Sunday, December 17, 2006

Welcome to Self-Awareness Corner

A serial incompetent and nepotist who repeatedly turned a blind eye to genocide in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur chides the US for its unilateralism.

"No nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over others" intoned the shameless fraud, pissing on the memory of Harry S Truman by daring to show his face at the latter’s Presidential Library in Missouri instead of being run out of town on a rail.

Sadly, as the audience was 100% Democrats, BBC reporters, and other assorted traitors to human freedom, no-one thought to hold a whip round and buy him a ticket to Beijing, so he could deliver the same message regarding Taiwan and Tibet, or to Teheran, to give the mullahs a piece of his mind re Lebanon.

Kofi Annan was born in Ghana in 1938, and is still not dead.

Kofi Annan and friends, yesterday. One can’t exactly call his retirement “well-earnt”, but on the other hand the rest of the world certainly deserves a break from him and his leechlike cronies.


Chris.T said...

Yes, the useless, corrupt UN, eh, Ivan?
Whatever were they thinking, creating an entity such as Israel?
And why do they insist on having a flag in exactly the same colours as this obscene entity?
Do you think they're proud of the chaos and misery they've engendered?

PI said...

'Born in 1938 and still not dead.' You sound like our French grand-son, aged 8, who when I asked him if he would come on his own to visit us when he is a big boy, blinked at me through his chic, navy blue framed spectacles and said.
'But you are going to be dead.'
Clearly bound for the French Diplomatic Service.

Anonymous said...

Seeking supremacy may be problematic for most nations, but actually gaining supremacy over others is pretty much the only way anybody's ever come by security. Just ask the survivors from all those nice places Kofi couldn't be bothered with.

Chris T., I hate to say it, but I think most of you "obscene entity" types have gotten so lost in your own surreal feedback loop of exaggerations, distortions, and plain ignorance, that it's simply a waste of time to try to communicate with you at all. Congratulations! You've got even more in common with David Duke than you realize. Sad, but true.

Loved the bit about the flag, though: An artful, tantalizing hint of far greater craziness held in reserve.

Anonymous said...

I recall back in the sixties when the UN tried to co-opt American children into paying its bills by having us go around and ask for donations instead of candy on Halloween. Thus did we first learn of that august institution.


Chris.T said...

s.e.m.m.l, I'll call you 'semel', you've told me off now.

I'm sorry for any improper thoughts I had about Israel.

Israel is a democracy, Israel is a's all exaggerated nonsense to suggest that Israel would shoot at unarmed women and children.

Everyone is just as bad as Israel; look at England, during the IRA period. They were always flying their fighter planes over Belfast's Catholic areas, firing guided missles into apartment blocks full of children. You were always seeing the army gunning down children for throwing stones.

No, you're spot on, Semmel, Israel, if anything, is a Light Unto the Nations and the only explaination for any harsh critisism directed towards it is psychological.

People who don't agree with Israel's policies are lunatics, no less.

How lucky for us all that those awful Soviets didn't take over the World, with their evil 'thought control' techniques, eh, Semmel?

Desargues said...

I don't think any of the ideological parties to this discussion has much legitimacy left to support a fit of self-righteousness. Not the UN, which has by now turned into an inert behemoth where the few remaining true democracies are supposed to cohabitate with the likes of Putin, Mugabe, and Qaddafi -- a body that watched with arms akimbo a genocide unfold in Africa, while Western scholars wax dramatic about the Holocaust. Not the United States, unless you count might as the only source of right (that's enough for Machiavelli and Hobbes, so it's not a notion that carries no weight); banging the table about freedom and democracy is a bit rich coming from a country that chose to flout all international law only to fuck the dog by invading the wrong country and making a mess of it at the head of the Coalition of the retroactively Invited. Not the Righteous State, whose soul has been corrupted by the long concubinage with murderous Levantines, and which now uses the slogan of being God's little island of freedomocracy in a sea of swarthy barbarians to push itw own neocolonialist project -- an ethnic-racial state that claims to be Western at a time when Western nations built on the idea of a monolithic race and ethnos have become as obsolete as the Byzantine Empire. And, evidently, not the vociferous group of the "non-aligned" either, a motley crew of demagogues, incompetents, petty tyrants, and unreconstructed socialists.

I dunno what kind of reform that blunt walrus Bolton was trying to push through, but it sure doesn't go deep enough -- as long as you have a body in which America, Britain, and France are supposed to reach a common position with Putin's Russia and a resource-hungry, oppressive China, you are deluded yourself about getting anything done. Why the hell don't just dismantle the whole damn thing, and replace it with a Western club looking out for its own interests abroad? It would sure be more efficient and less hypocritical. The lesser breeds could join by invitation only, once they prove themselves worthy. I mean, isn't that how gentlemen's clubs used to work, anyway?

