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Wednesday, 17 May 2006

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The whole 'democracy' argument baffles me, too.

Neither of us voted for our head of state, but if the Yanks dropped bombs on Buck House, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and the rest, gave the Duchy of Cornwall to Bechtel to look after, and then told us they were only trying to be helpful so we ought to be grateful for being freed from the yoke of opression, I for one wouldn't exactly be overjoyed.

Worth waiting for, as I suspected, David. It's a measure of the document's incoherence that you and I agree on this, not to mention His N.I.B.s.

"Iraq and Afghanistan posed a military threat"

To whom exactly?

Apologies, Gentlemen, I am borrowing a friend's machine because I'm off air until the weekend at which time I hope to respond properly.

The mistake your making is assuming that Eustonism is a new movement.

It's not - it's just one bunch of lefties noisly disassociating themselves from other lefties who have become so addled by anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism (sorry anti-Zionism), that they have forgotten fundamental leftist principles.

We don't pretend to have a policy, only general principles which we are now in the uneviable position of having to defend against our former comrades.

This makes us largely reactive - stuff happens & we take a stand on it.

It is not enormously satisfactory but it is infinitely more realistic than the childish posturings of pretend Leninist vanguard parties.


Never change your computer kit! My new - 'just plug it in, Sir' - monitor doesn't work. I'll be with you as soon as I can.

Well, subject to blips, I think I'm back in action.

'Sonic': Afghanistan was the HQ of Osama and his organisation and they were allowed to hatch their terrorist plots under the protection of the Taliban government. Flying airliners into skyscrapers and killing 3,000 people is, I agree, not a threat, it is in fact the *execution* of a threat. As for Iraq, I repeat, most people *including Saddam himself*, thought he had, or was about to get, some sort of WMD ability. If you think that a man who gassed his own people, invaded his neighbours three times and constantly hurled threats at the west, was a man who posed no threat to us, then I can only say that I am glad you are not responsible for the conduct of British foreign policy. The fact that the threat was illusory does not alter the case. Those who claimed to have known it all along had even less grounds than those who believed it was real. In any event, you miss the main point which is that the 'Eustonites' (unlike myself) did not (and do not) require any threat for them to indulge in regime change.

Roger: I am most definitely *not* here to defend "pretend Leninist vanguard parties" but putting their deceit to one side, they are usually fairly clear where they wish to go and how they intend to set about reaching their goals. I regret to tell you that in my opinion the epithet "childish" is more applicable to this Euston Manifesto than the vicious campaigns of the 'Trot-lot'. It seems to me that the 'Eustonites' are, in a very Disney-like way 'wishing upon a star', in that their aims and objectives may be laudable but their means are confused when they are not downright wicked.

I will explain that last sentence in my next post which is gurgling quietly at the back of my mind.

You seem to have made the completely unfounded leap of 'logic' in assuming that the desire for regime change equates to an acceptance of the use of military force to that end. Many people advocated the end of Apartheid without ever expressing the sentiment that we should invade South Africa in order to effect this!

Equally erroneous is your assumption that flaws within our own democracy are exactly that which the Eustonites are seeking to export. As Churchill said more eloquently than I, democracy is far from perfect but the sniping in which you have engaged is possible only under the protection of the very democracy you so simplistically disparage.

“These countries [Iraq and Afghanistan] aren't going to change their ways unless you establish an immensely strong military power and hold it for 200 years as the British did in India.”

Sounds good. What’s wrong with changing Iraq and Afghanistan’s ways by establishing an immensely strong military power in the region and holding it for 200 years?

I don’t personally think it will take anything like 200 years to civilise the Middle East. But even if it did, it would be better for us (and them) than standing idly by and suffering them to fly more planes into our tall buildings - responding with cowardly cruise missile strikes and ‘in-out’ blitzkriegs that only knock them back into the dark ages (Somalia) and extend their (and our) agony. To endure their reformation, enlightenment and modernisation at their pace will cause us (and them) more slaughter and trouble than giving them a committed helping hand ever will.

If we’d been as vigorous and committed with the ‘Fuzzy-Wuzzies’ as we were in India perhaps Africa and the Middle East would not be in the crapulous state they are today, but rather heading in India’s right direction.

