Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » World Events » Afghanistan » Our learned friend makes a noobish error about war and infra red cameras at night.

Our learned friend makes a noobish error about war and infra red cameras at night.

Our learned friend seems to have a never ending ability to amuse with both his technological naivety and his willingness  to embrace the most jaundiced view of the way that the USA does anything in the modern world. Be it the way they legislate copyright or distribute creative works on film. However he has outdone himself with his latest, err, critique of the piece from yesterdays Sixty Minutes. I actaully saw the piece in question and it was a pretty standard puff piece that tells us nothing that is new, I’ve seen plenty of magazine articles that cover essentially the same ground.

He offers these two images and the following commentary:

Photobucket

The white thing that person is holding is something hot in the desert, like something metal in the sun meaning it must be a gun that’s been fired by a “bad guy” who cannot possibly be captured and must be blown up. (jeremy sear)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Oh come on, it’s not as if it’s in colour or you can see a bloody mist. (We’re lobbying the military to upgrade their cameras for the follow-up report.) Then it’s apparently not disturbing at all. Boom! Ha ha, it’s funny ‘cos we apparently don’t have any empathy whatsoever for human beings in foreign countries if we’re looking at them through the camera of a military drone and told that they’re “insurgents”. Who cares if it’s unavoidable or not.(jeremy Sear)

The salient point missed by our learned friend in his mad rush to denounce the USA is that the shots in question are from an infra-red image taken at night. So when a gun-barrel shows up white in the footage it is not because of the effect of the sun upon metal in the desert (because even in Latte land the sun only shines in the daytime) it is because it is substantively hotter than the ambient temperature. The footage from the same report that explained how Infra red imaging can distinguish between a soldiers head and his body whilst he is in a sleeping bag should have made it clear to our man at the Bar that he was sprouting rubbish to suggest that there was any doubt that the man in the first image had been firing a the gun he was carrying.

Watch the vision to see what our learned friend missed:

Of course it would be easy to point out just how intellectually dishonest it is to misrepresent what has been said in a piece of television journalism to further one’s own political agenda or to amuse a particular gallery who will undoubtedly lap up any suggestion of the manifest evil of the United States in particular and western society in general but the Sandpit does not claim such a remit, unlike the site run by our learned friend and Comrade Dave Gaukroger …

Hmm anyone care to call him out  on a charge of hypocrisy?

Cheers Comrades


112 Comments

  1. JM says:

    Iain, I think you (and probably Jeremy in his outrage) have totally missed the point.

    There is a major debate in the US Air Force about this type of “fighting” and it is actually the focus of the 60 Minutes report – watch it again. ie. is it moral to engage in warfare when you are not yourself exposed to danger?

    IMHO no. I’m on the side of the people, and I’m talking about people in the military here, who think it is disgusting to engage in combat without exposing yourself to mortal danger.

    And you know what? That’s what this 60 Minutes report is really about. They’ve expressed it poorly, but watch it again.

  2. CR D says:

    I wonder what this ‘Jeremy Sear’ thinks…. twitter.com/anonymouslefty

  3. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    Well you won’t be surprised that I disagree with your notion that a soldier has to be exposed to mortal danger for their military action to be moral. You are making the mistake of thinking that war is a sport where both sides should have an equal chance of winning. Its a total nonsense the point of war is to kill the enemy until they capitulate or there are no more able to fight.
    Remember the old adage? “all’s fair in love and war?” because when we face an enemy who are prepared to indiscriminately target civilians why should they be offered any quarter?

  4. JM says:

    Iain: Its a total nonsense the point of war is to kill the enemy until they capitulate or there are no more able to fight.

    The leading theorist of modern warfare – Carl von Clausewitz – would disagree with you there. To quote from his masterpiece Vom Krieg (“On War”):

    “War is the continuation of policy by other means”

    War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will

    and also, although it’s not quoted on the Wiki page, but is in my (3) copies of his book:

    The objective of war is to eliminate the capacity of the enemy to resist which is exactly the same as your “no more able to fight”

    You wanna propose a totally new theory of military action to replace the only real theory of political and military theory that exists?

    Really?

    Be my guest. I’m all ears. Knock yourself out.

  5. JM says:

    Oh and can I add that the US military’s idea of warfare is often called “neo-Clausewitzian”. It’s distinguished from Clausewitz’s thinking which stopped at “eliminating the enemy’s capacity to resist” by going much further and defining the objective as “destroying the enemy totally”

    I think we’ve discussed this philosophical point on this blog before. I certainly recall exchanging words with “David Davidson” over it.

  6. JM says:

    And thirdly, can I point out the clear implication of this comment of yours:

    why should they be offered any quarter?

    “No Quarter” is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. You are advocating war crimes. German military leaders were executed at Nuremberg for issuing that order.

  7. GD says:

    JM, since the beginning of the 20th Century war stopped being a gentleman’s sport. Mustard gas in WW1 was one of the first indications of this. Tanks against infantry in WW2. The Bomb. Perhaps the use of drones is the first civilised method of conducting warfare. The first, I said. Eventually both sides will use drones, and then ….

  8. JM doesn’t get it.

  9. But whoever this Jeremy Sear is, he certainly isn’t very bright.

  10. JM says:

    Steve: JM doesn’t get it.

    Get what? That GD is an i****?

    War has never been a gentlemen’s sport, it has always been a very serious business. There have always been norms and laws of war. The Geneva Conventions just codify them.

    I swear I’m almost ready to give up on this blog, there are so many stupid chestbeaters and w******s on it, I’m not so sure I’m willing to fight them any more

  11. Richard Ryan says:

    That’s nice! All pub talk from Steve.

  12. Iain Hall says:

    JM.
    there is nothing in the Geneva convention that requires any army to give enemy combatants any quarter unless they most clearly surrender after which there is a requirement that they be treated humanely, as long as they continue to fight they may be killed with impunity from any charges of “war crimes”.
    The facts of the matter are that those executed after Nuremberg were sent to the next life for trivialities like killing civilians or for the genocide of the Jews rather than failing to give any quarter to the enemy.

  13. JM, please copy & paste references to where you have elsewhere on the net advocated disbanding of all artillery units.
    Being as how you’re a believer that no solider should fire a shot without being in mortal danger himself.

  14. JM says:

    Iain: there is nothing in the Geneva convention that requires any army to give enemy combatants any quarter unless they most clearly surrender after which there is a requirement that they be treated humanely

    You’re a fool. “No Quarter” is sometimes known as “No Prisoners”. Ie. when the enemy surrenders, kill ’em anyway.

    You are right when you say that any person surrendering is required to be treated humanely. You are wrong in asserting that “No Quarter” means anything other than “kill ’em anyway”.

    Steve: where you have elsewhere on the net advocated disbanding of all artillery units.

    This is just bizzare. I’ve never advocated disbanding of artillery units. WTF are you talking about?

  15. JM says:

    I missed this comment.

    Iain: trivialities like killing civilians or for the genocide of the Jews rather than failing to give any quarter to the enemy

    Trivialities? Trivialities?????????

    I’m sorry Iain, but I can’t agree. Let’s walk this backwards.

    Quarter to the enemy, ie killing soldiers who are surrendering. That’s fine with you or not? Just trying to establish a basis here because I’m not too sure what your view actually is. You say “no quarter” is acceptable, but you then seem to say that killing someone waving a white flag is wrong?

    Please clarify.

    But then you say that genocide of an ethnic group* is a “triviality”? Is that right?

    And “killing civilians” is also a “triviality”? Have I got that right as well?

    I’m not sure I follow your logic here. Execution for trivialities such as crimes against humanity is just A-OK, but execution for dubious practices amounting to war crimes is NOT acceptable? Sorry but planned atrocities committed against civilians appear to me to be much more serious than certain heat-of-the-moment actions of undisciplined troops** – wouldn’t you agree?

    Help me out here a bit will you, I’m having trouble understanding what you’re saying.

    But if I have represented you position accurately, can I ask you then:- just what is unacceptable?

    * sorry about the tautology

    ** not that I’m excusing those actions either.

  16. JM says:

    And just to absolutely clear, Iain, about your completely wrong headed assertion that there is nothing in the Geneva convention about “No Quarter” let me href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_quarter”>quote from the Wiki page

    A victor gives no quarter when the victor shows no clemency or mercy and refuses to spare the life in return for the surrender at discretion (unconditional surrender) of a vanquished opponent.[1]
    Under the laws of war “… it is especially forbidden … to declare that no quarter will be given”. This was established under Article 23 of the IV Convention – The Laws and Customs of War on Land of the Hague Conventions of 1907.[2]
    Since a judgment on the law relating to war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials in October 1946, the 1907 Hague conventions, including the explicit prohibition to declare that no quarter will be given, are considered to be part of the customary laws of war and are binding on all parties in an international armed conflict.[3]

    I will not bold a single part of that because you need to read every word and understand it.

    Note that this comes from the Hague Convention of 1907 – the forerunner of the Geneva Conventions – and also refers to the “customary laws of war” which have been around for millennia and formally recognised in the Western legal framework since circa 1600 or so. (Around the time of the 30 Years War actually)

    Now when chest beaters like yourself bandy around terms like “No Quarter” you need to recognise that you are promoting a return to barbarianism.

