Blood on the Comic Opera 104


At the Nuremberg trials, it was deliberately decided that those selected for the visible judgement on aggressive war would represent a cross section of the Nazi leadership, including each branch of the Armed services. It was thought very important to include a representative of the journalists who had whipped up the hatred.

I think that was wise. I do not suspect we will ever see a war crimes trial, despite Polanski’s best efforts. But there are so many arch propagandists for the war in Iraq that it would be hard to know who to pick. Aaronovitch, Cohen, Phillips?

But I think possibly the worst offender is our old friend Frank “Goebbels” Gardner. Yet again his grave but reassuring features have been delivering smooth propaganda, this time from the comic opera re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reinvasion of parts of Helmand – an operation which is costing the UK taxpayer £2 billion this month, and the US taxpayer very much more.

I rather like the comic opera Afghan General they have fronting the operation, to restore the “Legitimate authority” of electoral fraudster Karzai. The “Taliban” have of course sensibly melted away. There are however plenty of civilians still around for the Americans to blow up. Twelve at once is unusual, but they are being killed all the time.

One of Gardner’s favourite tricks is to call ordinary Afghan courtyard houses “Taliban compounds”. It is not a compound, it is a house. Perhaps Afghans don’t live in things we would recognise in Acacia Drive – but they are their homes.

Anyway, let’s all get out the bunting and celebrate a great national victory over some empty houses and cowering civilians. Let today be known forever as Frank Gardner day. Gentlemen of England now abed are really missing out on this one.

Meanwhile the Afghan resistance will avoid pitched battles and pick off our poor troops slowly and patiently, until the day we can’t afford it any more and leave. Karzai will leave too, to live in Geneva and count his cash. Alistair Campbell will tell us how much better life has become for the people of Afghanistan.

Sir Jock Stirrup (a real comic opera name) has just told us that the missile killing twelve civilians was a setback, be we would get over it.

The twelve won’t get over it, of course.

Probably some social misfit of unstable mind somewhere in England has been nudged towards a violent response. All for the good – that will help keep the whole ultra profitable security behemoth rumbling on.


104 thoughts on “Blood on the Comic Opera

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  • anno

    Oh dear Eddie, you are a square pin in a square hole so you wouldn’t know about us oddballs who have experienced both the west and the Islamic worlds. Or as Jesus is quoted in the Gospels, ‘ After you tasted new wine, you said that old wine was better’, which may or may not be what he, pbuh, actually said.

    He was addressing the children of Israel to whom he had been sent to bring them back from the new ways of the Romans and Eastern polytheists, back to the old ways of Moses and Judaism. Which some of them did.

    I post on this blog to call anyone who’s interested back to the values I treasure from UK Christianity, which our society has rejected in favour of Thatcher’s consumerism and Blair’s neo-colonialism. I found these values in Islam, after I ceased to be able to find them anywhere else.

  • Jives

    AS REGULARS HERE WILL kNOW I RARELY SHOUT BUT HAVE JUST READ BRUCE ANDERSON IN TODAY’S iNDEPENDENT.

    REPUGNANT,DISGRACEFUL,DISGUSTING…

    SO ANGRY I’VE E-MAILED HIM AND HIS EDOTOR TO OBJECT IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.

    SUGGEST MORE OF US DO SO>

    [email protected]

  • Jon

    @anno, I am presuming that the anonymous comment at February 15, 2010 12:48 PM was you, given how close it is to your subsequent comment. Apologies if I have that wrong.

    If that was you, then can you see how the comment sounds like you blame rape victims for their own predicament? You have responded to me already, but said nothing about this – I really do think this deserves a direct answer. And it wasn’t just me who noticed it, as you’ll see above.

    I am not sure why you think Carlyle Moulton’s comments justify the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. On the contrary, I think his posts generally very much indicate he is against – which of his posts are you reading?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Anno,

    A carefully planned massive propaganda program with a total news black-out on the Northern front, essentially conducted by the CIA and special forces; stretching into Pakistan. Even NGO’s are being carefully curtained. I cannot say much more, but please do not be deceived by thou art righteous ‘drop no bombs’ policy and Frank Gardner’s ‘see no evil’ tell no evil.

