Conscientious Objectors Stand Up: This Time, We Are The Fascist Enemy

Written in 2008. Reposted on 11 November 2015 as a show of solidarity for Jeremy Corbyn, whose pacifism is portrayed as treachery

war

In the wake of the horrific Mumbai terror attacks, many of my Facebook friends have rushed to join thousands of others in liking the site’s ‘support our troops’ cyber groups. I have nothing against this in principle: I appreciate British and US troops are doing jobs I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, I appreciate they are mostly good people, I have no ill-feeling towards them at all, and I genuinely hope they return home safe and well. But I can’t bring myself to support them. By doing so, I feel I would also be sanctioning our disastrous, bloody and illegal campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When I was a child, my mother used to buy me a poppy every Remembrance Day. I don’t remember the first time I ever wore one, but I do recall the first time the custom was explained to me when I was around five years old. I remember feeling a sense of awe and respect for these heroic men; men who fought totalitarianism, men who fought for freedom, for liberty, for democracy, for human rights, men who fought for future generations, men who fought bravely against a very real and tangible fascist enemy. There was no question about it in my childish mind: Allies equalled goodies, Germans equalled baddies. I felt pride. God bless those poor brave boys, many of whom were barely adults, forced into trenches, forced on to the front line as cannon fodder, forced across No Man’s land, many against their will, while England was blitzed by the Luftwaffe.

I decided there and then, I would wear a poppy every November for the rest of my life.

And I did, until 2001, when we attacked Afghanistan. That year, I bought my poppy as usual, but with a faint sense of unease. It felt hypocritical to wear something in support of our soldiers when I opposed the invasion so strongly, and I found myself strangely self-conscious with the red flower on my jacket, as though it no longer represented the same things it had the previous year.

On Remembrance Day 2003, after we’d been carpet-bombing Iraq for 7 months, I couldn’t bring myself to pin a poppy on my lapel at all. I thought of the Allied forces defeating the Germans in 1918 and 1945 and I asked myself: Where is the fascist regime we are fighting this time? Who exactly is the enemy? Where is the real threat to my freedom and my country’s democracy?

The tabloids screamed we were at War. Muslims were avoided in the streets. Bush declared people were either with the US, or against them. Debates sprang up, people’s vocabularies shifted. ‘Extremist’, ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘terrorist’ jumped out of every newspaper, every letters page, every politician’s speech. This sinister and orchestrated creation of a legitimate division, of ‘us and them’, of an invisible enemy, fooled us, and continues to fool us.

A genius plan, straight from the pages of Orwell’s 1984: How can war ever cease when the enemy is everywhere and yet, paradoxically, nowhere? How can a people be truly free in a state of perpetual war? How can human rights, constitutions, and fundamental liberties be upheld in the face of the intangible Terrorist bogeyman?

To date, between 100, 000 and 655, 000 Iraqi civilians are dead (despicably but not surprisingly, nobody keeps any figures) and 4300 coalition soldiers have lost their lives in combat. There is an increase in Islamic extremism worldwide as a direct response to coalition aggression, Bin Laden has never been found, the Taliban remain strong, the situation in Iraq is hellish and shows no signs of stabilizing, and every day, hundreds of babies are born with severe disfigurements from coalition forces’ illegal and barbaric use of depleted uranium.

Yes, we are the fascist enemy. We, the coalition of the dodgy dossiers and bare-faced lies, the ‘democratic’ coalition which ignored millions of protestors worldwide, the coalition of illegal pre-emptive strikes, of war crimes, of bare-faced lies, of spin on an unprecendented scale, the coalition making billions of pounds per year from stolen oil fields and lucrative contracts to rebuild the ravaged countries it has raped and murdered for seven long years.

When we occasionally stir from our deep slumber long enough to question these monstrous and undeniable realities, we are hushed by popular culture, lulled back to sleep by reality TV, distracted by celebrity gossip and the ubiquitous quest for fame, money and the perfect body.

As tabloid headlines scream Peter and Jordan’s marriage is on the rocks, plans are drawn up for false flag attacks to facilitate invasions of Iran or Pakistan. While the Pussycat Dolls sing about their boobies and bank balances, Iraq is carved up and another innocent man shackled, beaten and starved in Guantanamo Bay.

But never mind, here’s some more bullshit to hypnotise the masses: how about cooing over the X Factor contestants as they turn Mariah Carey’s Hero into propaganda for the cause?  That’ll take their minds off the unspeakable atrocities we’re committing in the name of Operation Spread Freedom and Democracy. Ha, suckers.

We are hypnotized by tycoons like Murdoch, a chillingly clever man, a Joseph Goebbels of his time, a man who uses his newspapers and TV stations to tell us our only hope is to back the coalition, to support our troops, to be patriotic. Demonising Islam, spreading lies, launching smear campaigns, inciting hatred, instilling fear.

How dare we spend last month’s Remembrance Day thinking of the Jews of Nazi Germany? We ARE the German people who stood by and watched!

How dare we pray that Auschwitz never happen again when we allow Guantanamo to exist? How dare we ask how those ordinary people allowed the mass murder of innocent civilians when we do the same today? How dare we get upset by the past when it is repeating itself under our noses?

How dare we assume we are more moral and civilised than the German people, when we have lost our right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and hardly noticed, when Muslims worldwide are dehumanized just as the Jews were?

How dare we berate their support of a fascist regime, when we have already lost the majority of our human rights, when the database state is here, when all around us is the rapid and terrifying emergence of Big Brother and plans for a world government answerable to nobody?

How dare we, when we now have trials without a jury and indefinite periods of house arrest, when we have a justice system being quietly eroded under our snoring noses, when we have inhumane periods of detention without charge, when we have the systematic use of coalition torture and extradition treaties to the US for any European citizen it likes, without question or protection at home?

Wake up!

Don’t waste your time lobbying to support the troops. Instead, support liberty, support equality, support peace. Support bringing the troops home. Be proud to be a pacifist.

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10 comments

  1. Sophie. Where do I start? Your desultory philippic contains a number of objections, to be sure, but scant conscientiousness.

    I remember feeling a sense of awe and respect for these heroic men; men who fought totalitarianism, men who fought for freedom, for liberty, for democracy, for human rights, men who fought for future generations, for me, men who fought bravely against a very real and tangible fascist enemy.

    The folks who were forced to live under the tyrannical (and, yes, fascist) régimes in Iraq and Afghanistan had very little freedom, liberty, democracy, or human rights. Today, they live under democratic rule. Even women (contrary to Islamic tradition) now have the right to vote. It was Martin Luther King who said “No man is free until all men are free.”

    On Remembrance Day 2003, after we’d been carpet-bombing Iraq for 7 months, I couldn’t bring myself to pin a poppy on my lapel at all. I thought of the Allied forces defeating the Germans in 1918 and 1945 and I asked myself: Where is the fascist regime we are fighting this time? Who exactly is the enemy? Where is the real threat to my freedom and my country’s democracy?

    Coalition bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan was conducted mostly by the Americans, who used modern “smart bombs” with GPS targeting. Only military targets were selected, and the amount of collateral damage (civilian injury, death, or property damage) was less than any aerial bombing campaign in the history of warfare. There is absolutely no evidence of “carpet bombing.” By the way, that provocative term was coined by your own Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris in WWII to describe how he destroyed Kiel, Hamburg, Cologne, and many other German cities with fire storm raids. He confessed that precision bombing amounted to less than 1 bomb out of 20 landing within 5 miles of a target; necessitating the “carpet bombing” of population centers to break the will of the German people. It worked.

    If you still do not know who the enemy is, I strongly urge you to read Melanie Phillips’ book, Londonistan, to find out what is happening to your country.

    http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/Londonistan.html
    http://www.amazon.com/Londonistan-Melanie-Phillips/dp/1594031975

    To date, between 100, 000 and 655, 000 Iraqi civilians are dead (despicably but not surprisingly, nobody keeps any figures) and 4300 coalition soldiers have lost their lives in combat. There is an increase in Islamic extremism worldwide as a direct response to coalition aggression, Bin Laden has never been found, the Taliban remain strong, the situation in Iraq is hellish and shows no signs of stabilizing, and every day, hundreds of babies are born with severe disfigurements from coalition forces’ illegal and barbaric use of depleted uranium.