    Barbarism that predates Rome.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    Your rancour over my use of the term “trivialities” has me heartily gaffawing here matey because even blind Freddy can see that I was using sarcasm to suggest that mass killing or genocide are anything BUT trivial.
    As for your semantic argument about the legalistic meaning of “no quarter” that is likewise wide of the mark because quite clearly from my previous comment I made it clear that I was not advocating or endorsing the slaughter of captured combatants, in fact what I was clearly arguing is that as long as the enemy stands against you then its fine to kill as many of them as you can. Once they surrender it is of course a different story.
    Gee I may have used the “no quarter” incorrectly (in a strictly legalistic sense) but only you would grasp onto that straw when the substantive part of my argument actually shows no disregard at all for the lives of combatants who are willing to surrender.

  18. JM isn’t very bright. He/she will never get it.

    Sorry for attempting to engage with a mental midget.

  19. JM says:

    Iain: semantic argument about the legalistic meaning of “no quarter”

    “In the field” no quarter has a very specific meaning. You used it in that same specific meaning. If you’re going to back off from it – an action I would welcome – please do so in one of two ways:

    a.) withdraw the comment entirely

    b.) explain what the hell you meant. “Semantic” is not a word that is a get out of jail free card here

  20. Iain Hall says:

    I think that JM’s problem is that he is just too desperate to win any argument here and that he is incapable of any generosity to these he argues with

  21. JM says:

    Steve: He/she will never get it.

    I feel I’m back in the dot-com era.

    Please explain what “it” is that I don’t get.

  22. Iain Hall says:


    JM

    Q From Carl: Recently, I had a person ask me the etymology of to give no quarter. What bothers me is that I can find no rationale for connecting quarter in its sense of one-fourth to its meanings of living space or accepting the surrender of a vanquished enemy.

    A The idiom is certainly odd. So far as I can understand, it’s the result of a series of shifts in meaning and the growth of various idioms which took place in the period from late medieval times into the seventeenth century.

    In the fourteenth century, quarter added to its basic meaning of the fourth part of something by taking on a sense of one of the four principal divisions of the horizon or the points of the compass. It then seems to have transferred to one of the four quarters of a city, in particular one occupied by a specific group (as we might still today speak of “the French quarter”), not literally meaning one fourth of the area, but a rough direction based on the four main compass points. The same meaning was applied to one section of an army camp. So quarter came to have attached to it the idea of an area in which one lived, and further shifts of meaning seem to have taken place that lead to quarters (in the plural) for one’s living accommodation, especially in military contexts.

    There seem to have been one or two further stages. By the 1590s an idiom to keep good quarters with had grown up, meaning to have good relations with a person, presumably a reference to the need to stay on good terms with those living with or around you — Shakespeare used it in The Comedy of Errors in 1590 in a way that showed he was having fun with an expression already well known. So to give no quarter might have meant “don’t show any friendliness to the enemy”. It’s possible also that to give quarters could refer to the need to provide prisoners with a place to stay, so that to give no quarter was a figurative way of saying “take no prisoners”.

    It’s all a bit obscure from this distance, but the essence of it seems to be there.
    source

    I was using the term in the same way that Shakespeare used the term as highlighted above. Anyone can work that out that from the rest of my words and qualifications of my argument why are you incapable of doing so JM?

  23. JM says:

    Iain (quoting an obscure source): etymology

    and then:

    I was using the term in the same way that Shakespeare used the term

    etymology?????

    This is a bit try hard isn’t it? And then of course, you’re only using it in the best “Shakespearian” sense aren’t you?

    But ok. Let’s look at how Shakespeare used it. On your own reference it is used in the Comedy of Errors to mean:


    It’s possible also that to give quarters could refer to the need to provide prisoners with a place to stay, so that to give no quarter was a figurative way of saying “take no prisoners”.

    I believe the phrase is also used in Julius Caesar, and Macbeth to mean exactly the same thing:- take no prisoners.

    And then there is also Othello where the protagonist, in the scene where he enters the bedroom to strangle his wife, “expects no quarter from any man or mercy from God”.

    ie. throughout Shakespeare “no quarter” is used in exactly the modern sense, namely to denote atrocity.

    So I guess your dramatic criticism skills have let you down (again).

    Just withdraw the comment hey?

  24. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    I have clarified my intended meaning and that is as far as I’m prepared to go here.
    Strangely (well not so much considering you are a rabid lefty) you ignore the nature of the enemy here and seem to have not one word of criticism for their methods and their morality on and off the battle field. Because it seems to me that when you have two sides who are prepared to “play by the rules” then you can be all high and mighty about those rules but when you have an enemy who torture and brutally murder those they capture then you can not expect them to be handled with kid gloves.
    I have always believed that in this day and age when you fight an enemy who are prepared to die for their cause and prepared to ignore all of the niceties of the conventions of war themselves then it is entirely sensible that you make sure that they can do you no harm on the field of battle. In the age of the explosive suicide belt one does not give any combatant any benefit of the doubt unless they surrender stark naked how could any soldier be sure that a Taliban is not going to try to take you to Allah with them?

  25. JM says:

    Not so strange Iain.

    I am not responsible for the morality of the other side, they are. I am responsible only for my own, and “strangely” enough it doesn’t change depending on the opponent.

    And it doesn’t change depending on my prejudices and preconceptions of their morality either.

  26. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    So are you saying that no matter what tactic the Jihadists use you would not change one bit of the way that you wage war against them?
    Not a single thing?
    I reckon that would mean that you would last about 15 seconds in battle mate 🙄 and that you would be the first to be blown upby that hidden grenade as you try to offer the Taliban some of the deadly comfy chair treatment.

    In any case your answer is a cop out because as a civilian who is not directly involved in the fight you can’t just resolve to ignore the morality of the Jihadists methods because you disavow “responsibility” for it. To put it in sporting terms its like saying the home team has to stick to the rules but their opponents don’t and then whining because the home team is not winning.
    Grow a pair JM and dare to step outside of your lefty comfort zone by applying the same moral judgements to the Talliban that you apply to the USA military and then get back to us on who the real villains are in this war.

  27. JM says:

    Iain: you would not change one bit of the way that you wage war against them?

    No. Tactics are there to minimise harm to my side and maximise damage to the others. They are entirely unchanged by the religious or philosophical beliefs of the other side and are informed totally by experience and “what works, works”

    as a civilian who is not directly involved in the fight

    My, my, my this really is a pot-kettle-black moment isn’t it? Or have you enlisted Iain?

    step outside of your lefty comfort zone

    You know Iain, I’m starting to think you have a card board cut out named “Lefty” propped up on the spare armchair in your living room and you routinely paste an image of your latest interlocutor onto it’s face. Just so you can throw darts at it in the vain hope that voodoo actually works and you may be able to somehow hurt them.

    Because your arguments aren’t worth shite.

    And just labelling everyone you disagree with “Lefty” is not much of a better tactic either. (Even though your cardboard cutout may get a lot of holes in it eventually)

  28. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    No. Tactics are there to minimise harm to my side and maximise damage to the others. They are entirely unchanged by the religious or philosophical beliefs of the other side and are informed totally by experience and “what works, works”

    So you would ignore the core belief of the Islamic fundamentalist that the next life will be a paradise with 50 virgins fro anyone who dies as a shaheed even though that belief may encourage some last desperate act intended to kill you or your fellows?

    My, my, my this really is a pot-kettle-black moment isn’t it? Or have you enlisted Iain?

    Not in the slightest you seem more than happy to claim membership of “our side” and to apply different expectations of behaviour depending upon which side of the mud-brick they stand on and I am merely pointing out that you (and I are actaully somewhat removed from the pointy end of the conflict and at this remove we have the luxury of being able to consider both sides of the fight and to consider which side is acting in the more morally acceptable manner. Sadly you are lacking the Cahones to apply an equal judgement to both sides.
    I on the other hands consider the ways that both sides wage war and have come to the conclusion that, like just about any war that you can cite, no one has entirely clean hands but on any measure its obvious that those who seek to maximise civilian casualties as a target and a tactic have far bigger stains upon their virtue than those who do the opposite.

    You know Iain, I’m starting to think you have a card board cut out named “Lefty” propped up on the spare armchair in your living room and you routinely paste an image of your latest interlocutor onto it’s face. Just so you can throw darts at it in the vain hope that voodoo actually works and you may be able to somehow hurt them.

    Because your arguments aren’t worth shite.

    Nah I don’t have or need any kind of avatar in my living room I prefer to use may keyboard rather than darts but I think that you are making the mistake of thinking that my barbed sarcasm is my substantive argument when it is actaully just my way of having affecione digs at may interlocutors.

    And just labelling everyone you disagree with “Lefty” is not much of a better tactic either. (Even though your cardboard cutout may get a lot of holes in it eventually)

    I have argued with you often enough to think that calling you a lefty or a Latte sipper is right on the money in terms of your political place in the ideological spectrum.

    Am I wrong on that ?

  29. JM says:

    Iain: you are making the mistake of thinking that my barbed sarcasm is my substantive argument

    Is that right? Well I do apologize, because without your “barbed sarcasm” (which is more like spite and bitter twaddle anyway) you don’t have any arguments at all, let alone substantive ones

    Am I wrong on that?

    You sure are. I don’t drink coffee and I’m not a “leftist”. Go back to abusing your cardboard cutout.

  30. JM says:

    Iain: those who seek to maximise civilian casualties as a target and a tactic have far bigger stains upon their virtue than those who do the opposite

    So what? Rack the Ripper had far more blood on his hands than anyone else in London at the time. Did the police adopt his tactics?

    “Look what you made me do” and “But he did it first” are childish excuses that grownups leave behind when they leave the playground.

