Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Pro-War Anti-War: Curiouser and Curiouser

I really think we're on to something quite interesting here. In my Guardian article last week, I drew attention to the fact that pro-war bloggers such as Stephen Pollard and Harry's Place were involved in an internet campaign to grant asylum to 91 Iraqi interpreters. 'So what' shrieked the 'Let's Run Neil Clark Out of Town' Harry's Place instigated Lynch Mob: this is a campaign organised and dominated by good, 'antiwar' blogs - so what if a few warmongers are involved too?'. But, as regular commenter Arabella questioned on Saturday, just how 'anti-war' is this campaign's credentials?

I have already highlighted on my last post the fact that the campaign's organiser, Dan Hardie, approached two notoriously pro-war websites asking for support, and commented on his rather interesting blog roll, on which prominent anti-war sites were conspicuous by their absence. More on Hardie later, but here's a bit of background on fellow campaign organiser, the stockbroker and blogger Daniel Davies. It seems Daniel's commitment to the anti-war cause is as strong as Dan's.

Here's what Daniel was writing in 2002 re Iraq:

"I retain my original belief that improvement in Iraq is politically impossible unless there is some sort of shooting war in the area culminating in the removal of Saddam Hussein. I don't set much score by "national-building", and don't really believe that what the Gulf needs is more US client states, and I never believed any of the scare stories related to the "WMD" acronym which is currently doing such sterling duty in picking out weblog authors who don't have a fucking clue what they're talking about. I just think that Saddam needs to go, because it's just one of those Damned Things which Has To Happen. I'm a fatalist, not a moralist.

So, how can we square these beliefs a) that something has to be done and b) that if something is done, it will be a disastrous imperial adventure by George Bush. Here's how, and it's so simple it's beautiful:

The official policy of D-Squared Digest with respect to Iraq is now that we support a policy of containment until after the 2004 Presidential elections, and after that, we will support immediate war with Iraq if and only if someone other than George W Bush is elected."

And in the month that war did break out, March 2003, Daniel was a "troubled" man. But "troubled" not over the lanching of an illegal war and the fate of Iraqis facing 'Shock and Awe'.
Here's what he wrote:

"On a similar note, I have been troubled greatly over the last few days by the following thought; although it is obvious that the USA has an incredible advantage over Iraq in terms of men and materiel, you have to admit that if you were picking a team of leaders to lose this war, you wouldn't be able to do much better than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Ignorance - check; Hubris - check; Ability to alienate allies - check; Tendency to ignore unfavourable information - check. It's like having Saddam Hussein's fucking fantasy football team in the top job. "

Daniel was "troubled greatly" by the fact that the US might lose the Iraq War.

Nuff said.


JohnBaker68 said...

I think it's plainly obvious that this is not about any concern for these interpreters - it is about what they represent. 'We' must help them because they helped 'us' and it goes without saying that 'we' are the good guys, no matter how much death and misery we have inflicted on Iraq.

As you are discovering, scratch the surface of these phoney 'we were against the war but...' brigade and you'll find they never actually were against the war, or at least never that concerned, and that they hold what can only be described as racist views about any Iraqi daring to fight back against the mighty occupiers.

And they just can't bring themselves to see all those Iraqi deaths as the grotesque act of mass murder that it is. If the deaths of a million people can be so easily dismissed and ignored by these fake anti-war bloggers, and that isn't racism, then what is?

'We' are still the 'good guys' no matter that a million Iraqis are now dead, no matter that millions have been maimed and bereaved, that 4 million have been turned into refugees, no matter how many Iraqis contract cancer or have deformed children as a result of our depleted uranium, no matter how many are left with no water in the unbearable heat, no matter how many are left psychologically disturbed for life, no matter how obvious it is by now that - what do you know! - this WAS about oil after all!

None of this matters to these fake oh-so-caring 'anti-war' bloggers, because at the end of the day 'we' are more human than 'them' - evident by the fact that only those who helped the occupiers ('us') are worthy of help. To hell with the rest who haven't shown their gratitude and bowed down before their superiors. These 'anti-war' bloggers actually identify with an occupying murderous force - doesn't that say it all?

You will never hear any criticism from these bloggers about those that did this to Iraq (i.e their own government) but instead you will find endless 'analysis' (i.e willful ignorance) about those 'sinister' Muslims and their 'crazy' ideologies. They are the 'extremists', 'we' just messed up a bit.

To be honest Neil I think these people aren't worth any more of your time - they are truly warped individuals masquerading as people with a conscience. Not exactly a bunch of deep thinkers.

Jim Denham said...

What a load of utter shite from you, clark and your apologist "John": it is quite possible to have opposed the Iraq war (as I, actively, did)while defending the humanitarian rights of those iraqis who 9mistakenly9 saw the invasion as an opportunity for democracy. Britain owes those brave democrats a debt of honour: your (and John's) "keep the quslings out" cries sound like the BNP, and are, frankly nauseating, coming as they do from an apologist for Serb nastionalism.