    Actually, a lot of people and organizations keep figures. The best estimate of civilian deaths is under 50,000 (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22537.pdf). Even the most leftist estimate is still under 100,000 (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/). As for Islamic extremism, it has been increasing exponentially since 1948, when the Balfour Declaration was finally implemented, creating the state of Israel. Hatred of Jews and anything Western is the driving force behind Islamic terrorism; not American foreign policy.

    No signs of stabilizing? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are almost over:

    Finally, “…every day, hundreds of babies are born with severe disfigurements from coalition forces’ illegal and barbaric use of depleted uranium” is a complete calumny.

    Studies in 2005 and earlier have concluded that DU ammunition has no measurable detrimental health effects.

    A 1999 literature review conducted by the Rand Corporation stated: “No evidence is documented in the literature of cancer or any other negative health effect related to the radiation received from exposure to depleted or natural uranium, whether inhaled or ingested, even at very high doses,”
    A 2001 oncology study concluded that “the present scientific consensus is that DU exposure to humans, in locations where DU ammunition was deployed, is very unlikely to give rise to cancer induction”.

    A 2002 study from the Australian defense ministry concluded that “there has been no established increase in mortality or morbidity in workers exposed to uranium in uranium processing industries… studies of Gulf War veterans show that, in those who have retained fragments of depleted uranium following combat related injury, it has been possible to detect elevated urinary uranium levels, but no kidney toxicity or other adverse health effects related to depleted uranium after a decade of follow-up.”

    Pier Roberto Danesi, then-director of the IAEA Seibersdorf +Laboratory, stated in 2002 that “There is a consensus now that DU does not represent a health threat”.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 2003 that, “based on credible scientific evidence, there is no proven link between DU exposure and increases in human cancers or other significant health or environmental impacts.” The IAEA concluded that while depleted uranium is a potential carcinogen, there is no evidence that it has been carcinogenic in humans.

    A 2005 study by Sandia National Laboratories’ Al Marshall used mathematical models to analyze potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium during the 1991 Gulf War. Marshall’s study concluded that the reports of cancer risks from DU exposure are not supported by veteran medical statistics.

    Yes, we are the fascist enemy.

    Something of a hyperbolic insult to a coalition of the freest countries on earth.

    the coalition of illegal pre-emptive strikes

    Pre-emption is striking your opponent to prevent him from striking you or another. This is a “choice of evils” which is consistent with international law and the entire history of Western morality.
    Striking your opponent after he has struck you is simply vengeance. Should we wait for Iran to actually detonate a thermonuclear device in Tel Aviv before we destroy their nuclear weapon production facilities? Remember, Britain declared war on Germany because of the invasion of Poland; not because Germany attacked Coventry.

    the coalition making billions of pounds per year from stolen oil fields

    I’m not sure how one exactly “steals” an oil field, but, to date, no coalition country has made a penny’s profit from the sale of Iraqi oil.

    these monstrous and undeniable realities

    Consider them denied.

    another innocent man shackled, beaten and starved in Guantanamo Bay.

    The irregular combatants (un-uniformed fighters, criminals under international law) being held at Gitmo are something less than “innocent.” None (repeat, none) has been beaten. The detainees are fed 3 halal (حلال) meals per day, and most have gained weight. Aside from being unable to satisfy their blood lust by decapitating Jewish-American journalists, most have never had it so good.

    We are hypnotized by tycoons like Murdoch, a chillingly clever man, a Joseph Goebbels of his time

    Joe worked for the government. Big difference.

    How dare we pray that Auschwitz never happen again when we allow Guantanamo to exist?

    To compare the incarceration of terrorist criminals in Guantanamo with the Nazi death camps is to intentionally misconstrue the former, and insultingly denigrate the enormity of the latter.

    Muslims worldwide are dehumanized just as the Jews were?

    Jews don’t fly airplanes into office buildings. Moslems are not sent to death camps. The analogy is not even close.

    we have already lost the majority of our human rights

    How many web sites such as yours are privately maintained in Moslem-controlled countries? In which Moslem countries do women vote? Chose their own husbands? Attend college? Enter into lesbian relationships? Receive free birth control and abortions? Drive automobiles? You’ve not lost your human rights; you’ve lost your mind.

    Wake up!

    Indeed!

    If you enjoy your freedom of speech, do not thank a journalist; thank a soldier.
    If you appreciate your right to vote, do not thank a politician; thank a soldier.
    If you are reading this in English (and not German, Japanese, Russian, etc.) do not thank William Shakespeare; thank a soldier.

    Thomas A. McAdam, III
    thomas@mcadam.com
    Louisville, Kentucky U.S.A.

    • Hi Thomas.

      Lots to debate I guess!

      “The folks who were forced to live under the tyrannical (and, yes, fascist) régimes in Iraq and Afghanistan had very little freedom, liberty, democracy, or human rights. Today, they live under democratic rule.”

      Of course people in Afghanistan and Iraq had very little (in fact, no) freedom and democracy under the Taliban and Saddam respectively. Only a fool would argue otherwise, and I didn’t once suggest any different in my blog.

      My objection to the ‘war on terror’, however, is not in the act of ‘freeing’ these people, it is in the way we go about it, and the lies that we used to facilitate this freedom. I object to:

      A) The arrogance and delusion of an imperialist nation that believes that you can FORCE a nation to adopt democracy, or that the only way in which freedom can be spread is through violent means. You quote Martin Luther King. I would bet all the money in the world that he is turning in his grave about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention his name being used to defend what we are doing over there. King was a pacifist. Jesus was a pacifist. Mohammed was a pacifist. Violence conducted in the name of pacifism is paradoxical and immoral. As Ghandi said, ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’, and also, ‘There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.’ Wise words which I find impossible to find fault with. I guess this all depends on whether you subscribe to Kantian ethics (the motive is key and the act must be moral in itself) or Millian ethics (the act is irrelevant, the aim is the greatest good for the greatest number, and the means can justify the ends). My morals are Kantian, and I don’t expect that anyone who subscribes to Mill’s views WOULD agree with me on most of my points, to be frank.

      B) I think anyone who still believes, after 7 years, that spreading freedom and democracy is the real purpose of us being there is severely deluded. Do you genuinely think we invaded Afghanistan simply to find Bin Laden? Do you genuinely believe we invaded Iraq simply to free people from Saddam Hussein? If Bush and Blair are such wonderful altruistic people, why aren’t we kicking ass in Zimbabwe, Darfur, the Congo, to name a few? You really don’t think that the American empire, seizure of oil fields, lucrative contracts for rebuilding the ravaged countries, and control of the Middle East from a convenient location are anything to do with us being there?

      Maybe it’s different on this side of the pond. In fact, I know it is. I honestly do not know ONE person who hasn’t (eventually) come to the conclusion we’re there for the oil. I gather from being in the cyberspace community that this cynicism hasn’t erupted to the same degree in the States. Like the rest of Europe, we Brits marched in the streets against this ‘war’- over a million of us in London alone. We were ignored. We saw for ourselves what little relevance democracy has in the face of money and power. We watched Blair lie about Saddam’s WMD, we saw government scientist David Kelly blackmailed and bullied over the infamous ‘dodgy dossier’. He eventually hung himself, and Blair and his spin doctor had blood on their hands. No weapons were ever, or have ever, been found.

      Of course Americans know this too. I can only assume that the huge cultural differences between your countrymen and British/European people lie in the way in which American children are indoctrinated from a very young age. Patriotism is a way of life; you salute and pledge allegiance to the flag, which makes it very easy for manipulation by whoever is running the ship.

      What is patriotism anyway? I believe it should be about defending the values of your nation, NOT the actions of your government.

      We have far less attachment to national identity here and as such, we probably question the government more rather than accepting the official line. As Claude Cockburn said, ‘never believe anything until it is officially denied.’

      In response to your argument that we are free: on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we can clearly see in Britain how eroded these rights have become since 9/11. Some have disappeared altogether. I don’t know whether you read the article below this one, but I like to think I am educated on the subject, at least on the situation here in the UK. I researched the erosion of civil liberties for a few months; I spoke to tens of people who had been arrested for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of speech and assembly by peacefully protesting against the war, ID cards, arms manufacturing, etc etc.

