Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar

Comment, Comics and the Contrary. Contact: aj_bartlett1977*at*yahoo*dot*co*dot*uk
Enter your email address below to subscribe to Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar!

powered by Bloglet

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


What manner of games are these?

Game number one: the Israeli Parliament votes to leave standing synagogues in the former settlements in Gaza. These are settlements in which every house has been effectively demolished and all civic buildings reduced to mere shells. So why leave the synagogue buildings intact?

Well, one can understand why a Jewish state would hesitate when faced with the task of demolishing sites of worship. However, what future did they imagine for these buildings? These are not simply religious buildings, to be respected by people of all faiths. They are the symbols of an illegal military occupation, a land grab legitimated before the fact by theology and after the fact by the presence of militarised settlements on the ground. The synagogue buildings were always going to be destroyed as the Israeli Army withdrew, so why did the Israeli Parliament vote to leave them standing?

Well, it allows them to avoid the necessary, but unpopular task, and to then to paint the Palestinians as barbarians. Okay, we get the message. These people are barbarians, worthy of collective punishment. Oh, yes, and the wider ethic and religious groupings to which they belong are the enemy within and blah, blah, blah. I wish these sentiments were confined to the further reaches of the US blogosphere, but unfortunately, what once was extreme is slipping closer to mainstream thought. And, as it becomes mainstream, we do not think it extreme.

Game number two: In a week when Tony Blair is at the UN pressing for non-proliferation, John Reid defends the upgrading of Britain’s (non-independent) nuclear arsenal, an act which is, let us not beat around the bush, proliferation. We are increasing our capability to cause nuclear destruction. But, despite this, what shocks me (okay, it does not shock me; it ought to, but we live in a political climate of ‘utterly destroyed brains’) is the justification for this breach of the spirit of the NPT. He argues that we will continue to need a nuclear arsenal and develop new weapons as other nations have, or will develop nuclear weapons. Well, if I have heard a better argument for the proliferation of nuclear weapons it is hidden in a bank vault someway. MAD here we come, again. With the logic of John Reid*, who can dispute the very necessity of nuclear weapons for every single nation on earth? MAD will keep the peace, surely?

Of course, all this doublethink on the proliferation of the machinery of human destruction takes place in a week when Britain hosts one of the world’s largest arms fairs selling to all manner of nations, few of which could be described as bastions of freedom, democracy and/or human rights. An arms fair policed at public cost suppressing protest through use of ‘emergency anti-terrorist measures’, for an arms industry has its research (into the question; ‘how can we kill more people, more quickly for less money?’) funded by the public purse, that corrupts the governments of the developing world using subsidy granted from the public purse.

What games are these? I tell you what. These are not cricket, though they will all end in piles of ash.

*An early version of this post levelled the charge of MADness at Charles Clarke. I was confused, it seems, between authoritarian, right-wing New Labour bruisers.

In a related manner, I was amused to see that the UN has banned "incitement to terrorism" but failed to agree on a definition of what "terrorism" is. Amused, that is, in a sort of scared sense. Shall we bet of the first despot to use a, how shall we say, somewhat dodgy definition of terrorism?
Well said.
I wondered if anyone would pick up on this. The line seems to be that the Palestinians were performing acts of 'desecration'.
The BBC TV News also referred to Palestinians who were removing window-frames from the (ex) synagogues as 'looters' !!
Bizarre, or what?
".. what once was extreme is slipping closer to mainstream thought. And, as it becomes mainstream, we do not think it extreme."

You mean, like anti-Semitism?

Game 2

You have heard of European Unification?

How can a super power entity not have nuclear weapons?

This is a British contribution.

Personnlay I would rather have a British veto on there use.
Game 1

Is there really an Israeli motivation here? The simpler explanation would be that they couldn’t reach an internal consensus about the synagogues so they did nothing. Then having done nothing, some one has the smarts to take advantage of the results
David, yes, in principle. But are you making a charge of anti-Semitism? Agaisnt me? Or are you arguing that Islamophobia is a legitimate response to anti-Semitism?

Hank, good to see you back. Regarding nuclear weapons; first, the British government cannot use their nuclear weapons without US approval. The US controls (at least) the targetting system. Second, perhaps there is a need for nuclear weapons, but my bugbear is always bad argument. In this case, the argument used to legtimise the improvement of Britain's nuclear arsenal is a pro-proliferation argument without better. It makes us hypocrites of the most blatant order to be making these arguments as we push for a strengthening of non-proliferation measures.

Regarding the synagogues, yes, I suppose you are right. However, we still see the Israeli Government line being one of 'barbarising' the Palestinians. This is not an isolated example, but is beginning to represent mainstream discourse on Muslims.
"[Y]es, in principle".

No, in practice, actually! Anti-Semirism appears to be the new radical-chic.

And I am not making any accusations at all, simply pointing up the two faces of Janus.
'appears to be the new radical-chic'?