Ivan the Terrible said...

More silver linings, as Kofi's retirement also means he no longer needs to steal from the poor.

Fortunately, his brother seems to be keeping the Annan flag flying when it comes to bare-faced robbery.

Desargues said...

Saving on a low-rent apartment in the more unsavoury areas of New York, that may impress Peter Mandelson or some other chum of Tony's; but it's small change compared to what those Eurocrats used to steal under the protective regency of Jacques Santer.

And it's definitely very small change for some of those African tyrants pillaging their own countries these days. Kofi has a long way to go to measure up to Idi Amin and Laurent Kabila. If the lecture circuit bandwagon doesn't work out for him, he can always try Nigerian scam letters. At least his English is decent. He has a golden future ahead of him asking each of us to serve as next of kin on behalf of this corrupt UN official who stole 30 million bucks from the oil-for-food programme, then died mysteriously, leaving a huge wad of cash unclaimed in a Ghanaian bank. Your urgent reply is needed. Please contact Kofi Annan at


Anonymous said...

Chris, poor Chris...

Democracy, in these modern times, is generally taken to mean a political system where elected officials run things, and all adult citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or sex, get to vote and hold office and so on. That's the system that Israel has. No ifs, ands, or buts: It is precisely that. Roughly 15% of Israel's citizens are Arab Muslims or Druze, and they vote, run for office, hold office if elected, and serve in the military if they choose to. So I figure either you're about as blissfully uninformed as most self-appointed experts on the Middle East (see below), or else you've invented a bizarre new definition for "democracy" -- something not unrelated to your definition of "Stalinist thought control" as "any time-space continuum in which it is physically possible for somebody to disagree with Chris T.".

The rest of it... y'know, it's fairly tedious dealing with people like you: I've wasted time arguing with bigots of varying flavors -- white racists, in particular, though I'm not quite convinced you're one of those -- and it's just a waste of time. The beliefs precede the "facts" and the "logic". The "logic" is generally circular or incoherent, and the facts generally consist of distorted or wholly fraudulent anecdotal evidence declared by fiat to be all you really need to know (from somebody far too ignorant to judge). Bullshit, all of it. Pure bullshit. And everything else just bounces right off. So while it's tempting to offer to engage with you on whatever other "creative" articles of faith you happen to be clinging to this week, and I suppose if you fire off a few I'll probably do just that, I really shouldn't, because there's no hope of communication at all. Like explaining natural selection to a creationist.

Moving right along... The syndrome you've got does, in goofier cases, resemble mental illness, but when I mentioned "craziness", I didn't mean literal mental illness but rather irrational nonsense. People use the term figuratively more often than literally, in my experience. But the bit about the flag: Are you claiming that people have been trying to persuade the UN for decades to change their flag? And they've been resisting, because in some subtle and magical way the blue and white thing strengthens Israel's position in the world? Or what? That weird little excursion was, let's be honest here, a classic paranoid fringe-lunatic riff. The fixation on symbolism, particularly. Was it just an attempt at humor? You've got to realize that effective self-parody requires really heroic effort, when your entire belief system is a parody of itself already.

Desargues, "monolithic race and ethnos" is a wonderfully surreal way to describe one of the most racially/ethnically diverse populations on Earth, if as I figure, you're talking about Israel (or are your definitions of "race" and "ethnos" as conveniently nebulous and mobile as that other guy's definition of "democracy"?). I'm guessing that you aren't aware that about half the Jews in Israel are from pretty much everywhere in the Islamic world west of the Himalayas and Ethiopia too, with corresponding variation in pigmentation and 90% of what people call "culture". Again, the ignorance. The abysmal, hopeless, willful, invincible ignorance.

And, yeah, I'll draw my own conclusions about what precisely your problem is. Sorry 'bout that. Or am I guilty of Stalinist thought control if I don't think what you order me to? In addition, I'm Catholic, with no "Jewish blood" that I'm aware of, so you can give that one a rest. Sorry 'bout that, too.

By the way, Europeans are still very much fixated on shockingly (to an American) narrow "racial" parameters as a definition of nationality, as demonstrated by the hilarious reality of banlieustans or bantieustans in France, and their equivalents elsewhere on the continent. "Race" is meaningless bullshit; it's a mystery to me why people care. But they do. Euros are idiots. They still think everybody on Earth but them is a barbarian. It was preposterous enough when the fools had colonies full of darkies to kick around, but now, it's too pathetic even to qualify as a joke.

The coinage "banleiustan" is, damnably, taken. "Bantieustan" is better in my view and it looks like I can claim it, but I don't suppose I could talk anybody into picking it up? Anybody?

Desargues said...

Um, yeah, very cogent. Trust a Catholic to master the art of invective. They've been honing that skill since Adversus Haereses. Don't bother looking it up, it's in Latin.

