Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The ideas meme: Sackcloth and Ashes

A guest post by Sackcloth and Ashes


[Bob: This is taken, with permission, from the comment thread at Sarah's responses to my "influential ideas" meme. I've taken the liberty to add a couple of hyperlinks. Posts on the one state solution, mutualism and some other issues thrown up by this meme to follow. Non-bloggers, feel free to e-mail me your lists and I'll consider publishing them if I have time.]


Bad influences

(1) Kneejerk occidentalism (namely, the automatic assumption that any act of US and British policy is automatically evil, and also the concurrent belief that any opponent of the West – no matter how malevolent or barbaric – should be supported on the grounds that they are ‘anti-imperialism’. This disease could well be described as Pilgeritis.
(2) Anti-Semitism, thinly disguised as ‘anti-Zionism’. Then as now, the socialism of fools.
(3) Moral relativism – namely the idea that gender equality, anti-racism, gay rights, human rights etc cease to matter in non-Western countries, unless their violation can somehow be blamed on those closer to home (see point 1). This sentiment can be called Gopalism, in ‘honour’ of the Cambridge professor of ‘post-colonial’ studies who could condemn ‘Time’ magazine for putting a mutilated Afghan girl on the front cover, while not saying a word against the thugs who maimed her.
(4) Pandering to theocracy – a trend which (in the form of apologias for Iran and for radical Islamist movements) is partly due to (1), but also a reaction by the far left to the failure of Marxism-Leninism since the late 1980s (see Shameless Milne, Maddy of the Sorrows et al). The far-left’s apologias for religious extremism is motivated by a desperate search for any ‘ideology’ – no matter how reactionary and twisted – that can provide an ‘alternative’ to liberal democracy.
(5) Whataboutery – the stock reaction of certain far-leftists when exposed as charlatans, hypocrites, and outright scumbags.
Not influential enough ideas
(1) Internationalism – The idea that you stand behind anyone fighting for the same rights as you in any part of the world. Honourable exceptions include HOPI – which has incurred the wrath of the STWC by being both opposed to any US attack on Iran AND the theocratic regime in Tehran – and also Mick Rix – who broke ranks with the STWC when they excused the murder of Iraqi trade unionists as the killing of ‘quislings’.
(2) Anti-Communism – this should have the same honourable pedigree as anti-Fascism/anti-Nazism, but for some reason the idea that ‘left can speak to left’ exists like some undead ghoul. Repeated examples from the Bolshevik revolution to the Khmer Rouge demonstrate that once in power the far-left have shown the same characteristics associated with the far-right (genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, militaristic aggression), but the myth exists that Marxist-Leninists can be misguided but essentially honourable people (e.g. the deification of Trotsky). Once this notion is abandoned, the real left can break ranks with the totalitarian left, leaving the latter to wither and die away. The continuation of the discredited notion that leftist movements of all stripes are part of the same family also provides ammunition for those on the right who argue that ’socialism’ involves an automatic journey to the gulag and to ‘Year Zero’ (e.g. Jonah Goldberg on ‘liberal fascism’, enemies of Obamacare etc).

85 comments:

sackcloth and ashes said...

Can I add one comment on the 'anti-Communist' bit?

I accept fully that at certain points over the 20th century honourable and idealistic individuals may have been attracted to Communism. This includes intellectuals in the 1930s who were unaware of the enormity of the Stalinist purges (but not those fellow-travellers who saw life in the USSR at first hand, and should have known better), and also selected African Marxist-Leninists (e.g. Agostinho Neto, members of the SACP) who saw Communism as a means of fighting racist white regimes.

But otherwise my comments still stand, particularly with reference to those like Seumas Milne and Bea Campbell who show no regrets over their association with Communism and their apologias for the Soviet system (and indeed - in Milne's case - still seek to make excuses for said ideology).

Waterloo Sunset said...

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that overall, but a few observations.

It does seem that you're using "Communism" to refer specifically to the Bolshevik version of it (and possibly variants on that like Maoism). It wouldn't seem to me to cover the likes of the SPGB, let alone non Marxist communists.

It's also worth noting that some of the first major criticisms of the Bolsheviks came from their left (Luxemburg, Berkman etc.) while the right were largely silent.

