Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Johann Hari: The Neo Cons' Useful Idiot

You would have thought that having got the Balkans and Iraq so spectacularly wrong, this man would have done a wee bit more research before jumping into another foreign policy area about which he appears to know very little. But no, straight on cue yesterday, the Indie's 'Boy Wonder' leapt in, head first, to tell us how Russia, the country with more political parties than Hari can probably count up to, has turned into a 'totalitarian state'.

The neo-cons would never have got public support for their long-planned wars against Yugoslavia and Iraq if 'useful idiots' like Hari hadn't swallowed hook, line and sinker, the carefully manufactured propaganda about 'genocide' in Kosovo and Iraq's miltary 'threat'. Now, they are happy to let dimwits like Hari play their part in their latest project- the demonisation of Vladimir Putin, whose 'crime' has been to oppose the Iraq war and to stand up for Russia's national interests.

If there was an award for the Neo-Cons' most 'useful idiot', Hari would win hands down.
But this man seems to be making a concerted effort to grab the silver medal.

UPDATE: Here's the latest news in the Litvinenko inquiry. My guess is that those who were quick to blame the Russian government before any facts were established will be made to look rather ridiculous in a few weeks time.


TheRedLeopard said...

You've forgotten about the most useful idiot of them all Neil:

Anonymous said...

How many "dimwits" do you know who have Double Firsts from King's College, Cambridge, Neil?

Hari's family lived in Russia for over a decade; when were you last there?

Disagree with Hari, but calling him thick or ignorant about Russia is just plain wrong.

Also, how many neocons do you know who explicitly support Hugo Chavez as "great", accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing, say the US has become "the Land of the Fee" and "no longer a democracy", describe George Bush's environmental policies as "evil", etc?

Neil Clark said...

1. If your question is broadened to include 'double firsts' in general and not just KCC, then quite a few actually.
2. September.
3. I'm not accusing Hari of being a neo-con but being a useful idiot who has helped the neo-con cause in the Balkans and Iraq.

Ken said...

Can you get a Cambridge double first? They use the tripos system - it's not like mods and finals at Oxford.

Help me out on this one.

Anonymous said...

Double first means nothing more than a first in a degree which has two joint subjects. No more impressive than a first at all.

Good fisking of Johann Hari's article here

Ken said...

No it doesn't. You don't have to take joint honours to take a double first. I don't even think that Oxford offers joint honours, anyway.

It means a first in honour moderations and another one in finals. If your degree is PPE or the like, then the first exam is called prelims, and doesn't count towards finals. Other degress, like history or greats, have mods and, therefore, do.

Any Cambridge men around here who can confirm that the tripos is a three-parter and double firsts are out for that reason?

Anonymous said...

Yes, a double first in Cambridge is a first in Part I exams of tripos, and a first in Part II exams. The parts may be in the same, or different subjects. Either way, it's not easy. Hari read Social and Politial Sciences for both parts, as far as I know.

I may not agree with the man all the time, but he's no idiot.