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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:37 AM
Original message
There are apologists amongst us
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1532738,...

Within hours of the bombs going off two weeks ago, the voices that one could have predicted began to make themselves heard with their root-causes explanations for the murder and maiming of a random group of tube and bus passengers in London. It was due to Blair, Iraq, illegal war and the rest of it. The first voices, so far as I know, were those of the SWP and George Galloway, but it wasn't very long - indeed no time at all, taking into account production schedules - before the stuff was spreading like an infestation across the pages of this newspaper, where it has remained.

No words of dismay, let alone grief, could be allowed to pass some people's lips without the accompaniment of a "We told you so" and an exercise in blaming someone other than the perpetrators. No sense of what such a tragedy might call for or rule out on the first day. Exactly as if you were to hear from a distraught friend that her husband had just been murdered while walking in a "bad" neighbourhood, and to respond by saying you were sorry about this but it was foolish of him to have been walking there by himself. We had the same after 9/11; still, one nurtures the illusion that people learn. Evidently some don't.

It needs to be seen and said clearly: there are, among us, apologists for what the killers do. They make more difficult the fight to defeat them. The plea will be - it always is - that these are not apologists, they are merely honest Joes and Joanies endeavouring to understand the world in which we live. What could be wrong with that? What indeed? Nothing is wrong with genuine efforts at understanding; on these we all depend. But the genuine article is one thing, and root-causes advocacy seeking to dissipate responsibility for atrocity, mass murder, crime against humanity, especially in the immediate aftermath of their occurrence, is something else.

Note the selectivity in the way root-causes arguments function. Purporting to be about causal explanation rather than excuse-making, they are invariably deployed on behalf of movements or actions for which their proponent wants to engage our indulgence, and in order to direct blame towards some party towards whom he or she is unsympathetic.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. right
of course. any criticism of pnac policies, of the war in iraq, of our role in the world is support for the terrorists. Any defense of those critical of our policies is also support for terrorism.

Why don't we just get it over with? Send out the trucks. The lists are already drawn up. The camps are ready.
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Baloney
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Blowback is a bitch, Norman...
... Get over it...
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wow, the same tired old game of conflating explenation and apology.
YAWN
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. Yes and the IRA exploding bombs in London
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 11:15 AM by LibertyorDeath
has nothing to do with the British Occupation of Ireland
You Fucking Wanker.

This asswipe is trying oh so hard but alas he is a shit weasel.

His moronic plea don't look beyond the act you may find an excuse.

I'd slap this fucker silly if he were within slapping range.

What a sophomoric attempt to stifle criticism of the British Govs Foreign policies.

Fuck You Norman Geras you are an apologist for Tony Bliars foreign policies that have killed thousands upon thousand of men women and children.



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sintax Donating Member (891 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Just Wanted to Say
your post is a thing of beauty-laughin' all the way

Keep it up

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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Thanx & a belated Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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sintax Donating Member (891 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Silence kills and I know you're keepin' it alive- kick it up
:toast:
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. It wasn't the IRA who did this.
The IRA hasn't been bombing London for some years now, and indeed Tony Blair's achievements in bringing peace to Northern ireland are seen by many as his greatest achievement.

Yet another comment that demonstrates what Geras was pointing out perfectly I'm afraid.
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You can't possibly be that obtuse
It was an analogy.

You know drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect.

So you agree with this asswipe Geras.

Geras is attempting to control the debate by encouraging people to shut the fuck up.

He can take his encouragement and go fuck himself.

I'm a apologist for no one I'll ask whatever fucking questions I want to ask.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Nope, on a day when Islamic Militants were trying to bomb London
...at the time that the news of this was coming through you wrote

Yes and the IRA exploding bombs in London has nothing to do with the British Occupation of Ireland You fucking wanker.

That was not an analogy, that was you claiming this was the IRA bombing London when the IRA have not beem bombing mainlaind Britain for years. Kinda struck me as a very dumb reply indeed, as does your trying to claim it was an analogy now when it very clearly was nothing of the sort.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. I think you've read misread him.
The IRA did bomb London as a response to occupation. And what was the primary reason that helped stop them bombing London...yes, political concessions.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Did the IRA bomb London on Thursday?
No they did not. That is what I was getting at. That's what LibertyorDeath seems to have been claiming.

