Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Wrong Target"

"Al-Haditha, a town on the Euphrates northwest of Baghdad, is still a place where fighters blend into the populace and literally use civilians as cover. Coalition forces may shoot only when threatened, ground rules that call for exemplary discipline and courage in conditions where their observance increases the risk of injury or death.

That should be acknowledged in the context of what appears to have been an appalling collapse of US military discipline in al-Haditha, where 24 Iraqi civilians were allegedly murdered by a company of US Marines after a member of their patrol was killed and two were injured by a roadside bomb. America’s determination to demonstrate zero tolerance of such crimes should also be acknowledged; they in no way reflect US policy, or typify the conduct of American forces. Al-Haditha must not be made the subplot of a spurious morality play whose demon king is not terrorism, but the use and alleged abuse of US power"

Terrific piece of editorial in todays Times.

and here (thanks Jonz) "Come to Londonistan, our refuge for poor misunderstood Islamist victims"


At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well done The Times. I thought via the BBC the US soldiers had already been tried and found guilty!

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

'vaunted bullshit'? Oh jesus Rasta knock it off.

Its a good article which expresses the sentiments of a good nos of europeans and brits.

And since the US exports its own brand of anti americanism quite happily through Michael Moore and co little wonder the MSM dance to that tune on a regular basis since you hand it to them on a plate. The US embodies everything the Euros spent centuries achieving and im sick to death of this competition. Im proud of English history and at every opportunity you are here to knock it. Tell me why you do that? When did terrorism become a dirty word in the US? At what point will you start worrying about US citizens like Babar or dont they count? So yeah lets all fire broadsides at each other in this time wasting bullshit and see where that gets the West.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

No, Alison, I don't "knock English history at every opportunity". It does seem to irritate hell out of the English when we takes a poke at it, tho. I don't know how many times I've had that history shoved in my face as a reason why Brits are soooo superior to anyone else, and the only thing I can figure out about why it's so important to you is that you must not feel that you have much else. Maybe if Brits stopped being so snooty about their history, and lording it over us like it made them somehow superior humans, it would help? Because in this country we're tired of hearing about it.

Anyway, I deleted the post, had come back to do so and found yours, all upset... Attack the attacker... I figure that would be the reaction, which would serve no purpose, rather than any admission that yes, the article was correct, anti-Americanism is running hot right now when we should be getting moral support. So I decided to delete it.

It is true that Europe has been quick to forget their allies. We have always been there for you and I hope England at least will always be there for us.

I don't know why you bring up Michael Moore but most of us think he's a jerk. Very few people are taken in by him, any more than you are.


My point about there being only one news outlet over there supportive of us is valid. There are plenty of Euro blogs agreeing with that. Hey, I'm glad there's at least one, but don't you agree that there should be more?

The remark about Euro history has every bearing on Euro attitude. It's exactly that superior attitude that spawns all the anti-American sentiment, and that's why I spoke up for America. We all have national pride, and I was giving perspective where it was deserved. I'm tired of all the bashing of my country.

But, once again, I had decided to remove my post because I knew no one would see my side but only theirs. I was right, wasn't I?

Good for the Times, anyway.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Blogger Chas said...

I'm not sure what the the preceding tete-a-tete was all about, but great article Alison. This Hadithia thing is going to make Abu Graib look like Tea with the Queen, via the MSM. Bush has already said that any wrong doing will be punished. I hate to see 20 year olds punished for being put in an impossible situation, but where were the commanders? They carry more responsability, if the facts do point to massacre.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

My comment was in proportion to what you had posted before it was deleted Rasta and was fair enough.

You should be aware of the Michael Moore effect.

If i want superior attitudes churlishly thumbing their noses at the Brits and our culture then I need only pick up a copy of the NYT, listen to CNN, or watch any one of, oooh, about a hundred thousand american films that portray the Brits and our culture. The snobbery works both ways which is what ive always maintained. And why i dont get it at all when you are so heavy handed back at Britain or Europe here when i post this stuff. You ask why there arent too many blogs out there that do and theres your answer.
Ask yourself why I am posting this? And then by all means have a dig at the liberal intelligentsia (Yours aswell as ours) who perpetuate the rubbish. Rather than slating the ones who are trying to uproot it.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Also Rasta - you're tired? Read the post below on the flag and step over to 'Drinking from Home' for an article in our own MSM to see just how much shit we are putting up with trying to protect even the smallest symbol of our culture - the english flag.

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Chas - the effect the MSM/pr has had on the decision making process in Iraq is worrying. Im not sure what happened until all the facts emerge and support fullest punishment but as the article says
"Al-Haditha must not be made the subplot of a spurious morality play whose demon king is not terrorism, but the use and alleged abuse of US power"

At Tuesday, 06 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

Alison - Yeah, I'd already read that on DFH. I agree, have agreed, that you have your hands full with your own dhimmi politicians. So do we.
I honestly have not heard all this anti-Brit stuff you're referring to in the news. About all that comes across in what I see is what Tony Blair is doing and your problems with terrorists, the arrests of terrorist.... In fact!!! yesterday I was getting my pickup serviced at the dealership and there was this elderly couple, the news was on, on the waiting room tv, and this couple was going on about what a good job the English were doing combatting terrorism. That's only one example but it's typical of all the attitude I've encountered over here. If you have a specific reference or two otherwise, please lay 'em on me.

