In This Edition: With Friends Like The Libertarianz, Who The Hell Needs The Taleban? - Peter Creswell Still Needs Slapping! - A further reply to Peter Cresswell - Re: Who Kills the Innocents? - Peter, Re: Your Article In Scoop Today
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With Friends Like The Libertarianz, Who The Hell Needs The Teleban?
It must be fantastic being a Libertarian. There's black, there's white, and that's about it.
Peter Cresswell's bloodthirsty article 'Who kills the innocents?' and his response to reactions to his previous piece shows a commendable grasp of the works of Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, the enlightenment, and the history of the English civil war. It does seem a little lacking, however, in any grasp of the history of the twentieth century.
But then that's how the libz like to do things. In my readings of the 'Free Radical' I can't recall any moral indignation at the merciless enforced starvation of Iraqi children, the oppression of Palestine, US involvement in Latin America etc etc. Probably because these things involved issues too complex and morally shaded for their inflexible 'rational' doctrine to satisfyingly clarify. Or maybe it was because these were issues concerning 'inferior' civilisations, issues far beneath the dignity of men of higher culture like Cresswell and co to address.
No matter though. A terrorist bombing of the centre of capitalist endeavour? Now there's an issue for a libertarian!
What's the story here officer? Representatives of a barbarian culture dared attack our freedom loving civilisation? Then there's only one thing for it - kill everybody! That's the rational thing to do. Hell, it behooves us!
Oh yeah. Conflict resolution Libertarian style.
Has it occured to you, Peter, that your final flourish about our being in state of war therefore we must kill our destroyers before they kill us is exactly the sort of rhetoric used by Bin-Laden and his colleagues? Or that your disturbingly enthusiastic call for some seriously righteous killing and tough luck for the innocents is not going to solve anything, and will only inflame the situation further, creating whole new generations of Muslims willing to die for the cause? And to state that, 'in a sense', innocent Afghani deaths are the responsibility of Bin Laden may be plausible, but only if you accept that, 'in a sense', the attack on the WTC was a result of decades of western double-dealing and abuse in the middle-east because we needed their oil to keep the global industrial monolith rolling smoothly along. As for the poor and ignorant, well there's plenty of capitalist countries around the world with their fair share of the impoverished.
Actually, I'm sure that all of this and more has occurred to you. But then one of the mannerisms of ideological fanatics has always been a steadfast ability to block out anything that doesn't sit comfortably with their preconceived view of the world.
You're quite right though. This is a war between civilisation and barbarism. Only I don't quite see how an ideology based on cultural superiority, intellectual pride, cults of personality, a blind adherence to dogma, and the limited application of reason to complex situations qualifies as being 'civilised'. But maybe that just proves that I am obviously an 'evil' piece of 'scum.' Love that objectivity!
It often disconcerted me reading the Free Rad the way in which libertarianz would refer to people actively engaged in the democratic process as nazi's, fascists, communists, and supporters of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc. Now it's becoming clear that it was merely some childlike projecting on their behalf. It's sad really, because they have got some profound ideas to communicate, they just need to get over their fear of other people. And to think I was once going to join them...yikes.
With friends like the Libertarianz, who the hell needs the Taleban?
Peter Creswell Still Needs Slapping!
Peter Creswell seems to be still confused.
He reckons that I wished him a good slapping for his "rascist claptrap". I did no such thing. I did, however, ask you to slap him for his dismissal of thought, and I outined clearly how he dismissed thought.
His brain stopped working when he confused rhetoric with reality, when he decided to swallow the "War of Culture's" claptrap. He seems to have changed his mind, however, and decided that the culture his "we" is at war with is that of terrorism, not Islam. Incidently, I want to know who his "we" is.
Despite Peters insistance, my reminder that Islam has contributed to science and the Enlightenment does contradict a point that he made implicitly. Islam is a multiplicity of cultures with a complex history, not a monolithic religion with an obsession with jihads, bombs and hijackings. Neithor can it have one spokesman.
But Peter and I are decided one something. We cannot tolerate terrorism. I wonder however, which sponsors of terror Peter is willing to ignore. Will he insist on the arrest and trial of George Bush senior, for giving money and guns to the terrorist Contra's, and thus undermining democracy and humanity in the USA's back yard.
The same question must be asked of Henry Kissinger. Will Peter insist on justice for the thousands of civilians who died on Loas and Cambodia? If we are to wage war against terrorism itself, these are not trivial questions. Particularly for Peter, who explictly claims to take the side of innocent casualties.
Peter, I do not call you a rascist.
I do, however, ask in all sincerity - on what basis are we to define the enemy in the war against terrorism? The criminals who desroyed the World Trade Center should be brought to justice, as should all terrorists. But we must apply the same standards of justice to all sponsors of terror.
A further reply to Peter Cresswell
Consistent with the usual style of Libertarianz thought and opinion, Peter Cresswell has begun his Scoop career by launching a vicious attack against something he calls "Islamic culture". The phenomenon he describes is a "culture" in which "men crash planes into buildings, call for jihads, and vilify reason as 'the mark of the devil.'". Apparently Saudi Arabian terrorist Usama bin Laden "represents" this culture as a "spokesman". He later talks about something else called "Arab culture", a phrase he seems to use more or less interchangably with "Islamic culture" apart from a sentence where he mentions "Islamic and Arab history".
Now, one of the problems I have with all this is that beyond his description of the great evils of "Islamic culture" and "Arab culture", and the fact that Usama bin Laden is apparently a spokesman of the former (and I suppose the latter) phenomenon, it's not entirely clear to me what these "cultures" he speaks of are. Certainly they don't seem to have much to do with the popular world views held by those in the Arab countries of the world, nor do they seem relevant to the opinions expressed by the followers of Islam. Thus what we are left with is a passionate argument against Al-Qaeda, flying aircraft into buildings and the vilification of reason. Points too trivial for most of us to bother with.
Jason Le Vaillant
Re: Who Kills the Innocents?
"the bombs raining down on Taleban military positions have been sent there by Osama bin Laden himself, and any innocents killed in the attempt to root him out are his responsibility"
What an outrageous fiction. The US and Britain do not HAVE TO kill innocent civilians any more than bin Laden's associates allegedly did. It is a choice they are exercising. The choice of acting illegally and against the United Nations charter. Terror killing. WTC or Afghanistan, it's the SAME THING.
Peter, Re: Your Article In Scoop Today
(In response to PC’s first opinion piece )
I would just like to say that I was apalled by your article in Scoop called 'The Heart of the West'.
By linking Islam with ignorance, intolerance and the "dark ages", you do this great and gracious religion a grave misservice. It is US foreign policy that outlaws democratically elected Muslim governments in favour of their despotic lackies who create so many of the social problems we see in Islamic countries. Look at Iran and it's stunning health, education and media systems and tell me that "Islamic culture is keen on death" or "Arab culture never enjoyed an Enlightenment". These are glib, easy jibes.
The problems you speak of are not created by Islam. Islam is a religion based in respect, prayer, good works. What you are referring to is poverty and gross inequality, people suffering decades of repression and finally lashing out in desperation.
There are too many journalists parroting the easy lines that demonise Islam and turn bin Laden into a James Bond-esque SMERSH villain. It's not that simple.