Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: British style

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  • Russell Brown,

    At the end of the day, U.S. commentators like Derbyshire have a disturbingly fascist bias towards the glorification of violence as an end unto itself.

    So long, of course, as it doesn't personally involve them or their children.

    You may recall the release of American journalist Jill Carroll in Iraq. Her crimes (ie: wearing a headscarf and saying she hadn't been mistreated) provoked a particularly loathsome bout of violent, hateful misogyny in the forums of Little Green Footballs et al. Those people are weird in a very bad way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    "...It is the job of a Royal Marine to fight, and if necessary suffer and die, for his country..."

    Yup, that's how the old wars were fought (including last century's). Just keep throwing more troops at the enemy til someone wins. Nevermind the deathtoll.

    Modern warfare is much more civilised inasmuch that fewer soldiers are actually killed; which stops the nation from complaining sooner. (But America finally seems to be waking up to their Bush folly)

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    (And since I've brought it up: the schoolboy rape story is awful; esp on the heels of our own Police rape allegations. When are MEN going to own this problem?)

    Unfair, I suggest. I've never perpetrated a sexual assault, and have twice stepped in to prevent one.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "Modern warfare is much more civilised inasmuch that fewer soldiers are actually killed"

    I'd make a minor correction. Modern warfare by superpowers against small nations are more civilised in that the superpowers have less soldiers killed. The other side's losses are of course much bigger now than they have ever been, especially civilians.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8590 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "Modern warfare is much more civilised inasmuch that fewer soldiers are actually killed; which stops the nation from complaining sooner. (But America finally seems to be waking up to their Bush folly)"

    Oh if only this was true!

    Millions died in Vietnam; A million Iranians died fighting in the war with Iraq. The only reason that fewer OF OUR SIDE get killed is because Western armies have got the firepower and third world armies have got the manpower. War is an exercise in attrition; The length of the attrition phase is set by the relative strength and determination of each side. Thus, where the will is sufficiently determined - the North Vietnamese, the Iranians against Iraq - human life is used to even up the attrition phase and make it a fight between steel and dollars on one side and human flesh on the other.

    Modern weapons might speed up the mutual industrialised massacre of the attrition stage between two evenly matched sides, but they won't lessen the numbers killed. To think otherwise is to fall into the mental trap that saw Europeans failing to think the battle of Omdurman through to its logical conclusion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Those people are weird in a very bad way

    It is the pride in that weirdness that is so very unsettling. The apologies in the Carroll case were all very muted and in a couple of cases people commented that they stood by what they had said at first.

    Would the Marines have had a briefing before they went off, about how to act if the were captured? The British Harrier pilot who was captured in the first Gulf War and came to NZ last year said that he had training for just that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    I assume the training involves

    "Look if somone demands you say something on a video just go along with it so as not to antagonise them, we'll all know you did not mean it, the most important thing is not to play the hero."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Yes that would about cover it, you'd think. Obviously this is beyond American right wing pundits and their acolytes.

    Now Little Goofballs are apparently getting their knickers in a twist about Nancy Pelosi wearing a headscarf.Then they insist that it about whether she should be in Syria or not.

    here

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Damn, if they had of got themselves killed we would have been in there like a Falklands minute, and Jeb could go for the Presidency and all would be well in teh world.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Yup, that's how the old wars were fought (including last century's). Just keep throwing more troops at the enemy til someone wins. Nevermind the deathtoll.

    A moment's derail: that's simply not true. Medieval European warfare had all sorts of informal protocols around battles, most of which were designed to reduce the overall death toll of wars; a trivial example were sieges, where defenders were expected to put up a both a minimum resistence, and, if releif was not forthcoming, to surrender in a reasonable timefram.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    would have been in there like a Falklands minute

    well... i thought it a remarkable coincidence that the only female in the detail just happended to give a piece to camera interview on 'it's all part of the job, rah rah, britannia waves the rules' etc, just the day before she was captured. remarkable eh

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Hey that's in A Distant Mirror! (palm oil alert!). First, and Hawkwood was good at this, they would ask for money, the priests would levy the populace, if the populace wouldn't pay up, the pressure was on. Sometimes to curry great favour, Hawkwood would (is that alliteration?) kill teh Priests. Of course the nobilty usually had a special arrangement.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Mr Riddley have you not seen Wag The Dog?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    __(And since I've brought it up: the schoolboy rape story is awful; esp on the heels of our own Police rape allegations. When are MEN going to own this problem?)__

    Unfair, I suggest. I've never perpetrated a sexual assault, and have twice stepped in to prevent one.

    Misandric crap is indeed no more attractive than misogynistic crap.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i thought Wag the Dog was just another Left Wing Conspiracy against those well-meaning trans-national media conglomerates?

