ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘May 2011

Osama Bin Laden, An Antifascist’s Approach.

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I had previously wrote a longer draft on the similarities between Osama bin Laden and other rich sociopaths that indulge their hatreds, but on reflection I am not so sure that is the best description for him.

For all I know bin Laden might just have been a misanthrope with a love for AK-47s?

Still, with his views and participation in the death of others he strikes me, at the very least, as a quasi-fascist, someone who revels in the use of violence and mass murder as a means to an end.

Directly or indirectly, he murdered hundreds of civilians in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

So in the same way I didn’t mourn over the deaths of António Salazar, Francisco Franco or Augusto Pinochet I don’t worry about bin Laden’s demise either.

Neither should anyone else, particularly those who consider themselves to be anti-fascists.

Update 1: Norm look at this way:

“As a subordinate matter here, those of us who recognize the above difference can’t help but notice the contrasting reaction of others ‘not mourning’ Bin Laden but seemingly capable only of biliousness in speaking about his death. Poor lost socialist, liberal and democratic souls (for that is what they mostly are). In the demise of a reactionary murdering theocrat they are unable to see and plainly articulate the sense of anything good. That, in its way, also gives grounds for satisfaction: many people bothered who ought to be.”

Written by modernityblog

05/05/2011 at 23:58

A Grumpy Stop the War Coalition And Bin Laden.

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StWC Tweets

StWC Tweets on bin Laden

I am not the only one to notice that the Stop the War Coalition were not too happy at bin Laden’s death.

StWC’s latest tweet suggests they are decidedly grumpy on this issue.

Carl Packman, at Though Cowards Flinch, ably analyses the problem with the StWC’s approach:

“However many of us are quietly pleased that Bin Laden is history.

That is, of course, with the exception of the Stop the War Coalition, who today put out a statement which had the following to say (authored by Lindsey German):

The US and Britain should remind themselves of the grievances which bin Laden claimed in 2001: the presence of US troops in the Middle East; the treatment of the Palestinians; and the continued sanctions against Iraq. All of these grievances have worsened in the last ten years. There are now western troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, US bases all over the region, and an intervention including troops and airstrikes in Libya. The Palestinians suffer even more, and have been subject to aerial attack by Israel. Iraq suffers full scale occupation as a result of the war in 2003.

Why have they chosen to dignify the grievances of Bin Laden? Granted these include worthy grievances, but to put Bin Laden’s name next them, on this day of all days, comes dangerously close to saying “Bin Laden was right” – in the same way the National Front would say Enoch Powell was right.

The way they’ve juxtaposed the name of an evil terrorist with legitimate concerns is tasteless – and should be retracted, and reworded. “

Read more.

Update 1: Ken Livinstone doesn’t seem too pleased at bin Laden’s demise either:

““I just looked at [the scenes of jubilation in the US] and realised that it would increase the likelihood of a terror attack on London… That’s very much the American style but I don’t think I’ve ever felt pleased at the death of anybody.

“The real problem for London is that after America we’re a big target so it’s a very dangerous time at the moment…

“We should have captured him and put him on trial. It’s a simple point – are we gangsters or a Western democracy based on the rule of law? This undermines any commitment to democracy and trial by jury and makes Obama look like some sort of mobster.

Update 2: Eamonn Mcdonagh has a funny take on it.

Rounding Up The End of Bin Laden’s Death.

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Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 14:53

Nearly A Bin Laden Obituary.

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I was part way through writing my own short obituary of Osama bin Laden when I changed my mind on what I wrote, a common predicament for bloggers, realising that my words didn’t convey what I wanted to say, so I will leave it for another day.

In the interim here is a partial round up of other people’s views on this event.

David Wood at HuffPost talks about National Counterterrorism Center: How A Little-Known Spy Agency Helped Track Down Osama Bin Laden.

Adam Holland says He died a coward.

AP on 9/11 kin praise bin Laden death while nursing pain.

Washington Post’s David Ignatius on How the U.S. found and finished Bin Laden.

Whilst most people welcomed bin Laden’s demise, not everyone did, Hamas Leader mourns Bin Laden’s death:

Time’s Bin Laden: Wives Can Say The Darndest Things.

Stop the War Coalition didn’t seem to happy about it, as their tweets suggest and with their link to that crank, Justin Raimondo.

Channel 4 News, The man who tweeted the US raid on Osama bin Laden without knowing.

Jeffrey Goldberg on The Warp-Speed Rise of ‘Deatherism’.

