Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

what now?

So, I think I'm a pacifist. I think I'm a Left Wing Death Beast. I think I'm against the Iraq war. But...

I've had a problem since the end of the major offensive in Iraq. My problem? Well, by then we had invaded. We had taken over. We had murdered hundreds of thousands in the name of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Now what?

Well, I started having a problem with those who still continued to call for 'troops out now'. Why? Well, if all of the occupation forces pulled out (and we all know that was never going to happen), what would happen if they did?

Democracy? Hardly.

Chaos? Possibly.

Civil war? Probably.

Theocracy? Possibly.

Saddam loyalists re-establishing a tyranny? Possibly.

The prognosis would not be good.

And then the elections were held. A majority of Iraqis had cast their vote. This, in my book, changed everything.

It meant that the Iraqi people were given a voice. There was now a democracy of sorts. Yes, you might say that it was a stacked poll. And I would agree. But once you have a democratic system, even if the intial poll is stacked, it opens up the opportunity to change things in the future.

But in the meantime, the way I see it, there needs to be some military presence there to nurture the fledgeling democracy and protect it from those who might want establish a less democratic regime.

I think the insurgency has lost it's legitimacy to continue its killing spree. It does not represent the majority of Iraqis I suspect, and as soon as the elections were held they should have swapped their weapons for ballot papers. It's a bit stupid to cry "freedom" and then boycott the elections. It's petulant and stupid. And to continue to blow people up is downright evil.

'But what about Vietnam' some say. No. The Vietnamese communists were denied elections and this gave armed struggle some legitimacy. But the Iraqi insurgents were given elections, they had the opportunity to vote. And now they have the opportunity to lobby, to politic, to protest, to agitate, agitate, agitate. And therefore, from the moment they had these opportunities, nay, freedoms, and they chose perversely to continue the killing, much of it indiscriminant and against their own people, they literally became terrorists and I can no longer support them.

The occupation forces would have nothing to shoot at if the insurgency had switched to voting and peaceful political action. No one would be dying. And therefore there would now be an irrisistable argument for the troops to be withdrawn.

I would say that the majority of Iraqis want the occupation to end. So, why not use their new democracy to achieve this? They should make sure they get a good constitution. They should then get their government to chuck the Yanks, Poms, and any other force they don't want there out.

Now, about the "Troops Out Now" crowd. I suspect they don't really have any workable answers, they're just stuck in a groove and can't see that things have changed and that it's time to move on. And they're afraid to say what I'm saying because their ideologically ossified collegues would call them traitors.

And so you get this mob mentality where no one thinks for themselves and everybody just mindlessly walks the walk, talks the talk, and chants the chant. Sheep do it too. Baaa baaa baaa.

But in case I'm wrong, come on all you clever people slagging off at me by accusing me of being pro-war and an ASIO agent to boot, tell me what you think. Show me where I'm wrong. Demolish my postion with lucid argument and brilliant reasoning...

Come on... I don't bite... I might hurl the odd angry word at you, but I don't bite...

16 Comments:

Blogger gringo said...

Just quickly, problems that I have:

1.I've had a problem since the end of the major offensive in Iraq Actually, when did the offensive end? We just sent more troops.
2. But in the meantime, the way I see it, there needs to be some military presence there to nurture the fledgeling democracy and protect it from those who might want establish a less democratic regime. You already have a democracy, and they have the right to decide (without external coercion) which direction they are to take. Maintaining a presence of foreign troops without the Iraqi government either having invited them, or having the option of removing them (you can’t really say that they have this option) is occupation.
3. As soon as the elections were held they should have swapped their weapons for ballot papers . The democracy itself is an imposed system. It is not one that these people actually sought (not saying they didn't want it, but just that they weren't given a choice). They haven’t determined their own destiny, which may well have been a theocracy.
4. You don’t address any concerns of the anti-war crew, you resort to name calling in a none too subtle reference to your post on fallacious arguments. Basically, I fail to see the lucid argument that you refer to.
5. With regards to Iraq, in a nutshell, I am in favour of stopping killing people, stopping the Western imposition of will on this society, and beginning the offering of assistance at their request.
And with regards to our own standards lets look at our own disregard for reasonable arguments and the truth that was shown on our way into Iraq. That is, let's start actually doing something about those people that laid the trail of bullshit that led us to this war in the first place.

