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Egyptian rabbit holes

Despite my most strident critics insisting that I am a “know it all” type of writer I am in fact a rather modest, if opinionated. sort of person  who likes to take a bit of time to absorb the facts and consider the consequences of the changes that I see in the world around me. Thus I have said nothing previously about the events in Egypt over recent weeks. However with the political demise of Mubarek I just can’t get that old aphorism which begins with “be careful what you wish for” out of my head.

It has been darkly humorous watching the  Latte Sippers wet themselves with excitement over these events they seem to think that this is “all good” and that there will be nothing but positive outcomes from this roiling unrest in the Arab world. Melenie Philips quite rightly notes their naivety:

Nevertheless, Western progressives were shouting for regime change. At which point it began to seem that, like Alice, one had somehow been transported through the looking-glass.

For during the past seven years, Western liberals have fulminated without remission that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair were criminally out to lunch to pretend that democracy could ever come to Iraq through ousting a dictator.

The neo-con article of faith, that the Arab or Islamic world, could or should embrace democracy and human rights, was held up as an example of cultural imperialism, racist bigotry or insanity, or all three.

But suddenly everyone in the bien-pensant world has apparently become a neo-con.

The US, they now fulminated, had been criminally obtuse in propping up the dictator Mubarak rather than helping turn Egypt into a democracy.

So what was the difference? Simple. Saddam Hussein was an enemy of the West; Mubarak was an ally. So progressives claimed that getting rid of the former was a crime against humanity, while not getting rid of the latter was a crime against humanity. Got that?

It would doubtless be uncharitable to add that, throughout this supposedly diabolical Mubarak presidency those same liberals saw no problem taking vacations rubber-necking round the Pyramids or steaming up the Nile. No boycott, divestment or sanctions movement there; such censure is never applied by the Left to any of the tyrannies of the Middle East, of course, only against the sole democracy in the region: Israel.

Nor do the double standards stop there. When the people of Lebanon made their pitch for democracy against the crushing oppression of Hezbollah, Western bien-pensants were totally indifferent. When the people of Iran made their pitch for democracy against the savage cruelties of the Islamic regime, the bien-pensants were totally indifferent. But when the Egyptians took to the streets, the bien-pensants all but wetted themselves with excitement.

What was the difference? If the Lebanese and Iranians had succeeded, the West would have been strengthened. But the risk still remains that the canny Muslim Brotherhood will bide their time before pouncing and coming to power in Egypt, which would of course furnish another major threat for the free world.

And this is the most frightening thing of all in this back-to-front universe: the way in which the West has sanitised the Muslim Brothers and even, in the case of the Obama administration, actually tried to push them into power.

Via the Australian

Personally I am still rather unsure that this will be a change for the better because as bad as Mubarek seemed to be he at least suppressed  in the desires and aspirations of his country’s Islamists and anti-Semites and  taking the lid of that noxious brew may have some rather messy consequences , you have to ask, will the resulting mess really be better than the rule of a relatively benign dictator?

Cheers Comrades

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209 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    I sort of agree with you, Iain, that Egypt may be no better off for this people’s revolution. To start with I think there is no doubt that the protests were instigated by Islamists who have their own kind of power in mind. Mubarek was totally corrupt (there are reports today that he has amassed a personal fortune of $70billion making him the richest person in the world!) and was supressing his own people. What a filthy pig, stealing his country’s wealth from his own poor people. Just like Suharto. He had to go. I dunno what will happen now but I’m sure they’ll get the government they deserve. People usually do.

  2. Eric Sykes says:

    “Saddam Hussein was an enemy of the West”…complete and utter bollocks.

    “there is no doubt that the protests were instigated by Islamists” complete and utter bollocks.

    I would suggest having a go at “absorbing the facts”.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Enlighten us then, Eric, don’t just criticise, as you normally do. If you don’t believe the brotherhood was a major instigator of the protests, please give us “the facts”.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    A youth movement? A bit simplistic, Eric. No Islamists behind it too? Were all those 30, 40, 50 & 60 year olds out there part of the youth movement too? Give me a break.

  5. Eric Sykes says:

    Ray…you are just a real try hard. The whole event in Eygpt was started by a secular youth movement. This has been widely reported and commented on throughout Australian and international media, and has been noted as a “democracy movement” everywhere. You must have missed all that, so my advice FWIW would be to read up a bit, and check the news reports and all the avaiable commentators before you put your foot all the way up your own arse. Bye.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Charming as usual, Eric. You really do belong at that other place. FYI I did not say that Islamists were the only people behind the protests, or indeed that it was solely their idea. It’s not the first time in history that organised political parties (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) have jumped on a youth driven bandwagon and turned youthful ideology into political reality. Gough did it very well back in the late 60s-early 70s when he sided with the youth protesting Vietnam. It gave him government too. Not that that was a bad thing. Anyway, it’s totally naive to believe that there was no political involvement from Islamist fundamentalists behind this particular revolution. The outcome remains to be seen.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Zane*

    The whole event in Eygpt was started by a secular youth movement. This has been widely reported and commented on throughout Australian and international media, and has been noted as a “democracy movement” everywhere.

    It may have been called that but what gives you any confidence that it is what it seems?
    frankly I am not prepared to view it as a “democracy movement” until I see the final result of all of these events. don’t you think that we should all be a little more circumspect until we see just how the new constitution looks and see if it will herald (as Ray suggests) the coming out into the open of the Muslim brotherhood and if once in the open they try to set up an Islamic state as so many of their ilk dream to do all over the world.

    * You have previously posted here under your real name so how about you continue to do so in the future its more friendly that way 😉

  8. The Other Iain says:

    Its an interesting point you make Iain. Sometimes coups and revolutions churn out new leaders and governments that dont really benefit the people, e.g. Russia, South Africa, Chile. I’m not sure that’s a reason for not changing though. If a leader is corrupt then you’ve got to kick him out. If the mass of people want political change then they are entitled to have it. What comes out the other side is entirely up to them. For as we know, people get the government they deserve.

  9. Eric Sykes says:

    More friendly. What? I have to be friendly? I happen to be a big Eric Sykes fan, and I use the name all over the place. It often reminds people that it wasn’t just Spike who wrote all the Goon shows. Not that I’ve got anything against Spike at all, I just like Eric. The monika is not an attempt to hide anything Imbeingnice, it’s simply a name I like.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    TOI
    I think what you miss, because you are suffering from the illness of leftism, is that ‘change for the sake of change” is more often bad than it is good. People may want it but then people want lots of things that are ultimately bad for them don’t they?

    Zane

    I’m a big fan of Milligan myself because I grew up listening to the Goon show every week on the ABC .
    That said I do try rather hard to keep things here civil and yes, friendly even when I may quite vehemently disagree with am argument being put.
    I’d love to buy you a coffee sometime if ever I’m over on the southside and you may discover that I am in fact not such a bad guy as my critics claim I am 😉

  11. Zane Trow says:

    Sip latte? Surely not.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, there’s no doubt Mubarak had to go. He was corrupt & rich, the people suppressed and poor. As for what happens now it’s like both TOI and I have said – people get the government they deserve. So if they become another fundamental Islamic State and go to war on Israel, so be it. About time the whole Middle East went up again – maybe next time they can do the world a favour and wipe themselves out completely. All of them. Both sides.

  13. The Other Iain says:

    I think what you miss, because you are suffering from the illness of leftism, is that ‘change for the sake of change” is more often bad than it is good.

    When I read comments like that I am reminded why this blog is so great, because it combines unrestrained wingnut-ism with comic stupidity. If leftists are suffering an “illness” then you wingnuts are suffering from a chronic case of intellectual haemmorhoids.

    So let’s get this straight… if ‘change for change’s sake’ is a leftist disease and too risky, then you are OK with corrupt dictators like Mubarak, Saddam, Suharto, etc. staying in power, because the alternatives may be worse? Please clarify your position. Or we might think you are an apologist for tyrants.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Zane
    I have been known to enjoy the odd latte Zane 😉
    However I try to avoid too much sipping of the brew in question 🙂

    TOI

    So let’s get this straight… if ‘change for change’s sake’ is a leftist disease and too risky, then you are OK with corrupt dictators like Mubarak, Saddam, Suharto, etc. staying in power, because the alternatives may be worse? Please clarify your position. Or we might think you are an apologist for tyrants.

    Oh I’m no apologist for tyrants Ask Craigy how strongly I have argued that it was right fro Saddam to be both removed and executed for his crimes but lets be real was he really in the same league as Saddam and Surharto?

    There are really evil dictators and then there are more benign ones removing either can be a good thing but only if it results in a better society in the country that they have been ruling.

  15. The Other Iain says:

    Suharto killed around two million people after he took power in the 60s, Iain. A quarter of a million of those people in East Timor alone. And you reckon he was OK? And as Ray has said, Mubarak has stolen billions from his own people. And you reckon he was minor league?

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too on this question. Either you support leaving dictators and corrupt presidents in place, or you support getting rid of them. Which do you support getting rid of? Mugabe? Gaddafi? Ahmedinejad? Abdullah in Jordan? The Saudi and Kuwaiti royals?

    None of us have a crystal ball and can see what will happen on the other side one you knock a tinpot dictator off his perch. But conservatives who let them stay in power because they wet their pants over what might happen afterwards? Well, the word ‘cowardice’ springs to mind.

  16. damage says:

    “…….maybe next time they can do the world a favour and wipe themselves out completely. All of them. Both sides.”

    Sounds like someone isn’t a big fan of the Semite.

  17. damage says:

    “But conservatives who let them stay in power because they wet their pants over what might happen afterwards? Well, the word ‘cowardice’ springs to mind.”

    Hang on! Wasn’t the left against the war in Iraq because it was really about an evil little bird called “Regime Change”?
    Aren’t they now against the war in Afghanistan which in the end is about getting rid of tyrants?
    How can they now be in favour or removing a tyrant when they were so against removing Saddam?

  18. The Other Iain says:

    No, the left was against the Iraq war because it was concocted by a US presidential administration on the pretext of ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Only none were ever found. And the US pushed and bullied to start the war, without giving sanctions and weapons inspectors a chance to establish whether these WMD even existed in the first place. I don’t think you will find many left wingers who argue that the removal of Saddam was a bad thing. But it wasn’t the reason for going to war. At least not originally.

    Re: Afghanistan, most elements of the left actually supported the removal of the Taliban because there WAS clear evidence that they had supported al Qaeda. But the Afghanistan war is not as simple as “the Taliban versus the Afghani people”. Those who oppose the war now are mostly of the view that it can never be really ‘won’ because Afghan politicals/tribal divisions/split loyalties make it too difficult.

  19. damage says:

    So the left are in favour of regime change – if it’s easy?

    COP OUT.

  20. damage says:

    “I don’t think you will find many left wingers who argue that the removal of Saddam was a bad thing.”

    But those who argued against regime change being the reason were BIG BIG lefties.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2073634/

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    It wasn’t necessary to invade Iraq because they were no threat. Saddam would have eventually been overthrown by their own people, which is the way it should be. Look at the mess it’s in now. Great war! Afghanistan is an unwinnable war, always has been. The pretext is that if we weren’t there it could revert back to Taliban rule who would give safe harbour to terrorists. It’s hard to deny that part. At least in Afhganistan we are not killing off the general population.

  22. bingbing says:

    Not so sure it was just Islamists…

    An Egyptian mate over here is pretty stoked, but that could well be short-lived, depending on what happens with that Muslim Brotherhood.

  23. The Other Iain says:

    So the left are in favour of regime change – if it’s easy? COP OUT.

    I know that comprehension and common sense arent your forte, damage, but that is not what I said at all.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Maybe it’s just that those on the left are better thinkers, and realise that not every situation is the same and that different principles apply. With Saddam, we could have just left him and his essentially innocuous country alone. You know, let them sort it out for themselves. Just like Egypt did with Murabak. If that had happened in Iraq I reckon everyone would have applauded it. The way it did happen though, was overkill.

  25. damage says:

    No no TOI that’s exactly what you said.

    Let’s take the floss out and see what you said.

    “………….most elements of the left actually supported the removal of the Taliban……….but……….those who oppose the war now are mostly of the view that it can never be really ‘won’ because Afghan politicals/tribal divisions/split loyalties make it too difficult..”

    In other words – the left are in favour of regime change – if it’s easy.