  • anno

    Jon. Yes,I seem to have ommitted my name.

    The idea that I blame rape victims for their predicament is your idea, not mine.

    I was talking about society, the Alcohol Lobby, the Feminist Lobby, the total stupidity of Blair’s relaxing of the licencing laws, the girlie magazines for teenagers.

  • technicolour

    Anno, how can you speak approvingly of the plight or status of Afghan women? It is true that under the Russians they were liberated to be doctors and teachers, and that more recently they were officially liberated from the Taliban. But the story on the ground is, surprisingly, not the propaganda churned out by the West. Have you heard of RAWA? Do you read?

    -Every 30 minutes, an Afghan woman dies during childbirth

    -87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate

    -30 percent of girls have access to education in Afghanistan

    -1 in every 3 Afghan women experience physical, psychological or sexual violence

    -44 years is the average life expectancy rate for women in Afghanistan

    -70 to 80 percent of women face forced marriages in Afghanistan

    (source IRIN/UN 2007)

    It ill behoves a truly religious person to give credibility to the behaviour of those who hide behind a religion in order to murder and brutalise.

    And although I’m sure you didn’t mean to toss ‘rape’ in there as though it was some kind of amusing past time, you have an extremely Daily Mail idea of young women in the UK today. I too worry for the poor, the young, and the vulnerable in British society. Presumably you also object to women getting themselves killed and tortured as well, as in Afghanistan, Chechnya etc. The ‘religious’ leader of Chechnya, installed by the non-religious Putin, has just officially sanctioned ‘honour’ killings, by the way. Karzai has legalised rape in marriage, in a law which also forbids women to leave their houses without male permission. In Kabul 300 women who protested were stoned by onlookers. Perhaps, in your undoubtedly real concern for women, you might like to condemn that too.

  • Jon

    @anno, I think you are being a touch disingenuous. You said: “The status of women in Afghanistan is immensely higher than the status of women in the UK, who … get raped”.

    Surely that is blaming the rape victim for her own predicament?

  • technicolour

    and, anno, have just read your earlier post. A hard core of mad feminists are responsible, are they? When all the things you rail about (‘girlie’ magazines, abuse) are the antithesis of feminism? Do you know anything about feminism?

    This is sheer nonsense:

    “On the contrary Islam protects women. The USSR invasion that preceded the current UKUS invasion of Afghanistan had resulted in an over-protective situation, which was in the process of being relaxed by the Taliban”

    How can you twist history like this? Is this what you were taught? If so, where?

  • Jon

    @technicolour: yes, the stuff about “mad hardcore of feminists” confused me. Apparently they like the abuse (presumably the prevalence of rape) even though they rail against it?

    This seems to me a religiously inspired complaint against liberalism, which is rather off-topic, and in any case as you point out, crimes done in the name of religion are sidelined.

  • Jon

    @Mark – not sure, not tried to comment myself. The comment I found of particular interest was not mine.

  • tony_opmoc

    technicolour,

    The website from which you gain your views of Afghan women from is based in California and run by a guy originally from Afghanistan who grew up in New York from the age of 6 before moving to California.

    I’m not claiming anything about the accuracy of the content, but note Laura Bush is concerned about the plight of 1.5 Million Afghan widows.

    No one is claiming that her husband George is responsible for all the Deaths, as the Russians and British have been killing their husbands and children too.

    Maybe if we stopped bombing them to fuck, things might improve for Afghan women.

    Tony

  • technicolour

    Tony: my ‘views’ are based on interviews with Afghan women. The facts I quoted are from the IRN/UN. I suggest you look at RAWA’s website – written by and for women in Afghanistan.

    http://www.rawa.org

    Or Press TV; in case that suits you better:

    “Afghan women (who) are suffering more hardships than ever and are no where near being liberated … in fact many of them ask me what it means…Malalai Joya, Afghanistan’s youngest ever woman MP, who was suspended from Karzai’s “democratic government’ for speaking her mind told me: “We are trapped between two enemies: the Taliban on one side and American and NATO forces and their warlords on the other.” ”

    Of course stopping bombing them to fuck would be a start.

