Friday, August 10, 2007

CIF shows us the really loony face of the loony left

Take a look at this. The comments are also a joy.

I think my favourite bit was actually one of Neil's own comments. Specifically:

I went on several anti-war marches and risked arrest in protests against the war, as well as writing articles against the invasion.


That's Iraqis for you, you see. You write several articles, you go on several antiwar marches, you risk a whole night in the cells for them, and what do they do? They go off and do all that collaborating. For money. And then they expect you to be all "Oh no you are in a war zone where people keep getting exploded and you risked your life for £16 a day please come and live with us".

The bastards.

Neil I am 100% with you. If they end up getting strung up from a lamp post for it, they've only themselves to blame.

(Oh, I forgot the hat tip thing. I read about this at Harry's Place, but it's been covered all over the shop, as Longrider rightly points out below.)

38 comments:

Longrider said...

Looks like we are all picking up this one. Words fail me - the man is truly a gold plated turd.

JuliaM said...

I would say Neil Clark's totally lost it now.....

....but that would be to presume he ever really had it in the first place!

JuliaM said...

Even better, he comes out of his hole to defend his piece, and starts with this:

"I'll do as best to respond to as many posts as I can.
Unlike others, I don't hide behind a cloak of anonymity."


Errr, no, Clarky, the 'respond' part of that would give you away a bit if you tried....

Pillock!

The rest of his reply is as muddled, incoherent and abysmally thought out as his article.

JuliaM said...

Almost as good is a comment by 'Inayat' (can't be the real one, the Muslim Mr Bean, surely...?):

"Neil, I think we owe a great debt to all the Iraqis now for the devastation that has occurred to their country following our unlawful invasion. All Iraqis, not just the translators, should be given the right to come and live in the US or UK or Australia or any other country that participated in the invasion. That might give the warmongers (inc Harry's Place) something to think about when they try and sell us another illegal war."

Errr....kind of hard to have a more coherent ramble that Clarky's, but he manages it; it seems to boil down to "Don't make us come over there or there'll be trouble!"

Bit hard to sell the 'peaceful Muslims' angle there....

JuliaM said...

Last word goes to the moderators:

"Our policy is to close threads after three days. Comments have now been closed on this entry."

Comment up August 10, 2007 2:00 PM and down August 10, 2007 16:50ish PM.

A new record....?

Martin said...

DK,

You should know that I am by no means part of the "loony left", but I agree with every word of Neil's analysis.

Gary Andrews said...

I would have left a comment, had they not closed it by the time I got home from work.

Its articles like that that make me I'm glad my dally with socialism lasted no more than a week, at most, at university.

It's articles like that that make me despair, especially when I'd say I'm on the left, albeit roughly somewhere between liberal and libertarian. What I'm nowhere near is that idiot.

Katy Newton said...

Martin,

It was me who posted it, not DK. For all I know he agrees with you. (Probably not. But he might. I don't know. DK?)

Katy

Alexa Claire said...

I would really appreciate a response to the comment I left a few days ago on this entry. Could you somehow pass the message along?

Sam Tarran said...

I've never read such a load of warped nonsense in all my life. He seems to want to sacrifice common sense and common humanity just to make a political point.

Katy Newton said...

Alexa - DK is in Edinburgh for the Fringe. His liver is probably disintegrating even as I type. I must say, though, I read Barach's speech from the link that you provided and it certainly looked like a not terribly subtly veiled threat to me. If I were Pakistan I wouldn't be terribly happy about it.

Katy Newton said...

Barack, not Barach. Damn keyboard putting keys in the wrong place deliberately.

Martin said...

Katy,

Thanks for the correction.

When you criticise Neil by writing "You write several articles, you go on several antiwar marches, you risk a whole night in the cells for them, and what do they do? They go off and do all that collaborating. For money. And then they expect you to be all "Oh no you are in a war zone where people keep getting exploded and you risked your life for £16 a day please come and live with us", you lay yourself open to the criticism that, if Neil's exposure to physical risk on accout of his principles was limited, so too also was that of all those who shouted and screamed for this illegal, unnecessary, botched and now failed war of conquest.

