Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Johann Hari's Fan Club. posted by Richard Seymour

You would expect the title of this post to be intended sardonically, but oddly it isn't. Hari genuinely has a minute cult following on the net, almost as big as mine. I've debated some of them here , so if you want to be dazzled by their astounding grasp of logic, rhetoric and reality, click on the link and hold your breath!!

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The Guardian and Blair's New Year Message. posted by Richard Seymour

The Guardian is an odd institution. You like to think it deals with issues in a serious manner, then suddenly something happens and it goes all gorblimey. The Princess Di issue sent it over the top, advancing further than even the beacons of reaction dared to. The main thing that happens, however, is that it just runs out of steam and lapses into newspaper cliche mode. Today, the Guardian is actually reporting as news that revellers were set to welcome the new year in!
Damn their pasty-white butts, I would never have imagined in a hundred years that all those people who miraculously appear on the streets EVERY SINGLE YEAR at EXACTLY THE SAME DATE had anything to do with NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS!!

But the best news today is Blair's speech . Blair´s message for 2004 is as follows, and pay close attention because it´s a cracker:

'I will not falter'

Ho ho ho!! Well, how long did it take him to think of that one? He must have been in the Cabinet Office with all his bumlicking colleagues, discussing the pros and cons:

"Well, quite frankly, I was thinking of having a major fuck-up this year. What do you all think?"

"Focus group evidence shows people don´t like fuck ups unless it saves them tax money, Tony."

"Hmmm. Okay, what if I say 'I won´t fuck up'."

"No, no, Prime Minister, that sounds too much like 'I won´t shut the fuck up'. People won´t like that at all. Polling data from the Yougov website shows..."

"Alright, alright! How about 'I WILL NOT FALTER'?"

"Magnificent, Prime Minister!"

"He's a genius!"

You will have gathered, I'm sure, that what Tony Blair means is not exactly what is directly implied by his headlines. When he says, "I will not falter", he seems to mean, "I'm going to do whatever the bloody hell I like, and noone can stop me. Exterminate! Exterminate!"

He evokes, as he always does, the "difficult choices" which he has to make. We are supposed to simper and go "aaawe, bless". But he promises to do exactly what he has always done and disregard everyone else. He will go ahead with tuition fees which are - get this - "free at the point of study, fair at the point of repayment"! He will continue the occupation of Iraq, regardless of how unloved it is. He will continue to privatise whatever he can get his grasping little hands on.

In other words, Blair's New Year Message is "Fuck You All!"

Happy New Year.

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Sunday, December 28, 2003

The Darkness Must Die!! posted by Richard Seymour

Another Reason Why a Neutron Bomb Could Be Fun!

They didn't get to Christmas number one with their lacklustre retro horseshit, well boo-fucking-hoo. All those people who went out and bought the CD because it was sooooo fucking hilarious and camp should be ripping out their teeth in shame. Gary Jules' beautiful rendition of "Mad World" was clearly the better single even if it wasn't very "Christmassy" as the Darkness lead whined on a BBC interview.

I've been into most kinds of music, and I mean that term rather loosely. In my youth, I danced like a melon to Betty Boo and Sister Sledge. I grovelled at the altar of the tasteless, hoovering up every nugget of vomitous drivel they chucked my way. And yet I have never seen anything so dire, so tuneless, so absolutely inexplicable in its appeal as The Darkness.

Tell me, anyone who's ever liked any kind of rock, what is it about them? I used to listen to glam-rock, and Seventies music. If you read this message and think "lenin doesn't like Seventies glam", YOU'LL BE WRONG. But I usually insist that it has some tune, and that the main performer isn't some overgrown choirboy with a twatty face covered in craters.

Yes, yes, yes. It's soooo ironic and cheeky. And you lap it up like the sour tarts that you are.

Fuck off and die, you miserable, mediocre geeks.

Happy Xmas.

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Saturday, December 27, 2003

Saddam Could "Embarrass" the West... posted by Richard Seymour

How the BBC Covered Up US Complicity With Saddam.

I dimly recall Medialens discussing an ITN mention of the potential "embarrassment" that Saddam could cause the West if he were to discuss his dealings in open court.

Now, the BBC has added its voice to that regimented choir, allowing Paul Reynolds to rehearse a disgusting littly hymn about how Jesus Rumsfeld was once tempted by Satan.

