April 15, 2004


What happens when pro-liberation demonstrators turn up at an anti-war rally? A peace activist explains:

My immediate reaction was to charge at these bastards and try to smash thier placards and hurt them as much as possible. I was accompanied by several other enraged demonstrators. Unfortunately the more militant socialist groups had already marched away so most of the immediate crowd complained that we where ruining a peaceful march. I stand by the actions we took. When Liberals have the confidence to attend a anti-war demo it clearly isn't a good sign.

If people are serious about activism they should realise that change doesn't come from wishing problems away it comes from militant direct action. By standing there debating with a bunch of right wingers at a rally, not only are people wasting time and demoralising everyone, they are giving them confidence to come back and disrupt more rallies. In the ideal situation Young Liberals should be left bruised, bashed and bleeding if they dare show thier face at a rally like that. That way they will be more hesitant about coming next time, and if they do the police will be more likely to quickly move them on.

I love that line about “not wishing problems away” and taking “militant direct action”; while the anti-war left was trying to wish Saddam Hussein away, militant direct action actually got rid of him.

(Via reader Jonathan B.)

UPDATE. Julian Barendse, President of the Melbourne University Liberal Club, writes:

My club in conjunction with other Liberal clubs around the state have made a conscious decision to attend these rallies; and to organise banners etc. We decided that it was important to let the public know that there were young people who supported the war in Iraq, support education reform, and generally advocate for freedom in society. Our frequent attendance has been worthwhile, as we've started to gain a media profile and raise a lot of interest.

The response from the socialists has been astounding -- and thanks for drawing reference to this on the blog. The hypocrisy of 'peace demonstrators' advocating actions like bashing and burning Liberals is almost beyond belief! Its also very interesting to look at the demographics of people involved in the causes; the socialist movement is much more dominated by kids from rich private schools going through their 'rebellious' phase than our movement. We have much greater diversity of ethnic minorities and gender; and range of socio-economic backgrounds.

Basically, we plan to keep on attending these rallies; to keep advocating our views -- and hopefully get across the message to some degree that these socialists do not have a monopoly on moral high ground.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 15, 2004 05:36 PM

Peace activists often talk like this. They ache for a fight with the police, take a severe beating, and then complain or sue. I wonder what this fella's post would have looked like if he'd attacked one of the the pro-war lot, and got his ass kicked within an inch of his life? I'm betting the story wouldn't mention who started the fisticuffs.

Posted by: Tim Newman at April 15, 2004 at 05:45 PM

You forget Tim, they aren't Anti-War, just on the other side.

Posted by: FH at April 15, 2004 at 05:46 PM

If a bunch of law-and-order-loving young libs got in a fight with lefty protesters, who look and smell very similar to the left protesters who throw piss on cops at anti-globalisation protest, whose side do you think the cops would take? The cops are just waiting for an excuse to hammer those slobs.

Posted by: matt at April 15, 2004 at 06:19 PM

The hijacking of formerly useful shorthand political terms such as "left" and "right" is virtually complete. This activist is a proto-fascist blackshirt masquerading as a person on the "left". It's time the right and left dimension was retired. Really, it's a battle for hearts and minds between the spinal reflex control freaks (SRCF)and the problem-solving, grounded pragmatists (PSGP).

Posted by: tripebuster at April 15, 2004 at 06:30 PM

Readers in Sydney might like to note that there's an anti-war protest planned for Friday April 16, 5pm at the Town Hall.

Posted by: anon at April 15, 2004 at 06:31 PM

For anyone interested in further reading, the comments on that post in the poorly-organised Melbourne Indymedia collectve-blog begin here.

Posted by: EvilPundit at April 15, 2004 at 06:32 PM

anon - Alas, I don't get off work until after 6.

Someone annoy a lefty or two for me?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 15, 2004 at 06:51 PM

I love Python. "Come see the violence inherent in the system!"

Posted by: attila at April 15, 2004 at 07:16 PM

Incitement to violance is a criminal offence. What about a complaint to the police?

Posted by: Sue at April 15, 2004 at 07:23 PM

Pixy: These things always run late. If there's a march, it's unlikely to leave Town Hall before 6.

Posted by: anon at April 15, 2004 at 07:59 PM

So, they're ANTI-WAR but not ANTI-VIOLENCE?