The Remittance Man said...

Martin,

Not all those who protested against the war are so inhuman as to demand that people who did work for the British forces be left to the tender mercies of the terrorists. I would imagine most are, in fact, decent human beings who would be ashamed to be associated with Mr Clark and his noxious notions.

So how about this for a deal? The country sends back all those Somalis and Nigerians who come to Britain and become drug dealers, the former Taliban fighters who think we owe them medical treatment and a pension cheque and all the other criminal dross. Then it could accomodate its moral responsibilities to those to whom it has made tacit or implicit promises of a decent and safe life.

Martin said...

Remittance Man,

It's a very tempting compromise - but it would demand the acknowledgement by all those who still claim to support the invasion and who now also claim to speak in these peoples' interests that their war policy was wrong and that they have helped put the translators in the position they're in now.

They cannot have their cake and eat it.

JuliaM said...

"It's a very tempting compromise - but it would demand the acknowledgement by all those who still claim to support the invasion and who now also claim to speak in these peoples' interests that their war policy was wrong and that they have helped put the translators in the position they're in now."

Until they say they were wrong, and so sign up to your position, and thereby admit you were right, the Iraqi translators can go hang, eh...?

So much for having any kind of principles at all. You disgust me even more than Clark.

Katy Newton said...

if Neil's exposure to physical risk on accout of his principles was limited, so too also was that of all those who shouted and screamed for this illegal, unnecessary, botched and now failed war of conquest.

I agree. I wasn't pro-war. I never have been. It's always easier for people in armchairs to say how things should or should not have been done, and that's the point. As a Jew, I have always understood why citizens of occupied lands collaborated with the Nazis, although I hope that I would not have done it if I had been there. The point is that I don't know what I would have done in that situation. Nor do I think that the American presence in Iraq, for all its faults, is in any way seriously comparable to the Nazi occupation. I think that to describe Iraqis who carried out translation services for the Americans as "collaborators", as if they deserve to be taken out to the desert and summarily executed for treason, is ridiculously inflammatory and pathetic.

But whether they are collaborators or not isn't the point. I think that if I had employed someone who had ended up being in danger as a result of their work for me, and if I had a safe place to go to and could accommodate them as well, then I would be morally obliged to do that.

Martin said...

JuliaM,

"Until they say they were wrong, and so sign up to your position, and thereby admit you were right, the Iraqi translators can go hang, eh...?"

Yes. It's called statecraft.

It's a dirty, ugly disgusting business but unfortunately that's the way it is. Nobody ever said it was either fair or pretty.

Study the lives of Richelieu and Bismarck and you'll see what I mean.

And I really, really couldn't give a rat's fuck if I disgust you or not.

Katy,

You write,

"I think that to describe Iraqis who carried out translation services for the Americans as "collaborators", as if they deserve to be taken out to the desert and summarily executed for treason, is ridiculously inflammatory and pathetic. "

I think the greatest mistake that was made in the run up to the invasion was the US/UK's collective assumption that Iraqi reaction would automatically conform to US/UK cultural parameters.

How many Iraqis do you know? If you know one, you know more than I do.

What on Earth gave us any licence to assume that some Iraqis would NOT consider those who assist invading armies to be 'colloborators' in the grand sense?

"I think that if I had employed someone who had ended up being in danger as a result of their work for me, and if I had a safe place to go to and could accommodate them as well, then I would be morally obliged to do that. "

Morally, yes, of course, for sure; but this is NOT a moral issue - this is an issue of policy.

If this is a moral issue, precisely where does that end? Does not every issue become a moral issue? How does one arbitrage between the competing and perhaps all perfectly valid moral claims which can be made in respect of differing points of view?