John Stuart Mill sums up the process of bringing civilisation to the savages quite well: –

“A despotism, which may tame the savage, will, in so far as it is a despotism, only confirm the slaves in their incapacities. Yet a government under their own control would be entirely unmanageable by them. *Their improvement cannot come from themselves, but must be superinduced from without*. The step which they have to take, and their only path to improvement, is to be raised from a government of will to one of law. They have to be taught self-government, and this, in its initial stage, means the capacity to act on general instructions. What they require is not a government of force, but one of guidance. Being, however, in too low a state to yield to the guidance of any but those to whom they look up as the possessors of force, the sort of government fittest for them is one which possesses force, but seldom uses it: a parental despotism or aristocracy, resembling the St. Simonian form of Socialism; maintaining a general superintendence over all the operations of society, so as to keep before each the sense of a present force sufficient to compel his obedience to the rule laid down, but which, owing to the impossibility of descending to regulate all the minutiae of industry and life, necessarily leaves and induces individuals to do much of themselves. This, which may be termed the government of leading-strings, seems to be the one required to carry such a people the most rapidly through the next necessary step in social progress. Such appears to have been the idea of the government of the Incas of Peru; and such was that of the Jesuits of Paraguay. *I need scarcely remark that leading-strings are only admissible as a means of gradually training the people to walk alone*.”

Even with a mention of ‘the St Simonian form of Socialism’ to help the natives on their way as a stepping stone to LD - this ‘ere Euston manifesto is old hat!

Son of Duff (back from house move and associated ‘ntl-hell’)

Well I have a nasty suspicion 'we' can't actually afford to keep a strong miltary anywhere for 200 years. I don't suppose such a long-term project would attract much private investment, either, given that it might take more than six months to see any return.

Still, perhaps we should have let the communists take over Afghanistan. If we had, it too might be a Capitalist Utopia today, like China and all those dynamic former-Soviet countries. I mean, what's wrong with having a few people starve to death if means the country will be going in the right direction several decades later?

“Well I have a nasty suspicion 'we' can't actually afford to keep a strong military anywhere for 200 years.”

The cost of keeping Tommy and his tank in peace time is a hefty sum we seem to have been able to afford; what’s the point of paying this cost if you won’t pay the marginal uplift to transport Tommy and his tank to a place where they can do exactly what you’re already paying them to do on Salisbury plain but for real?

It’s got nothing to do with cost. It’s got nothing to do with the courage and quality of the men and material we have paid handsomely for.

The problem, NIB, is you. You and your ilk just haven’t got the balls for it anymore, and because you and your opinions are in the ascendancy, so the media feed you more of what you want to hear about Iraq and Afghanistan, so your view becomes accepted by more people, and so on.

Because of this malaise in reason and courage in the Western world we may be about to walk away from dealing the coup-de-grace in a war which at the moment has the following qualities:

(1) Has saved, and is saving, an order of magnitude more middle-Eastern lives than it has taken and is taking,

(2) Caused us probably the lowest casualty rate per soldier per unit of time in the history of warfare,

(3) Destroyed our enemy’s munitions factories, namely the Islamo-fascist training camps in Afghanistan with their human ordnance production lines,

(4) Drawn the asymmetric forces of our enemy away from our backyard to fight on a battle field of our choosing, namely the shit-hole desert of Iraq that is their backyard,

(5) Placed our armies, probably the most powerful forces ever deployed in the history of warfare, in a double-Cannae on the flanks of our soon to be most deadly enemy, namely Iran, just in the nick of time.

So, poised for the beginning of the end of project ‘kick Islamo-fascism into touch’, and after one of the most strategically sound military campaigns in the history of warfare, NIB and co have persuaded enough of us that we are losing, the cost is too high and it’s not worth it. I rate their chances as quite high in denying us dealing the death blow to our enemy.

And when the fury of our half beaten enemy comes stalking out of the middle-East to deal with the ‘paper-Tiger’ that didn’t finish the job, you, NIB and your ilk, will be personally responsible for the slaughter that will become routine in our backyard.

Son of Duff

Gosh. I never knew it was all my fault. I might have guessed it wasn't Lawrence Duff's though, because that's not how things work in his world.


No Lawrence the problem is you.

You're so convinced that we have the opportunity to "kick Islamo-fascism into touch" that you fail to observe that what we're actually doing is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims, radicalising possibly millions more, vastly increasing the risk of terrorism, bulking the ranks of Islamo-Fascism beyond their wildest dreams, and thereby turning a crisis into a potential catastrophe.

But well done on having such great big balls, I'm so impressed.

Furthermore, Lawrence, what on earth does that outpouring of bile about what me and 'my ilk' *apparently* think about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq have to do with my actual assertion?

I'll say it again: I don't think we can afford to run anything on the scale of the British Empire again. That is, literally, *afford to* as in we either don't generate sufficent wealth to maintain such a thing, or we wouldn't be willing to invest it in such a cause if we did. Sorry if that upsets you, but the fact that there's no modern equivalent of the East India Company is not my fucking fault. Maybe if there was we could all be happy, but I just can't see it happening. Can you?

Don't let any of that get in the way of cranking out another cut-and-paste rant about libruls and the media being the 'problem' - after all, it's a lot easier to point the blame in than it is to entertain the scary notion that the world has changed just-a-bit in the last 300 years and the solutions that 'worked' (give or take a few tens of millions of Indians starving to death) in the past might not work now.

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