Posted by: Richard at April 15, 2004 at 08:02 PM

You know, I remember when Iraqi Freedom began and these folks showed up at the local federal building (Live in the States here.) to protest. What a motley crew, and they definitely were not very peaceable either. A good thing the local cops were disciplined - I get the feeling they would have liked nothing better than give these idiots a lesson in common sense. When I started heckling the protestors (I had business downtown that day, and the protestors caused the postponing of the appointment - much to my irritation. So I decided to get my train ticket's-worth of entertainment out of them. I could have just bill them, but the Methodist peace weenies looked a bit...down at the heels.), there was a lot of smiles and nods from the local cops.

P.S. Pixy Misa - I thought you were going by "Reverend" now?


Posted by: C.T. at April 15, 2004 at 08:19 PM

"pro-liberation demonstrators"

Arrgh, make it stop. Is this what we are reduced to? Why are we accepting leftist framing of the Iraq issue? We are not fighting this war to "liberate" anyone. How can you even say such shit?

Before you accuse me yet again of being a troll because I'm not kissing sufficient arse, I'll explain my fucking self: There are dead soldiers, hundreds of them, dead, because we decided to send them over there to that deadly dangerous shithole.

We might have been wrong on WMD and Al-Qaeda connections or we might not, but THAT is why we were there. Because of the threat Saddam Dick-Face posed to us. Not to "liberate" some fucking muslims. Jeeesus!

Claiming post facto that this is a war of "liberation" might make y'all feel better about yourselves, and steal ground from the leftie hippies in dumb arguments, but it cheapens the sacrifice of those who died.

We sent the soldiers over there to protect us and to [b]die[/b] if that was necessary. If we were wrong, we should be strong enough to admit it, but this "liberation" shit dishonours those fine fighting men and women, dead and alive. I'll be absolutely fucked before I'll salve my conscience over the deaths of all those soldiers by pretending that they died it to liberate" the goddamn Iraqis. We owe them and their families more than that:

"Dear Mrs Jones, your son was butchered and his naked charred corpse hung from a bridge because we decided it would be nice to 'liberate' some fucking foreigners to show the world that we are really fucking nice folks with warm fucking hearts-o-gold." Fuggin' bullshit!

If the moral highground seems out of reach sometimes, just remember that wars are fought in gutters, assholes. Cede the moral highground to the fucking hippies for fucksake. The moral highground is not something I care about so much that I'm prepared to climb up over the corpses of allied soldiers to get to it.

Sorry Tim you're a cool guy and all, but you can sing Kumbayah by your fucking self on that one mate - My conscience is clean and I'm sticking with the real fucking program: "We are the Fire Ants - Leave us alone, and we might leave you alone. But fuck with us and you've bought a one-way ticket to the world of pain, pal".

Posted by: Endgame at April 15, 2004 at 08:39 PM

We are not fighting this war to "liberate" anyone. How can you even say such shit?

Endgame, keep in mind that not everyone's reasoning for going into Iraq was the same, just as those opposed had many different reasons.

Posted by: Quentin George at April 15, 2004 at 08:47 PM

One of the commentators is getting ideas from the Iraqis:

I belive the best and most senible way of dealing with this would be to get hold of these liberals dress them up as efigy's of John Horward and burn them.

But why bother to dress them up?

Posted by: Tim Newman at April 15, 2004 at 09:03 PM


How tall does that wall you are proposing around your country have to be to keep airliners from hitting buildings?

Posted by: Tom at April 15, 2004 at 10:30 PM

Point 1: You cannot be a pacifist and a leftist. Leftists passionatly beleive in using the force of the state to punish the succesful.

Point 2: Don't build a wall around your own country, build a wall around the current muslim lands (see israel's v. succesful wall) as the chances of muslims independantly creating anything to fly out of their area is zero.

Posted by: Rob Read at April 15, 2004 at 10:55 PM

It is a wonder NaziMedia posts are invariably written by people with pseudonyms and with no contact information. Why, it is almost as if they are ashamed to be associated publically with the nonsense they write. And that "incitement to violence" charge looks promising. This note certainly qualifies as premeditation in the event of an actual assualt on anti-idiotarian protestors.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea at April 15, 2004 at 11:24 PM

Judging from the opening paragraphs in that little Indymedia piece, the writer was trying to be funny:

Bash Young Liberals!
by gilbert Wednesday April 14, 2004 at 01:08 PM

As I'm sure many you have noticed, Young Liberals in Melbourne have recently become confident in attending demonstrations. I wish to propose a plan to deal with these arrogant little snots.

