Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Comrade, May 29, 2004.
Drunken police raid US students
Has it really come down to this?!?
Thanks DK, hope things are going better at home.
This article sounds like Americans are now being treated similar to Jews in other countries. There is no excuse and if there are other examples, I wouldn't be surprised to see a backlash by those in this country ignorant enough to do the same to 'the weasels' etc., visiting from other countries.
Thanks for posting the link I should have...
I see you have the same reaction as I did.
It's puzzling to see the Australian authorities, as even a "group", go so far as to wage a vendetta against America for waging war on competitive forces in the Middle East, after considering Australia's own losses and security concerns we all share directly.
Having read a considerable sample of Aussie media since 9-11, however, it's no real surprise. I grow more angry at the media of the liberal left as these anticipated incidents become reality.
Taken as a whole it's completely insane that Australian authority figures are reacting against Americans in this way, considering their own conflicts and losses to Islamic Fundamentalism among their own people.
It's not just the 'US Press':
My childish view of a nasty America is still popular
By Charles Moore
As with most British people, my first impressions of America were formed by television. For my family in the 1960s, this meant the BBC alone. We had one of those "snobbish" televisions, not unusual at that time, that could not get the only other channel, ITV. And the BBC in America at that time meant Charles Wheeler. With his highly educated voice, shock of white hair (I think it was white even then), serious spectacles and face of lean intelligence, he was the perfect posh broadcaster. I believed every word he said.
I still think Wheeler is an excellent journalist and a clever man. But what I - and presumably millions of others - were hearing from him and the BBC was a particular narrative about America. This was that there were good, liberal people who believed in civil rights. If they were white, the good ones came from the northern states and never spoke about religion.
If they were black, the good ones came from the southern states and spoke about religion a lot. These good people were fighting oppression, whether of black people or of the people of Vietnam. The hero was Senator Eugene McCarthy, who failed to get the Democratic nomination in 1968.
The oppressors, the bad people, wanted war and racial segregation. They were fat and ugly and always white and liked having guns. The villain was Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who stood as an independent in the same election, and believed in segregation. The pictures of him that appeared always showed his face darkened with what we were supposed to think of as racial hatred.
This picture of the United States was not all wrong, but it was notable for what it missed out. I learnt very little about the vigour of the freedom provided for under the American Constitution, the country's encouragement of large-scale immigration, its rising living standards. I did not know how well America had reconstructed Germany, Japan and the economies of western Europe after the war.
The BBC did not preach to me about the Soviet threat with the same ardour that it preached about racial prejudice. I therefore thought that America was very violent and very backward, and I could never quite understand why such a country was by far the most powerful in the world. If I asked people why, they would say, "Oh well, it's because it's so rich," as if wealth were something that simply descended upon you without the contribution of human effort. As a result, I understood very little about America.
Today, we are presented with a similar narrative - so powerful that I find that 90 per cent of people here believe it, even those who think of themselves as conservative. The narrative is that America is bullying and naive about the outside world. It is very keen on killing people. George W Bush is taken to embody these characteristics, since he wears cowboy boots and is inarticulate and prays a lot. (Fine for Muslims to pray, not for Christians.)
There are good Americans who, again, come from the north-east and never talk about religion. You can tell they are good because they are not "unilateralist". Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, is, ex officio, a good American. But the bad Americans, with guns and money and a white God, are in charge. To show the strength of the narrative, take two stories out of Iraq.
Suppose that the reports accusing UN officials of corruption in the oil-for-food programme had been made against America. Suppose that it was Halliburton, the company for whom Vice-President Dick Cheney once worked, which had taken 10 per cent off the oil-for-food contracts. Suppose that America were accused of the sort of behaviour that has been alleged, on the basis of Iraqi official documents, against France and Russia. I think we would have heard of little else. As it is, though, the oil-for-food story has somehow drifted away in a muddle about who's going to run the next bit of the investigation.
And take the story of the police raid on Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress. It has been reported, correctly, that Chalabi is hated by the CIA. That would normally mean, in the latterday Charles Wheeler/BBC narrative, that he was a good person. The smashed photograph of him with a bullet through the image of his head would have been presented as a horrifying example of Bush's meddling and threatening.
But because Chalabi was supported by "neo-conservatives" (nobody knows what a neo-conservative is, but he's self-evidently bad, because "conservative" is quite bad and making it "neo-" is terrible), he must be wicked; and because he is the most prominent Iraqi politician to argue for a plural democratic form of government in Iraq, he is condemned by the policy establishments as "irrelevant". He is even blamed for persuading the Administration, through bogus intelligence, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, as if this was not common ground before the war, even with bodies such as Unscom, which was lukewarm about the invasion.
The narrative, you see, is so powerful. If the narrators had wanted, they could have presented Chalabi as Nelson Mandela. Instead, they have decided that he is Al Capone.
I don't trust the narrative, but, like almost everyone else in Britain in relation to the Muslim world, I don't have the material to furnish an alternative one. Thus I cannot believe that Lakhdar Brahimi of the UN is the right man to oversee the setting up of the provisional government of Iraq after June 30.
As a Sunni pan-Arabist socialist from Algeria, he must be automatically distrusted by the Shia majority in Iraq and by the Kurds. Putting him in charge is like asking Senator Edward Kennedy to take control of the affairs of Northern Ireland. But because he is "UN", the narrative says he is good, and of course few of us know enough about the alternative possibilities in Iraq to put a strong counter-argument.
So what is actually happening while we, the British public, follow the narrative, half-bored, half-horrified, desperately wanting to be told that something good will turn up? I think the answer is that the people who have long made it their business to run these things, reassert control. Their universal doctrine is that the nasty people - Mugabe, Brezhnev, Milosevic, Arafat, once upon a time, Saddam himself - are the ones to prop up in the interests of "stability".
The "camel corps" of Foreign Office Arabists, many of whom work for Arab interests when they retire, will return to the policies that they have pursued towards the Arab world for generations. So will the State Department. These policies are based on the assumption that you Arabs cannot have anything resembling the sort of society we in the West take for granted.
As King Abdullah of Jordan - a "moderate", but also someone whose country was economically dependent on Saddam - recently put it, Iraq should be ruled by "somebody with a military background who has experience of being a tough guy". Remind you of anyone?
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From the link:
Some of the worst behavior was inflicted on patrons at the Orient Hotel, where one of the officers vomited across the bar after the drunken group was refused service."
I have to admit, I envy Austrailians and bulimics their ability to vomit on cue. What a handy skill that would be - say, at a Michael Moore book-signing or a chance meeting with a snobbish, America-hating journalist. Brevity is the soul of wit.
Well, my superpower of choice would have to be a tie between vomitting on cue, and flying. Hmmm, decisions...
How about a combination of the two? Just think of it - pinpoint vomiting!
yeah, puking on an old lady...hehe.
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