      You have the Patriot Act. What a clever title. Orwell gave them some great ideas. I’m sorry but I do not accept that freedom and security can not be reconciled. Habeas Corpus, extinct overnight. And we’re supposed to blame the terrorists rather than the government. I for one would rather risk being blown up than forced to carry an ID card, or eventually microchipped, and it is my democratic right to choose is it not?

      “The amount of collateral damage (civilian injury, death, or property damage) was less than any aerial bombing campaign in the history of warfare. There is absolutely no evidence of “carpet bombing.”

      We blitzed Iraq in March 2003. ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ and ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ were aired on TV. We absolutely blitzed them and the number of missiles that missed their target was certainly not insignificant. As I say, there are no official figures for the civililan death toll to date:

      “Actually, a lot of people and organizations keep figures. The best estimate of civilian deaths is under 50,000 (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22537.pdf). Even the most leftist estimate is still under 100,000.”

      Who’s to say these figures are more accurate than those I quote? The figure of 650,000 I quoted came from an article by the BBC, and there are at least SIX different figures. My point in the blog was not so much the number of civilian deaths but the fact we’re not sure. How very disrespectful, to say the least!

      You seem to be insinuating that we have tiptoed around Iraq, causing only as much damage as is absolutely necessary. If we are there to give these people hope, why were we torturing people in Abu Ghraib? Why did we use white phosphorous in Falluja? Why are there numerous accounts of coalition violence and rape, often by Iraq war veterans themselves who admit to the most heinous crimes against innocent civilians, and many of who later joined IVAW and openly speak about the atrocities we are committing?

      Even if you DO agree with us being there and DO genuinely believe we are there for the right reasons, recent studies (at least over here) have made direct links between coalition aggression and recruitment for extremist groups. When British government suspended habeas corpus in Northern Ireland and locked up suspected nationalist militants without trial, it created a hotbed for IRA recruitment, and the same is happening now. It stands to reason. We can’t go over there and behave the way we are behaving, we can’t torture people in Guantanamo for years without evidence, without charge, without trial, and expect that we will be safe from the consequences.

      You tell me to read Melanie Phillips. She writes for the Daily Mail, so enough said. Attempting to extract the truth from any media is nigh on impossible nowadays, but the Daily Mail is more ridiculous than most- in fact it is renowned for its fear-mongering and cherry-picking of facts. Daily Mail readers are poked fun at by columnists in lots of other newspapers and certainly by the populace at large, and not only in leftist press and leftist circles. So with regards to Phillips, again, I would point to the fact that terrorism breeds terrorism, and Ghandi and King knew the correct way to fight for freedom and democracy. Their way worked, did it not?

      “As for Islamic extremism, it has been increasing exponentially since 1948, when the Balfour Declaration was finally implemented, creating the state of Israel. Hatred of Jews and anything Western is the driving force behind Islamic terrorism; not American foreign policy.”

      Correct. So why don’t we play fair in Palestine? Benjamin Freedman had a lot to say about this, as do lots of Anti-Zionist Jews. Palestine is very much relevant to Muslim extremism, on that we are in agreement.

      “No signs of stabilizing? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are almost over”

      There is talk of troops pulling out, yes, but over? Not for the people who are left to pick up the pieces of two ravaged nations. I am sure thousands of Afghans and Iraqis would find your remark very insulting!

      “Studies in 2005 and earlier have concluded that DU ammunition has no measurable detrimental health effects.”

      With respect Thomas, does that mean you’d have no objection to DU being used on your neighbourhood? We can cherry-pick arguments to suit our arguments all day. The internet is wonderful for that, and everybody is guilty of it. Here’s one good site that would throw up many different conclusions to yours (and Roger’s, no doubt):

      http://www.cadu.org.uk/intro.htm

      In fact, why not simply type DU effects into YouTube and see what comes up? It is too sickening to watch the horrific images of deformed babies, quite frankly.

      Speaking of cherry-picking, scientists employed by government tend to begin with the required conclusions and take the studies from there, working backwards. It happens with DU, global warming, you name it.

      “Something of a hyperbolic insult to a coalition of the freest countries on earth.” [on my statement, ‘Yes, we are the fascist enemy’.]

      Read the second blog down. Freedom is now an illusion, both in the US and UK. See earlier points on The Patriot Act (what’s happening to your constitution?) and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights- not to mention the European Convention of Human Rights. All gone, I’m afraid. See:

      http://www.noliberties.com

      You can watch the whole film on Google Video. All based on fact, all very shocking.

      “Pre-emption is striking your opponent to prevent him from striking you or another. This is a “choice of evils” which is consistent with international law and the entire history of Western morality.”

      Well, like I said earlier, I guess this all depends on whether you subscribe to Kantian or Millian ethics. On a more local and personal level, if pre-emptive strikes were moral then I think we’d all be terrified of stepping out of our front doors.

      “I’m not sure how one exactly “steals” an oil field, but, to date, no coalition country has made a penny’s profit from the sale of Iraqi oil.”

      Really? Read Naomi Klein’s ‘Shock doctrine: the rise of Disaster Capitalism.”
      Blurb:
      “Around the world in Britain, the United States, Asia and the Middle East, there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos; exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally remake our world in their image. They are the shock doctors. Thrilling and revelatory, The Shock Doctrine cracks open the secret history of our era. Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors’ beliefs now dominate our world – and how this domination has been achieved. Raking in billions out of the tsunami, plundering Russia, exploiting Iraq – this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed.”

      Exxon, Halliburton….have they graciously turned down their share? Was it merely coincidence that Cheney was instrumental in orchestrating the invasion?

      http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0531-02.htm

      http://www.consumersforpeace.org/pages/archives-exxon-laps-iraq-war-profits.html

      You could also watch ‘Iraq for Sale”. Very illuminating.

      “The irregular combatants (un-uniformed fighters, criminals under international law) being held at Gitmo are something less than “innocent.” None (repeat, none) has been beaten. The detainees are fed 3 halal (حلال) meals per day, and most have gained weight. Aside from being unable to satisfy their blood lust by decapitating Jewish-American journalists, most have never had it so good.”

      Where’s your evidence for any of this? I’m not saying they are ALL innocent. I was simply pointing out that we have no idea. None whatsoever. And if there is evidence against them, CHARGE them and put them on trial. Aren’t you a lawyer????

      [We are hypnotized by tycoons like Murdoch, a chillingly clever man, a Joseph Goebbels of his time]

      “Joe worked for the government. Big difference.”

      Yeah, the difference is Goebbels worked for the government and Murdoch simply PRETENDS he doesn’t. What’s Fox news if not an instrument for the state?

      Scott McClellan admitted Fox news were given talking points by the White House:

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtW4HOcdzQU

      “To compare the incarceration of terrorist criminals in Guantanamo with the Nazi death camps is to intentionally misconstrue the former, and insultingly denigrate the enormity of the latter. Jews don’t fly airplanes into office buildings. Moslems are not sent to death camps. The analogy is not even close.”

      It’s very easy (and somewhat of a cop-out) to use the emotional leverage of the Holocaust to argue that my article is a wicked denial of what the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis. I have never, and would never, ‘denigrate the enormity of the latter’.

      The argument rests on your first line there- in the assumption that what we are being fed is correct, that these men are definitely terrorists. Like I said before, where is the evidence and why is it not being used to charge these men and put them on trial?

      Secondly, how do you know that Guantanamo is not being used to exterminate? Did the German people know what happened at Auschwitz? Of course not! THEY BELIEVED WHAT THEY WERE TOLD TO BELIEVE.

      No, Jews don’t fly planes into office buildings. But with that statement, you’ve opened a whole new can of worms, because an increasing number of people are coming around to the fact that evidence the Muslim men accused actually did it is very thin on the ground. Maybe neither Jews nor Muslims fly planes into office buildings. Maybe we could learn from the Reichstag fire and the many other examples of how corrupt governments have routinely harmed their own people in order to create anger and therefore public backing for invasions that would otherwise cause revolutions, so abhorrent are they.

      (And before I’m attacked for insulting victims of 9/11’s families, bear in mind that enough of those would agree with me on the possibility of a false flag attack.)

