Clowns & Jokers

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

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blogging is Bollocks: Rant Numero Trois

What was all that bollocks over Iran about?


Opening up a third front in the war on terror... or Iran, however you see it, at a time when we have fuck all to show in Iraq, stretched militaries both here and in the US and an incredibly important mission to win in Afghanistan with the start of their Spring Offensive isnt very smart. Sure everyone has opinions about it, right or wrong - but the level of crap that spewed forth towards the UK and its military just underlined a point: this isnt about 'the West'.


Propaganda.


The Middle East is shit hot at this. Not only are they skilful using the media and internet in the service both of electronic jihad and the bamboozling of Western opinion by Muslim spokesmen ...but a collective outpouring of sentiment from across the Atlantic and in the blogosphere lamenting the fact that Britain didnt start world war three and slamming Britain and its military as 'wimps' was really quite, um - special.


If you'd followed the Iranian newswire, as I did, you would have seen it first hand. They loved our self loathing.


What sickened me most though was the desire for so many across the Atlantic, who yell about anti-americanism if you criticise their soldiers - ever - was the desire to whitewash our entire military over this.


Quite honestly thats the equivalent of me suggesting the US military is entirely comprised of rapists, torturers and gung ho morons who enjoy alientating the civilian population of the country they are trying to help. Or Jessica Lynch.


Isnt that what the MSM does?


We won that round of the propaganda battle by isolating Iran - but you could be forgiven for thinking we had lost if all you ever believe is knee jerk might is right - and that propaganda has nothing to do with it.


One of the things about the blogosphere I would have at least expected them to circulate in opposition to the MSM was this image below. Someone at Free Republic got that, i suppose. And Michael Yon is an absolute star.


But the comments and crap ive read over the last year and a half needling the UK over a nos of issues were pretty much confirmed in that little issue. ...along comes a situation where the world needs to take a collective deep breath and suddenly everyone is to put it mildly indulging that certain fantasy...


Ill borrow from Steve here : Bloggers and commentators can have teenage wank fantasies about what they'd like to do to the Iranians but that's all they'll ever be - fantasies"



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13 Comments:

At Saturday, 12 May, 2007, Anonymous Steve said...

I'd forgotten I wrote that.

Three good pieces Alison. I will respond when I've let it all sink in.

In the meantime, let me know when you're back in the UK and Jonz and I will take you out and pour alcohol down your neck.

 
At Saturday, 12 May, 2007, Blogger Tu s. Tin said...

I gotta go ... but I was just hopeing somewhere in your rant the labeling process will come up....
right, left, libral, moonbat, ect...
I hate that!!
ok bye bye for today.....

 
At Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Blogger James said...

Hi Alison,
I do have to say, whatever you may think regarding people's comments on the Iran thing:

I was not hoping for it to go off, myself; our hands are too full elsewhere. But one thing that did surprise most Americans (as we know this from the time we start watching our first WWII films), is that whenever captured, the only thing you give is Name, Rank, and Serial Number.

One of the first things we are taught in all the different US military basic training curricula (including the Navy) is that anything beyond Name, Rank, and Serial Number, will get your shipmates killed and will get you a court-martial and not a story deal with the Sun. At the very least, the senior ranking officer should be court-martialled; regardless of whether we are "at war" with Iran, what they did was an act of war.

It wasn't so much that they were captured and that nothing happened that was the problem for me, it was the fact that they went on TV to apologise to the Iranians. I suspect most American sailors or Marines may have ended up on the television to apologise, but they would have probably have been beaten unrecognisable by that point, and the most senior ranking officer would have tried to make sure of that. The fact that Ahmadinejad "got away" with it added insult to injury.

If you'll notice in most of the Borat-suit pictures, the Royal Marines are a bit removed from the action and their faces give away what's really going on there. They knew the implications of what had happened. (It took a former Royal Marine Commando friend of mine to point that out to me.)

 
At Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Blogger James said...

By the way,
I'd like to see you keep blogging to, if only just to give me occasion to politely disagree with someone.

I also think your coverage of women's issues in the Muslim world is second to none.

 
At Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Blogger jonz said...

