Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

“Jack Straw thinks you’re a jerk”

If you haven’t worked it out yet, our man Justin McKeating – aka Chicken Yoghurt – is a bit good at the old enraged demolition of politicians’ neverending doublespeak. That’s probably why they had a screenshot of his place in teh Grauniad on Saturday and ignored poor old me (although Jarndyce has a theory on that…). Methinks had Mark Lawson actually bothered to read Justin’s site for more than two seconds he might have realised that there are some British blogs which could very easily give newspapers a run for their money both in terms of quality of writing and depth of analysis.

Anyway, I digress. I agree with pretty much every single thing in this particularly top-notch post. Except the bits said by Staw and Blair, obviously.

And, as I’m STILL getting people on here doing the usual “if you’re against the war you’re pro-Saddam” crap, here – for the record:

  • I believe that overthrowing Saddam Hussein was a GOOD THING
  • BUT I do not believe he had connections to Al Quaeda
  • NOR do I believe he had weapons of mass destruction
  • NOR do I think Saddam was a threat to Britain or America
  • NOR do I believe that the war was legal under international law
  • NOR do I think it was a sensible time to launch a war when Afghanistan was still not pacified
  • NOR do I think it was a sensible place to launch a war at a time when the Islamic world was already pissed off at the West
  • NOR do I think it was well planned
  • NOR do I think it was well executed
  • NOR do I think there is or was a realistic exit strategy
  • AND I believe other dictators were (and are) more of a threat than Saddam
  • AND I believe that the civilian casualties – whatever figure you take – are unacceptable
  • AND I believe that the military casualties – whatever figure you take – are unacceptable
  • AND I remember being told that “regime change” was not a war aim
  • AND I believe that the British and American governments either lied or were utterly incompetent, or both
  • AND I have friends – both journalists and soldiers – who have been posted to Iraq and put in direct, deadly danger because of all this

So I reckon it’s fair enough for me to be a tad annoyed. Before you accuse me of being a wishy-washy anti-war Saddam-loving hippie, bear it all in mind.

Especially bear in mind that one of my best friends from university and one of my best friends from school (with whom I shared a room for five years), both in the army, have both been posted to Iraq over the last couple of years. Understandably, I’d rather they weren’t killed – if that makes me a peacenik, so be it.

But you accuse me of loving Saddam, or of not understanding the situation, or of being naive, or if you patronise me in any way – and this goes for you too Mr Straw, Mr Blair, Mr Hoon and all the rest – I’ll tell you to fuck off.


  1. Yep and now the lib dems are trying to use it as an election issue to get votes

  2. As are the Tories and a bunch of other parties.

    The issue is not the war, per se – the issue is trust. The issue is whether or not Blair – intentionally or otherwise – mislead the country. If he did – even if there is a widespread belief that he did – he is no longer the man for the job. Especially with the current EU situation, we need someone in charge who will be believed when he tells us that something is in the national interest.

    Unfortunately, due to the flaws in the British democratic system, we have no direct say in the makeup of our executive. As such, a general election – supposedly for choosing our local representative in Westminster – ends up being a vote for the Prime Minister as much as anything else.

  3. As opposed to Labour, who are trying to pretend it never happened.

    You can't have it both ways. If it's an issue, it's essential that it's raised during the election campaign. Let Labour try to use their record on Iraq to get votes. Should work wonders in Sedgefield and Blackburn.

  4. >>Yep and now the lib dems are trying to use it as an election issue to get votes

    What? A political party criticising Government policy in order to win support at a general election? What madness is this!?

    There is a difference between reiterating long-running objections to the war (as the Liberal Democrats are doing) and treating with outright contempt those who may agree with the removal of Saddam (and I count myself in Nosemonkey's corner here) but question the means by which the war was sold to the British public.

    Would you seriously suggest that in a climate where the Iraq war has serious resonance among the people that the Lib Dems are playing dirty in repeating objections that earned them a fair degree of opprobrium from both Labour and the Conservatives back when conflict was brewing?