      I’m not suggesting 9/11 was an inside job, merely playing devil’s advocate. All I do know is that false flag attacks have happened throughout history and there’s no reason at all why the present day should be any different. It’s a simple case of people refusing to tolerate an idea that is so despicable, hard to swallow, and doesn’t fit with their belief systems. What conclusions will our grandchildren draw? I doubt they will be arguing as vehemently as you are, because they have no emotional attachment to the present day.

      And, to clarify, I’m not saying there is no real terrorism. But I do believe, as studies prove, that the vast majority of it is a direct response to (as you said) Palestine, and also our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention aggression towards Lebanon and other Muslim countries around the world.

      Finally:

      “If you enjoy your freedom of speech, do not thank a journalist; thank a soldier.
      If you appreciate your right to vote, do not thank a politician; thank a soldier.
      If you are reading this in English (and not German, Japanese, Russian, etc.) do not thank William Shakespeare; thank a soldier.”

      I do, Thomas. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH. I thank those who fought in the first and second world wars for my being alive. I thank them for all the things you have mentioned. I have researched my family tree and I feel like I know these relatives who lost their lives in the trenches. I also volunteer for Age Concern and I look after a 94 year old WW2 veteran who fought at Dunkirk. I have the utmost respect for him and I teach my daughter all about the wonderful legacy he and his contemporaries left for both of us. But I cannot see any comparison there with what we are fighting for now: oil, power and wealth- although as I said at the beginning of the blog, that is NOT a reflection of my feeling towards the men in Iraq and Afghanistan today. I have no ill-feeling towards them and I want them to come home safe. I just believe that they are pawns in a disgraceful campaign, and they should be angrier about it than anyone else.

      It seems to me that our debate is more about whether or not corruption and lies exist at the highest echelons of power than anything else. And I believe that if we step outside the box, look at the facts objectively, put our social and cultural references and our national identity to one side for the moment, and join up the dots, a very ugly jigsaw puzzle indeed emerges. It defies our world view and it is extremely difficult to accept. But when our grandchildren and great grandchildren learn about all of this in their history classes (assuming our race has a future and we have not obliterated ourselves with WMD), I don’t think it will be at all difficult for them to grasp.

      Unfortunately, our governments and media have done a wonderful job of keeping us brainwashed and hypnotised. The terms ‘conspiracy theorist’, ‘terrorist’, ‘patriot’ and so on are loaded, and the coining of slogans like the ‘war on terror’ is no mistake- it will be the product of many a meeting to decide on how best to keep us in fear for their purposes. Orwellian doublespeak is everywhere we look. And for the record, I have studied politics, theology, sociology, linguistics and the media (the latter two in-depth at degree level). I understand exactly how news is created, and I understand how language is used to manipulate. I am far from ill-informed.

      But maybe we should agree to disagree, as I can see this debate going on for months and I respect that your opinions will never be compatible with mine…..

  2. Sophie (from the Greek, “wisdom”):

    Your thoughtful response to my tirade tells me we are not so far apart. Your obvious passion, while undoubtedly appropriate to your youth, will needs be tempered by logic, as you age. You are clearly a seeker of wisdom and truth, but remember Mark Twain’s admonition: “We are all ignorant, but about different things…”

    [My objection to the ‘war on terror’, however, is not in the act of ‘freeing’ these people, it is in the way we go about it, and the lies that we used to facilitate this freedom. I object to: The arrogance and delusion of an imperialist nation that believes that you can FORCE a nation to adopt democracy, or that the only way in which freedom can be spread is through violent means…]

    I dearly wish you were right about that, but the entire history of democracy in the world indicates that freedom and democracy only arrive through the use of force. Despots generally do not “go gently into that good night.” On this side of the pond, we found it incumbent to shoot and hang a few of your ancestors to receive the full benefits of your superb Magna Carta. We bombed the crap out of the Germans and the Japanese to bring freedom to them. And, certainly, Bastille Day was not exactly a walk in the park. Even your own “Glorious Revolution” involved separating a few royals from their heads. As Chairman Mao used to say: “Politics emanates from the barrel of a gun.” It was ever thus, sad to say.

    [Mohammed was a pacifist.]

    The idea of Muhammad as a bloodthirsty military man might be news to you. Yet he was a truly great general. In the space of a single decade he fought eight major battles, led eighteen raids, and planned another thirty-eight military operations where others were in command but operating under his orders and strategic direction. More than a great field general and tactician, he was also a military theorist, organizational reformer, strategic thinker, operational-level combat commander, political-military leader, heroic soldier, and revolutionary. The inventor of insurgency warfare and history’s first successful practitioner, Muhammad had no military training before he commanded an army in the field.

    In the Holy Koran, Sura 9.5, your “pacifist” commands:
    “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

    And in Sura 9:30, the “inventor of insurgency warfare” says:
    “The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!”

    [As Ghandi said, ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’]

    Ghandi was a fool. He intentionally provoked the British and allowed his followers to be beaten senseless in illegal mass demonstrations. In the more than half-century since his death, his beloved subcontinent has been plagued with almost constant warfare between segments of the old India. Pakistan and India are both nuclear powers, and this “mutually assured destruction” is the only reason they haven’t totally annihilated one another. The English gave India clean water, railroads, universities, hospitals, a Western legal system, and many other lasting benefits of civilization. They broke up the constant bickering and fighting between warlords which had existed since Mogul rule. They introduced religious tolerance and ended the primitive practice of Sutee. In retrospect, the old Raj wasn’t so bad, after all. Churchill (all my heroes are Brits) was right, when he called Ghandi a “…half naked fakir.”

    [My morals are Kantian]

    Kant was an idiot. When I studied philosophy, we used to tell vulgar jokes about Herr Kant and his silly “categorical imperatives.” Yes, war is evil. Homicide is immoral. Dropping bombs upon cities can never be morally justified. But, where Kant went astray was when he confused ethics with morality. Morality involves the differentiation between good and evil. Ethics involves the choice between evils.

    Over here, we shoot burglars who break into occupied dwellings. This is evil, but an ethical choice must be made between killing or being killed. Existentially, one cannot choose not to choose. Forbearance is a choice. Until the Warsaw uprising, the Jews went to their deaths without resistance. This may have been a good moral choice, but the Jews who helped lift their children up into the rail cars made a terrible ethical decision. How do you imagine Ghandi would have faired if he had to deal with Hitler, instead of Louie Mountbatten? Sir Arthur Harris saved more lives than Anne Frank.

    Yes, there’s a lot of evil in our world. But growing faint in its presence will not abate it.

    [why aren’t we kicking ass in Zimbabwe, Darfur, the Congo, to name a few?]

    Because for some obscure reason, we have been goaded into believing that imperialism was a bad idea. Murderous despots who leave their neighbors alone, and only slaughter their own people, are of no concern to the “international community.” We tried to prevent the killing fields in Vietnam and Cambodia, and were branded “imperialists” by the left. We tried to topple the murderous communist dictator in Cuba, and were called “running dog hegemons of capitalism.” We successfully stopped the maniacal monster Saddam from gassing the Kurds, and you and your ilk (a good Scottish word, that) called us “fascists.” Kenyata, Mugabe, Idi Amin, et al., were always supported by the leftists and Euro-weenies. Over here, we got so much grief over the assassination of Lumumba that we’ve lost our taste for saving Africa. We got our hair mussed in Somalia, and liberal Bill Clinton turned tail and ran. Now their pirates hold our oil tankers hostage. The sainted Nelson Mandella was finally released from jail (he was there for killing policemen, and the U.S. boycott helped spring him), and what a wonder success he and his commie thugs have made of South Africa. I think we should be kicking ass in Africa, as you suggest. But that’s just me.

    [Maybe it’s different on this side of the pond. We watched Blair lie about Saddam’s WMD. No weapons were ever, or have ever, been found.]