One of the first things we are taught in all the different US military basic training curricula (including the Navy) is that anything beyond Name, Rank, and Serial Number, will get your shipmates killed and will get you a court-martial

The training is different over here. They are told to do what they can to survive. They will not be in possession of any classified intel anyway as they are front line. It's all very well to say they shouldn't have acted like they did, but in my opinion that's so damned arrogant.

They have all said they thought they were about to be executed. They hardly sold their souls to the devil...

 
At Tuesday, 15 May, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying that this has never happened to US troops James?

Because it has.

 
At Friday, 18 May, 2007, Blogger James said...

Did I say this never happened to US troops? hmmm...

I suspect most American sailors or Marines may have ended up on the television to apologise

And for those that did end up on television, I would be willing to bet that they got dishonourable discharges, or at the very least, psychiatric discharges.

Senator John McCain (as much as I dislike him as a politician) withstood five years of torture and a broken back. And people like him are held up as examples for the rest of us to aspire to. It's part of being in the military.

Okay...How about this: How do you think they would have behaved 20 to 30 years ago?

 
At Monday, 21 May, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

The point is this - it was a fuck up - no shit! But why indulge it?? Why suggest, as so many have, that this is representative? Why not keep your cool? We live in a media age in stark contrast to even 20 30 years ago. Moreover the soldiers own preconceptions of what might happen to them after last years Al-Qaeda-beheadings-are-us show probably had some impact. But have we learned nothing at all about cyber PR and the way this will be manipulated. At all? why indulge it? It wasnt their own PR in Iran that they seemed to cherish. It was ours. If you followed the Iranian press wire every single piece was a US piece about Gutless Brits. Sorry but whatever you think of us - to hell with that. We either wise up to the way this PR works against us or we LOSE. Its that simple to me. Applying the mentality of those sailors across the board to all our soliders when the US media doesnt even know we are in Iraq made me furious. I wondered what the hell i was doing supporting anti US propaganda every time the latest bunch of gung ho soldiers massacred civilians in Iraq. Why did i bother? They arent brave. They are wreckless. Is that a standard by which we judge all US troops? It isnt mine. I was hugely disappointed by the lack of brain power applied to the situation. The fuck up happened. After that we accept it and engage damage limitation. Listenin to MrA the day they were released he sounded like a nutjob for all the world to hear. His words were lost in the self flagelation. By far the best commentary was from Sky on the issue. At least they saw through the crap. If every failure going forward is considered the way this then we are all doomed. I see the US is good at burying its OWN failures like the soldiers MIA presumed kidnapped at the moment. To me its all the same shit. It sits well with jihadis however its handled but the less panic the better.

 
At Monday, 21 May, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Okay...How about this: How do you think they would have behaved 20 to 30 years ago?

Who the hell cares? That isnt representative! When was the last time in the last year Iran looked so universally and roundly condemned?? I thought that was what we needed. Years of getting to that stage suddenly arent relevant cos the US has to have its perennial Brit bashing event. Never mind the efforts in Iraq or elsewhere that are largely unappreciated. Or that the last thing anyone wants to do right now is go to war with Iran.

Sorry James - but none of it makes any sense at all. Not what happened to begin with and least of all the dumbass media response that followed. Maybe working in PR skews some of what i view as important but to me Brand Al Qaeda got a huge boost all round and everyone had their part to play in that.

Speaks volumes that there was more media space given over to this in the US than on our troops part in Iraq since 03. Way to go!

 
At Monday, 21 May, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been following this thread with interest as what you say makes a lot of sense Alison.

Blair warned that the situation would become 'critical' if the captured personnel were not released within 48 hours. Iran released the hostages one day later.

The British sailors were indeed gathering intelligence on Iranian activities in the Gulf (albeit limited) but were freed anyway.

These are two elements of the saga that would embarrass the Iranian regime and show weakness. I can't understand why this hasn't been pushed forward by our media.

The photo you have with all the sailors on the right refusing to play along and the lack of interest in THEIR story speaks volumes but was hugley underplayed. Yes we have been played for chumps but not as so many would like to think.

 
At Saturday, 26 May, 2007, Blogger James G. said...

