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…making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or right January 2, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, The Left.
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I’m not one for lists myself, when I was in Community School in the late 70s and early 80s a friend of mine kept a tracking list of his favourite bands, of which Thin Lizzy figured highly at all times, across not just weeks but days. I never quite saw the point of micro-managing my taste to that degree. But check this out, the indefatigable author having been tirelessly working out who is bad and who is right across years now (I think I first encountered the site in the early 2000s, if not earlier), and if you scroll down this page you’ll find a list of the Cedar Lounge’s transgressions, including the following:

The Cedar Lounge Revolution
• The Cedar Lounge Revolution posts without criticism a New Years Message from the Communist Party of Ireland, 30 December 2011.
• The Cedar Lounge Revolution promotes An Phoblacht.
• The Cedar Lounge Revolution openly promotes Cuban dictatorship propaganda, Aug 2012.

Scroll a bit further down and you’ll find mention of:

Garibaldy (socialist/communist)

The Irish Left Review is in trouble because:

Irish Left Review publishes Kevin Squires of the anti-Israel IPSC, 21 Feb 2012. He is completely uninterested that Israel is a free country. He is completely uninterested that Gaza and the PA West Bank are not. It all means nothing to him, because he lives somewhere else.
• He pretends to care about “gay Palestinians”. They are persecuted and killed by Fatah and Hamas, but he does not mention that. Instead, somehow Israel is to blame! (I couldn’t work out why. See if it makes any sense to you.)
• It’s a sad day when lefties run interference for the persecutors of gays. The left’s defence of Islamism is the major reason why I am not a leftist.

EWI… well, read on…

Free Stater (anonymous) (“EWI”)
• FI Fie Foe Fum
• I’ve no idea who this guy is, but I thought this was very funny: “The United Nations represents the noblest ideal which has yet arisen since modern nations came into being.”
• So the idea that dictators should have a vote on what happens in the world, and we in the democracies should “obey” them, is “the noblest ideal which has yet arisen since modern nations came into being”!
• I do enjoy it when relentlessly negative cynics like this guy finally take a break from telling you what they are against (America, Britain, Israel, neo-cons, etc.) and make the error of telling you what they are for.

Media Bite gets a very long mention.

Even Bock the Robber is in there, which surely is a category error. Politicalworld have dodged the bullet for now, though I wonder how long that situation can last.

I’d have to take issue with the following:

I must admit I don’t read left-wing Irish blogs much. Why bother when you get the same analysis on RTE and in the Irish Times? Whereas the right-wing Irish blogs offer something different to the mainstream discourse.

But back to us, seeing as it’s the Christmas/New Year period. Truth is we’re much much worse than that, having posted up stuff from the KKE, SYRIZA, various left groups of various orientations, Republican (Irish) material from various quarters, statements from the WP, CPI, SF, IRSP, ORM, éírígí, SP, PBPA, ULA… the list goes on. Oh yes, the Green Party and progressive elements in the Labour Party – which attract some criticism too. And expressed sympathy for many, most or all of those formations.

Come to think of it, if all that may cause upset and unease I probably shouldn’t mention the Left Archive… ooops…

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Comments»

1. ivorthorne - January 2, 2013

You get the impression that this chap enjoys politics.ie in an unhealthy manner. If he spends any more time on that particular board, he’ll end up blind rather than just heavily blinkered.

2. bjg - January 2, 2013

On the other hand, his grandfather was in the GPO in 1916. http://humphrysfamilytree.com/

bjg

3. Starkadder - January 2, 2013

What’s this? Mr. Humphreys approvingly citing a quote from
the ”Irish Political Review” about their WP rivals:

http://markhumphrys.com/irish.times.html

Is this is the same “Irish Political Review” that refers to

” Israel, which is a conquering Army more than it is anything else, responded with a prolonged bombardment of the infrastructure of the Lebanese state”
http://www.atholbooks.org/archives/ipr/review_editorials/aug06.php
and

“What US interest did it serve to impose a Jewish state on the Middle East, against the wishes of every state in the Middle East; to arm it with powerful weapons, so that it might domineer over its neighbours while riding roughshod over the natives and seizing their territory and property; and finally to enable the Jewish State to acquire the Weapon of Mass Destruction, so that it might exterminate its neighbours if they ever get their act together with conventional military forces, while preventing official recognition that Israel is a Nuclear Power?”

http://current-magazines.atholbooks.org/readers/full_article.php?article_id=101&&title=Diplomacy?

4. NolllaigO - January 2, 2013

Starkadder
What on earth are you trying to say?

Starkadder - January 2, 2013

That it’s very odd that Mr. Humphreys is quoting one of the
most vehemently anti-Israeli publications in this country in order to get a cheap dig at the Irish Times?

Starkadder - January 2, 2013

EDIT: It should be pointed out that Mark Humphrys seems to
be very pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian.

http://markhumphrys.com/rte.html

So it seems very unusual that he seems to be
completely unaware of the IPR’s strongly anti-Israeli stance. That’s what I’m trying to say here- it’s like US General citing “Peace News”.

RosencrantzisDead - January 2, 2013

It also undermines the point of keeping tabs on media outlets for ‘left wing bias’. If he can find wheat amongst the (considerable) chaff of the IPR, then surely a publication’s biases do not taint the entirety the work. This renders the need to keep tabs on the ‘libruhl meeja’s bias’ pointless.

5. gfmurphy101 - January 2, 2013

Hearty congrats guys on “making it on to the list”, I’m gutted I did’nt lol but have me a new ‘new years resolution’ now……..

WorldbyStorm - January 2, 2013

But it’s taken years! I mean last time I checked in a few years back I’m pretty sure we weren’t on it.

Wendy Lyon - January 3, 2013

Me too. Must try harder, I guess.

6. Séamas Ó Sionnaigh (An Sionnach Fionn) - January 2, 2013

From the website:

“…450,000 Britons died to protect Ireland from Nazi Germany.”

So the whole of WWII, the defence of Britain, the British Empire and Britain’s allies, was enacted to protect Ireland from Nazi Germany? A remarkable interpretation of European history.

And then there is this one:

“…Ireland, of all places, is one of the greatest capitalism success stories in the history of the world.”

That’s some “creative” history books Mr. Humphrey’s has been reading. I suspect the names of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly would feature on quite a few of them. Not to mention Myers, Harris and Dudley-Edwards.

He seems to have it in for Bock the Robber who is hardly a major or influential political blogger in Ireland, frankly, compared to CLR. Very odd. And very personal.

Starkadder - January 2, 2013

There’s an unpleasant “Red Channels” feel to the
lists he’s made.

7. maddurdu - January 2, 2013

I once saw the man himself at a debate about the 2008 US Presidential election. He started off by listing a series of violent incidents across the Middle East from that week his hypothesis being that this was a demonstration of Islams tendency towards violence. Dont think he even mentioned the elections until 5 min in seemed to be using the talk as a platform to decry Eurabia.

I’d rather not venture into his cesspit of a site but there is an amusing piece somewhere on it decrying the lack of muslim bad guys in hollywood films. Its accompanied by yet another list.

maddurdu - January 2, 2013

Ugh I defied my self preservation instincts

http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.bad.guys.html

Two observations

1) Its as if someone has found a way to distill the worst of the Sindo.

2.) The determination he has to filter out any opinion that he perceives as even slightly critical of his position is awe inspiring. He has a fanatic zeal that could be described almost as… religious.

RosencrantzisDead - January 2, 2013

I was just thinking that the current problems (a gross understatement, I know) in Syria have probably given him an aneurysm.

doctorfive - January 2, 2013

” Warning: This contains spoilers. ”

lol

WorldbyStorm - January 2, 2013

:)

Starkadder - January 3, 2013

“Terminator 3″ , “V for Vendetta ” and “War of the Worlds” don’t have Islamists as the baddies- duh! They’re sci-fi.

He’s probably furious Sauron, Voldemort and the White Witch weren’t shown as working for Al-Qaeda at the end.

Michael Carley - January 3, 2013

He complains that the villains in Good Night and Good Luck were `anti-communists’: should it have been remade with McCarthy as an agent of Stalin?

He doesn’t seem to read his own views either. Edmund Burke is the greatest Irishman ever because he “Warned that revolutions must lead to something better, not worse, than the old order they destroy.” His relative W. T. Cosgrave showed “that violent revolution can lead to boring parliamentary democracy. It doesn’t have to lead to tyranny.”

He has a tin ear for history, claiming that Castlereagh’s “new European order … prevented major European land wars from 1815 to 1914.” He links to a wikipedia page on the Pax Britannica which says “Sea power, however, did not project on land. Land wars fought between the major powers include the Crimean War, the Franco-Austrian War, the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War, as well as numerous conflicts between lesser powers.”

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“I was just thinking that the current problems (a gross understatement, I know) in Syria have probably given him an aneurysm.”

Why is that? I’ve been calling Syria a terrorist state for a decade, while the Democrats (e.g. Nancy Pelosi) and the British (e.g. Clare Short) have been pretending Assad was a “reformer”.

http://markhumphrys.com/syria.html

CMK - January 6, 2013

Your heroes, the Bush gang, were sending people to tortured in Syria right up until the resistance kicked off. The neo-cons didn’t regard Assad as that much of a terrorist. There’s no contradiction in the liberal branch of neo-conservativism (Pelosi, Short, Blair) regarding Assad as a ‘reformer’ while their comrades on the other branch of neo-conservativism (Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle) regarded him as a reliable sub-contractor for their global torture network.

RosencrantzisDead - January 6, 2013

Also, the anti-Assad groups contain more than a few religious extremists. Same forces have been receiving arms from GB, France, and the USA to name a few. Mark has shown his willingness to back the US and GB in all things because they are ‘the good guys’. But he hates ‘Islamists’, who are being armed by the US! So how does he reconcile these two things?

CMK - January 6, 2013

Ah now, RiD, you’re committing a grievous faux pas there. ‘Everyone’ knows that ‘liberal democrats’ are the ‘good guys’ in every conceivable circumstance. It’s only a vicious rumour spread by anti Israeli, suicide bomb supporting jihadi Leftists that the US and the UK back, almost exclusively, either wahabbis or those not far from that strand of Islam in the battles against both Assad and Ghaddafi. Methinks that post Assad Syria may present more than a few problems for the ‘West’, or as we may know a major part of it soon, Eurarabia. Ditto with post war Libya.

tallrite - January 16, 2013

Mr Anonymous Maddurdu, you are a graduate of DCU, no?

I was Mark Humphry’s debating partner at that famous debate in 2008, speaking vociferously against the motion, ““That this house would vote for Obama”“.

Read all abaht it here.

Our oratory doubled the anti-Obama vote (OK, from three to six).

Didn’t we all have a great evening?

8. WorldbyStorm - January 2, 2013

I can’t speak for his political opinions, which clearly none of us here share but are his prerogative, but there’s something a little odd about finding the site on a list like that.

Funnily enough RiD and maddurdu, I was thinking today reading Tzipi Livni’s entirely sane thoughts on the latest stuff emanating from Likud that there’s something genuinely curious about the ultra-identification with not Israel as such, but a very very partisan seam of ultra-right Israeli politics. You see it at Harry’s Place, particularly in comments.

9. markhumphrys - January 5, 2013

Hi all. I reply to all these comments here:
http://markhumphrys.com/irish.left.media.html#cedar

WorldbyStorm - January 5, 2013

Mark, that’s not so much a reply, or part of an engagement, as an ex cathedra statement, but let’s just take it from the top.

The Cedar Lounge Revolution notices me, 2 Jan 2013.
• Naturally they and their commenters are hostile. I would expect nothing else. If you are pro-Israel, anti-jihad and anti-communist, you are hardly going to be hanging out at the Cedar Lounge Revolution!
• Interestingly, “WorldbyStorm” attempts no defence of the Cedar Lounge Revolution. He merely points out that they have posted material from other appalling groups: “Truth is we�re much much worse than that, having posted up …statements from the WP, CPI, SF, IRSP, ORM, ��r�g�, SP, PBPA, ULA … And expressed sympathy for many, most or all of those formations.”
• Well yes, that was my point.

First up, to be fair, you noticed us first and sometime before August 2012.

Secondly, to describe ‘they’ [ie the CLR] as hostile to you – whatever about comments – is inaccurate. A tone of mild amusement, if not indeed bafflement, would characterise the original post. Indeed the only point at which it made any mention of disagreement, as distinct from that mild amusement already mentioned, was when I took issue with the implication that the Irish media discourse is the same as left wing blogs.

Indeed in truth if one were to characterise any side in this equation as ‘hostlie’ it would be your own given that you’ve gone to the trouble to list off sites that you have categorised as being in error.

As regards your point about the CLR being somehow the inverse of ‘pro-Israeli, anti-jihad and anti-communist’ That, frankly, is incorrect. I’ve expressed many times my support both for Israel as a state and for the two-state solution (I’ve also been to Israel many years ago, thought I don’t believe that gives my views any extra weight one way or another). Given that this is the line taken, at least rhetorically, by the US and the UK it would be hard to characterise that as anti-Israeli. As for anti-jihad, that would go without saying. And as for anti-communist, well there are various views on this site amongst commentors and contributors but I’m a libertarian socialist, not a Marxist-Leninist. Perhaps if you care to post public statements about others you might at the least do them the courtesy of discovering what views are held by them before doing so.

As for a defence of the CLR? I’m uncertain as to why I would do any such thing? What accusation is being levelled against us? Is there anything we’ve done that is somehow incorrect, illegal or immoral? And with regard to the point about posting up material from ‘appalling’ groups, that’s a subjective statement – in precisely the same way as one might consider the US or UK military as appalling (for the record I don’t but as to some of their actions that’s a different matter). You’ll also find as well as sympathy for groups very strong critiques. The nature of – for example, Cuba or North Korea or other states (or parties or formations) that position themselves as being ‘communist’ or Marxist or anarchist or whatever has been long argued over and criticised on this site. As has the nature of the Irish left, the use or lack of same of Leninism in relation to it and many many other issues. That’s the nature of the exercise – it’s inevitable given that this site is interested in, and a part of, a broad left.

markhumphrys - January 5, 2013

“As regards your point about the CLR being somehow the inverse of ‘pro-Israeli, anti-jihad and anti-communist’ That, frankly, is incorrect. I’ve expressed many times my support both for Israel … As for anti-jihad, that would go without saying. And as for anti-communist, well there are various views on this site …”

OK, well if that’s true, please point out some major pro-Israeli, anti-jihad or anti-communist posts on this site. Because I haven’t seen posts like that anytime I’ve been here.

RosencrantzisDead - January 5, 2013

I cannot find any criticism of Islam Karimov on your site.

Would you be able to point me to some?

ivorthorne - January 5, 2013

Mark, can you link me to pages on your site that are anti-paedophilia, anti-bestiality and pro-New Zealand?

The showrunners here can answer for themselves but I think it is odd to ask someone to prove to you that they aren’t pro-jihad or anti-Israel by linking to “pro” posts.

My experience of the CLR is that it isn’t, except in the broadest sense, a campaigning site. It is a source of information, discussion and critiques from a variety of perspectives. If anybody wants simpleminded rants of outrage, they can buy a tabloid.

WorldbyStorm - January 5, 2013

OK, well if that’s true, please point out some major pro-Israeli, anti-jihad or anti-communist posts on this site. Because I haven’t seen posts like that anytime I’ve been here.

You seem utterly unaware of the irony in the fact that you first went and made incorrect assumptions about me and this site publicly online, then when those were pointed out to you and it was made clear that I don’t hold the opinions you ascribe to me that statement on my part is insufficient for you and I have to provide evidence that I’ve stated those opinions in a manner to your satisfaction.

I don’t understand why I should write a ‘major’ pro-Israel post on this site or on any other topic you mention, or point you towards same. I write posts as I see fit as and when the moment takes me. I’ve written quite a few on issues regarding Israel, and indeed if you’d bother to google Israel and the CLR you’d find one from 2007 or so which neatly encapsulated both my critique of Israel and my support for its existence and indeed support for its right to take precautionary or preventative actions as long as they were proportionate. That took me ten seconds on google.