  5. The multilayered irrelevancy of this post to the comment of mine that you cite is dazzling. My original words didn't even address you directly, yet somehow it's prompted you to construct a glittery chain of non sequiturs in response to a collection of personal allegations no one has made. Reading it is like watching The Star Wars Kid or a man alone on a crash mat practising judo throws on himself.

    "People STILL come here and accuse me of being a paedophile! Well, some of my best friends are children! Just because I love little boys doesn't mean I have sex with them.

    "And my brother is risking his life as a scout master. How could I be a kiddie-fiddler when his woggle hangs in the balance? If anyone says I hung out with Michael Jackson I'll tell them to fuck off!"

    It's such complete bobbins it's impossible to gain any logical purchase on it. Are you sure you're alright?

  6. Pootergeek, I hate to tell you, but the world doesn't revolve around you, and this post wasn't aimed entirely at you – nor did I take your words to be aimed entirely at me.

    Without wanting to blow my own trumpet here, this blog has more readers than just you, and I have had a number of other people pop out of nowhere in the comments sections assuming that I hold certain opinions. You were merely the most recent example of an ongoing tendency observed both in previous comments to posts on this site and elsewhere, just as you took (and probably still take) me to be. Here's a prime example – a post only tangentally about Iraq which prompted all the typical accusations from pro-war types against those they perceive to disagree with them.

    And, in any case you're wrong – the thing which prompted this post was the piece over at Chicken Yoghurt which I linked. I suggest you read it.

    If you have any specific objections to any of the opinions I covered in the post, fine. Why not address them? You are entitled to your opinion as well, after all (and please don't use this as an excuse to use the typical "if we hadn't got rid of Iraq then Iraqis wouldn't be allowed to hold opinions" line – I know, and in any case it's irrelevant). I am also fascinated to understand quite how you can miss the not especially subtle nuance that what I object to is not the war but the misinformation / misinterpretation / lies / ineptitude which led us there. It was one or more of those four, and to me none of them are acceptable.

    But as you again opted for an attempt to patronise me (and what exactly is the point in trying to patronise someone writing under a pseudonym on the internet, exactly?), once again – for the time being – I am, to prevent myself from being a liar, for now going to have to politely ask you to fuck off.

  7. Pootergeek, I hate to tell you, but the world doesn't revolve around you

    Never thought it did, darling. The only reason I even bothered to engage with your continuing frenzied self-justification is because the very sentence in which your bullet points are embedded cites me as being a person "doing the usual "if you're against the war you're pro-Saddam" crap"

    Even directly above you say I am "the most recent example of an ongoing tendency".

    How, exactly, does my objecting to these planet-sized misrepresentations of my original comment show that I believe the world revolves around me?

    There is a beautiful symmetry in your taking personally my first abstract observation, responding to it by attacking me personally and then, when I make a further abstract observation about the incoherence of your case attacking me personally again.

    And through all of this, you have still failed to refute my initial assertion, namely that, for many rich, comfortable westerners (not necessarily you, but if you feel guilty I can understand), the reason the Iraq war is upsetting is that unlike, say, the far more horrifying events of the war in the Congo (to which they are largely indifferent) they have to watch the mainly poor, mainly non-Western participants suffer on their TV screens regularly.

    I can understand your response. It's easier to wander off on some self-serving tangent than it is to go beyond line after line of what you believe or what you think or what you object to and then, hilariously, accuse someone else of thinking the world revolves around him. Priceless.

    I think it's time for you to unsheathe that rhetorical rapier of yours again and tell me to fuck off.

  8. You are, of course, precisely right. I haven't countered your initial point. That's because your theory about comfortable middle-class westerners or whatever (which may or may not be true, I neither know nor care) had precisely tit all to do with the original point – which was merely pointing out that (as I am sure we can both agree) there has been quite a bit of blood and gore on the news for the last few years.