  26. damage says:

    ” With Saddam, we could have just left him and his essentially innocuous country alone. You know, let them sort it out for themselves. Just like Egypt did with Murabak.”

    What is it with the left and the convenient omission of history?

    It may have slipped your mind, but when the Iraqi people did try to oust Mr. Insane he used WMD (which he most certainly did have at the time) to get even.

    Beginning in the morning on March 16, 1988 and continuing all night, the Iraqis rained down volley after volley of bombs filled with a deadly mixture of mustard gas and nerve agents on Halabja. Immediate effects of the chemicals included blindness, vomiting, blisters, convulsions, and asphyxiation. Approximately 5,000 women, men, and children died within days of the attacks. Long-term effects included permanent blindness, cancer, and birth defects. An estimated 10,000 lived, but live daily with the disfigurement and sicknesses from the chemical weapons.

    REMEMBER?

  27. gigdiary says:

    Sarah Hanson-Young’s cloying piece in the SMH today shows just how doe-eyed some lefties can be. She is, as Melanie Phillips suggests, ‘wetting her pants’ in anticipation of a democratic utopia in Egypt. Which also shows that GenY lefties have scant regard for history. Certainly we hope for a democratic government in Egypt, but no sane person would hold their breath.

    Sarah, and many of the left, bemoan the fact the West didn’t allow Iraq time to stage their own peaceful uprising against their dictator, before invading with armed forces under arguably false pretences. The comparison with the Iraq war and this, so far, peaceful revolution is chalk and cheese. Saddam had the support of the military during his regime. A peaceful protest would have achieved nothing other than more mass killings, something which he was already skilled at. In Egypt the military sided with the protesters.

    Mubarak had one other card stacked against him, technology: the internet, the ubiquity of the mobile phone, and the access to Facebook and Twitter.

    Perhaps there’s something to be said for Twitter after all…

    While we all hope for democracy in Egypt, let’s not forget Pete Townsend’s immortal words….

  28. The Other Iain says:

    In other words – the left are in favour of regime change – if it’s easy.

    I did not say that at all. It’s just a gross simplification of what I said. Presumably to fit your own simple mind.

    Personally I am opposed to any war that doesn’t have clear objectives or an endpoint in sight. That’s Afghanistan to a tee. Whereas people like you are prepared to fight to the last drop of somebody else’s blood, all in the name of ‘regime change’. Yee-hah.

  29. The Other Iain says:

    While we all hope for democracy in Egypt, let’s not forget Pete Townsend’s immortal words….

    “But… I was doing research” ?

  30. Iain Hall says:

    Sorry TOI
    but I think that your position on this issue is confused , in the first instance you say that Saddam and Surharto should have been removed because they were murderous tyrants and then you trot out the same old tired rhetoric about “weapons of mass destruction”. It seems to me that if you really believe in the removal of tyrants then the pretext for action should not matter as much as the result.

    and I think your I am opposed to any war that doesn’t have clear objectives or an endpoint in sight. demonstrates just how little you understand about just how war works. Its sadly not as simple or elegant as a chess game and in real war it is nearly always more by luck than good intention if anything goes precisely to plan.

  31. The Other Iain says:

    Iain, I think you’re the one with the confused position, considering that you queried whether Suharto was ‘really in the same league’ as Saddam, when Suharto killed at least four times as many people, including slaughtering 200,000+ East Timorese on our own doorstep. Yet Saddam was overthrown and Suharto was supported by the US, British and Australians. Explain to me, o wise one, why we knocked off one and let the other murder, rape and pillage his country and others?

    I think your I am opposed to any war that doesn’t have clear objectives or an endpoint in sight. demonstrates just how little you understand about just how war works. Its sadly not as simple or elegant as a chess game and in real war it is nearly always more by luck than good intention if anything goes precisely to plan.

    Firstly Iain, drop the condescending “how little you understand” routine. You’ve never been near a war and you’re not Sun Tzu.
    As to your point, while every war is full of errors and unpredictable events and situations, that doesn’t mean you don’t go into war without planning. Only an idiot nation goes to war without having defined objectives, rules of engagement, exit strategies. Or are you saying that we should just knock off dictators first and worry bout the rest later?

  32. Iain Hall says:

    No TOI I queried if Mubarak was in the same league with Saddam and Suharto actually.

    I grew up in a house where war was a constant topic of discussion* , studied some history and frankly as someone who believes that war is just an extension of politics I think that I may just have a better handle on the topic than you do, this is very evident in the things that you say about the subject of war. I did the “peace and anti war” thing in the seventies but being a peacnik in the face of wide spread military belligerence just does not work in the real world.

    *My parents are English and for them WW2 was a formative experience and naturally that was ever present in my childhood.

  33. Craigy says:

    “It seems to me that if you really believe in the removal of tyrants then the pretext for action should not matter as much as the result.”

    Do you really believe that Iain, I mean you have thought through that statement haven’t you?

    So if a country, let’s say Australia, has a problem with the way another country to our North is behaving towards a group of people it claims as its citizens, in, let’s say, PNG, then we SHOULD (in your view) just claim they eat babies or all have personal nukes in their homes and send in the f18’s to blow their leaders (and lots of others) away?

    This is how conservatives think we should run the world? And you wonder why some of us think Tony Abbott should never get to be PM. Sheesh…

    (BTW Iain, can you respond rather than getting ‘damage’ or one of your other mates to do it for you, it is your post I am commenting on…cheers)

  34. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    Do you really believe that Iain, I mean you have thought through that statement haven’t you?

    Oh yes I have Craigy I was responding to TOI who was claiming that bad tyrants should be removed and yet suggesting that the removal of a very bad tyrant in the form of Saddam was entirely “wrong”. Now I fully get the argument about the reasons for the Iraq war but I have always argued that he was evil and that his removal was justified by his crime against humanity.

    So if a country, let’s say Australia, has a problem with the way another country to our North is behaving towards a group of people it claims as its citizens, in, let’s say, PNG, then we SHOULD (in your view) just claim they eat babies or all have personal nukes in their homes and send in the f18′s to blow their leaders (and lots of others) away?

    If the truth is that a regime in our region is incontestably evil wouldn’t you internationalist lefties claim that we have a duty to to step in and protect the innocent? Because what you are suggesting is that under no circumstances should any country ever interfere in the affairs of another by extension are you advocating the dissolution of the police forces becuse no one should interfere with what goes on in the houses and work places of the country?

    This is how conservatives think we should run the world? And you wonder why some of us think Tony Abbott should never get to be PM. Sheesh…

    I don’t know how you think that Tony Abbott comes into this topic 🙄 but if you have any internationalist aspirations there are going to be times when you have to endorse the use of force other wise the brutal and the belligerent will win every time.

    (BTW Iain, can you respond rather than getting ‘damage’ or one of your other mates to do it for you, it is your post I am commenting on…cheers)

    Damage does not comment at my beck and call but when he says something that broadly makes the point that I would make it seems a bit superfluous for me to say the same thing anyway.

  35. Ray Dixon says:

    Of course a protest against Saddam would not have removed him, GD, but that still doesn’t justify the invasion of Iraq and the mass bombing of the very people we claimed to be “liberating” from his oppression. It really is a stretch (well a straight out lie) to claim we were acting honourably.

  36. damage says:

    Or you could just let the tyrant be Craigy?
    I mean the hero of the left is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain the man who handed Czechoslovakia and Poland over.

    If good men do nothing are they still good men Craigy?

  37. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m all for invading New Zealand actually, Craigy. We could take them with one ship – the one they’re lending us.

  38. The Other Iain says:

    No TOI I queried if Mubarak was in the same league with Saddam and Suharto actually.

    Maybe. But you still didn’t answer the question.

    I grew up in a house where war was a constant topic of discussion* , studied some history and frankly as someone who believes that war is just an extension of politics I think that I may just have a better handle on the topic than you do

    Doesn’t sound too much to me like something a “rather modest” person would say. In any case, talking about war around the kitchen table and reading a few books does not make you an expert on the topic. The kind of arguments you’ve trotted out on this thread are the same things you hear blokes in blue singlets talking about in the local pub. If you are seriously suggesting that military planning is largely irrelevant and that exit strategies dont matter than I hardly see how you can be boasting about your knowledge of warfare, sir.

  39. The Other Iain says:

    I mean the hero of the left is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain

    Yeah right on, I’ve got a poster of him on my wall, a GO NEV t shirt, and in my garden there is a statue of Neville the concrete prime minister.

    You don’t half talk some crap.

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    The first war against Saddam in 1991 was justified. He had invaded Kuwait and was sending missiles into Israel. He had the shit beaten out of him and his military power reduced to a rump. After his defeat the country was brought to its knees economically with embargos. There were regular weapons inspections to ensure he wasn’t rebuilding an arsenal. He wasn’t. The situation was under control and if he’d been left alone his own people would have overthrown him for sure. Not peacefully but violently. But Bush was just itching for a war after 9/11 and what better target was there than a weak, hated enemy .. that just happened to have 10% of the world’s known oil reserves. Give me a friggin’ break – there were no “good intentions” behind the Iraq invasion and all it did was unify the Arab world against those who invaded a sovereign State without provocation – i.e. The USA, The UK and Australia.

  41. Iain Hall says:

    TOI

    If you are seriously suggesting that military planning is largely irrelevant and that exit strategies dont matter than I hardly see how you can be boasting about your knowledge of warfare, sir.

    Military planing could not be more extensive and more careful than it is now especially in the western nations but if Iraq has taught us anything it is that you just never know how good your intelligence is until you have boots on the ground. So you can have all of the “exit strategies ” that you can possibly imagine but it won’t help you if each of those strategies are based upon faulty assumptions. Essentially you will have to think about getting out only after you have gone in.

  42. Craigy says:

    Iain, you wilfully miss my point yet again.

    You are advocating that if we don’t like some government or leader and think they have done something wrong, then it is fine to just make up any old reason and invade their country killing them and many of the people there.

    You really think this is the way to run international relations.
    Going by Tony’s support for this kind of action in Iraq, he thinks this way as well.

    Look, I’m all for removing tyrants but when you lie to your own people about why you are doing it, then you are behaving just like the tyrants you wish to remove. This leaves you open to the claim that you’re no better than them and rightly so.

    It can also look like it is only being done for your own self interest, you know, starting a war for political reasons. Being willing to kill people to win votes….

    It’s sick.

    I don’t think the UN a great organisation, but we do need an international consensus based on verifiable facts, not a made-up rationale before we go in with the F18’s and ground troops. I’m sure you would agree if you had ever been on the receiving end of a US air strike.

  43. The Other Iain says:

    Fair enough, Lieutenant Colonel Hall, I will leave it at that. Except to make the pertinent point that in recent history the US has been pretty good at starting wars but not so hot at finishing them.

  44. damage says:

    And Craigy is advocating that no matter the tyrany of the despot that we do nothing except say nasty things about them at the UN.

    Gutless peacenicks.

  45. The Other Iain says:

    Why aren’t you in khaki and doing something about them yourself, damage, if you feel so strongly about it?

  46. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    Iain, you wilfully miss my point yet again.

    No you miss my point, which was to point out that TOI was being inconsistent by advocating for the removal of tyrants and then complaining about the removal of a tyrant…

    You are advocating that if we don’t like some government or leader and think they have done something wrong, then it is fine to just make up any old reason and invade their country killing them and many of the people there.

    Not quite.
    What I am saying is if someone is a tyrant of the ilk of Saddam then it is a quibble at best to continually whine that the pretext fro action was not a strong as you would have liked it to be.

    You really think this is the way to run international relations.
    Going by Tony’s support for this kind of action in Iraq, he thinks this way as well.

    I am unapologetic for thinking that you dragging Tony into this is off topic.

    As for international relations its always been about who has the biggest guns and bombs and no amount of latte tainted thinking will change the fact that the UN is a total joke that does nothing of consequence towards solving international conflicts or the removal of tyranny

    Look, I’m all for removing tyrants but when you lie to your own people about why you are doing it, then you are behaving just like the tyrants you wish to remove. This leaves you open to the claim that you’re no better than them and rightly so.

    I really feel that you are wrong headed here because NO ONE at the time was sure either way and even Saddam was suggesting that he had them so rather than it being a lie I would suggest that it was more of a mistaken belief.

    It can also look like it is only being done for your own self interest, you know, starting a war for political reasons. Being willing to kill people to win votes….