  31. JM says:

    Iain, your statements are a rich mine of i*****cy.

    Sadly you are lacking the Cahones to apply an equal judgement to both sides.

    Wrong. I am applying the same standards to both sides. However, unlike you I insist that “my” or “our” side stick to their standards even in the face of atrocity on the other.

    You on the other hand are running an argument that says “righto, you guys broke the rules so all bets are off”

    It’s a childish argument from the playground.

    And while you can project it onto “Lefty”, it is not one held by serious people. Of any political view.

  32. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    Just off the top of my head lets look at your political positions on a few topics shall we?
    Just to see if you denial of being a lefty is borne out by the evidence?
    For a start you are a red hot dead set believer in AGW
    strike one!
    You are hypercritical of anything done by the USA or the UK
    Strike two !!
    You hate the idea that the Coalition are doing well in the polls
    Strike three!!!
    You are very critical of any sort of big business
    Strike four!!!!
    You are all for Gay marriage
    Strike five !!!!!
    Any conservative position I take on any subject gets you frothing at the mouth in my comment threads
    Strike six!!!!!!
    You won’t criticise Islam but Christianity and Christmas are fair game to you
    Strike seven!!!!!!!

    Need I go on? because I can, Just be honest with us and your self about where you sit in the political spectrum because you won’t convince anyone that you are not a lefty, least of all me.

    Now to your next claim:

    So what? Rack the Ripper had far more blood on his hands than anyone else in London at the time. Did the police adopt his tactics?

    “Look what you made me do” and “But he did it first” are childish excuses that grownups leave behind when they leave the playground.

    You misunderstand or misrepresent (probably both) what I am saying here. If you are faced with an enemy who you can expect to respect the Geneva convention then its easier to give them the benefit of the doubt if it comes to the point at which they may surrender simply because they are likely to act honourably. When you are facing insurgents who are neither trained or inclined to “do the right thing” you just can’t be expected to take prisoners until you are sure that they pose no threat to your own safety.

    But most notable by its absence in your response is any condemnation of the Taliban or their fellow Jihadists… Hmm I wonder why??

  33. JM says:

    Iain: When you are facing insurgents who are neither trained or inclined to “do the right thing” you just can’t be expected to take prisoners …

    Hogwash. A basic requirement of the Geneva Conventions is that a signatory respect them even if their enemy doesn’t.

    Hmm I wonder why??

    Innuendo will get you nowhere. But it nonetheless seems to be a basic element of your argumentive style.

    I wonder why??

    Maybe because you have no argument to begin with?

  34. GD says:

    Rack the Ripper (sic) had far more blood on his hands than anyone else in London at the time. Did the police adopt his tactics?

    JM, talking of childish arguments, that has to take the cake. Illogical, unrelated and irrelevant. You guys are arguing war, not domestic crime.

    Perhaps it’s time you left the playground, JM.

    As for the use of drones such as the Reaper and the Predator, way to go USA. The ragheads have no qualms about using teenagers and children (their own) as cannon fodder, why shouldn’t the smarter, more advanced nations use technology to respond to these vermin?

  35. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    you are being totally disingenuous by misquoting me in the comment above, the whole sentence is:

    When you are facing insurgents who are neither trained or inclined to “do the right thing” you just can’t be expected to take prisoners until you are sure that they pose no threat to your own safety.

    The bit you left out makes it very clear that I am not suggesting that the Geneva convention be ignored or disavowed, only that we face an enemy that can not be trusted to act honourably.

  36. JM says:

    Sorry, sorry Iain but my head is exploding here. You say

    The bit you left out makes it very clear that I am not suggesting that the Geneva convention be ignored or disavowed, only that we face an enemy that can not be trusted to act honourably.

    So therefore the Geneva Conventions – which require all signatories to “behave honourably” regardless of the actions of the other side, can – in your view – be safely discarded if the other side doesn’t “behave honourably”?

    ie. The Geneva Conventions, designed to punish atrocity, actually allow atrocity if in the view of your own side the other side is behaving atrociously?

    Sorry, Iain, I need your Jesuit background at this point because I’m having real trouble working this out.

    I look forward to enlightenment from you.

  37. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    You do not have to be a member of the society of Jesus to understand what I am saying here, in fact you yourself said something very similar just a few comemnts earlier, let me remind you of what you said:

    No. Tactics are there to minimise harm to my side and maximise damage to the others.

    All that I am saying here is that to minimise harm to “our” side I see nothing wrong with shooting or otherwise killing the enemy up to the point when it is absolutely certain that they can do no harm. Such acts of self preservation are in fact allowed by the Convention which does not view killing the enemy as an atrocity unless they have actaully surrendered and they are actually unarmed. A man wearing a suicide vest with his finger on the switch is still armed and his willingness to detonate shows that he has not surrendered either.
    Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?

    I note that you do not rebut my reasons for calling you a lefty, which I will take as a tacit admission form you that I am correct 😉

  38. JM says:

    Iain: Such acts of self preservation…

    Which gets to the point. Where is the self preservation when the attacker is half a world away? There isn’t any.

    I note that you do not rebut my reasons for calling you a lefty,

    Other than your imagination and prejudice there is nothing to rebut. And how would I rebut such an assertion. By agreeing with you?

  39. Iain Hall says:

    Attacking the enemy from a distance beyond which they can do you harm has been a staple of war for as long as deadly force, but the difference is that now it can be done with far greater precision and a level of discretion that can only have been dreamt of previously. That said you are now shifting the goalposts from how soldiers who are face to face should behave towards the enemy to thinking that the same rules of engagement apply to the use of drones.
    Perhaps you are making the same fundamental mistake as our learned friend? and you think that a gun barrel gets hot enough during the day from the sunshine to show up as hot in a Infra red image at night…

    Other than your imagination and prejudice there is nothing to rebut. And how would I rebut such an assertion. By agreeing with you?

    There is nothing to rebut because I am right that by any measure you are a lefty, not that there is anything particularity bad about being a lefty, some of my best friends are lefties and we have some great times arguing the toss about the issues.
    If you still want to deny being a lefty then please point out just how your views are inconsistent enough with leftist ideology for that label to be wrong for you.

  40. JM says:

    Iain: you just can’t be expected to take prisoners until you are sure that they pose no threat to your own safety.

    Iain this is completely a strawman. You are postulating that all military action consists solely of taking prisoners and accusing me of believing that.

    I don’t. No sensible person would.

    And in any case that’s not the argument or the point of the 60 Minutes report. The question is rather whether killing people from half a world away when you are in no danger yourself and they have no ability to protect themselves from your efforts is moral or not.

    In my view, it is not moral. However if it is moral in your view then we disagree.

    And I urge you to reconsider.

  41. JM says:

    Iain: some of my best friends are lefties

    OMG. “Some of my best friends”!!!!!

    Iain do you ever think about what you say?

    please point out just how your views are inconsistent enough with leftist ideology

    Well I don’t agree with your cardboard mate “Lefty”.

    Is that good enough?

  42. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain this is completely a strawman. You are postulating that all military action consists solely of taking prisoners and accusing me of believing that.

    I don’t. No sensible person would.

    No I’m doing no such thing, In war each side tries to kill or neutralise enemy combatants in any way that is possible and the Geneva convention says that this is permissible until they cease to be active combatants.

    And in any case that’s not the argument or the point of the 60 Minutes report. The question is rather whether killing people from half a world away when you are in no danger yourself and they have no ability to protect themselves from your efforts is moral or not.

    Where is the moral difference between killing the enemy from behind a sturdy wall or a heavily armoured tank (that gives you a protective advantage) over doing it form the cockpit of a F16, or doing it from an air conditioned control room in Nevada? The technology allows for much greater discretion in the decision to use deadly force so as to minimise “collateral damage” and civilian casualties so isn’t that better , by orders of magnitude, than the heavy handed use of large amounts of fire power?

    In my view, it is not moral. However if it is moral in your view then we disagree.

    And I urge you to reconsider.

    Why do you think that is not moral? you have made no supporting argument for thie claim and your bare assertion is inadequate.

    Iain do you ever think about what you say?

    Certainly and I am well aware of the allusion you make here but in this instance it just happens to be absolutely true

    Well I don’t agree with your cardboard mate “Lefty”.

    Is that good enough?

    You can’t get away with the use of a cardboard man argument here JM so no its not good enough.
    That said if you don’t think of yourself as a lefty then where would you place yourself in the political spectrum?

  43. JM says:

    Iain: where would you place yourself in the political spectrum?

    Why does that matter? Or are you now placing ideological conditions on your commenters?

    Or is the condition Must Agree With Iain?

  44. JM says:

    Iain: in any way that is possible and the Geneva convention says that this is permissible until they cease to be active combatants

    Well at least you’ve got some reasonable grasp of the basic principles.

    To my mind however the question is not so much one of compliance with the conventions – although that’s where Jeremy got started with his raising of the issue of proper identification, which IS one of the requirements of the conventions – but one of morality.

    I don’t think the use of drones is moral. And events over the last 10 years have borne this out. There have been quite a few occasions where drones have killed innocent people. Those occasions have been acknowledged by the US which has apologized for them.

    Well, I don’t feel that a few “whoops, sorry” statements are adequate recompense for what is obviously an inadequate and morally flawed weapons system.

  45. JM says:

    Me: Well at least you’ve got some reasonable grasp of the basic principles

    Actually, I think I’m wrong there. The conventions do not allow you to keep killing people until they’re either all gone or have surrendered.

