Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's war, war, war ...

(Above: Kochie takes to the thumb. Someone find him a pacifier).

It's war, war, war ...

Poor old bubble-headed boobie Kochie - as he's known to his bubble-headed chums - is shocked, shocked, he says - at the venom his entirely harmless views have attracted.

'I have an opinion ... always have and always will' says the proud header - but you have to brave a forced video to get at the meat of this story, or should we say we say the fairy floss.

Here's the height of the venom:

The venom associated with my comments on breastfeeding has been extraordinary. From being called a buffoon with discriminatory views by the Fairfax Media critic Michael Idato, to being accused of hating kids, being jealous of babies and having a boob fetish.

Yep, a series of sweeping understatements, including Idato calling Kochie a buffoon, when surely harsher words would have been more to the point.

It seems all the sweet dear lad said was that women feeding children were an embarrassment in public, and should be hidden from public, and hide their shame and their disgrace and their filthy offensive boobs, or perhaps locked up in a special pumping house a bit like a diary until feeding time is done and the milk run dry and the frumpy, dowdy cows can be let loose in the paddock once again.

Oh okay, we made that last bit up, but it's just another part of the faux exercise in shock, horror, scandal and controversy that light-weight bubble headed boobies in search of aggrandising publicity conduct.

So naturally there has to be a wounded follow-up, an explanation, an agreement to disagree, and more tedious wasted hours.

Should they be rewarded for their stunts? Should anyone pay attention when they slip in promotional fodder like this?

 For me it is an abuse of our privileged position in the media to ignore dissenting views. That is not the Sunrise way.

The Sunrise way? It's a gormless television breakfast show, it's a breeding ground for mediocrity and dickheads, you dunderhead.

But it's a pleasant distraction from another call for war, war, war.

Yes expert professional armchair general Gerard Henderson is demanding war, war, war- by golly there's nothing like a comfie armchair for strategic thinking - and as usual there's an irony in the presentation of the stories.

You see first of all there's Hendo's clarion call for war, bigger wars and better wars against the Islamic hordes, an entire clash of civilisations, a crusade of the righteous against the vermin, in War on terrorism needs a united front.

And then what do we see just below his big, grand, war-mongering from that comfortable armchair in Paris?

Yes, it's Ben Doherty scribbling an unsplashed piece, Rise in Afghan refugees likely with army pullout.

With Australia likely to remain the destination of choice among Afghanistan's wealthy, the number of Afghans seeking asylum will increase in the lead-up to the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country next year, says a report by the development consultancy STATT. 
Facing dire predictions for the stability of their country, many Afghans are already preparing to leave. The report finds Australia is likely to remain a favoured destination for those who can afford it, particularly the ethnic Hazara minority which faces significant persecution in Afghanistan and Pakistan, many of whom have family in Australia.

Uh huh. And of course it's a fair bet that politicians on the conservative side will rage about the inability of liberal politicians to stem the tide, and how stern action must be taken against runaways and refugees, and there's an even fairer bet that the addle-brained commentariat won't be able to put two and two together. Or follow this formula: war + instability = arrivals in Australia.

You'd think they'd have got a clue after the Vietnam war gave new ownership to bakeries and dry cleaners in Australia.

But back to Hendo, and he's terribly excited that President Fran├žois Hollande, an alleged socialist, has turned out to be a war-monger, and somehow this redeems the failures of George W. Bush as a crusader in Iraq.

According to Hendo:

Bush - war monger overseas and human rights oppressor at home - is a phenomenon widely referred to at universities and within sections of the media. 

Actually Bush as someone who acted on the pretence of WMD which he never found, while failing to do anything about Osama Bin Laden, and this is a phenomenon someone like Hendo has wasted entire tomes in the media defending for no apparent reason.

Apparently it's something to do with Bush being poorly labelled:

... Bush was never a neo-conservative since he has been a political conservative all his adult life. But facts rarely suffice to diminish a convenient theory. 

Indeed. And presumably Tony Blair wasn't New Labour because he'd belonged to Old Labour.

The point about the use of neo-cons is of course to describe a willingness to take action, including of a military kind, and the gaggle of theorists who gathered around the label and were proud of it (as can be found in the wiki here), until Iraq turned into a bit of a bust.

It's as if Hendo needs to airbrush out of history any notion of a Bush doctrine, and a willingness to use force. Remind us Dick:

"If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush Doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq."

Sounds neo-con enough for the pond. But it produces a howl, a shriek from Hendo:

The fashionable left-wing view of former president George W. Bush is he invaded Muslim lands and instituted draconian national security legislation - the embodiment of which is the Guantanamo Bay military prison. According to the leftist line, all this was a manifestation of a world view labelled neo-conservatism.  

Actually neo-colonialism would do for a label - let's not forget the oil - but that would depend on an understanding that colonialism was rampant in the nineteenth century, and that variations and manifestations have kept on appearing right up to the moment.