    It’s sick.


    All
    international diplomacy is about self interest

    I don’t think the UN a great organisation, but we do need an international consensus based on verifiable facts, not a made-up rationale before we go in with the F18′s and ground troops. I’m sure you would agree if you had ever been on the receiving end of a US air strike.

    Oh spare me the wishful thinking about consensus we both know that such an idea is total bollocks 🙄

  47. damage says:

    Who says I’m not TOI?

  48. The Other Iain says:

    I do, Matt.

  49. Craigy says:

    “No you miss my point, which was to point out that TOI was being inconsistent by advocating for the removal of tyrants and then complaining about the removal of a tyrant…”

    No, you are trying to pretend that’s what he said because you can’t argue against his points.

    “What I am saying is if someone is a tyrant of the ilk of Saddam then it is a quibble at best to continually whine that the pretext fro action was not a strong as you would have liked it to be. “

    Yes, we get that you think we should invade any country on any made up excuse we like. Why don’t you just use plain English? You know the pretext was non-existent, even the man (Colin Powell) who had to sell the world the big lie later resigned in disgrace. The US has admitted they did a poor job and accepted the lies because, and I quote; “it was what they wanted to hear” and this comes from a member of the CFR, not a leftist organisation.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/16/curveball-questions-cia

    “I am unapologetic for thinking that you dragging Tony into this is off topic.”

    Tony supported the unilateral actions of the US based on doctored evidence, a poor example of his ability to lead our country don’t you think?

    “As for international relations its always been about who has the biggest guns and bombs and no amount of latte tainted thinking will change the fact that the UN is a total joke that does nothing of consequence towards solving international conflicts or the removal of tyranny “

    Again, I get the fact that you think the use of force is fine, even when there are other options. It’s also clear you think the biggest bully with the biggest fists will always be the winner. Not surprising really, wingnuts have always favoured violence. Perhaps the UN would be a more effective organisation if those on the right supported it, or its replacement, but all you do is harp on and advocate violence as the only answer.

    “I really feel that you are wrong headed here because NO ONE at the time was sure either way and even Saddam was suggesting that he had them so rather than it being a lie I would suggest that it was more of a mistaken belief.”

    I know it is hard for you to admit you are wrong Iain, but to rewrite history to cover your embarrassment is a bit much. You do remember the photos Powell presented to the UN as evidence of a chemical lab and that he told the world this was undisputable evidence of Iraq making WMD’s…… You want to retract your “NO ONE at the time was sure” comment?

    “All international diplomacy is about self interest”

    And in your view, that’s the end of the story. We should be all about self interest, no one else matters except us and we don’t have any leaders with empathy nor should we have. Yep that sums up the cold heart of the neo-con wingnuts to a tee.

    “Oh spare me the wishful thinking about consensus we both know that such an idea is total bollocks”

    Again you are happy to make decisions that cost people their life based on false information excepted only by the aggressor. Never test the rational for any invasion suggested by the US because they are our great friend and ally.

    Many of us were cautioning you not to blindly support the US invasion as the details seemed cooked up, but we got called traitors and ignorant fools….just so happens though, we were right and the supporters of these discredited actions have egg all over their faces.

    damage “Gutless peacenicks.”

    No, just cautious adults who understand what war and violence are about. I gather you are really happy with the outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan damage, and have no problem with the way we rushed into these conflicts on false and untested evidence and without any plan or concrete reason?

  50. damage says:

    I’m not at all interested in who you “do” TOI.

    I asked who said I wasn’t in khaki and doing something about tyrants?

    It was a rhetorical question I realise, but bragging about a sexual conquest is not the answer I was after.

    And let’s say I’m not, who’s to say I haven’t in the past?
    And lets say I never have (and you haven’t either because you were more interested in “doing” the platoon members I suspect), who cares? Surely we’re both still allowed to express opinions on these wars?

    Now back to doing your chap.

  51. The Other Iain says:

    So that’s your best response is it, champ… a heap of ‘you’re a poof’ slurs.
    At least we’re cutting to the nub of exactly who/what you are. Not that there was ever too much doubt.

  52. Craigy says:

    TOI, damage is just projecting.
    He’s sweet on Tony remember…..the speedos did him in.

  53. JM says:

    Craigy: You are advocating that if we don’t like some government or leader and think they have done something wrong, then it is fine to just make up any old reason and invade their country killing them and many of the people there.

    Yeah, Iain is actually missing the point that changing another country’s government at the point of a gun is a violation of the key principle underlying international law since the Treaty of Westphalia.

    But then I suppose Iain sees no problem in throwing out 400 years of settled diplomacy and practice and returning the world to the sort of chaos last seen during the 30 years war.

    Tell me Iain, I’m quite sure we can agree that China doesn’t like our system of government. Would they be justified in invading and forcibly changing it?

  54. damage says:

    I wouldn’t say happy was the word Craigy, but happier than leaving him there and happier than leaving al qaeda have free run in Afghanistan and porentially Iraq too – had we not removed Saddam.

    I wouldn’t say we rushed into these conflicts either and given that Saddam was removed inside a month I would never suggest that there was no plan either.
    Having been involved in the military (to answer TOI’s question)I am acutely aware of the level of planning that they do. I would say that those beliefs are very ignorant ones.

    And in October 2003 forty-one ALP federal parliamentarians signed an open letter to George Bush about their objection to the invasion of Iraq.
    Neither Julie Gillard nor Kevin Rudd’s signature was on the letter.

    Two poor examples of the ability to lead our country don’t you think?
    (Of course since you never answer a question ………….)

  55. damage says:

    TOI

    You’re not worth the trouble mate.
    I think I have your measure because you’re no longer debating the topic, but trying to stalk those who disagree with your point.
    I’m happy to leave it at that.

    Have a nice day. 🙂

  56. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    No, you are trying to pretend that’s what he said because you can’t argue against his points.

    there is no pretence involved at all Craigy ; go back and re read his comments he clearly advocates for the removal of tyrants and specifically mentions both Saddam and Surharto

    Yes, we get that you think we should invade any country on any made up excuse we like. Why don’t you just use plain English? You know the pretext was non-existent, even the man (Colin Powell) who had to sell the world the big lie later resigned in disgrace. The US has admitted they did a poor job and accepted the lies because, and I quote; “it was what they wanted to hear” and this comes from a member of the CFR, not a leftist organisation.

    Don’t you get the idea that removing Saddam was still a good thing to do because he was such an evil scum bag? How many of his own people and those of his neighbours were killed at his behest? millions of them and if he was nit under blockade after the first gulf war he would have jsut kept on killing.

    Again, I get the fact that you think the use of force is fine, even when there are other options. It’s also clear you think the biggest bully with the biggest fists will always be the winner. Not surprising really, wingnuts have always favoured violence. Perhaps the UN would be a more effective organisation if those on the right supported it, or its replacement, but all you do is harp on and advocate violence as the only answer.

    I am just being realistic here Craigy especially as the “other options” just don’t work, as for the UN it is a shambles and not because of “wingnuts” favour violence the reality is that just about every little tin pot country favours violence too if they think that they can get away with it to achieve their aims or desires. Just explain how any international organisation can work without a means of enforcing its pronouncements?

    And in your view, that’s the end of the story. We should be all about self interest, no one else matters except us and we don’t have any leaders with empathy nor should we have. Yep that sums up the cold heart of the neo-con wingnuts to a tee.

    When I say that ALL diplomacy is about self interest I do mean all from all sides and all countries and all factions not just those that you refer to as “wingnuts ” as much as I personally believe in altruism I just don’t see it on the world stage.

    Global consensus is a bloody great myth Craigy it is illusory at best and you can’t demonstrate otherwise, frankly I wish that it was not the case but you just can’t keep pretending that it works when it clearly doesn’t.

    Again you are happy to make decisions that cost people their life based on false information excepted only by the aggressor. Never test the rational for any invasion suggested by the US because they are our great friend and ally.

    I make no decisions here Craigy all that I am doing is offering opinions But what was definitively NOT false was that Saddam was brutal dictator who killed millions of his own people by using WMD can you at least admit that is correct? So while you whine about a much lesser evil of a weak pretext for war it seems to me that you are endorsing Saddam being able to continue to kill with impunity as he surely would have continued to do had the invasion not happened.

    Many of us were cautioning you not to blindly support the US invasion as the details seemed cooked up, but we got called traitors and ignorant fools….just so happens though, we were right and the supporters of these discredited actions have egg all over their faces.

    The removal of tyrants is never going to be clean and easy, that is the lesson of history so if you believe that they should be removed then just how should it be done?

  57. The Other Iain says:

    Noone’s st*lking you, damage. Why would they bother? Everyone knows who are you. And that you’re sillier than a pig in frills.

    You… involved in the military? That’s a laff. The 1st Barwon Heads Boy Scouts aren’t an armed force.

  58. damage says:

    ????
    Looloo!

  59. Craigy says:

    Sorry Iain, but the entire premise of your response above is based on misinformation which I believe you are not pedalling on purpose but maybe you have gone a bit foggy and are only thinking thoughts that support your mythical ideas. As the man from the CFR said, “you only hear what you want to hear”.

    Just to set you straight, the UN has had consensus and did act against Saddam, with a force made up of over 30 countries, it was known as GULF WAR ONE. You remember, we won and a ‘tin pot’ country was saved from a tyrant.

    REAL history (as compared to the revisionist history favoured by wingnuts) tells us that we rarely invade other countries unless they are a threat to others. When Saddam invaded Kuwait, the UN put together a force and put him back in his box.

    While none of us like seeing countries run by tyrants, we tend to leave it up to those countries to sort it out, like in Egypt.

    The problem with the Iraq invasion was that the UN wanted proof that Iraq was a danger to the rest of us and the evidence wasn’t there. In fact the weapons inspectors reported they couldn’t find anything and asked for more time.

    The Bush administration meanwhile was looking for a reason to invade, for a number of reasons, none of which was any threat to them from Iraq. So when the CIA came up with the photos of the alleged ‘mobile chemical labs’ the Bush admin, keen on military action, were willing to run with it even though most sensible people could see it was dodgy.

    The coalition of the willing was really the coalition of the willing to be misled.

    Removing tyrants who are not an external threat is not what currently happens IN THE REAL WORLD and the UN is effective if someone is an external threat, this has been shown time and again. Yes they have some real issues, but pursuing options other than violence should always be the main aim, in fact it was why we set it up in the first place. Many revolutions have happened peacefully Iain, and the UN has helped keep the peace many times as well as using force when it has been needed.

    You can try and paint it otherwise, but it just aint so…..

  60. damage says:

    How can anyone reasonably defend the UN?

    Need we list the despots that they have left in place, or list the millions who have died because the UN sat on its hands while they did?

  61. damage says:

    How goes the BOTOX TOI?

  62. Craigy says:

    Yes damage, and while your at it can you list all the despots and tyrants that the US has supported over the years…..Saddam is one of them you know.

    Look, I’m well aware the UN has lots of problems but to claim they never act is a lie.

  63. damage says:

    Please, please quote me sayinng that they …………”NEVER ACT”????????

  64. Craigy says:

    Not you mate, I’m having this argument with Iain…cheers.

  65. damage says:

    Ok well you’re losing big time because your knight in shining armour is the UN.

    At least the US have had the guts to DO something about the despot even if it was them who supported him for years. On the other hand the UN would have sat on their hands while Saddam gained the ability to use and then set about using WMD. I don’t think you can reasonably argue that he should have been left there, but that’s exactly where he’d be now if the UN had been left to manage it.

  66. gigdiary says:

    ‘A UN that includes China, North Korea, Syria, Libya, the Sudan, Yemen, Iran, and other such nations cannot expect to be counted on to support freedom and the democratic process.’

    I like that quote. It doesn’t need citations, just check the facts, and use common sense. Unfortunately, the Left, in our very much Right-driven society, must always have their knives out for the so-called evil US. Subsequently, they find themselves sleeping with some rather strange bedfellows.

    They shy away from the fact that, in essence, they are supporting despots, tyrannies, socialist regimes, none of which have ever supported, contributed to or even befriended the West. These emerging nations, or rather, tinpot dynasties, have shown themselves all too ready to take advantage of the negative aspects of Western civilisation, such as guns, and bombs, and threats of nuclear warfare, but strangely enough haven’t managed to learn from the positive aspects of Western society.