Neil Clark said...

jim: 1. I am not an 'apologist for Serb nationalism'. My position has always been a pro-Yugoslavia, anti-imperialist one.
2. you're doing the anti-war casue a great disservice by championing the cause of those who worked for the illegal invaders, a tiny minority of all Iraqis. If all Iraqis had done what the interpreters did, then the cities of Iran and Syira would now be lying under rubble. Is that what you want?
The anti-war credentials of the interpreters campaign, are, shall we say, dubious to say the least. Why do you think those of us who opposed the war should collaborate with those who helped bring it about?

Anonymous said...

Why do you think those of us who opposed the war should collaborate with those who helped bring it about?

Oh, I dunno - plain common sense, allied to a grown-up willingness to acknowledge that devising a practical resolution to the Iraq quagmire is more important than petty point-scoring?

Talking of which, I see you've quietly expunged the sneering '(sic)' in your original post - but that really sums you up to a T. Even if Dan's post had contained a genuine typo, your intervention would still have been childishly petty - and reveal much more about you than anything useful about him.

Neil Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Clark said...

No, it's not 'plain common sense'. It's called being a 'useful idiot' and collaborating with some pretty despicable people.
With 'enemies' like you grokster, the pro-war brigade are in no need of friends.

JohnBaker68 said...

Jim Denham is yet another of the 'we care' brigade who is obsessive in his hatred of Islam and not actually that bothered about the bloodbath that the imperialists are responsible for.

Once again Neil, there is a pattern here: those who have jumped on this bandwagon do not care about the people of Iraq, they care about rewarding the 'good' natives (those who help 'us') and sending a sign to the 'bad' natives (those who dare to fight the superpowers that smashed their way into their country).

And I have never cried 'keep them out'; however I do see straight through the quite nauseating crocodile tears being shed by scum-bags and hypocrites.

As for the comparisons with the BNP, you will never see me entering into unholy alliances with fascists or bleating on about defending their 'right' to spew their filth; I also believe that we have a moral obligation to give asylum to ALL Iraqis suffering as a result of this country's criminal 'adventure'. I wonder how many of the 'we care' brigade agree?

As has been pointed out already, the people jumping on this bandwagon are a mixture of Tories, the pro-war (not) left, and those who, for reasons of self-interest, aren't too fussy about the fact that their blogosphere alliances are racists or at least deeply questionable types. This bunch are about as dedicated to opposing the fascist BNP as they are to opposing the war on Iraq.

The Happy Warrior said...

I feel like I'm going to throw up and I only read your blog; I wonder how you feel after writing it?

Neil Clark said...

Any attempt to address the issues raised in the post 'happy warrior'-or is custard pie throwing all you engage in? I must admit that if I'm making someone with a pseudonym of 'happy warrior' sick, I must be doing somethnig right!

Anonymous said...


You are unfair on dsquared. He was one of the few to agree with you on Comment is Free with regard to the hypocrisy of the pro-war bloggers over the innocent men killed at Fallujah by the Zionist-crusader invaders compared to their crocodile tears over their beloved interpretators.

Keep up the good work though.


Garry said...

Neil, I'd consider myself anti-war and strongly oppose Bush's neo-con policies. I was also one of the 150+ people who commented on the original CiF thread. No-one, least of all Harry's Place, suggested I should comment; I did so because I was shocked by the article and wanted to express my disapproval.

Perhaps if you explained your view of yesterday's bomb attacks up against the Yezidi community? Was that a justifiable form of resistance? Do you feel that the deaths of those people yesterday were for the greater good because it has slowed down the U.S. war machine?

It's a genuine question (three if we're being pedantic). For me, it seems extraordinary to argue that such attacks are a justified form of resistance.

Neil Clark said...

dear mr hamster,
thanks for writing in. I fully accept that not everyone who has criticised my article was a harry's placer or a 'pro-war anti war' sort. no, of course I don't accept that today's shocking events are part of a 'resistance'.
were they for the greater good? of course not. but who is ultimately responsible for the events? these sort of atrocities weren't going on in 2002 in Iraq were they? I was labelled a 'stability junkie' by the neo-cons for opposing the war. But the stability of Saddam and the Ba'ath Party, for all its downsides, was surely better than the anarchy we have now. there was a quote in the morning star the other day about an iraqi- a strong opponent of saddam, saying that if saddam came back to life and walked down the street, he would go up to him and kiss his feet. I think that says it all.

Ken said...

More importantly, Neal, the attacks of yesterday were hardly in any way, shape or form connected to the resistance.

What is happening is that the Iraqi state has been destroyed and now everybody seems to be fighting everyone else.

Sooner or later it will calm down - even the 100 Years War ended eventually - but that won't happen so long as the occupation continues.