Posts Tagged Iraq

Bluergghhhhhh!

Bluergghhhhhh!

It has been rare for me to post more than once in a day in recent weeks, but stumbling across what is probably the most obscene Tony Blair-related story just forced my arm.

I don’t need to state for the umpteenth time that I simply hate this unctuous wanker, and that if I were to ever have the opportunity to meet him I’d have no hesitation in giving him matching black eyes – and then some. Not only has he been responsible for almost single-handedly destroyed the reputation of the position of Prime Minister, he succeeded in dragging this country – and with it, the British taxpayer – into a pointless war in Iraq. Because he thought he did what was right. Or because God told him to do it. Or maybe, just maybe, because he was in league with shady foreign oil companies and stood to make millions from it.

Yes, that’s right. While British soldiers are still being killed in that faux-democratic Middle Eastern shithole on account of Tony’s pack-of-lies war, the slimy crooked-toothed bastard is merrily raking it in through his deal with South Korean UI Energy Corporationa company that has connections with both the United States and Iraq. Quelle surprise.

Tony Blair. How can anybody trust this face?

Tony Blair. How can anybody trust this face?

In addition to this, Blair has also managed to secure a deal with the not-so-democratic fiefdom of Kuwait – a statelet that is little more than an oil company with a seat at the United Nations ruled by some fat despotic sheikh – which nets him a cool million. His task? To produce a report on the state’s future over the next thirty years.

Hmm. I wonder if he’s going to get his information from some student’s essay he might happen to find on the Internet. Or something.

It’s one thing to see Bluergh vacuuming up all of this cash, but it’s something else for these sycophantic numbskulls to throw their money at him for reading from pre-prepared crib cards. Whether it’s about the future of the oil industry, using elephant shit for producing electricity or projections on the rabbit population of Uzbekistan, I’d guarantee that Blair knows little more than what he is told by some faceless expert. If one were to take him aside and grill him on these issues, he’d probably try worming his way out of the discussion in order to hide the fact that he actually knows fuck all.

No one former Prime Minister can ever be described as faultless, but before Blair one could have at least believed that their interests were driven by a sense of principle and a genuine desire to work for the British people. Churchill, Thatcher, Attlee, Wilson to name but four – all may have had their faults and failings, but at least we had some sort of understanding of what motivated them. Blair on the other hand never really had any principles of his own – all of his ideas came from his army of media spin doctors and slippery advisors, and his speeches were less about substance and meaning than mealy-mouthed sound bites and manufactured bullshit.

It goes without saying that he did a bloody good job, in much the same way as a dodgy car salesman would sell an unsuspecting buyer a cut-and-shut.  Here was a man not driven by any sort of principle, but simple avarice. What more could you expect of a man who was marching around with the beard and sandals brigade in the 1980s but was suddenly transformed into some shiny military leader responsible for the unnecessary deaths of thousands a decade later? I rest my case.

It’s funny in a way that both The Guardian and the Daily Mail seem to have it in for Blair – it’s also funny that while he appears to be loved by foreigners who don’t seem to know any better, he is pretty much despised in his own country. The Mail, for example, goes to town on his earnings – from his dodgy deals through his his upcoming autobiography, which has been given the utterly sickening and syrupy title The Journey. You couldn’t make it up – the man is a walking parody. But rather than being roundly condemned and rightfully mocked he is allowed to jet around the globe making speeches at £100,000 a pop, racking up a massive carbon footprint while at the same time pontificating to the rest of the planet on environmental issues.

Then of course there is the matter of the ridiculous amounts spent on his security detail – after all, he doesn’t want to run into someone like me, does he?

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The Ego and the Idiots

The Ego and the Idiots

Funny. I rehashed a wonderful cartoon featuring Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi last week, and this week they are both featuring heavily in the headlines, albeit for completely different reasons. While Italy’s poor old permatanned PM has been on the end of an unfortunate battering by a mentally unhinged individual, our old friend Blair is back to his worming and squirming best in trying to fend off growing criticism of his motives for invading Iraq.

OK, Berlusconi. Some people don’t like the guy for his politics, while the vast majority simply don’t like him because he’s a slimy old crook. I’ll be honest and say that I have no issue at all with much of Silvio’s politics; there are plenty of good things to be said about his position on a number of things ranging from the European Union through to his country’s position on immigration and in particular the growing number of Balkan gypsies that have been flooding into Italian cities. He has also forged a solid alliance with Umberto Bossi’s Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania, which is a bastion of political common sense parties in a country riddled with parliamentary comedians.