Take this, for instance:

"The trial might turn into more than an account of genocide, invasion, murder and massacre, dominant though that would be.

It could become a political event tinged with some embarrassment for countries and individuals who were once close to him.

Saddam Hussein's egocentric sense of history, largely centred around a vision of himself leading the Arab world as Saladin led it against the Crusaders, would surely tempt him to play to the gallery of Arab opinion..."

Two things. If it is truly a matter of mere "embarrassment", we are on a disastrous moral level, which reminds us of David Aaronovitch comparing the British empire to an "embarrassing Aunt" who farts. Secondly, if this has anything to do with Saddam Hussein pretending to be a Saladin, leading Arabs against the crusaders, one would expect him to play down his dealings with the West.

But the main part of the article, although presumably supposed to be the space for media dissent, bolsters pro-Western assumptions about Hussein and his relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. The hymn begins promisingly enough:

"[I]t is important to remember that Saddam Hussein's main supplier was the Soviet Union. He was sent its best equipment - Mig 29s, T 72 tanks, artillery, gunboats and Scud missiles."

This is true, although we'd expect therefore to be granted something in the way of context - "supplier" is different from "supporter", and something ought to be said about the reasons why the USSR would support Saddam, all the better to criticise their actions.

Under the heading "US diplomacy", the Beeb offers an interesting lead in:

"The role played by the United States turned out to be important diplomatically. And this is where Mr Rumsfeld came in."

Sorry? This is where the story starts? Are we absolutely sure. Oh well, let's see where it goes:

"In the early 1980s, the bogeyman for the Americans was Ayatollah Khomeini. He had come to power in Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution."

The first propaganda line: The devil made them do it. Except, of course, that US support for Saddam and his Ba'ath party stretches back to 1963 if I'm not mistaken - and, oh, don't bother looking that up, cos I'm not mistaken. 'Kay?

The next verse:

"With Iran seen as the danger, Washington turned to Iraq as the bulwark.

Iraq had invaded Iran in 1980 but the Iranians had held the advance and were striking back with human wave attacks. Iraq was known, by 1983, to have used chemical weapons to stop these.

A US State Department memorandum in 1983 stated: "We have recently received additional information confirming Iraqi use of chemical weapons." "

All very well, loves, but this isn't the starting point for US support for Hussein, nor is it the reason. And you know it. Or perhaps not, because the next headline is:

"Iran the motive"

No, no, no! How many times do I have to tell you idiots? Here, let me help you. According to Said Aburish, (A Brutal Friendship, 1997), the CIA closely controlled the planning stages but also played a central role in the subsequent purge of suspected leftists after the coup. 5,000 were killed, including many doctors, lawyers, teachers and professors who formed Iraq's educated elite. The massacre was carried out on the basis of death lists provided by the CIA. The lists were compiled in CIA stations throughout the Middle East with the assistance of Iraqi exiles like Saddam, who was based in Egypt. An Egyptian intelligence officer, who obtained a good deal of his information from Saddam, helped the Cairo CIA station draw up its list. According to Aburish, however, the American agent who produced the longest list was William McHale, who operated under the cover of a news correspondent for the Beirut bureau of Time magazine.

MOTIVE NOT IRAN! Okay? Can I make it any clearer? Need I underline it any further?

But the BBC continues:

"Mr Rumsfeld had been defence secretary under President Ford and was then head of a private pharmaceutical company.

Minutes of their meeting in December 1983 were taken by an American diplomat and later released in edited form under the Freedom of Information Act. They were published by the National Security Archive, a private research group.

It is clear from the account that Mr Rumsfeld was concerned about Iran and that this was the motive for the American approach.

The minutes state: "Rumsfeld told Saddam that the US and Iraq shared interests in preventing Iranian and Syrian expansion."

There is a lot of talk about stopping Iranian oil exports.

The report also sums up Saddam Hussein's reaction: "Saddam Hussein showed obvious pleasure with the President's letter and Rumsfeld's visit."

There is no mention of Mr Rumsfeld having raised the issue of chemical weapons with Saddam Hussein, though he said he did in an interview with CNN in 2002."

The BBC finishes its coverage of US-Iraqi relations with the following literary flourish:

"A report on another meeting, recorded that he did raise it with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, saying that "our efforts to assist were inhibited by certain things that make it difficult for us, citing the use of chemical weapons". Diplomatic relations between the US and Iraq were restored in 1984. Past alliances often embarrass governments."