I'd also suggest that the same criticism can be made of those who support neoliberalism. Capitalism has killed more people through poverty than Stalin at the height of the purges. Indeed, as that's a matter of public record, those still refusing to call for the abolishment of capitalism are closer to the "fellow travellers" you mention, as opposed to the idealistic but misguided.

Graeme said...

"My view is that [neoliberalism] refers to a class project that coalesced in the crisis of the 1970s. Masked by a lot of rhetoric about individual freedom, liberty, personal responsibility and the virtues of privatisation, the free market and free trade, it legitimised draconian policies designed to restore and consolidate capitalist class power. This project has been successful, judging by the incredible centralisation of wealth and power observable in all those countries that took the neoliberal road. And there is no evidence that it is dead."

-David Harvey, The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism

bob said...

I personally dislike the term "anti-Communism" precisely because it blurs the distinction between Communism (capital C, i.e. the murderous totalitarian regimes ruled by Communist Parties, and the various Parties affiliated to those regimes) and communism (small c, i.e. a much bigger range of ideas and traditions, many fiercely anti-totalitarian). I use the term "anti-Stalinist", as in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Stalinist_left

JM said...

Oooh the IFTU controversy, I remember reading about it here:
http://leninology.blogspot.com/2005/06/iftu-tours-us.html

It just seemed like back and forth banter really and while I obviously disagree with their stance on troops staying in Iraq, I don't think it's automatically okay to murder them. I can understand why the sentiment was popular, but as we can see, the coalition arranged by Al-Saddr didn't work out as many leninist Brits hoped.

JM said...

Don't see within that Mick Rix link anything about STWC supporting the murder of IFTU members however

bob said...

The STWC statement, made by Murray and German, was to call for support for "the resistance" in Iraq and for "whatever means they ["the resistance"] find necessary". This statement was made around the time of the murder (by "the resistance") of IFTU leader Hadi Salih. Just before his murder, George Galloway had described IFTU as "quislings", which followed the general line of the main group of activists within the STWC (i.e. the then aligned Respect and SWP) towards the IFTU, which included their disgraceful treatment of Subdhi al-Mashadani at the Livingstone-hosted European Social Forum. Rix resigned because of lack of democracy in STWC, and later added his voice to the denunciations by LFI and others of the "quisling" and "resistance" lines. See http://www.cpgb.org.uk/article.php?article_id=1001909 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/jan/09/iraq.iraq http://www.johannhari.com/2005/01/12/responses-to-the-morning-star-and-socialist-unity http://www.johannhari.com/2005/01/12/responses-to-the-morning-star-and-socialist-unity http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d2Mushin&Kent-1.pdf

"I am sorry. If you think I am going to sit back and agree with beheadings, kidnappings, torture and brutality, and outright terrorization of ordinary
Iraqi and others, then you can forget it. I will not be involved whatsoever, to me it is akin to supporting the same brutality and oppression inflicted on Iraq by Saddam, and the invading and occupying forces of the USA."
Mick Rix, former left-wing leader of the train drivers’ union, ASLEF, writing to Andrew Murray to resign from the Stop the War Coalition.

bob said...

Sorry, inserted Hari link twice, second one was meant to be http://www.labourfriendsofiraq.org.uk/archives/000147.html When I have time I'll insert clickable hyperlinks.

skidmarx said...

For sackcloth & ashes to complain about whatabouttery is as hypocritical as his ongoing desire to excuse American mass murder in Vietnam by disputing the figures, while claiming that anyone who even considers the question of the figures for those deaths he disapproves of is a genocidiare.
Worst.Cross-post.Ever. Bob - you should be ashamed of yourself for giving this right-wing nutcase a platform.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'For sackcloth & ashes to complain about whatabouttery is as hypocritical as his ongoing desire to excuse American mass murder in Vietnam by disputing the figures, while claiming that anyone who even considers the question of the figures for those deaths he disapproves of is a genocidiare'.

Excuse me, skidmark, but you are accusing me of being a genocidaire? You're the one who said that 'only 100,000' Tutsis died in the 1994 genocide, endorsing Irvingesque pseudo-scholarship in the process:

http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/nocide-denial-here-we-go-again/

You were also the one claiming that during the Bolshevik era the VChK only executed a few score individuals. Your 'source' was a pamphlet by Tony Cliff, in which he quoted Yakov Peters, one of Dzerzhinsky's lieutenants. Such is your approach to evidence.