If the Righteous State is this den of diversity, how does one become a citizen of it? I'm interested in submitting an application. Surely my not being Jewish shouldn't count, right? After all, since there's no racial or ethnic component to being Jewish, I shouldn't worry about that. Which makes me wonder: if Jewishness has got nothing to do with race or ethnos, why was it necessary to create a special state for it, anyway? If Jewishness is like articulacy or outspokenness (rather than being white or being Indo-European), surely it makes less than perfect sense to call for a special state to shelter it. To my knowledge, few people woudl ever advocate the creation of a Republic of the Outspoken or a Confederation of the Articulate. Perhaps the criterion for being a Jew is subscribing to the tenets of the first Abrahamic religion? That would surely explain some Israelis' obstinate clinging to what they call Judea and Samaria. But, if that is so, they should kick out all those secular nonbelievers in their midst, eh?

And how do you turn an electro-magnetic gizmo into a super-electro-magnetic thingy, anyway? Have you perhaps come across a new form of radiation -- super-electro-magnetic energy? That would make Maxwell green with envy. Hurry and patent it, before anyone steals your secret.

chris.t said...

A nice creaming, Desargues. I appreciate that.

Desargues said...

Thanks, Chris. I do what I can. ;-)

Incidentally, a publication no less respectable than The Economist muses over a similar question. As the article is behind the subscription wall, I'm pasting it here in its entirety:

Rowing Rabbis : The simmering dispute over how Jewish the Jewish state should be

“WHO is a Jew?” is again the question splitting Israeli society. Last month Israel's chief rabbinate proposed legislation denying all converts to Judaism the privilege, which they (along with born Jews) now enjoy, of claiming automatic Israeli citizenship under the “law of return”.

This seemingly self-defeating move—after all, Israel always wants more Jews to immigrate—stems from long-standing tension between Israel's religious and secular natures. The Orthodox chief rabbinate was originally granted a monopoly over matters of personal status, such as conversion, marriage and burial, but Israel's supreme court has gradually eaten away at it. Converts to one of the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations that are popular elsewhere but have little authority in Israel, such as Reform and Conservative, can now claim Israeli citizenship if they converted abroad. The court may well rule soon that conversions performed in Israel count too.

The rabbinate's radical bill is meant to pre-empt this. Its fear is that while converts from abroad are fairly few, tens of thousands of foreign workers living in Israel will line up for the supposedly easier (in fact, still quite demanding) forms of conversion, get their passports and stay permanently. And since the rabbinate still won't accept them as Jews, pressure will then build to break its monopoly on marriages, either by letting other denominations perform them or by instituting civil marriage, which does not yet exist.

The pressure already exists. A Jew can be born only to a Jewish mother, but the law of return, to make immigration easier from countries where anti-Semitism was once rife, lets any child or grandchild of a Jew, and their spouses, come to Israel. As a result, some 300,000 “Jewish” Israelis are not technically Jewish, so cannot marry in Israel or be buried in most Jewish cemeteries. Their lobbying power is growing.

Yossi Beilin, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, this week countered the rabbinate's bill with one proposing “secular conversion”, a legal flourish to make those 300,000 Jewish in the state's eyes. But since that would not alter the rabbinate's powers, it would solve little. Neither bill stands much chance of becoming law.

However, secular and non-Orthodox Jews are not the rabbinate's only critics. Some mainstream Orthodox rabbis think its domineering approach alienates people from their own religion. Many Jewish couples marry abroad, including some who want religious weddings, simply because “they don't want to deal with the rabbinate”, says Rabbi Benny Lau, himself a nephew of a former chief rabbi. Most Israeli Jews, he thinks, want a “soft Judaism”, with Jewish values permeating the country rather than religious diktat ruling their lives. He argues for minimising the rabbinate's legal powers and forcing it to act “as a public servant, not a judge”. Others think religion might even flourish best if religion and state were quite separate.

This is as much a turf war—the rabbinate's control over things like marriage, burial, religious education and kosher licensing gives it a great deal of power—as an ideological debate about the nature of the Jewish state. Either way, Israel has never made much progress towards solving it.

This week alone, the conflict reared two more of its heads. Yuli Tamir, the education minister, came under rabbinical attack for deciding to put the “Green Line”—Israel's internationally recognised border, which separates it from the Palestinians' occupied territories—back into school textbooks, from which it has been absent for decades. And El Al, the national airline, faced boycott threats for allowing some flights on the Sabbath in an attempt to catch up after a strike grounded them. Such clashes may grow more frequent."

The same issue is addressed, rather nicely, in one of Tom Friedman's last decent books, written before he discovered, to his amazement, that people in India have computers and America buys its t-shirts from China. It's From Beirut to Jerusalem. Surely Semmel's not going to impute his Jewish credentials, since presumably mine aren't in order.