    The Left turn a blind eye to this, but are one-eyed, myopic, in their scrutiny of US policies. Is it because they believe the US, and by default, Australia, should be pristine in its dealings with other nations?

    If so they are living in a fool’s paradise, and are taking the coward’s way out by fighting against the hand that feeds them, rather than addressing the depots, tyrannies and tinpot regimes they now support.

  67. Ray Dixon says:

    The ‘Left’ (as you call it) does not universally support those regimes, GD. What is your point here? Do you suggest we ignore UN rulings & decisions just bcause it is made up of all nations, good & bad. I don’t see the US doing much about the regimes in the nations you cite either. You’re just ‘left bashing’, aren’t you? Just because you are a conservative doesn’t mean you have a mortgage on how to handle the despots and tin-pot countries of the world. I also don’t see any solutions coming out of your corner.

  68. gigdiary says:

    One partial solution could be for the Australian Left to take their vindictive, myopic focus off the US, and examine the big picture, something they so far seem incapable of doing. On this blog, anyway.

  69. damage says:

    Here here!

  70. The Other Iain says:

    A UN that includes China, North Korea, Syria, Libya, the Sudan, Yemen, Iran, and other such nations cannot expect to be counted on to support freedom and the democratic process.

    In case you hadnt noticed the UN operates on democratic principles and there are almost 200 member nations. That means they have to vote on resolutions. And the democratic countries can outvote the relatively few countries run by tyrants and tinpot regimes, if the cause is worthy enough. Oh, and North Korea is not a member of the UN, so do your homework.

    Unfortunately, the Left, in our very much Right-driven society, must always have their knives out for the so-called evil US. Subsequently, they find themselves sleeping with some rather strange bedfellows.

    The left expects a lot of the US because it is the world’s largest power and also the largest democracy. But just because we criticise the US doesnt mean we love China, North Korea, Iran or Islam. That is the favourite straw man of the loopy wingnut. “Oh you stick up for Muslim refos, you must love Islam!” Wrong. “Oh you expect Hicks and Abib to get fair trials, you must love al Qaeda!” Wrong. It is ridiculous really. Does the wingnut brain only comprehend two colours, black and white? Do wingnut restaurants only serve two dishes, because if you don’t like steak then you MUST love chicken?

    We lefties like to see things like due process, the rule of law, diplomacy, the UN, accountability of government, etc. Especially before racing into a war, risking the lives of our troops, killing civilians and devastating countries. Plus it doesnt give us a hard on when we sit at home on our comfy office chairs clattering away on the keyboards typing SEND IN THE TROOPS! Or acting like our mate ‘damage’ here and actually pretending to be one, when the closest he’s come to combat is a push and shove in the queue down at his local Maccas.

  71. Iain Hall says:

    TOI

    In case you hadn’t noticed the UN operates on democratic principles and there are almost 200 member nations. That means they have to vote on resolutions. And the democratic countries can outvote the relatively few countries run by tyrants and tinpot regimes, if the cause is worthy enough. Oh, and North Korea is not a member of the UN, so do your homework.

    The problem with your analysis claiming that the UN is democratic is that it forgets just one small detail and that is nations each have one vote no matter how many people live in any particular country. So I ask you how democratic can it be if a tiny pacific country like say Tuvalu has the same voting power as a country like China which is many orders of magnitudes bigger (population wise)?

    The left expects a lot of the US because it is the world’s largest power and also the largest democracy.

    Oh pull the other one , it plays jingle bells! Its not a matter of high expectation failing to be met its a case of the left continuing the Marxist critique of capitailsm

    But just because we criticise the US doesnt mean we love China, North Korea, Iran or Islam.

    that would be more believable if you were to be just as critical of these examples rather tahn constantly making excuses for them

    That is the favourite straw man of the loopy wingnut. “Oh you stick up for Muslim refos, you must love Islam!” Wrong.

    When you don’t automatically assume that someone like me criticises Islam or illegal immigration is an “evil racist” ect ect but engage with the issue dispassionately we might believe you.

    “Oh you expect Hicks and Abib to get fair trials, you must love al Qaeda!” Wrong.

    Hicks and Habib are both free men and lucky not to be dead and, both of them wanted to play at soldiers for a very nasty organisation the legal system is currently playing catch up because of 911 when you can appreciate that rather than just keep whining about legalistic technicalities then maybe we can consider the “justice ” of their situations . Because from where I stand they conspired with evil to do evil and the consequences that they received provided a sort of justice as far as I can see.

    It is ridiculous really. Does the wingnut brain only comprehend two colours, black and white? Do wingnut restaurants only serve two dishes, because if you don’t like steak then you MUST love chicken?

    The trouble with you lefties is that your eating places all seem to end up serving soup with salt or without salt (do you get the reference?) and neither is edible.

    We lefties like to see things like due process, the rule of law, diplomacy, the UN, accountability of government, etc. Especially before racing into a war, risking the lives of our troops, killing civilians and devastating countries.

    Be real here show me any example in recent times where a western nations have gone into another country with the intention of killing any civilians let alone seeking mass causalities as you want to suggest?
    Keeping in mind that they are technically very capable of doing just that.

    Plus it doesnt give us a hard on when we sit at home on our comfy office chairs clattering away on the keyboards typing SEND IN THE TROOPS! Or acting like our mate ‘damage’ here and actually pretending to be one, when the closest he’s come to combat is a push and shove in the queue down at his local Maccas.

    I have seen just as much push and shove in the tofu line when those evil lefty vegetarians are competing for the last bag of mung beans ….

  72. Craigy says:

    Why do wingnuts want to try and pretend that the UN is useless and never put up any solution other than the use of violence? TOI is right, you’re just a bunch of armchair warriors.

    Why have Iain, GD and damage all ignored my point above, about ‘Gulf War One’ and just kept on bagging the UN, ‘wilfully blind’ is the term that comes to mind.

    And as for GD’s strawman ‘leftist’ he has created and then spent a whole post attacking, it just reeks of his obvious lack of any real answer to the points I raised above.

    Lift your game gentlemen, and have a go at the actual arguments that TOI and I are making or I’m afraid it’s a big fat fail for you all.

  73. The Other Iain says:

    Oh pull the other one , it plays jingle bells! Its not a matter of high expectation failing to be met its a case of the left continuing the Marxist critique of capitailsm

    Oh stop smoking your Qld gunja Iain. When was the last time you heard me or Craigy or any serious lefty blogger call for socialist revolution or sing the praises of Lenin or Che. The Cold War is over. Move on, mate, seriously. Most of the left today are social democrats, not friggin Marxists. Your blog is so full of straw men like this that nobody dare light a match, or the whole thing will go up.

    that would be more believable if you were to be just as critical of these examples rather tahn constantly making excuses for them

    I don’t have to be critical of North Korea or Chinese human rights or Iran, the problems in those states are bleeding obvious. As for “making excuses”, find me one examples of when some lefty here has done that. Oh I forgot, you don’t do ‘finding evidence’… you do ‘stick fingers in ears and move on to next topic and hope nobody will notice’.

    The trouble with you lefties is that your eating places all seem to end up serving soup with salt or without salt (do you get the reference?) and neither is edible.

    Of course I get the reference, but I have no idea why you used it.

    Be real here show me any example in recent times where a western nations have gone into another country with the intention of killing any civilians

    The question is not intention, but the law of unintended consequences that applies whenever you invade a country that has people in it (apart from enemy soldiers.) Civilians tend to die when you bomb cities for umpteen days straight, or shoot up villages where you think terrorists are hiding. You wingnuts have a special term for this: “collateral damage”. We just call it unnecessary slaughter.

    Lift your game gentlemen, and have a go at the actual arguments that TOI and I are making or I’m afraid it’s a big fat fail for you all.

    They won’t Craigy, they seldom do. Iain’s debating technique is all about building straw men and attacking those, wilfully ignoring or misinterpreting what you’ve said, or ducking the topic altogether. Oh, and declaring that he knows more about war than you anyway, ‘cos his dad once heard a V2 plus he watches Foyles War. Arguing with Iain is like trying to seduce a nun, you might dance a lot but you know you’ll never get anywhere.

  74. Craigy says:

    Just occasionally Iain does go to the trouble of mounting an argument TOI. And I’ll cut him some slack with his back giving him shit at the moment.

    Perhaps GD or damage could have a go at a sensible rebuttal?……..nah, not possible from those two.

  75. Ray Dixon says:

    The trouble with you lefties is that your eating places all seem to end up serving soup with salt or without salt

    Huh? Okay, I’ll ask: What is “the reference”, Iain?

  76. The Other Iain says:

    I didnt know Iain had a bad case of shaggers back. So I will get off his back, and hope it clears up soon.

  77. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s probably more a case of “blogger’s back”. You can get it by sitting at the computer for too long (*). I suggest a “lumbar support roll”. You can get them from medical supply shops, you know, where they also sell walking frames and prosthetics.

    (* I’ve had it too – if you have a bad disc, sitting in one position for too long can aggravate it and cause siataca down your legs. I’ve found the best remedy is to get up and do some physical work)

  78. The Other Iain says:

    Can someone please get pics of Iain as he hobbles into the shop that sells walking frames and prosthetics?

  79. Craigy says:

    I don’t think Iain would consider it a laughing matter TOI.

    Ray, when you have a long term or permanant back injury, getting up and doing some physical work is not always the best thing.

    Iain may be a wingnut on this blog, but I wouldn’t wish a back injury on anyone.

  80. damage says:

    TOI after last night’s effort i think you might be the one who’s been turned on your back and shagged.

    Anyhow, yes we did have a Gulf War One Craigy. As I remember there were vast elements of the left who were aghast that it happened and of the right who were aghast that we stopped where we did.
    It was very violent as I recall, but was – it appears – a solution that the UN thought would work. Of course it failed in the end because they lacked the spine to continue to the end. I think that’s one of the criticisms you have isn’t it? That we don’t have an end game in mind? Well that’s where the UN was at the end of Gulf War One.

    Of course there that thing in April 1993 when the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of north-eastern Bosnia a “safe area” under UN protection. And then in July 1995 the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of Dutch peacekeepers, failed to prevent the town’s capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre by the Bosnian Serbs of more than 8,000 civilians and prisoners, mostly men and boys.
    But you’ve probably forgotten that. Or applauded it because it was the UN not being violent.

  81. Ray Dixon says:

    It depends what it is, Craigy. If it’s a bulging disc, like I have, then walking and normal physical work (standing up on your legs) is still possible and actually relieves the siatica. But being static and sedentary in a chair is the worse thing you can do.

  82. Iain Hall says:

    TOI

    Oh stop smoking your Qld gunja Iain. When was the last time you heard me or Craigy or any serious lefty blogger call for socialist revolution or sing the praises of Lenin or Che. The Cold War is over. Move on, mate, seriously. Most of the left today are social democrats, not friggin Marxists. Your blog is so full of straw men like this that nobody dare light a match, or the whole thing will go up.

    As we both know Marxism is not just about “revolution” , in fact it is more about economics when you get down to the central thesis, revolution is just a means to an end. To be honest you are constantly and excessively critical of lasse faire capitalism which is epitomised by the USA. Frankly when you make generalisations like ” Most of the left today are social democrats” you produce a more volatile straw straw man than anything I have ever invoked that only needs the tiniest spark of reality to explode into a brilliant fireball!
    The reality is that a lot of the left are really closet totalitarians who would love nothing more than to impose their values upon the whole planet.

    I don’t have to be critical of North Korea or Chinese human rights or Iran, the problems in those states are bleeding obvious. As for “making excuses”, find me one examples of when some lefty here has done that. Oh I forgot, you don’t do ‘finding evidence’… you do ‘stick fingers in ears and move on to next topic and hope nobody will notice’.

    Take a good long look in the mirror TOI 😉

    The question is not intention, but the law of unintended consequences that applies whenever you invade a country that has people in it (apart from enemy soldiers.) Civilians tend to die when you bomb cities for umpteen days straight, or shoot up villages where you think terrorists are hiding. You wingnuts have a special term for this: “collateral damage”. We just call it unnecessary slaughter.