I hope this sort of makes sense.

February 28, 2005 7:03 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

gringo, welcome.

1. The way I see it, so far there were three distinct stages or evolutions of the war:

Stage 1: Invasion, shock and awe, and the occupation of the country.

Stage 2: The insurgency organises itself and mounts a counter-offensive.

Stage 3: Relatively fair elections are held.

The "major offensive" I referred to was Stage 1.

2. Agreed. The way I read it though, unless and until the new government asks the the occupiers to leave, it's impled the want them there to provide security and training till the new civil Iraqi authority& military gets on their feet.

3. Yes, so, we either continue to prop up the fledgeling democracy based on the fact that the majority of Iraqis can be said to be in favour of it by virtue of the fact that they voted, or we abandon this majority to those in the minority who oppose democracy. Which way do you think we should go, gringo?

4. I think my post put forth some licid arguments. As, infact this reply does. I fthis is not good enough, then I'm sorry. As to my provocative tone, well, I had to do _something_ to get a reaction. And I thank you for yours. :-)

5. I agree with everything you said there. I made a comment on another blog that we should now be asking those Iraqis who voted (the majority) what they want the occupying forces to do.

You made LOTS of sense, gringo. Thanks for the comment. I hope I've addressed your problems adequately.

February 28, 2005 8:02 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Addendum:

I know there is conjecture about whether there was pressure put on people to vote by some , and pressure put on people to not vote by others.

I know that the percentage of people who voted might not constitute a majority.

Who does one believe?

But in any case, I'd like to read a convincing win-win plan for "The Iraqi Problem".

February 28, 2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

Excellent post. You make your case very convincingly. I'm one of the "troops out now" brigade, but then again I also feel that we owe the country the time and cost of a full clean-up. We broke it, we should fix it. The two sentiments are completely contradictory, I know.

Like Gringo said, I have problems with the idea that elections imposed by an occupying force can be considered democratic. Then again, if the people of Iraq can find a way to use this imposed system to their own advantage and assert their independence with it, then the end may possibly justify - OK, not justify, more like redeem - the means.

I don't know where I'm going with this, sorry! Good to 'see' you again in the postmodern text-based sense, Gerry.

March 01, 2005 3:47 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I'm getting the idea that many on the left are as loony as the right wing maniacs they love to condemn. It's just a fashion with them to be anti-this and anti-that. It's trendoid camp-following mindlessness for many of them I'm sure. With others it's a bit more calculated - they know (or at least sense) that they're in with a group of left wing bigots who will ostracise them at the drop of a hat if they deviate from the song sheet. I call this latter mob the chardonnay mob.

You and anyone else are welcome to read this blog. Of course. How could I stop you other than take this blog off the air? No, that's not the problem. The problem is in fact THAT there are so many who read this blog but who refuse to engage me in debate, and when they do and some of their ideas are challenged, avoid really answering the challenging questions, make some mealy-mouthed fob-off comment, and then go quiet. That's what pisses me off.

I respect the likes of gringo. Poeple like that have got the guts to tell me what they find wrong/objectionable with what I write. THAT'S two-way communication, baby! That's what it's all about for me. That's how, if I'm so fucking wrong, I will learn. Through rugged discourse. Through engagement. I'll learn fuck-all by being silently judged from afar by "superior minds" and dismissed for being wrong or socially incorrect.

Fuck 'em all! Pseudo-intellectual wankers! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

March 01, 2005 8:20 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Fox, I couldn't give a rat's arse about the so-called compulsory democracy. We here in Australia have a compulsory democracy. It is illegal to not turn up at a polling booth on election day, ergo, we have forced elections every time. At least in Iraq the voters weren't compelled to vote like we are.

What pisses me off with those who still sing the "Troops Out Now" song is that they're very loud about the so-called evil of imposed democracy, but very quiet about what's so wonderful about just pissing off and leaving th country in the mess it's now in.

Oh, if pressed they go "the UN should do it", well they seem to forget that the bloody insurgent lunatics also blew up the UN HQ in Iraq, killing, in the process, one of the best people the UN had.