As for anti-jihad statements it’s now 2012, the last significant European wave of jihadist acts was in the early to mid 2000s and well before this site was established. Why should I have to make a major statement on them? That may be the bee in your bonnet but your demanding that I do so is akin to me demanding that you write on austerity policies or right libertarian thinking or the Sandwell District electronica label.

And so it is with anti-communism as well. I’m not sure I’m anti-communist in the way that you mean but in any event I don’t have to state in a major post that I have massive problems with DPRK or lesser but still considerable ones with Cuba. I’ve said it elsewhere.

In fact I don’t do massive posts about my own beliefs because firstly that seem’s a bit vainglorious and egotistical – who cares about my opinions, surely it’s more important if I can shed a bit of light on something or bring a new twist to an analysis, secondly my opinions are generally in flux and I find my specific positions tend to change over time even if my general principles don’t, thirdly I’m very suspicious of absolutism in any form, left or right.

RosencrantzisDead - January 5, 2013

The same guy thinks it ridiculous to complain that V for Vendetta does not feature Islamists as the baddies. And yet consider the amazing juxtaposition. V showed the hero bombing the Tube in London. It was filmed in June 2005. In July 2005, the very next month, Islamists bombed the Tube for real. Doesn’t that make V’s concerns about “British fascists” seem so dated and 1980s? V is a movie that looks like it is avoiding the issue.

The film V for Vendetta is based on a graphic novel/comic from the 1980s. In it, the hero is railing against a fascist state that has been established in Britain. So if it seems 80s that is because the source material is

The Lord of the Rings did not feature ‘Islamists’ as the bad guys. Perhaps you should add that to your list. Also, the Toy Story movies. The first ‘Sex in the City’ move also did not features Islamists as the bad guys. There must be a conspiracy.

Have you considered that it is generally bad writing and uninteresting to make films that are ‘on the nose’? Making a film about a country who is/was engaged in warfare in two predominantly Muslim countries is unlikely to attract an audience because people can just stay at home and watch the news for free. Several of the films you cite (War of the Worlds, Cloverfield) are about September 11th and the feelings of vulnerability and horror that gripped America. However, just coming out and saying that does make for good cinema or storytelling.

markhumphrys - January 5, 2013

“The film V for Vendetta is based on a graphic novel/comic from the 1980s. In it, the hero is railing against a fascist state that has been established in Britain. So if it seems 80s that is because the source material is”

Yes, I know. I read it in the 80s.

But to bring it out as a movie in 2005, when Islamists, not British fascists, are bombing the Tube, makes it look almost wilfully blind. Stale and dated ideas from the 80s. Where is the great modern comic about an Islamist tyranny taking over Britain?

“Have you considered that it is generally bad writing and uninteresting to make films that are ‘on the nose’? Making a film about a country who is/was engaged in warfare in two predominantly Muslim countries is unlikely to attract an audience because people can just stay at home and watch the news for free.”

Yes, that is obviously the reason why there were only 3 (three!) cinema movies with Islamist bad guys during the entire post-9/11 Bush era of 2001-08: Munich (2005). United 93 (2006). The Kingdom (2007). The greatest taboo during the Bush war on Islamism was to make a movie about the war on Islamism.

One of the few benefits of the election of Obama is the partial easing of that taboo. Because Hollywood now loves the President.

“Several of the films you cite (War of the Worlds, Cloverfield) are about September 11th and the feelings of vulnerability and horror that gripped America.”

Yeah, right. It’s 2013 now and we still haven’t seen a proper movie about Sept 11th. Maybe my grandkids will see one.

ivorthorne - January 5, 2013

United 93 wasn’t about 9/11?

RosencrantzisDead - January 5, 2013

Yeah, right. It’s 2013 now and we still haven’t seen a proper movie about Sept 11th. Maybe my grandkids will see one.

Cloverfield and War of the Worlds are and pretty much everyone got this (some exceptions, of course).

And what, in your view, is a ‘proper movie’ about September 11th? Do neither ‘United 93′ or ‘World Trade Centre’ fit that description? Would you agree that either of those might be concerned with the World Trade Centre attacks?

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“Cloverfield and War of the Worlds are and pretty much everyone got this (some exceptions, of course).”

If we expand to include allegories, then fine, but that’s not the gap in the market. Doing an allegory without doing the real thing only highlights Hollywood’s cowardice.

“And what, in your view, is a ‘proper movie’ about September 11th? Do neither ‘United 93′ or ‘World Trade Centre’ fit that description? Would you agree that either of those might be concerned with the World Trade Centre attacks?”

Both were great. But a proper movie about 9/11 would show the WTC attack (neither really showed that) and would show the motivation of the people who carried it out, and the ideology they find appealing and that we will be fighting for decades, maybe a century, to come. I think people in 2001 would be very surprised to hear that no such film would be made before 2013. Maybe 2020 at this rate of going.

ejh - January 5, 2013

Yeah, right. It’s 2013 now and we still haven’t seen a proper movie about Sept 11th. Maybe my grandkids will see one.

Probably not, though, since by that time we will all be living in the Caliphate where both cinema and the internet will be banned.

And you know what? It’ll be our fault.

RosencrantzisDead - January 5, 2013

Brilliant, ejh. Brought a smile to my face.

Michael Carley - January 5, 2013

There are a few more here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cultural_references_to_the_September_11_attacks#Film

including a number of films about the WTC attacks made before 2008.

Eddie - January 13, 2013

The first ‘Sex in the City’ move also did not features Islamists as the bad guys.

Did the second one?

I can’t say that I’ve seen it, but I remember from the trailer that it was in Abu Dhabi. Judged by the Wikipedia article, Mark might want to watch this film after all.

Michael Carley - January 5, 2013

Other people have listed movies with `communists’ as villains, but we could add Rambo(s), Uncommon Valor, Missing in Action (all of a piece) and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (with the Soviets standing in for Nazis).

As for Castlereagh, your argument that the wars in Europe during the Pax Britannica didn’t amount to much is strengthened by you ignoring the Crimean.

markhumphrys - January 5, 2013

“Other people have listed movies with `communists’ as villains, but we could add Rambo(s), Uncommon Valor, Missing in Action (all of a piece) and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (with the Soviets standing in for Nazis).”

Yes there are some films with proper villains since 9/11 even though not Islamists. Even brave choices, like Rambo picking the Burmese regime. I praise these films here:

Honourable mention
http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.pro.html#mention

I leave them out of my main list of films that I slag off for having predictable villains – like the CIA, shadowy businessmen, and Joe McCarthy – and other films that deserve a bit of a snort:

http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.bad.guys.html

“your argument that the wars in Europe during the Pax Britannica didn’t amount to much is strengthened by you ignoring the Crimean.”

Well, the Crimea is not really Europe. Especially not back then. Anyway, what is your argument? That 1815-1914 was not an era of relative peace?

Michael Carley - January 5, 2013

So you have a list of films with acceptable villains from which you carefully exclude films with `predictable’ villains? Cherry-picking.

Even if you decide that the Crimea is not really Europe (actually it is), the Crimean War was most certainly a war between major European powers.

As for it being an era of relative peace, that depends on who you ask.

10. Starakadder - January 5, 2013

Hello Mr. Humphrys.

In reply to your points:

1) I would question whether sourcing factual information from the
“Irish Political Review” without getting it confirmed from other
sources is a good idea. The “Irish Political Review” is a publication
which ran an editorial in Jan 2009 stating:

“In the European Parliament the Czech President was harassed on behalf of majority opinion in the Parliament by
Rudi Dutschke, the famous dissident of the 1968 happening who cannot tolerate dissidence now.”,

http://www.atholbooks.org/archives/ipr/review_editorials/jan09.php

Dutschke departed this vale of tears in 1979.

2) My issue with “V For Vendetta” and the
other two films mentioned is: why should they
use “Islamists” as villains? They are adaptions from other
works (a movie, a graphic novel and a prose novel) which
are addressing subjects other than the issue of Islamist
terrorism. It seems like you want the subject of Islamist
terrorism to be in every work of fiction, even crowbarred into creative works where they have no place. It is like complaining that there are
no Islamists in “Breaking Bad”- that show is about the American
drug trade on the US/Mexico border, so there is no plausible reason
for Islamists to show up in the show.

Also, your comment that “Hollywood is desperate never to show us a single film in which the bad guys are Islamic terrorists.” is contradicted by your list of nine feature films from the
Mainstream US cinema depicting Islamic terrorists as
the antagonists.

markhumphrys - January 5, 2013

“I would question whether sourcing factual information from the “Irish Political Review” without getting it confirmed from other
sources is a good idea.”

Are you saying Seamus Martin was not a member of the Workers Party?

“your comment that “Hollywood is desperate never to show us a single film in which the bad guys are Islamic terrorists.” is contradicted by your list of nine feature films from the
Mainstream US cinema depicting Islamic terrorists as
the antagonists.”

So you see just 3 (three!) such films during the entire post-9/11 Bush era of 2001-08 as a normal percentage? You don’t think that’s a bit odd??

Michael Carley - January 5, 2013

What’s odd is confining yourself to the Bush era: this looks a bit like cherry-picking your dates.

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

I agree the taboo is finally easing in the era of Hollywood’s god-king Obama. But it was a hell of a taboo.

11. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 5, 2013

Yeah, there’s no bloody Islamists in that ‘Homeland’ series either or that ’24′ thing.

Dr.Nightdub - January 5, 2013

Although they were the central characters in that movie “Four Lions”

ejh - January 5, 2013

Bet there aren’t any in Django Unchained though. Christian white people the bad guys agin, tsk.

Dr.Nightdub - January 5, 2013

On the subject of “Homeland”, I only just remembered seeing this during the past week: in Afghanistan, a US drone strike killed a militant leader named Nazir.

Starakadder - January 6, 2013

It’s not that unusual that there were few fims
about the Afghan and Iraq Wars while they were
beginning; there was few films about the Vietnam War
while that was going on (the infamous “Green
Berets”).

I used to love “Homeland”, but then in the
second season they abandoned the interesting
CIA vs. terrorists plots and switched to an
implausible love story between Carrie
and Brody and ridiculous 24-style plots. :(

12. maddurdu - January 5, 2013
ejh - January 5, 2013

Y’know, when I first started blogging, I’d intended to write a parody right-wing column to see how far I could get away with it before people caught on. I soon discovered that nothing I could write could parody the real thing like it did itself.

maddurdu - January 5, 2013

I’m confused as to why people are engaging seriously with someone who seems to judge the quality of films upon the religious background of the antagonists.

RosencrantzisDead - January 5, 2013

You are right. In my defence, I was a bit bored today.

maddurdu - January 5, 2013

That this didn’t get an oscar is clear evidence of Librul-Islamofacist-commie domination of Hollywood

13. eamonncork - January 5, 2013

My survey of villains in the Best Film Oscar winners since September 11 (The New York rather than the Chile one) should address the eminently sensible points raised by the poor man’s Ian O’Doherty who walks among us.
1 Nazis and stuttering (The King’s Speech).
1 Sinister Muslim Terrorists, Hurray. (The Hurt Locker). Has he seen this one I wonder? It’s an Oscar winning tribute to the courage of the US forces in Iraq, made by someone who’ll probably win this year’s Oscar for a tribute to the soldiers who hunted down Bin Laden.
1 Bad Indians (Slumdog Millionaire).
1 The introduction of sound to cinema (The Artist).
1 Yukky Hispanic drug lords (No Country For Old Men).
1 Yukky Irish American crime lords (The Departed).
1 Boxing and mean parents (Million Dollar Baby).
1 All of us . . . but also in a way none of us (Crash).
1 Sauron and Orcs (Lord of the Rings).
1 People who can’t tapdance (Chicago).
Thus it’s clear that Hollywood has a monomaniacal left-wing focus on something or other.
Last year’s nominated film villains were, along with the aforementioned coming to sound of cinema.
1 Lecherous estate agents (The Descendants).
1 Sinister Muslim Terrorists (Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close). A movie about the effect of 9/11 on a little boy whose father was killed that day. Does this man stir out of the house at all?
1 Southern white racists. (The Help).
1 Annoying blonde fiancees (Midnight in Paris).
1 Mean French cop (Hugo).
1 Short-sighted baseball managers (Moneyball).
1 Fucked if I can work it out. Man’s insignificance in the face of the cosmos perhaps (Tree of Life).
1 War (War Horse).
I think the obvious thread connecting this selection of scapegoats proves any point anyone wishes to make.
Take that Eurabian scum.

eamonncork - January 5, 2013

Between ourselves comrades, the former KGB men who work with the site have located the address of this indefatigable thorn in our side. Our bearded Islamofacist friends are going round there as I speak. Nyaahahahahahaha. So perish all who mock the works of the Cedar Lounge Revolution.
Nanu nanu.

doctorfive - January 5, 2013

what do you mean ‘former’ KGB?

EamonnCork - January 5, 2013

The balalaika flies across the steppe at midnight.tovarich.

sonofstan - January 6, 2013

Can this KGB bod please hurry up? Or is this that famous communist inefficiency again? Can we outsource the hit?

RosencrantzisDead - January 6, 2013

All hits have to be ordered by telex. I would say EamonnCork is still sending the bloody thing.

Dr.Nightdub - January 5, 2013

I must re-watch “Incendies” to see which side the villain in that film was on. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s a stunning (and, more pertinently, Oscar-winning) film set in what is very clearly post-civil war Lebanon; one of the characters is a torturer who takes great pleasure in his work. Can’t remember is he’s pro-Israeli or pro-jihad though.

ejh - January 6, 2013

The introduction of sound to cinema (The Artist).

I also note, suspiciously, that the makers of that film have not produced any movies in which cats play a central role. It is pure pro-dog propaganda.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

You may be on to something ejh. Hollywood Liberals are blatantly anti-feline as this following trailer clearly shows.
So, Dogs are goodies. What else begins with D? Democrats.
And Cats are baddies. Cats which begins with the same letter as Conservatives. Those liberal bastards.

Maybe I’ll set up my own site.

ejh - January 16, 2013

Hollywood films are absolutely saturated by Doggist propaganda. It’s the result of centuries of Doggism, sometimes in extreme forms.

anarchaeologist - January 17, 2013

Snakes have of course been appropriated a subaltern position in this greater dialectic and research will doubtless demonstrate that more people have been mauled and even killed by dogs in socially marginal loci than have ever been troubled by the shliddery lads.

14. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“You seem utterly unaware of the irony in the fact that you first went and made incorrect assumptions about me and this site publicly online,”

Hold on a minute. Your site was barely on my radar. All I noted was that you publish without any apparent disapproval statements from some very unpleasant people. I knew little about you beyond that. I wrote a mere 3 lines about your site. The 3 statements I made are entirely true, as you admitted.

You claim you’re not mad far left, so I’m interested. Show me a few links that show you’re not. You seem to be demanding I find these links myself.

CMK - January 6, 2013

Unpleasant, how? From you’re, utterly discredited, perspective anyone who isn’t, by your reckoning, in total agreement with you is, by definition, ‘unpleasant’. The world’s a complex place, not much suited to the black and white analysis that you seem to think is the only way events can and should be interpreted. By the way, how is the application of your worldview going in Iraq? Of have you forgotten about it? ‘Time to move on folks’.
http://www.neurope.eu/article/least-17-shiite-pilgrims-dead-iraq-car-bombing?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

When Sunni jihadists bomb Shiite pilgrims now, do you blame it on America? Because that was how the left acted under Bush – that everything the jihad did was Bush’s fault. Remember people saying “Bush” had killed 100,000 in Iraq. Rather than the jihad had killed them all.

CMK - January 6, 2013

I thought the purpose of the 2003 invasion was to bring peace, liberty, capitalism and democracy to Iraq. Surely, with US troops gone, there can’t still be profound political problems there? Surely? Surely? That was the whole pivot of you and your fellow travellers arguments circa 2003 that Iraq would be a functioning, stable polity post invasion. That’s ten years ago, lads, bombs that kill dozens should not be going off every day in Iraq, surely?