The nice Mr Rumsfeld DID raise the use of chemical weapons, after all? This is reassuring, although one wonders in what context. It wasn't, possibly, the Iraqis saying "look, if you want us to kill people properly, you've got to give us the means" and Rummy saying "You've got it!"?

The fact that the result of that meeting was a restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries might offer some clue, but thankfully, we know the following -

On March 23, 1984, Iran accused Iraq of poisoning 600 of its soldiers with mustard gas and Tabun nerve gas. Donald Rumsfeld returned to Baghdad on March 24, 1984. On that same day, the UPI wire service reported that a team of UN experts had concluded that:

"Mustard gas laced with a nerve agent has been used on Iranian soldiers. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld held talks with foreign minister Tariq Aziz."

Probably the most critical piece of information is that according to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, in a December 15, 1986 article , the CIA began to secretly supply Iraq with intelligence in 1984 that was used to "calibrate" mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.

The US subsequently provided computer equipment to help with munitions development, financial assistance, diplomatic support, intelligence and chemical weapons .

After the US Senate unanimously supported the "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988", the Reagan administration mounted a campaign against the act, which would have prevented any further equipment going to a dictator believed to have GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE, YES, GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE, and successfully turned it back. (Jentleson, Bruce W.
1994. With Friends Like These: Reagan, Bush, and Saddam, 1982-1990. New York: W.W. Norton. 1994

In December 1998, "Dow Chemical sold $1.5 million of pesticides to Iraq, despite U.S. government concerns that they could be used as chemical warfare agents," reported The Washington Post , adding that an "Export-Import Bank official reported in a memorandum that he could find 'no reason' to stop the sale, despite evidence that the pesticides were 'highly toxic' to humans and would cause death 'from asphyxiation'."

Evidently, IRAN WAS NOT THE MOTIVE. According to a document published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, titled "Approved Licenses to Iraq, 1985-1990", "Reagan administration records show that between September and December 1988, 65 licenses were granted for dual-use technology exports. This averages out as an annual rate of 260 licenses, more than double the rate for January through August 1988."

And even when the American government knew the Iran war was over, and publicly admitted Saddam's use of chemical and biological weapons, Secretary of State James Baker received a memo from the State Department informing him that Iraq was aggressively developing chemical and biological weapons, as well as new missiles. In spite of this disturbing intelligence, the memo also instructed Baker to express the administration's "interest in broadening U.S.-Iraqi ties" to Iraqi Under-Secretary Hamdoon. (State Department memorandum, "Meeting with Iraqi Under Secretary Hamdoon," 24 March 1989).

Well, what's the point? What is the fucking point in going through all of this well-known record when we all know the BBC isn't going to change it's tune, and some chicken-necked ballbag licker from Republicans Abroad probably thinks the BBC already far too subversive, and we all know the whole point of the BBC is to spout propaganda horseshit?

This is the point: they get away with it too easy. I say we write these fuckers and let them know. Paul Reynolds, the banausic, irrelevant author of the piece, doesn't offer his e-mail address for the perfectly understandable reason that he cannot defend his idiotic little article. So, go to the top:

I'm not calling for childish abuse, now. We'll keep that for later. Just write him and point out just how truly awful the BBC's allegedly reputable coverage of the facts surrounding US support for Iraq has been. If anything else, it would be good to wipe the smug grin off his face as he realises his e-mail box is crammed with irritating complaints once again. Good, clean fun.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Lies and Cambodia, Part II posted by Richard Seymour

Blogger Beezlebozo attempts a defense of his
lies over Cambodia
. I don't suppose those of you who read Bozo's response to my little jibe will have missed that a) he failed to respond to the bulk of the arguments b) he distorts what arguments he does choose to deal with, and c) he falls back on the standard line of trying to reassure other readers that I am not only intellectually backward but also morally repugnant. I must be, of course.