The writer obviously lost his cool pretty quickly though - there's nothing very funny about what followed on from this opening paragraph.

Posted by: TimT at April 15, 2004 at 11:25 PM

For the benefit of our American readers the "Young Liberals" are the youth wing of the Australian Liberal Party, which, despite the name, is a Conservative political party led Federally by our Prime Minister John (hard man) Howard.

As for Socialists and Lefties, none them is worth a pinch of parrot poo in a real fight. They are only good at politics. Get a good lot of Tory Rugger types along to the demonstrations and we'll soon see if the lefties have any real nads.

Posted by: Toryhere at April 15, 2004 at 11:35 PM

Endtroll... You are so worried about "cheapening" sacrifice? Get a grip, lad.

Liberation in Iraq and Co. has to do with long term opportunity for them, and our long term security best interest - safety from eventual nukes and the like. Or were you not aware?

Given that Saddistic had used gas on the Kurds, I'd say that we liberated a whole "fuck" of a lot of 'em from his predations, no? So even in the short term, that's "how we can say" liberate. Or do you not care a whit for "goddam" Iraquis?

Put asside your phony care for the fallen, and ditch that fake anger while you're at it. Your whole post sucks the big one, lad.

Posted by: Ran at April 15, 2004 at 11:48 PM


You are definitely not a troll and your are spot on as to the ultimate rationale behind the Iraqi front in the War on Terror. I think what Tim is doing (I say *think* because I can't actually speak for him, of course) is tweaking these flea-infested hippie wannabes who always spout platitudes about peace, democracy, self-determination blah blah blah but who ultimately expose themselves as hypocrites by protesting against government policies that have the indirect effect of promoting those very platitudes.

Tim's just havin' some fun and we get the benefit of his keen mind. For free, even.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at April 16, 2004 at 12:52 AM

We did 'liberate'. We liberated western civilization from a threat.

I've always wanted to get medievil on one of those dickheads but the thought of actually having to touch them, even with a fist for a half second, makes me want to hurl.

Posted by: Dead Ed at April 16, 2004 at 01:02 AM

Maybe you need to re-read my post, Ran. I don't doubt that we "liberated" them. Nor that some benefits will flow from it. My point is that "liberation" was not what we asked of our troops, and is not what they died for. War is the most serious thing we can ask of a soldier, and we should not skip hither and yon (like that prose, lad?) simply to avoid the gathering possibility that we may have sent them to their deaths based on faulty intelligence. If it was so, then it was so. We sent them in good faith, and they went, and died, in good faith. There is no good reason to resile from that - only cowardice.

Frankly, I'm highly offended that you think my care about the dead is "phony". I hardly think that people who use words like "whit" and "lad" are in a position to lecture others about "phoniness", but your affectations and mine are hardly the point.

On a simple stone memorial at Gallipoli, Kemal Attaturk, great Muslim General, wrote of the fallen allied soldiers something you might think is "fake" but I find utterly heart-rending:

Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehemets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosoms and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.

I pray that one day soon, an Iraqi President is moved to do something similar.

Posted by: Endgame at April 16, 2004 at 01:05 AM


I'm the President of the Melbourne University Liberal Club and one of the main organisers of the pro-liberation demonstrations.

We aren't Young Liberals, but members of Liberal Clubs on campuses, which are then affiliated to the Australian Liberal Students Federation, which I'm on the Executive of. Liberal Clubs on campus aren't affiliated with the Liberal Party, but strongly associated with it - and many of our members are Party members.

Traditionally there's been something of a schism between Young Liberals, who are often characterised as the rich wanker type, and Liberal Students which have been seen as more reactionary and more ideological -- though there is now more divergence of membership.

With regards to our rally actions, we've made a conscious effort to attend these rallies; and to organise banners etc. Being University students, we want to engage in the battle of ideas on campus -- and to represent the cause of freedom. We've become tired of extremist socialists being able to represent their opinion as the broad view of university students, and are trying to show there is another side.