My point that there is an historical basis for the anti-Americanism is valid. It's the only issue I was addressing. Yes there are other issues here but I was only covering the one. Anyway I sent you an email regarding this rather than try to hash it out on your blog site.

As to the Times article, three cheers, really. More, more (sounds of applause).

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger City Troll said...

Alison to the majority of Americans the Brits are part of the family, our two inteligence services refer to each other as the cousins across the pond. We are in a lot of ways one people seperated by a common language...

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like some Brits and dislike others. I like some Americans and dislike others. I like some New Yorkers and dislike others. I like some of the people on my block and I like some of the people I'm related to....

Whats the point? Anti-Angloism or anti-Americanism are both based on idiotic generalizations. If you buy that that the English are snobbish, then you should also believe that Americans are ignorant cowboys.

I have no patience for people who non-satirically deal in sweeping generalizations. Only beret-wearing, boujoulais sipping, croissant munching effiminate Frenchmen have girly arguments like this one.

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

"Only beret-wearing, boujoulais sipping, croissant munching effiminate Frenchmen have girly arguments like this one."

Speaking of sweeping generalizations. I do hope that was meant to be humor and not hypocritical as it otherwise would be.

But back to the thread... there at least seems to be agreement here that anti-American slanted reporting in your news media and anti-Brit reporting in ours is not a good thing.
Getting to the root causes of this slanted reporting is too delicate to discuss tho, so we won't do that. I mean, we don't want to offend anyone.

Does anyone see a trend in that?

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


NO mate! If Europeans think they are superior its because Americans seem so insular, generally speaking (as i noticed you do as much as anyone else) they seem to be less concerned about whats going on outside the US. and thats not me

Personally i dont think the UK is superior, your stereotyping an old School Right Wing attitutde.
sorry i know its a bit out of context now but IM sick of beiong told that im a right wing facist superior bastard, because im british

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nothing gets by you, does it? You have a mind like steel trap.

Now then, I see very little (if any) anti-English reporting in the American press (which I am no defender of, mind you).

The worst English steriotypes are in American movies (My fave is prolly 'The Patriot' w/ Mel Gibson-the dumbest, most simplistic film of all time aside of Pearl Harbor and/or V for Vendetta), where English are almost always portreyed as snobbish, aloof, cold, wooden, and domineering.

In both the Euro media and in film(its worse on the continent and among the Al-Beeb aristocracy), on the other hand, there is an almost patholgical Anti-American venom. Its not in Tory sources like the London Times (or the Sun, but is that even really a source?), but its very palpable in BBC and in other British tabloids.

To address anonymous, Subjectively, my feeling is that the general American public is no dumber then the general public of France, England, or Italy. Its just that our respective news medias and political parties feed us different kool aid.

For example, while its embarassingly true that the American public is geographically ignorant, its probably due to the fact that the USA is so vast and we rarely have to deal with non-Americans in close proximity (lets face it, Canada isnt even a real country). Europeans have to be more externally oriented because they are totally surrounded by many different cultures.

If the boujoulais sipping Frenchie can point out Iran on a map whereas Bubba from Alabama can't, does that mean Frenchie is more intelligent? No, because Frenchie, although cognizant of geography, totally belives that GMO Corn will turn his child into a three headed freak and that irradiated carrots glow and will make him radioactive.

To make a long story short, I think baseline dumbness is pretty constant among the Western general public. The local media and the entertainment industry sets the tone for what the general public believes to be true.

If Frenchie immigrated to Alabama and raised little Jacques there since the age of 1, Jacques would know or care little about geography but he'd definately know most stock car drivers, "European" or not.

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Me too Anonymous.

Yes L.A defo re the film industry. Id also add in CNN and the NYT as dreadfully anti English, they love thumbing their noses at us....The reporting of July 7 in the NYT was absolutely appauling!

But youre right that anti americanism in the British press is probably higher b/c you guys are the superpower thats why, youre their obsession. EQUALLY though the majority of those anti US media bastions are also VERY anti English. So theres a nice thread there.

Im trying to fight them on ALL these levels as its pretty destructive overall.

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

Ah. Realities. I love realities, they're so much more REAL!
Stupidity: At times I despair of American voters. We keep electing the worst candidates instead of the best ones. I can always tell who will win because its always the opponent of the one I vote for. While this is NOT a redeeming grace, everyone -over there- seems to do exactly the same thing. People seem to prefer the person who appeals most to their cupidity.

Geography: Americans generally are as interested in world affairs as anyone else. The main reason most of us can't point out Iran on a map is because it's not on the same continent. I think most of us could point out Peru or Brazil though. Maybe not. That one is an open question. The U.S. has 50 states, many of which are larger than a lot of countries. It's enough to be able to point out a given state, for most people. Lazy minds are the common lot of humanity.