    When the Western coalition defeated Saddam after he invaded Kuwait, part of the surrender terms was for him to give us a list of his weapons of mass destruction, and then destroy them in the presence of IAEA inspectors. He had used chemical weapons on his own people (the Kurds) and never got around to destroying his stockpiles of precursor chemicals and WMD production facilities. He continually violated the no-fly zones, and locked on his targeting radar to American overflights. After 13 silly U.N. resolutions calling upon Saddam to comply with the terms of the surrender (remember, Kofi Anin and his friends were all being bribed with “oil for food” money by Saddam), we invaded and destroyed (1) the stockpiles of chemical weapons precursors, (2) several portable chemical production laboratories (3) the anthrax and biological breeding supplies (4) the (French) fighter aircraft which were buried in the sand, and (5) the modified Scud missiles which were designed (and used) to strike Israel. Additionally, we discovered 500 metric tons of yellow-cake uranium oxide (enough for 2 bombs, purchased from Niger) and shipped it to Canada. All of this has been witnessed by and reported in the international press.

    To continue insisting that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and that “Bush and Blair lied,” is to intentionally ignore history and proven fact. Yes, a lot of things are different on your side of the pond.

    [American children are indoctrinated from a very young age. Patriotism is a way of life; you salute and pledge allegiance to the flag, which makes it very easy for manipulation by whoever is running the ship.]

    Yes, we love our country. We love our constitution, and the liberties it guarantees. And we like to pledge allegiance to our flag (we call it “Old Glory.”)

    And we love your country too. We love your Magna Carta. We like your idea of a trial by a jury of peers. We love Shakespeare. Hell, we even love the Beatles (you can keep Boy George). We loved you enough to spend our treasure and spill the blood of our young men—not once, but twice—in the last century to save your scepter’d isle. Would that patriotism would become a way of life again for you Brits. “…Britons never, never, never, will be slaves…”

    [I for one would rather risk being blown up than forced to carry an ID card, or eventually microchipped, and it is my democratic right to choose is it not?]

    Sadly, you have accurately described the choice. And, while you may have a “democratic right” to choose being blown up, I doubt even Herr Kant would agree that you have the right to make that choice for the rest of us. (Democracy is sometimes two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.)

    [why were we torturing people in Abu Ghraib?]

    Some over-zealous troops posed these killers and decapitators for nude photos, and placed women’s panties (knickers to you) over their heads. The Horror! The Horror!

    These soldiers, some in their teens, were tried by courts-martial and severely punished for their crimes. This was not torture. Torture is listening to Duran, Duran.

    [the atrocities we are committing]

    Never a war without atrocities. Murder, rape, pillage. Always a regrettable part of young men being unleashed with weapons. But a bit of historical perspective, please. We catch murders and rapists when we can, and punish them as an object lesson to the rest of the troops. Who punished the perpetrators of the Cambodian killing fields? The Katyn massacre? The destruction of Lidice? The rape of Nanking (well, we did hang that guy)? The genocide of the Armenians? The 20th century was a continuing fool’s errand of trying to apply “rules” to warfare. U.N. members all renounce the use of war as an instrument of state policy. How’s that working out? Passing laws to control war is like King Canute trying to order the ocean’s tide to stop.

    [You tell me to read Melanie Phillips. She writes for the Daily Mail, so enough said.]

    Here’s where the need for logic comes in. This is a classic “ad hominum” argument. Calling the Daily Mail a rag does nothing to refute the validity of Ms. Phillips arguments in “Londonistan.”
    You Europeans have got a real problem with your Moslem immigrants. England, France, Germany, and (good grief!) even Norway are increasingly finding it necessary to grant concessions to Moslems and their 9th century “quaint” customs. Even your dear old Archbishop of Canterbury wants to allow Moslems to be tried in Sharia courts. Wonder how Boy George (or even dear Prince Charles) would fare under Moslem law. Homosexuals and adulterers are punished by death. Quaint, indeed.

    [Ghandi and King knew the correct way to fight for freedom and democracy. Their way worked, did it not?]

    Since they both got themselves shot, I suggest their success was measured, at best.

    [So why don’t we play fair in Palestine?]

    After you Brits made a dog’s breakfast of the Middle East, the Jews took it upon themselves to regain their homeland, after a 2000 year diaspora. The “Palestinians” have a homeland. It’s called Jordan. But Jordan (and Syria, and Egypt, and every other Islamic country) does not want to let the “Palestinians” in. Why? Take them at their words. To a man, they express the desire to “push Israel into the sea.” The “Palestinian” refugees serve as poster children for this murderous campaign of anti-Semitism. For this, Arafat got the Nobel Prize. The “Palestinians” support Hamas, Hezbollah and myriad other terrorist groups who kill Jewish civilians on a daily basis. “Play fair?” You go first.

    [I am sure thousands of Afghans and Iraqis would find your remark very insulting!]

    Let’s ask ‘em. Give them all visas for any country of their choice. Where do you think they’ll want to emigrate to?

    [With respect Thomas, does that mean you’d have no objection to DU being used on your neighbourhood? ]

    More logic needed. Another “ad hominum” argument. I wouldn’t like Mujahadeen with scimitars in my neighborhood either. But when they come, I will introduce them to my friends Smith & Wesson (gentlemen of high calibre). And if I could get some depleted uranium bullets, I’d sure use them.

    Not that my neighborhood is anything but tolerant. We have Blacks and Jews. We have Vietnamese. We’re even thinking about letting the Irish in.

    [global warming]

    Don’t get me started. The Fabian socialist scam of the 21st century. And for this, Al Gore got the Nobel Prize!

    [what’s happening to your constitution?]

    Sadly, you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one. The steady erosion of civil liberties in the U.S. is something of which I am genuinely ashamed. Not so bad as Britain, and much better than Canada; but eroding none the less. But when is the erosion accelerated? Under Labour/Democrat rule; or under Tory/Republican rule?

    [we’d all be terrified of stepping out of our front doors.]

    If you live in Londonistan, well you should be.

    [“The detainees are fed 3 halal (حلال) meals per day, and most have gained weight.” Where’s your evidence for any of this? ]

    The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day, and arrows point toward the holy city of Mecca.

    The prisoners receive free medical, dental and psychiatric care, and in 2005 there were 35 teeth cleanings.

    Red Cross visits every few months and that there’s regular contact between the terrorism suspects and their families.

    Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, ping-pong and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.

    Upon release, everyone gets a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers — a second pair — a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.

    There is Arabic language TV, a large library with books in 13 languages. The most requested book is ‘Harry Potter’.

    In 2005, Amnesty International stated that ‘the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.’ ”

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43686
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=2521953&page=1
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-10-03-guantanamo-weight_x.htm

    [CHARGE them and put them on trial. Aren’t you a lawyer????]

    The trials are progressing even as we speak. Don’t believe me, read AlJazeera:
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2008/06/200861503448382192.html

    [No, Jews don’t fly planes into office buildings. But with that statement, you’ve opened a whole new can of worms, because an increasing number of people are coming around to the fact that evidence the Muslim men accused actually did it is very thin on the ground. Maybe neither Jews nor Muslims fly planes into office buildings. Maybe we could learn from the Reichstag fire and the many other examples of how corrupt governments have routinely harmed their own people in order to create anger and therefore public backing for invasions that would otherwise cause revolutions, so abhorrent are they.]

    And now paranoia raises its ugly head. How about this? We have video of the hijackers getting on the planes. We have tape recordings of their cockpit rants (Allahu Akbar!). We have recordings of (now deceased) victims on the planes, telephoning their loved ones, describing the hijackers. And, if that’s not enough, WE HAVE THEIR CONFESSIONS.

    “WASHINGTON (CNN) — Five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they want to confess to conspiracy charges for planning the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday.
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the confessed architect of the attacks, who was captured two years later in Pakistan — and four other alleged co-conspirators asked a military judge if they could withdraw all pending motions and plead guilty, Maj. Gail Crawford said in an e-mail.
    The defendants announced their decision in front of relatives of victims in the al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks, said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. She attended Monday’s hearing.
    The military judge accepted the requests from Mohammed, Ali Abdul Azziz Ali and Walid bin Attash, but ruled that competency hearings are first needed for Mustafa al Hawsawi and Ramzi bin al Shibh, because “questions exist as to their competency to stand trial,” Crawford said.”

    [’m not suggesting 9/11 was an inside job, merely playing devil’s advocate. ]

    Your employer would be most proud of your effort. But if he gives you a document to sign, be sure to read it carefully.

    [I feel like I know these relatives who lost their lives in the trenches.]