    They place an onus of reasonableness on the aggressor. (Yeah self-preservation comes into this, but let’s not get tied down with that one because that’s about the rights of the defender)

    ie. “kill ’em all, let god sort ’em out” is not permitted.

  46. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    I don’t think the use of drones is moral. And events over the last 10 years have borne this out. There have been quite a few occasions where drones have killed innocent people. Those occasions have been acknowledged by the US which has apologized for them.

    Well, I don’t feel that a few “whoops, sorry” statements are adequate recompense for what is obviously an inadequate and morally flawed weapons system.

    Aren’t you looking at this issue arse about here? In the history of war there has never been a time when less civilian causalities are caused by the most advanced weapons. You seem to be expecting that NO civilians should ever casualties of war. Certainly a laudable aspiration but entirely unrealistic. As for the events that you cite here what percentage of the total attacks from drones do you think have resulted in civilian casualties? Come on name a figure because I tend to think that we are looking at something less than a single percentile here.

    That said you have still not explained WHY you think that this weapons system is not “moral” on what basis to you claim this what moral precepts underscore your judgement on this? Come on, you can’t just assert that it is immoral without explaining how and why that is so.

  47. JM says:

    Iain what a load of tripe.

    And stop mounting strawman arguments, (“You seem to be expecting “) which is a favorite tactic of yours.

    The guts of this argument is too fold

    a.) it is very difficult to positively identify your target using drones and there have been several well publicised cases – acknowledged by the US – where entirely peaceful parties of civilians have been targeted as “gatherings of Al Quaeda leaders” and wiped out. The US has apologized for those incidents, but personally I reckon they’re being lazy or at the very least trigger happy and not abiding by their obligation to positively identify combatants.

    Now there is latitude to attack civilians in the absence of positive identification, but it only applies where you are under attack yourself and exercising the right to self-preservation – ie. you don’t have time to be sure

    That doesn’t apply here. The perpetrators are in no danger and self-preservation doesn’t apply

    b.) it is quite simply immoral to go on an 8 hour turkey shoot where the victims have no idea they are even in danger let alone take cover or other steps to protect themselves. It is especially immoral to do it when you are in absolutely no danger yourself and the worse thing that might happen to you is that you trip over a power lead when getting up to go home.

  48. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    You are making a couple of fundamental errors here with regard to the way that drones are used. You seem to be forgetting that for the most part they are used in conjunction with ground forces as in the example of the first picture where the fellow targeted had been firing his weapon at US forces and he was attempting to do the guerrilla thing of running away to avoid a fire fight with superior forces, so his hot gun made it clear that he was a combatant and therefore a legitimate target.
    The operators are very much aware of the bad news value of getting it wrong and they make every effort to only take out “bad guys” as I asked you before can you provide any figures to show that the number of “mistakes” in targeting is as high as you want to suggest? Come on you can’t realistic be expecting 100% perfection from the operators of these drones now can you?

    b.) it is quite simply immoral to go on an 8 hour turkey shoot where the victims have no idea they are even in danger let alone take cover or other steps to protect themselves. It is especially immoral to do it when you are in absolutely no danger yourself and the worse thing that might happen to you is that you trip over a power lead when getting up to go home.

    Why do you say this? this is a war against an enemy that does not wear uniforms or insignia, who are fighting a guerrilla war and the rules of war say that as long as you identify them as combatants then you may shoot them why do you think that its any less moral to do so from a very safe distance than to do when you can do it face to face?

    You are just reasserting your claim without explaining the basis for it. So try harder please.

  49. JM says:

    And the tripe I was talking about:

    In the history of war there has never been a time when less civilian causalities are caused by the most advanced weapons.

    Aside from the 20th and 21st centuries civilian casualties in war have actually been fairly light. Generally speaking it was armies who fought armies and civilians either had a chance to get out of the way or were not there in the first place because battles were fought in open country.*

    (There are historical exceptions to this mostly from ancient times where rape and pillage was the intended outcome of a siege, but even then those were regarded as atrocities.)

    During the period from the end of the Age of Siege up until the 19th century civilian casualties were decidedly rare.

    It was really only with WWI that the civilian population became the intended target, and things really got going during WWII. (And air power was the prime instrument. Air attack has been questioned morally from the get go, drones are just the purest example of the question.)

    So much so that the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbid the various ways in which a civilian population might be targeted and require that combatants – all combatants, including irregulars and terrorists – take steps to minimize harm and danger to noncombatants.

    The current civilian-soldier death rate is reckoned to be about 10:1 which is pretty much unprecedented in history. And I don’t see anyone who has claimed that even Iraq has changed that. On the contrary it seems to have got worse.

    The US has suffered about 6,000 combat deaths in Iraq. On a 10:1 ratio you’d expect about 60,000 civilian deaths.

    No-one, not even the most optimistic believe that civilian casualties over the last 8 years are that low. In fact, after 4 years of war they were conservatively estimated at about 600,000. A ratio of over 100:1

    * I think a very instructive example of this, because they are the exemplar of both open battle and rape and pillage would be the Huns of the 5th century. They raped and pillaged with the best of them. However, the civilian casualties from that time were not high. And the Huns used the most advanced weapons system of the time.

    An unusual bow fired in largely unknown fashion from horseback while circling their trapped enemy army. Most of the people they killed were enemy soldiers.

    Now they did raze the odd city that refused them tribute, but for the most part they were satisfied just to take the money and come back next year for more.

    Organised theft in other words, not the murder of civilians. That was their aim.

  50. JM says:

    Iain: this is a war against an enemy that does not wear uniforms or insignia,

    Deary, deary me. What a shock. What difference does that make to your actions? None.

    who are fighting a guerrilla war

    See above. It doesn’t matter that they’re guerillas, they have the same rights under the Conventions and you are placed under exactly the same obligations.

    And you know what? It doesn’t even matter that they don’t abide by the Conventions. You are still obliged to.

    and the rules of war say that as long as you identify them as combatants then you may shoot them

    I’m not talking about this case, which looks legit, I’m talking about the general use of drones and their demonstrated capacity for atrocity.

    In fact, I’m actually not really arguing about the Conventions at all, but rather an older argument about the morality of drones themselves. I think they’re immoral.

    Unlike say the bombing of Germany during WWII – which makes me queasy but at least there is the consideration that the flyers themselves were in danger, very severe danger.

    The flyers here are not in any danger at all.

  51. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    During the period from the end of the Age of Siege up until the 19th century civilian casualties were decidedly rare.

    That is debatable as no accurate body counts exist for all of the examples you allude to here.

    It was really only with WWI that the civilian population became the intended target, and things really got going during WWII. (And air power was the prime instrument. Air attack has been questioned morally from the get go, drones are just the purest example of the question.)

    Really do you have some citations for this claim??

    So much so that the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbid the various ways in which a civilian population might be targeted and require that combatants – all combatants, including irregulars and terrorists – take steps to minimize harm and danger to noncombatants.

    The key word here is the one I have emboldened above clearly those drafting the convention recognised that civilian casualties were to some extent unavoidable.

    The current civilian-soldier death rate is reckoned to be about 10:1 which is pretty much unprecedented in history. And I don’t see anyone who has claimed that even Iraq has changed that. On the contrary it seems to have got worse.

    Where did you get that figure from JM?

    The US has suffered about 6,000 combat deaths in Iraq. On a 10:1 ratio you’d expect about 60,000 civilian deaths.

    Figurers plucked from the air don’t mean much mate.

    No-one, not even the most optimistic believe that civilian casualties over the last 8 years are that low. In fact, after 4 years of war they were conservatively estimated at about 600,000. A ratio of over 100:1

    The trouble with these numbers is that they attribute the deaths from the internecine fighting to the USA which takes a bit of a stretch if you ask me.

    * I think a very instructive example of this, because they are the exemplar of both open battle and rape and pillage would be the Huns of the 5th century. They raped and pillaged with the best of them. However, the civilian casualties from that time were not high. And the Huns used the most advanced weapons system of the time.

    Source for this claim please

    An unusual bow fired in largely unknown fashion from horseback while circling their trapped enemy army. Most of the people they killed were enemy soldiers.

    Well I’d disagree with that because until Cromwell the idea of a professional military was largely unknown and the bulk of the army trying to fight off the huns would have been ordianry men , largely untrained and poorly armed civilians in all but name.

    Now they did raze the odd city that refused them tribute, but for the most part they were satisfied just to take the money and come back next year for more.

    Organised theft in other words, not the murder of civilians. That was their aim.

    Citation please 😉

    Deary, deary me. What a shock. What difference does that make to your actions? None.

    who are fighting a guerrilla war

    See above. It doesn’t matter that they’re guerillas, they have the same rights under the Conventions and you are placed under exactly the same obligations.

    And you know what? It doesn’t even matter that they don’t abide by the Conventions. You are still obliged to.

    Actually it does make a difference to how they are treated as I pointed out in one of the innumerable debates about David hicks soldiers are required to wear uniforms or insignia if they want the full protection of the Geneva convention.

    I’m talking about the general use of drones and their demonstrated capacity for atrocity.

    In fact, I’m actually not really arguing about the Conventions at all, but rather an older argument about the morality of drones themselves. I think they’re immoral.

    I’ll ask you again to to explain WHY and on what basis you make this claim

    Unlike say the bombing of Germany during WWII – which makes me queasy but at least there is the consideration that the flyers themselves were in danger, very severe danger.
    The flyers here are not in any danger at all.