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

The short answer is that nation building was a noble effort, and America should be proud of the attempt, but it largely failed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, because Iraqis and Afghans largely don’t want to live in liberal societies. Some local police and army bravely fought the jihadists – but not enough, and anyway their politicians have implemented some forms of sharia, so what was the point. The rise of Islamists in the Arab Spring shows that many other people in the Islamic world also prefer illiberal societies. Check out opinion polls in Egypt if you want to get really depressed:

http://markhumphrys.com/egyptian.revolution.html#new.egypt

Neo-cons have soured on nation building in Arab and Islamic states. They don’t want to be free, and we can’t help them. It’s sad for the minority of genuine liberals in those states, but that’s how it is.

RosencrantzisDead - January 6, 2013

The short answer is that nation building was a noble effort, and America should be proud of the attempt, but it largely failed in both Iraq and Afghanistan

Bu,t Mark, you have previously said (in relation to capitalism) the following:

“It is the difference between intentions and outcomes.

Surely, this applies to the above also? I would dispute whether the nation-building that was attempted was ever ‘noble’ in intent (something so self-serving cannot be noble in my eyes), I certainly knew that it never worked out that way in practice.

smiffy - January 6, 2013

Surely Mark’s logic on the invasion of Iraq – that the intentions of the original architects were honorable, and that this outweighs the actual, and unfortunate, outcome of their actions – can apply equally to the entire Communist project. It’s really about the emancipation of humanity, so we can forget about the embarrassing Stalinist aberrations.

It’s as if Eric Hobsbawm maintained a mad, obsessive blog.

tallrite - January 16, 2013

Rozencratzisdead doubts that “the nation-building that was attempted was ever ‘noble’ in intent (something so self-serving cannot be noble in [his] eyes)…

Self-serving, eh? In exactly what way were America and the rest of the Coalition) self-serving over the invasion of Iraq? And don’t give me that canard about oil.

The oil was always available under Saddam if you had the money. Under the US it was only ever sold at commercial rates, with no sweetheart deals for America. This is still the case today under Iraqi rule.

So answer me. What was self-serving in Iraq? (Other than overthrowing a tyrant who was a menace not only to his fellow-countrymen but to the world.)

CMK - January 6, 2013

Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on. That’s politest I can be to that crap, absolute fucking, insulting crap. Nation-building in Iraq was a ‘noble effort’. A million dead and a society facing into its fourth decade of near genocidal conflict. Get the fuck out of here! I have to laugh at the prospect of the neo-cons getting depressed (it actually makes me happy) at the thoughts of the Arab spring bringing about Islamist governments. Blowback in action. These same neo-cons were, to a man and woman, supporters of Saddam, King Hussein, Mubarak, Ghaddafi, the Algerians and all of the other despots while they went about the business annihilating, through murder, torture, rape and, for the lucky ones, exile, the only groups ever to rise to a position where they could possibly serve to secularise Arab societies. That is the communist parties of these countries. You wanted the commies dead and you got your wish; don’t complain when they were replaced by the jihadis. There ain’t no commies left now and the jihadis are all that’s left. The fruits of US, UK, French and EU foreign policy are ripening before our eyes.

WorldbyStorm - January 6, 2013

CMK, I appreciate your frustration, but the hour is late and no need for that, not least because Mark is providing an interesting insight into a certain dynamic extant in justifications and apologias for the war(s) and its aftermath. In that he is actually doing us a bit of a service, it’s easy to forget some of the rhetoric we heard until relatively recently and just how powerful those using it were.

CMK - January 6, 2013

Apologies for the intemperate language which was warranted. It’s just I personally have a zero tolerance approache to neo-cons based on the catastrophic human cost of their intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan combined with their gutlessness when it came to US support for the suppression of the democratic uprising in Bahrain. I should really resile from as I won’t be capable of observing the.moderation guidelines.

CMK - January 6, 2013

That should read ‘wasn’t warranted’ (goddamn smartphones!).

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“I have to laugh at the prospect of the neo-cons getting depressed (it actually makes me happy) at the thoughts of the Arab spring bringing about Islamist governments. Blowback in action.”

That you laugh at the thought of Arabs getting enslaved under clerical rule, Christians and other minorities oppressed, atheists and gays rounded up, and women brutalised, is disgusting. Indeed the worst thing anyone has said on this page.

“These same neo-cons were, to a man and woman, supporters of Saddam, King Hussein, Mubarak, Ghaddafi, the Algerians and all of the other despots “

You are confusing neo-cons with realist conservatives. You don’t know what neo-conservatism is.

“You wanted the commies dead and you got your wish; don’t complain when they were replaced by the jihadis. There ain’t no commies left now and the jihadis are all that’s left.”

Sure I hate commies, and I am delighted their rotten evil empire crumbled. But why is jihadism the only other option? What’s wrong with liberal democracy?

WorldbyStorm - January 6, 2013

Hold on a minute. Your site was barely on my radar. All I noted was that you publish without any apparent disapproval statements from some very unpleasant people. I knew little about you beyond that. I wrote a mere 3 lines about your site. The 3 statements I made are entirely true, as you admitted.

You claim you’re not mad far left, so I’m interested. Show me a few links that show you’re not. You seem to be demanding I find these links myself.

I am indeed.

You’re the one who decided to put this site on your list because somehow it didn’t measure up to some sort of yardstick that you use to determine such matters, and now after you’ve done such a thing, and in the process subsequently and gratuitously made inaccurate statements about my attitude to Israel etcetera online, you now demand I do the research you should have carried out in the first place?

I’m a proponent of freedom of speech, but that demands those who express themselves are informed before they make online declarations. I see precious little of that here. And again courtesy is something else I’m a strong proponent of in online communications. Again something of a dearth of that too.

WorldbyStorm - January 6, 2013

Btw, I’ve admitted no such thing, I don’t consider those very unpleasant people in the contemporary context ( which is not to say some of them haven’t done or supported or carried out deeply unpleasant acts in the past, but my litmus test is if groups and individuals support or acquiesce to the democratic structures of this republic and to the GFA and use exclusively peaceful and political means that’s fine with me, even if they ultimately seek to – for instance – supersede the latter). That’s your projection on to them, and your opinion. You’ve every right to hold it but none at all to assume your opinion is unquestionable or that anyone else must or does hold it.

Jack Jameson - January 6, 2013

You claim you’re not mad far left, so I’m interested. Show me a few links that show you’re not. You seem to be demanding I find these links myself.

How does one prove one is not something?

Very Orwellian/Nazi/McCarthyite.

ivorthorne - January 6, 2013

People have made this point to Mark several times. He ignores it. He seems to think that he can make any outlandish claim he likes but the rest of us have to go around proving negatives. He seems incapable of seeing the double standards he applies.

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“People have made this point to Mark several times. He ignores it. He seems to think that he can make any outlandish claim he likes but the rest of us have to go around proving negatives.”

I’m unclear what these “outlandish claims” are. That CLR is left-wing??

Is it that hard to send me just one link to a post on CLR that would open my eyes? Just one URL on CLR that an anti-commie, anti-IRA, pro-Israel, anti-jihad fellow like myself would like?

You prove the negative by posting a URL or even two. That you all avoid doing this is a bit strange.

EamonnCork - January 6, 2013

Reluctant though I am to engage with someone of your peerless stupidity, I remember that just before Christmas on the 22nd or 23rd there was a lengthy and somewhat heated CLR discussion on the merits of Soviet Russia during which several contributors argued that it had been a malign influence on Eastern Europe in particular and left wing politics in general.
I don’t really give a flying fuck whether a ‘fellow like yourself’ would like any of the posts on this site but the USSR has been frequently criticised here. So has the IRA. I’m not posting you a link, use the archive, look it up for yourself and don’t be so bloody lazy.
I’ve come across some dopes on the internet in my time but you take the biscuit. It’s not your political views which rankle with me, it’s the sheer intellectual laziness which apparently underpins them. You seem to luxuriate in your ignorance, as though ignorance is actually a superior form of knowledge.

15. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“Your heroes, the Bush gang, were sending people to tortured in Syria right up until the resistance kicked off.”

I would need some evidence of that. The US military in Iraq largely regarded Syria as an enemy. Syria was heavily involved in aiding the Iraqi “resistance” in the killing of US and UK troops in Iraq, and “my heroes” were long calling for the war to be expanded to end the Syrian regime:

http://markhumphrys.com/iran.html#iran.syria

But Bush did not target Assad. So now 50,000 Syrians had to die.

“The neo-cons didn’t regard Assad as that much of a terrorist.”

Rubbish. I read the neo-cons. They have always called Syria a terrorist state. You need to give me quotes otherwise, instead of just assertion.

“the liberal branch of neo-conservativism (Pelosi, Short”

On what planet are Pelosi and Short neo-cons??

CMK - January 6, 2013

Crap. The neo-cons needed dirty work done by Assad, and he did it; they recognised him and his regime (regardless of the human costs of same) as a ‘stabilising’ factor in the middle east (they still do) they allowed the Syrians to give some assistance to the Iraqi resistance on condition that it wasn’t too much and that it wouldn’t decisive. You’re not naive enough to believe that the neo-cons weren’t prepared to lose a couple of hundred US and UK troops to Syrian backed guerrilla groups in Iraq as the price of keeping Syria onside? Don’t tell me that you’re that deluded. Do you really believe everything the neo-cons said and allowed to be disseminated as their words, was what they believed? Really? The neo-cons were playing the long game in Iraq, they still are, and they’ll play a long game in Syria. What they can be assured of is that there a tens of thousands of useful idiots who’ll provide them with cover by lauding them when they say they are acting in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. That line really doesn’t work after Iraq 2003-2010 and certainly doesn’t work after Bahrain 2011. But there’s nowt as queer as folk and some people, and you seem to be a prime example, still believe that the neo-cons, and their successors in the Obama administration, actually mean what they say. You seem to take it quite literally. I know you probably read every single sentence published by the neo-cons and their supporters but that doesn’t you have the first clue as to what is actually going on in Iraq. For all the shit flung at Fisk and Cockburn by the neo-con groups post 2003, they still seem to have a better handle on things than you’ll every have.

markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

““It is the difference between intentions and outcomes.” Surely, this applies to the above also?”

That’s actually a very good point. I agree that nation building is now discredited in Islamic countries, just as socialism was discredited by 1925.

Nation building has worked elsewhere – from South Korea to East Germany – so it seemed like a good idea. But Islam is too strong. “Kill Saddam and leave” now seems a better strategy in the Islamic world.

Don’t worry, the western powers won’t be doing any more nation building in the Islamic world. If they want to be free (and they don’t) they will have to do it themselves.

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

So would you then agree that, measuring things by their consequences and not by intent, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were failures and, as a result, those who opposed the wars, or either war, were correct to oppose them?

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“So would you then agree that, measuring things by their consequences and not by intent, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were failures and, as a result, those who opposed the wars, or either war, were correct to oppose them?”

Good question. The left did not however oppose the wars on the grounds that Muslims don’t want freedom, so one could hardly say the left was right.

Some people on the right did oppose the wars – or at least the nation building – on the grounds that the Islamic world does not want freedom. Robert Spencer comes to mind. I found their analysis highly depressing, but one could argue that events have proved them right.

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

But we are talking consequences and not intentions so opposition on faulty grounds is valid. For example, many who opposed communism and the Soviet Union did so out of self-interest and a fear for their wealth and status rather than because of any mass murder or a wonkish theory of unworkability. Would you say that the many who opposed it on those grounds were wrong to oppose it or should not have done so?

And there were people on the left (me, for example) who opposed the wars because they would not lead to peace and stability, would result in many, many deaths, and the attempts at nation building would be ultimately unsuccessful. I would say, by the criteria you have set, I was right to oppose the wars and others were wrong to support them.

Eddie - January 13, 2013

It took a long time in South Korea though. I don’t really know enough to pinpoint the year when it became a liberal democracy, but I’m confident that it took longer than the time that British troops were in Iraq.

Austin T - January 14, 2013

And that South Korea has been a democracy for over 20 years now while it’s northern neighbour is still one of the worst places to live in the world goes to show that the West was right to support South Korea as a nation. Not only is South Korea a liberal democracy, but their companies (KIA, Samsung, LG, etc.) are now leading brands in their markets.

WorldbyStorm - January 14, 2013

By almost any metric DPRK is a dismal place to live and definitely one of the worst places to live on the planet, indeed you’ll find very few who would disagree with that here. But it’s hard to agree that the contentions you make are linked. The RoK was not a democracy for a longer period than 20 years and yet also retained ‘Western’ support (1960 to 1987 being a period of outright repression and dictatorship and it was no great shakes before those dates or for a while after them). The fact that their companies are ‘leading brands’ doesn’t seem to be linked to Western support – or if it is in light of the above it doesn’t actually seem to indicate that that has much to do with democracy. So that doesn’t, to my mind, demonstrate what you seem to think it demonstrates.

Ed - January 14, 2013

Aye, crediting democratisation in South Korea to the US is like crediting democratisation in Poland to the Soviet Union – it happened in spite of their policy, not because of it.

RosencrantzisDead - January 14, 2013

Austin,

The US backed dictators in South Korea. The question was whether ‘nation building’ was successful. I made the point that if invading a country and propping of a dictator is an example of ‘successful’ nation building then South Korea was certainly a success. Like Chile and many other nations, they have managed to achieve democracy in spite of Western interference rather than because of it.

Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

The neo-cons helped Assad kill American troops in their own war in Iraq?

Do you have any evidence that this alternative universe exists?

16. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“Also, the anti-Assad groups contain more than a few religious extremists.”

Indeed. I have little hope for Syria’s future, as you can see on the above page.
I am sour on the whole Arab Spring.

CMK - January 6, 2013

Reality too much to handle? Doesn’t match up to the neo-con texts? Boo fucking hoo! Grow up!

17. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“Surely Mark’s logic on the invasion of Iraq – that the intentions of the original architects were honorable, and that this outweighs the actual, and unfortunate, outcome of their actions – can apply equally to the entire Communist project.”

Bad analogy. The communists themselves killed all those people in the commie states. The neo-cons did not kill all those people in Iraq and Afghanistan. The jihadis did.

What the neo-cons are guilty of is not suicide bombing pilgrims and mosques – that’s the jihad that does that – but rather of not realising how hard it would be to fight the jihad.

18. Starakadder - January 6, 2013

Does anyone here know whether Seamus Martin was a member
of the Workers Party? He doesn’t seem to be listed in the index to
“The Lost Revolution”.

Joe - January 7, 2013

I was a member of the WP and I’m not on the index to TLR either!
Afaik, Seamus Martin was a WP member. Don’t know for how long. But he spoke from the floor at one of a series of general members’ meetings in Dublin, held around Autumn 1989(?). Meetings prompted I think by the disintegration of the USSR and the “debate” within WP on the Smullen/Harris view as to what way the Party should be going.

Starkadder - January 7, 2013

Ok, thanks for that.

sonofstan - January 7, 2013

He doesn’t seem to be listed in the index to
“The Lost Revolution”

He’s mentioned in the epilogue (p592) as ‘a former member of the WP’

19. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“a lengthy and somewhat heated CLR discussion on the merits of Soviet Russia during which several contributors argued that it had been a malign influence on Eastern Europe in particular”

Hilarious. Beyond parody. The evilness of the Soviet Union is a matter of debate on your site??

You seem afraid to give me an actual URL because I will see loads of Soviet apologists there and it will show CLR in an even worse light.

sonofstan - January 6, 2013

Christ you’re a moron. Go away.

EamonnCork - January 6, 2013

Nobody’s afraid of you, you’re a source of great amusement to me in any case and I suspect to almost everyone else here. I’m still not 100% convinced that you’re not the creation of some left wing comedian satirising a particular species of brainless right wing bollocks.
All kinds of things are a matter of debate on this site because that’s what grown-ups do with each other, they debate rather than thinking something is immutably correct because they read it in Richard Littlejohn’s column.
I’d like to say that your idea that it doesn’t matter how many people were killed in Iraq because America’s intentions were pure is simply ‘hilarious’ and ‘beyond parody.’ it is those things but it’s also stupid and sickening.
You’re a child, a clown and a simpleton who knows very little about politics or history or even cinema for that matter and I suspect this thread is probably the most attention you’ve ever got for your infantile rantings.
Now go home and get your fucking shinebox.

yourcousin - January 6, 2013

I must admit that I try to debate the evilness of things quite often. And to think I was writing a comment that was critical of folks because the narrative that their posts constructed wasn’t nuanced enough for my liking. Now I realize just how lucky I am to have that problem.