But come on – Silvio’s an old crook with his fingers in many pies – and everyone in Italy knows it. He has been accused of almost everything from simple fraud and corruption through to collusion with the Mafia, but has so far managed to worm his way out of trouble – usually by seeing charges being mysteriously dropped. He is the master of the misplaced gaffe – leaving even the likes of the Duke of Edinburgh in his wake – and has been plagued with accusations of wild womanising and cavorting with prostitutes. So why do people vote for him? Quite simply, because there is no real alternative for anyone who sits to the right of the political spectrum; unless the Lega Nord can join with other similar parties and build the possibility of a stable coalition, it is a simple choice between a Berlusconi-led coalition and the motley band of socialists, communists and other ne’er-do-wells.

Berlusconi sees himself as a popular guy, someone for whom an obvious gaffe is a friendly witticism; he prides himself on his appearance, strutting around with his nip/tucked permatan, boasting how he is almost as “tanned” as Barack Obama and how the beautiful women of Italy fall spellbound at his feet. He truly believes the Italian people love him as much as he loves himself, and it is this that caused him to become unstuck this week: wading among a crowd of would-be adorers, he failed to realise that there are also many out there who view him with a certain degree of distaste and opprobrium, as well as others that may well be mentally unstable.

Cue his rather painful meeting with a model of Milan’s cathedral – la Duomo – brandish by one such mentally unstable individual. Net result: two broken teeth, facial lacerations and – perhaps more crucially – a severly damaged ego.

Which of course brings us to our very own Tony Blair – who is just as egotistical as Berlusconi but without the Latin charm. In fact, with those crooked teeth and his sinister reptilian eyes, he is a far cry from the self-proclaimed Italian stallion. And when the figures are added up and the death counts calculated, a far greater criminal. Silvio Berlusconi may be a liar, a egotist and skilled in the art of worming out of tight situations, but he pales in comparision to the truly odious Blair; while I might have felt a degree of sympathy for the bleeding Berlusconi after his encounter with the Duomo, I would harbour no such feelings for Blair if someone felt like having a go at him with a scale model of Ben Ben. In fact, I’d be encouraging them to bury it deep into his eye socket.

I’d actually go so far to say that if someone were to introduce Blair and a scale model of Big Ben in such a gruesome fashion, the local economy would receive a helpful boost in that more tourists would want to get one of their own. It certainly seems to have worked as far as sales of replicas of the Milan Duomo are concerned.

We all should know by now that the story concocted by Blair and his assorted minions to justify the invasion of Iraq was based on some student’s essay and the utterings of a Baghdad cabbie. It is so bad that it reads like badly-written spy novel; one could even say that it was comedic were it not for the fact that because of this man’s folly scores of British servicemen and women have been killed in action and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed or displaced.

After years of desperately clinging to the fiction of Iraqi WMDs and displaying a bloody-minded unwillingness to admit that the horrid mess was based on a pack of lies, Blair has truly slipped into worm mode by stating more recently that “he would have invaded Iraq anyway” – suggesting that – if one applies standard Blairian logic – he would have invented a different and possibly more original way of duping the public into going along with it. In an alternative universe, Blair and his mate George W. Bush would have have invaded Iraq not over phantom WMDs, but the fact that there were not enough toilet bowls in Iraq. Or that there were not enough shoes for the natives to throw around. Or something equally ridiculous.

By saying that he would have invaded Iraq regardless, Blair is trying to reinvent himself (as any self-respecting chameleon would, of course) as a man of conviction – simply, he would have invaded Iraq for no other reason than because he thought Saddam Hussein was a very bad man. Well I am sorry Tony, but that simply doesn’t wash; what about all of those other “very bad men” out there? What about Robert Mugabe, the greedy and corrupt leader of a country that is a member of the Commonwealth and which has a far closer relationship with Britain than Iraq? Was it really about chasing about “bad men”, Mr Blair? Or was it about oil? Or was it simply about currying flavour with the United States and crawling up George W. Bush’s arse to boost your own ego and sense of self-worth?

It has become by now fairly clear that Bush administration, cajoled and prodded by the hawks in Washington DC and the creepy-crawly residents of Amen Corner, was after a source of cheap oil; getting rid of Saddam was seen as a beneficial byproduct, a happy coincidence to project the propagandistic notion of America being the global guardian of democracy. This ultimately blew up their faces when they realised that they had opened Pandora’s box and released all manner of political gangsters, terrorists and nasty Islamic extremist fanatics that have successfully turned Iraq into as big a hellhole as Afghanistan. In basic terms, it was a grand plan that went awry.

