted March 21, 2013

'we' may respond..... is this the royal 'we' or am i dealing with a hivemind????

Des asserts...

Posted March 21, 2013

Trashman, you are a righteous and good protector of all that is worthy and noble, but you fail to understand that to me this is really a joke! it's like entering the twilight zone, and because i love a joke, i really get off on these lectures and pontifications that have been dealt out to me in this thread. the whole thing is comedy gold. but it has to end at some stage, so everyone move on to the buffy thread, and leave me here with the last word. thankyou and goodnight.

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Des has opinions thus...

Posted March 20, 2013

My work here is done....

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Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted March 20, 2013

I quite like being called a crypto-fascist, nicest thing I have been called today. Please Therbs, can I have some Creme de Menthe? Maybe it'll help me grow up.

damian puts forth...

Posted March 20, 2013

Nothing mans you up better than a pint of creme de menthe!

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2013

Sorry, there's none left. But I can pour you a stein of Drambuie, Isle of Skye style.

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Bunyip would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2013

Hardly a Troll, really.

Kobold... yep definitely a virtual Kobold.

Des swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 21, 2013

finally, someone who understands me!

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