You have also - in your comments - distorted the substance of our 'dispute', in which I backed up my stats on military and civilian deaths on the Communist side by pointing out that they came from Hanoi. Only on Planet Swuppie can the Vietnamese government be accused of maximising the former and minimising the latter.

Anyway skidmark, I'm actually grateful to you for popping up on this thread for highlighting the worst that pseudo-leftists like yourself represent, and the baleful effect that it has had on the left-wing cause. Swuppies like yourself are utterly deceitful, devoid of both integrity and intelligence, have a sheep-like devotion to the party line, fascistic and racist tendencies (hence your willingness to pay court to Gilad Atzmon and his ilk), and are also serial disseminators of lies about acts of genocide and mass murder, making you the moral equivalent of the likes of Toben, Duke et al.

I just wish you and your fellow trash were honest enough to admit that you're nothing more than Strasserite scum.

modernity said...

Amusing as far as it goes, WS and Bob make the points that I think should be made.

Anti-Communism sounds like some relic of the 1950s, and if we were attuned to politics as a way of explaining things, then anti-Stalinism and ani-Leninism might be more appropriate terms.

I think under not influential enough must come anti-fascism, it has been so neglected for decades that the antics of the EDL seem to come as a surprise to many, when they shouldn't.

Whilst I am at it, anti Toryism is no where near as influential as it should be, the present disputes excepted.

bob said...

Skid uses the term “right-wing” as an insult, both here and in his other recent comment, just as his ilk at the Hoare/Gibbs thread at Mod’s place use “neocon”. Using these words as substitutes for criticism indicates a refusal to think through the actual content of the ideas. “Left-wing” includes everything from Pol Pot to Tony Blair and therefore can’t be used as a compliment. In fact, the whole point of this meme is about separating the wheat from the chaff, keeping the best of what is “left-wing” and eliminating what is worst – and perhaps finding what is best that is considered “right-wing”.

Mod, I notice Carl and Flesh have re-tagged you for this meme.

I’m not sure about anti-Toryism. The Labourite in me wishes we’d had a bit more of it in the run-up to the May elections, but it certainly seems to have bloomed since then. Anti-fascism probably needs to be more influential, but also needs a bit of re-thinking first, in my view.

skidmarx said...

sackcloth and ashes - yourilliterate as well as stupid. No it is you who is making the accusation, and I see is still making the accusation on yet another HP thread in an exercise in whatabouttery that shows up your hypocrisy in deriding the concept here. Lies and mistakes abound in the rest of you comment: I never said that only 100,000 had died in Rwanda, and never particularly had a strong view on the subject, so your oft-repeated accusation is a seriously libellous one which once again Bob should be ashamed of allowing to appear here. It was a book not a pamphlet of Cliff's that I'd vaguely remembered, enough to suggest to Michael Ezra that he would regard it as a partisan source, and didn't noticeably engage in any further argument over the question of early Cheka deaths.
And your nonsense about the level of Vietnamese casualties sources to one badly designed table. There are still Vietnamese kids being born with horrible deformities from American chemical attacks, and you are a nauseating cheerleader for that.
You're the one who impersonated me to praise Toben, so when you call me deceitful, it just exemplifies the projective lunacy that should embarrass anyone who associates with you.

Bob - I would think that "right-wing" is an insult, but a summary not a substitute for criticism. If you think that s&a is somehow of the left, or the best of the right, and that his post has any meaning when it represents rank hypocrisy (normally I wouldn't think that ad hominem attacks were appropriate, but in this case the divergence between practice and preaching is unavoidably vast.
When you associate with this serial liar, and other wonders of the left like crazed anti-communist hedge fund manager Michael Ezra, I start to wonder.

bob said...

Well, I think we know which side Peter Seeger was on...

ModernityBlog said...

Bob,

Tangentially, it is amusing to see how quick Comrade SkidMarx is to criticise you for supposedly being rightwing, yet was incapable of uttering a word of criticism towards Gilad Atzmon and his racism.

It speaks volumes.