Like I said before, Britain going to war with Iran would be a mistake at this point in time. And kudos to Mr. Blair and Co. for handling it the way they did.

My point about the sailors and marines...People in America were shocked by their going on television and apologising. The national myth about this is so strong, that in the cases of those American military people who would do so, the only way to not live the rest of their life in social ostracization (except among leftwing peaceniks) would be to have gone through physical torture before going on television. This is just one of those social things that are inherent to the American myth. That's why it was so shocking to Americans. Americans mistakenly assume that many of the social mores that are taken as granted in the US are shared with the majority of modern Brits.

Whether this is right or wrong is beside the point. I do know older Brits who were just as outraged, but not as vocal, by their behaviour.

It goes straight to the heart of what it means to be a patriot and a service member, in America; when you join the military, a hostage and/or POW situation is one in which you are specifically trained to behave a certain way. In fact, US military law is specific about what happens to you when you go on television as part of enemy propaganda.

It's really easy to say we wouldn't know what we would do in the same situation. But you know what, unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom, I remember, you criticised for chickening out and f***ing off to the States, these guys get paid to die.

And the US has a warrior cult that would have honoured their deaths a hundred times more than the criticism for their actions.

I will also be willing to bet that those Marines that have sat off to the side and aloof will never be able to live it down among their colleagues because some matelow JO decided that they should go on Iranian telly.

By the way, I was in the States when this went down, and apart from a few talk radio hosts, the news coverage was mostly done in a tone of concern rather than ridicule; particularly on Fox.

 
At Thursday, 31 May, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

I criticised her for deciding being a stooge was better than being an MP. Not what she says or the fact that she says it. Funny you should bring that up since it was you that suggested if Europe doesnt want her the US would welcome her. Really? Other than publicise her book surrounded by the same security she needed in Holland what difference has it made?

Her Dutch security are still paid for by the Dutch government - some welcome.

Its odd to think the BBC is representative of Britain. But apparently it is. And then by that same token i can take the rasta-attitudes as representative of the US. Or LGF and countless other blogs and bloggers who pretend there is a special relationship and who went beserk over the 15.

Regards military behaviour and how things go down in the US - we know. We are spoon fed 24, Die Hard & Platoon. My favourite film is Black Hawk Down. Its you guys that need to get a grip on what goes on in the world outside the fantasy.

Take an example. Within eight months of the invasion of Fallujah an incompetemt bunch of louts called the 82nd Airborne had killed about 100 civilians in the area and totally lost control, leaving it to US marines to try and retake the city. After killing about 600 civilians, the marines retreated, leaving the city in the hands of 18 armed groups, including tribesmen, Islamists, Ba'athists, former criminals and an assortment of non-Iraqi Arab fighters said to be led by that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It was the marines who were surrounded, not the rebels. The US army needed British troops - to free up their own soldiers. But why should Americans care? The Brit bravery doesnt even feature on the US news. Do they even know we are there? Or care?

The US troops may have all the equipment and athe gung ho attitude, however it was a contingent of 500 Blackwatch troops who were redeployed to control an area barely controlled by 3000 US troops. Ask how many Brits have heard of the 82nd Airborne. Then ask Americans if theyve heard of Blackwatch. Nope - but the 15? Hmm, yes.

The sneering crap levelled at the British sailors is about as valid an argument as writing off the entire US military over the 82nd airborne frankly. Thing is its ok to 'criticize' one but totally anti american to criticise the other. How does that work?!

Its hard to believe id ever reach that conclusion. I never thought i would. But to hear our brave servicemen and women summarily written off the way they very much were even at the top was disgusting. It made me re-evaluate what i was doing & realise im no longer interested. You know James i was steadily discivering that LGF and the US blogosphere is full of anglophobes so this is no surprise.

But I understand about the attitude of Americans better since blogging - as im sure the american right feel they do vis a vis the BBC.

Too many self righteous American blowhards out there and their polar opposites in the BBC. We're going nowhere. Im sure the Islamists are loving it.

 
At Tuesday, 12 May, 2009, Blogger joshua said...

This is a very interesting blog. It gives a lot to ponder upon. Keep blogging!
This is Joshua from
Israeli Uncensored News

 

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