The same cannot be said of Blair’s position, where there were no tangible gains to be made. The people of this country have gained nothing from these so-called “wars” in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with the possible exception of Government ministers and companies that have specialised in manufacturing bodybags. Over the past seven or so years billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been sunk into these projects – and it has taken us to the point where there Ministry of Defence is having having to close down bases because it cannot afford new helicopters to deploy in Afghanistan. Blair was more than happy to send British soldiers to their pointless deaths, but his minions couldn’t afford to make sure they were adequately equipped for the task. If Blair had really felt that strongly about Iraq, perhaps he should have taken Saddam in himself without involving the British public or the Army – an institution that both he and his successor care little or nothing about.

So, we keep asking. Why? In an amazingly candid broadside, the former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald has claimed that Blair’s Iraqi folly was driven not wholly by political or moral(!) objectives, but a simple sycophantic desire to please.

“The degree of deceit involved in our decision to go to war on Iraq becomes steadily clearer. This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions and playing footsie on Sunday morning television does nothing to repair the damage. It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.”

Of course, whether Blair found his reasoning credible or not is beside the point; such thoughts would not even have made a blip on his radar. It is pretty well known that the pathological, egotistical liar has no qualms about covering one lie with another; it is second nature, and any feelings of what can be described as guilt are non-existent. It’s like the rather puerile story of Tiger Woods sending a suggestive text message to one of his lovers whilst in bed with another, or Berlusconi dismissing criticism of his indiscretions with some throwaway one-liner.

McDonald hammers the point home:

“Washington turned his head and he couldn’t resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him. In this sense he was weak and, as we can see, he remains so. Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that “hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right”. But this is a narcissist’s defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgment: it is certainly no answer to death. “Yo, Blair”, perhaps, was his truest measure.”

I don’t think I could have put things any better.

While stories are at this moment being written about an old man that has been dragged in front of a court for being in the wrong place (namely, Nazi-occupied Europe) at the wrong time (namely, the Second World War) the real criminals are lording it in front of us, being paid obscene amounts of money for talking in obscure places on topics that they know nothing about. If someone like John Demjanjuk can be dragged from his home and across the world to face what are admittedly sketchy accusations of war crimes, I can see no reason why both Blair and Bush shouldn’t end up in the dock for orchestrating what was clearly a well-documented war of aggression in the Middle East – with additional charges being laid for their obscene campaign of lies and subterfuge.

If the standards set at the Nuremberg Trials mean anything at all, they should also be applied universally and without prejudice – or else the motives behind war crimes legislation is nonsense and little more than theatre masquerading as justice. In short, a show where the real criminals are the ones pulling the strings.

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Beep, beep…

Beep, beep...

So, the truth has finally been revealed: the infamous 45-minute WMD claim ‘came from an Iraqi taxi driver’.

Well, let’s just say that I am not in the slightest bit surprised. Iraq has been blown to shit, thousands of civilians have been killed, the country has been plunged into a nasty civil war, and British soldiers are still being shot at by all and sundry – yet that worm Tony Blair is flitting about like some celebrity and getting paid to have people listen to his crooked salesman’s voice.

Tony Bleurgh, formaldehyde expert.

Tony Bleurgh, formaldehyde expert. Seen here with a friend.

While millions of dollars are being spent dragging a tired and weak old man across the world to face what many would consider to be trumped up and even fictitious war crimes charges, real-time war criminal Blair is smiling for the camera and being paid £90,000 for twenty minutes for waxing lyrical about the merits of formaldehyde in Azerbaijan.

Let’s just say that I’d very much like to place Tony Blair in a vat of formaldehyde à la Damien Hirst. The man is a prize fucking wanker of the highest order.

As for this mysterious Iraqi taxi driver and part-time intelligence expert, I wonder where he is now? Probably picking up fares in Peckham or Southwark in a battered old Nissan Almera.

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The not so special relationship

The not so special relationship

Here we go again.

I do sometimes wonder if the United States’ wanting to lord it over the rest of the world has more to do with an inherent inferiority complex than the simple display of power and influence; so many times we have seen them take a very large sledgehammer to a very small nut when a common sense kid glove approach would have otherwise sufficed.