Ahh, memes? which one? I haven't seen any email, granted I am still catching up, a book one? I suppose with a struggle I could put one together, didn't read much last year, this year should be better...

ModernityBlog said...

PS: as a New Year's resolution, you must migrate from blogger to WordPress, and if you need a hand just ask.

skidmarx said...

Bob - so you're one of the screamers now? Once you've excluded everyone who's not politically correct from the League of Left Decency, I fear you may have noone left.

Modernity - why when you promote the defence of not mentioning things (like the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails) because as a blogger you shouldn't be obliged to cover everything, should I, who doesn't even have a blog be required to condemn someone I've never met, and wasn't even aware of the existence of until I saw him being used as a stick to beat the SWP with? Here's some rather murderous criticism of my own,Here's the opinion of the SWP's leading blogger, which I'd tend to respect, and here's a good point by Tony Greenstein.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'sackcloth and ashes - yourilliterate (sic) as well as stupid'.

Wow. My ironymeter has just given up the ghost.

'No it is you who is making the accusation, and I see is still making the accusation on yet another HP thread in an exercise in whatabouttery that shows up your hypocrisy in deriding the concept here'.

'Whataboutery' does not involve exposing you as someone who endorses genocide denial.

'Lies and mistakes abound in the rest of you comment: I never said that only 100,000 had died in Rwanda, and never particularly had a strong view on the subject, so your oft-repeated accusation is a seriously libellous one which once again Bob should be ashamed of allowing to appear here'.

Really? Let's see what you actually said here:

http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/nocide-denial-here-we-go-again/

'Christian Davenport deosn’t (sic) appear to deny there was a genocide: The genocide caused, by their estimate, 100,000 of a total of 1 million deaths.

But then that wouldn’t fit your agenda of claiming that anti-imperialists are all David Irving clones'.

'[Davenport is] estimating that 10% of the deaths were due to the genocide, not that only 10% of the deaths actually took place'.

So in other words you are endorsing Davenport's pseudo-scholarship, which claims 'only' 100,000 out of a total of up to 1m dead. What happened to the rest skidmark? Bad bout of typhus?

'I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along'.

So, you are saying that there is an 'RPF view' that 800,000 approx were slaughtered by the Hutu Power regime in 1994, and an 'alternative' view which seeks to either minimise the death toll - or deny the genocide altogether - and that you subscribe to the latter.

So much for your claim that you have 'never particularly had a strong view on the subject'. You are a shameless liar, skidmark, and your phraseology here is the exact mirror of that used by Irving et al over the Holocaust.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'It was a book not a pamphlet of Cliff's that I'd vaguely remembered,'

As if that matters a damn, but at least you admit that you're memory is hazy, and you haven't the faintest idea of its contents.

'enough to suggest to Michael Ezra that he would regard it as a partisan source,'

Which he was correct to do. Tony Cliff is the founder of the SWP, not a qualified scholar on the history of the Soviet Union. The fact that he quoted Peters as a reputable source (by your own hazy recollections) is proof in point. Would you accept Ratko Mladic's account of what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995? Actually, I shouldn't ask that question, because you no doubt would.

'and didn't noticeably engage in any further argument over the question of early Cheka deaths'.

He and I gave you sources on the VChK's record in the early years of the USSR - and its crimes against humanity - which you chose to ignore.

'And your nonsense about the level of Vietnamese casualties sources to one badly designed table'.

I sincerely wish that HP still kept its comments pages. I could expose you as a liar again.

'There are still Vietnamese kids being born with horrible deformities from American chemical attacks,'

And there are those who lost their loved ones in Communist atrocities such as the Hue massacre during the Tet offensives, boat people who lost relatives who drowned or were murdered by Thai pirates when they fled Vietnam after 1975, and those who survived years of hell in 're-education camps'. And that's not counting what happened to the Hmong in Laos, or the horrors of 'Year Zero'. Not that you'd give a fuck about any of them you hypocritical piece of shit.

'and you are a nauseating cheerleader for that'.

Swuppie thinking at its lowest. Apparently correcting skidmark's BS about Vietnam is akin to approving Agent Orange. I won't ask him to back that up by quoting me, because I know he can't.

'And You're the one who impersonated me to praise Toben,'

That's slander. I never did such a thing, and it could have been just about any one who visits HP's open comments page.