    It is well that you honor these brave men. My grandfather, Francis Michael McAdam (a Scot) was in your Black Watch Regiment during the Great War. My father, Thomas McAdam (another native of Scotland), was in the American Infantry during WWII. Luckily, I was in the American Finance Corps (we didn’t do the killin’, but we paid them that did) during the Vietnam War. Some gave all, and all gave some.

    My son (another Thomas) is 19, and I pray every night that he will not be called upon to fight in another war. He’s a gentle soul, and it would break my heart to see him in a uniform.

    The last time I was in Londonistan, I went to St. Paul’s. After vespers, I walked around the great altar and noticed a large glass case, with gold trim, in an obvious place of honor. In it was a book, inscribed with the name of every Yank who fought to defend Britain in World War II. It’s a big book. God help us if we have to add pages to that book.

    So, I want us to fight the enemy in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Iran, and in any other country around the world which gives safe harbor to Islamofascists. I don’t want my son to have to fight them in Picadilly Circus. Or in Times Square.

    Please start wearing your poppy once again.

    [It seems to me that our debate is more about whether or not corruption and lies exist at the highest echelons of power than anything else. ]

    You’ve got to be kidding. Mandel Creighton, Archbishop of Canterbury, gave a sermon once, in which he enjoined the public to give due honor (he probably said “honour”) and deference to men of political rank and power. In a response, printed in The Times, John Dalberg, Lord Acton (did I tell you that all my heroes are Brits?) said (paraphrasing): “There is no greater heresy than that which suggests that high office somehow sanctifies the holder thereof. The opposite is almost always true. Great men are almost always bad men. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    We are in agreement on that point.

    [I respect that your opinions will never be compatible with mine…..]

    Don’t be so sure. As we say in Kentucky: “There ain’t a horse that can’t be rode, and ain’t a rider that can’t be throwed.” Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

    –Thomas McAdam

    • Hi Thomas,

      HMMM, like I said, this debate could go on forever. Your views are similar to my dad’s, and as a result I am an expert at this particular debate! However, he began life as a left wing idealist and lived through the hippy era (as did you) only to become demoralised and abandon his views and become more right wing as he got older. Like you, he constantly tells me that my ideals are very nice and fluffy but have no substance and are grounded in a dreamworld. Perhaps I will become more central on the political spectrum as I become older. I’m not ruling it out because I never rule anything out. It’s foolish for anyone to think they know it all and will not learn any more…we are always learning and living new experiences and our views are a product of that evolution. All we can do is draw conclusions from what we are experiencing at this present moment and be open minded to new ideas. I’m probably one of the most open minded people you’ll ever wish to meet, and I take hope from some of your comments expressing an awareness that your opinions, too, may be transient, and that we are on agreement that ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’

      If we take the argument from there then what exactly is it that we are debating???? Confessions, tapes, black box recordings prove nothing. Can I ask what your take on the Kennedy assassination is? I’ll be honest, I have deadlines and very little time to go digging around for links and reports to back up my claims this time around, but I believe something like 90% of Guantanamo ‘detainees’ are released without charge. Some have been locked up for 7 years now- so, if we are attempting to model the world in our image, why aren’t these men tried earlier, as is compatible with Western justice systems?

      AAARGHH!!!! Where do I start? These are the points in which we obviously will never see eye to eye. I believe in fairness and equality.

      [So why don’t we play fair in Palestine?]

      After you Brits made a dog’s breakfast of the Middle East, the Jews took it upon themselves to regain their homeland, after a 2000 year diaspora. The “Palestinians” have a homeland. It’s called Jordan. But Jordan (and Syria, and Egypt, and every other Islamic country) does not want to let the “Palestinians” in. Why? Take them at their words. To a man, they express the desire to “push Israel into the sea.” The “Palestinian” refugees serve as poster children for this murderous campaign of anti-Semitism. For this, Arafat got the Nobel Prize. The “Palestinians” support Hamas, Hezbollah and myriad other terrorist groups who kill Jewish civilians on a daily basis. “Play fair?” You go first.

      Why do the Jews deserve their own homeland? Do Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists have a particular part of the globe reserved exclusively for them? NO. Why can’t Jews just live wherever they see fit, rather than where they believe God wants them to live? All other religions are scattered across the world. All holy books (you mention the Koran earlier) are corrupt. Humanity has done a great job of murdering the original messages passed down- the Gnostic Gospels being a case in point, the Kabbalistic tradition in Judaism- and like I said before, there are lots of Anti-Zionistic Jews who vehemently oppose the OCCUPATION of Palestine.

      [I am sure thousands of Afghans and Iraqis would find your remark very insulting!]

      Let’s ask ‘em. Give them all visas for any country of their choice. Where do you think they’ll want to emigrate to?

      This is very ignorant Thomas….How can you possibly think it’s ok for us to bomb Afghanistan and Iraq and expect no refugees would be created from our actions? Why the hell shouldn’t they come to Britain and the US? As innocent civilians caught up in the middle, we OWE them that much. Secondly I think you’ll find most of the world’s refugees live in developing countries. The situation in the Congo is a result of what happened in Rwanda; Asian and Middle Eastern countries take far more refugees than the world’s richest nations. I have an article on the first page of my blog which you might like to read. the statistic in Britain is something like 2% (if that) of our population are refugees. Of those, the majority work and pay taxes- those who don’t usually aren’t allowed to work. Have you ever sat down and had a conversation with a refugee? Again, look at my article- 4 true stories and 4 inspirational people. I cried all the way home after meeting them. They are not happy! they are gracious but they have left their loved ones behind and very often they have no choice- very often they are only refugees because of a bloody history in their home nations which Britain and the US helped to create, by selling arms or putting despots in charge of nations so we can control the resources etc. IF this ‘war’ we are fighting was fair and, like in WW1 and WW2, we were being attacked by the enemy, there’s a big chance you’d be a refugee yourself. How would you feel if your children were forced to leave the US for another country amid the chaos and were treated with the same indifference (at best) or intolerance that you see fit to treat refugees? What makes us more deserving of the right to life and opportunities? It is a matter of luck that you were born where you were and know nothing of suffering, poverty and inequality. We should bear that in mind at all times. Children are especially innocent and I am not sure how you’d argue otherwise, regardless of your prejudices.

      [With respect Thomas, does that mean you’d have no objection to DU being used on your neighbourhood? ]

      More logic needed. Another “ad hominum” argument. I wouldn’t like Mujahadeen with scimitars in my neighborhood either. But when they come, I will introduce them to my friends Smith & Wesson (gentlemen of high calibre). And if I could get some depleted uranium bullets, I’d sure use them.

      Right- so you’ve skipped over my point in order to have another dig at Muslims. You said DU wasn’t harmful. If thats the case then I was simply asking whether you’d object to it being dropped on your house and deforming your future generations. And acting as a typical American and reinforcing how the world views your nation, you answer only by saying you’d get out the gun. Come on, that is lame at best!!!

      Not that my neighborhood is anything but tolerant. We have Blacks and Jews. We have Vietnamese. We’re even thinking about letting the Irish in.

      I can’t tell if you’re serious here. If you are then I am speechless and I won’t even waste my time trying to convince you that you are wrong. I hope it was a joke though.

      [global warming]

      Don’t get me started. The Fabian socialist scam of the 21st century. And for this, Al Gore got the Nobel Prize!

      I accept Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has a political agenda and it infuriates me that he uses the film as a campaign vehicle. But global warming skeptics are mental, as far as I’m concerned. WHEN I get chance I will do my utmost to throw some proof of its existence at you. Obama has just appointed Steven Chu as energy secretary. I can tell this comment will get your back up, you obviously don’t like ‘blacks’ and I’m certain you voted for McCain and his vile henchwoman, but the point is, Chu is a physicist and Nobel Prize winner (NOT an Exxon sponsored politician) and he seems to agree with me that global warming is the biggest threat to humanity at the moment- as do, I would add, the VAST majority of scientists. In fact it seems from the research I have done that the only scientists denying the problem are on the payroll of the republicans. We can argue about terrorism and DU and 9/11 until the cows come home, but the point is, if we don’t start looking after this planet there will be nothing to fight for anyway. Drought, floods, refugees on an unprecedented scale, rising sea levels putting the trade center monument underwater…Einstein said when honey bees start to disappear the whole world ecosystem will collapse, and humanity can not survive. That is already happening. I could go on forever on this topic. Terrorism and the economic crisis take our attention away from the fact we are plundering, polluting and destroying our beautiful planet. And don’t tell me warming has always happened; I know it is cyclical but it has never been as rapid or critical as it is right now.