And the violence of the IRA is abhorrent and should be condemmed at every turn. There is no excuse for blowing up innocent people regardless of what people on here say.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:44 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. It's not an excuse it's an analysis n/t
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. At what point does analysis stop and excuses start?
That's the question here. And certainly some people do deliberately blur the line to advance a particular agenda.

Not all people though, only a minority. That's why for most of the left this article is little more then a straw man. For a few though it might be pertinent. Here's an example from yesterday. I really loathed having to post this article but the DUer in question needed to have it chucked at them as they fitted the description in the article only too well.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 04:05 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. I think there is a middle ground.
Yes, Bush & Blair and the "police state" are not responsible for every evil thing that happens. But their policies have made the world a lot more unstable and they unfortunately no longer occupy the moral high ground and have no right to lecture the rest of us.

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #23
31. yes , we have to learn to talk to them rather than continue to bomb them-
and along with bombing/killing them--killing innocents.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Don't need to even talk to the terrorists.
Remove the neocons and get an administration in that believes in the rule of law. Just following the principles of international law will help to reduce criticism of the coalition and start to dry up the "swamp" of anger.
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
39. Ok you are being deliberately obtuse I lived in Britain for 10 years
Edited on Sat Jul-23-05 02:20 PM by LibertyorDeath
I know it was not the IRA that did this.

It was an analogy and a pretty damn obvious one at that.

Here lets have a look shall we

"IRA exploding bombs in London has nothing to do with the British Occupation of Ireland You fucking wanker."

"Islamics exploding bombs in London has nothing to do with the British occupation of Iraq You fucking wanker."

Geras states it's acceptable to look at causation but not to make excuses. Well this is a fatuous point as he well knows if Britain was not helping America to occupy Iraq this event would not have taken place.



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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
6. Author is Norman Geras
Norman Geras is professor emeritus in government at the University of Manchester; a longer version of this article can be found at www.normblog.typepad.com

normangeras@yahoo.co.uk

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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. A very good piece.
"Exactly as if you were to hear from a distraught friend that her husband had just been murdered while walking in a "bad" neighbourhood, and to respond by saying you were sorry about this but it was foolish of him to have been walking there by himself." Or, something in the same vein, is if she didn't want to be raped, she shouldn't have dressed the way she did. Oddly enough, that is something usually uttered by those who lean to the right.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. No it isnt, that is a deeply dishonest analogy.
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 01:08 PM by K-W
It only works if you conflate the victims with thier government. And I dont see why you think that is ok.

"Exactly as if you were to hear from a distraught friend that her husband had just been murdered while walking in a "bad" neighbourhood, and to respond by saying you were sorry about this but it was foolish of him to have been walking there by himself."

No, the (rather obvious) equivelent of that would be saying that the people who died in london shouldnt have been on the buses.

In fact what people have said is that the victims on the busses were innocent victims, nobody has suggested they were responsible, and that the people who attacked were murderers, which they are. But the murderers did what they did as a response to illegal and unethical policies of the government.

To take it to the analogy accurately:

Exactly as if you were to hear from a distraught friend that her husband had just been murdered while walking in a "bad" neighbourhood, and to respond by saying you were sorry about the murder, that the atttackers were monsters, and that the government bore some responsibility because of thier lax law enforcement and economic policies that have allowed bad neighborhoods to persist.

Which I dont think is a terribly unreasonable response at all.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. examples
In YOUR example you include "they were monsters" which is a condemnation and you did not blame the victim. What the author is saying is that was not happening with 7/7. Basically, some blame the victims via their leaders. Everyone is to blame but the people who blew up the bombs! I think it is good to understand people and their motivations, but I have seen a few pieces where it came across more as an excuse for their behavior and that is unforgivable.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Right because my analogy was accurate, while the one you defended is a lie
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 01:52 PM by K-W
Because nobody blamed the victims of the london bombing.