The so called "anti-war" holier than thou brigade also forgets to condemn equally loudly the many attrocities commited by the insurgents. Not so much as a murmur from them about that. Two wrongs apparently make a right to them in their self-righteous delusionary state.

One set of attrocities gets condemned endlessly, whilst the counter-attrocieties get overlooked, explained away with glib rhetoric. The problem is the rhetoric is fatally flawed and the disingenuous wankers know it. They're not anti-war, they're just anti-capitalists justifying any act of violence that's directed against capitalist violence. And I say that's not how you can beat capitalism but their too busy beating their war drums to hear what I'm saying. And being imperfect, it shits me off mightily.

I've seen the hypocrisy of the position I too had taken and I now firmly believe that you can't be anti-war by justifying the violence perpetrated by the "defenders" or the "aggrieved", especially when there are peaceful alternatives - and there are. Lots of them. Well tried , and successful every time when properly organised.

I'm sick of ranting about peaceful people power. No one on the left is listening. They're too busy trying to dismantle the "illegal" democracy in Iraq so they can fingerpoint in self-righteous schadenfreude at the ensuing disaster and say "See what a mess they made?" If the democracy took hold and started working, these partisan fanatics would choke on their own vomit. That's how phony the really are. And I've seen through them. And I've had it with them. They're actually war mongers from the left. They're not interested in peaceful solutions, or they'd now back the moves to install democracy and in fact get right in there amongst it all to make sure it's a becomes a democracy and not a sham one. I'd say the same thing to the insurgents whom, since the elections, I label as true terrorists. They got a bitch? Right! Use the democratic process to deal with that bitch. Blowing people up is no longer ok with me. If you represent the majority, mobilise and use your majority in a peaceful show of strength. Such a show of people power cannot be defeated. If you don't represent the majority, you have no mandate to blow people up anyway so fuck off.

Here in Sydney, we've had three nights of running street battles between the police and angry young punks. Over what? Well, two of their mates who were passengers in a stolen car being chased by police, died when the driver lost control and hit a tree. The yobboes blame the police for the deaths rather than face the fact that the person who drove the car into the tree was the driver, another mate of theirs, and not the police. They refuse to see that their own mate killed two of their mates. They fail to acknowledge that the driver did not have to speed away from the police, HE CHOSE TO, and in making this choice he ended up killing two of his mates. But no, the rioters refuse to acknowledege any of that and justify their rioting and violence against the police, portraying themselves as the righteous and the police as the villains.

This is the same kind of mindless justification of only one side of the violence in Iraq that has me say that the anti-war yahoos are not really anti-war, they are merely partisan shit-stirrers hijacking a noble phrase and turning it into a disingenuous slogan.

And those arseholes dare to compare what I say to Vogon poetry? Grrrrr

March 01, 2005 9:19 AM  
Blogger gringo said...

I don’t see the phases of the Iraq war as being so cut and dried. There was an invasion stage that was followed by the organisation of the insurgents — the insurgents are still going strong.

That shit is terrible — killing people lining up to try and assist in the reconstruction of the country.

As for (2), I am not so sure that the new government can ask the occupying forces to leave — surely that would have major aid repercussions. I don’t think they are independent enough to ask for that. They are still under the thumb.

I am not in favour of pulling all troops out now, as such. I don’t think having Australian and US troops there is very helpful. They should be wearing blue hats. I would like to see a UN-led force working with the Iraqi government to reconstruct the country (like the US would let this happen!). Of course, a lot of this would be dealing with insurgency, but it could be more of a mission of assistance rather than occupation. This would be a lot more expensive than an occupation, and would last a lot longer — look at UNMIK for example. I agree with the urban fox — we broke it, and we should fix it. But we should fix it the right way, not under the banner of the US Empire, but of United Nations.

I do believe that there is now a potential for a better political future in Iraq, but you have to do these things under a respect for international protocols and law if you want to develop a nation state that is to going to respect it too. The invasion of Iraq complete disregard for these processes as well as a shitload of deceit. How can you expect to have a functioning system of law evolve out of that?