How does one do this?

JuliaM said...

"Yes. It's called statecraft."

I think we know which kind of state you have in mind, too....

"....this is NOT a moral issue - this is an issue of policy."

How interesting that you seem to see a total disconnect between the two.

Martin said...

Julia Manton,

Now that you seem to have given up suggesting that I should be headbutted and given a kicking on Tim Worstall's site -

http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/2007/08/neil-clark-agin.html

please tell me what type of state you think I'm talking about.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

DK

Off topic, but you are going to seriously like this

http://tinyurl.com/2t9s7r

JuliaM said...

A morally bankrupt one.

And I haven't 'given up' at all, I simply had a life to live on Saturday; places to go, people to meet, all that.

You know, the sort of thing you'd deny these Iraqis because you simply don't like the 'side' you feel they've taken.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

Yes, Matt Murrell also addressed the loonie Neil. How do the likes of Polly and he ever get into the position they do?

Dan said...

Thanks for your support, but the best way to hurt this disgusting man Clark- and it will hurt him- is to write to your MP and request a change in policy. Links are below.

As a blogger, it would be great if you'd put a post up asking your readers to do that, and then put a second post up (yes, I know I'm asking a helluva lot) giving the MPs' replies. So far every single letter written has led to MPs contacting the relevant Ministries: Defence, Foreign Office and above all the Home Office. This could work.

Talking points for a letter to MPs can be found on my site:
http://danhardie.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/we-cant-turn-them-away/
Help with researching your MP is here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
Tim Ireland has a campaign video here:
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2007/08/you_know_the_dr.asp
Justin McKeating is keeping track of MPs responses here:
http://www.chickyog.net/2007/08/07/we-can%e2%80%99t-turn-them-away-mps-response/

The Remittance Man said...

So Martin, you espouse holding people to ransom under threat of death until we come round to your point of view.

That's not very nice, is it?

How would you feel if I were to suggest something along the lines of the following: "Until Martin starts to think the way I do, I shall hold him and his family personally responsible for the fate of the Iraqi translators. For every translator beheaded, one of them will have his head chopped off. For every member of a translator's family harmed, one of his family memebers will be harmed in a similar way."

It's not a nice thing to read is it?

Now I only suggested the above by way of example. You are suggesting something similar for real. Kind of makes a mockery of your "moral stance" doesn't it.

Katy Newton said...

Martin,

The arguments that Neil Clark and presumably you put forward against giving these Iraqis asylum are also moral arguments, aren't they? The fact that they are "collaborators", for example? That reads to me like a moral judgment. It has always been the case that people in foreign countries who could show that they were in genuine danger if they were not given asylum would be given asylum. Many people who get asylum in this country get it because they are in danger as a result of political associations in which they chose of their own free will to engage.

The only issue that arises in asylum cases is whether or not the applicant for asylum can show that they are genuinely in danger. Assuming that these Iraqis genuinely are in danger if they are not given asylum, what policy considerations do you say exist that mean that these Iraqis should be treated any differently than any other asylum seeker when it comes to deciding whether or not they should have asylum here?

Martin said...

JuliaM,

All states are morally bankrupt - or so the libertarians keep telling us.

"You know, the sort of thing you'd deny these Iraqis because you simply don't like the 'side' you feel they've taken."

So you are absolutely certain that every single Iraqi interpreter would be killed? Are you?

Because if you are, then you must also acknowledge that if you supported the war to begin with, they would be less likely to be in immediate danger now than if we had not invaded in the first place.

And if they die, their blood is just as much on your hands as on their killers.

RM,

"So Martin, you espouse holding people to ransom under threat of death until we come round to your point of view.

That's not very nice, is it?"

No, it's not - and we would not now be having this debate had our government not invaded these peoples' homeland, helped destroy its economy, helped kill 130,000 of its people and left it without a functioning government for a number of years - all on the presumption of the US State Department that "spontaneous order" would break out.