Anyway, let's deal with the easiest ones first:

Bozo Idiocy Number One -

"Lenin has also repeatedly relied on the claims of serial fabricator John Pilger for his information about putative US support for the Khmer Rouge. For those not aware, Pilger, claimed in one of his documentary" [sic] films (Cambodia: The Betrayal, 1990) that British special forces who were training the anti-communist resistance to the continuing Vietnamese occupation of their country were in fact training the Khmer Rouge. When two SAS officers sued both him and the station that aired the film for libel, Pilger was forced to pay substantial damages in an out of court settlement, and to publish this humiliating statement in the UK press:

"The defendants now accept that neither plaintiff has ever trained Khmer Rouge or any other guerrillas and particularly not in mine-laying or any other military techniques which would be directed against civilians. Neither plaintiff would ever contemplate any such thing and would refuse to do it if ordered." (See"

You will have noticed that Beezlebozo cannot have read my post or followed this particular case with any prolonged interest. Pilger and his colleague did not make claims of that particular kind against those two specific SAS men. That was neither stated nor implied in the original documentary. The trial collapsed on the defense side due to the British government blocking documentary evidence now available to the public including a signed affidavit stating that British soldiers had indeed trained the Khmer Rouge.

Bozo Idiocy Number Two -

"For example, he claims a contemporary CIA demographic analysis "put[s] the figure" for US bombing deaths in Cambodia "unofficially at 600,000 to 700,000." I have a suspicion- call it a hunch- that lenin has never even read the report, but rather is simply uncritically reciting what he's read in other agitprop sources like those of Michael Vickery."

Interestingly, Bozo fails to address himself to several seperate reports which I cited:

"In fact, the Finnish Inquiry Commission estimated that 600,000 people had died as a result of the bombing. Father Ponchaud put the figure at 800,000, although Chomsky and Herman pointed out that there was reason to believe Ponchaud may have exaggerated that toll, while the CIA's demographic study (cited above)tells us that "US government sources put the figure unofficially at 600,000 to 700,000".

Michael Vickery, using CIA estimates to arrive at a lower figure, suggests it might be closer to 500,000. (Michael Vickery, "Cambodia 1975-1982", 1984).

In addition to this, 2 million refugees were created (according to the Finnish Inquiry Commission)..."

The point of this argument, as he knows perfectly well, is to refute his stupid and ignorant claim that "[t]he commonly quoted 500,000+ figures for the war had actually been released by Pol Pot himself, and are without any validity."

They are not "released by Pol Pot himself". Bozo's claim is a straightforward falsification.

Second, Bozo plays an interesting sleight of hand in referring to "war-related deaths" as being caused by all sides of the civil war, and not just as a result of the US bombing. Had the US not backed Lon Nol's vicious regime, and accompanied it with a heavy sprinkling of bombing, there would not have been half the fighting that ensued. The Khmer Rouge, a previously marginal political force, would not have witnessed the remarkable acceleration in its membership growth rates that it did. Regardless, his claim that any figures above the ones he cites are the product of Pol Pot's imagination is refuted.

Bozo Idiocy Number Three - Lenin's "ignorant praise for [Hildebrand and Porter's "well-sourced, well-documented arguments" reveals that when it comes to Cambodia, lenin simply *does* *not* *know* *what* *he's* *talking* *about*."

I note that Bozo doesn't bother to include the relevant quote. I cite them as an "apparently" well-documented source. I cite them for one figure, that 100,000 people died from starvation per year during the final years of the war in Cambodia. It is a credible figure - US AID reported in the final year of the war that famine was afoot with 75% of the country's draft animals destroyed, (largely by the US bombing). This would result in "slave labour" and "rationing". Sources close to the US predicted a million deaths from starvation as the war was ending, while Dr Penelope Key lamented that the next generation of children would be afflicted by "malnutrition". Inasmuch as the Hildebrand and Porter book is considered well-sourced, that is perhaps because it cites (among its apologetics for the Khmer Rouge) numerous reports from various sources, charities, international organisations, etc. Those sources are credible. But I don't much mind if the figure is dispensed with for the sake of this argument. It will still not erase the fact that the figures for the numbers of deaths caused by the US bombing are not the product of Pol Pot.

Bozo Idiocy Number Four -

"At a similar moral level is another of lenin's favorite sources, Michael Vickery, whose book Cambodia 1975-1982 claims the Khmer Rouge "did not foresee, let alone plan," the genocide they inflicted; they were merely "petty bourgeois radicals overcome by peasantist romanticism" (p287). Even though the reputable academic sources estimate that the toll of the Khmer Rouge genocide *begins* at 1.5 million, Vickery's book gives the ludicrous figure 740,000 deaths under the Khmer Rouge. As with Starvation and Revolution, this speaks for itself."

