September 19, 2003


In the Lileks piece linked earlier, he writes:

Every day I read a piece like the Strib edit. They all have an inescapable conclusion: Saddam should have been left in power. No, they don’t say that. Yes, the writers would surely insist that Saddam was a wretched tyrant, and the world is better off without him in power, BUT, Baghdad’s electricity service is now undependable. No, but. Yes, but. Perhaps, however.

Right on cue, here’s Scott Burchill in today’s Age:

Few will shed tears about Saddam's demise. However ...

Posted by Tim Blair at September 19, 2003 03:55 AM

Tiresome, isn't it.

Posted by: Katherine at September 19, 2003 at 05:33 AM

But at least he made the trains to the mass graves run on time. And they were air conditioned.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 19, 2003 at 08:21 AM

It would take too long to tear apart each of Burchill's assertions so we shall just say, Burchill, you are fit for the ultimate job of laundry made.According to Margot, just before the next election, the slave market will be open once again.

Posted by: d at September 19, 2003 at 09:42 AM

Worse, he says:

"Paving the way for a possible future Islamic state in Iraq seems an odd strategy for those who regard themselves as being at war with Islamic extremists."

He (and the people like him) think that democracy can't work in Iraq. I think that some Muslims here in the U.S. would disagree.

Posted by: ....a moment with Easycure at September 19, 2003 at 10:06 AM

When people say "Yes, Saddam was evil, but...", why don't we call them but-heads? Or is that too obvious?

Posted by: Jim C. at September 19, 2003 at 12:15 PM

Curious observation:

Burchill, a Marxist, works at an Australian university. Marxism in its various incarnations was responsible for some 100,000,000 deaths during the 20th century.

Now imagine if an academic identified him/herself as a Nazi. Imagine the uproar.

Posted by: Aaron at September 19, 2003 at 12:50 PM

It's the language academics use that really grates:

'We were also promised that Saddam's removal would help solve the Israel-Palestine dispute.'

Like some child crying because he was promised an icecream which hasn't instantly materialised.

Stamp your feet, Scott. Make the halls of academe resound to the noise of your temper tantrum.

Then turn blue.

And stay that way 'til the wind changes.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 19, 2003 at 12:50 PM

a week before at a dinner party a guy told me that he believed that in the "right hands" socialism could work. I guess 100 million dead is not enough. We must try and try and try again...and if people die they are nothing but statistic....And I am sure they have/will deserve it...

Posted by: Katherine at September 19, 2003 at 01:12 PM

Dinner parties are like that. Another sip of chardonnay and then another load of eyewash.

Just don't invite them.

Posted by: pooh at September 19, 2003 at 01:32 PM

A bit of topic, but does anyone else remember the 80 000 U.S K.I.A confidently predicted in Afghanistan two years ago? And what happened to that brutal winter?

Posted by: gaz at September 19, 2003 at 01:40 PM


They were guest and so were we. One tries to keep civil no matter how trying it may be...

But then no wonder I do drink. (Big red zin is my latest favorite poison. Never touch French. BTW, can someone recommend good Aussie zin? It does not have to cost US$7.99, am looking for something really good.)


Brutal Afghan winter morphed into brutal Iraqi summer, but this meteorological phenomenon is currently devolving into brutal rainy season. Expect complaints about the amount of rainfall in the coming months.

The cruel irony is that the real brutal summer seems to have been experienced this year by the French elderly.

Posted by: Katherine at September 19, 2003 at 02:19 PM

For an antidote to academic Burchill, read academic Burchell.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 19, 2003 at 02:20 PM

Burchell's article is interesting but only half right at best. If all the upper classes voted against the Liberals in 2001 as Burchell suggests, how come ALL of the upper class areas have Liberal members.

I don't know who these professionals are who he thinks support the ALP, but as someone who is a real professional (not a hack academic) I seem to remeber that 8 out of 10 professionals agreed with Howard on the Tampa.

It really makes me sick when academics wank on about how they and their lefty mates are "cosmopolitan" and "outlooking", whilst we Tories are somehow "suburban" and insular. The Conservative support base is rooted in the upper classes. The upper classes have always had a broader outlook than those below them on the social scale. Ergo, the Tories were always far more sophiticated and broad minded than the New Class laborites. If you go beneath the surface of the likes Mr Burchell and his chums you find that they are rather coarse really. As my mother would say, no breeding and no bottom.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 19, 2003 at 05:33 PM

What a horrendous load of crap from this twit Burchill. He claims the war in Iraq has "encouraged nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, which now understand that only nuclear weapons will deter a US attack." The Age says this guy is a professor? It is an accepted, undisputed fact that North Korea had commenced cheating on its committment to refrain from a resumption of its nuclear weapons program BEFORE Bush was even elected. Why is it accepted and undisputed? Because the North Koreans, hopelessly mired in the tangle of their initial lies on the subject, eventually admitted this was the case.

As for the scare quotes around " rogue states " and " evil " regimes, in reference to Syria, Iran and North Korea. On reflection I'd have to say its appropriate for Burchill to use them. After all, it is his column, and therefore he is justified in mocking the notion that these states are " rogue " or " evil," because he certainly doesn't believe they are.

If somebody shoved a moral compass up this goof's ass, he'd probably shit out a copy of The Guardian the next morning.

I thought we had more than our share of leftist liars in our Canadian print media, but what the hell is going on in Australia? Every time I check out this Blog, there's a new Fisk clone being showcased. I can't keep track of 'em all !!!

Posted by: Mike at September 20, 2003 at 12:23 AM

The Iraqi flag was shown in the news every night. And the writing on it is "Allah Ahkbar". It was right in front of their faces. Yet how many people knew about what the writing said?

Posted by: Andjam at September 20, 2003 at 01:02 AM

Blaming terrorist infiltrators from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, or Saddamite "dead-enders", for the continuing bombings and attacks is a direct consequence of America's inability to understand why its presence in Iraq is unwelcome.

He doesn't provide any evidence that this is false. Bush said this, therefore, it must be false, as far as he is concerned.

And the financial cost of its promiscuous intervention? A deficit in 2004 estimated at $US7.3 trillion ($A10.9 trillion).

Wow - he's effectively blaming that solely on the war.

Posted by: Andjam at September 20, 2003 at 01:50 AM

All this talk of the brutal Afghan winter and the awful Baghdad summer reminds me of what the Paris summer did. It's a good thing that didn't happen anywhere near coalition troops, or else we'd never hear the end of it.

Posted by: wilbur at September 20, 2003 at 12:03 PM