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24 April 2008
Wankbloggery still tries to misrepresent facts
One of the things that an observant reader of the wankblogs will notice is just how keen the wankbloggers are to take something out of context, or just plain misrepresent it. Little Gimlet did it with his North Korean exercise and Norman Geras tried it on with his smear directed at Hugo Chavez Frias.

Geras has quite a bit of form when it comes to games like this, since he also did it with his Sudan posting. Now he is up to the same trick again, this time over European attitudes to war.

The Guardian's Simon Jenkins has a piece which takes issue with America's use of war as a diplomatic tool, and which argues that Europe has given up on wars of choice. Geras takes a sentence out of the article, the one which runs that Europeans "have tested war to destruction as a way of settling the world's ills and reject it", and then created a full posting which attacks this notion.

Now everything that Geras says may very well be true, but that is not what Jenkins had argued. As with the Sudan posting, Geras has set up an Aunt Sally and then knocked that down.

Here is the full paragraph, in which Jenkins discusses the words of the writer James Sheehan:
Europeans, writes Sheehan, have tested war to destruction as a way of settling the world's ills and reject it. Electorates now demand "material well-being, social stability and economic growth" and have demoted military virtues and the military class to history's dustbin. In modern Europe, "colonial violence seems wasteful, anachronistic and illegitimate ... grandeur no longer an important goal". That is why few Europeans other than Britons will help America in escalating the Afghan conflict. They just do not believe it will work.
If you look at the passage in its entirety, it is obvious that what Jenkins is attacking is the notion that wars of choice are a good thing. Wars like the one against Iraq, wars of "colonial violence" spring to mind. Wars that Geras wanked so enthusiastically for in other words.

Now nothing in Jenkins' essay can be taken as meaning that if Germany, say, was ever attacked the young men of Germany would not rally to her defence. It is also not to say that Germans do not have an aversion to war - given the number of German women who ended up polishing the knobs of Ivan Gangbangski and his mates back in 1945 that is hardly a surprise, either.

However, the basic point is that Geras has created a posting which, not for the first time, uses as its hinge a misrepresentation of what someone has written.

Why do they do it? I think that the buggers have run out of ideas to defend the indefensible. On the basis of that hunch I suspect that they just hope that enough people will accept their words as they are written, and not check back to the sources.

I think that the silly sods are that desperate, in other words.



Methinks you're giving Mr Geras more attention than he deserves - and more publicity too.

24 April 2008 at 14:27  

Yes, maybe, but it is nice to feel all sanctimonious and self righteous from time to time.

24 April 2008 at 14:36  

Europeans are not interested in classic geo-politics when they talk to other countries: instead, they use the law to change them from within.

Europe's obsession with legal frameworks means it can transform the countries it comes into contact with, instead of just skimming the surface. The US might have changed the regime in Afghanistan, but Europe is changing all of Polish society, from its economic policies and property laws to its

24 April 2008 at 22:42  

While every US company, embassy and military base is a terrorist target, Europe's invisibility allows it to spread its influence without provocation.

The fact that Europe does not have one leader, but rather a network of centres of power united by common policies and goals, means it can expand to accommodate ever-greater numbers of countries without compromising their independence, while continuing to provide its members with the benefits of being part of the largest market in the world.

24 April 2008 at 22:48  

Europe's power is easy to miss. Europe doesn't flaunt its strength or talk about a "single sustainable model of progress" as America does.

Instead, like an "invisible hand", it operates structures. The law courts, all become agents of the EU, implementing EU law.

This is no accident.

By creating standards implemented through national institutions, Europe can take over the world without becoming a target for hostility.

Source: CER.org.uk

PSST. don't tell Bush!!


24 April 2008 at 23:00  

Yes, but that model will only work with willing participants. Poland goes along with the wheeze because she has her eye on all that EU money.

25 April 2008 at 00:40  


Soon we'll all work for a bowl of rice or is that wok for a bowl of rice. :-)

25 April 2008 at 22:54  

Very droll.

26 April 2008 at 07:13  

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