And to a man, everyone condemned the attackers, thus why my accurate analogy contained a condemnation of the attackers, while the innaccurate analogy you are defending did not and your statement that people blamed everyone except the bombers is an obvious lie on your part.

People blamed 2 groups. The bombers and the governments. Nobody else.

"I think it is good to understand people and their motivations, but I have seen a few pieces where it came across more as an excuse for their behavior and that is unforgivable."

It is your problem if you misread things this badly. Nobody excused anything.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. No it is not
It is your problem if you cannot see nuance and fail to comprehend a piece in its fullest context. And, since you do not know what I have read about this, you cannot say I misread anything. Saying they bombed London because of policies is shortsighted and only part of the equation, other factors are involved.

The real "lie" is that British/US policies are solely responsible for the actions of the suicide bombers. They chose to respond to policies by killing innocents.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Nuance? Ive seen more nuance in a crayon drawing.
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 02:17 PM by K-W
"since you do not know what I have read about this, you cannot say I misread anything."

Actually I can say it, and I did say it, and I am still right. No widely read or heard opinion excused the attacks.

"Saying they bombed London because of policies is shortsighted and only part of the equation, other factors are involved. "

Duh. But the article you are defending argues that aknowledging that anything caused the attack other than the people directly involved is excusing those people, a blatently dishonest argument.

"The real "lie" is that British/US policies are solely responsible for the actions of the suicide bombers. They chose to respond to policies by killing innocents."

Yes, that would be a lie, if anyone had actually argued that. But they didnt.

The analogy proposes that in response to the london bombings, the left aknowledged the victims, but also blamed them. That is a lie and you know it. The left aknowledged the victims, blamed the bombers, and also blamed the corrupt foriegn policies that have made the UK a target of terrorists.

This drivel is pure propaganda meant to cast those who accurately explain terrorism as apologists for terrorism. And it is a fairly sloppy attempt at that.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Definitions
apology

An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

1. A formal justification or defense.
2. An explanation or excuse


apologist

A person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, policy, or institution

justification

something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary; "he considered misrule a justification for revolution" 2: a statement in explanation of some action or belief 3: the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning;


"one considered suicide bombings as a justification for British policies"

"one is defending or explaining or making excuses for suicide bombings because of British policies"

http://dictionary.reference.com/
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thank you for defining apologist and proving this article is bullshit
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 02:44 PM by K-W
"apologist

A person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, policy, or institution"

No widely read or heard member of the left argued in defense of or to justify the bombings.

Regardless, I think any honest member of the left who reads this article will see it for what it is, so I am done critisizing it.

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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. But I would prefer
that Blair had listened to MI6 and the people of Britain who warned that he was opening a can of worms by invading Iraq.

Without the Iraq invasion, yes there would probably still be Islamic fundamentalists, but probably less than there are now, and they would probably be off in Chechnya fighting the Russians.

I dont apologize for being angry at Tony Blair for putting us in the firing line of an unncessary war.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
16. apologists for what the killers do... like when nations illegally invade
a soverign nation and kill over 100,000 innocent civillians?

Look, I'm no apologist for ANYONE who kills, no matter what religion or political affiliation they may adhere to.

:grr:

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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. Yes,
the right-wing get (rightly) angry when some-one blows up innocent civilians in the UK. But some of them want revenge. Yet somehow they can't understand how some would react the same way to 100,000 civilians being killed.

Anger is justified and revenge is wrong in both cases.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
27. Let's look at the facts:
a) Prior to the Iraq War there were no muslim fundamentalist attacks on Britain
b) The intelligence services advised that an attack on Iraq would increase the terrorist threat against Britain
c) The group which appears to have carried out the attacks on Madrid and London have said that they were a statement against the occupation of Iraq.

They are not excuses or apologies. They are simple facts.
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Imajika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. Not quite...
"c) The group which appears to have carried out the attacks on Madrid and London have said that they were a statement against the occupation of Iraq."

Nope. The group that took responsibility for the bombings in London have said they were in response to England's intervention in Iraq AND Afghanistan.