    Seems to me that you consider this an “unfair” competition which is why you consider it immoral would that be right?
    so I ask you why do you think that any war can ever be truly fair because you may have noticed that war is not sport and there is no imperative fro fairness in war.

  52. JM says:

    Iain, you want citations? How about the whole of military history, a subject you clearly know nothing about. Everything I’ve said is unexceptional and is pretty much the standard understanding.

    I am not going to give you an education, go and do your own reading. I refuse to provide citations in this specific instance because you’ve requested quite a few and any response I give will be filtered and go straight into the spam bucket where you won’t even bother to look. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

    soldiers are required to wear uniforms or insignia if they want the full protection of the Geneva convention

    Bollocks. BS. B********T.

    Read Convention 4

    Iain, you are a very ignorant, uninformed man who is masquerading as an intellectual. You are not. And you are willfully ignorant and uninformed. You express opinions on things you know nothing about and make no effort to know anything about. You then use your ignorance as the basis for “tongue in cheek” comments of no content, and that are closer to parody than anything else, and for a very low grade form of “sarcasm”

    (Iain, you couldn’t do sarcasm if I gave you personal instruction.)

    Face facts. You are in fact just a blowhard.

  53. JM says:

    Iain: Really do you have some citations for this claim??

    About the various views about the morality of air power? I certainly do. In the 90’s the veterans of Bomber Command privately financed and organised the erection of a memorial statue to Air Vice Marshal “Bomber” Harris in London.

    There had been an ongoing festering sore of debate for around 50 years about Harris where the British Government refused to honour him in a manner that the veterans thought appropriate*.

    The government refused to sanction this and so did the Palace. The Queen Mother was invited to officiate which she did in a private capacity. The unveiling was also accompanied by protests.

    So it is entirely unexceptional to question the bombing of Germany. Neither the UK government nor the Palace are prepared to honour the man responsible.

    The British Establishment isn’t comfortable with this form of action. And the Geneva Conventions have explicitly forbidden it since 1947

    Get used to Iain. Your “Rambo” views are verboten.

    * A desire I can fully understand and sympathise with given their exposure to danger and their sacrifice (the bomber crews had a casualty rate like you wouldn’t believe) however as I said before is something I feel morally queasy about.

  54. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    You need to chill a bit, sit down and have a nice cup of tea, it does wonders for your blood pressure.

    Iain, you want citations? How about the whole of military history, a subject you clearly know nothing about. Everything I’ve said is unexceptional and is pretty much the standard understanding.

    You are the one making the claims here and I’m just asking you to back them up if you can’t do so then don’t get mad at me as a consequence.

    I am not going to give you an education, go and do your own reading. I refuse to provide citations in this specific instance because you’ve requested quite a few and any response I give will be filtered and go straight into the spam bucket where you won’t even bother to look. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

    How many times do I need to point out that as a moderated commentator adding more than two links won’t make any difference to how quickly your comemnts appear to others at this blog.

    soldiers are required to wear uniforms or insignia if they want the full protection of the Geneva convention

    Bollocks. BS. B********T.

    Read Convention 4

    Not exactly according to this

    Iain, you are a very ignorant, uninformed man who is masquerading as an intellectual. You are not. And you are willfully ignorant and uninformed. You express opinions on things you know nothing about and make no effort to know anything about. You then use your ignorance as the basis for “tongue in cheek” comments of no content, and that are closer to parody than anything else, and for a very low grade form of “sarcasm”

    (Iain, you couldn’t do sarcasm if I gave you personal instruction.)

    Yep, you have lost this argument by descending into personal abuse. The difference between us is that I don’t descend into confected outrage about any thing that I write about or respond to here. I may not have fashionable opinions but they are not based upon ignorance.

    Face facts. You are in fact just a blowhard.

    To be a blowhard one would have to be rather prone to angry rants which is not something that I ever do.

  55. Iain Hall says:

    Really JM is that the best that you can do about the morality of Air power?
    Try harder please
    that does not answer the question.

  56. JM says:

    Iain: Well I’d disagree with that because until Cromwell the idea of a professional military was largely unknown ….

    WTF does Cromwell have to do with the Huns in the 5th century? Nothing.

    Iain you cannot, cannot, you are incapable of mounting a sensible argument. Really you are not capable of it.

    Let me give you some counterexamples.

    Firstly the Huns as they’re most relevant. WFT do you think they were doing? They were an apparently tribal people who travelled from China (although this is unknown and disputed) to Europe and were organised raiders and pillagers.

    It’s how they made their daily bread. They were professionals in any sense of the word.

    And who were their opponents? The Romans. Now to be a (male) Roman citizen carried an obligation of service in the Legions. For around 20 years. Professionals in other words.

    Iain. Let me give you some advice. Don’t get into arguments where you know nothing about the topic. You’ll look like less of a fool.

    It’s like that famous quote “Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove alll doubt”

  57. JM says:

    Iain: Not exactly according to this [referring to the Third Geneva Convention 1949, p44]

    You’re really a nutbag. And your comprehension skills are minor. Let me quote from your reference with appropriate bolding (the first paragraph in fact):-


    Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

    (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

    (2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even of this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    It goes on.

    ie. guerillas and/or terrorists, whatever you want to call them, whether they wear uniforms, insignia or not, are afforded the protections of the Conventions.

    You’re wrong. Plainly, clearly, absolutely. Wrong.

  58. GD says:

    Iain, your patience endless, your humour intact and your logic faultless. I can’t say the same for your sparring partner.

  59. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain. Let me give you some advice. Don’t get into arguments where you know nothing about the topic. You’ll look like less of a fool.

    It’s like that famous quote “Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove alll(sic) doubt”

    I know a fair bit about a large number of topics and I am humble enough to realise that my knowledge is not perfect so let me say this about the professionalism of armies in the past. While I concede that there were examples of well disciplined and well organised military forces like the Romans, the majority of fighting men were usually not so professional and even the Romans were not paid except with the promise of pensions and the opportunity for loot and booty. However I think that you are wrong to suggest that there was any kind of draft into the Roman legions, as I understand it a man joined voluntarily for a fixed period swearing fealty to his commander it was for the adventure and the chance to make ones fortune in the wars of conquest during which the civilian populations who were subjugated would be seen as a resource.

    ie. guerillas and/or terrorists, whatever you want to call them, whether they wear uniforms, insignia or not, are afforded the protections of the Conventions.

    You’re wrong. Plainly, clearly, absolutely. Wrong.

    No JM I’m not wrong, you capture an enemy in uniform and its easy to afford them the status of prisoner of war, you capture someone not in uniform and their status is at best questionable, of course both should be well treated when prisoners but in the absence of a clear and obvious command structure (as mentioned in the convention)its just as reasonable to assume that a man out of uniform with a gun is just a bandit a spy or a privateer.

    Now I’m going to ask you nicely to stop all of the gratuitous insults and denigrations aimed at Moi. Its rather boorish behaviour that you keep doing this and to be honest it does you no favours. Its laudable that you are so passionate about the argument but boring that you so easily devolve into rancorous insults rather than being good humoured and dare I say it friendly.

  60. JM says:

    Me: Rot

    Actually just to make that point clear, and why I said that.

    The Roman Monarchy, Republic, Empire and later the Holy Roman Empire[1] were not built and maintained by a random bunch of opportunistic mercenaries as you appear to think.

    The whole structure lasted for many centuries[2] and unlike the Huns did not fall apart on the death of its first leader [3]. No such structure could have been built on the back of a buncha guys haring ’round the land on a rape and pillage exercise.

    You are very ignorant man Iain.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with being ignorant, it is a pre-condition of knowledge. But you combine it with a strong will to remain ignorant. It’s that which offends me most about your behaviour.

    Do you read? Have you read Gibbon (even in abbreviated form, which is the only way I’ve read him, the full 6 volumes are too much for me[4])? Do you even know who Gibbon is?

    [1] Do you know what the difference between those political structures are? Are you even aware that there are differences? Or is your knowledge of Rome limited to “Gladiator”, “Ben Hur” and “Sparticas”?

    [2] In fact, in at least one sense it lasted until the early 20th century. The last Austro-Hungarian emperor had many titles one of which was “Holy Roman Emperor”

    [3] Attila died around the age of 50. Engaged with one of his many young wives, there are benefits to being a barbarian. Perhaps you could explore them (although I think you need an empire first). It would sit well with your taste for “first person shooters”.

    [4] But I did buy a coffee table version (with pictures) last week for my young son – I can send a copy to you if you like, it would make an easy introduction for you.

  61. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    You are very ignorant man Iain.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with being ignorant, it is a pre-condition of knowledge. But you combine it with a strong will to remain ignorant. It’s that which offends me most about your behaviour.

    My behaviour?
    Oh my aren’t you so full of sanctimonious arrogance!
    I write a humble blog for my own amusement and a bit of dialogue with anyone who cares to comment here and because you are singularly unable to convince me that you have a superior vision of science and the world and in its entirety you come up with this sort of nonsense!

    Look the internet is a big place and no one forces you to play here now do they?
    You really are the epitome of an awful guest who repeatedly insults his host and then expects to be thanked and respected for it. I may well be wrong about some of the things that I write here but at least I have the good manners and good grace to be polite and affable to my interlocutors (even when they don’t deserve it) Maybe you should try it sometime because even those who agree with your politics must surely disagree with your own rather boorish behaviour.

    I sort of suspect that you are trying to goad me into banning you so that you can then claim some sort of internet martyrdom, well sunny JM as I have you moderated anyway I won’t give you that satisfaction.