The idea that we might one day have to deal with those who are alleged to want to kill these people round the negotiating table in order to buy their oil so we can run our own economy doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone here - has it?

So, again you are absolutely certain the risks these people are alleged to face are as grave as has been reported? You're sure about that?

"That's not very nice, is it?"

No, it's not, because that's not at all waht I have suggested. If it can be proved that these people are in danger - you know, proof, evidence - then, provided their hands are clean, some kind of relief should be afforded to them; like resettlement in another Arab country.

"How would you feel if I were to suggest something along the lines of the following: "Until Martin starts to think the way I do, I shall hold him and his family personally responsible for the fate of the Iraqi translators. For every translator beheaded, one of them will have his head chopped off. For every member of a translator's family harmed, one of his family memebers will be harmed in a similar way."

Given where I am, and where they are, the analogy is de minimis and absurd.

And the whole point of my stance is that it is NOT moral - it is political.

Katy,

"The arguments that Neil Clark and presumably you put forward against giving these Iraqis asylum are also moral arguments, aren't they? The fact that they are "collaborators", for example? That reads to me like a moral judgment. It has always been the case that people in foreign countries who could show that they were in genuine danger if they were not given asylum would be given asylum. Many people who get asylum in this country get it because they are in danger as a result of political associations in which they chose of their own free will to engage."

For sure, give me Iraqi translators over Boris Berezovsky any day of the week.

"Assuming that these Iraqis genuinely are in danger if they are not given asylum, what policy considerations do you say exist that mean that these Iraqis should be treated any differently than any other asylum seeker when it comes to deciding whether or not they should have asylum here?"

Interests of state - as outlined above.

JuliaM said...

"So you are absolutely certain that every single Iraqi interpreter would be killed? Are you?"

So...if some are only beaten to within an inch of their lives, or escape entirely, that somehow validates killing all the others, does it?

What a strange nest of snakes your mind must be...

"Because if you are...if you supported the war to begin with...if we had not invaded in the first place...if they die, their blood is just as much on your hands as on their killers."

If, if, if. Heh. Shame you don't know any of my views on the Iraq war, but never mind, you just make them up for yourself, it's probably easier (for you) that way...

"If it can be proved that these people are in danger...some kind of relief should be afforded to them; like resettlement in another Arab country."

God, yes, let's hive our responsibility off to someone else. That's the modern way, isn't it? Perhaps if we sign enough trade agreements, this presumed Arab country will pay the Gurkhas' pension bill for us too!

"...the whole point of my stance is that it is NOT moral..."

Finally, you get something right!

Katy Newton said...

Martin,

I don't think you've outlined any interests of state anywhere on this thread, but I might be missing something.

Katy

Martin said...

Katy,

Reasons of state = oil.

Martin said...

Julia,

Are you certain, then, that violence of any kind would be done to any of these people?

As for hiving off our responsibility to someone else -
in order for us to do that, it must be agreed that this is our respeonsibility; which, in my opinion, it isn't. It's partly ours for having smashed the place up but also partly theirs for having agreed to help.

"Perhaps if we sign enough trade agreements, this presumed Arab country will pay the Gurkhas' pension bill for us too!"

No, those particular bills are ours and ours alone to settle.

Katy Newton said...

I'm not sure that that stands up. We have offered asylum to people from the Middle East, including Iraq, for many years and for many different reasons, including reasons of political affiliation, and it has never yet affected negotiations for oil as far as I can recall. I do not think that offering asylum to Iraqi interpreters now would be likely to affect future oil transactions nearly as much as, for example, the UK being in Iraq in the first place. If our pitch is queered, then it was queered long before anyone started talking about offering a few interpreters a plane ticket to Heathrow.

