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...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

anatomy of a dummy spit...

What got up my nose? Why did I go apeshit this last week? Well, it started with Howard announcing he was sending another 450 troops to Iraq. I raised an eybrow, thought about the reasons he gave, and decided it was benign enough, perhaps even a shift towards an active peace-keeping role, as well as helping to train the Iraqi army to assume responsibility for security in Iraq. It looked like the embryo of a responsible exit strategy. On the face of it. I was well aware of Howard's capacity for being less than straight-up with the Australian people, so I made a mental note to keep an eye on how this would actually turn out.

But in the media and the blogosphere, the pundits went apeshit. Some used this latest announcement as proof that Howard had once again misled the people. Others immediately saw us getting sucked deeper into another Vietnam. And a few super-intellingent soothsayers combined the two. All of it was just anti-Howard propaganda as blatantly crap as that put out by Howard's cheer squad (the Devines, the Bolts, the Hendersons, etc, etc.) which they so love to deride.

And so I just snapped. Here was I, a fucked-in-the-head, PTSD-affected Vietnam vet, splattering my crap all over the blogosphere, not even bothering to try to be objective or balanced, and these überpundits, who in their own lunchtimes are oh-so fucking credibility-laden and erudite were spraying their froth and spittle all over place disguised as examples of astute observation. It was nothing of the sort. It was reactive crap and conjecture dressed in the gaudy clothes of faux incisive and informed commentary.

I started to lose it... So I asked one such blogger some pointed questions and got back more than a truckload of self-righteous rhetoric along with the old evasive "answer the question with a question" crap. I used to repect this person, but I took offence at what I saw as defensive self-justification and evasiveness. And so I just totally lost it...

[linking fiasco censored/elided in the interests of good taste and decorum]

Yep, still spitting chips! Sick of political/activist bloggers putting the boot into their fave targets but not being willing to be challenged or confronted themselves.

Go on, have a go at me. I'm good for it...


Anonymous Philip Gomes said...

And I've been thinking a lot about that post on the troop commitments. I disagree intensely with the rationale for going to war but.......

I agree with you. I thought I'd wait and see, fence sit if you will, didn't want to get all bandwaggony and break legs jumping on and off.

But consistency is a hobglin in the face of changing events and information. I've always supported our involvement in East Timor and the Solomons for example, but Iraq? Not in our region. Concerned about mission creep.

....but we're there, WTF are we going to do? Leave 'em to clean up the mess? So we now have an obligation - not moral duty (how I hate that terminology) - an obligation to help as much as we can. I'm willing to hold my nose and ignore the justifying stench of this crazy war and back the PM in his decision even at the cost of having a bit of digger blood on my hands.

And BTW, keep spitting chips. You made me think way more about this than the pro war moralists. We really need to speak to each other (our friends) and provoke challenging but honest arguments amongst those who share like minded views.

March 02, 2005 1:56 PM  
Blogger BigBob said...

OK, I see where you are coming from here.

I am not opposed to the troops going - I think that Howard's fairly gutless sending of troops just for the initial campaign and then only leaving enough to guard our interests there was pretty appalling. Smart politics, but really showing how little he actually believed in the whole thing to begin with.

What upsets me is the 'no more troops'line the government has played, and then they just dump a deployment on us.

The problem with what is happening is it shows that there is no disengagement plan. Everyone has known for many months that the Dutch were pulling out, yet at the last minute, under much international pressure (from two of our most important partners), we send in some more men.

It stinks of something that has not been adequately planned or thought through. Hopefully the skill and training of the troops will be sufficient to hold off any disasters.

March 02, 2005 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Philip Gomes said...

That's the thing all right, the ad hoc approach and reasoning - not conspiracy but cockups and shifting shifty arguments.

I then get feral when I see the apologists tacking down wind just like it was always planned.

And that is the thing, I too have never thought that Howard was ever convinced, still don't think he is, it's just that he was dog whistling and wedging just about everyone to his advantage.