The tactics they adopt aren’t even consistent, unless you look at them as you would a playground bully. They talk the talk like Americans always can, but only take action when they are absolutely certain that they can get what they need; this is why they have successfully puffed themselves up as the saviours of the world, while invading countries that have offered no real threat to anyone. Witness Afghanistan – an utter shithole of a country that has been utterly ruined by decades of invasion, Islamic extremist madness and civil war – and Iraq, which was conveniently marinated through harsh economic sanctions for over a decade. It was only when the Iraqi Army had been starved of all morale and their Soviet-era tanks had rusted firmly into place for lack of fuel that the Amis felt brave enough to march on Baghdad, and finally depose a much-hated bugbear who even at his most desperate was unable to fire even one of his many imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

Conversely, the voiceboxes across the pond – and their rather loud army of arselicking followers here – continue to talk at length about the likes of North Korea; the reality is that they would never consider an invasion, for anyone who knows about these things knows that Lil’ Kim Jong Il probably does have a very real arsenal of horror weapons – and would have have no hesitation in using them. As a result, all we have is bluster and bullshit rhetoric about the “axis of evil” or some other Hollywood soundbite to satisfy the trigger-happy Bible-basher belt who would otherwise be concerned with baking cookies for their local anti-Harry Potter convention or protesting about upholding their Gawd-given right to shoot small animals with high calibre rifles.

Yes, the US is a bully – it can invade countries and people that cannot fight back, but doesn’t go beyond the blah blah blah when dealing with those countries that are actually capable of giving it a bloody nose. I guess they have learned from their bitter experience in Vietnam, when a bunch of jungle-dwelling peasants gave them a brutal lesson in close quarter combat. I have never been a friend of the communists and I’d rather spoon out my own eyes before siding with them, but whenever I get this vision of some gun-totin’, bible-punchin’, sister-fuckin’ good ole boy walking straight into a VC booby trap before he can say “I’m gonna git me some Gooks”, I can’t help but chuckle.

All of this of course leads me to the latest diplomatic furore, that concerning the case of Scottish computer nerd Gary McKinnon, a rather sorry individual who has been elevated to public enemy #1 in the self-proclaimed Land of the Free.

Gary McKinnon is a man who is quite clearly a couple of nickels short of a buck – let’s not beat around the bush here – and is far from being some sort of dangerous criminal terrorist threat. If anything, his being able to hack (or rather, stumble straight into) expensive and supposedly top-secret military and NASA computers would suggest that the security levels applied by these agencies were not up to scratch. Rather than wasting everybody’s time in attempting to extradite a man who wouldn’t be able to defend himself in court – let alone survive in prison – the US should be sorting their own shop out and asking how they allowed themselves to be embarrassed in this fashion.

Therein lies the rub: this entire process and the position of the US authorities is not about pursuing a criminal or even defeating an imagined terrorist threat, but little more than an exercise in masking their own incompetence. Being embarrassed in such a fashion is something the collective American ego is incapable of stomaching; to be undone by one of their own is one thing, but to be shown up by a pasty-faced Britisher? And a feeble-minded pasty-faced Britisher at that? You can’t even begin to imagine it.

Of course, being British McKinnon is an easy target: the Americans owe us nothing, and as far as they are concerned this country is useful only if we supply on-field live targets for friendly fire or bases for them to launch their airborne forays into the Middle East. The so-called “special relationship” is a complete and utter myth, something that sits firmly in the media-constructed minds of those nincompoops who celebrate the fourth of joo-lie without actually knowing anything about it.

You just need to look the extradition agreements that exist between us to understand that all of this “special relationship” stuff is just horsecrap; you can bet your life that if the boot were on the other foot our so-called friends across the pond would be kicking up a massive stink, lacing it with a healthy helping of “how dare you, he’s American!

Of course, our own government has – rather predictably – reacted in their own typically spineless fashion, though in all fairness one could have expected nothing less from the otherwise inconsequential Alan Johnson, who would appear to care more about genuine terrorists than a mentally inadequate bumbler who had the misfortune to caught up in a mess he cannot be expected to comprehend.

If there is a “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom, it can only be one where we are seen by the US as their “special friend” – where the word “special” takes on an entirely different meaning.

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It’s all kicking off Stateside

It's all kicking off Stateside

Most if not all of you would have by now heard about the gunman running riot at the US Army base at Fort Hood, Texas – yet another story of an American going apeshit with a loaded weapon resulting in the deaths of a dozen servicemen and women and injury to many more.

This story however is one with a grisly twist in that the crazy shooter, one Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was a Muslim of Jordanian descent.