  • anno

    technicolour

    Can’t help it if you can’t connect with my point of view, but, did you know that before the British Raj 80% of India as was, was literate. AFTER THEY LEFT, LESS THAN 20%.

    I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the present colonialism is less effective at destruction than its predecessor for all the Blair spin.

  • Richard Robinson

    All I can think is, bunches of men quarrelling over who gets to decide what “women” ought to wear (all of them, all the same ?). Dead modern, that. The humble grateful little natives of Iraq were going to greet their liberators with rose-petals and candy, too, remember ?

    Also, “it never was a nation”. But it’s always been a place, with people living there. Perhaps they might have known a thing or two about how to get along ? As, perhaps, we do, here. But maybe what was appropriate for our situations (if it is. We’re not actually sure, are we ?) might not be for theirs ?

    But, “leave them alone” … it just isn’t going to happen, is it ? Is anybody familiar with the history of the Scots highlands, for an on-topic bodyswerve ? I’m not, particularly, I’m just thinking of the story as told by John Prebble – Glencoe/Culloden/Clearances – and can’t help thinking it looks familiar. Wild uncivilised tribespeople in their inhospitable mountain wastelands, who cares ? Keep them in with a line of forts (Highland, Durand), leave them to themselves. And then a state wants to grow & strengthen itself, gets unhappy with “ungoverned” people, they have to be “brought into submission”. And then a few people start seeing how it’s not a worthless wasteland after all, there are ways it could all be making money for them, if only they could control it … and they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the eighteenth century, the nineteenth century, the Century of the Moonbat … and now, where are the descendants of the people who lived there ?

    What I mean is – there’s much jabbering about “multiculturalism”, but it’s a construct of a culture that knows it’s the boss, really, whenever it wants to be. Do any mechanisms exist whereby Afghanistan could be ‘left alone’ as ‘not a nation’ ?

  • technicolour

    Anno. No reply to my questions, or to the facts about the real ‘status’ of Afghan women. But thanks for the statistic about literacy after the Raj.

    Richard Robinson: MJ, earlier: “In the first half of the 20th century, during a brief respite from being fought over by global colonial powers because of its strategic importance, Afghanistan was indeed left to its own devices. Under leaders such Amanullah Khan, Nadir Shah and Zahir Shah Afghanistan pursued largely reformist policies that stressed, among other things, education and women’s rights.”

  • anno

    Technicolour

    If only what was on the label of feminism was what was in the bottle.

    Feminists don’t like girlie magazines. Yes they think it’s degrading for women to be controlled by patriarchal religious laws, but they’re quite happy to degrade themselves as much as they want and more.

  • technicolour

    And by the way, anno, no, I can’t connect with your point of view. Because it is not so much a ‘point of view’ as a seemingly deliberate ignoring of the facts. You can amend this by addressing them.

  • Jon

    @anno – I’d be interested in how you think feminists “degrade themselves as much as they want and more”. And, in particular, how your perceptions of the behaviour of British women excuse the treatment of Afghan women under religious tyranny.

    You have also ignored technicolour’s, and my, objections to what appears to be a disgraceful position on rape. I asked a direct question at February 15, 2010 4:59 PM and would appreciate a direct answer, if you wish to be fully understood.

  • eddie

    Anno

    Your misogynistic hate-filled rants about women are vile. Either you don’t believe them or you are just spouting them to provoke. You don’t really believe them do you? I didn’t think so.

    You do realise that when the Taliban took power they stopped women working – all of them. It was like year zero under the Khmer Rouge. The health service, for a start, was destroyed and thousands died. And you support this kind of thing? I refuse to believe it.

  • technicolour

    Sorry, so feminists pose for porn mags? Since when? (Greer was showing her vagina to make a point btw)

    And you’re saying that earning money for a pornographic photoshoot is as degrading as being forbidden to leave your house, being forced into an arranged marriage, and having to submit to legalised rape for the rest of your life?

    Perhaps. I think the point is, the woman in the photoshoot generally has a choice; unless they have been drugged or forced, which happens, but is illegal. Which would you choose?

    And then on top of this you’re saying that women who pose for porn mags are ‘happy’ to degrade themselves? I don’t think anyone is ‘happy’ to degrade themselves.

