Friday, April 19, 2002

It should at least be funny

Is calling for the indiscriminate murder of a lot of Muslims, because they are Muslims, a jolly old laugh? Or does it show genocidal tendancies?

Well I don't think that Natalie Solent would ever think that killing people would be a source of humour, but she does gamely try to defend it as such.

Replying to three examples of over-enthusiastic war bloggers put out by myself the defence was that these things were totally understandable, and hilarious. Not to be taken as wanting death to Arabs, oh no.

Firstly she claims that one comment about respecting Islam by killing Muslims is actually sarcastic. I doubt she would be so charitable to that piece of excrement Tom Paulin, who would probably claim the same about killing religious American Jews, for the self same reasons that the brothers Judd cheer on Israeli killings.

Then she says that another piece about killing the bomber's entire family was actually against genocide. Like the bit where he almost, although not quite, calls for the Israelis to clear the West Bank of Palestinians by cutting off their water. Of course this is a more in sorrow than anger piece as USS Clueless says:

I guess I better make something more clear. No, I don't expect Israel to go out and start slaughtering the families of bombers. That's not the point I was trying to make.

The point was that when you back someone into a corner and leave them only the alternatives of being killed or lashing out violently, then you better make sure to have plans for violence. If the only way they can survive is to become monsters, then you shouldn't be surprised if they do.

So it's not advocating acting like monsters, its saying they have no alternative. I suppose that's a new twist on things. Gerry Adams didn't advocate bombing innocent civilians, he just claimed that there was no alternative. Sorry, one person doesn't see the difference.

And then there was the piece de resistance, that the call for bombing Mecca "promotes moderation rather than the reverse". It's quite neat, if a bit implausible, so you could read it. You see it was just putting out a meme, or an idea to think about. Which would not explain Rich Lowry's follow up posting:

Lots of sentiment for nuking Mecca. Moderates opt for something more along these lines: “Baghdad and Tehran would be the likeliest sites for a first strike. If we have clean enough bombs to assure a pinpoint damage area, Gaza City and Ramallah would also be on list. Damascus, Cairo, Algiers, Tripoli and Riyadh should be put on alert that any signs of support for the attacks in their cities will bring immediate annihilation.” Then there are those who think we really can't do too much differently than what were doing now (my original proposition).

Note the absence of any "hey that was just an idea to play with, not to take seriously" or "jeez, I was only joking". It was a serious thought. He may prefer that we keep bombing - although the term "original proposition" seems to show that he was wobbling, but that's perhaps deconstructing it too much.

According to Justin Raimondo Rich Lowry did not claim that it was the playful meme that Natalie Solent ascribed to him, but that the whole thing was just one big joke. Only thing about a joke, is that its supposed to be funny. (The phrase "I was joking" in New York Conservative circles obviously means "Please let me keep my job, I have a family to support".)

I hope that I wouldn't have made the mistake that Natalie Solent made. The argument by association, which I used, is a very weak argument. Hopefully if someone came out with some extremely stupid pro-Arab comment (I'm not actually pro-Arab, just against mass murdering them) - and there are plenty of those around - I would have said "nothing to do with me guv". In any argument you are bound to have some rather unsavoury friends who take your arguments where you don't want to go.

The New Left used to have a slogan "no enemies to the left". I always thought that this was a particularly stupid one that got them into far more trouble than they would have otherwise found themselves. Does Mrs Solent really think that she will all the warriors to be of sound mind?


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