  62. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I won’t tell you how to run your blog but if I had someone like JM continually insulting me, I’d (a) have him on moderation (which you’ve done) and (b) only let through those comments that are not laced with insults.

    JM is as bad as “Sax” here in that he insults and personally attacks real identities like you while hiding behind an alias himself.

    Come on, JM, I enjoy your arguments and your obvious intellect but if you want to attack people under their real name then do it under yours.

  63. David says:

    Iain, I won’t tell you how to run your blog

    Rofl. That would be a first.

  64. Richard Ryan says:

    bloggers who hide behind screen names, and dish out personal insults, I liken to a tin of baked beans—–wondering which one caused the fart.

  65. GD says:

    your obvious intellect

    I disagree with you Ray. The person known as JM may seem to possess an abundance of general knowledge, but on examination it’s a disjointed glut of facts. His arguments are, at best, a convoluted regurgitating of his blinkered reading, while his retorts are unnecessarily personal and vicious.

    Cut and thrust!

  66. JM says:

    Ray: if you want to attack people under their real name then do it under yours

    I think there’s a little of a double standard here. I believe there is a commentator here called “GD” (who used to be known as “gigdiary”) whose real name is unknown, ie. he is as pseudonymous as me, yet he has attacked me frequently (and ignoring his comment above at 9:20) as a “jihadist”

    In other words, an adherent to a radical and absolutist doctrine that would prefer to see all in the West converted, destroyed or otherwise wiped out. I’ve never bothered with such insults.

    I’ve never made them myself, nor have I been much troubled if they are directed at me.

    Yet you’re getting in a tizzy over the word “ignorant”? And when as I pointed out in the original comment is not even an insult?

    C’mon Ray you can do better than that. One standard for all or none at all.

  67. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    I know precisely who GD is and that makes him higher up the ladder of virtue than you.

  68. Ray Dixon says:

    JM, GD’s real identity is no secret to most people who are regulars here. You’ve been commenting here long before he has so you must have noticed that until fairly recently his name linked to personal details at the click of a mouse. No, there’s no ‘double standard’ because JM is a very protected identity. Purposely. That’s fair enough but, in my opinion, it limits your rights to be so critical (and insulting) of those who comment under their real name. If you don’t get that then that’s because you’ve never been subject to the type of personal abuse and reputation tarnishing that those of us who are NOT AFRAID to fully identify ourselves have.

  69. GD says:

    JM, you act as though Iain is your bete noire, but is he really your man-crush?

  70. GD says:

    JM, you could find my identity, if you had half a brain…more importantly, with your latest comment you confirm my earlier comment. You are a blustering, blundering oaf when it comes to debating. Iain calmly rebuts the few points you make, yet you continue to squeal like a stuck pig when proved wrong.

    Grow a pair, man!

  71. JM says:

    GD: Iain calmly rebuts the few points you make,

    Where?

    yet you continue to squeal like a stuck pig when proved wrong.

    Where?

  72. JM says:

    Ray, the fact is that this blog does have a double standard. “People who agree with Iain” are allowed pseudonyms, “People who don’t agree with Iain” are not.

    And will be aggressively hunted down until Iain has their names, has contacted their employers, harassed their families and generally wrecked their lives.

    That’s history and those are facts.

    Regards

    JM

  73. JM says:

    GD: Iain calmly rebuts the few points you make

    When has Iain ever, ever rebutted the points I make? Give me a couple of examples from the last week please.

    The fact is Iain never, never rebuts points I make because he is wrong in the first place.

  74. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    I calmly rebut every point and every argument that you make most often on a sentence by sentence basis Now I may not always be right but You can’t pretend that I am not offering a calm counter argument. I am not at all interested in carrying on here in an overly emotional manner, that is just not my style.
    As for you squealing like a pig everyone else can see it so take the time too look at your recent comemnts here at the Sandpit and how quickly you descend into insult and personal abuse.

    Changing your login won’t get around the moderation so please don’t bother with such nonsense.

    Ray, the fact is that this blog does have a double standard. “People who agree with Iain” are allowed pseudonyms, “People who don’t agree with Iain” are not.

    Well you are absolutely wrong here, I have no objection to the use of Pseudonyms by commenters here and frankly neither does Ray as long as they behave with good manners and good humour.In fact I have a very high tolerance for people such as yourself being unkind and insulting precisely because I am a very laid back kind of guy with a very thick skin who welcomes being challenged and contradicted as long as it is done with good humour.

    And will be aggressively hunted down until Iain has their names, has contacted their employers, harassed their families and generally wrecked their lives.

    That’s history and those are facts.

    Gee that is a strongly worded claim so you won’t mind if I ask you to back that up with some proof now will you? Something along the lines of the name of anyone’s employer who has ever heard a peep out of me or the family member of any blogger who has been “harassed”by Moi and finally the names of anyone who has had their life wrecked by Moi.

    Its not history its propaganda from the “Iain Hall haters club” and I suspect that your citation of that sort of crap means that you must be a fully paid up member.

    The fact is Iain never, never rebuts points I make because he is wrong in the first place.

    definition:

    re·but
       [ri-buht] Show IPA verb, -but·ted, -but·ting.
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to refute by evidence or argument.
    2.
    to oppose by contrary proof.

    One does not need to be correct or even ultimately win the argument all one has to do is offer counter argument as I do constantly. Which means that yet again I have calmly rebutted the point you sought to make.

    Now you have a lovely day now JM and please do try to chill out a little because I worry that you are on the verge of some sort of personal meltdown.
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

  75. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s history and those are facts

    No, JM, it’s neither and you are embellishing the distant past, if not outright distorting it. Case in point, Bridgit Gread. Iain knows who she is and where she works. He’s known this for nearly 18 months since the information fell in his lap (and no, he wasn’t actively seeking that information out) yet he has not “contacted her employer” or “harassed her family” or in any way attempted to “wreck her life”. God knows he’d have every right to take action against her even including informing her employer of her unpaid ‘journalistic’ ventures on the Internet (they would not take very kindly to that, believe me) but he hasn’t. And she still stalks him (and me) and writes derogatory and defamatory comment about both of us under an alias, albeit a different one to BG.

    You need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you judge them as harshly and as unfairly as you have clearly judged Iain here with your most recent comment. If you had a blog that you wrote under your own name and that clearly connected to your real life (as both Iain and I do), and if someone who opposed your point of view was not only attacking you on your own blog under various aliases, but was also attacking you elsewhere and writing whole long-winded, derogatory diatribes about you that are highly personal, largely untrue and downright defamatory (ie they were attempting to wreck your life) and, not only that, doing it under an alias, you’d certainly see it differently. And you’d certainly have every right to attempt to find that person’s identity and expose them.

    And that, in the main, is the real story, not the one you have painted.

  76. David says:

    I know this will never see the light of day, but
    Sprung you two clowns, or more importantly perhaps, ONE CLOWN !

    Now you have a lovely day now JM and please do try to chill out a little because I worry that you are on the verge of some sort of personal meltdown.

    Classic Ray Dixon !

    Don’t you think it is time to come clean on this little charade ?
    Everyone is on to you, you are being baited, and more embarrassing for you, you are falling for it, every time. At every failed attempt, you are outing yourself even more.
    Why do you think you are being baited ? 😆

    By allowing your over inflated ego to outweigh what little common sense you have Ray, you have just been outed again, as the troll you are. No wonder you challenge everyone elses identity. All in an effort to divert attention on your own sockpuppet activities.
    Well, it failed, like all lies generally eventually do.

    The only question now is, just how many other identities have you invented, in an attempt to feed your over exuberant vanity, and just how far will you go, to protect your failing secret ?
    Boggles the mind !

  77. Ray Dixon says:

    Boggles the mind !

    Yes, “David”, your incredibly deluded theory (that Iain Hall is somehow my invention !!) absolutely boggles the mind.

  78. David says:

    and right on que comes the denial.
    Hardly unexpected. Would’ve backed money on it.
    Everyone is on to you.
    Hit the delete/moderation button if you like, it was up a good ten minutes. Those that saw it, will stop, and think about it, like all sane people generally do, and make up their own minds.

  79. David says:

    BTW, what did your alter ego say about inverted commas ?
    ffs you just outed yourself again ?
    😆

  80. Ray Dixon says:

    “David” (and I put that in inverted commas because “David” is just another of your aliases), you really shouldn’t break into the rec room at the asylum and hop onto the computer without supervision. And without medication.

  81. Iain Hall says:

    Really David when you sent me and email making precisely the same claim I could only laugh. There certainly are times when I could possibly wish to be Ray (like when the Saints are winning)but the notion that I am just a figment of his imagination is the funniest thing that I have heard in all of the years that I have been blogging!
    Believe me I have heard some doozies in that time!
    Now you can believe all you want when it comes to who is the author of this blog is but if you check out the white pages you will see that my land-line phone number is listed under my own name as is Rays and his number has a Victorian prefix and mine one for southern Queensland, you give me a call any time and you can lay to rest this ridiculous idea of yours that I am Ray’s sock-puppet.

    Photobucket

  82. David says:

    There’s the other shoe folks
    😆

  83. Ray Dixon says:

    Actually, Iain, my name is not listed in White Pages. But our number is listed under the business name of Grevillea Gardens.

    It’s (03) 5755 1375 – give me a call, “David” and that’ll verify it. You better ask the psych ward nurse for permission to make an outside call first though.