This has taken form in protesting in favour of the intervention in Iraq; which we strongly supportive, both for the initial correctness of invading for security reasons, and for the outcome of liberating the Iraqi people. It is an outrage that the anti-war left on campus try to take the moral highground on this issue -- two weeks ago, a rally was even held that was advertised as being "to oppose US imperialism and reinstate the previous regime". This particular outrage received coverage on 3AW.

We're also strongly in favour of higher education reform, and have protested in favour of the reforms at the National Day of Action rallies. We passionately believe that introducing market incentives into the higher education system is the only way to improve our universities, which are rapidly sliding into mediocrity.

We'll keep attending these rallies; and hope that the rule of law in this country is sufficiently strong that these socialists won't get away with bashing us, just because they don't agree with us.

Posted by: Julian Barendse at April 16, 2004 at 01:08 AM

Well done, Julian.

Keep the faith.

Many years from today, there will be any number of wankers relating how they "stopped the war" or "saved Iraq from imperialism', or some other pretentious crap, and of course they are the appeasers, the apologists, and the cowards.

Courage is to be admired.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at April 16, 2004 at 01:23 AM

I'm wondering how many of these trends will come to a head a the Republican National Convention in New York this fall.

Especially if Bush is a head at that point, it wouldn't surprise me to see one last push at street theatrics. And all it takes is a determined band of aggressives to push a crowd into a frenzy.

I'm pretty sure the NYPD can handle just about anything within reason ... but we may see giant puppets being used in anger in the Big Apple.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at April 16, 2004 at 01:37 AM

Interesting point of view. I read an article (I think by Michael Costello) that outlined the three points on which justification of the war rests: legal (breach of UN resolutions); security (threat to US and allies) and moral (Sadaam was a murderous tyrant). IMHO any one of these stands on its own.
Are you saying that the only good reason for putting our finest in harm's way is for national security interests? If so, how should civilised nations react in cases such as Rwanda, where their national interests are not at stake?

Posted by: fidens at April 16, 2004 at 01:39 AM

Steve In Houston — PLEASE let there be a major disturbance at the Republican convention in New York. I want to see all the peaceniks. Starbucks anarchists and gay-wedding-screamers flooding the streets and breaking windows in full flower. I want it on every TV in the nation.

That will push the US rightward till 2030.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at April 16, 2004 at 02:02 AM

An Experiment.

That so-called 'peace activists' aren't.

Turn up to one of their rallies, and explain the reasons for going to war.

'Peace Activists' become violent.

Those lefties, otherwise known as a collection of morons (yes I know somebody has suggested a revised nomenclature), attempt and fail to hide behind a claim of peace, to mask there true views. Most of those views seem to point to America being the Great Satan.

The left is riddled with hypocracy.

Posted by: Roger Ong at April 16, 2004 at 02:10 AM


My point is that "liberation" was not what we asked of our troops, and is not what they died for.

An excerpt from the speech Col. Tim Collins gave his men in the hours before the liberation of Iraq began:

    We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own.

You get my vote for the most clueless post of the day.

Posted by: TomB at April 16, 2004 at 02:39 AM

That moron wrote: "When Liberals have the confidence to attend a anti-war demo it clearly isn't a good sign...By standing there debating with a bunch of right wingers at a rally, not only are people wasting time and demoralising everyone, they are giving them confidence to come back and disrupt more rallies. In the ideal situation Young Liberals should be left bruised, bashed and bleeding if they dare show thier face at a rally like that. That way they will be more hesitant about coming next time, and if they do the police will be more likely to quickly move them on."

Huh. I thought Australia had freedom of speech and the right to gather in public, too. I didn't know it was only the...whatever these clods are...that had the right to do so.

Someone clear this up for me, please?

Oh, and Endgame, you dope, our guys in Iraq liberated thousands, maybe millions, from more mass graves and rape rooms. Get over yourself.

Posted by: ushie at April 16, 2004 at 03:04 AM

I agree, Richard McEnroe.

I know the DNC Chicago '68 riots pushed the country firmly into Richard Nixon territory ...
and didn't THAT work out great for the country.