    Sadly the part that you happily ignore is how many would have died if we sat back and Just let those traumatised by a tyrant die

    They won’t Craigy, they seldom do. Iain’s debating technique is all about building straw men and attacking those, wilfully ignoring or misinterpreting what you’ve said, or ducking the topic altogether. Oh, and declaring that he knows more about war than you anyway, ‘cos his dad once heard a V2 plus he watches Foyles War. Arguing with Iain is like trying to seduce a nun, you might dance a lot but you know you’ll never get anywhere.

    So are you in this game for the journey or the destination?

  83. Iain Hall says:

    Just to clarify gentlemen I suffered compression fractures of the lumbar spine in a motorcycle crash 12 years ago and mostly I can keep it in check by regular yoga and being careful about how I lift things but as anyone with a back injury will appreciate there are times when it seems good and you do the wrong thing which puts it “out” and there are times when you do everything right and it still goes “out”. At times like this reclining on a couch is about the best thing that I can do.

  84. Ray Dixon says:

    Well that’s different to what I have, Iain (a couple of fused discs), but after 12 years the fractures should have healed. You might need surgery to correct the spine (according to what I just looked up).

  85. Craigy says:

    damage, re-read my posts and you will find that I have repeatedly said that the UN is not a perfect organisation, and your story of what happened in Bosnia is a good example of this.

    The point, if you can focus for a moment, that we have been debating, is if the UN is able to get a consensus so as to act against an aggressor, without a country needing to act on its own. Gulf War One was the example I gave of this happening.

    It was correct for them to stop at the Iraq boarder as the UN gave the force no mandate to do anything but liberate Kuwait.

    The point being that the UN was dealing with Iraq and the US told lies in order to create a war to satisfy its domestic political needs.

  86. Craigy says:

    Sorry that reads so badly, in a rush….

  87. gavinm says:

    “It was correct for them to stop at the Iraq boarder as the UN gave the force no mandate to do anything but liberate Kuwait.’

    Thus setting the scene for the schmozzle that we have in Iraq today — brilliant work UN !

    You can add Rwanda, Somalia, the Congo, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivor, Sudan and god knows how many other places to the list of UN failures resulting in huge numbers of needless civilian deaths.

    I served in Gulf War 1 — my unit was less than 20kms from Baghdad with nothing between us and Saddam when we were ordered to halt…None of us could believe it and the results of allowing his regime to survive were always predictable.

  88. The Other Iain says:

    Frankly when you make generalisations like ” Most of the left today are social democrats”you produce a more volatile straw straw man than anything I have ever invoked…
    The reality is that a lot of the left are really closet totalitarians who would love nothing more than to impose their values upon the whole planet.

    Oh Iain, you are golden. You accuse me of rampant generalisations and then make one yourself in the same paragraph. You should win a Logie for services to comedy.

    But while all’s fair in war and blogging, I am sorry to hear about your back, and hope it eases up soon.

  89. The Other Iain says:

    Of course there that thing in April 1993 when the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of north-eastern Bosnia a “safe area” under UN protection. And then in July 1995 the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of Dutch peacekeepers, failed to prevent the town’s capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre by the Bosnian Serbs of more than 8,000 civilians and prisoners, mostly men and boys.

    You know I thought that sounded a bit too articulate for you, ‘damage’/HJ old son. So I pumped it into Google. And what do you know, I found the exact same paragraph on Wikipedia!

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

    Only you forgot to add any quote marks when you pasted it here. Or any attribution. And you added “Of course there’s the thing” and “And then”, to make it sound like your own writing.

    That just about sums up your contribution to this debate…. phoney.

  90. damage says:

    Craigy
    The fact alone that the UN fu***d up in Bosnia is reson not to leave the Saddm job to them. The UN is a joke. If the Dutch or the Portugese had invaded Iraq then the left would hardly have lifted their eyes from The Age to blow the froffy tops off their lattes. But since the star spangled banner was the culprit……………………..

  91. damage says:

    Oh boo hoo XXXX. Bet you sooked that much when those white balls were sailing into Wedge St too?

  92. The Other Iain says:

    Another poof joke…. about the extent of your intellect “damage”.
    Still, at least you don’t have to steal those from another website.

  93. SockPuppet says:

    This is not a poofter website. He would have to go the the AFL website for that.

  94. SockPuppet says:

    Not the footy AFL one. You know ….

  95. Craigy says:

    more strawmen damage…….oh well we did try…..

  96. The Other Iain says:

    “damage” in an intellectual light weight, Craigy, and should not be taken seriously. He’s either cut and pasting from else where (to sound smart) repeating Iains ‘latte sipper’ motifs (to sound cool) or making gay slurs (probably because he has repressed feelings about other men.) “damage” = fail.

  97. JM says:

    Gavinm: I served in Gulf War 1 — my unit was less than 20kms from Baghdad with nothing between us and Saddam when we were ordered to halt

    (God, another fantasist – how many of them do you have Iain?)

    Which ship was that in Gavin? Because the only Australian involvement in Gulf War I was the RAN.

    And the Coalition invaded Kuwait and only crossed the border into Iraq, never quite making it as far as Basra which is about 100km from the Kuwait border and 600km south of Baghdad.

    The main fighting on 26 February was on the “Highway of Death” which is a point just over the border into Iraq – a 700km advance from there to Baghdad the next day before Bush called off the war on 28 February truly would be the fastest military advance in history (about 7-8 times faster than that actually achieved in 2003) and probably beyond the top speed of the trucks and tanks concerned.

    If you’re going to make extraordinary claims, you better have extraordinary evidence.

    Or are you going to join previous alleged military “types” here such as Len and Dave who always claimed their military service was “super-duper top secret and therefore can’t be talked about” when caught out?

  98. The Other Iain says:

    Gavin has disappeared, probably on a special mission (e.g. sent to the shops by his mum for some Bonox). He should pick up some toilet paper while hes there, because JM just tore him a new arsehole.

  99. gigdiary says:

    that’s not too bad a rejoinder, TOI…

  100. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    I can no more be held accountable for the veracity of Gavin M than I can be for JM frankly I would have more faith in Gavin than I have in you because he has been more civil in his one comment than you have been in all of yours put together.

  101. damage says:

    Not sure how your having your bowling dispatched over mid wicket into the street is a “poof” reference TOI, but maybe the other Sahrks had a bit to say in the confines of the dressing rooms that tends you to believ your performance in that light.

  102. Ray Dixon says:

    I wonder if Gavin M is the same Gavin M who comments @ PP? Not that I care, but the Iraq story just didn’t ring true.

  103. Iain Hall says:

    I have no idea Ray and like you I am rather indifferent However if Gavin wants to put his hand up…

  104. JM says:

    Iain: he has been more civil in his one comment than you have been in all of yours put together.

    Well if you’re going to outlaw mockery then you’ll have to

    a.) stop your anti-Jeremy crusade
    b.) close down nearly all comments – most of your favorite commentators do nothing but (low grade) mockery
    c.) stop posting yourself – I don’t think you’ve ever made a post that didn’t involve some puerile mocking

    But if you want some rules for your moderation filter. Apart from banning s****ing perhaps you should subject your own posts to these filters:

    – ban “warmistas”
    – ban “latte sippers”
    – ban “leftists”
    – ban “feminazis”

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea

    As to Gavin – if he can come up with an official or unit history showing a Coalition unit “within 20 kms of Baghdad” at the end of Gulf War I then I’ll concede he may have a point

    Otherwise I’ll question your defense of someone who claims participation in something that never happened

  105. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    You are as thick as you are arrogant.
    General mockery is fine by me.
    Specific personal attacks are far less welcome from any one which is why I don’t return your endless barbs attacking me personally.
    Now you have cried off commenting here how many times now?
    I have lost count to be honest, frankly if you did not provide comic relief with your contrived rancour and barely constrained outrage at just about everything that I write then I’d just ban you outright, but them I’m sure you’d just try and invent a new persona to comment here, wouldn’t you?
    So basically stop being a boring twat by constantly complaining about my style and my personal circumstances, or else….

  106. The Other Iain says:

    I can no more be held accountable for the veracity of Gavin M than I can be for JM frankly I would have more faith in Gavin than I have in you because he has been more civil in his one comment than you have been in all of yours put together.

    So let’s clarify…. you’re prepared to believe a bloke who lies about being in combat and claims to have invaded Iraq in 1991 all on his lone some, all because he’s nice? Blokes like ‘gavinm’ are the scum of the earth as far as real returned soldiers are concerned. It is now actually a criminal offence to claim military service and/or decorations that you do not have.

    JM is right Iain. You have a lot of these ex-military types here whose stories are about as believable as Alice meeting talking rabbits. Forgive me and my fellow left wing friends if we find them about as credible as the shroud of Turin. (Actually, you probably believe in that too.)

    Not sure how your having your bowling dispatched over mid wicket into the street is a “poof” reference TOI, but maybe the other Sahrks had a bit to say in the confines of the dressing rooms that tends you to believ your performance in that light.

    “damage” having been revealed as a liar and a plagiarist, it is quite amazing that you are still posting here. But at least this comment, as idiotic as it is, wasn’t stolen from someone else so you are at least making progress. Keep up the good work.

  107. damage says:

    Iain
    Now that you’re no longer needed on Saturdays because the team you’re captain of is so pathetic that you failed to make a final 6 in an 11 team comp maybe you’ll find time to get the broken left leg fixed. Oh no you denied being that guy didn’t you? But it was true – so you lied. Oh no you’re a liar too. Bad bad Iain.

    Ok so I forgot to put some quotes around the wiki text. Mia culpa mia culpa mia maxima culpa. But it’s not an exam and it’s not a competition, but it sure got you off the point and onto the abuse. So it made the point and won the argument. So sue me!

    But here’s another quote from the net – NOT MY WORDS IAIN, but a sign of how much you’re loved.

    “The boys came out fied up and had (name removed to protect the innocent) up against the ropes at 3 for 38 after 12 overs, unfortunately from here on in it was all (name removed to protect the innocent) with 7 sixes being hit from the next 14 balls some of which where that big thaone (sic) off XXXX (name included to higlight the guilty) had residents in (nearby suburb’s name removed to protect the innocent) fearing for there lives.”

  108. gavinm says:

    Hello JM and All,

    I don’t post on weekends — hence my absence since my initial post.

    To answer your questions about what unit I served with, I was in 4th Company, 2 REP, French Foreign Legion and we were attached to, but operating independently from, 2e REI (2nd infantry regiment).

    We were deployed behind the Iraqi border via helicopter about 48 hours before Operation Desert Storm began (on the night of 14th/15th January), and our mission was initially to move further into Iraq and identify radar and rocket sites and, once the operation officially began with air-strikes on the 17th, to continue to move further into Iraq to disable communications, destroy mobile SCUD launchers (if possible) or identify them for air attack, destroy other targets of opportunity, and generally cause as much disruption as possible.

    You most probably will not find any mention of my unit because we were included under 2e’s structure for the campaign and you will not find specific mention of our activities as they were indeed kept secret by the French government, as are most Foreign Legion special forces operations and as were many – but not all – of those of the SAS and US Ranger units that were deployed to Desert Storm in similar roles.

    Ray,

    I am the same GavinM that posts at PP on occasions — I like to see a range of opinions on all sorts of issues.

  109. Iain Hall says:

    Thanks for clarifying that Gavin and May I offer you a belated welcome to the Sandpit as well 🙂

  110. The Other Iain says:

    “damage”,
    I have never admitted to nor lied about being anyone. Iain and his mates here have jumped to conclusions and I have let them run with it. And I see that you have been using their presumptions, and Google, to see what you can see. Some here would claim this act as st*alking. But quite frankly I couldnt care less. You fill your boots matey if you think it does you any favors.

    The fact is youre an intellectual pip squeak. You didnt just post that paragraph from wikipedia without quotes, you wilfully changed the text to sound like it was your own writing. Sure Iains blog isnt school (which you probably failed) or university (where you never went). But the fact is that if you steal other peoples words then you cannot be trusted. Now get back to your Arthur Putey conspiracy theories and your weird blog that nobody reads, you colossal jerk off.

  111. gavinm says:

    Thank you Iain, I probably should’ve made it clear initially that I didn’t serve in the Australian military — hopefully I have cleared things up a little for everyone here 🙂

  112. Ray Dixon says:

    No worries, Gavin. That’s impressive stuff, btw. I have indeed read about such missions.

  113. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain and his mates here have jumped to conclusions and I have let them run with it.