Naturally, the story has thrown the entire country – and armies of journalists and commentators across the globe – into a scribbling frenzy. While we have had those in the neocon Amen Corner babbling on about Islamic terrorism, those on the left have been quick to counter with the argument that Hasan’s religion had nothing to do with his decision to open fire on his erstwhile colleagues, and that it was yet a simple case of his being driven by a range of psychological problems.

The truth, as we will no doubt discover when the facts begin to emerge and the hubbub dies down, probably lies somewhere in between.

From reading initial reports, it would appear that Maj. Hasan – who ironically was an Army specialist in mental health Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC – was a devout Muslim who had for years expressed reservations about the ongoing struggle in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that he had been driven to the very brink by the fear of being posted to one of these locations. Not a comfortable position to be in whichever way one chooses to look at it, but clearly not enough to conclude that he was some sort of terrorist with any sort of long-term or thought-out agenda.

On the other hand, those who have argued that Hasan’s religious convictions are irrelevant are clearly deluding themselves – the fact that the man had expressed such strong reservations about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq for years suggests that there was clearly a conflict between his loyalty to the country of his birth on the one hand and his religion on the other. This was an outrage perpetrated by a man who was caught in a psychological bind – and whether some of us like it or not, his religion was a very obvious motivating factor.

Islam is more than just a religious faith; it is also a political ideology, a fundamental way of life that can be – depending on how far you take it – incredibly uncompromising. It naturally demands a certain degree of loyalty, and so long as this loyalty remains in place there will always be room for doubt when trying to understand the mindset and motivation of those Muslims who claim to be part of Western society. On the one hand they appear willing to go along with the flow, but at the same time they fiercely cling onto beliefs that very clearly hark back to the dark ages. It is the sort of warped mindset that might make someone shout “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire on his colleagues.

It is my belief that one can never truly be both a devout Muslim and a happy, cooperative member of Western society, as at some point contradictions will crop up – contradictions that to a devout Muslim would be non-negotiable. Communal showers at sports clubs. Dinnertime at school. Attitudes to women and girls. A night out with the lads down at the pub.

Being sent to serve your country in a Muslim country such as Afghanistan or Iraq.

Some have attempted to portray Hasan as the victim in all this, with some of his relatives suggesting that he had been harrassed over his Middle Eastern origins and Muslim beliefs. One is not going to suggest this sort of thing may or may not have happened – it must have been hard for any Muslim serviceman post-9/11 – but we aren’t talking about some wet behind the ears greenhorn recruit here. Hasan had reached the rank of major, not something that can be achieved overnight; he had joined the Army not long after leaving high school, which suggests he would have served the best part of two decades in the military.

While a general antipathy towards Muslims among those in the US military would have peaked in 2001 following the September 11th attacks, it had always been bubbling under the surface after the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and the first invasion of Iraq in 1991; quite simply, the argument that Maj. Hasan had been forced to endure a life of harrassment just does not wash, for if this were the case he would have left the Army long before.

There is also the argument that Hasan’s having to deal with injured and psychologically damaged comrades during the course of his work at the Walter Reed Center had caused him to snap; this too is highly dubious in that the natural reaction to this would not have involved randomly shooting your colleagues and adding to the list of casualties. It just doesn’t make sense.

Rather than trying to point the finger at his colleagues, I’d argue that Hasan decided to develop his devotion to Islam after the 9/11 attacks, which not only created a conflict of interest but made his position in the US military increasingly untenable. This need to show a wider Islamic solidarity was not an uncommon phenomenon; one only needs to have observed the sudden surge of veil-wearers after 9/11.

My conclusion is rather inevitable, in that I’d simply go back to the idea that Islam and Western societal mores are essentially incompatible: it’s a sad case of never the twain shall meet. Those that believe that Islam and Western society can peacefully co-exist are living in a fantasy world, for it is a simple fact that those Muslims whom we would see as moderate would not even be seen as Muslims by some of their more aggressive brethren; they’d simply be among those infidels lined up to be killed in any impending Jihad.

It would simply be better if so-called moderate Muslims who wish to be part of mainstream Western society were to jettison their association with this archaic religious doctrine entirely; it would get what is a rather nasty monkey off their back, and at the same time let the rest of us know where we all stand.

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Daily Mail Nazi Story of the Week… Or hack-job of the Week…

Daily Mail Nazi Story of the Week... Or hack-job of the Week...

