November 23, 2003


Robert Fisk in The Independent:

The Australians paid the price for the alliance with Bush in Bali.

Donít forget East Timor, Bobby. Donít forget East Timor back in 1999, you fact-dodging fraud.

Incidentally, 1999 was the year leftist prophet John Pilger wrote this:

Tomorrow, the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao, is due to be released from house arrest in Jakarta. If he returns to his homeland, he is likely to be killed and the murder weapon is likely to be British.

Gusmao became East Timorís President in 2002. Not bad for a dead guy.

UPDATE. Related to the Fisk item, Melanie Phillips on the donít retaliate, do-nothing, come-and-get-us-when-youíre-ready British peacemice :

The logic of this insane way of thinking is that the west must not ever seek to defend itself from attack by the jihad by waging a just war of self-defence, because to do so will merely invite yet more terror ... It may well be true that the attack on Iraq has provoked more violence. But that should not support an argument for surrender to such monstrous intimidation. It's rather an argument for redoubling the fight against an insane and totalitarian ideological death cult.

Posted by Tim Blair at November 23, 2003 10:37 AM

They expect me to pay for his self-loathing drivel? Fat chance, Indy!

Posted by: Parabellum at November 23, 2003 at 11:21 AM

Ah, good old Bobby Fisk - the Bali bombers themselves said East Timor was the primary reason for bombing Bali - that and the fact it was in the middle of the world's largest Islamic nation and populated mainly by a bunch of Hindu infidels. But then again, for people like Fisk, facts need not apply.

Posted by: PatrickM at November 23, 2003 at 11:59 AM

People like Fisk think we all have the memory of a goldfish. Tough luck, Fisk, you odious moral cripple. We remember what you and Pilger and Dowd and Vidal and Mailer wrote, and if we don't, Google does.

Posted by: David Gillies at November 23, 2003 at 01:01 PM

apparently we are unaware of the meaning of the word "likely". if you were fair, you might note that when pilger wrote that, australian forces had yet to be deployed, and post-referendum militia-led violence was alarmingly widespread.

and melanie phillips thinks everyone [except for herself, naturally] is "insane".

Posted by: roop at November 23, 2003 at 03:22 PM

e. e. cummings could righteously type with no caps. you're no e. e. cummings.

Posted by: Lee at November 23, 2003 at 06:01 PM

Extracted from Blog-Irish - November 21, 2003.
"Robert Fisk Says Osama bin Laden is Manipulating the Anti-War Demonstrators - and that we Should Listen to Him",

Robert Fisk's famous "few minutes of terror and self-disgust" when he was attacked by a mob of Afghan refugees led him to realise that "if I were the Afghan refugees ..., I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other westerner I could find."

Now Fisk, who has not noticed that more than 1,800,000 refugees have been able to return to Afghanistan and that the number of Iraqi refugees to Europe has plumeted, seems to be asking us to join him in his "terror and self-disgust". His unique insight into the middle east has led him to understand that the "purpose" of the recent terrorist attacks is to undermine the democratically elected leaders of the countries which have aided the "war against terror".
A year ago, after the Bali bombing, Mr Fisk wrote "Ireland may well be next on Islamic terrorists' hit list" because it "allows American military aircraft to land and refuel at Shannon..." (Irish Independent October 14, 2002).
To placate these murderers we should reject our elected officials. And Turkey should sever its ties with Israel and impose Sharia law. Should Spain divest itself of al-Andalus?
Mr Fisk seems to forget that in his encounter with the mob, he followed the advice he had received from his Lebanese tutors on "how to stay alive: take a decision - any decision - but don't do nothing."
Mr Fisk, for all his "self-disgust", did not join the mob in beating himself up. He defended himself with force and violence. Then the authorities came to his aid. And his companion was defended by a soldier brandishing a gun.

So if we are to "stay alive" as democracies which permit the expression of dissent, should we do as you say and join the mob in beating ourselves up - or as you do, and defend ourselves?

Posted by: Bran at November 23, 2003 at 06:02 PM

"Brandishing a GUN!?" Horrors. Some people don't approve of that sort of thing, you know.

Posted by: Lee at November 23, 2003 at 06:35 PM

who the fuggin hell is e.e. cummings? sounds like a dodgey porn star name.

Posted by: roscoe at November 23, 2003 at 06:36 PM

"If he returns to his homeland, he is likely to be killed and the murder weapon is likely to be British..."

Typical silliness from John Pilger. Indonesian army small arms are German made Heckler and Koch weapons (rifles, actually, not machine guns). Granted, British Aerospace owns some of H.K., but it is strictly speaking a German company.

Posted by: Wilbur at November 23, 2003 at 06:53 PM

i stand corrected. nice one wilbur.

now if only that were the point blair was trying to make.

Posted by: roop at November 24, 2003 at 12:41 AM

What is or are the point(s)you're trying to make, roop? I've seen you argue, and just for the sake of it, about newspaper circulation, Andrew Sullivan's putative sex life, Saddam is Hitler (which is not actually what Bush said--he said terrorism is as dangerous as Hitler), etc. Methinks you're just a contrarian pretending to have a point.

Posted by: ushie at November 24, 2003 at 03:41 AM

So by this logic World War 2 and 50 million deaths could have been avoided if Britain and the US had not been so agressive and made Hitler and Tojo cross?

Posted by: John Elliot at November 24, 2003 at 07:29 AM

There is a wonderful expose in the Spectator of the lie that is Fisk:§ion=back&issue=2003-11-15&id=3735

One wonder why Mr Fisk still has a job. He has been wrong on just about every point he has ever made. Maybe he's valuable because he airs all those inane anti-American sentiments that so animate the left. This gives us a clue to the kind of reheated rubbish that the Crock of Tim and Miranda Devide types will be sprouting next.

Posted by: toryhere at November 24, 2003 at 02:59 PM

Melanie Phillips makes a rare factual comment when she states -

"It may well be true that the attack on Iraq has provoked more violence".

Yes indeed. And Tony Blair (no doubt Bush/Howard too) was definitely warned of this before the invasion, by the UK Joint Intelligence Committee.

So, we went to war over non-existent WMD, on a country that not only had zero links with al Qaeda/911 but actively suppressed dangerous men with beards, knowing it would INCREASE the threat of terrorism.

Sure, Saddam Hussein's gone, at least from the Palaces, now occupied by the Occupiers. But plenty of other countries have got rid of brutal regimes without bombing, invasion and occupation eg. apartheid South Africa, Romania etc and the fact that the US/UK are now very chummy with a regime which boils its political opponents to death (Uzbekistan) suggests morality had naff all to do with it.

But heck, without an occupation Halliburton/Bechtel and Bush's other corporate chummies wouldn't have got their snout in the trough of newly privatised Iraq.

And that's what really counts for you guys, right?

Posted by: True Brit at November 25, 2003 at 06:12 AM