    Then may I suggest, TOI, that you just tell us who the hell you really are so we can clear all this up? Otherwise it’s you who is doing the damage to Iain XXXX’s reputation by your pretence that you are he. Mind you, I haven’t heard any complaints from the real Iain XXXX. Makes you wonder ….

  114. The Other Iain says:

    Ray, what “pretence”??

  115. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh okay, I could go back through Iain’s posts and find the comments where you clearly said you are Iain XXXX if you like but, um, just saying “I have let them run with it” makes you at least a party to the impersonation (if that’s what it is).

  116. The Other Iain says:

    I’ve said no such thing. All the running has been made by you and he. Are you begining to doubt your own confidence Ray?

  117. Ray Dixon says:

    Nope. It’s you who has perpuated the idea that you are Iain XXXX. It’s not up to Iain or me or anyone else to do anything but accept that on face value.

  118. Craigy says:

    But who the hell is Sockpuppet…… I’m thinking Barnaby Joyce’s Victorian cousin or Bob Katter’s old school chum?

  119. Ray Dixon says:

    How is that relevant, Craigy? He’s not trying to pose as another real identity thereby damaging that person’s reputation.

  120. Craigy says:

    Just a joke Ray…..not getting involved in outing anyone.

  121. damage says:

    “The fact is youre an intellectual pip squeak.”(sic)

    GOLD!

    I have no idea what you’re talking about Mr. XXXX when you describe conspiracy theories. But it seems you believe Iain and others here are involved in one.

    I won’t quote the evidence of your (correctly used) deceptive conduct Iain, but here is the whole shebang.

    http://www.slattsnews.observationdeck.org/?p=1908

  122. Ray Dixon says:

    This the opposite of an outing, Craigy. TOI is trying to ‘un-out’ himself. Go figure

  123. The Other Iain says:

    I think you need to go back and brush up on your history of who did what when, Ray. I have done no “posing” as anyone or perpeutating of anything.

  124. Ray Dixon says:

    This”is” the opposite …

    Btw, he self-outed in the first place.

  125. Craigy says:

    Why not just post under your real name TOI?

  126. gigdiary says:

    Why not just post under your real name TOI?

    ….with his comments and opinions?

  127. The Other Iain says:

    Why not just post under your real name TOI?

    You mean like “gigdiary”, “Sax”, “damage”, “JM” and others?

    Bad things happen to people who (a) post here under their real names and (b) have different views to the site owner. I think I prefer to use a pseudyonm thanks all the same.

  128. damage says:

    You could use “Iain XXXX” as a pseudyonm!

  129. Ray Dixon says:

    I have done no “posing” as anyone or perpeutating of anything

    This is laughable. You posted here under the name of “Iain XXXX”. You then changed it to “The Other Iain” (meaning other than Iain Hall). You still responded to questions & statements put to “XXXX”. If you are not Iain XXXX (as you now seem to be suggesting, although still no frank denial) then it is entirely self-evident that you have impersonated him.

    From Craigy: Why not just post under your real name TOI?

    From TOI: You mean like “gigdiary”, “Sax”, “damage”, “JM” and others?

    The difference is TOI, er XXXX, er, etc, etc .. the others have not posed as real identities. They’re using aliases sure, but they are not claiming to be someone they are not … and then trying to unclaim that!

    This is your mess, of your doing. The only person who can clear it up is you. So who are you? Come on, have some balls.

  130. Iain Hall says:

    TOI

    The only reason that I have been calling you “Iain XXXX” is because that is who you claimed to be
    Now are you saying that you have been bullshitting?

  131. Ray Dixon says:

    So he’s even used the name “lygo1” in his email address on comments submitted … but of course, he’s not posing as him!

  132. Iain Hall says:

    Further I would love to know the name of any person who has actually suffered bad consequences for posting any comment here that I disagree with
    Name ten
    heck 9 will do
    or even just one…

  133. The Other Iain says:

    Iain
    I have never posted here as Iain XXXX. That pic of a comment is fraudulent. Probably made by you in Photoshop. The actual comment is here: https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/knife-and-fork-ethics/#comment-57690

    Ray
    Not withstanding the fact that email addresses are private and not for publication, my email address means nothing. Other than you two like snooping around and gathering info on those who comment here. So you can use it as a weapon and so Iain can post it on his hate blogs. My identity should be irrelevant if I play by Iains rules (and I have) yet you two keep coming back to it. Strange, that.

  134. The Other Iain says:

    At this point I would also like to point out that the person posting as “Iain Lygo” at the ‘other blog’ that Ray likes so much is not me.

  135. damage says:

    Oh so you’re not you and another person who isn’t you isn’t you either?

    FKN GOLD!!!!!

  136. Ray Dixon says:

    Excuse me TOI, I did not “come back” to the issue of your identity. You raised it yourself in your responses to “damage” above.

    And what “snooping around” are you talking about? I’ve merely stated what is here for all to see, that you posted as “Iain XXXX”* and then as “The Other Iain” and that you have always responded to those addressing you as “XXXX”. I.E. you have posed as him and perpetuated the lie (if it is one). So if you’re not him then you are an impersonator – take your pick.

    Yes, you’re right, if you play within the rules then your identity is irrelevant. You’re the one who has made it relevant though.

  137. The Other Iain says:

    Yes Ray, but the trouble is that at this blog the rules are written by Iain. A character who hardly has a clean slate on matters of identity, or publishing personal data. First he puts up a fake comment that I did not make. And he also publishes my email address without permission. Now I will probably get spam. I may have to join the French Foreign Legion.

  138. SockPuppet says:

    * Forgot to add: I can’t explain the difference in Iain’s screenshot but there is no doubt you posted as Iain XXXX quite recently (before you changed it to TOI). Like here:

    https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/the-nature-of-the-warming-faith-and-the-warning-of-another-alarmist-book-to-come/#comment-57505

  139. The Other Iain says:

    Oh so you’re not you and another person who isn’t you isn’t you either?

    Slow day at Matchworks today huh “damage”?

  140. Iain Hall says:

    You are bullshiting TOI

    You posted as “Iain XXXX” Many times and to claim that the screen shot that I just posted is fraudulent just beyond belief

    The dead give away is the avatar image connected to comments made under the name of The Other Iain and Iain Lygo are precisely the same

  141. The Other Iain says:

    You seem to have mistakenly logged in as “Sockpuppet” there Ray. You might want to edit it. I’ve taken a screenshot in case you need it.

  142. The Other Iain says:

    If all this is true then why were you nobs doubting yourselves?

  143. Ray Dixon says:

    No “mistake” TOI. That was my little joke, to show you how easy it is impersonate someone. Btw I didn’t “log in”, I logged out. The gravatar? Easy too.

  144. The Other Iain says:

    Fair enough.

  145. Ray Dixon says:

    I’ve taken a screenshot

    What were you saying about saving information and using it against people? Go ahead, where will it appear? I couldn’t care less if you believe I am SP. What would be wrong with that?

  146. Ray Dixon says:

    If all this is true then why were you nobs doubting yourselves?

    Huh?

  147. The Other Iain says:

    I couldn’t care less if you believe I am SP. What would be wrong with that?

    As I’ve said before, it’s no big deal to me. It’s just that you and Iain feel the need to lie about it, which means it must be embarrassing for you. But personally, if it rocks your socks, then you go for it Ray. Sockpuppet yourself into a fever. Speaking of which, a Ricky Nixon post is probably due.

  148. Iain Hall says:

    Still waiting to hear the names of anyone who has suffered any negative consequences for posting comments that disagree with me TOI

    Further if as you claim you don’t care about Socky’s identity why do you keep bringing it up? and taking screen shots of comments? FFS is it any wonder you are utterly disbelieved when you comment here?

  149. damage says:

    Again you seem to have me at a disadvantage tio. What is a quiet day at Matchworks?

    I’m not looking for a job if that’s what you’re on about.

    How goes the adventure business? Better than the book thing I guess.

    I mean could it be worse?
    I guess it could – you could be playing cricket.

  150. Ray Dixon says:

    A Ricky Nixon post? WTF? Oh well, perhaps the ganga is just extra strong this year (due to the rain) and you’re even more loopy than usual.

  151. The Other Iain says:

    No ganja here Ray. I just thought that Ricky Nixon issue is just the kind of topic that Sockpuppet would be exploring in his “polioemics”.

    Still waiting to hear the names of anyone who has suffered any negative consequences for posting comments that disagree with me TOI

    Iain there are other sites on the internet that document your dubious dealings with and towards other people with whom you disagree. Bottles of scotch and all that. I could link to one of those but I doubt you would publish the link.

    Further if as you claim you don’t care about Socky’s identity why do you keep bringing it up?

    The reality is that I dont. Beside the fact that you and Sockpuppet himself are in denial. Your prepared to make my identity an issue while one of you posts as someone else and flat out denies it. Why should I be open and honest when you cannot be? Oh that’s right, this is the Sand Pit and you write the rules here. Just a shame that they arent consistent.

  152. Ray Dixon says:

    How many times do you have to be told the difference between what you are doing and what others, like SockPuppet, GD, Sax, et al, are doing under an alias?

  153. damage says:

    Well what’s totally consistent is that you’re the Iain XXXX from broken left leg who once boasted “All I can do now is sit in my big beach side house that is mostly paid off, look at my sporting trophies, re-read my commercially successful book, get symphathy from my gorgeous wife, and then go off to a job I really enjoy doing.”

    And denied being Iain XXXX when cornered by Slattery for defaming him.

    Which is really sad.
    Beachside? Sunset strip is not beachside.
    Sporting trophies? Pulling the longest bong at the Sharks is hardly a sporting triumph.
    Commercially successful? Mum and dad buying a copy between them is commercially successful?
    With the failures you’ve had, sympathy from a labradore would be a bonus, but cudos for finding your wife gorgeous.
    And who wouldn’t enjoy turning a stop slow sign for the surfcoast?

    One notes that associates at broken left testical included such luminaries as John Surname, Bridgit Gread, Bron and other Grods regulars.
    Now he’s here abusing the good folk of the right and denying, without denying, being Iain Lygo.

    Totally consistant.

  154. damage says:

    He’s not using an alias Ray. He’s Iain XXXX.

  155. The Other Iain says:

    I am also posting under an alias Ray, in case it had escaped your attention. Oh yes thats right, the difference is that MY identity is open for discussion here while Sockpuppets and gigdiary’s and Sax’s is not. Don’t spot any inconsistency there at all do you? Not half.

  156. Ray Dixon says:

    No, you’re posting under a name clearly linked to a real identity, being Iain XXXX. You have even posted under that name and responded to comments addressed to it. Now you claim it’s an alias and others “jumped to conclusions”. Yeah, we “jumped to the conclusion” you were not illegally impersonating someone. Can you see the difference now and why your identity is an issue, whereas the identities of SP, GD etc are not?

    No? Didn’t think so.

  157. Sax says:

    I am not posting under an alias. Iain knows who, and where I am, and has done from the beginning.
    That’s the difference here.
    I don’t need a nome de plumb to hide behind like some of you losers.
    Don’t bother to look me up in a phone book. I am not in one.

  158. JM says:

    Gavin: To answer your questions about what unit I served with, I was in 4th Company, 2 REP, French Foreign Legion and we were attached to, but operating independently from, 2e REI (2nd infantry regiment).

    Bullshit. Let me explain why I think that.

    1. I asked you for a unit or official history, since you haven’t provided one but have nominated a unit I found the units official site instead.

    The 2nd REP did not serve in the first Gulf War, period. There is no mention of the Gulf War at all. And that’s not something that goes unmentioned for 20 years – there are medals to be awarded, citations to be written, promotions to be granted and careers to be built.

    And claiming “secrecy” won’t get you out of it for the reasons below.

    2. You describe “your” mission as:


    identify radar and rocket sites and, once the operation officially began with air-strikes on the 17th, to continue to move further into Iraq to disable communications, destroy mobile SCUD launchers (if possible) or identify them for air attack, destroy other targets of opportunity, and generally cause as much disruption as possible.

    That’s a Special Forces mission – ie. behind enemy lines, autonomous and independent, without support from other elements.

    Despite their image the Foreign Legion are not Special Forces, just elite and very, very tough “regulars”. They just don’t operate the sort of mission you describe and are dependent on logistical and rear area support (like ground attack aircraft and/or artillery etc) and they are therefore usually deployed in conjunction with other regular units.