20. markhumphrys - January 6, 2013

“It’s not that unusual that there were few fims
about the Afghan and Iraq Wars while they were
beginning; there was few films about the Vietnam War
while that was going on (the infamous “Green
Berets”).”

There have been films about the war – just almost all of them were anti-war.

The difference with Vietnam is that Hollywood released all its films attacking the Vietnam war after it was over.

This time, Hollywood released loads of anti-war films while the war was going on.
Some movies even inspired actual enemy killings.

http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.anti.reviews.html

CB - January 8, 2013

MASH was released in 1970. Although it’s set in Korea it’s pretty obviously an Anti – Vietnam War film. From the previous posts you don’t seem to get the idea of allegory. A film maker could make a movie which is about the evils of Islamic repression but it’s set on another planet five thousand years in the future. It doesn’t have to be a literal, bash the audience over the head, rendition of events. By that standard, no American television show got as close to the bone in dealing with the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion as Battlestar Gallactica, even though it was set in a science fiction world where humans battled robots.

21. Starakadder - January 6, 2013

Where are these “Loads” of Anti-Iraq War, Anti-Afghan War films released by the mainstream American film industry? In the first
five years after 9/11 the only Hollywood films fitting this
description were Fahrenheit 9/11, Syriana and Death of A President
(including TV documentaries like the “Power of Nightmares” and
foreign propaganda films like “Valley of the Wolves” in the same
period doesn’t really count).

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“Where are these “Loads” of Anti-Iraq War, Anti-Afghan War films released by the mainstream American film industry?”

http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.anti.html
http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.anti.html#2007.antiwar
http://markhumphrys.com/cinema.anti.reviews.html

22. WorldbyStorm - January 6, 2013

Mark, you’re doing yourself no favours here. I’ve no personal antagonism to you, and your political positions are your own, some I’d disagree with, some I’d go some way with and so on. But your absolute certainty that those political positions and indeed political and historical assessments are so correct as to be beyond question is remarkable, and a little bit depressing. For example the idea that the USSR can be written off as ‘evil’ and that’s that, end of discussion and not thought is needed about its historical significance, the implications for other strands on the left (and right) and so on, isn’t worthy of any thinking person.

As indeed is your continuing inability to actually do what anyone given the suggestions from myself and others as regards finding out more about the site would do. The fact you won’t take my word for it is very insulting. I’ve no reason to lie, even the most cursory examination of the site would find me out if I did. But add to that the sheer condescension explicit in your repeated demands that I do for you what you can not be bothered to do for yourself.

I find this continual sense in your communications that you’ve set yourself up as judge jury and executioner as regards assessing others on the internet and elsewhere fairly tiresome and also again insulting – particularly given the fact that you clearly haven’t made an iota of effort to seriously engage.

And even here you’re not engaging, merely running back to preconceived tropes about ‘Soviet apologists’ and ‘worse light’ and so on. They’re your own and you’re free to do what you like with them, but what you’re not free to do is to so objectionably make judgements about others on a continual basis as you keep doing on this thread and on your own site without others pushing back against you.

RosencrantzisDead - January 6, 2013

For example the idea that the USSR can be written off as ‘evil’ and that’s that, end of discussion and not thought is needed about its historical significance, the implications for other strands on the left (and right) and so on, isn’t worthy of any thinking person.

This also displays gross inconsistency. His own site hand-waves away support for Pinochet and the regime in El Salvador as being justified in the fight against communism. The argument that the ends justify the means regresses into ‘I don’t care what happens as long as my side wins’. This is the soccer team supporter view of world affairs less the amusing chants.

Of course, if the ends justify the means then someone like Stalin can easily remark that while what he did might be outrageous, it was going to usher in the end of history and a communist utopia.

RosencrantzisDead - January 6, 2013

And I find this obsession with the military and being pro-war to be pathetically puerile, especially that the champion of US military and COIN is a middle class, white collar Dubliner. One would think that such macho posturing would slough off with age but clearly not.

Very, very sad.

Michael Carley - January 6, 2013

He only champions the US as long as it doesn’t offend Israel by, for example, jailing a traitor:

Free Jonathan Pollard, in prison in the USA since 1985 for spying for an American ally.

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“He only champions the US as long as it doesn’t offend Israel by, for example, jailing a traitor”

Do you call Bradley Manning a traitor?

Michael Carley - January 8, 2013

There is a difference between selling information and publishing it to reveal the misdeeds of your government.

Starakadder - January 6, 2013

This is just me, but I get the feeling when he says
he is “Pro-American” and “Pro-Israel” he admires
those countries’ military power rather than the actual
communities who live in those respective nations.

WorldbyStorm - January 6, 2013

Again, he’s entitled to his opinion and I wouldn’t take him to task too much for them as such, as part of a constructive exchange they might be very interesting to assess. But unfortunately in the very terms he’s framed this from the start when he placed the CLR on that list he’s adopted a confrontational and antagonistic tone.

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“His own site hand-waves away support for Pinochet and the regime in El Salvador as being justified in the fight against communism.”

Nonsense. I never said they were justified.

I view past US policy in the region as partly criminal but also largely successful. Like allied policy in WW2, which was also partly criminal but successful.

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

From your site:

It is true that America supported right-wing anti-communist dictators, and that war crimes and democide were committed by anti-communist forces (see estimates for democide below). But Reagan was largely proved right by history.

This is a justification but you would disagree with that, wouldn’t you?

I wonder what Derrida would say about extending historical revisionism to yourself. This is better than parody.

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“This is a justification but you would disagree with that, wouldn’t you?”

I would. The side you want to prevail can commit crimes. I support the allied effort in WW2, and I am glad they won, but I regard many allied actions as war crimes.

Same with Reagan’s policy in Central and South America. Pretty good results. But there were crimes by the US and US-allied side. There could have been multiple Cubas, but the US stopped that. Today there is only one dictatorship in the whole region – Cuba. Pretty impressive result.

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

If they are crimes and you are not justifying them, then surely you will have no difficulty in unequivocally denouncing them and stating that the West should not have perpetrated them or aided and abetted their commission. Are you prepared to make such a statement?

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“As indeed is your continuing inability to actually do what anyone given the suggestions from myself and others as regards finding out more about the site would do.”

You seem very offended that I regard this site as far left. But why would you care about my stupid opinions? Just ignore me.

If you really care about my opinions, toss me a URL or two to show me your site is more complex than I think it is.

I’m not that interested in your site, believe it or not.

I enjoy a scrap like this now and again, but I think we’re running out of steam. (The “fuck your horse” and “get your shinebox” are a sign of this.)

sonofstan - January 7, 2013

‘Far left’ to you just means ‘stuff I really don’t like’ – you don’t seem too clued in as to what it might actually mean in the context of real left politics and why people might be fussy about how they are demarcated. I hate it – and I’m sure you do too – when people indiscriminately describe any authoritarian right wing person or policy as ‘fascist’ because it reduces the sting when the epithet is correctly applied: same thing here.

Ed - January 7, 2013

Amused, Mark, amused, not offended. Nobody really does care about your stupid opinions. There’s enough crazy right-wingers with a platform and real influence without bothering wtih someone who has neither. Anyone who has bothered posting on this thread has done so to extend the amusement (the stuff about Hollywood films was good fun). For someone who’s not interested in the site, you’ve spent a lot of time posting here.

WorldbyStorm - January 7, 2013

You seem very offended that I regard this site as far left. But why would you care about my stupid opinions? Just ignore me.

Mark, please don’t insult my intelligence with this latest stuff about my being supposedly offended because you ‘regard this site as far left’.

You know, because I’ve gone to quite some trouble to point it out above, that I’m offended because you’ve posted up incorrect statements on your site as regards my beliefs in relation to Israel etc, that they still remain there despite my publicly stating above that those statements were wrong, your unwillingness to believe me when I said they were wrong and your continuing demands that I should give you evidence that I’m not what you say I am.

Let me just quote from my comments above to demonstrate that any effort to paint this as my taking exception to being ‘regarded as far left’ is a diversionary tactic on your part, nothing more.

My first comment after you’d posted the Israel etc stuff.

As regards your point about the CLR being somehow the inverse of ‘pro-Israeli, anti-jihad and anti-communist’ That, frankly, is incorrect. I’ve expressed many times my support both for Israel as a state and for the two-state solution (I’ve also been to Israel many years ago, thought I don’t believe that gives my views any extra weight one way or another). Given that this is the line taken, at least rhetorically, by the US and the UK it would be hard to characterise that as anti-Israeli. As for anti-jihad, that would go without saying. And as for anti-communist, well there are various views on this site amongst commentors and contributors but I’m a libertarian socialist, not a Marxist-Leninist. Perhaps if you care to post public statements about others you might at the least do them the courtesy of discovering what views are held by them before doing so.

And also I made the point:

As for a defence of the CLR? I’m uncertain as to why I would do any such thing? What accusation is being levelled against us? Is there anything we’ve done that is somehow incorrect, illegal or immoral?
My second comment on the matter:

You seem utterly unaware of the irony in the fact that you first went and made incorrect assumptions about me and this site publicly online, then when those were pointed out to you and it was made clear that I don’t hold the opinions you ascribe to me that statement on my part is insufficient for you and I have to provide evidence that I’ve stated those opinions in a manner to your satisfaction.
My third comment on the matter:
You’re the one who decided to put this site on your list because somehow it didn’t measure up to some sort of yardstick that you use to determine such matters, and now after you’ve done such a thing, and in the process subsequently and gratuitously made inaccurate statements about my attitude to Israel etcetera online, you now demand I do the research you should have carried out in the first place?
My fourth comment:
As indeed is your continuing inability to actually do what anyone given the suggestions from myself and others as regards finding out more about the site would do. The fact you won’t take my word for it is very insulting. I’ve no reason to lie, even the most cursory examination of the site would find me out if I did. But add to that the sheer condescension explicit in your repeated demands that I do for you what you can not be bothered to do for yourself.
If someone accused you, of believing x, y or z, and your website promoting x, y and z I doubt you would feel in any respect obliged to put them right -particularly given that you admitted above that ‘you know little about us . You’d expect them to go looking for evidence themselves to support their allegations. I don’t understand why you think in this instance the same doesn’t apply to you when you make assertions.

Mark, you wrote the initial material about the CLR, material which is in the public domain. You then wrote more on foot of the piece I posted above drawing attention to your post. The responsibility for that which you wrote rests with you and you alone. As does the responsibility to ensure that it is factually correct. The onus is upon you, not me, to correct anything incorrect.

I enjoy a scrap like this now and again, but I think we’re running out of steam. (The “fuck your horse” and “get your shinebox” are a sign of this.)

There’s no scrap, at least not from me. I’ve made no direct comment about your politics and at all times have asked that others accept you take a different view and moderate their language in relation to your opinions and site. I find your elision in your most recent comment of some of those intemperate comments with my attempted communication with you reprehensible.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

Apologies for the language Wbs. It was used in a spirit of giddiness rather than bad temper. I’m knocking an indecent amount of crack out of Mark due to my inability to take him seriously. But on reflection it’s un CLRish language and I shouldn’t have used it.

smiffy - January 7, 2013

At least it was cinematic.

It was unfortunate, however, that you failed to draw attention to the lamentable lack of Islamist terrorists in Goodfellas. Only three years elapsed between the release of that film and the first attacks on the WTC in 1993. Clearly Martin Scorcese has blood on his hands.

markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“I’m offended because you’ve posted up incorrect statements on your site as regards my beliefs in relation to Israel”

Huh? I merely said that pro-Israel people would not be hanging out at CLR. I think that’s obvious. Just look at all this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acedarlounge.wordpress.com+gaza

btw I agree that you (WorldByStorm) have been polite. But some of the others are getting tired of me, and the feeling is mutual.

WorldbyStorm - January 7, 2013

Can’t say I’m impressed by that Mark.

You said on your site that “If you are pro-Israel, anti-jihad and anti-communist, you are hardly going to be hanging out at the Cedar Lounge Revolution!”

The clear insinuation being that the CLR held views that were the opposite of those. Indeed from the start of this discussion on this thread, Mark, you’ve never contested that interpretation going so far as to ask me to prove that I held views other than those ie that I held pro-Israeli, anti-jihad etc views.

For you now to do an about face is hardly credible.

As for the link you provide in what sense do any of those suggest that people would be anti Israeli? I find it perfectly possible to critique certain actions of the Israeli military and government without in any sense denying Israel’s right to exist or its right, as noted above, to take proportionate action in its own defence.

This is basic stuff. It really is.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

Your manners do you credit Wbs.
At the risk of treating someone with a respect they don’t deserve, where does Mark get the idea that someone who was ‘anti-jihad,’ wouldn’t be on the CLR?
The implication, actually it’s stronger than an implication, is that the CLR is pro-jihad. So where does that come from? I can’t think of any pro-jihad posters on this site. There are pro-communist posters and there are also people who are critical of Israeli foreign policy, fair enough. But pro-jihad? That’s just not true at all.
Unless, in the rather pitiful mental universe which Mark inhabits, any criticism of US foreign policy is automatically ‘pro-jihad.’
I’d have to say his website and attempts at debate make me pine for the intellectual rigour, good manners and reasoned arguments of Bartley.
This oul America is right and you guys are just all Commies stuff is all a bit politics.ie.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

I’d also have to say that anyone who views films solely on the basis of how closely their politics adheres to his own would have been very much at home as a censor in the Stalinist era. Much more at home than the posters on CLR would have been in fact.

23. Jim Monaghan - January 6, 2013

http://markhumphrys.com/alfred.html
A critique of Alfred O’Rahilly by Mark H which most of us would agree with. O’R was a witchhunter of the left. He used the Catholic Standard to name names. The information must have come from goverment and/or Gardia sources.And he had more influence on the Labour Movement and the Trade Unions than the left in my opinion.

Starakadder - January 6, 2013

I was aware of the spat between H.G. Wells and
O’Rahilly; it was discussed in the fascinating book
“The Reception of H.G. Wells in Europe” by
Parrinder and Partington.

Also the “In 1940, Wells’ Britain stood alone against the monstrous genocidal evil of Nazism ” is inaccurate- Canada,Australia and New Zealand were all at war with
Nazi Germany at this time, and contributing soliders
to the Commonwealth forces.

24. eamonncork - January 7, 2013

What, I wonder, does our little friend think of the most blatantly anti-semitic movie ever to be made by a Hollywood studio, one which trades in ancient sterotypes of evil Christ Killing Jews yet which seems to have miraculously escaped criticism from right wingers who are normally never slow to accuse political opponents of ‘anti-semitism.’

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

One of the other Oscar favourites, behind the Bin Laden killing movie Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln, a look at one of the great US Presidents, Argo.
CIA man as hero – check. Beardy Muslim Fundamentalist Villains – check. Population of Beardy Muslim Fundamentalist Country portrayed as dangerous pack of savages – check.
Much larger viewing figures then Redacted et al – check.
Maybe all is not lost for the patriotic film-goer.
I actually enjoyed Argo by the way but then again I have the ability to enjoy stuff even while disagreeing with the politics. That’s why I’m a much better and more attractive person than Mark.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013
eamonncork - January 7, 2013

Oh no. Muzzy propaganda alert. The hero in this has a long beard and looks a bit like the Ayatollah Khomeini circa 1979.

25. Jim Monaghan - January 7, 2013

Can I add a general point. Much of what Mark H says on his site is indeed accurate. EG The repression of Christians in many countries.( Copts in Egypt who could easily be a scapegoat for economic disaster like the Jews in Nazi Germany) Individual cases of repression on top of many of his pages.
I think we should be able to argue that Imperialism and the Zionist project has made things worse not better in the Middle East.

eamonncork - January 7, 2013

I know that about the Copts Jim and I’ve no time at all for the current power grab by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and have written about that.
But I’m not sure Mark would agree with your diagnosis that the problems are caused by Imperialism and the Zionist project.

26. markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“If they are crimes and you are not justifying them, then surely you will have no difficulty in unequivocally denouncing them and stating that the West should not have perpetrated them or aided and abetted their commission. Are you prepared to make such a statement?”