The Daily Mail are at it again. Take a story, take some quotes, twist them all out of context and throw out a particularly lurid and attention-grabbing headline. They are simply beyond despicable. I am this time talking about their own curious take on the story concerning the interview of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

To really illustrate how disingenuous the hacks at the Daily Mail are, one should read their take on this story alongside the original interview, conducted with style and good grace by Alice Thompson and Rachel Sylvester of The Times.

Bernie Ecclestone. A Nazi? Don’t make me laugh.

As far as I am concerned, the comments offered by Ecclestone – covering a myriad of different topics – are something of a breath of fresh air. It is about time somebody pointed out that democracy is not all that it is cracked up to be, particularly with regard to countries where the concept is completely alien. Of course, the Mail distorts these comments in order to project Ecclestone as a dyed-in-the-wool enemy of democracy, when all he does is expose the most obvious failures. What sane person could not agree with the following, for example?

“Politicians are too worried about elections. We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein, he was the only one who could control that country. It was the same [with the Taleban]. We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture. The Americans probably thought Bosnia was a town in Miami. There are people starving in Africa and we sit back and do nothing, but we get involved in things we should leave alone.”

There is nothing objectionable here – unless you are one of those deluded politicians who happens to believe otherwise. In the six or so years since the invasion of Iraq, that country has been driven back into the stone age.

Iraq may have what is being touted as a democracy, but the reality of the situation is that the majority of the population are short of food and water, and Islamic fundamentalism – something that was firmly kept in check by Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship – is rife. Under Saddam children could go to school without tjeir bus being bombed, women didn’t have to wear restrictive clothing and could go to university and beyond, and the country was far more stable than the majority of its neighbours. Oh, and it kept the current bad boy Iran in check as well.

Now look at the place – crawling with fundamentalists, a bunch of crooks as leaders, and a population whose basic standard of living has plummeted. Oh, but they have a democracy, so all is good. Hip-hip hooray.

The fact is that democracy is not the fit-all, suit-all idea that many here in the West believe; while it is for the most part fine for us – well, for the most part – it is completely inappropriate in countries where the basic concepts of civic society required to maintain a democracy are nonexistent. That old adage involving saddles and cows comes to mind.

Countries are like human beings in macrocosm. They need to learn, to grow. They need to develop a sense of civic responsibility that will allow for the organic development of democracy. Countries are like children, and as much as you wouldn’t allow a young child too much freedom at too young an age, the same should apply to countries. Foisting a so-called democracy on Iraq is akin to giving a ten year old licence to do whatever he or she wants; the result – chaos. The same could be said of much of sub-Saharan Africa where colonial regimes were ushered out, leaving what could have been something good in the hands of leaders that were for the most part politically immature.

Bernie Ecclestone is perfectly fair in his criticism of the British political establishment, the benefit culture, the NHS and the Labour Party; he is also perfectly honest in his appraisal of Adolf Hitler, the one name that always seems to get the folks at Daily Mail towers all agitated. It is just unbelievable that you cannot mention Hitler’s name in any context without some politically correct or scandal-mongering clown getting into a massive flap over it. Ecclestone says:

“In the end he [Hitler] got lost so he wasn’t a very good dictator. Either he knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it – either way he wasn’t a dictator.”

Far from being a silly statement, the above appears to suggest that Ecclestone actually knows his history and that, unlike the hacks at the Mail, he has actually read about the subject. It has been a debate among historians for decades over whether Hitler was the strong man of popular legend or a weak dictator whose whose success lay in having the right group of minions to do the job for him: I have for a long time believed that after Hitler rose to power he left things in the hands of the like likes of Bormann and Himmler. Hitler cared little for the everyday job of politics, preferring instead to get up late, tuck into some Sachertorte and take his dog for long afternoon walks in the mountains. Before regaling tired audiences with tedious after-dinner monologues.

In their bizarre and to be frank scurrilous attempt to take the “Hitler was good” angle and morph Bernie Ecclestone into some sort of racist crank, the Mail completely ignores the reference he makes to the Spanish F1 supporters who mocked Lewis Hamilton, or the fact that he took it upon himself to take the lead in condemning these imbeciles.

Bernie Ecclestone should sue the Mail for taking his comments out of context and give any money to charity. Meanwhile, those who have been quick to condemn should hang their heads in shame. This country is fast losing its grip on common sense, and needs more people like Ecclestone – and less bullshit from rags like the Daily Mail.

And talking about bullshit – the Springboks today were bloody awful. No further comments required.

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