    They are not Special Forces, they are elite shock troops.

    3. However, other units of the Legion were deployed as part of the French forces, so let’s have a look at what really happened via this map from Wikipedia.

    a.) Have a look at the extreme left flank – that’s where the French were. Now have a look at the two towns at the top of the map.

    One of them is Al Nasiryah, famous during 2003 for being the place where the Americans were held up for a couple of days. The French didn’t reach it.

    Al Nasiryah is nowhere near Baghdad let alone “within 20 kms”

    b.) Now have a look at about 1/2 way along the French advance and you’ll find a place called Al Salman marked with a circle crossed with a black bar (representing and objective).

    Al Salman is/was an airfield and the Legion did capture it. Again from Wiki:


    In September 1990, the 1e REC, the 2e REI, and the 6e REG were sent to the Persian Gulf as a part of Opération Daguet. They were a part of the French 6th Light Armoured Division, whose mission was to protect the coalition’s left flank. After a four-week air campaign, coalition forces launched the ground campaign. It quickly penetrated deep into Iraq, with the Legion taking the Al Salman airport, meeting little resistance. The war ended after a hundred hours of fighting on the ground, which resulted in very light casualties for the Legion.

    Notice the list of units? No mention of the 2nd REP there either.

    And notice also that the 2e REI – that you claim to be under – were 100’s of kilometers from Baghdad at the time you were supposed to be just “20 kms away”. No company would be “attached” to a command that far away and effectively out of communication, just never going to happen and no commander would accept it.

    Fact, the Legion never got near Baghdad.

    So how come you made this mistake? Because I think you must have confused it with Salman Pak, an entirely different place that is only 24km from Baghdad and was alleged to be a weapons centre in 2003.

    The Coalition never got near it in 2003. Al Salman is not Salman Pak.

    Sorry, bzzzt. You’ve made a dumb mistake and one that a military veteran would never make. That’s the sort of thing that would get you killed.

    Let me address some other errors:

    We were deployed behind the Iraqi border via helicopter about 48 hours before Operation Desert Storm began (on the night of 14th/15th January),

    Desert Storm began on 24 February over a month later, not 48 hours.

    And what you describe is the activities of the British Special Air Service (famously known as “Bravo One Zero” and “Bravo Two Zero”) which did begin about this time in conjunction with a feint attack by elements of the 1st US Cavalry. That however, is not Desert Storm and the Legion were not involved.

    You most probably will not find any mention of my unit because we were included under 2e’s structure for the campaign and you will not find specific mention of our activities as they were indeed kept secret by the French government, as are most Foreign Legion special forces operations and as were many – but not all – of those of the SAS and US Ranger units that were deployed to Desert Storm in similar roles.

    Crap, just crap. Bestsellers have been written about Bravo Zero One. There’s no secrecy.

    Furthermore, the Legion’s activities are described on Wiki and the various unit official sites (and no doubt in the official histories).

    Lastly, if all this is so hush-hush, why are you revealing it 20 years later on a low-rent Australian pseudo-political blog?

  159. JM says:

    Iain – can unmoderate my last comment please? I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  160. SockPuppet says:

    JIM, Iain probably went to bed about 2 or 3 hours ago. I have seen your comment in moderation but I cant release it because I am only a junior here. I would say it went into moderation by default due to having a lot of links in it. No doubt Iain will okay it when he gets up at about 5am. Theyre a strange lot in QLD.

  161. The Other Iain says:

    I am not posting under an alias. Iain knows who, and where I am, and has done from the beginning. That’s the difference here.

    Yes. The difference is that Iain knows who you are. But he doesn’t re-label all your comments with a real name. Or publish your email address. Or write to other email addresses checking up on you. Or write about you on his flame war blog. Because you are his chummy wummy, “Sax”.

    I don’t need a nome de plumb to hide behind like some of you losers.

    Look at the top of your comment, “Sax”. See the word “Sax”? That’s a nom de plume “Sax”. You may not be hiding from Iain but you are hiding from every one else.

  162. JM says:

    And can I add, that on further investigation, it appears that the 4th Company are sniper and demolition specialists. ie. pretty much combat engineers in regular operations.

    I can’t imagine how that outfit would be trained for the sort of long range desert patrols carried out by the elements of the British SAS (Bravo Zero One and Two) that you’re describing. And I don’t know how they would look after themselves in that situation. Can you explain?

    Sorry, the Legion are not Special Forces. They are thugs, criminals and mercenaries used by France as shock troops and motivated by the promise of a French passport and pardon for crimes on completion of their service.

    Incredibly tough, well trained and dangerous yes – but just expensive cannon fodder, treated like s**t for the duration of their service and then rewarded with the state’s part of the deal at the end. (Apparently they have the highest desertion rate of all French units, their service life is so tough.)

    Not, definitely not, special forces operating secretly behind enemy lines.

  163. gigdiary says:

    Nite all, off to bed with my treasured copy of Beau Geste…

  164. gigdiary says:

    the Legion are not Special Forces. They are thugs, criminals and mercenaries used by France as shock troops

    Are any of them called Gavin?

  165. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    All comments with more than two links are automatically moderated.
    Keep that in mind in future, also as Socky points out I am an early riser and I go to bed equally early (usually by 9.30) so if you stuff up in the comments there is nothing to be done about it until the morning .

    Further if you have such a low opinion of the Sandpit then I suggest that you keep it to your self rather than sprouting it here because if you upset the landlord enough he might just take the password protection off a blog post that concerns you so much
    Capiche?
    TOI

    Yes. The difference is that Iain knows who you are. But he doesn’t re-label all your comments with a real name. Or publish your email address. Or write to other email addresses checking up on you. Or write about you on his flame war blog. Because you are his chummy wummy, “Sax”.

    The difference between you and every other person who disagrees with me here at the Sandpit is that you just don’t seem to get that I am basically a very laid back guy who will happily allow just about any comment as long as it is civil and made with good will (if you don’t have any good will You could try E bay 😉 ) Now I suspect that you are referring to this post at my still being nice blog which is a compilation of the correspondence from an identity that you claim as your own and in one of those emails you clearly give me permission to publish as I have done. Now its only my good will ( I have more than enough of it without resorting to Ebay to find some 😉 😉 )that has prevented me making it public but its there should I every need to share.

  166. Sax says:

    TOI
    Don’t know why I am bothering with you, as you are a troll. But my name is Len Saxby. I have posted under it here since the beginning. But, you probably didn’t see it, as you still trying to revive your dead blog ?

    As for any other personal details, I am not, nor is anyone else here, obligated to even produce those, unless I am being a f*ckwit. Sound familiar TOI ?

  167. Sax says:

    BTW TOI ?
    Isn’t it the height of huberace that you criticise everyone else, and yet you cowardly hide behind your own pseudonym with no email address ?
    XXXX was an absolute d*ckhead, and it looks like you have the same traits.
    Something about the leopard and spots comes to mind ? Have a happy day all, I have a pleasant morning of work to do.

  168. Sax says:

    Well, there you go. that worked.
    Happy now TOI ?

  169. SockPuppet says:

    I just thought that Ricky Nixon issue is just the kind of topic that Sockpuppet would be exploring in his “polioemics”.

    Your wish is my command TOI. One Ricky ‘Cokehead’ Nixon post coming up. Stay tuned.

  170. damage says:

    Just my last word on the matter of TOI.

    In August 2004 TOI aka Iain XXXX was admonished thus;

    “Iain, I have removed the article, as you can see. Don’t post entire articles here. By the way, when you do cite (that is the correct spelling of the word you meant, not “site,” which means “place or location”) an article or any other published work you are supposed to indicate that somehow by either putting quotations around it, or blockquoting it (for quotes longer than a sentence or two). If you are puzzled you may consult any style book for pointers. This is something I learned long ago in the supposedly lousy American school system, by the way.”

    http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007346.php

    SAY NO MORE

  171. The Other Iain says:

    Thanks Sockpuppet. I shall read it now.

    Sax, for one I do not believe your name is Len Saxby. I reckon your using a pseudonym. This is your right of course, but if your real name is “Len Saxby” and it is in the public domain, why then say “Iain knows who and where I am”?

    Iain, your last comment is just a collection of threats against me and JM. “Do as you are told or I shall open my flame blogs.” You really need to get off the computer and stop wasting your time making these pointless flame blogs.

  172. Iain Hall says:

    Iain, your last comment is just a collection of threats against me and JM. “Do as you are told or I shall open my flame blogs.” You really need to get off the computer and stop wasting your time making these pointless flame blogs.

    There is a simple point in play here TOI and that is when individuals like You or JM keep insisting on playing the man (moi, Socky, Ray, Sax et al) rather than the ball (the topics of the posts at this blog) then you should not be surprised that I play the cards that both you and JM have dealt to me.

  173. gavinm says:

    JM

    I’m not going to spend any more time trying to convince you of my past, it really makes no difference to me if you believe me or not – however, your knowledge of the modern culture of the Legion, it’s personnel, its training and its operational scope is somewhat lacking.

    Firstly, there is no publicly available official record of our participation in operation Desert Storm – including on the unit’s public domain website – for the reason I stated, the French government of the time had a policy of keeping nearly all Legion special forces operations secret, don’t ask me why, Mitterand was in charge and it was his call, meaning, deployments so listed are not featured on official websites.

    Secondly, even had our presence in Iraq not been classified by the Mitterand administration it is highly unlikely that it would appear as a 2REP deployment on the official website – deployments are usually only listed when either the whole regiment is involved or a full battalion or sometimes, but not always a company. In Desert Storm there was only 1 platoon and we were wearing 2REI insignia so as not to be identifiable as a special ops unit.

    Thirdly, as I said, my unit was attached to, but operated independently of, 2REI – meaning we were not in the same area as that unit, therefore your map of where 2REI and the rest of the French contingent was is irrelevant.

    As to training, 2REP is a paratroop unit and all of its combat personnel are trained to operate in commando roles, including operations deep behind enemy lines without support from logistics units, during Desert Storm we were in fact supplied by air as the Allies had total air superiority from day 1 – a platoon from 4th CIE was chosen to participate in this role precisely because of our explosive and sniper specialisation – (4th CIE’s expertise with explosives is a little more specialised than that of regular combat engineers, although it also performs that role when required).

    As to the start date of Desert Storm, you are confused – it officially started with airstrikes on the 17th of January, the ground attack started on the 22nd of Feb.

    “Sorry, the Legion are not Special Forces. They are thugs, criminals and mercenaries used by France as shock troops and motivated by the promise of a French passport and pardon for crimes on completion of their service”

    Sorry, but contrary to your belief, 2REP is in fact a special forces unit, fully trained and very capable of operating without sophisticated supply lines in special ops roles which is why it forms part of France’s Rapid Reaction Force as part of 11th Parachute Brigade’s commando parachute group.

    You need to do a little more research into the modern Legion – it has moved on from the days of Beau Geste, these days applicants have to provide identification and the Legion does background checks to make sure they have no criminal record. (In my case that meant showing my passport and visa at the recruiting office), anyone found to have a criminal record is rejected.

    You might also be interested to know that at one stage during my time a large number of 2REP’s personnel were ex British army personnel who joined the Legion after the British army had a reorganisation in the mid or late 1980’s.

    “Lastly, if all this is so hush-hush, why are you revealing it 20 years later on a low-rent Australian pseudo-political blog?”

    Well, I haven’t revealed my name or the names of any other participants, nor have I given any precise details of our activities or where we were, the only reason I gave any details of what unit I served in was in answer to your post in which you evidently thought I was claiming to be a member of the Australian military.

  174. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    what did I tell you about using the wrong Email address?
    Post the comment again using the email address that I will allow.
    🙄

  175. The Other Iain says:

    Iain, JM is obviously smarter than you, why do you have to lecture him like a school teacher scolding a naughty little boy?

  176. Iain Hall says:

    TOI
    JM smarter than me?

    LOL
    Mucho 😆

  177. The Other Iain says:

    On the evidence thus provided on these pages, I would bet my house on it.

  178. SockPuppet says:

    JIM is real smart amd he knows everything. Hes the fifth Beatle (he knows John Lennon you know?) and hes a great guitarist and a war hero. JIM is my hero.

  179. JM says:

    Gavin, your tale gets more absurd by the minute. Let me get this straight.