But irrespective of whether it would, if that is your justification for refusing asylum then it's a very different one from that offered by Neil Clark. It's really more an argument against asylum in general, isn't it? On the basis that it isn't worth the risk of jeopardising our relationship with whichever side comes out on top? So it wouldn't just be collaborators you'd refuse it to; you'd refuse it to Shi'ites seeking asylum on political grounds, in case the Sunnis came out on top, and also to Shi'ites in case the Sunnis came out on top. That's a huge oversimplification of the political and factional divisions in Iraq, but you take my point. It's nothing to do with Iraqi interpreters being "collaborators" and everything to do with not wanting to rock our boat with any future Iraqi administration. The safest option, if that's right, is to offer no asylum to anyone from Iraq, or indeed from any other state in which there might be a change of regime and a future regime that might take umbrage at our asylum decisions. And that, of course, could be any jurisdiction under the sun.

Roger Thornhill said...

I have said it before and I will say it again: Scratch a Socialist and you will find a Fascist.

Neil appears to be a typical self-loather who conveniently forgets who is actually killing whom in Iraq to boot.

The Remittance Man said...

Martin,

Quite how are the reasons of state (ie the maintenance of oil supplies, a commodity traded freely on global markets, I would remind you) served by abandoning a few people to a potentially unpleasant fate?

Still, seeing as you don't want to discuss this in terms of morality, let's take a more "hard arsed" look at this case. Under normal circumstances I would agree that the pressures of realpolitik often require countries to act in selfish, if not unethical, ways. Therefore punting an "ethical foreign policy" is a pointless exercise in gesture politics. However where behaving ethically can score a country "brownie points" or where doing so costs nothing then ethical/moral behaviour should win out.

I would argue that the situation regarding the Iraqi interpreters is just such a case. HMG would score "brownie points" among the electorate by permitting them to live in Britain and quite frankly, given the number of assylum seekers in the country already the cost of doing so is insignificant. Ergo doing "the right thing" is what the government should do.

Indeed the cost might even be negative. I would guess these people are reasonably well educated. Therefore they would continue to be useful assets for the military, the intelligence services, the police and so on. This war against the Islamonutters isn't going to end with a withdawal from Iraq. And the abovementioned arms of the state have publicly admitted they have insufficient assets with a knowledge of arabic and arabic ways. Therefore the country should be collecting as many people who might be useful in the fight as possible. Just like we did with refugee Poles and other Eastern Europeans after the Second World War.

So come on Martin, there's a cold logical case for letting the interpreters in. Knock it down or admit you want to see these people die to satisfy some political viewpoint.

guido faux said...

Mr Remittance you have a point and I would take it further and highlight the effect such a gesture would have in encouraging collaboration in future 'adventures'.

After all who would work for us if we invaded, say, Iran knowing that they would be abandoned to the wolves?

And not forgetting the propaganda coup for insurgents: "If you work for the British they will abandon you and we will kill you."

Speaking from a Machiavellian perspective of course.

Roger Thornhill said...

What Guido says.

The action to abandon the interpreters is a win-win to the self-loathers.

Martin said...

RM,

OK,

Your case is very strong.

Let them in. I concede. I'm sick of being labelled a war criminal.

But let it be noted right here that if just one of them commits a serious crime; or if any of them turn out to be jihadist plants; or if it turns out than any of them collaborated with the Sadrists to kill British troops; then there will be Hell to pay.

Guido,

What this whole bloody exercise has taught us is that we really don't need any more adventures for a while.

Roger Thornhill said...

martin

But let it be noted right here that if just one of them commits a serious crime; or if any of them turn out to be jihadist plants; or if it turns out than any of them collaborated with the Sadrists to kill British troops; then there will be Hell to pay.

This should be standing orders for ANY new migrant or asylum seeker - all should sign a document acknowledging a swift return to homeland if they abuse hospitality and commit crimes.

What is so odious is that the lives of these interpreters have one purpose for the Left - a means to beat those supporting war. No surprise, as to them, we are all clay.