I do:

http://markhumphrys.com/right.freedom.html#west.crimes

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

There is nothing unequivocal about that piece. You wring your hands about crimes of the West but then resolve that aiding murder of people in football stadiums and gang-rape in El Salvadoran villages is the result of tough but necessary compromises by the likes of Reagan. This is moral bankruptcy of the highest order.

(Oddly, you criticise the likes of John LeCarré when he writes novels which meditate on the same themes. Although, this may be because LeCarré realises that some of these compromises cannot be justified by any end goal.)

In addition, it is undoubtedly the same line of reasoning adopted by a hard-line Stalinist or an islamic fundamentalist – people may have to die, but we need to do this in order to usher in something better.

markhumphrys - January 8, 2013

“You wring your hands about crimes of the West but then resolve that aiding murder of people in football stadiums and gang-rape in El Salvadoran villages is the result of tough but necessary compromises by the likes of Reagan.”

Where do I say it was “necessary”? I never say that.

What I do point out is that crimes have been committed by the West in its long battles with various forms of tyranny. And WW2 is the scene of the West’s greatest crimes.

I hope you agree that the alliance with Stalin in WW2 was far, far more sordid than the alliance with Pinochet.

Pinochet killed maybe 10,000 people:
http://markhumphrys.com/end.tyrants.html#pinochet

Stalin killed maybe 40,000,000 people:
http://markhumphrys.com/soviet.html#butchers

If Reagan is a war criminal for allying with Pinochet, then FDR is 4,000 times more of a war criminal for allying with Stalin.

“After the Cairo Conference, Mr. Churchill and I went by airplane to Teheran. There we met with Marshal Stalin. … I may say that I “got along fine” with Marshal Stalin. He is a man who combines a tremendous, relentless determination with a stalwart good humor. I believe he is truly representative of the heart and soul of Russia; and I believe that we are going to get along very well with him and the Russian people”
- FDR’s disgusting “Fireside Chat”, 24 December 1943. FDR was far far worse than Reagan for allying with evil.

RosencrantzisDead - January 8, 2013

If Reagan is a war criminal for allying with Pinochet, then FDR is 4,000 times more of a war criminal for allying with Stalin.

And that makes what Reagan did okay, does it? And yet still you claim that you aren’t hand-waving off rape, murder, and torture. ‘What aboutism’ will not extricate you from this.

I would add that I have given you a lot of leeway here and you still cannot come up with a straight answer. For example, how is defeating a totalitarian threat analogous to supporting the overthrow of a democratic regime and installing a murderous dictator? Do you honestly think they are the same? I hope you agree that they are not; how can you claim that overthrowing a democracy enhances freedom?

markhumphrys - January 9, 2013

“And that makes what Reagan did okay, does it?”

No.

And what FDR did in the war (allying with Stalin) was not ok either.

I would want to see the West fight tyrants without allying with other tyrants.

But I accept it is easier to be an idealist than a politician. Obama right now is allied with tyrannies (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and many more) and gives aid to other tyrannies (the Palestinian Authority).

Our own Irish government gives aid to foreign tyrannies such as the Palestinian Authority.

“For example, how is defeating a totalitarian threat analogous to supporting the overthrow of a democratic regime and installing a murderous dictator?”

You mean this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

I’m not here to defend 1953.

My starting point is that I owe my freedom not to the men of 1916. I owe my freedom primarily to the UK and US. And I am grateful to them. That doesn’t mean everything else they did was right.

CMK - January 9, 2013

No, you owe your freedom to the Soviet Union which demolished the Nazi regime, with a bit of help from the US and the UK. Never forget that. I know you’ll never accept that point but it’s a fact. End of.

Incidentally, both the US and the UK quite deliberately allied themselves with the Pol Pot regime after the latter was overthrow by Vietnam and, crucially, after the truth of the Khmer Rouge’s reign was known to the world. That is liberal democrats were quite willingly to ally themselves with a then powerless genocidal maniac in an pathetic attempt to use that maniac’s rag tag of equally genocidal maniacs to oppose an admittedly authoritarian Stalinist regime. So, they allied themselves with a brutal tyrant after he was of any political use. Very different from allying with a tyrant when both were trying to defeat another brutal tyranny.

Also, the UK in WW11 starved 3 million Bengalis to death as part of its war strategy. While they were starving to death commonwealth shipping was passing India with full loads of grain. The British authorities insisting that the home population had priority over Indians when it came to the Empire’s collective food resouces. Politics and history consisting of shades of grey (more than 50) and if you insist on black and white you’re going to make a fool of yourself. This thread proves that points.

RosencrantzisDead - January 9, 2013

Mark, you cannot make a condemnation of rape, murder, and torture – and support for such – without adding a ‘but’. This is worse than Barack Obama on the death penalty. You have claimed to provide something unequivocal and all you have provided are statements with many, many qualifications.

If such alliances are not right and, as you said earlier, they are not necessary (or at least was at pains to point out that you ever said they were), why then are the US, UK, and EU supporting them? Can I trust that you will join with myself and other leftists in saying, (to paraphrase Noam Chomsky), ‘How do you stop terrorism and repression? Stop participating in its commission.’?

And I fail how one can move from being glad one is free to actively cheering on a side. This is especially true when you acknowledge that this side has done a lot of unnecessary wrong. As I said before, this is a puerile, football supporter view of international relations (‘Our boys, right or wrong).

tallrite - January 16, 2013

My estimate is that Stalin killed not 40m but a “ mere“24½m“.

tallrite - January 16, 2013
27. markhumphrys - January 7, 2013

“But we are talking consequences and not intentions … And there were people on the left (me, for example) who opposed the wars because they would not lead to peace and stability, would result in many, many deaths

by the criteria you have set, I was right to oppose the wars and others were wrong to support them”

Hmm. I’m still not opposed to the wars, i.e. the toppling of Saddam and the Taliban. So I’m not really with the left on this one.

It’s the nation building I have a problem with, not the regime change. “Kill the dictator and leave” seems like a better plan now. But I don’t recall the left ever saying that.

“… the attempts at nation building would be ultimately unsuccessful.”

I never heard the left explain why nation building in the Islamic world would be unsuccessful. The right (or part of it) has an explanation, but it’s a bit too close to racism for the left’s liking (and indeed my liking). The right (or part of it) says that Muslims basically don’t want to be free. They want other things. So nation building can work in South Korea and East Germany but can’t work in the Islamic world.

I presume this kind of thing is not very popular thinking on the left. So what was your explanation for why nation building would be unsuccessful?

RosencrantzisDead - January 7, 2013

The war, and subsequent ‘nation building’. would not be successful because it has never been ‘successful’. If your definition of success is putting an autocracy in place, then South Korea was a roaring success. Thankfully, like Spain, they have transitioned to democracy but this was in spite of ‘nation building’.

As for East Germany (I presume you are referring to unification), such is not a suitable analogy for Iraq. Unification was the result of democratic votes on both sides and discussions by democratic parties. It did not involve an invasion by West Germany.

RosencrantzisDead - January 8, 2013

I should add to the above: ‘nation-building’ as carried out by the US has never been successful because it invariably involves installing a corrupt, puppet regime in place the former regime. For example, installing the Shah in Iran in place of the democratically elected Mossadegh. Now the repression of the Shah has been replaced by the repression of Khomenini and his acolytes.

I was firmly of the belief that Iraq would be similar, and, in many ways, it was. Afgahnistan has already proved to be a cynical exercise by the US government.

Clive - January 8, 2013

Mr. Mark

I believe your position is that you are a liberal very much in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher. Same time your position is that you are troubled by the more extreme aspects of the Islamic culture and the damaging effects it will bring to European liberties.

My question is do you believe there is a link. The growing population of immigrants in Europe, very many whose traditions and values are very different to European values is needed to provide a pool of low cost workers – the reserve army of labour as identified by the socialists and Thatcherite alike. Their high birth rates also compare to the low rates of Europeans but then Europeans have no stability financially anymore to raise families. Thanks to liberalism there is no job security for many years now its a job for years not decades, having the govt. provide childcare on a sufficient level is interference in the economy and if a lady has 7 kids she is a fraudster looking for benefits. Surprised then there are fewer kids. Why then wonder about the growth of the Islamic values in Europe. Consequence of the society you want to see. The commies provide the ethical justification but its the liberals who provide the financial requirement for it and can tolerate the loss of liberty that results.

The ability of certain groups to whitewash Palestine’s crimes and only focus on Israeli deeds is bad but so is not recognizing the results of pure unquestioning liberalism.

markhumphrys - January 8, 2013

I wasn’t aware that importing immigrants from countries hostile to western values was a Tory enthusiasm. I thought that was more of a Labour thing. After all, those immigrants mostly vote Labour when they get to the UK. Very few of them vote Tory.

I do admire free enterprise, but I don’t see how free enterprise demands unskilled immigration. (Skilled, perhaps.) I don’t think the UK has benefited economically from unskilled immigration. More likely it has lost out economically because of it.

Eddie - January 13, 2013

The UK GDP has benefitted, although there are inevitably some people in Britain who have lost out from the competition for work.

I’m sorry to say this, but the problem is that too many British people are picky about what job they accept. I can’t imagine that many employers employ immigrants just because they’re immigrants: they employ them because they’re willing to work hard for a wage that many British people would turn their noses up at.

28. markhumphrys - January 12, 2013

“you owe your freedom to the Soviet Union”

Ridiculous. If two predators fight over who gets to oppress and kill me, I do not “owe my freedom” to the predator that wins – and is then restrained by someone who does actually defend me.

We owe the Soviet Union nothing. It was a contemptible terrorist state that murdered millions. Its fall was the greatest good news of my lifetime.

CMK - January 12, 2013

Mark, you do; that’s a fact and no amount of ranting will ever erase it. Every European Liberal, neo-con, conversative, fascist etc owes his or her ‘freedom’ to the Red Army and the Soviet Union. It’s a very simple fact, not many on the Left are comfortable with it either, but it’s a fact. Nazi Germany, were it only facing the UK and the US would have probably won WW11 and it might be going on now. The Soviet Union, through the sacrifices of its citizenry, not and I repeat not, the upper echelons of its nomenklatura, secured the possibility of a decent Europe.

There’s a simple enough test of that proposition. The Holocaust continued right up to the moment the Red Army approached. Any number of Holocaust memoirs testify to the fact that the Red Army being perceived as a force of liberation. Of course, that many of populations on countries occupied by the Red Army, the Baltic States, Ukraine and parts of Poland, were active participants in the Holocaust, a fact intensely played down by their respective post-1989 governments, should not be sufficient reason to argue that the Red Army in 1945, at least, were THE liberators.

It’s interesting that you completely ignore my point about the UK and US being active supporters of the post genocide Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and that you ignore the fact that Britain deliberately starved 3 million Bengalis to death in prosecution of its war against Japan in the East India/Burma front.

It’s then frankly comic that you try to smear Chomsky as a Khmer Rouge apologist when he wasn’t sending special forces to Thailand to train genocidal maniacs to continue their war on an, admittedly authoritarian, polity that had brought some possibility of stability to Cambodia and had stopped, decisively, the genocide.

Chomsky’s statements, in the great scheme of things, don’t really add up to much. The list of names for annihilation, the arms, the ‘training’ (School of the Americas, how are ya!), the diplomatic support provided by the US and UK in the Cold War for genocide (East Timor, Indonesia 1965-66, ‘Operation Condor’, to name just a few), is of far more interest from a moral and political perspective. And the post-1945 record of ‘liberal democracy’ confirms that liberal democracy is comfortable with genocide, torture, mass murder and the annihilation of political dissidents, so long as its not carried out in either Europe or the US. There is on proviso, if you are going to kill dissidents in either the US or Europe ‘liberal democrats’ know that you just need to be very discrete and maintain some degree of plausible deniability. On a point of principle, however, most liberal democrats have no fundamental problems with the killing of political dissidents if it’s done with some decorum.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

I think that’s a very good point you make CMK about Chomsky not sending troops anywhere actually.

That’s key. Mark’s very very exercised by rhetorical opposition to the actions he champions. Fair enough, but it’s let’s be real here for a moment, I’m like smiffy, not the greatest fan of Chomsky, but it’s pointless to reify him. His influence on the actual security policy of the US has been negligible. That’s not his fault, and in some ways, for all that I’d differ with him on certain issues, I’d consider that a pity, but it happens to be true.

Indeed it’s very noticeable how those Mark brands ’leftists’ etc have, in the scheme of things, little or no influence on the events of the past decade that seem to exercise him. There’s little or nothing that happened or didn’t happen due to protests etc. Which really makes his complaints and list making seem a bit pointless. What’s the problem from his point of view. The US prosecuted two wars effectively untrammelled by either the UN, the international community more broadly or oppositional voices/forces in its own society or elsewhere.

If things didn’t turn out as he’d like there’s no point in complaining about a left that had marginal to zero impact. Indeed why this fixation on the left? In real terms its influence, even in its social democratic component, such as it is, has been incredibly limited. And in the US the Democrats have continued with much the same policies as those that tail-ended the Bush period.

I don’t get it. Surely this is the best of all possible worlds from Mark’s perspective?

Eddie - January 13, 2013

What about Apartheid South Africa? They fought the Nazis, didn’t they?

EamonnCork - January 14, 2013

No they didn’t. Apartheid began in South Africa after the 1948 election. It was instituted by the National Party, under Hendrik Verwoerd, which during the second world war opposed South African participation and actually contained a strong pro-Nazi element..

Starkadder - January 14, 2013

Indeed. That was pointed out by many after Reagan
made his inaccurate “”South Africa has stood beside us in every major war we have ever fought” remark.

Starkadder - January 14, 2013

Sorry, should have
said “The people who set up Apartheid South Africa
didn’t stand beside the Allies”.

Eddie - January 14, 2013

OK, you’re right, I didn’t realise that the National Party had opposed South African participation.

However, it’s clear that the South African government at the time of WWII was racist and I could ask the same question about them: “Do we owe our freedom to them?”

Austin T - January 14, 2013

Anyone who believes we owe some kind of debt to the Soviet Union solely for fighting against Nazi Germany is being too centred on Eastern Europe.
It was the Western allies that drove Nazi Germany out of the North Africa, forced Fascist Italy to collapse, liberated France and pushed on into western Germany. Not only did the Western allies liberate Western Europe, they were able to do so while fighting another bloody war on the other side of the world in the Pacific against Imperial Japan’s savage military.
Nazi Germany wasn’t the only tyranny threatening the world and killing millions of innocent men, women and children.

Jim Monaghan - January 14, 2013

“while fighting another bloody war on the other side of the world in the Pacific against Imperial Japan’s savage military.”
Awful as Japanese Imperialism was, the western imperialists were not much better. Perhaps you heard of the famine in Bengal where millions died.Perhaps the stupid way independence was at last given where millions died and millions were displaced. Oh I know that a certain Noble Prize winner had a father who fought with the Japanese and who saw them as liberators.
I am not enamoured with the USSR but the fact is that most of teh major battles were on the Eastern front. Read Davies =book on WW2 which is quite objective and Davies is no fan of the USSR.

EamonnCork - January 14, 2013

Had the German Army not been decimated during its invasion of the Soviet Union the Western Allies wouldn’t have been able to succeed in either Italy or France. They wouldn’t even have been able to land in France. That’s fairly basic military history.
It’s also somewhat Eurocentric to claim that anyone owes the Western allies anything for driving the Nazis out of North Africa. All this did was restore colonial power in the region. The Algerian War of Independence from 1954-1962 led to around 350,000 deaths. I doubt if it made any difference to the Algerians that they had to fight that war against the French rather than the Germans who couldn’t have prosecuted it any more brutally.

CMK - January 14, 2013

One of the ironies of the period is that there was a massive march in Algiers in 1945 demanding autonomy for Algeria; it was brutally suppressed by the French colonial forces with hundreds killed. France had been liberated scarcely a year. Furthermore, Algeria was always regarded as part of France. I.e. the French never regarded it as a colony strictly speaking. So, applying that logic, it’s clear that whatever ‘liberation’ took place in ‘France’ after D-Day did not apply to a vast number of nominally French citizens. This considerably complicates the ‘D-Day = liberation’ narrative that the crux of much Western uncritical historiography of the period. Incidentally, the death toll in the Algerian War of Independence was close to 1 million.