    Your platoon (ie. about 30 men) of combat support troops – mysteriously retrained at the last minute as commandos – are dropped behind enemy lines entirely unsupported and then find themselves within 20 kms of Baghdad and in a position to topple the regime until stopped by the “cowardly” Bush?

    Tell me [chin in hand], how were you going to do that, and what was your preferred assault route?

    Through the southern suburbs along the Basra Rd. all guns blazing like Sly Stallone in a jock strap?

    Or flitting between the shadows and leaping roof-to-roof through the narrow eastern suburbs of “Sadar City”?

    Of course then you’d have had to swim the river in full combat gear, climb the walls of the Presidential Palace*, kill the guards, navigate your way to Saddam’s central lair** and blow him away in the middle of a last stand where he fires back with an AK47 in each hand.***

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Real life is not “The Dirty Dozen”, “Where Eagles Dare” and “The Guns of Navarone” all rolled into one.

    Forgive me, but I’m skeptical.

    * Perhaps with grappling hooks thoughtfully carried and provided by the camera crew.

    ** Complete with bad “erotic” art

    *** As he actually had when finally captured in his “spider hole”

  180. The Other Iain says:

    I must admit I was sceptical about gavins story, so I googled his name and “French Foreign Legion”. And I found that he has talked about his FFL service on other blogs. So I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Although I am not too sure about the ‘secret mission in Iraq that nobody can ever know about’ routine.

    JM doesnt know everything Sock, but at least he addresses questions/issues with logic and evidence. Unless some others here.

  181. gigdiary says:

    TOI
    he has talked about his FFL service on other blogs. So I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt

    Gee, that proves your lot addresses questions/issues with logic and evidence

  182. SockPuppet says:

    JIM just likes to put everyone down TOI. I am prepared to take Gavin on face value here because I do not see why he would come on here for the very first time and tell porkies. Plus I do not take JIM that way. He met John Lennon – yeah, right! JIMs what you might call, oh, um, yeah … a wanker.

  183. The Other Iain says:

    Giving someone the benefit of the doubt doesnt mean you have made up your mind, my musical friend. It just means you accept their story at face value. Just like everyone here accepts your endless bragging about being a professional muso, when the reality may well be that you play guitar like a bloke with no fingers.

  184. SockPuppet says:

    TOI maybe you could stop being an arsehole your whole life. You put GD down but look at his name – it is linked to his website where if you click on it and go there (do you know how to do that?) it connects to his real life yet you hang shit on his music ability and profresheionalism. Its all thereTOI – get a grip man and be a nice guy for once will ya?

  185. gigdiary says:

    endless bragging

    No, TOI, there wasn’t any bragging, I was challenged by Big JM as to my having any credibility in, or knowledge of, the music industry. He mocked me relentlessly ie ‘bingo gigs’. So I had to lash out with a few facts of my past career and knowledge of the everyday work scene for professional musicians. The big lunk took it quite well. You on the other hand feel compelled to drag up all and any facts, twist and distort them and attempt to use them against whoever disagrees with you.

    I called you ‘slimey’ once and asked you to play nice, socky just asked you again.

    Do you get a perverse thrill from making yourself unlikable?

  186. gigdiary says:

    thanks Socky for the support, I’ll wear it always (boom boom)

    Sending a slab of VB to the Blue Gums as soon as the bottle-O opens in the morning.

  187. SockPuppet says:

    Make it a slab of Bundy & Coke and you can root Laura GD.

  188. The Other Iain says:

    gigdairy
    I took Gavin at his word and said so, and you took a shot at me. Now you’re sooking because I took one back at you. Take your worm out of the water if you don’t want another fish tugging your line.

    Sock Puppet
    When you click on gig’s website (gigdiary.net) it goes to a dead website advertising moleskin jeans and a dating site. So obviously it’s you who doesn’t know how to do it.

  189. SockPuppet says:

    Well you are (technically) right at the moment TOI and I apologise.

    BUT – and it is a big BUT – GigGuys got a website and I have seen it before but I think hes just entered the wrong URL in his comment box. help me out GigGuy, you need to connect to your real site again.

    Thaty does not exscuse your poor behaviour and insults though TOI.

  190. gigdiary says:

    Socky, I stopped posting a while back. It was too much fun here, and I guess I forgot to pay the electricity bill….

    I’ll look into it, and maybe write a welcome post to my new friends, seeing as how they are so interested..

  191. SockPuppet says:

    Dont you have your blog no more? Oh well at least you have avoided TOI getting stuck into you there but then again – how did he know your real name?

  192. gigdiary says:

    As I said, Socky, it seems I haven’t paid the electricity bill, and someone’s turned off the power. I’ll look into it.

    As for my real name, he was just quoting from one of those Iain hating blogs. Apparently they did the snivelling research…

    Who gives a f*ck!

  193. The Other Iain says:

    Not me. But I’d like to buy some moleskins from you when you’ve got a moment.

  194. SockPuppet says:

    Whats charging your computer right now then GIgGuy – pedal power?

  195. JM says:

    [Sorry forgot the filter]

    GD: I stopped posting a while back

    Dunno about that. That domain was created on 10 Feb 2011 – ie 12 days ago. So unless your definition of “a while back” is different from mine …. I don’t think so.

    And there are absolutely no Google caches for it.

    Looks like a s***ing exercise to me.

  196. gigdiary says:

    What are we talking about here?

  197. SockPuppet says:

    JIM f*cks up again. Look JIMBO I have read and commented at GigGuys blog several times over the past year or so. What is your problem man? Why do you have to try to prove (try, that is) that everyone else is a liar, wrong or a wanker? Are you trying to prove there the same as you?

  198. The Other Iain says:

    Looks like a s***ing exercise to me.

    Did you create a site to st*lk yourself, gigdairy?

  199. gigdiary says:

    Socky, wordpress host(ed) the blog, I’m looking into it…

    My computer…why sir, only the finest Chablis is suitable to power my preeminent posts and comments 🙂

  200. gigdiary says:

    hmm, gigdiary.net seems to have been taken over by an alien entity. I can only presume it is the work of the dastardly Left….

  201. SockPuppet says:

    Chablis? Who the hell drinks chablis these days?

  202. gigdiary says:

    The Gigster, sir, that’s who! Although quite often the budget only runs to Berri Chablis….but a fine drop nonetheless!

  203. gavinm says:

    JM

    I didn’t mean to infer that my platoon was going to storm Baghdad on our own – what I meant was that the Iraqi army had been shattered and we couldn’t believe that the entire Alliance army’s advance had been halted when the opportunity was there to get rid of Saddam’s regime. (On reflection, I probably could’ve expressed that a little better in my original post).

    At the time there was still an organised opposition to Hussein in Iraq which may have been able to take over government, unfortuneately that opposition ceased to exist once he was let off the hook.

    “Your platoon (ie. about 30 men) of combat support troops – mysteriously retrained at the last minute as commandos…:

    There’s no mystery about it actually, after 4 months of initial boot camp training to gain acceptance to the Legion, then another 2 months of intensive specialist training once I was accepted to train for entry to 2REP, I then spent the next 15 years either training to maintain and improve those “mysterious” commando skills or on deployment. (At the time of Desert Storm I had been in 2REP for just over 9 years).

    Incidentally 4th CIE is not a support company — it specialises in sabotage, particularly of targets located behind enemy lines – (thats the explosives bit, in case you need a hint), and sniping and its members are used as required, as are all 2REP combat unit troops, for various roles, including unsupported drops far behind enemy lines, by the GCP.

    Another of your misconceptions about 2REP is that you seem to believe that its troops are locked into their specialist roles and don’t do anything else. This is incorrect, all of the Regiments combat personnel are trained in all of 2REP’s combat roles, and are regularly assigned to the other companies for a period of time in order to familiarise themselves with the role of each company, this is so that troops can be transferred from company to company if required with a minimal drop in efficiency

  204. Eric Sykes says:

    JM, good to see you tackling GavinM (Mr Oh So Reasonable About Everything). I suspect he was in fact in the armed forces as he describes, most blogs just seem to take that for granted though so it’s good to see him being put to the test for a change, keep up the good work.

  205. gavinm says:

    Oops, sorry, slip of my maths expertise (or lack thereof),

    “I then spent the next 15 years …”

    Should have been “spent the next 14 years….”

    Hello Erik, how are you ?

    Haven’t noticed you over at PP for a little bit — good to see you’re still stirring the pot a little every now and then 😉

  206. Eric Sykes says:

    Hi Gav 🙂

  207. JM says:

    [Sorry for coming back to this late, but I’ve been out of town for a few days]

    Gavin I still don’t buy it.

    Whether you’ve been in the Foreign Legion or not is neither here nor there (although some of your statements make me a little wary)

    What’s important is two things:

    a.) you claim to have been involved in a mission that I find completely implausible (and not for the sarcastic ridicule I gave you last time)

    b.) you claim that – on the back of your experience – you are uniquely placed to pass judgement on whether or not the Coalition could have assaulted Baghdad. Personally I don’t think that was practical, never mind the political considerations.

    Firstly, you claim to have been airdropped into the Iraqi desert and operated unsupported and unsupplied for nearly 6 weeks. That’s a very long mission. Where did you get food, water and fuel from? What about ammunition and the explosives that your specialists would require to carry out sabotage?

    And when and how – given that the Coalition had no intention of going anywhere near Baghdad (see below) – did you expect to be relieved?

    Now as to whether the Coalition could have advanced on Baghdad. Go back to the map I referenced earlier which shows the direction and path of the Coalition advance*

    You’ll notice that they turned east after crossing the Saudi border rather than north-west in the direction of Baghdad. This was entirely in line with Norman Schwartzkopf’s plan to draw the Iraqi army to the sea (by very publicly deploying Marines in the gulf, Marines that weren’t used) and then coming behind them in a long “left hook” and pinning them against the coast**

    Now given that position consider what it would have taken for those forces to reorient themselves towards Baghdad***

    Firstly, the lead elements would have to turn around and pass through the rear elements, while leaving large parts – albeit demoralized – of the Iraqi army in their rear.

    Secondly, there would have to be very considerable planning beforehand and supplies etc, etc. (And remember, the Americans in 2003 ran out of fuel about 80km west of Baghdad and had to wait there for a week before it was brought up – and that was in a situation where they planned and expected a rapid advance.)

    No, the only way that an advance on Baghdad was possible would be if it were planned from the start. It wasn’t. Liberation of Kuwait was the objective, not overthrow of Saddam.

    Now there is an argument for saying they stopped too soon, but it has nothing to do with Baghdad. You see the VII Corps (led by General Franks) were ordered to:-

    a.) seize the Baghdad road which was being used as an escape route
    b.) seize the Al Basrah airfield (I think, I’m using memory here)
    c.) engage and destroy the Republican Guard

    Franks was very conservative and he did a lot less than this, but reported that he had carried out his orders a few hours before the halt order was given. Schwartzkopf was furious when he found out after the ceasefire and had to be restrained from visiting Franks in the field and cashiering him on the spot.*****

    The Americans then trained their artillery on the airfield and told the Iraqis to get out or else. But the damage was done and the Republican Guard escaped.

    This wouldn’t have happened if the US had given themselves a few more hours.

    It’s that incident that people are referring to when they say Bush stopped too soon, but it has entered the public mind as “could have gone on to Baghdad”. They couldn’t, it was impractical.

    You’re too much like a lot of other armchair strategists for my liking, you don’t have an appreciation of what goes into a war. You know what they say “strategy is for armchair generals, tactics is for enlisted men, but professionals**** do logistics”.

    * Including the Legion seizing the airfield at Al Salman around 300km from Baghdad.

    ** Sorry, I’m armchair generalling, but this is pretty much the way that Schwartzkopf has described it himself.

    *** Bearing in mind that this was an army redeployed from Europe and very conservative in their planning and thinking – they’d spent years facing the Soviet threat and weren’t about to “do a Rumsfeld blitzkreig”

    **** ie. officers.

    ***** Tom Clancy wrote a hagiographic biography of Franks but even he wasn’t able to gloss over this. Clancy’s book is so infuriating you want to throw it against the wall as he completely overlooks Frank’s many failings. But not this one.

  208. […] to reiterate the sentiment that I expressed in the Egyptian Rabbit holes post we have the fine example being set by everyone’s favourite Arabic despot Muammar Gaddafi […]

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