Negative and biased reporting: This seems to be a media phenomenon rather than a general public attitude. We have a saying over here that if you want a Free Press, you should own one. Freedom of Speech is abused here on a regular basis by the media just as much as there. Even so, there is no general anti-British feeling going about, and the press even keeps trying to jolly up France for us in the face of continuing disgust with them among the general populace.
No government is going to let their single greatest propaganda organ, the media, have free rein and all are controlled to some extent, even here. We could always tell when our government was planning another conflict as we would suddenly start seeing a lot of war movies on tv.

The Patriot -I haven't seen it- was a supposed depiction of colonial times when the British were the enemy. So of course Hollywood would make the Bad Guys look bad and the Good Guys look good. The same is true for the Japanese, who were depicted as brutal and savage. Considering much of what they did during the War, however, they were pretty brutal.
My experience of British stand-offishness comes from my fathers British parents who emigrated here. They were stand-offish and very snobby and snotty. Real Victorian-style jerks. "snobbish, aloof, cold, wooden, and domineering". Yep. That was them. And then there was a stay in London... which was a totally different experience and I felt no real cultural difference at all. I think a lot of that Hollywood stuff comes from the old Victorian attitudes that prevailed. Some things die hard.

Does anyone have an explanation of WHY there is all this anti-Americanism? Since no one wants to hear it from me, how about hearing it from you?

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

I think the main source of Anti-Americanism at the moment is the American government's stunning success at boosting Islamic terrorist activities by invading Iraq; thus bringing the axe down on our necks too. I think that's how a lot of people see it.

Then there was all those trade-tariffs on European goods (including British steel), though lifted now it made a lot of people wonder why we were helping the US.

Those endless movies featuring nasty upper-class Brits don't help either. Believe me, thanks to those I get a lot of shit from none-too-bright English people who think that because I sound like Prince bloody Charles that I must be a baby-eating rapist.

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

The Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz has a philosophy of life that would seem to apply here. It’s called The Theory of Escalating Commitment:

"The cost of continuing mistakes is borne by others, while the cost of admitting mistakes is borne by yourself."

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think Islamic terrorism was coming for you regardless of what Bush has done in Iraq. For example, why did Muslims plot to blow up Toronto and behead the Canadian PM? What has Canada done except whine over Iraq? There can be no avoidance of the problem that Islam poses to Western Civilization.

As a matter of fact, I'm willing to argue that Iraq may have provided an outlet for terroristic people; all the real jihadis go to Iraq and get smoked by the Marines. Thus, you don't have to deal with them at home. Many of them, that wouldn't have ordinarily been, are flame-broiled extra crispy right now.

In my estmation, anti-Americanism stems from 1) natural jelousy of the big dog (which the Brits were well used to during the 19th and early 20th centuries) and 2) scapegoatism. When you mismanage a nation like Schroeder did in Germany or Chirac has done in France, what better way to divert attenion from yourself than to blame the Americans for something? What better way to divert attention from 10% unemployment than to run article after article about Guantanimo Bay (p.s. do any of my British collegues really give a flying f*ck about what the US does to the hajis we've captured in Afganistan in Iraq? Do tell.)


I don't read the NYT or watch CNN(I get enough lefty propaganda, thank you), but I will pay closer atention now for an anti-English slant. I simply do not doubt you reagrding this; I know the media has an axe to grind with any nation it consideres to be a Western power (especially England, which is seen by the lefty elite as the major protagonist of the mortal sin of colonialism).

At Wednesday, 07 June, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

I have to say, L.A. is right on the money with this. You can be erudite when you want to be.
Wolfie, I think that you guys must be seeing a whole lot more of those movies you refer to than we are. Plain truth is that the only popular British stuff on tv here is a couple of sit-coms. English movies simply aren't popular here and don't get shown. If you mean ones that are made here, again you must be getting all the "benefit" from them as they get little airing here.

As to Iraq and stirring up lots of terrorist activity, the more the merrier. Which would you prefer, wait while Islam quietly and completely dominates you, or have them expose themselves in the way they do best and get a good defense and counter-attack going because of it? You know that's the only way any of your governments are going to face up to it. Anyway, L.A. is right. The Islamists have an agenda and they will persue it. Have you read in the news how they are leaving England to go to Iraq? Because of your "islamophobia and racist harassment" according to Islam Online. Yeah, right. They're going there to fight against freedom.
Tariffs were put on to help our industry during hard times. You have done the same to us. So what? Charity begins at home.

Lastly, jealousy and loss. Not "Colonies" for a very long time. Agreed.

At Thursday, 08 June, 2006, Blogger Tom Tyler said...

Excellent Melanie Phillips article you linked to there. I'm amazed you're still allowed to hold such views, never mind publish them.

At Monday, 12 June, 2006, Blogger Alison said...

Sorry Tom ididnt see this comment...check out the BBC Have Your Say stuff today!


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