    Interesting theory that Iain is my sockpuppet and that somehow I have been running his blog posing as Iain for what, about 6 years? Wow. How do you explain all the clear evidence that Iain is who he says he is and that he does indeed live in the hinterland of Sth east Queensland and has built a few cars, etc? It’s not a good idea to smoke grass while you’re in such a state, “David”. Give up the drugs mate.

  84. Ray Dixon says:

    Btw, “David”, I really like your publicly viewable Gravatar bio:

    http://en.gravatar.com/plasteredleg1

    David
    Next house down from Sax’s 😉

    plasteredleg1@gmail.com

    Ex RAAFy intel and now bum pilot involved in AGW research
    Like the boss, NOT a scientist, but a not half bad techno-geek ?

    Plastered Leg, eh? I’m starting to think it might have been a Broken Left Leg that was in plaster when you made up that email address. You sound just like him. Then again, maybe I’m being influenced by all the paranoia and insanity you are expressing here.

  85. TOI says:

    Hi Ray,

    Sorry to disappoint but I am not “David Davidson”. Or “Sax”. Or Lord Lucan. But like you I am having a good old chortle at “David’s” conspiracy theory, that you and Iain are the same person. What a load of bollox.

    PS … I did see something interesting recently, a comment on a news website down here west of Melbourne. http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2009/07/27/88071_news.html

    (Surely you would only comment on Geelong news if you read it, which means you must live in Geelong… interesting!)

    Cheers, off for a drive.

  86. Ray Dixon says:

    TOI,

    I only released your comment from “spam” (that’s where they go since Iain banned you) because I find it so surprising.

    Hmm, so “Len Saxby” puts up a comment on the Geelong Advertiser that clearly indicates local knowledge and that, therefore, “Len” lives in the Geelong area, and not in Bass Strait flying bloody lear jets as he so falsely claims.

    Although it was you who put that comment there, wasn’t it, TOI? Of course it was, you live in the area and take a keen interest in local politics. And the subject of the article (Former Surf Coast Shire councillor Ron Humphrey) was also one of your favourite targets at your now defunct BLL blog. So you wrote the comment under “Len Saxby”, didn’t you? Of course you did.

    That, in itself, doesn’t prove that you are the “Len Saxby/David etc” who comments here (you could have just used that name for some reason or another), although it strongly suggests it. Hint – the comment in the G.A. was not made “recently”. It’s dated 27th July 2009. But “Len Saxby” never appeared here at Iain’s blog (or anywhere else for that matter) until the 20th of August 2009, here:

    https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/model-forces-google-to-reveal-skank-bloggers-identity/#comment-41696

    And “Len” only appeared here with this comment made on, oh, gosh, golly, what a coincidence … made on the 27th of July 2009, the same day you wrote as “Len Saxby” in the G.A.

    https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/sending-them-to-jail/#comment-40986

    LMAO.

    You do have a neat way of constantly self-incriminating, mate. Gotta say you’re consistent in spinning your web – which always brings you undone.

    Now … don’t get too angry over that. Cheers.

  87. Iain Hall says:

    Its an interesting theory Ray but checking the IP address of TOI, David and Sax they all show quite different locations Geelong, Hobart and Launceston respectively so its unlikely that they are one and the same.

  88. David says:

    Oh look at the rampant paranoia, how quaint, really.
    Look at them all run around in circles. You guys really are phishing aren’t you.

    I am not BLL, nor XXXX, nor am where “Iain” says I am.
    You know where I am Iain H, exactly where I am, the boss told you over a year ago.
    That is why, if you were Iain, in your anger you would have exposed that by now ?
    Oops perhaps ?

    BTW Mr Dixon, you are again wrong. Or perhaps that should read continually wrong.
    As far as I know, Humph is still on council, so check your facts, and be VERY careful about associating your bad name with his. He is an elected official remember, unlike you, he actually got in, for, apparently 2 terms now ?

    Perhaps when you two drones want to challenge someone’s identity etc Reg/Iain again, you will think of the above, and perhaps, just perhaps, give it a second thought ?

  89. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s not a “theory”, Iain, it’s a chronology of facts:

    1. “David”, who has only recently resurfaced after a long absence, uses the email address plasteredleg1 @gmail and the old “David Davidson” gravatar in which he claims to be “Sax’s” employee.
    2. But the original “David Davidson”, who disappeared around mid 2009, used plasteredleg @ gmail (minus the “1”). Well, you can pinch someone else’s alias and someone else’s gravatar but you can’t have the same email can you?
    3. TOI (XXXX) posted as Broken Left Leg because he had his leg in plaster.
    4. TOI then points to a “Len Saxby” comment made in his local newspaper (about a topic and person that he had posted about @ the BLL blog).
    5. However, the comment was made in July 2009 BEFORE “Len Saxby” appeared anywhere else on the Internet, including here.
    6. And the comment was made the very same day that “Len” first posted here.

    Coincidence?

    Yeah, right. Don’t rely on the IPs, Iain.

  90. Iain Hall says:

    David
    The very last thing that I am is angry, bemused at best and I feel no need to disclose anything .

    Further if you check the source code for the last email I sent you it will reveal a Queensland IP address

  91. Ray Dixon says:

    My, my, you are seriously unhinged, “David”. Btw, it was the paper who called Humphrey a “former councillor”, I was just quoting from it. Interesting that you seem to know all about him.

  92. David says:

    You idiot Dixon, really.
    The reason for the one, is that the original account was closed three years ago. They won’t let you reopen the previous email address, you have to start with a new one. But, you are not a total idiot, so you should know that.
    Hmm, perhaps not ?

    As for the reason why I am familiar with the guy, Iain knows exactly why, and I am pretty certain so do you, but you are so desperate to score a point or two, that you are willing to say or do anything to do that. God knows it has been mentioned enough on these pages ?

    As for your len saxby dribble.
    ffs go over to s*alkwatch, they are using our names there, hyphenated, you tool, and have been doing so, since forever. So hardly secret is it ?

    Well, there goes another Ray Dixon carefully researched, and delivered, load of dribble, (cough, sorry, theory) down the drain ?

  93. Ray Dixon says:

    “David”, I’m not an avid stalker like you are so I have no idea if Gmail let’s you reactivate an old gmail address, but I’ll take your word for it that that’s how come you added the “1”.

    No, I don’t recall you mentioning Ron Humphrey or the Geelong area on these pages. In fact a search of Iain’s blog comments confirms that you’re lying there. And, according to you, you’ve been living ‘on the island’ since at least the mid 90s, so why would you have any interest in Geelong’s local politics?

    But, um, “David”, you have also said that you and “Len Saxby” are different people. So why are you now explaining how you came to make the “Len Saxby” comment in the G.A. ? Tripped up again, eh?

    And SW has only been using the “Len Saxby Davidson” name for less than 12 months.

    You’ve proved nothing – except that you’re a fraud and a liar. But we knew this.

    Oh, I forgot to add another piece of information. It’s not a “theory”, just another fact: Your multiple and ever changing IPs (well, yours and “Sax’s” IPs) are all in the same range as the 40 or 50 multiple changing IPs that BLL used when he commented at my blog. Another coincidence? Right.

  94. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, as for calling me an “idiot”, I’m only quoting the facts here, “David”. You know, things that are supported by clear evidence. I’m not advancing theories, unlike you … the bloke who claims that Iain Hall is an RD sockpuppet!! Who’s the idiot?

  95. David says:

    Oh ffs, now you really are grabbing at your “straws” ?
    Selective memory, a fine trait when learned “correctly”, pity you haven’t ?

    When the oringinal comment was written, I am pretty certain that the boss wasn’t even blogging at all, so who knows. But the fact that the psychos at s/watch are using a hyphenated version of our names, may indicate that perhaps the comment came from someone/somewhere else perhaps ? You are supposed to be clever, check the ip’s and get back to me perhaps ?
    About time you used some of that supposed ‘superior’ intellect of yours perhaps ?

    Avid stalker huh ? do a google, and my name only appears at two perhaps three blogs, over my entire history, some 9 years on the net. Unlike you, what was that total you gave us not so long ago ? Was it ten or twelve perhaps ? So, your label is hilarious, and again, personifies your desperation at legitimisation, and usual unresearched dribble.

    So fraud and liar huh ? Not unlike your attempts at character assassination, and sock puppetdom ? Speaking of frauds. 😆

    As for our ip’s well, guess what Einstein, we both live on the same patch of dirt. Something that Iain, and you as well you troll, have also known since the beginning. Pity, that in your historical research, that you didn’t come across that ? Nice attempt at sensationalism, and attempting a shift in the argument, but again minutia, and just again shows that you are a poor researcher, and only interested in the “bling” value of an argument.

    As the old expression goes, “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story ?”

  96. TOI says:

    Hi Ray,

    Your theory has some merit but it is incorrect.

    Like you I think that “Sax” and “David Davidson” are the same joker. But neither of them is me. My earlier post was an interesting observation, posted for your information. It was not a confession. So I’m afraid you have this one wrong. As you will find if you search back to when I had a long and nasty argument with “Sax”. I am not in the habit of arguing with myself.

    “Sax” and his alter egos are loopy and no more fly planes in and out of Flinders Island than fly to the moon. Plus I am quite sure Iain knows exactly this person is but protects their identity.

    Cheers.

  97. JM says:

    Iain, it would help your argument if you could actually come up with a few recent instances of you even attempting to rebut my points.