EamonnCork - January 14, 2013

Apologies for the incorrect figure CMK.

RosencrantzisDead - January 14, 2013

Also, the notion that you would ‘owe’ a debt to any one particular part of the Allies in WW2 is shallow and a cliche I thought was confined to the History Channel and a slew of books by right-wing journalists. I was clearly wrong on this point.

The fact that a crackpot dictator like Stalin bears massive responsibility for defeating the Nazis really shows what an asinine trope this is.

CMK - January 14, 2013

No worries, Eamon. But your point about the Eurocentric frame for interpreting WW11 is crucial to this debate. Once you starting looking beyond Europe things start getting complicated very quickly! Indeed, while the liberal democractic US fought WW11 with a racially segretated army, the liberal democratic UK stridently resisted mass recruitment of its African and Afro-Caribbean subjects into it’s military and deploying them, despite considerable enthusisam in Caribbean for Britain’s war effort. There are no prizes for guessing why the UK, even in its so-called ‘darkest hour’, was reluctant to fully utilise the human capacity of its African colonies for the war effort. Indeed, the British military seemed to have had a racial hierarchy for judging who would fight for it. Whites, including Irish, obviously were not problems; Sikhs and peoples from the Punjab were also acceptable, peoples from other parts of India were judged less suitable for war while most Africans and Afro-Caribbeans were judged unsuitable.

richotto - January 14, 2013

Its up to the individual to decide on what kind of gratitude to feel to the USSR for its role in the defeat of the Nazis. Its an acknowledged fact however that the German army was fundementally defeated before the Normandy landings. The western allies chose not to risk their forces before the Germans were considerably weakened by two and a half years of continuous defeats at the hands of the Soviets. Even after the Western front was reopened nearly five years into WW2 three quarters of the German army was kept facing the Eastern front till the end of the war.

EamonnCork - January 14, 2013

Eddie. You couldn’t ask that question about the South African government because they contributed very little to the overall victory. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, contributed more than anyone else.
However, it’s a kind of a silly question in any event.

29. markhumphrys - January 12, 2013

“to paraphrase Noam Chomsky”

Chomsky has been a life-long defender of dictators, tyrants and terrorists. From Pol Pot to the Soviet Union to Hezbollah:

http://markhumphrys.com/modern.leftists.html#chomsky

How can you promote an apologist for dictators?

“If such alliances are not right … why then are the US, UK, and EU supporting them? Can I trust that you will join with myself and other leftists in saying …”

I will join with you in declaring the West should have no alliances with tyrannies. That is certainly not what Chomsky, the Hezbollah fan, says. It is also certainly not what other leftists say. Many, many leftists have supported communist states and Islamist groups.

But if that is what you say then I can agree with that. Can we start by condemning the Irish government for sending aid to the PA?

http://markhumphrys.com/irish.left.israel.html#tax.against.israel

smiffy - January 12, 2013

“Chomsky has been a life-long defender of dictators, tyrants and terrorists. From Pol Pot to the Soviet Union to Hezbollah”

That’s simply untrue.

RosencrantzisDead - January 12, 2013

What Smiffy said. The stuff about Chomsky is simply untrue.

And thank you for unequivocally condemning the support and participation in terrorism by Western governments. It only took fifty or so posts.

This is, of course, what leftists (like myself) have been advocating for some time now. The corollary is that governments should refrain from ‘nation building’ or intervening since this invariably leads to them supporting repression (The US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq involved backing Islam Karimov – they have since turned on him but that does not excuse the earlier support. Karimov is one among many).

As for your call for an end to aid to the Palestinian Authority, I fail to see how this is the same thing. The Authority holds elections and is nominally free. People have voted in Hamas, but they are entitled to do that. Exercise of this entitlement, however, has lead to economic and military punishment. Do you agree that this punishment is illegitimate since it frustrates the democratic right of a people?

I will not be following any links to your site so anything you have to say on the issue can be posted here.

markhumphrys - January 12, 2013

“The stuff about Chomsky is simply untrue.”

Pathetic. Is that how you argue? I provide extensive links about Chomsky’s lifelong hatred of free societies and defence of tyrants. You reply: “Is not!” That is not argument.

As just one among a lifetime of examples, read his 1970 speech where he openly supports North Vietnam:
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=19792

“As for your call for an end to aid to the Palestinian Authority, I fail to see how this is the same thing. The Authority holds elections and is nominally free. People have voted in Hamas, but they are entitled to do that.”

Ha! I made the mistake of thinking you were opposed to aid to tyrants and terrorists. And yet here you are supporting aid to Fatah and Hamas! Some principles you have!

“This is, of course, what leftists (like myself) have been advocating for some time now.”

Your claim that the left opposes aid to terrorists and dictators is ridiculous. Name some leftists that oppose Islamists and communists. There are very few. You are not one.

In fact, it has always been the case that support for foreign dictators is far stronger on the left than on the right, as I detail extensively here:
http://markhumphrys.com/left.tyranny.html

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

Mark. Using the word Ha! in an argument means you might as well have a red wig, a white face and size 16 shoes and be riding around on an unicyle. And blustery declarations like, ‘The Mayor of Tall’afar understands the world, You don’t,” makes you sound like even more of an idiot.
I make this observation not because I am awed by the moral clarity and force of your arguments but because you always sound like a man shouting at the dashboard of his car while stuck in his traffic jam and you might consider whether this is the best way to get your point across.

smiffy - January 12, 2013

“Pathetic. Is that how you argue? I provide extensive links about Chomsky’s lifelong hatred of free societies and defence of tyrants. You reply: “Is not!” That is not argument.”

Provide one link, just one, showing Chomsky – in his own words – supporting the Soviet Union, as you claim, and I’ll take you seriously. Your site contains virtually nothing original of Chomsky’s, and appears to be a serious of links to various frontpagemag articles. I would have strong difficulties with various aspects of Chomsky’s politics, but you appearsthat you know virtually nothing about them, so there’s little point in engaging with you in any substantive fashion on this point.

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

I’m! Not Sure! Mark! Knows! Very Much! About! Left Wing Politics! Let Alone! Chomsky!

smiffy - January 12, 2013

Why do you hate FREEDOM?

maddurdu - January 12, 2013

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

Because it was a big let down after Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.

RosencrantzisDead - January 12, 2013

Mark, do you deny that Hamas and Fatah have been democratically elected? If so, how can they be ‘tyrants’?

Further, aid is an integral part of achieving peace in Palestine. I see no reason why aid should be cut off simply because the Palestinian people have voted in Hamas. The aid comes in the form of economic support and money for social services. It is not in support of terrorism. It also goes to the West Bank and Gaza (Hamas only have control of Gaza, hence the blockade). I am prepared to look at some evidence to the contrary, but I doubt there is much credible evidence out there.

You have deliberately and disingenuously elided two different issues in order to attack me. Very, very sad and very, very childish. If your debating style hinges on inherent dishonesty like this, perhaps you should return to your own site where you can make such illogical leaps and engage with straw-men and not have to worry about replies or the real world.

Would you support cutting off the billion to Israel if they vote in parties like Jewish Home, who seem intent in violating international law and dismantling the nascent peace process? I doubt it.

In fact, if you do support cutting off aid to punish people for ‘voting the wrong way’ then you support tyranny and are an enemy of freedom and democracy. Name one neo-con like yourself who does not support tyranny. We have established that you are not one of these.

Again, mark,I am not going to visit your site so you will have to post your stuff here if you want a response. When I have visited your site, all I have seen are a series of apologies for torture, murder, and repression (‘Pinochet killed a lot of people, but less than Stalin! And Chile is now free!’).

RosencrantzisDead - January 12, 2013

By the by, I am not here to account for Noam Chomsky. I simply used his line as an example of what I condemn.

He denies ever speaking on Radio Hanoi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ANoam_Chomsky/Zmag_forum_reply_re_Radio_Hanoi

The speech also reads like nothing he has ever written nor anything speeches he has ever given. It is too short for one; brevity has never been Chomsky’s strong point.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

Putting aside the political issues themselves there’s a real issue of style of engagement Mark on your part here. It seems to me you build up what are essentially caricatures of left wing positions (and ‘leftists’) which you then argue against rather than the substance. For example, you keep making points about Islam and Islamists which simply aren’t appropriate to the discussion or to the general attitudes, or political positions of those on this site. You also continue to demand of others that they do x y or z. And while there’s no doubt that you’ve compiled an impressive quantity of materials on your site it is generally courteous in online discussions to avoid such self-referential approaches and perhaps to go the distance in finding third parties who can validate or otherwise a line of argument.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that it’s far from just some leftists who were against the war – significant numbers of centrists, conservatives and libertarian right wingers were as well.

I guess I’d add another thought. All these issues seem rather dated now. International communism, Soviet style, or any style, is hardly a threat, Islamism in its most activist/militant form has been handily beaten back, when conservatives and centrists in Israel are calling time on the absurdities of Likud then perhaps it’s time to move on, no?

30. smiffy - January 12, 2013

“If two predators fight over who gets to oppress and kill me, I do not “owe my freedom” to the predator that wins”

Shame you don’t grant the people of Iraq the same discretion.

markhumphrys - January 12, 2013

Pathetic slander of the brave American troops who died to give Iraqis a better future, from someone who isn’t even brave enough to sign his name.

Instead of your leftist sneers, I prefer to listen to Iraqi poet Awad Nasir: “Those [US and British troops] who died to liberate our country are heroes in their own lands. For us they will be martyrs and heroes. … The U.S. and its allies took grave risks and showed exceptional courage in standing up against powers such as France and Russia .. who tried their desperate best to prolong Saddam’s rule.”

Or Iraqi writer Hamid Ali Alkifaey: “No Iraqi can forget the moment when Saddam’s statue was pulled down by Iraqis, assisted by US forces, in Baghdad. .. Iraq is now a free country thanks to the courage of George Bush and Tony Blair, and the US and British people who backed them.”

Or the Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Iraq, writing to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated his city from the Iraqi “resistance” in 2005:
“To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.”
“Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.”
“I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism. … Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.”
“Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.”

The Mayor of Tall ‘Afar understands the world. You don’t.

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

I’d say you’re stuck into the old Iraqi poetry day and night, Brains.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

It could be one. It could be the other. It can’t be both.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

By the way, one could argue that many, if not indeed most, US troops were indeed brave, without in any sense agreeing with the political and military goals set for them. So it’s a bit diversionary to bring that into the equation.

31. ejh - January 12, 2013
32. Starkadder - January 12, 2013

Since Mr. Humphrys obviously believes Islamism is
such a powerful, evil force that it needs to be resisted
by any means necessary, maybe he should join the
US or UK military and go into action in Afghanistan.

EamonnCork - January 12, 2013

He already has.

33. Starkadder - January 12, 2013

He’ll have to add “Lincoln” and “Django Unchained” to his
list of films, as the villains in those movies are-shock!
Americans! Who Are Only Protecting Their Private Property
And Traditional Values!

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

I suspect Mark would sympathise with those who regard the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War as a tragedy and and resent the attempt by uppity Civil Rights activists to interfere with states rights by removing Jim Crow laws. He’d have got it off Hannity and whatever the other gom is called.

ejh - January 12, 2013

Indeed

ejh - January 12, 2013

(That wasn’t quite how, or where, that was supposed to come out. But I can’t pretend it’s worth putting it right.)

eamonncork - January 12, 2013

As a Leftie you expect the state to put it right for you. Ha!

ejh - January 12, 2013

This is what comes of having no commitment to individual responsibility and personal excellence.

WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2013

Or hygiene in my case. Just kidding. You hope.

34. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“It’s then frankly comic that you try to smear Chomsky as a Khmer Rouge apologist”

Chomsky defends the Khmer Rouge: “the evacuation of Phnom Penh, widely denounced at the time and since for its undoubted brutality, may actually have saved many lives.”

More Chomsky interference for the Khmer Rouge: “At the end of 1978 Cambodia was the only country in Indochina that had succeeded at all in overcoming the agricultural crisis that was left by the American destruction.”

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

Chomsky wrote approvingly of a report by George Hildebrand and Gareth Porter, who he said: “present a carefully documented study of the destructive American impact on Cambodia and the success of the Cambodian revolutionaries in overcoming it, giving a very favourable picture of their programs and policies, based on a wide range of sources.”

In 1979, Chomsky sneered that “it became virtually a matter of dogma in the West that the [Cambodian] regime was the very incarnation of evil with no redeeming qualities, and that the handful of demonic creatures who had somehow taken over the country were systematically massacring and starving the population. How the “nine men at the center” were able to achieve this feat or why they chose to pursue the strange course of “autogenocide” were questions that were rarely pursued.”

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/chomsky/wma.html

ejh - January 15, 2013

Intersting thing about that last paragraph is that it wasn’t “a matter of dogma in the West” since at the same time that Chomsky was saying some silly things about Pol Pot’s regime, the USA was supporting it diplomatcially as a bulwark against Vietnam.

I guess this makes the US a lifetime supporter of evil, or soemthing, Or maybe it doesn’t, because that sort of gotcha doesn’t count.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

And who again was it who invaded and deposed the Khmer Rouge?

Hmm…

Ciarán - January 15, 2013
35. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“He denies ever speaking on Radio Hanoi:”

That is not a denial. He says “It’s possible that informal remarks were picked up of mine ..”

It’s hardly the only time he’s gone to bat for communist dictators anyway. He’s been doing it all his life.

Tim Starr gives his source here as “the _Asia-Pacific Daily Report_ of the U.S. government’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service, April 16, 1970, pages K2-K3″:

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=19792

Maybe someone could track that down and get a scan.

36. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“Provide one link, just one, showing Chomsky – in his own words – supporting the Soviet Union, as you claim, and I’ll take you seriously.”

“in comparison to the conditions imposed by US tyranny and violence, East Europe
under Russian rule was practically a paradise.”

http://www.chomsky.info/letters/19900301.htm

“Internal [Soviet] crimes abated [after 1945]; though remaining very serious they
were scarcely at the level of typical American satellites”

“Imagine the reaction if the Soviet police were to deal with refuseniks in any way
comparable to the Israeli practices that briefly reached the television screens”

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

As the following article points out, Chomsky applies the worst spin to American policy, yet is credulous about what the Soviet Union says:
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14439

“He then quotes without questioning Radio Moscow (the Kremlin’s official state controlled media) as saying that the Soviet idea is “to conclude an agreement to prevent militarization of outer space…” Of course to Chomsky unlike his view of US statements, Soviet statements are never considered simply as ‘the trumpeting of idealistic slogans.””

And how about his spinning for Mao’s democide?

“[In China] a good deal of the collectivization and communization was really based on mass participation and took place
after a level of understanding had been reached in the peasantry that led to this next step”

“Also relevant is the history of collectivization in China, which, as compared with
the Soviet Union, shows a much higher reliance on persuasion and mutual aid than on force
and terror, and appears to have been more successful”

“Of course, no one supposed that Mao literally murdered tens of millions of people,
or that he ‘intended’ that any die at all”

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

A lifelong apologist for evil. There is a reason why Bin Laden loved him, and repeatedly praised him.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

The following is a video of Chomsky and his critics on various issues you have raised. I am not going to traverse you anti-Chomsky Gish Gallop and deny each one. But this should rectify some glaring errors and expose the quote mining and outright falsification you are peddling.

is a dungeon. It is a dungeon with a level of social services.”

But you maintain he is a supporter of the Soviet Union. Your dishonesty knows no bounds.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

And here is the link:

Here is the quote at 8.59:

“My view it is a dungeon. It is, kind of, a dungeon with a level of social services. It is repressive and it is a threat to its own people and anyone within its reach.”

These are the words of a supporter of the Soviet Union?

EamonnCork - January 15, 2013

The problem is that the galoot Humphrys is impervious to logical argument and won’t even accept this glaring proof that he’s wrong. Which means there’s no point in debating with him.

smiffy - January 15, 2013

This is fairly straightforward, Mark. I asked you to provide a single link showing Chomsky’s support for the Soviet Union. You haven’t done so. You have failed to do so (unsurprisingly, given that Chomsky never supported the Soviet Union).