    • PS

      I don’t know what is cyberspace etiquette for dragging an ally of mine into this ;)
      but I have a good friend without a wordpress account and he happened to read my blog and your comments…If you don’t mind I’d like to copy and paste his email response; he’s perhaps not as tactful as I but he has some good points and more importantly, has had the time to research the links etc that I haven’t had chance to dig up just yet. Here’s what he wanted to add:

      Deary me…

      The core of his entire argument is based on the ends justifying the means. Yours is the opposite. Thats the only thing worth labouring because all the rest is furniture generated from that initial premise. I’d tell him there is no point going further because nothing will convince you that it is right to kill under ANY circumstances, as anyone on the receiving end of that unlucky bullet will testify.

      Comparing the state of affairs during wars with Germany -a well prepared, equipped and disciplined army led by fascist dictator who had stolen power from an ill informed electorate (ring any bells?)- to the state of affairs with what amounts to a group of terrorists who where created by American foreign policy and who constitute a completely insignificant threat, is illustrative of a media fed mind with no time to source independent information and facts.

      The analogy of Axis-Allies to USA-Islamic militants is a good one, the problem is he’s putting the fantasy of the Islamic threat in the place of Germany when the USA is the empire builder this time around.

      ‘As Chairman Mao used to say: “Politics emanates from the barrel of a gun.” It was ever thus, sad to say.’
      …and will be ever thus as long as Chairman Mao is deemed worthy of consideration or quote. Tell him to try Gandhi for his ailment; he works wonders, and is only a fool to the foolish.

      What does the Koran or Muhammad have to do with anything? Ideologies are only as powerful as the socio political and industrial machinery behind them, so I’d say Bush’s shock and awe Christians have the world pretty much covered on that front.
      However, tell him if he must cut and paste “scripture” from websites two steps in from a Google search, he might want to consider the scope for mistranslation and (more importantly) misinterpretation.

      “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

      …(of war) …I needed ten seconds to compose myself after reading that one…

      This particular gem, when read in it’s mother tongue, is referring to Allah not as some bearded deity, but as a divine ruling principle of the universe, A LAW which regardless of human interpretation will lead those who live out of balance with universal nature into suffering. The implication being that if you harm others and live out of sync with universal principles (Allah) you will attract a “punishment” from this principle of balance. No different to the Buddhist principle of Karma.

      This is the Koran as millions of people follow it. A positively comical minority have their own interpretation in which they find justification to harm their enemy. Fortunately for the new American Empire this small percentage of an otherwise peaceful religion, once fed through the Fox news filter, provides just what is needed: An Enemy Identity; a necessity which is anything but bad for an America bent on pursuing a pre-emptive foreign policy built on securing America’s future as “worlds number 1”.

      Your friend desperately needs to read The Grand Chessboard (Zbigniew Brezinski)
      or better yet here is the PDF to what that book inspired- The Project for the New American Century… NeoCon handbook openly admitting that current US policy is the opposite of your friends argument.
      http://www.oldamericancentury.org/pnac.htm

      Because for some obscure reason, we have been goaded into believing that imperialism was a bad idea. …yes. Its called The United States Constitution. Probably the most valuable document in political history, and one your friend says he loves, regardless of the fact that he has watched it get pissed on for 8 years.
      Old Glory? “Old” being the operative word…

      “I doubt even Herr Kant would agree that you have the right to make that choice for the rest of us. (Democracy is sometimes two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.)” – tell him if he wants to quote Franklin it’s polite to be clear he is doing so. And probably sensible not to quote a man who disagrees with everything he is saying.

      “You Europeans have got a real problem with your Moslem immigrants.”
      -why do I keep hearing Americans talk about what a problem we have in the UK with “Moslem immigrants”. West Yorkshire (specifically Bradford) has the highest rate in the country so I’d say you and I are rather more qualified than foreigners to speak on that score. No problems here! Well… other than the racism they have to deal with from a poorly educated white working class.

      re Gandhi and King:
      Since they both got themselves shot, I suggest their success was measured, at best. – So by that rationale, since he died in the process, Kings efforts achieved nothing… I’m starting to get Anne Coulter vibes.

      Sadly, you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one. The steady erosion of civil liberties in the U.S. is something of which I am genuinely ashamed. Not so bad as Britain (wtf?), and much better than Canada (WTF?!); but eroding none the less. But when is the erosion accelerated? Under Labour/Democrat rule; or under Tory/Republican rule? – ah… I finally see the problem… he still thinks he is living in a two party system.

      Personally, as soon as my country became a place where Torture became a subject that could be debated by rational people, I wouldn’t have the nerve to defend even it’s most righteous acts, if indeed it had any to declare.

      I’m sure he’s a decent bloke, he’s just blindly towing the party line. The main problem with a country convincing itself its the saviour of the universe for a century or two: It’s hard to set aside that Ego when a chance to see the truth arrives.

      look at the link for the New American Century. He’ll probably ignore anything else you send.

      Re: Churchill-

      One of his calmer moments:
      “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race, has come in and taken their place.”
      Heroic. So thats why they love him over there…

      Good article on Churchill that you might read yourself too .
      http://www.rense.com/general47/thil.htm

      The blanket of self righteousness is a cozy one indeed.
      I’m with him on Duran Duran though

  3. First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  4. Sophie:

    “Sophia,” the Greek word for wisdom, gives us several English words” Sophisticated, Sophomore, Sophistry, etc. We call our second-year college students “sophomores” (wise fools) because they have a little learning. As Alexander Pope (did I tell you all my heroes were Brits?) said: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”

    You said: “Your views are similar to my dad’s, and as a result I am an expert at this particular debate! However, he began life as a left wing idealist and lived through the hippy era (as did you) only to become demoralised and abandon his views and become more right wing as he got older. Like you, he constantly tells me that my ideals are very nice and fluffy but have no substance and are grounded in a dreamworld. Perhaps I will become more central on the political spectrum as I become older. I’m not ruling it out..” I say: Any man who is under 30 and is not a Liberal has no heart; and any man who is over 30 and not a Conservative has no brains. – Winston Churchill (1874-1965) (To be politically correct, I think “man” refers to “mankind,” and refers also to the weaker sex.)

    You ask: :Can I ask what your take on the Kennedy assassination is? “ I answer: No conspiracy. A wannabe Marxist, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot Kenned in retaliation (in his own mind) for supporting the invasion of Cuba. Please use Occam’s Razor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor) when guessing at historical causation.

    You say: “Where do I start? These are the points in which we obviously will never see eye to eye. I believe in fairness and equality.” Think about the definition of “fairness.” Leaving out the obvious tautologies, fairness can only mean “according to the rules.” Then we go to the epistemological discussions of who gets to make the rules, and we fall into more tautologies. “Fairness” is not a useful philosophical term.

    You say: “Why do the Jews deserve their own homeland? Do Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists have a particular part of the globe reserved exclusively for them? NO.” I say: You are doubtless aware of the Wansee Conference (http://www.historywiz.com/wansee.htm) of January, 1942, at which Adolph Eichmann and Reinhardt Heydrich decided upon the “final solution” to the “Jewish question.” What you may not be aware of, is the Evian conference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89vian_Conference) in 1938. Hitler wanted all German Jews to emigrate, but the Western nations felt they already had too many Jews. France refused to allow a Jewish homeland in Magagascar, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem refused to allow any more Jews in Palestine. Even America and Britain limited the quota of Jewish immigrants. The result: the holocaust. Why do the Jews deserve a homeland? It is a moral imperative.

    You say: “It is a matter of luck that you were born where you were and know nothing of suffering, poverty and inequality. We should bear that in mind at all times. Children are especially innocent and I am not sure how you’d argue otherwise, regardless of your prejudices.” I say: My grandfather, Francis Michael McAdam, decided to come to America because he was tired of being a coal miner. His wise decision, my luck. But I do know something of suffering, poverty and equality. In Kentucky we say: “You don’t have to be a chicken, to know something about eggs.” And, yes, children are innocent. So are adults. Most do not deserve to die.