    As to your argument that you need not be successful in doing so, well yeah you got a point there. But it would be more useful if you occasionally conceded a point. I don’t think you’ve ever done that.

  98. JM says:

    GD: disjointed glut of facts

    Glut means “a surplus of”. If that’s what you mean then thanks very much.

    However, I think the word you’re struggling for is “farrago”.

    Now if you think my reading disjointed – which is an interesting point of view with respect to Gibbon, but I’ll let that one go – perhaps you could offer some alternative material?

    Cut and thrust!

    Auditioning for “Pirates of Penzance” by any chance?

  99. Ray Dixon says:

    That comment is almost totally incoherent, “David”. And you sound just a tad too desperate to prove you’re not Lygo and that you and “Sax” (‘the boss’ – LMAO) are different people, when all I have done is put a bunch of facts in front of you. I’ll try to answer your scrambled eggs comment but it’s pretty hard to decipher what exactly it is you’re now saying:

    “When the oringinal comment was written, I am pretty certain that the boss wasn’t even blogging at all, so who knows. But the fact that the psychos at s/watch are using a hyphenated version of our names, may indicate that perhaps the comment came from someone/somewhere else perhaps ? You are supposed to be clever, check the ip’s and get back to me perhaps ?”

    What original comment are you referring to? Which IPs do you want me to check – the ones at SW? Geezus.

    “do a google, and my name only appears at two perhaps three blogs, over my entire history, some 9 years on the net. Unlike you, what was that total you gave us not so long ago ? Was it ten or twelve perhaps “

    What does that prove? It only proves that you use the “David”, “Sax”, Len” names almost exclusively here. Nothing to stop you using other names elsewhere. And my name comes up a lot on Google because that’s the name I write under. Yes, I have commented at various blogs in the past, but not many others lately (there aren’t a lot out there worth commenting at). Um, that’s not stalking or trolling, that’s just commenting at blogs under my real name.Your point is?

    “your attempts at character assassination, and sock puppetdom”

    Whose character have I ever attempted to assassinate, “David”? Yours? A pseudonym? I see. As for “sockpuppetdom” (whatever that means), you know I’ve only ever written under one alias – as a parody blogger here on Iain’s blog. And I hardly attacked people or even really tried to deny that I was that character (except to the stalkers of course). And, again … what the hell is your point?

    “we both live on the same patch of dirt. Something that Iain, and you as well you troll, have also known since the beginning”

    You live in the Geelong area now, is that what you’re saying? Or are you getting so desperate that you’re referring to “Sax”. Sheez, get a grip man. I merely pointed out that your IPs, Sax’s & XXXX’s are all in the same range and that sends you into a tailspin of incoherence and stupidity? Says it all. Stop digging a hole for yourself.

  100. Ray Dixon says:

    Your theory has some merit but it is incorrect

    As I said to Iain, TOI, it’s not a “theory”. I have merely listed the facts surrounding this mystery and the remarkable coincidences involving your good self. Why don’t you address those facts instead of adopting this feigned, friendly indifference? You know, like the date of the GA comment by “Len Saxby”, the ‘coincidence’ that it was a comment about one of your pet targets, Mr Humphrey, and the other coincidences like the fact “Len Saxby” did not exist here at that stage and that “Len” first appeared here on the same day that YOU posted the “Len Saxby” comment on the GA website. Go on, give it a try.

    Btw, I agree that “David”, “Sax” & “Len” are fruit loops. But if they’re your invention that would explain it – meaning you’re either a clever imitator or a fruit loop yourself. Perhaps both.

  101. David says:

    Man, you really are reaching for the moon dreamboat.
    You are continuing to just run around in circles, what a joke.

    So now you think I am XXXX ? Aw, that hurts ! 😆

    Geelong huh ? Better check that again, last time I checked, there was an ocean between us, so there’s a tip for your superior intellect. Ffs, just ask your alter ego, and he will tell you where I am, and that should satisfy your paranoia.

    As for the rest of your dribble, it was rebutting your superior research skills. Perhaps you should go back, and read yours again ? In your paranoia, you’ve lost the plot, again ?

    Again, after another failed argument, you start the character attacks. Yep, that is always good at diverting the average drone away from the failed argument. Guess what, like all b/s eventually, like you, it failed.
    Go for your life, I won’t be around for a while, so knock yourself out.
    Continue to make it up as you go along maybe someone somewhere might believe you and your paranoia.
    😆

  102. Ray Dixon says:

    “David”, while you continue to advance the theory that Iain Hall is my creation – ie my sockpuppet – and that I run his blog and make up all the stories he writes about various issues and about his life … then you are hardly in a position to discredit my FACTS about you and XXXX. You know, the documented FACTS that there are a set of remarkable coincidences (hint, scroll up, I listed them) that you have not adequately addressed. Neither has XXXX. Now, go back to the psych ward and leave the computer alone – I think the nurse has some pills for you.

  103. T.O.I. says:

    As I said to Iain, TOI, it’s not a “theory”. I have merely listed the facts surrounding this mystery and the remarkable coincidences involving your good self.

    Yes, and from those “facts” you have constructed a theory. Which is interesting, but wrong. The only compelling evidence might be IPs (I believe you have some experience with IPs being used to rumble alter-egos…) And as Iain has already stated, we all use different IPs.

    With regard to the comment in the GA, yes there are certainly coincidences, such as the Geelong connection. Actually, that’s kind of why I posted it. I have long suspected that “Sax” knows more about me than is available on the web. For example he/she/it has mentioned my interest and involvement in local government down here. It is my belief that “Sax”/”David Davidson” is or possibly was from this area.

    (On that basis alone I am inclined to think that the weirdo anonymous troll from Barwon Heads, “Husky Jim” aka “damage”, might be involved. But “Sax”/”David” has been posting for years and I’m not sure “damage’s” attention span is that crash hot.)

    You’re either a clever imitator or a fruit loop yourself.

    ‘Physician, heal thyself’ Raymond 🙂

  104. Ray Dixon says:

    I haven’t “constructed” anything, TOI – the facts beg the question though and, okay, thanks for at least making some attempt to answer them. Not a great one but at least a better one than “David’s”.

    “Iain has already stated, we all use different IPs” We being? Look, the IP you use now appears to be a fixed one but in the past, when you commented at AO as Brokenleftleg, you were obviously using an IP changer. And the range of IPs was very similar to those used by Sax/David/Len, who also obviously uses one too.

    “that’s kind of why I posted it (the GA comment)” You mean that’s why you posted the link to the comment or the comment itself? I think it’s the latter. No one else but you would have bothered to do that – your hatred of Humphrey (or extreme dislike) is plastered all over your old blog. That being the case, it’s kinda hard to dismiss as coincidence that the very day you invented “Len Saxby” on the GA website, he suddenly also pops up here as “Len”, later revealing himself to be Len Saxby. Coincidence, I think not.

    Nice attempt to lump blame on HJ/Damage. I agree you have a problem with that bloke and that he’s a genuine stalker, but he ain’t smart enought to keep up the pretense of being “Sax” or “David” et al over all those years.

  105. David says:

    You’re either a clever imitator or a fruit loop yourself.

    No arguments there 😆

  106. T.O.I. says:

    You mean that’s why you posted the link to the comment or the comment itself? I think it’s the latter. No one else but you would have bothered to do that – your hatred of Humphrey (or extreme dislike) is plastered all over your old blog.

    Well that’s where your theory falls apart, because the Ron Humphrey comment on the GA website actually praises him and describes him as “a shot of adrenalin”. As for the date, if person ‘x’ starts using a pseudonym on a particular date, it is hardly surprising that they use it on more than one website on that date. It does not prove who they are.

    I posted that comment/link here (voluntarily) because “Sax”/”David” is quite obviously barmy and I though you and Iain might be interested in it. Instead you have gone off on your own insane tangent, based on a couple of coincidences. I now wish I hadn’t bothered.

    I am not “Sax”/”David” and never have been. The. End.

    I agree you have a problem with that bloke and that he’s a genuine stalker, but he ain’t smart enought to keep up the pretense of being “Sax” or “David” et al over all those years.

    Yes, that’s pretty much what I said in my previous comment. The guy is crackers, but he is not “Sax-Dav”. And you have had your own share of problems with him too, as has half the Aus blogosphere. So don’t make out I’m out on my own there.

  107. David says:

    So now you are blaming IL for Len Saxby ?
    Talking about desperation and reaching for the moon.
    Who else is there left for you to blame Mr Dixon, surely you have named everyone on the net by now ?

  108. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    As to your argument that you need not be successful in doing so, well yeah you got a point there. But it would be more useful if you occasionally conceded a point. I don’t think you’ve ever done that.

    Well I tell you what JM I appreciate that you admit this point, but how can you expect me to be willing to easily concede any points when you have such a “take no prisoners” approach to the things we debate, add to that your tendency to slip into insult and personal attack and you really wonder why I take a “tough guy” stance in return?
    Just think about it, if you want to take a more friendly tone and debate in a more good humoured manner and its more likely that I will, on the very rare occasions that I am wrong, admit it 😉

  109. JM says:

    Iain: you have such a “take no prisoners” approach to the things we debate

    Well, we’ll have to differ on that. I take the view that anything worth debating is worth debating clearly, well, concisely (if possible) and to a conclusion.

    I will, on the very rare occasions that I am wrong, admit it

    Thank you. I’ll bear that in mind. But those occasions aren’t so rare as you think. Mostly you put forward opinions based on flawed or false evidence and when challenged just “move on”

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