Vickery says that the Khmer Rouge did not plan the genocide they inflicted. Well, duh! Stalin did not "plan" to kill millions, any more than Mao Tse Tung did. These deaths were the result of state-ideological structures of decision-making. In the case of the Khmer Rouge, it was also because they were absolute lunatics. But I daresay they did not have a document planning this exercise in advance.

His description of the Khmer Rouge as petit-bourgeois intellecutals hardly sounds like an apologetic to me. And Bozo provides no evidence to refute his claim or those of the other scholars whom I cite.

"There are many more examples of mangled history, false assertions, and outright misrepresentation exhibited in lenin's screed, but these should suffice to demonstrate the only point I wished to make: lenin simply *does* *not* *know* *what* *he's* *talking* *about*."

Let's see. Beezlebozo has falsely claimed that any figures for the deaths incurred as a result of the US bombing of Cambodia above 500,000 is a propaganda line only ever originating from the Khmer Rouge. He has falsely claimed that the US did not assist the Khmer Rouge, and that all help they did give was aimed at the "non-communist forces", (the Sihanoukists), when in fact they directly aimed assistance at Pol Pot's men, supplied them with material, diplomatic and financial support, covered up for them ideologically, and openly liaised with the Khmer Rouge's most disgustingly apologetic cretin, Prince Sihanouk. He has claimed that Pilger's court case somehow refutes the content of his documentary for ITV, without displaying any awareness that the context of the case (namely, the British government's intervention in what was at any rate a fraudulent trial) would in fact tend to show that the government did indeed have something to hide. He has claimed that in helping the Khmer Rouge and its allies, the US was merely observing "the principle of non-intervention", ensuring that Vietnam did not "swallow" Cambodia. Anyone remotely familiar with elementary reality would have to collapse in hysterics at the idea that the US ever observed "the principle of non-intervention" in relation to Indochina. But additionally, anyone familiar with the background would know that Vietnam had no intention of "swallowing" Cambodia, and had made two consecutive peace offers accepting the return of the Khmer Rouge without Pol Pot and Ieng Sary.

In other words, displaying ignorance, a willingness to distort and fabricate, and a crushing lack of irony, Bozo's last paragraph invites ridicule. I suggest you mail it to:

Be prepared for the most amusing volleys of abuse you've ever encountered if he bothers to reply.

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Kidult Politics and the American Right. posted by Richard Seymour

A loving smack on the bum for the Bush team.

Some childish abuse.
Let’s face it, they’re all winners. They struggle against great personal disadvantage, a heritage of bad genes, lousy luck and sub-standard copulation. Imagine managing in the face of such odds. The undeveloped intellects, the twisted, cruelly distorted bodies. The inane gurning and dribbling. And the childish fantasies, earnestly expressed. If they weren’t also complete and utter shits, I might feel enormous sympathy for the Republican Party.
Over the years, they have done their best to absorb the brightest minds in America, using their enormous financial leverage to pay for party apparatchiks, marketing men, intelligentsia, pollsters, think tanks etc. The net result is that they still control one half of American power. On the other hand, their President and CEO is George W. Bush, a man who will get past the first sentence in good time so don’t mock.
It is a capacious institution, embracing East Coast liberal conservatives, small-town farmers, Christian fundamentalists, gun enthusiasts, libertarians, far right fanatics and isolationists. It is also home to the neoconservative, a modestly variegated species, having its origins in two distinct generations: respectively, Trotskyists turned to Cold War liberalism; and most recently the followers of Leo Strauss. The latter are often hardcore Zionists and Likudniks, which may for the first time make the Republican Party more pro-Israel than the Democrats.
In that spectrum of opinion, George W. Bush seemed initially to tend toward a paleoconservative isolationism, but subsequently surrounded himself with hard right neoconservatives and only a couple of ‘doves’. While his father abstemiously restrained the Republican programme to a modest Eisenhowerianism, Bush junior has taken the USS Enterprise to new zones, pursuing the more extreme edges of Reaganite outer space. Now, clearly, there is no connection between this political alignment and George W’s putative idiocy. No. One need only be a hypocrite, a liar or an extremist zealot to wholeheartedly swallow the Bush programme. One may be all of these things and also be an urbane intellectual shrouded in darkness and glowers (as opposed to Bush jnr’s idiotically sunny smiles). But one does have to be very stupid indeed to accept both the rhetoric and substance of the present administration without any sense of the incongruence of the two. It is therefore no coincidence that both Reagan and Bush affected a sweet, warm-hearted but tough, folksy demeanour, doing only the hard talking while allowing others to do the hard thinking.

