Wednesday, September 18, 2002


Let's see what the taxpayer dollar buys over at the Australian Broadcasting Collective. Maxine McKew has her pick of subjects for an interview on Iraq, so who do we get? Tariq Ali.
MckEW: Why do you feel that 9/11 was not much more than a pin prick?
TARIQ ALI, AUTHOR: Well the actual event certainly wasn't.

Just to set the tone. Can't wait for Ali to use that kind of language when the next Middle East crazy goes over the border.
I was in Berlin two days ago there was great mourning for the victims of the September 11.
But no-one, no Western leader, has so far publicly even declared that they're sorry about the innocent Afghan civilians who have been killed, whose numbers are now between 3,000 and 4,000.
No-one mourns for them but everyone mourn force citizens of New York.

Must have missed Ali mourning the 6000 the Taliban were executing each month. Ali is still clinging to debunked casualty figures.

Next is German domestic policy:
When I was in Berlin, it was very obvious that an overwhelming bulk of the country is opposed to a war on Iraq.

I'm sure Tariq spent a great deal of time mingling with the hoi-polloi in Dusseldorf and Munich.
And the fact that Schroeder has come out very strongly and has said that, even if the UN supports a war, Germany will oppose it, has actually helped him turn the situation round in the German elections and he's now six points ahead.

Apparently, it's all right for German leaders to use a war on Iraq for domestic political gain.
So that tease mood in large part of Europe, including, I may say, in Britain, where Tony Blair's pretty much isolated from his own party and trade unions.

No idea what a "tease mood" is, but he obviously can't read an opinion poll when it's in English.

On to unrelated conflicts!
I could say exactly the same that the region would be better off without Ariel Sharon, that Israel has chemical and nuclear weapons, yet no-one is suggesting inspectors go in to Israel to look at these weapons.

So these double standards have a very negative effect on people in that region.
Why single out Saddam Hussein?

As far as I'm concerned Sharon is just as bad.

This is the depths to which the Left has sunk. Ali is saying the Butcher of Baghdad is just as bad as the Prime Minister of Israel. There is no point in reasoning with this kind of bigotry, so I'll reserve my disgust for the journalist who let this slop ooze through without a murmur.

George W Bush as a leader of vision and creativity, give us a break!
People all over the world laugh when you say that.

Say what you like, laughing boy. Just be grateful the grownups are in charge.

Here's where he steps on his dick with golf shoes:
I have a certain view, which is that the people of these countries are the one who have the right to topple these governments. They're the ones that should be strengthened and encouraged. People learn through their own experiences much more than Western interventions, which actually come and stop certain processes, as we're seeing in Afghanistan today. I do not want a Western intervention in the Middle East.
I want the people of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etcetera, to deal with their own regimes. I'm not even for a Western intervention in Israel.

So people should be "strengthened", but this does not count as "Western intervention". Didn't Ali see what happened to the Kurds when the US encouraged them to revolt?

But my surprise is that he does not favour a Western intervention in Israel. I don't know if this rules in a Middle Eastern intervention, and why that is more desirable. However, this shows that Ali has lost touch with military reality. the only reason that there is any kind of problem with the Palestinians is that Israel has declined to solve it in the preferred Middle Eastern manner, that is kill everyone and plough the earth with salt. Ali has accepted the restraint Israel shows as weakness, and is assuming that without US support the Palestinians and their supporters will rise up gloriously and retake the Holy Land.

I've got news for you, Tariq: Israel can take on and win any of their neighbours in a conventional war, and beat the living shit out of them six ways to Tuesday. If Sharon really was as bad as Saddam, every picture you ever saw of Palestinians would have "file vision" in the corner. If you can't understand that the very existence of the Palestinian people is a tribute to the restraint of the Israeli government, and that the Western intervention you condemn is actually the US holding the Israeli military on a very tight leash, I suggest you talk to the people of Hama, Shatila, Ekmala, and Lockerbie to get their views on the desirability of a Middle Eastern solution. Ali really seems to believe that "people power" will somehow prevent barking madmen like Saddam, Assad and Gadaffi from doing what they have always done when Dissent raises its head. They will kill thousands and thousands until they squash the uprising, or run out of ammo. It's their nature, just as it is the nature of rich, educated academics to advocate policies that they will not have to clean up.

Thanks to Catallaxy Files for the heads-up.

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