ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘US

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

In Pakistan, Who Knew What?

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BBC’s Hardtalk has an interesting programme on The Death of Osama Bin Laden and basically, who knew what and when.

Two of the participants, Sir General Mike Jackson and David Wurmser, seemed to have been brought on the show as an act of kindness, as they have little to say that is either original or consequential.

Whereas Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, ex of the ISI, seems to fully appreciate the dynamic between both Pakistan and America. His contributions are worth listening to, they are a nice counter to the naive and wooden arguments advanced by Stephen Sackur.

Catch him at 00:12:01 or later on [00:12:55] saying:

“…as far as trust is concerned, the international relations are not based on trust, they are [based on]… commonality of interests, convergence of interests on certain issues, and in this particular case there were so many issues on which there was divergence….”

Watch it here on Iplayer.

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

Dalai Lama And China.

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[I wrote this a day or so ago and forgot to post it]

The Chinese government’s reaction to a proposed meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama is almost one of spitting blood. They have threatened some unnamed consequences if the meeting goes ahead.

What I thought was most interesting wasn’t the meeting itself or China’s reaction, which clearly was overkill, rather how a comparatively moderate individual figure, the Dalai Lama, is almost portrayed as a Baader-Meinhof psychopath, hell-bent on China’s destruction irrespective of the consequences.

That doesn’t seem to me to be a reasonable or accurate representation of his views. I could be wrong, and I confess I don’t follow his views that closely.

AS far as I can tell he holds very, very moderate views on Tibet, that it should still remain linked to China, but with the Tibetans actually running the country, as opposed to Beijing appointed Party Secretary. Nothing too radical there.

In fact, the Dalai Lama’s continued peaceful attitude towards China’s brutal occupation of Tibet is opposed by many Tibetans as inadequate, inappropriate and obviously not working.

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama hasn’t recommended suicide bombings, random shootings or even murder of Chinese officials in Tibet, quite the opposite.

So it is all the bizarre that China’s government tries to depict his views as extreme, when they are clearly peaceful.

Written by modernityblog

03/02/2010 at 16:37

Extraditing Gary McKinnon.

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The Guardian covers a judge’s comments on the matter:

“The home secretary may have acted unlawfully by pursuing the extradition of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon, a high court judge said yesterday.

Extraditing McKinnon, an Asperger’s sufferer who is facing a lengthy prison sentence in the US for breaching US military and Nasa computers, raises “stark and simple issues”, Mr Justice Mitting said.

In a letter, the judge described medical evidence that McKinnon would be at high risk of suicide in an American jail as “as yet unchallenged and unqualified”.

That evidence may require the home secretary “to refuse to surrender [McKinnon] to the government of the USA” Mitting said, in a letter yesterday. “It is arguable that the [home secretary’s] decision was unlawful”, the letter added.

The decision is seen as a dramatic change from the approach of the high court in previous hearings on McKinnon.”

Written by modernityblog

15/01/2010 at 23:05