The cunning of unreason.
We generally think it’s a hopeful sign for us if our enemies are abnormally stupid, but Bush’s stupidity is depressingly normal. Nor is it the case that a lack of intelligence is cosubstantial with a lack of guile. One of the most alarming things about kidult politics as practised by this administration – and expertly by Bush in particular – is its sophistication, its ability to press all the right emotive buttons. I recall a pro-Republican acquaintance boasting to me that Bush had “all Clinton’s moves”, and it was a perceptive remark: Clinton did not begin the trend of speaking to voters “like Little Orphan Annie”, as Gore Vidal once put it, but he was an expert at it. He could emote better than Bush, but he wasn’t as good at the tough guy act. And while he clearly had more right to common folk pretensions than the upper class white-bread Bush, he often sounded like a dreadful yuppie and was not averse to evincing a subtle good-old-boy racism. Both Bush and Clinton can do a convincing line in self-mockery and irony, while being able to shrug off criticism with a knowing smirk. Both can lie fantastically well, and these aren’t just the ideological lies that usually sustain a Presidency. But this matchless capacity for purposeless lies has proven a drain on the charm resources of both. As a friend once remarked to me, Clinton would have been even more popular in the polls if he had said:
“Mah fellow Americans. Not only did I fuck that woman, but I also made her come. Top that, Ken Starr!”
But that would break the rules of kidult politics – a world in which noone ever has illicit sex, takes corrupt funds, scapegoats the poor or uses the nearest available country as a convenient glop mop to erase the evidence of one’s latest misdeed. In fact, kidulthood’s apparent innocence is entirely sustained by a deep core of cynicism. One cannot stop the lies, so why not believe them?
The Simpsons gives this logic its most advanced articulation. It portrays a corrupt America, full of police brutality, homelessness, bribe-taking politicians, a media more interested in lewd perversion than the news, public education falling apart at the seams, and a class of scavenging capitalists cutting corners while treating workers as over-priced commodities. Yet, it stops short of drawing the logical conclusion that the whole society must begin from scratch – this is FOX, after all – and instead allows an eery innocence to have the last say. Witness Lisa Simpson, the eight-year old prodigy who knows about the police acting as vanguards of corporate America, but still rallies round the flag when called to do so. One knows that everything is awful, but this is AMERICA after all. The ironic in this form is wilful innocence, just as the innocent sentimentality of the confessionary talk show is brute, cynical narcissism.

Innocence and cynicism – seperated at birth?
The American Right is a past master at trading on the collusion between innocence and corruption in this way. Iran-Contra was revealing for, among other things, the tenacity with which a hard core of the American public insisted on believing in the protestations of innocence from Oliver North and his accomplices. I posit that those people, or the bulk of them, were fully aware that the Reagan administration was a corrupt clique in league with mercenaries, but were able to subsume any sense of repellence in the notion that these men were essentially innocent. This or that disgusting act was necessary in the fight against evil and so was, in a more fundamental way, good. The stars and stripes is for this reason the complete Republican emblem, the gestalt image portraying both the face of modern freedom and that of corrupt tyranny. It is no coincidence that the party of Law and Order, in whichever country, is also the party of police brutality and extra-legal force as the inherent transgression needed to sustain the Law. The resort to war, too, may in fact violate the very ethical or legal exhortations which the warriors say they are out to defend. This dialectic is carefully defended by Robert Kagan in Paradise and Power, a more than usually eloquent neoconservative tract on the necessary reliance of the Kantian paradise of modern Europe on the Hobbesian power politics of modern America. If anything, it is America which has been enjoying the Kantian transcendental paradise, while Europe has suffered the irruptions of real political violence in the form of the IRA bombers in London and the GIA bombers in Paris. But it is an ideological necessity for rightwingers that they are the tough bastards living in the real world, weathering the storms of geopolitics so as to protect – who else? – the innocent.