Elsewhere Twitter when mad at the news, nice graph.

The Economist doesn’t miss the political angle, what this means for 2012.

Foreign Policy on After truthers and birthers, deathers?

Jonathan Kay is good on The Immortal Terrorist.

The New Yorker ponders killing Osama: Was it legal.

Over at NPR, How Do They Know He Was Bin Laden?

The Beeb video is informative, Osama Bin Laden killed in top secret operation.

Finally, Trump Demands Bin Laden’s Long-Form Death Certificate: Hawaiian Investigators Sent to Pakistan.

Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 01:14

Gullible BBC News And The BNP.

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Anyone following the activities of the BNP would know that they are suffering from numerous internal problems, thankfully.

There has been numerous splits in the BNP leadership and a financial meltdown, yet BBC News couldn’t even get that right as HOPE not hate details:

“There are always a few in the media prepared to swallow the British National Party’s statements uncritically and talk up the racist party’s electoral prospects. But we didn’t expect the chief political correspondent of BBC Radio 4 to be one of them.

Norman Smith’s article on the BBC website today reported a claim by Simon Darby, the BNP’s media spokesman, that the BNP was “not going bust” and expects to pay off its debts of more than £500,000 by the end of the year.

“BNP officials” had told Smith that the party had instituted austerity measures including laying off staff and closing its Belfast call centre. In fact the call centre, which closed several months ago, never belonged to the party.

Smith also reported a claim that there had been an increase in donations “from the party’s 12,000 members”. Searchlight’s own sources and several disaffected former BNP officers all agree that the BNP’s membership currently stands at 6,000 maximum after large numbers of disillusioned members failed to renew or defected to rival organisations.

Darby told Smith that most of the party’s debts were the result of heavy spending on the European and general elections in 2009 and 2010 rather than on its reckless court cases and that the party was cutting back on election expenditure for this year.

In fact the BNP’s head office spent a mere £30,374 on the general election. Local party units paid for the rest and their expenditure does not contribute to the party’s current debts.

In any case, all election expenditure has by law to be paid within a few weeks of an election. Is Darby claiming that the £282,843 it spent on the 2009 European election campaign still forms part of the party’s debts two years later?”

Perhaps the BBC should take out a subscription to Searchlight?

Written by modernityblog

26/04/2011 at 17:23

BNP Election Material.

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In Britain there is a local election on the 5th May 2011, the Indy covers the piss poor quality of BNP candidates:

“The BNP was last night accused of turning to “a hardcore group of neo-Nazis and racists” to stand as candidates in next month’s local elections.

The anti-BNP campaign group Hope not Hate said it had compiled a dossier of extremist postings of candidates standing on 5 May, either in council elections or those to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Among the postings the group collected from Facebook pages were:

* One BNP candidate in the North of England who posted on his Facebook page a mock advert for the gas Zyklon B – used in the Nazi extermination chambers of the Second World War – captioned, “Try Zyklon B. It’s a gas!”

Overall the BNP will be fielding just over 200 candidates in next month’s elections – nearly 500 fewer than the in 2007. It said it “was having to cut its cloth” because of the amount of money it had had to spend defending a legal action against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Hope not Hate said: “As his party crumbles, Nick Griffin has been forced to turn to what even by BNP standards, is a hard core of neo-Nazis and racists. These are not just activists, but people Griffin is putting forward as candidates for elected public office. They are literally the best the BNP now has to offer.”

Hope not Hate, which is funded by the trades union movement, said the party had become hopelessly split – with many members defecting to the English Democrats and the breakaway party British Freedom Party. “

(H/T: Lancaster Unity)

Update 1: Another good piece from the Indy:

“The low-key launch of the BNP’s English manifesto in a deserted Stoke-on-Trent shopping street yesterday was in marked contrast to previous events held by the group in the area. In 2008 the city played host to a 300-strong BNP rally; only around 30 members turned up yesterday.

With three volunteers holding up modest Union flag backdrops to ensure they did not blow over during the speech by the deputy leader Simon Darby, and press interviews held in the corner of a giant retail centre car park, the event was notably different from last year’s general election campaign launch. Then, a man dressed as St George appeared with the leader Nick Griffin in Stoke to begin the party’s ill-fated push for a Westminster seat. Mr Griffin was unable to attend this time due to poor health, leaving the floor – or rather pavement – for Mr Darby to address his small gaggle of followers. “

Update 2: Also see HOPE not hate weekend of action.

HOPE not hate weekend of action

Written by modernityblog

19/04/2011 at 12:38