    You say: “And acting as a typical American and reinforcing how the world views your nation, you answer only by saying you’d get out the gun. Come on, that is lame at best!!!” I say: We Americans are, perhaps, a bit trigger-happy. But in the last couple of World Wars the Western democracies would have been ill-served if they depended upon pacifists to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. The ugly face of raw military force is repugnant during peacetime, but when you are attacked, that face starts to look beautiful.

    I said: “Not that my neighborhood is anything but tolerant. We have Blacks and Jews. We have Vietnamese. We’re even thinking about letting the Irish in.” You said: “I can’t tell if you’re serious here. If you are then I am speechless and I won’t even waste my time trying to convince you that you are wrong. I hope it was a joke though.” I say: It was a joke. We are not seriously considering letting the Irish in.

    You said: “I would add, the VAST majority of scientists. In fact it seems from the research I have done that the only scientists denying the problem are on the payroll of the republicans. “ I say: You need to do a little research on this topic.
    Significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.
    The UN climate conference met strong opposition from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN, that attempting to control the Earth’s climate was “ultimately futile.”
    The scientists, many of whom are current and former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, sent an open letter to the UN Secretary-General questioning the scientific basis for climate fears and the UN’s so-called “solutions.”
    “It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables,” the scientists wrote.
    “In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is ‘settled,’ significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming,” the open letter added.

    His Excellency
    Ban Ki-MoonSecretary-General,
    United Nations New York, N.Y.
    Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

    Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction

    It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.
    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
    The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by ­government ­representatives. The great ­majority of IPCC contributors and ­reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.
    Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:
    *Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.
    *The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.
    *Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today’s computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
    In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is “settled,” significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed ( http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf ) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.
    The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the “precautionary principle” because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.
    The current UN focus on “fighting climate change,” as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.

    Yours faithfully,

    The following are signatories to the Dec. 13th letter to the Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the UN Climate conference in Bali:
    Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
    Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.
    Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand
    David Deming, PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma
    Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.
    Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University
    Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia
    Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands
    Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University
    Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario
    David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of ‘Science Speak,’ Australia
    William Evans, PhD, editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
    Stewart Franks, PhD, Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia
    R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
    Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey
    Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut für Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany
    Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay
    Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden
    Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of ‘Climate Change 2001, Wellington, New Zealand
    William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project
    Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut
    Louis Hissink MSc, M.A.I.G., editor, AIG News, and consulting geologist, Perth, Western Australia
    Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona
    Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA
    Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis
    Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman – Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland
    Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling – virology, NSW, Australia
    Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden
    Olavi Kärner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia
    Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand
    Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former research scientist, Environment Canada; editor, Climate Research (2003-05); editorial board member, Natural Hazards; IPCC expert reviewer 2007
    William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization’s Commission for Climatology
    Jan J.H. Kop, MSc Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Prof. of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands
    Prof. R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
    Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
    Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands
    The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.
    Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary
    David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware
    Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS
    Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant and power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand
    William Lindqvist, PhD, independent consulting geologist, Calif.
    Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors
    Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
    Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia
    Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany
    John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand
    Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economy, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.
    Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph
    John McLean, PhD, climate data analyst, computer scientist, Australia
    Owen McShane, PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand
    Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University
    Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen’s University
    Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway
    Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA’s Deregulation Unit, Australia
    Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden
    Lubos Motl, PhD, Physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
    John Nicol, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics, James Cook University, Australia
    David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa
    James J. O’Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University
    Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
    Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
    R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University
    Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota
    Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan
    Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences
    Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief – Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherland Air Force
    R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C.
    Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemistry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway
    Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA
    S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director Weather Satellite Service
    L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario
    Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville
    Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden
    Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
    Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
    Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager – Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC
    Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand
    Len Walker, PhD, Power Engineering, Australia
    Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia
    Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technolgy and Economics Berlin, Germany
    Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland
    David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., energy consultant, Virginia
    Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentology, James Cook University, Australia
    A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy

    # # #

    “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.
    “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”
    Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.
    “The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.
    “The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico
    “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA. “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.
    “After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.
    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.
    “Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.
    “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.
    “Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.
    “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.
    “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

    Your friend said: “The core of his entire argument is based on the ends justifying the means.” I say: You have missed my point. The ends can never justify the means. Moral evil can never be justified. But in the real world, we are often called upon to choose between evils. This existential decision cannot be avoided, and we are ethically challenged to choose the lesser of evils presented. This does not involve justification; it is only a pragmatic decision to minimize evil.

    Your friend said: “This is the Koran as millions of people follow it. A positively comical minority have their own interpretation in which they find justification to harm their enemy.” I say: Look at the way Moslems behave in countries where they dominate. Homosexuals are put to death. Women are treated as chattels. They can’t drive automobiles, can’t vote, can’t own property, and have no reproductive freedom. How can you possibly ignore the reality of Moslem inhumanity? Do you think that female circumcision is just a quaint cultural practice? Islam is an atavistic and evil religion. You must be blind to believe otherwise.

    Your friend said: “Because for some obscure reason, we have been goaded into believing that imperialism was a bad idea. …yes. Its called The United States Constitution. Probably the most valuable document in political history, and one your friend says he loves, regardless of the fact that he has watched it get pissed on for 8 years. Old Glory? “Old” being the operative word…” I say: There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution which forbids imperialism. New York is called “the empire state,” and its tallest building is called the empire state building. (Moslems having destroyed the previously tallest buildings). Lots of countries are better off from having experienced imperialism. Canada, Australia, and the United States are free and democratic nations, thanks to Britain. India –the largest democracy in the world—has profited from the British raj. An look at the African nations. Colonial rule brought them out of barbarism and created civilization for them. After colonialism, these same countries have devolved back into barbarism. Would you trade Cecil Rhodes for Robert Mugabe? Old Glory? You damn betcha!

    Your friend says: Why do I keep hearing Americans talk about what a problem we have in the UK with “Moslem immigrants”. West Yorkshire (specifically Bradford) has the highest rate in the country so I’d say you and I are rather more qualified than foreigners to speak on that score. No problems here!” I say: We have a saying here in Kentucky that “you don’t have to be a chicken, to know something about eggs.” When I read the British press and learn that the London transit bombings were planned by Moslem cells in Yorkshire, I naturally come to the conclusion that “No problems here” reflects a blind naiveté bordering upon cognitive dissonance. As we say in Kentucky: “There’s nae sa queer as folk.”

    Your friend says: “I’m sure he’s a decent bloke, he’s just blindly towing the party line.” I say: One tries.

    Your friend says: “The blanket of self righteousness is a cozy one indeed.” I say: One tries to be righteous, and one asks: “is recognition of righteousness now to be considered a vice?” Honi soir que mal pense.

    By the by: With reference to the Pierian spring, op cit., I recommend to your edification and perusal the novel Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder. It’s available in paperback, and his been translated into dozens of languages since its publication in 1991. Gaarder does a good job of explaining the progress of Western philosophy, in a manner easily understood by laymen. When on quotes Kant, one ought understand his philosophy in context.

    God rest ye merry, gentlemen (and ladies),
    And may the joy of Christmas open your eyes.
    As St. Paul said” “You shall know the truth,
    and the truth shall make you free.”

    Thomas McAdam

  5. Hi Thomas,

    well, looks like my prediction that we’re never going to agree was correct. I’d love to argue all the points raised, but I’m sat here thinking…hmmm….what would be the point of that? Certainly not to convince you of anything, because that is futile (and vice versa). So really the only point would be to feed my own ego: ie I am right, you are wrong etc. That kind of thing doesn’t really interest me…when people say ‘you’re entitled to your opinion’, they don’t usually mean it. But I genuinely think that is the case, and so I don’t let it get me angry or frustrated. It’s out of my hands I guess, I can only ever do what I think is right and explain the world as I see it, and the same goes for you. So here endeth the debate…although I’d like to add as a last comment that yes, I have read Sophie’s World, and yes, I am familiar with St Paul’s famous quote. I agree with it entirely. It opens a whole new debate on the nature of interpretation if we BOTH look to that adage as inspiration, don’t you think? ;) The truth shall set you free, yes. I guess it just depends on what you believe the truth is. Hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and a happy and healthy 2009!!
    x

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