And here is a portion of al-Queda's claim of responsibility for the Madrid bombings:

"This is part of settling old accounts with Spain, the crusader, and America's ally in its war against Islam"

Again, Spain was targeted for its coalition participation in Iraq AND Afghanistan as well as for past injustices.

I noticed you left this information out in your effort to blame Blair for the actions of fanatic Islamic murderers.

Western forces out of Iraq is not all al-Queda and likeminded Muslim terrorist groups want. Out of Afghanistan is also a demand - you know, so they can go back to imposing the strictest form of shari-a law and setting up terrorist training camps.

There's more. These fundamentalist murderers would also like to reestablish an Islamic caliphate which happens to include Spain along with much of Africa and Asia. Additionally, Al-Qaeda in Indonesia (sometimes referred to as Jemaah Islamiyah) would like the imposition of the most fanatical form of shari-a law in southern Thailand, parts of the Philippines, all of Indonesia, etc. The list of their demands is endless.

The idea that you can excuse violent Islamic fanaticism as a byproduct of the war in Iraq is uttern foolishness. Iraq is indeed an additional flashpoint which makes the fight against terrorism more difficult - but that conflict is not the cause of the London bombings or Islamic terrorism throughout much of the rest of the world.

Imajika
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. I left it out because
I think Iraq is a much bigger problem and motivator and the British security services agree with me.

Yes, Islamic fundamentalists existed before the Iraq war, but the "shock and awe" (+ Fallujah, Abu Ghraib etc) have turned Iraq into a huge terrorist incubator and potentially brought many others onto their side as well.

The coalition should have finished the job in Afghanistan instead of leaving it to revert to chaos and causing more chaos in Iraq.

High-minded nonsense about a new caliphate is not what gets Al-Qaeda new recruits, it's the very real perceptions of injustice and atrocities.
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Bark Bark Bark Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
30. Civilian Casualties Are Civilian Casualties
Yet, somehow, there's still this silliness:

We blasted the crap out of a country that posed no threat to us, bombing cities and enjoying several "whoopsies" that left children dead in the streets, torn apart by our ordinance. But when the military blows up civilians, it's just "collateral damage," right? And we're pure of heart! We're there, after all, to "liberate" them, aren't we? Shrug, shrug, gee-too-bad, and right back to business as usual.

Yet when, as a direct consequence, "they" import a bit of the very same violent horror we've exported to them on a much larger scale, I see Jon Stewart and his guest bending over forwards to call them "bastards." Look at us, we're loyal Americans, not like that Bill Maher guy. We hate them for doing to us what we're doing to them: bombing them and forcing them and every one they care about to live every day wondering if it's their last.

As we learned under Reagan, one man's terrorist is another man's "freedom fighter." We have laid down with dogs, and now we're crying about comparative flea bites. These aren't dicks blowing people up because they oppose abortion or the Federal government; they're blowing people up to defeat the takeover plans of the PNAC "coalition."

I still wonder why we haven't treated London like Fallujah; block it off and level it with bombs. After all, that's how we're dealing with terrorists in Iraq...

No, that's a lie. I understand exactly why we feel comfortable doing it to an Iraqi city but not London.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Blair was asked by reporters twice if he would accept some responsibility
for these bombings (Howard beside him at press conference)--He deferred the question--placed all the blamed on the terroritsts. He made no admission that britians participation in the invasion of Iraq had anything to do with the bombings.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. and what did he tell his ppl?--get back to your normal lives. Something
is dramatically wrong with this picture.
Get bombed--put entire responsibility on the terrorists, then tell the people it is tradegy but lets get back to normal. What is this normal?--well, for the administration (brits, US, Aussie), it is to continue with a preemptive war.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. A caller on BBC Radio 4
pointed out that Blair is protected by a police detail, bulletproof limousine and blast barriers at his place of work. Guess that's the "new normal".
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
35. Yeah, heaven forfend that anybody should try to think about what happened,
and why? Let's just tell everybody to shut up, and then go kill somebody in retaliation.

This weasel could not find his own asshole with both hands and a roadmap, and he wants to tell us what and how to think?
:puke:
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
40. self-delete
Edited on Sat Jul-23-05 09:17 PM by glitch
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