He got the free trade deal from the yanks in return and a useful 'fear factor' wedge with which to work his magic on the more gullible here at home. He almost didn't pull it off with Latham in the picture early on but in the end he did and we are now where we are.

He's a pretty good dice roller and card player because now he's got folks like me grudgingly behind him despite the odour.

March 02, 2005 2:28 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Philip, thanks for taking the time to understand what I'm struggling to say.

BigBob, yes, everyone went nuts after 9/11, the neocons saw there chance, told Bush what to say, and Howard being there in NY at the time got caught up in the whole thing and promised all manner of things before the the smoke had cleared. Euphoria can do that to a man.. :-)

Howard's been making it up as he goes along. I think that;s his style. He's also super crafty and an expert truth-twister and manipulator. He is the master political pragmatist. And he has no conscience.

I honestly think he's trying to wriggle this Iraq thing around so he gets to smell like roses. On the one hand it palls me, on the other, it just might be what will give Iraq the best of a bunch of bad outcomes.

I'm almost feeling better now, and having people drop by and tell me I'm making ar least some sense has helped heaps, so thanks guys.

March 02, 2005 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Kent said...

Yeah, I agree with everyone here regarding the new deployment as well.

And I must confess to disliking the whole lefty-activist-blogger (extended into the general world) thing. It's got the mob feeling to it, which I despise consciously and subconsciously but that's OT..

I have struggled forever with what my blogroll says; as I wrote last year, "Is a link a smiley? (G’day, I like you) Or is it a recommendation? (This site is great, you should follow every word) Is it just there for comprehensiveness? (Hey. I know you’re there) I don’t know. My links list is all three at once and idiosyncratic. Psychointerpretation of it is dangerous unless undertaken by moi."

After writing that, I realised the same probably applies to other people. So I (try to) no longer care whether people link to me or not, because I will never know why they have (or haven't), and there's no point in thinking about it. (Especially as they are entirely symbolic: about one percent of my visitors come from links on other people's blogrolls).

March 02, 2005 4:18 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Kent. The left wing thing? I do think of myself as a left wing evangelising blogging beast and I think rigorous debate among left wing bloggers can only be a good thing. How else can it evolve. And evolve it must if it will ever achieve its aims (whatever they be).

I must admit I cannot understand why people link to this blog and I would dearly like to know what their individual reasonings are. My reason for linking? I link to blogs I like to read regularly.

March 02, 2005 9:08 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

I don't link to anyone directly, unless you count the links which appear on people's names when they leave comments. Been thinking perhaps I should, but Kent's right, it's a minefield!

Gerry, part of the reason I enjoy reading your blog (apart from the sharp insights and genuine thinking) is your sheer enthusiasm and anger about the vital subjects which affect humanity. And the way you're willing to disagree openly and passionately about issues, not pandering to any left-leaning clique's idea of what the correct viewpoint is.

I'm glad people like you are blogging, as we have enough "faux incisive and informed commentary". Challenge and confront all you like; tell us we're talking rubbish whenever you think we are, and certainly don't stop writing.

March 03, 2005 12:04 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Gerry asked: I must admit I cannot understand why people link to this blog and I would dearly like to know.

I only link to blogs that I read regularly (which is usually daily). I won't tell you, Gerry, which is the first blog I read each morning with my coffee 'cause you might get a swollen head.

I notice that many once-popular blogs are no longer being updated. I guess there comes a time when these have to be dropped from the roll.

March 03, 2005 7:42 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Thanks Fox, Ron.

My reply to yours and others' comments here has become the next blog post.

March 03, 2005 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Country Joe said...

"And it's one, two, three
What're we fighting for?
Don't ask. I don't give a damn!
Next stop is I-ran!!!" Oops, I meant Vietnam.

March 04, 2005 3:15 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Country Joe, I think your last line should have read:
"Next stop is Vietnam!!! Oops, I meant I-i-ran." :-)

And the time on the clockface on your website should be set to one minute to midnight.

March 04, 2005 7:43 AM  

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