The reality is that when Bush invaded Iraq, it was ostensibly secular. And he used as an ally and as a base a country, Saudi Arabia, which is both extremely repressive towards its citizens, and damaging to the world by using its oil dollars to pump out an endless stream of propaganda supporting Wahhabism. Remind us wiki here:

The official and dominant form of Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia is commonly known as Wahhabism (a name which some of its proponents consider derogatory, preferring the term Salafism[198]), founded in the Arabian Peninsula by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the eighteenth century, is often described as 'puritanical', 'intolerant' or 'ultra-conservative'. However, proponents consider that its teachings seek to purify the practise of Islam of any innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his companions.

It's sometimes overlooked that bin Laden and his mob came from Saudi Arabia, and if you wanted to invade any country on the basis of Islam, Saudi Arabia should have been first choice (Wahhabism - PBS - Saudi Time Bomb?)

So Bush picked the wrong country, because for some primal Freudian reason he wanted to show his daddy he could finish the job, and then he truly, awesomely bungled the job, with Guantanamo Bay just one aspect of the bungling. Remind us of the illogicality, Tony Judt:

We are slipping down a slope. The sophistic distinctions we draw today in our war on terror—between the rule of law and “exceptional” circumstances, between citizens (who have rights and legal protections) and noncitizens to whom anything can be done, between normal people and “terrorists,” between “us” and “them”—are not new. The twentieth century saw them all invoked. They are the selfsame distinctions that licensed the worst horrors of the recent past: internment camps, deportation, torture, and murder—those very crimes that prompt us to murmur “never again.” So what exactly is it that we think we have learned from the past? Of what possible use is our self-righteous cult of memory and memorials if the United States can build its very own internment camp and torture people there? (here)

Well if you're Hendo, you've learned nothing, absolutely diddly squat. Instead you're just tremendously pleased that a French socialist president once again is fiddling in Africa, and going back on his word, and Obama is droning the world - even taking out American citizens without thought of a trial - and why there must be war, war, war, without end, against the jihadists.

Ah the perfidious French. Remind us Tony Judt:

Torture certainly “works.” As the history of twentieth-century police states suggests, under extreme torture most people will say anything (including, sometimes, the truth). But to what end? Thanks to information extracted from terrorists under torture, the French army won the 1957 Battle of Algiers. Just over four years later the war was over, Algeria was independent, and the “terrorists” had won.

Indeed. And these days the Algerians think nothing of wiping out a bunch of terrorists, along with a fair swag of civilians.

But France still carries the stain and the memory of the crimes committed in its name. Torture really is no good, especially for republics. And as Aron noted many decades ago, “torture—and lies—[are] the accompaniment of war…. What needed to be done was end the war.”

The French of course have a long history of fucking things up in Africa. Americans, who have a history of fucking things up all over the world, never tire of pointing this out, and that helps explain why Time magazine prepared a short list: In Mali's Shadow: A Short History of French Military Mishaps in Africa.

It's a fair bet that the French will make a hash of Mali, in the Bush way. About the only recent military action that was relatively quick and concise and turned out the way that was wanted by a western power was the Falklands war. The French fancy themselves as the police of Africa (Gabon to Mali: History of French Military Interventions in Africa), and it helps explain why Africa is such a mess.

And why Hollande is already in a pickle, and why, if he only knew it, the support of Gerard Henderson should be sending him into a frenzy of fear and loathing.

A more sensible view of likely consequences for Hollande can be found in French action in Mali exposes absence of African neighbors, Western allies. Or in Francois Hollande's new war trappings. Almost anywhere except Hendo:

So far, the unexpected switch has paid off; Hollande has been praised at home and abroad for crisp leadership. But should the operation bog down in the dusty vastness of northern Mali, where the Islamists roam, it could become a weight around his neck and an easy target for the conservative opposition in Paris, as well as Islamist and anti-colonial elements around the world.

Yep, Hollande has been praised by Gerard Henderson, for making us understand George W. Bush had it right all along, and as Hendo resumes his comfie armchair seat, French soldiers will be roaming Africa one more time trying to work out how they can fix things rather than fuck things up in the classic George W. Bush style.

Yes, it's war, war, war, and poor dumb Kochie doesn't understand how lucky he is ... or what a feather-weight bit of morning TV, floating helium balloon opinion-spouting, dunderheadedness he is ...

Venom? Venom, to mangle Keith Miller, is a Messerschmitt up your arse ... or having Hendo on your side ...

(Below: naturally the cartoonists have weighed in, because everybody loves a decent crusade, and war, war, war).


  1. Every time I see that ridiculous photo of Hendo I laugh. I wonder how many takes it took to get that 'tough' look from the little wimp.

    You can see the little man's entire introvert life in his desperation to look manly.

    His tough hiding behind his keyboard comments also speak volumes.

    Doubtless he was the class teacher's snitch that everyone hated

  2. Class snitch! And still a snarky snitch! :)x∞


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