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Dude who knows, but I did like Wille Nelson singing Old Shoe, especially the briefing session for the song.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    Yeah, good news that the British sailors have been released. I can see why the connection is made with the Iranian detainees that the US nabbed in Iraq. However, these Iranians are from the elite Revolutionary Guard and had no business in Iraq. I think the US should send them back pronto though, without using them for it's own propaganda.

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Unfair, I suggest. I've never perpetrated a sexual assault, and have twice stepped in to prevent one.
    [and]
    Misandric crap is indeed no more attractive than misogynistic crap

    Sheesh, men are so sensitive! Why am I not surprised that even here there is (seemingly) no support for the idea that men as a group need to address this issue? I don't subscribe to the 'All Men Are Rapists' mantra and I'm glad that 3410 has proactively intervened BUT my point is that surely there is something wrong with Lad/Bloke culture that schoolboys can think they can get away with not only group rape but filming it and putting it online?

    We've all been decrying (here on PA) the Police culture of the 80s where the cops ran riot with the womenfolk, but the fact is (borne out by this example IMHO) that the problem is still endemic. Women have been fighting against it for years without any real change; so maybe its time for the MEN to do something? A first step would be owning the problem, and not bouncing it back on the Britney Hiltons of this world (a modern day variation of last century's "she wanted it" defense)

    But no, I'm Misandric so my comments are dismissed out of hand.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    However, these Iranians are from the elite Revolutionary Guard and had no business in Iraq.

    These are not the elite Revolutionary Guards you are looking for...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    even here there is (seemingly) no support for the idea that men as a group need to address this issue?

    There's support alright. You don't tell pedestrians how not to get hit by drunk drivers, you tell people not to drive drunk or let their mates drive drunk. Yet just about every discussion about preventing rape ends up being about leading guys on, walking home alone at night, not watching what you're drinking, self-defence and so on. Not about turning your mate in if he drags a girl into a central city carpark while you're waiting for him, or making sure the hot girl at the party isn't comatose when you make a move, or checking for active consent if your partner seems nervous, or how backing off the minute she says no is the right thing to do.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Nobody Important,

    After I posted I thought about it a bit and realised that I should've perhaps taken the time to explain a bit more.

    My point is that most men (at least all those I know), are totally against that sort of behaviour, not just personally but socially. I guess I just assumed that most people would realise that the vast majority of men (thesedays, at least) are on your side. I just felt for a moment like all the decent muslims who are made to feel accountable for suicide bombings.

    The Men-as-a-group that I know do take responsibility for this issue by making it clear, when necessary, that it won't be tolerated.

    Nevertheless, I apologise for any upset caused.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Derbyshire's comments are pretty in ya-face-odious but another ridiculous line of reasoning he and others are making is that this is some sort of defeat for Blair and Britain.

    My reading of this is that Blair stood his ground and the Iranians blinked. Blair gave nothing away and warned of serious consequences if the sailors weren't returned. I don't think the more level headed people in the Iranian leadership would have got the upper hand if Blair was not taken seriously at his word.

    To accuse him of being overly dovish is ludicrous.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I don't subscribe to the 'All Men Are Rapists' mantra

    Neither do I. I have lived with a man for nearly 18 years now, and it is simply not a way that he could be characterised. He's a polar opposite to that idea. And indeed, virtually all the men I know are decent chaps who simply don't fit with this idea (you do meet some rotters sooner or later).

    But...

    ... the original quote was much more subtle. I don't recall the exact words off hand, and seeing as it is the night before a long weekend, and I've had one or two drinks, I'm not going to hunt out the exact words. Nevertheless, the original piece considered the idea that even if they themselves weren't rapists, to the extent that they bought into the control that the fear of rape gave them over women, then all men were rapists.

    Not a pretty thought. And although it's an analysis that I might agree with in the abstract (in the sense of "if A, then B really does follow"), my experience suggests that most of the men I know aren't actually interested in controlling women per se, let alone controlling them through the fear of rape. That is, A is simply not true, so then B can't be true either.

    In social terms, we have come a long way since the 'all men are rapists' idea first gained notoriety. Nevertheless, B Jones (above) makes an interesting point. And so does 3410.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Neil: It's ludicrous, but it fits with the current US administration's position that negotiation is for weaklings. Blair's success is an implicit criticism of the current US "conservative" doctrine, and as such neocon cheerleaders like Derbyshire must say things like that lest the faithful begin to doubt.

    It's pretty funny reading calls for British patriotism from a man so desperate to leave the UK that he lived as an illegal immigrant in the US.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Ooops! Critical step I left out....

    To make my explanation of the 'all men are rapists' claim work, you really need to run with the idea that rape is not about sex, it's about power.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

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