And since the left over here seems so intent on recapturing the heady 60s, it wouldn't shock me if they are "studying the tapes" and attempting to be all vanguard and stuff, just like their parents were!

Posted by: Steve in Houston at April 16, 2004 at 03:07 AM

The pro-liberation demonstrations is the best news in ages. Do they have a blogsite, cause I want them on my Blogroll...

Posted by: jafa at April 16, 2004 at 04:19 AM

Hey Endgame: you know that thing in the sky, the big bright object the Earth revolves around and that controls all life in the solar system? It's not you. Turn the bluster down or get banned for being a jerkoff.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 16, 2004 at 10:39 AM

One day push is going to come to shove and the simmering disgust at these low scum is going to come boiling over the top. The so called "silent majority" will be forced into action and these gutless morons will get one hell of a thumping.

Posted by: Jimi at April 16, 2004 at 11:43 AM

I STILL can't decide if Endgame is trying to smear people who support the war by pretending to be a braindead loudmouth hawk, or if he really is just sincerely that stupid.

Anyway, Endgame, you better get on the ball and tell Bush to retroactively rename Operation Iraqi Freedom.

You know, lest he give in to leftist framing of the Iraq issue.

Posted by: Sortelli at April 16, 2004 at 03:29 PM

Love those those college kids (any faculty?) who stage counterprotests to the 'leftist' public temper tantrums and also for fighting academic totalitarianism!

My one encounter with a "peace rally" was to walk past an Italian provocateur and his Japanese sidekick who were protesting across from the American Embassy in Tokyo. This was before the start of hostilities and the Italian was shouting anti-American invectives at personnel going in and out of the building. He also was holding a sign with Saddam's picture on it that extolled Saddam as a great Iraqi leader.

Japanese businessmen walking by the loud anti-war couple looked either annoyed or embarrassed, but knew not to engage with the fellow. Unfortunately, I couldn't help asking quietly as I passed by why he did not see Saddam as a brutal oppressor and tyrant.

Of course, the protestor's answer was well thought out and, undoubtedly, grounded in the history, logic, decorum and good English that he picked up in his university days in Milano. He replied to me on his bullhorn as I walked down the street for three long city blocks: "F--- you! F--- you! F--- you! F--- you!" and so on.

He shouted it maybe 50 times. Okay, so NOW I get why the war against Saddam was a moral abomination and how Americans are uncouth brutes.

Posted by: c at April 17, 2004 at 06:37 AM

Fidens asked: "Are you saying that the only good reason for putting our finest in harm's way is for national security interests? If so, how should civilised nations react in cases such as Rwanda, where their national interests are not at stake?"

Re National Security Interest, I suppose that's correct, mostly. In my opinion, our soldiers should only be risked in our national security interest, in the defence of our allies or in an unambiguous war of "liberation" (discussed further below). How the national interest is defined in any given circumstance is of course complex.

Is Operation Falconer/Telic/Iraqi Freedom in our national security interest? IMHO, Yes, for reasons others have described above - reduction in future nuclear/biological/chemical risk, possiblity that we will have another friend in the region, maintainance of our most important alliance etc. But I don't pretend it's a war of "liberation" (ie that "liberation" was, itself, the purpose - or even a major purpose - of the war). This war is the assertion of our legitimate national security interest by military means. We don't need to apologise for, or sugar-coat that fact.

"Liberation" is what we did in France, Borneo, New Guinea, Malaya et al in WWII. They begged us to help, we came, and we kicked their occupying oppressors out. Whether in our national interest or not, these are worthy goals. Worth dying for I guess.

Rwanda was more like Iraq than like France, minus the national interest component. Many different interests groups, some appreciate our help, some assuredly don't, most are ambivalent but easily swayed, etc. I would therefore not have risked my soldiers' lives there if it had been my decision to make.... I note for completeness that this is quite different from the question of whether I would support a decision by those in authority to go to war (in Rwanda or generally). Which I did and would, always, wholeheartedly.

Posted by: Endgame at April 17, 2004 at 07:41 AM


Those WWII battles of liberation you list weren't in the Allies' strategic interests, as well? They were only altruistic efforts with no military or political goodwill advantages to the Allied cause? (Well, at least in the example of France no real long-term goodwill materialized, so maybe you're right!)

Posted by: c at April 17, 2004 at 09:20 AM