Saturday, January 29, 2005

Speaking Truth to Power: Vaclav Havel tells it like it is over the EU's foreign policy (yes, there is an EU foreign policy) (via RealClearPolitics). It's heartening to find Vaclav Havel still talking such a deal of sense after all these years (although, as usual with Havel, his starting point seems somehow peripheral to the mainstream, being the EU's appeasement of Castro. However, such a starting point for a man like Havel is understandable and fitting, I guess.):

'Where will it end? The release of Milosevic? Denying a visa to Russian human-rights activist Sergey Kovalyov? An apology to Saddam Hussein? The opening of peace talks with al Qaeda?

It is suicidal for the EU to draw on Europe's worst political traditions, the common denominator of which is the idea that evil must be appeased and that the best way to achieve peace is through indifference to the freedom of others.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Sex Farces.

Cutting edge stuff from the BBC- found on the World Edition. I wish I could say it was even funny.

Meanwhile, you don't find much about this- but you'll certainly hear about this.

Anyone for a new world order?

Actually you will find this about the UN's sexual problems in the BBC website, but I usually conclude a journalist wants to forget a story when they use a term like 'upheld' in their headline. The use of legalese in such a context usually heralds a call to move on because the journalist considers there's nothing worthwhile seeing (for you, the reader, that is).

For all the seriousness of the abuse of power involved, the abstraction of such terminology as 'while many of the girls could not identify the individual peacekeepers responsible, their reports of regular sexual contact were detailed and convincing.' tends to distance us, or invite a ribald comment. It's almost Clintonesque in its tendancy towards farcicality. Funny that.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Items #2 The Diplomad covers most of the bases when it comes to the climate change industry, while in an interesting post on Highway 99, brought here via Austin Bay, the BBC's post-colonial leftist guilt trip is analysed for the wild ride of hypocrisy it has involved- on Iraqi WMD in this case. One can only marvel at how they got from Saddam- the West's 'Caliban', to Blair lied, people died. Chief target for investigation is Jeremy Paxman, most refreshingly. It includes a classic opening to a blogpost, in my opinion:

'While I was trying to find out whether BBC reporter and presenter Jeremy Paxman had explicitly endorsed the idea that HIV is a manufactured virus...I came across a new 2002 edition of his book, 'A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical & Biological Warfare'...'

There it is: investigative, interested, radical- just the way things should be.


Item one is to apologise for the lack of posts yesterday- 'Blogger' seemed to have one of its bouts of indigestion every time I tried to navigate it. Just spat me out like a half-baked potato.

Item two is to make clear that, you know, despite what I wrote below, I do have one or two bones to pick with torture. Serious bones actually (not that I ever, ah, literally pick bones, you understand).

Item three is really the most important. Nicholas Vance has been tackling some of the BBC's isshoos (as Tony Benn would say). He makes some excellent points about immigration and the environment- two of the isshoos that historians will look back upon and wonder how we could have been so gullible as to believe everything Auntie and her ilk tell us about them. That will be once we have overcome our Greater Western guilt complex and actually learnt some real things about our environment. Could take a while.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Torture: big deal!

Aunty Beeb thinks it's big news, I mean big news, that Iraqi security forces have been (are) committing abuse in a systematic way against prisoners.

The Beeb's presentation is breathless (as in fact has been their presentation of every last bomb that's exploded, shock, horror, 'just days from elections etc')

So let's take that breath the BBC deny us and think instead. What we are dealing with in terms of human rights abuse in Iraq is a cultural issue exacerbated by circumstances. (The BBC in fact spent a long period trying to convince us that the US were the only torturers in Iraq -oh, apart from Saddam who they mentioned occasionally. Now, handing the job of oversight of prisoners over, amazingly we find that abuse is 'systematic'- which is hardly a term behaviour like Charles Graner's deserved, much as the Beeb huffed and puffed to make it so.)

It's cultural because oppressive regimes are the norm in Iraq (as elsewhere in the region), and all such have oppressive apparata. That's a culture that is assumed and easy to add to almost unwillingly or unwittingly.

It's due to circumstances because the guys that have been imprisoned were likely viewed as torturing Baathists, or vicious terrorists- or scum rising up amidst chaos, and naturally were not very popular with their captors.

So the BBC, teaming up, as is habitual for them, with Human Rights Watch, want to tell us things are as bad now as they were then (then being the time when Iraq had a legitimate ruler like Saddam). Well, they're not. The truth is all we were doing was removing the biggest thief and torturer in Baghdad- and his friends. It doesn't make angels of anyone, just vanquishes the devil within. Plus, of course, it's difficult really to imagine an elected devil- at least on this planet.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Facile, unnecessary and somewhat offensive headline of the day: ''World 'must learn from Holocaust'' - Annan, in BBC article.

Ok, it might be a significant anniversary, but what lessons can a man like Annan know of that Auschwitz can teach us?

At any given time there are half a dozen to many more canards being spread about and utilized by the manipulative left and the charlatan press. Off the top of my head, global warming hysteria, Abu Graib mania, WMD dyspepsia, 'militantism' of all stripes, are examples- and those are just a handful of the international ones. Each country has their own charlatan press and devious left it seems. Europe of course is swamped by them.

Anyway, Mark Steyn is champion bullshitbuster in my book, and popped another corpulent canard in his SunTimes article saturday. Nice one Mark (via Roger Simon):

'The Democrats' big phrase is "exit strategy." Time and again, their senators demanded that Rice tell 'em what the "exit strategy" for Iraq was. The correct answer is: There isn't one, and there shouldn't be one, and it's a dumb expression.'

ps. I also loved the intro- 'I picked up the Village Voice for the first time in years this week. Couldn't resist the cover story: ''The Eve Of Destruction: George W. Bush's Four-Year Plan To Wreck The World.''

Oh, dear. It's so easy to raise expectations at the beginning of a new presidential term.'

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