I am willing to bet that you don't hang around places or people that can be categorised as 'radical-chic' - indeed, the only thing I know about that category is that David Duff does not belong in it - so how does this knowledge 'appear'
to you?
"I am willing to bet that you don't hang around places or people that can be categorised as 'radical-chic'"

Oh yes I do! There are exactly 50 of them (I just counted) and they all live in a little box to the left of where I'm typing on this screen. The box is called "Trot-lot Blogs", and guess what, you're in it!

How much was that bet, by the way?
David, you appear to suffer from epistemological paralysis.

What, on Earth, allows you to sample a selection of blogs according to your own categorisation of Trotskyism, and then to suggest this selection is the new-radical chic. All the connections here take place in your imagination, and nowhere else.

Furthermore, even if these blogs that you select represent the 'new radical-chic', you still have to demonstrate that anti-semitism is not only fashionable within, but the defining characteristic of the new radical-chic.

And lastly, given that you label me a member of the 'Trot-Lot', despite the lack of Trotskyism on my blog, and that you claim that the 'Trot-Lot' is synonymous with the 'new radical chic', and that this 'new radical chic' is anti-semitism, you are accusing me of anti-semitism.

That being the case, I suggest you fuck off.
"David, you appear to suffer from epistemological paralysis."

Is there any cure, doctor?

As you say, 'Trot-lot Blogs' is my "own categorisation" for admin purposes, so I do not feel the need to explain it to you in detail. Suffice to say that it contains a variety of Left-wing opinions many of whom, but not all, sick up a goodly number of anti-Jewish sentiments on a regular basis; far more, in fact, than I have ever come across outside of fascist circles. Also, the frequency of these remarks, both on the web and in public discourse, has multiplied at an increasing and alarming rate over the last, say, 20 years, so that, it is not inaccurate to say that it is fashionable in the sense that 'radical-chic' was, and still is, fashionable. It has just sunk even lower, that is all.

I'm surprised that a philosophically inclined chap like you should make such an egregious error as to suppose that a statement pointing out that certain opinions emanating from various groups of people means that all the members of that group share those views.

You imply very fiercely that you are not anti-Jewish. I take your word for it, and must assume that I mis-read your opening paragraph which was, in fact, pro-Jewish! But then, you do have a way with words!
One nore thing before I 'eff off' which I came across on:
an excellent blog:

"Amoz Oz has an interesting paragraph in A Tale of Love and Darkness:

'Europe has now changed completely, and is full of Europeans from wall to wall. Incidentally, the graffiti in Europe have also changed from wall to wall. When my father was a young man in Vilna, every wall in Europe said 'Jews go home to Palestine'. Fifty years later, when he went back to Europe on a vist, the walls all screamed: 'Jews get out of Palestine'.'"
I am neither pro-, nor anti-Jewish. But I am most certainly against attempts to paint a whole group of people as barbarians, which was the message deliberately propagated by the Israeli government this week.

As I have said before, you really are thick. Is your mind failing with age, Duffer?

You said that anti-Semitism IS radical-chic. You said that radical-chic IS the same as your specious category of the 'Trot-Lot'. And I am in your 'Trot-Lot'.

Really David. You refuse to allow any meaning to be read into the words you write is an imbecilic rejection of any theory of language. But you are happy to perform the own interpretive work on the writing of others. It is one or the other.

I am sure you both know more about the UK than I do.

Over here there is a definite fringe on both the left and right that is anti-semitic. A somewhat larger group on both sides who often use language that is subject to misinterpretation and larger groups who are genuinely or tactically appalled at each others choice of words. Makes for a lively if non-constructive debate.

Instead of words I’m thinking politics should be conducted as water balloon flight, by the time every one goes home and dries off they won’t be half as mad. : -)

I know that won’t work but don’t the fringe control the debate.
Hank, am I right in thinking that unless one is a signed-up member of 'Bloggger', it is impossible to comment on your very interesting site?

I understand, of course, that having witnessed this particular cat-and-dog fight you might be very happy with the arrangement, but I would like to know, and it isn't possible to e-mail you direct.

The blooger profile you used to login here should work on my Blog.

I have the word varification turned on since I got some spam a while back.

I don't mind cat and dog fights if I learn something, which I do here, creative insult contests I could do without.

My employer has rules about saying anything that could be attributed my employer of fellow employees without their permission. Annonimity is the eastst way to comply, I probabally over do it.

Sorry, Hank, but it doesn't work. I am not a member of 'Blogger' so I can't comment on your site unless you open it up to non-Blogger subscribers. When you reply to this, look below Andrew's 'comment' box that you are typing in and you will see that Andrew's site has *3* options under 'Choose an Identity' - not just one as on your site. I can fill in my details under "Other" and that allows me to enter as a 'Typepad' subscriber.

Andrew, please forgive using you as a letter box.

If your having a problem there are likley others. I added a "How to Comment" link to my sidebar.


Thanks for letting us use the space!
Post a Comment

<< Home


August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   March 2007  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

«#?» Listed on Blogwise