The Matrix vs “the Desert of the Real”.
It is easy to be innocent, of course, if such innocence entails preserving one’s privileges in the world without suffering any discomfort about it. Indeed, how else does Agent Smith tempt his informant if not by contrasting the nightmare world of the real with the mouth-watering fiction of the Matrix? September 11th, far from militating against such these traditional ideological coordinates, has only compounded them and given them reason. One can even pretend to have abandoned innocence while diving beneath Blanket Security. If anyone hoped that the experience of a successful attack on America would arouse an awareness of the suffering of the rest of the world, they might have looked more closely at the reaction to the trial run in 1993. Al Qaeda made an abortive airplane crash into the WTC, (abortive in the sense of failing to generate the mass hysteria that 9/11 provoked), and there followed seven years of American growth, anti-terrorist rhetoric, a few demonstrative assaults on foreign lands and at least the façade of self-assurance. But not, even in the initial shock, a sense of global hostility to American hegemony, or an awareness that these kinds of atrocities were daily inflicted on the rest of the world, often as a result of American actions.
Kidult politics is about contrived lack of awareness, (a barely conscious contrivance on the part of the ignoramuses to be sure), and the ideological appeal of naïveté, sutured by cynicism. It is the American Right’s triumphant reprisal of postmodernism. For that reason, it is our global enemy.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Guess How Much I Care About Rugby? posted by Richard Seymour

For a spectacle involving a bunch of deformed grunts fighting for possession of a ball, Rugby's been getting a massive press windfall since "our team" (England) beat "their team" (Australia). Growing up in Northern Ireland, I learned that it didn't quite do to support such an inadequate collection of flabby turds as our own team. We supported England, whatever the sport was - even if it was something disturbingly genteel like cricket. And so, if England brought home a trophy after years of miserable failure, I would have been the first one prancing around like a little fairy in my England flag.

Well, not any more, you limey fucks! Yeah, I'm talking to you.

See, I couldn't help but notice a few things about this sudden enthusiasm for rugby that Englanders are evincing:

a) It's all made up. Noone gives the slightest cock about rugby, not even the players' mums.

b) It was the one excuse for a national day off work that wouldn't result in the threat of sack and lots of little schoolkids being molested by the old bill (pace, antiwar demos).

c) England sucks. I don't mean at sporting endeavours, I mean in every walk of life. This country is cold, wet, the pubs shut too early, the laws are oppressively outmoded, the newspapers are cack, and we can't choose between post-colonial internationalism or just old fashioned nationalism, so we get the worst of both worlds.

d) Other stuff happened.

No, really! I swear to fuck, (or, more properly, to Marilyn Manson the God of Fuck), other shit went down while all you goofballs were busy swearing allegiance to some gloriously illiterate, twatty, overgrown schoolboys crammed into ill-fitting suits. I know you're probably thinking I'm taking the piss out of you, but lenin would never presume to satirise a group so profoundly intelligent as rugby fans (neophytic or otherwise). Seriously, stuff happened. Like:

America killed some more people in Afghanistan . Wasn't that last year? Yeah, well, they said it would all be fine by now but times makes fools of us all, and now the warlords control the country, the Taliban are making a comeback and no elections in sight for those lucky bastards in Kabul or elsewhere who could even contemplate taking part in an election.

The Iraqi Resistance took a few more American soldiers . But the Iraqis love us! Turns out maybe not - they really weren't playing hard to get when they said "aaaagh, you killed my wife, die in hell you American-Zionist pigs! Allahu Akhbar!"

The Pentagon was caught lying its ass off about what happened in Samarra - still, fifty-four "terrorists" killed, eight civilians killed... it's easy to get the two mixed up.

Israelis and Palestinians gathered together for a demonstration against the ongoing Israeli occupation. True, the Israelis probably just attended because they figured wherever there were lots of Palestinians there wouldn't be a suicide bombing, but fuck it, it's a start.

A new left alternative to new Labour began the process of starting on the road of possibly beginning moves toward a germinal radical coalition to fight elections. It's got George Galloway in it. Yes, that man with the moustache who said Bush and Blair were "wolves". Easy, son, easy! He didn't mean it. Every time he speaks, he retracts his "insult to the noble wolf".

So, there you go. There's just a few of the things that happened while you were away. Yeah, you bet I give a shit about the rugby and all its sudden converts who should be punished by being forced to watch the bastarding horseshit for a year. No offence. I care a lot.

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