  • Jon

    @anno – I am also rather losing track of the questions you have avoided. I put it to you earlier that you misunderstood Carlyle Moulton’s position on the war, which sounded strongly against to me. Strangely enough we have not heard anything more about that.

    We agree on much, to be sure. Most people here were opposed to the invasion of Iraq on legal and humanitarian grounds, and whilst the invasion of Afghanistan at least was multilateral, it does not change the fact that we are destroying the country, propping up a corrupt warlord and recruiting a fresh generation of people who hate the West.

    But your adherence to your religion, as if it were a universal truth for us all, rather than a personal faith for those who choose it, is I think blinding you to the complexity of the world. There is no black and white, and many of the problems in the world come from people – bin Laden, Bush and Blair amongst them – who insist that there is.

  • anno

    Mark

    Lack of information can lead to exaggeration. Colonialism requires three ingredients: overwhelming force, denigration of opponents, and lies.

    My sister’s Afghan lady lodger upset her by calling her ‘the disbeliever’. The idea that any Muslim would even consider Western influence as benign is totally ridiculous. People on the ground in a war zone have to lie for the sake of security. There is no level at which western force can impinge on Afghan consciousness, however many Afghans, men or women come forward to testify in favour of the west, they are just collecting the money.

    This is what makes the war in Afghanistan so outrageous. The re-re-re-re-re taking of villages, for absolutely no change in people’s loyalty or contribution to their security.

    Our bombs have to be targeted at the hypocrisy of Western government, the vacuousness of International Law when Bush cancelled all human rights in the War on Terror , the acidity of feminism on the family, the bankcruptcy of the interest based banking system.

    NATO is engaged in one of its now annual genocides in Afghanistan. They have absolutely no power to change the mentality or lifestyle of the Muslims, except to kill them all.

  • tony_opmoc

    anno,

    I found some evidence to go some way in supporting your views with regards to education in India prior to the British, though I cannot believe that literacy rates were anything like as high as you stated. India does however have an interesting educational history

    http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_goyal_education.htm

    Educational standards have most definitely fallen in the UK over the last 50 years, and arguably so have standards of morality.

    However, it depends how you define morality. Some issues with respect to tolerance of unusual behaviour that doesn’t cause harm, or of totally different cultures has improved. For example my parents would have found it intolerable, if I had friends who were openly homosexual, yet my wife and myself have no such issues.

    There is almost certainly far less school playground violence, than when I was a child.

    Where immoral behaviour has increased, it is usually down to the breakdown of families.

    Politicians and other leaders of society bear an awesome responsibility for their immoral behaviour, as they provide a moral standard of what becomes subconsciously acceptable in society as a whole.

    That is why it is vitally important, that they are treated under the law in exactly the same way as everyone else.

    Tony

  • anno

    Jon

    I’m not at home and I’ve probably overrun my 3 modem allowance by now.

    I’m not interested at this moment in time in discussing ANY justifications for bombing and killing in Afghanistan. I wish the British people did not have bloodlust in the 21 st century, but they do, and they seem to be able to find as many snakelike ways of justifying aggression as their leaders Straw and Blair. Feminism is just one of them.

    Apart from being used to justify aggression I don’t mind what feminists do. I really don’t care. It’s not me telling them how to live their lives, it’s them telling us how to live ours and using the NATO military machine to enforce their opinions AND as Tony_bless him Opmoc puts it: ‘Maybe if we stopped bombing them to fuck, things might improve for Afghan women’.

  • technicolour

    I agree with eddie, anno, you are an (unpleasant) joker, surely.

    Who is discussing justifications for bombing Afghanistan? No-one on this thread.

    Feminists are responsible for the NATO military machine? Have you heard of Greenham Common?

    It’s tragic, this conflation and confusion. Young women in the UK often drink too much. Do ‘they’? If so, fine, let’s see why. But no, in your view they are happy to degrade themselves and get raped and spread HIV. Afghan women, on the other hand, have ‘higher status’ because they are locked indoors and being raped is a legal duty.

    Have you thought about any of this? Until you do, I give up. Otherwise, you might be cheered by the comments on your ‘point of view’ on the thread below, if you could ever accept them.

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