You have provided (i) a number of links showing Chomsky claiming that the evils of the Soviet Union were not as serious as those of others (which may be arguable, but is certainly not support, unless you were to concede that you yourself support dictatorial regimes) and (ii) an interesting link relating to Mao’s China which actually – assuming it quotes accurately – shows Chomsky denouncing the Soviet Union (making either a liar, or idiot, of you).

I will credit you, for the sake of argument, with enough intelligence to know the difference between someone saying that Regime A is not as bad as Regime B and actually supporting Regime A. With that in mind, would you care to withdraw your claim that Chomsky supports, or supported, the Soviet Union.

Similarly, given the links that you have posted, can I ask if you’ve ever actually read – all the way through – anything substantial that Chomsky has ever written, or if you’ve simply relied, for your knowledge of him, on what you’ve picked up on far-right websites here and there. If the latter, do you really think that that’s sufficient to allow you to pontificate on what his position actually is (or, indeed, that of ‘the left’)?

37. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“Every European Liberal, neo-con, conversative, fascist etc owes his or her ‘freedom’ to the Red Army and the Soviet Union.”

Not true. The Soviet Union wanted to end my freedom. I owe my freedom to the fact that they were stopped.

“the Red Army in 1945, at least, were THE liberators.”

True only in the sense that Hitler “liberated” parts of the Soviet Union from Stalin.

EamonnCork - January 15, 2013

‘True only in the sense that Hitler ‘liberated’ parts of the Soviet Union from Stalin.’
Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union resulted in the deaths of 900,000 Ukrainian Jews, 245,000 Belorussian Jews, 200’000 Lithuanian Jews, 107,000 Russian Jews and 60,000 Latvian Jews in the Holocaust, in addition to the deaths of the 2.9 Million Polish Jews who died in the concentration camps when he took over Poland. There are no comparable figures following the Soviet Army’s capture of Eastern Europe from the Germans. And I say this as someone who utterly despises Stalin. The Germans killed over 2 million people Belarussians as well.
Your comparison of the Soviet Army’s campaign in Eastern Europe to the Nazis makes you look like both a Nazi sympathiser and a holocaust denier. Maybe you are both of these things though I think it’s more likely you’re simply a twit.
Your gripe with Chomsky is that he played down the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge for ideological reasons. Well, you’ve just done the same thing with the Nazis.
Well done, Mark Humphrys – Apologist For Genocide and Nazi Fan.

EamonnCork - January 15, 2013

On the other hand, there are historians who would agree with your take on this.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

Compared to some of the rubbish posted here over the past couple of weeks, Irving looks almost respectable.

This ridiculousness must stop.

EamonnCork - January 15, 2013

It is lunacy, isn’t it? We’re really talking about the Ann Coulter level of argument from someone whose knowledge of history and politics is gleaned exclusively from rabid right wing American websites.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

If Mark is trying to somehow discredit some posters here by smearing Chomsky, perhaps we should point out the affiliations of Robert Spender, someone who mark has referred to approvingly on his website and on here.

For example, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller (both of whom Mark endorses) ally themselves with neo-nazis and racist groups:

http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/08/the-swedish-allies-of-geller-spencer-and-the-edl/

Spencer himself is a despicable bigot and a charlatan:

http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/10/sioasionafdi-jihadwatchs-robert-spencer-exposed-the-facts/

Mark Humphrys - January 16, 2013

“Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union resulted in the deaths of 900,000 Ukrainian Jews …”

Oh for God’s sake. The point is not that Hitler “liberated” anywhere. Of course he didn’t.

The point is that your use of “liberate” for the Red Army in Europe is like using it for Hitler. In fact, many Ukrainians did sadly see Germany as liberating them from Stalin, who had recently starved 7 million of them to death. Sadly, many captive peoples of Stalin did collaborate with Germany when it invaded.

“There are no comparable figures following the Soviet Army’s capture of Eastern Europe from the Germans.”

Only 2 million dead or so:

http://markhumphrys.com/soviet.html#post.1945.democide.germans

Some “liberators” you have there.

“Your comparison of the Soviet Army’s campaign in Eastern Europe to the Nazis makes you look like both a Nazi sympathiser and a holocaust denier.”

Yes, the old commie trick. If you criticise the communist democide of 100 million, you must be a Nazi. You’re the holocaust denier here, my friend. Read the “Black Book of Communism” and learn something.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

CMK - January 16, 2013

Of for f**ks sake: ‘The Black Book of Communism’!?! The bottom of the barrel has officially been scraped clean.

Michael Carley - January 16, 2013

It’s the use of the phrase `my friend’ that gives it away: you are being patronized by somebody stupid who thinks he’s very clever.

RosencrantzisDead - January 16, 2013

Luckily:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Book_of_Capitalism

It would appear the two sides are at least equal.

38. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“Mark, do you deny that Hamas and Fatah have been democratically elected?”

OK then, where is the parliamentary opposition, criticising the government in parliament and in the press without getting arrested or shot? (Or thrown off rooftops, which, I seem to recall, is how Hamas deals with it.)

Of course no such thing exists.

“Further, aid is an integral part of achieving peace in Palestine. … The aid comes in the form of economic support and money for social services. It is not in support of terrorism.”

It certainly is in support of terrorism. It goes – even if we take at face value the lies of the terrorists about what they spend it on – to support schoolbooks which promote terror. In reality, of course, billions in aid has also been simply lifted by Palestinian leaders to fund terrorism, and shopping in Paris.

“You have deliberately and disingenuously elided two different issues in order to attack me.”

You made a big deal about treating tyrants and terrorists as completely untouchable. And then with your first challenge – Fatah and Hamas – you declared that is not what you meant at all.

RosencrantzisDead - January 15, 2013

No, I did not. Why do you feel the need to attack a straw man rather than engage with my points directly?

Need I point out that your arguing style is now: ‘it does too support terror” (Earlier you were claiming this is the lowest form of argument).

You fail to acknowledge that there is a large distinction between providing aid for social services and economic support and providing direct aid and support for terrorists and guerilla groups (the latter was done by the US in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and other countries). You asked was I in favour of cutting off aid to the PA. This statement was not qualified or elaborated upon in any way. I said no. This puts me in the same boat as prominent neo-conservatives and the Israeli government:

http://www.cfr.org/israel/promoting-peace-reexamining-us-aid-palestinian-authority/p25871

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/a_silver_lining_for_palestine

The removal of such aid would most likely strengthen the position of Hamas rather than weaken it. Once again, you cannot follow your own logic of ‘it is not intentions, but outcomes that matter’ because of prejudice and a facile understanding of international relations.

39. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“WorldByStorm” said: “By almost any metric DPRK is a dismal place to live and definitely one of the worst places to live on the planet, indeed you’ll find very few who would disagree with that here.”

I see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cedar_Lounge_Revolution
http://www.eolasmagazine.ie/online-activismcedar-lounge-revolution
https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/our-blogroll/

that you used to be a member of the Workers Party – a party that actually supported North Korea.

WorldbyStorm - January 15, 2013

What is your point?

smiffy - January 15, 2013

Mark Humphrys is part of the right. Fascists, racists and neo-nazis are right-wing. Therefore, Mark Humphrys (by his own logic) must be a racist.

WorldbyStorm - January 15, 2013

Well, that’s fairly impeccable logic given that his comment at #39 appears to suggest that because I was once a member of the WP, something by the way that had he bothered to read the site in any detail he would know (as someone who was willing to make public comments and statements about it should do), somehow I’m unable to move beyond that to a position where being on the left I could say, as I have on this thread and elsewhere, that I think the DPRK is a dismal place to be by any standard.

40. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“All these issues seem rather dated now. International communism, Soviet style, or any style, is hardly a threat, Islamism in its most activist/militant form has been handily beaten back”

Totally wrong. The two major identifiable ideologies abusing human rights and fuelling dictatorships across the world are Communism (China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia) and Islamism (Sudan, Saudi, Gaza, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, many more). Both ideologies are still killing huge numbers of people.

Probably if all westerners agreed that both ideologies were evil and must be stopped, then I would not write much about them. But that is not the case. Most of the western left – especially your branch of the left – has apologised, or still apologises, for these ideologies.

ejh - January 15, 2013

It’s an interesting fact that not only is Ethiopia a parliamentary democracy with universal adult suffrage, but that its national holiday actually marks the downfall of the pro-Soviet Mengistu régime.

But what are facts, when you have a crusade to run?

Mark Humphrys - January 16, 2013

“not only is Ethiopia a parliamentary democracy with universal adult suffrage”

Not true. Freedom House has it in their worst category (Not Free):
http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2012/ethiopia
“Ethiopia’s authoritarian government showed no sign of loosening its grip on power in 2011, …
Ethiopia is not an electoral democracy.”

The Economist has it in their worst category (Authoritarian regimes):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

The “election” shows it is a one-party socialist state:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_general_election,_2010

ejh - January 16, 2013

Oh no! The CIA are in on the plot!

41. Mark Humphrys - January 15, 2013

“there’s no point in complaining about a left that had marginal to zero impact. Indeed why this fixation on the left?”

Hold on. Ideas from the western left got 100 million people killed in the last century, in places like the Soviet Union and North Korea that were supported by your party. And the killing is going on today. Concentration camps are still open in North Korea as we speak.

The communist and pro-communist left has had huge influence on the world, almost all for the bad.

It remains to be seen where its new alliance with the Islamic right will lead us, but nowhere good.

smiffy - January 15, 2013

How many deaths are capitalist ideas responsible for, just by way of comparison?

Austin T - January 16, 2013

Not as many. There’s reason people fight to leave communist states such to get into capitalist states in North America and Western Europe. No one tries to get in them, people only try to get out. East Germans have died trying to get to West Germany. Cubans have died trying to get to America. North Koreans have been killed for trying to escape to South Korea.
Not to mention that capitalist states always have a better human rights records than communist states, and even ex-communist states.
By the way, I completely agree with everything Mark has posted here.

smiffy - January 16, 2013

Yes, but how many? How are the numbers measured? Mark is claiming that ‘ideas from the western left’ were responsible for the deaths of 100 million people. I’d just like to me what figure can be attributable to ‘ideas from the western right’. Thanks very much.

42. Ed - January 15, 2013

Guys, he’s started quoted David Horowitz and co as reliable sources. Time to leave him to play by himself. The stuff about Hollywood films being pro-jihad was good fun, but this is just boring.

smiffy - January 15, 2013

I know. It’s just so morbidly fascinating. It’s like watching the Elephant Man, with EamonCork or Rosencrantz in the Freddie Jones role, bidding us all witness God’s cruellest mistake.

eamonncork - January 17, 2013

It’s a very moving film though, The Elephant Man.

maddurdu - January 15, 2013

The combination of intellectual cowardice combined with a most aggressive strand of stupidity is awe-inspiringly repetitive.

1) The scourge of islamofacisunism posts a series of embarrassingly lame straw-men backed by a series of completely dishonestly selective quotes.

2)someone else wastes time rebutting his idiocy.

3)He either responds with more strawmen or posts more cretinous bile lower down in the thread.

Its rather dull.

:

CMK - January 15, 2013

Spot on. Couldn’t be bothered contributing any more: it’s shooting fish in barrel territory at this stage.

43. ejh - January 15, 2013

I know, I know. You are not wrong.

eamonncork - January 16, 2013

I’m out.

44. Mark Humphrys - January 16, 2013

“It is lunacy, isn’t it? We’re really talking about the Ann Coulter level of argument”

Your sole contribution is to hurl insults. The closest you came to an argument is trying to define me as a Nazi.

45. Mark Humphrys - January 16, 2013

“I know. It’s just so morbidly fascinating. It’s like watching the Elephant Man”

Don’t worry, I generally have the same contempt for you that you have for me. A lot of people have contempt for the far left, but they would never come to a site like this. I’m guessing you rarely get to talk to your opponents. It’s a rare chance to hear what they think of you. Congratulations to the people who were able to debate instead of just throwing boring insults.

Now and again I enjoy a fight like this with the far left, or with Islamists, or both, but the fun wears off. I’m tired too. We can call it a day and go our separate ways.

Ed - January 16, 2013

“I’m guessing you rarely get to talk to your opponents. It’s a rare chance to hear what they think of you.”

The degree of projection involved here is amusing if nothing else. You are not ‘our opponents’ Mark. Whatever challenges people to the left of the Labour Party will have to grapple with in Ireland, you and your role in the battle of ideas will not be one of them. This site has been recognised as Ireland’s best political blog twice in the last three years; there must be two or three dozen people who post here on a regular basis; it doesn’t have the same audience as a print newspaper, but for a blog run by volunteers with minimal resources it’s not doing too bad. I had a brief glance at your daft website, there doesn’t seem to be an army of people keen to post there. Can’t imagine why …

RosencrantzisDead - January 16, 2013

No one here has ‘contempt’ for you, Mark and it is not difficult to believe that someone would buy into the nonsense you buy into.

However, your behaviour here has been distinguished by dishonesty, straw man arguments, constant and unwarranted attempts to shift the burden of proof (and where such proof has been tendered, it has been done by way of gish gallop -or ‘spreading’- on your website).

You have not at any stage attempted to adopt anything close to a discourse ethic or basic manners. The argument is over because you have managed to satisfy everyone here that you are not someone with which they have any sort of a civil disagreement.

WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

+1 RiD

tallrite - January 16, 2013

Ed writes “You are not ‘our opponents’ Mark“. Well if this thread is not a discussion of opponents I cannot think what it is.

Incidentally Mark on his site (which he runs single-handedly, without an phalanx of volunteers) does not provide a Comments facility, therefore of course you will find no “army of people keen to post there“there!

Ed - January 17, 2013

Because nobody would want to comment …

Needless to say, you’ve completely missed the point (or deliberately ignored it). He is not ‘our opponents’ because he’s completely irrelevant. There are plenty of daft right-wingers who have a platform in Irish political life, Harris, Myers etc, and therefore have to be taken seriously even though their work has no merit. He is not one of them.

Congratulations by the way, your own blog is every bit as garish and unappealling as his.

CMK - January 17, 2013

Jaysus, I thought Humphreys’ site was hard on the eyes, but that one….

tallrite - January 17, 2013

Let’s see if I get it, Ed.

+ Harris, Meyers etc are your opponents though their work has no merit.
+ Humphrys is not your opponent because he is completely irrelevant. (Though if you do not regard him as your opponent presumably even if irrelevant you must be on the same side as he.)

OK, that is totally coherent.

BTW, am I completely irrelevant or has my work no merit?

And thanks for the compliment on my blog. I try my best.

smiffy - January 17, 2013

“Jaysus, I thought Humphreys’ site was hard on the eyes, but that one….”

Remind you of anything …

?

Ed - January 18, 2013

Yes, you are irrelevant and your work has no merit. And of course you’re pretending not to understand my point so you can do some more infantile trolling, you understand what I said perfectly well.

46. ivorthorne - January 16, 2013

Is this conversation still running? Time to move on.

47. WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

Yeah, I’ll sum up. Mark, I find it hard to understand why you’d have contempt for people here. I don’t think any of us bear any more responsibility as leftists for the crimes of the USSR, or wherever, than you as a self-professed right winger – as an individual – bears responsibliity for South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, and so on.

Indeed arguably, given that most of us would be deeply critical of the USSR et al in many different regards and given that your identification with the US is so total and uncritical you bear considerably more responsibility.

You wave away the ills of those you support, however egregious, while demanding that others – whatever their material or historical conditions – reach unfeasibly high standards. There’s absolutely no nuance as regards time and place. No allowance for factors that might impact on these matters.

I’d also add that a discussion approach which consists of making statements about others political opinions and their motivations and when challenged demanding that others have to provide proof that they’re not what you allege is deeply flawed, not to mention discourteous (one could also mention that childish terms like ‘commies’ have no place in serious discussions on these matters).

The problem is not that none of us have heard your viewpoint before, though it has to be said that yours is towards the extreme end of the spectrum, it’s that you don’t really engage. Smiffy’s points are a clear case at hand. You make point, then come back to his response with a rather diversionary response of your own. He responds and you ignore him – and yet you continue to argue that somehow everyone here is in the wrong.