Anyway, I need to keep moving. I agree with you that there are a lot of nutter lefties out there. But I do understand where they are coming from a lot better than most of the rightwingers. It is usually a question of me agreeing with the lefties’ political ideals and goals, but often they cannot conceive of a pragmatism to achieve them and I try to. (Not sure if that sentence makes sense). I think that it comes down to unquestioning ideologues on the left being a lot less scary (for me) than their right wing counterparts.

As for the “hijacking a noble phrase and turning it into a disingenuous slogan” — it is all about soundbites these days. You can’t shout a complex argument. And these people are just seriously pissed off (like me) that there appears to be a complete lack of reasoning and respect for the truth on the side of the forces that be, and that anger turns them into rabid lefty nutters (like I am at the moment … so I will stop).

March 01, 2005 12:59 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Gringo said I don’t see the phases of the Iraq war as being so cut and dried.

Neither do I, but you asked what I meant by the term 'major offensive' and that was my way of explaining.

The point I was trying to make was that we can continue to be stuck in the idea that the invasion was illegal, immoral, evil, whatever. And I agree, but that's not letting us deal with what is. What is is. Now what? Well the fundamentalist "troops out now" fanatics want all occupying forces out immediately without addressing the disaster that would create or offering a viable solution to solving the problems as they are now. It's just hollow sloganeering. The UN? I've pointed out that they blow up UN HQ,s and kill some very good people. The "anti-war" brigade never denounce the insurgents for their insane and bloodthirsty tactics. As I said, the "peace" brigade are by and large quite happy to justify any aggression waged against capitalist aggression and oppression. This what I can no longer swallow. You cannot say you are for peace and justifiy aggression of any kind. Time and again, when someone suggests Gandhi-esque methods they get dismissed as not being realist or workable. To these "peace" activists, peaceful people power is a quaint but lame concept which would merely distract them from supporting murderous, violence-advocating, revenge-seeking lunatics disingenuously crying "peace" as they plan their next killing spree. Fucking hypocrites!

Oh, by the way, yesterday the people of Lebanon took one giant step towards tru independence by staging a massive display of peaceful people power which caused the Syrian-installed government to quit. Syria will now most likely have to remover their occupation forces and fuck off out of Lebanon.

Are we getting this yet, my war-loving "peace" seekers?

From now on I'll only treat seriously those on the left who denounce violence across the board, and I'll vomit all over those who peddle rhetoric which justifies or ignores the violence being indulged in by those they claim to be in support of.

I cant get fairer than that...

So, Suki et al, are you reading this? Got the guts to have anything to say other than "I shall not change my stand" while you bloody well tacitly condone one bunch of terrorists while screeching about the terrorism of the other side.

Fucking phonies! Grrrrrrrrrrr

March 02, 2005 9:33 AM  
Blogger gringo said...

Gerry: I am quite happy to say that I am against violence as a means to a political end. It is wrong. Full stop. I actually referred in my previous post as to how shit the suicide bombing on Monday was. No disagreement with me there. Both sides are engaging in murder, and I don't think that anyone is seeking to excuse the insurgents in Iraq.

What I think that you may be missing (or the “anti war” left is failing to articulate) is that the civil war in Iraq, as it is now, is a direct product of the invasion. So, if you didn’t have these forces invading in the first place you wouldn’t have the reaction against it. The US and their satellite states pushed the situation in this direction. This does not excuse the actions of the insurgents.

Whatever the case, I am in favour of whipping the troops out, getting a UN led mission to secure peace (which may contain troops that are Australian) and attempting to reconstruct the place. And yes, you are still going to have to deal with the insurgents, but I feel that support will wane as the occupying force is replaced with a more supportive reconstruction mission.

I know this is all speculation, and won’t happen. But what I am trying to put across is “get the troops out now” is part of a greater argument that sometime gets lost in the hype. It is a valid point that you make that those wishing to pull the troops out (eg. Latham and CHristmas etc.) did not explore or elucidate the pragmatics of the policy line sufficiently.

March 02, 2005 12:15 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Martin,
the civil war in Iraq, as it is now, is a direct product of the invasionYes, but that genie is now out of the bottle and would IMHO only go right out of control if we just pulled our troops out right now. Rather than pull them out, I advocate changing their role from attackers and oppressors to peace-keepers and protectors of a fledgling democracy.