I’m very disappointed that even still you haven’t, despite my best efforts to put your right on this matter, taken the trouble to remove the incorrect statement on your site that I criticised initially. Your latest effort in this regard is as follows:

WorldbyStorm” complains that I say no pro-Israel, anti-jihad or anti-communist person would be on their site. Yet it is noticeable that no such person ever turns up in the debate.

You’re simply wrong about the latter, not merely are there people who turn up who are either anti-communist, critical of communism or indifferent to it, I myself would share that critical approach.

It’s worth noting that we also have a sometime contributor (whose username is ‘yourcousin’) who is utterly antagonistic to Soviet communism.

I was hoping you’d discover this yourself by looking at the site, but clearly you haven’t bothered to do so.

As to the others I’m not really surprised there no such people ‘turn up’, for reasons I’ve described before. Our focus is only glancingly on Israel and Palestine, though the line from our contributors is one of support for the two-state solution, where it’s been mentioned at all.

As to anti-jihad, you seem unable to appreciate that for many of us jihad simply isn’t an issue. There’s not one person on the CLR I can think of who would be pro-jihad. Indeed I’m hard pressed to think of anyone I’ve ever met who would be pro-jihad. So it’s not that we support jihadists – quite the opposite, they’re a curse. But they’re a marginal threat in the context of Ireland and the Irish left and thanks very much but we’ve got enough to be going on with as regards things to worry about without having to take that particular issue on in any detail.

But that’s the problem, it’s all been broad brush strokes and impugning others with malign motivations. That you come here and get such an heated response unfortunately only serves to demonstrates the problematic aspects of your critique.

It’s not that you’re wrong about democracy – every single person on this site whether contributor or commentator, that I can think of aligns with democratic values, it’s that you think that’s sufficient. I don’t want to speak for others, but for me that’s not enough, indeed that can all too often be an evasion from engaging with equally or more pressing issues. It’s the fact that despite evidence and protestations to the contrary you’ve learned next to nothing and accepted absolutely nothing at all – to the extent that you are made a little dig against me and my former membership of the WP and North Korea.

That’s really not good enough.

I hope – given that you won’t have the good grace to alter those phrases you have on your website above – and that anyone who comes here from those links you have put up will at least make the effort to discover what we’re actually about rather than the caricature that you present on your site.

yourcousin - January 18, 2013

Have to say that WBS is right, and to say antagonistic is putting it politely, but I’m also antagonistic towards idiots. Though again it is disheartening to see the tallies of US backed atrocities as if these somehow mitigate Soviet ones. My honest take on it could best be summed up in a letter from the Industrial Worker

http://www.iww.org/en/history/library/iww/Chicago-Replies-to-Moscow

WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2013

I think those are fair points – though it’s part and parcel of the problem of arguing against people who won’t accept one’s bona fides and seem unaware of the contradictions of their own position, and I was very reluctant to drag you into this by username.

48. Mark Humphrys - January 17, 2013

“not to mention discourteous (one could also mention that childish terms like ‘commies’”

I see. Did you even read what people said about me? “Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on” (CMK) and “You’re a child, a clown and a simpleton” (EamonnCork) and “get your fucking shinebox” (EamonnCork) and “Christ you’re a moron” (sonofstan) and “Mark Humphrys – Apologist For Genocide and Nazi Fan” (EamonnCork) and “It’s like watching the Elephant Man” (Smiffy) are examples of civil discourse?

“it’s that you don’t really engage. Smiffy’s points are a clear case at hand.”

Huh? Though it feels absurd to be arguing with someone called “Smiffy”, I did answer him with what Chomsky said about the Soviet Union. You may think that what Chomsky said was alright. I disagree. The reader can decide for themselves.

“I’m very disappointed that even still you haven’t, despite my best efforts to put your right on this matter, taken the trouble to remove the incorrect statement on your site”

You post a vast amount of material by pro-jihad (SWP), pro-terror (SF, IRSP), anti-Israel (everyone on the Irish left) and pro-communist (SP, WP, CPI, Cuban government) groups.

And then you complain piously that people who don’t agree with that are to be found on your blog. Well there was no sign of them in this debate. Nor did you provide evidence they exist (in the form of URLs). When I Googled Gaza on your site, for example, all I found was anti-Israel material. I will happily change statements on my site if I find evidence they are untrue.

“That you come here and get such an heated response unfortunately only serves to demonstrates the problematic aspects of your critique.”

Anyone not far left would get a heated response here.

“made a little dig against me and my former membership of the WP and North Korea.”

It’s not a “little dig”. It is a shocking discovery about you. It is appalling to have been a member of a party aligned with a genocidal state that puts families in concentration camps and gas chambers.

Anyway, I’d love to wind this down. It was fun while it lasted, but we’re going round in circles.

CMK - January 17, 2013

Mark, the ‘abuse’ that you cite above is that elicted any reasonable individual when said individual is confronted with olympian levels of obtuseness and evasiveness from an interlocuter i.e. you in this case. Everyone has their limits and I think anyone trying to get through to you will reach their limit pretty soon and it’s pretty clear you’re not coming out of your bunker for no-one.I regret using that language but it was the product of frustration, extreme frustation.

EamonnCork - January 17, 2013
smiffy - January 17, 2013

““it’s that you don’t really engage. Smiffy’s points are a clear case at hand.”

Huh? Though it feels absurd to be arguing with someone called “Smiffy”, I did answer him with what Chomsky said about the Soviet Union. You may think that what Chomsky said was alright. I disagree. The reader can decide for themselves.”

Actually, you didn’t. You evaded the point I made and shifted the goalposts. I challenged you on your claim that Chomsky supported the Soviet Union (because I knew it to be nonsense) and asked you for evidence, in Chomsky’s own words (not opinions attributed to him on far-right websites). You came up with a few quotes where he compared the crimes of the Soviet Union to the crimes of other states. That’s not support. If I was to say, for example, that Jack the Ripper wasn’t as bad as the Yorkshire Ripper it doesn’t mean that I think Jack the Ripper was a fine fellow.

Of course, when this is pointed out to you, you ignore the point. Your method of argument is highly dishonest and disingenuous. That’s part of the reason for the criticism you receive. I’d add to that, though, your inability to understand fairly basic analogies or any kind of subtext (as in the case of the Elephant Man example I used). That’s just funny, though, although hardly surprising from someone whose criticism of Hollywood action movies is not that they’re too simplistic but that they aren’t simplistic enough.

Finally, on the point about my username, yes it’s dumb but I’ve been using it online for about ten years, so I try to be consistent across different websites. On the wider issue of why I post anonymously rather than using my own name, people can certainly take my anonymity into account when deciding what weight to attach to the views I express (I’ve no difficulty with that). However, I prefer not to use my real name as there are some very dangerous people online, people who express a morbid fascination with extreme violence and who are obviously suffering from some kind of mental or neurological disorder, who I would prefer didn’t know my real name.

People like you, Mark.

tallrite - January 17, 2013

there are some very dangerous people online … People like you, Mark.

Smiffy you better withdraw that outrageous allegation against Mark Humphrys or back it up (which you know, and I know, you cannot.)

WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2013

I missed this one last night, but it’s priceless for sheer lack of self awareness.

I’m certain smiffy no more thinks MH is a dangerous person than I do… Though as I noted before we didn’t go making unfounded allegations publicly about his site unlike what he did about ours.

His point was to show up how making allegations online is part and parcel of yours and MHs approach.

You’re certainly happy to dish it out, but boy, you sure don’t like it when others do it to you. Utter hypocrisy.

smiffy - January 18, 2013

Well … yeah, okay, I don’t really think, on the balance of probabilities, that Mark Humphrys is a dangerous person. There was some slight baiting going on, although I never expected anyone to fall for it in as hilarious a way as Allwright.

Having said that, I do think that a fair amount of what he writes on his website does have a morbid fascination with violence (see the film reviews where he wants to see more explicit violence in films, providing it’s carried out by Muslims), not to mention the rather manic obsession on various issues.

I would, genuinely, prefer that someone like him, and various others I’ve encountered online in the past, don’t know my personal details.

smiffy - January 17, 2013

“You post a vast amount of material by pro-jihad (SWP), pro-terror (SF, IRSP), anti-Israel (everyone on the Irish left) and pro-communist (SP, WP, CPI, Cuban government) groups. ”

Just because you state that those views are held by those you attribute them to doesn’t make it true. WbS has already told you, for example, that he is neither pro-jihad nor anti-Israel. Isn’t that a good enough sign for you.

Similarly, there’s no point whinging that EamonCork calls you an “apologist for genocide and a Nazi fan” when it’s abundantly clear that all he’s doing is treating you the same way you treat those you disagree with (as in the quote above).

WorldbyStorm - January 17, 2013

Mark, you’re wrong, actually, or at least from my perspective you’re wrong. This isn’t fun, it isn’t a game and I take no pleasure in people taking chunks out of each other.

As to the first, I have asked people to moderate their tone in exchanges with you – but upping the ante on your side doesn’t help. And this before we get to the basic discourtesy of the demands you have made and the sheer gall of making a list about a site you yourself acknowledged you knew little or nothing about when you posted up ‘information’ about it.
smiffy came back and asked a follow up question. You didn’t respond or engage with that. There’s no point in having hit and run comments – that’s not engaging. You certainly don’t have an obligation to answer everyone but if you do engage in a discussion within someone the least that is required is that you respond.

We here have every right to post stuff from those parties, though to be clear, I’m not sure we do have any SWP material on the site, they simply don’t send stuff to us. But here’s a thing. Simply because I put up information from parties doesn’t mean that I agree with everything they propose. That’s basic stuff.

These are groups on the left. This is basic information access. Simply because you characterise ‘everyone on the Irish left’ as being anti-Israel – a risible contention, I don’t have to agree with that characterisation. And I don’t. And I see no reason to act upon the fact you take, frankly, quite extreme views on a range of issues.

Again, I have to prove nothing. What did you expect, that simply because you arrive a range of people with the very particular views you have would arrive? There are comments above from people who have noted they would be anti-Stalinist or critical of communism, that they’re anti-Jihadist or that they support the two-state solution in Israel. I don’t know what more you want. I’ve stated my public views on all these matters now ad nauseum. If you’re not willing to take my public word for it then there’s nothing more I can do.

A heated response? Irish Eagle – a personal friend of mine offline – has come on here many times (and I suspect few would know he was a friend of mine because I’ve never mentioned it before AFAIK) and met a courteous and considered response, but then Irish Eagle doesn’t have the temerity to demand of others that they must measure up to his preconceived notions.

As to my membership of the WP are you genuinely that naive – a ‘shocking discovery’, ‘appalling’? That alone indicates a) how little you still know about the site and b) how little you understand even that little which you know.

If you had dug even slightly deeply, say into discussions on the DPRK you’d know that not merely have I no candle for the North Korean’s but that I’m deeply opposed to that regime. But when I was in the WP my exposure to them was – like the vast majority of party members – little or none and my knowledge – and remember this was a pre-internet period, likewise. That may not entirely be to my credit but I was younger and the primary focus of our political work was on the here and now in Ireland and trying to make progress in a very damaged socio-economic structure rather than worrying about what seemed rather exotic observers at the Ard Fheiseanna in the RDS. I’ve good friends and comrades in the WP and I’ve pointed out to them the problems I have with that linkage, but that’s not my decision to make.

And if you’d dug a little deeper you would have known, because I’m also entirely public about it, that I left the party when it split precisely in order to move beyond traditional forms of Marxist thinking and towards more democratic ones. I am and remain profoundly critical about the left and socialism and indeed the forms of socialism that have been so damaging to the left, but in what I hope is a constructive way.

I guess I could go on about the contrast there with your entirely uncritical adherence to a form or right wing thinking that has cheerled appalling and shocking actions… or I could note that during the same period I was involved in the WP the US was equipping death squads across parts of Asia, South American and Africa, and supporting in word and deed appalllingly repressive regimes, etc, but well, look, why should I? You’d just wave that way too, wouldn’t you?

49. Ed - January 17, 2013

And yet despite all the horrible, nasty things the horrible, nasty jihad-loving commies say about you, and despite the ‘contempt’ which you feel for the lot of them, and despite the fact that this blog is, in your view, a putrid den of iniquity, you keep coming back, posting again and again and again. Which just confirms my supposition that you’ve got more attention from this thread than your blog would in a year normally, and you’re desperately trying to prolong your moment in the sun. All of which reinforces the case for ignoring you, which is already made amply by the sheer dishonesty and tedium of your posts.

50. eamonncork - January 17, 2013

Not telling anyone what to do or anything. But maybe it’s time this thread was consigned to the dustbin of history.

sonofstan - January 17, 2013

Indeed. Like Churchill’s dreary steeples, this thread seems to emerge at the top of the comments pile every time other deluges subside temporarily.

ejh - January 17, 2013

It’s like the end of a science fiction movie where the monster refuses to die.

tallrite - January 17, 2013

You mean Cedar Lounge is still alive? ;-)

WorldbyStorm - January 17, 2013

You do realise this is nothing other than trolling – no?

I have to say that I’ve rarely seen such a display of sheer ignorance when it comes to general interaction online as I have on this thread.

Perhaps you believe that your moral and political authority is so unassailable that like Mark you can treat people with utter discourtesy (or to use his term ‘contempt’) but some of us believe that courtesy, even with those we would have profound disagreements, is a basis of civilised discussion so I’m ending this nonsense here and now. All your comments are being moderated before being released.

I’ve genuinely had enough, enough of other people who set themselves up as judge and jury of a site without doing us the courtesy to read through it. Who when they have seriously misrepresented me and the site refuse to correct those misrepresentations when they are pointed out and leave those misrepresentations in public view. Who continue to effectively spam the site with links rather than engaging in a proper communication, and so on and so forth.

I’ve tolerated this for a fortnight, but no more.

tallrite - January 18, 2013

Oh do lighten up, Mr/Ms WorldbyStorm.

BTW, what’s your basis for saying I “treat people with utter discourtesy“?

Other than perhaps the preceding jocular injunction, I don’t think I have been discourteous.

What I have done is point out some of the ridiculousness of statements made on this thread, to which there has been no coherent response, though plenty of vapour. But that is no discourtesy, it is honest debate.

In similar vein, you would no doubt have considered it highly discourteous when I pointed out in the Irish Times some while back that, because what they say makes no sense, the Left compensate by shouting louder, being emotional and trying to shut down the other side.

A bit like Cedar Lounge!

Anyway, no doubt you will moderate this post out of existence; can’t let the plebs see it! 

WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2013

According to yourself, we are your ‘opponents’ and yet we’re meant to ‘lighten up’. Are you suggesting what you say isn’t serious? Could it be that this is all a charade on your part?

I think you do treat people with utter discourtesy. It’s just a game, isn’t it? Throw around allegations of implicit anti-semitism, or anti-Israeli approaches or whatever and then stand back and enjoy the fireworks. You’ve come here supporting Humphrey’s unfair misrepresentations, I see no evidence that you resile from them, so yes, that’s a discourtesy.

There’s been nothing you’ve pointed out that’s ridiculous and your caricature of the left is tiresome as indeed is your insulting attitude towards same.

And as for your comment about ‘plebs’, we’ll let others judge the bona fides of someone who uses the term, even jocularly…

RosencrantzisDead - January 18, 2013

Folks, I do not wish to tell anyone what to do, but we have a choice: we can engage with Tony Allwright’s (tallrite’s) silly posts or we can recognise the sort of person he is:

“Personally I hate Islamism. In the absence of a Renaissance, it is a depraved ideology that preaches perpetual jihad against infidels, oppression against women, totalitarianism and no back-chat from the faithful. Ordinary Muslims are amongst its most long-suffering victims. It makes the Nazis seem benign.”

“I think it would be more “sad” not to hate Islamism.

http://www.sarahcarey.ie/2006/07/31/israel-lebanon/

And, in recognising this, realise that to even engage with him is to diminish us all.

WorldbyStorm - January 18, 2013

I have to agree,diminishes us all is a very good way to put it. Fear not. Both his comments and that of his ‘ally’ are now in moderation, whereupon if there’s any more of the sort of messing around we’ve seen above they simply won’t be published.

51. CLR in 2013 | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - December 31, 2013

[…] The most commented on post was from Janaury, and was …making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or right […]


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