This does not excuse the actions of the insurgents. And that's been my main thesis for quite some time now. Those claiming to be "anti war" or "for peace", still seem to be symathetic towards the insurgency and thereby giving at least tacit (if not outright) support to their terrorism. The point I'm trying bash into their thick skulls (wrong method?) is that if you want to be "anti war" or "for peace" you can take only one position and that is to advocate only Peaceful People Power as the sole method of resistance/dissent. But the left has just as many warmongers as the right has. Just look at the union movement - biffo beats brains every time.

...a UN led mission to secure peaceYes, I agree. But the insurgents also bombed the UN HQ so I still think there would be problems from the insurgency (which since the elections I have now labelled as true terrorists, evil doers and war mongers). As ugly as it might look, I advocate that the current force should stay - minus the Yanks. They have to go. They are just too much for the Iraqis to swallow. And yes, the UN should take over control of this force. (The Yanks would not work under UN control anyway). And the upcoming constitution needs international (UN) scrutiny to make sure it's not document enshrining global capitalism's control of Iraq, etc.
Afterthought: If the UN takes over and the Yanks leave, we're giving the Yanks a huge force they now might send into Syria or Iran. See, while they're all tied up and stretched to the limit in Iraq, as bad as that is for the Iraqis, it does make it almost impossible for them to also take on Syria or Iran. Perhaps we could keep them in Iraq, get the insurgents to change tactics and adopt PPP and just tie up this Yank force a bit like Gulliver and the Lilliputians? Oh if only I could be the chief tactician for a global resistance, I'd have the Yanks snookered, global corporatism looking nonplussed and confused (and behaving itself), all within about twelve months, and without resorting to any violence whatsoever. A global PPP revolution. I'd have to totally sideline the left wing war mongers and biffo boys, but they're dinosaurs anyway... I have a dream.... :-)

March 02, 2005 2:26 PM  
Blogger gringo said...

Hey Gerry, this is the last comment I will make on this thread, because I see you have moved onto the dummy spit post. A couple of quick things:
1. I am not Martin (I assume you are referring to The Knob). I take this as a compliment, although I am sure it is just a mistake.
2. I don't actually think that we see the world that differently (Although I may be wrong on that, and am prob willing to argue about it too). I do realise that what you see as the left wing type arguments often are lacking in substance, and often aren't thought through to their full conclusions - and people putting forward these arguments need to address this. The thing is I generally agree with their motivations.

You are right. There is no point just preaching (blogging) to the converted - at some point you have to engage in some sort of argument, and persuade the rest of Australia (and the world) that their support of the fundamentalist, moralistic, religious right, invading, imperialistic, free market hypocritical neocon fuckers is misguided, wrong and is going to end with the world being a much crapper place. And there is a better way to do things.

So ... keep questioning the left. It is good :)

March 02, 2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oops, I meant to say Gringo, Gringo.

Anyway, thanks for the chat. Drop in anytime. Especially to sort me out if I get too carried away. :-)

March 02, 2005 8:16 PM  
Anonymous G. Washington said...

"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)

March 04, 2005 12:36 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, George. And you said that way back in 1796? She-it! You'd be gettin' a bit long in the tooth now, I'd reckon...Just you keep eatin' ya grits, y'hear!

March 04, 2005 7:47 AM  
Blogger gringo said...

I do like that quote.

March 04, 2005 3:21 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yes, me too, Gringo. Pity the Yanks have no idea... Then again, do we blame the Yanks or the rest of the world. If the rest of the world stood up to those fuckers, the Yanks wouldn't be able to do zip about it.

I hereby launch the global anti-American revolution. Everybody now, "YANKEE GO HOME !!!" Tattoo it on Howard's forehead. Skywrite it. Graffiti it. Email it. Blog it. "YANKEE GO HOME !!!" And wehn ASIO raids your house, shout ASIO FUCK OFF at them! I'm sick of living in a Nazi AmeriKKKan dominated world!

I hope you keep dropping in here Gringo... At least until the Gestapo shut me down. God they're going to have to kill a lot of us...

March 05, 2005 6:39 AM  

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