'so when you call me deceitful, it just exemplifies the projective lunacy that should embarrass anyone who associates with you'.

Skidmark, if you think that being outside your sick little red-brown clique is a badge of shame, it's one I'm actually proud to wear.

Now run away to Lenin's Tomb with all your fellow swankers. This site is for proper leftists, not hemorrhoid scum like yourself.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'It was a book not a pamphlet of Cliff's that I'd vaguely remembered,'

As if that matters a damn, but at least you admit that you're memory is hazy, and you haven't the faintest idea of its contents.

'enough to suggest to Michael Ezra that he would regard it as a partisan source,'

Which he was correct to do. Tony Cliff is the founder of the SWP, not a qualified scholar on the history of the Soviet Union. The fact that he quoted Peters as a reputable source (by your own hazy recollections) is proof in point. Would you accept Ratko Mladic's account of what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995? Actually, I shouldn't ask that question, because you no doubt would.

'and didn't noticeably engage in any further argument over the question of early Cheka deaths'.

He and I gave you sources on the VChK's record in the early years of the USSR - and its crimes against humanity - which you chose to ignore.

'And your nonsense about the level of Vietnamese casualties sources to one badly designed table'.

I sincerely wish that HP still kept its comments pages. I could expose you as a liar again.

'There are still Vietnamese kids being born with horrible deformities from American chemical attacks,'

And there are those who lost their loved ones in Communist atrocities such as the Hue massacre during the Tet offensives, boat people who lost relatives who drowned or were murdered by Thai pirates when they fled Vietnam after 1975, and those who survived years of hell in 're-education camps'. And that's not counting what happened to the Hmong in Laos, or the horrors of 'Year Zero'. Not that you'd give a fuck about any of them you hypocritical piece of shit.

'and you are a nauseating cheerleader for that'.

Swuppie thinking at its lowest. Apparently correcting skidmark's BS about Vietnam is akin to approving Agent Orange. I won't ask him to back that up by quoting me, because I know he can't.

'And You're the one who impersonated me to praise Toben,'

That's slander. I never did such a thing, and it could have been just about any one who visits HP's open comments page.

'so when you call me deceitful, it just exemplifies the projective lunacy that should embarrass anyone who associates with you'.

Skidmark, if you think that being outside your sick little red-brown clique is a badge of shame, it's one I'm actually proud to wear.

Now run away to Lenin's Tomb with all your fellow swankers. This site is for proper leftists.

BenSix said...

Sackcloth and Ashes: Skidmarx said that 100,000 Rwandans died in the genocide.
Skidmarx: WTF?
Sackcloth and Ashes: Skidmarx said that someone else said 100,000 Rwandans died as the particular result of the genocide. Look! Here's a comments thread where I proclaim that he's a "cunt" and "little fuck" who should "drown in a vat of shit".

sackcloth and ashes said...

'It was a book not a pamphlet of Cliff's that I'd vaguely remembered,'

As if that matters a damn, but at least you admit that you're memory is hazy, and you haven't the faintest idea of its contents.

'enough to suggest to Michael Ezra that he would regard it as a partisan source,'

Which he was correct to do. Tony Cliff is the founder of the SWP, not a qualified scholar on the history of the Soviet Union. The fact that he quoted Peters as a reputable source (by your own hazy recollections) is proof in point. Would you accept Ratko Mladic's account of what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995? Actually, I shouldn't ask that question, because you no doubt would.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'and didn't noticeably engage in any further argument over the question of early Cheka deaths'.

He and I gave you sources on the VChK's record in the early years of the USSR - and its crimes against humanity - which you chose to ignore.

'And your nonsense about the level of Vietnamese casualties sources to one badly designed table'.

I sincerely wish that HP still kept its comments pages. I could expose you as a liar again.

sackcloth and ashes said...

BenSix, you need to do some basic reading comprehension. Read skidmark's comments about Davenport, and it is blatantly obvious that he is not just reporting them, he agrees with them.

Do you agree with him that anyone who argues that between 800,000-1m were slaughtered by the Hutu Power regime is pandering to 'the RPF view of events'? Because if so, you should be honest and say so.

And I'm so sorry you're upset about the invective I directed against this piece of filth. I'd do it to his face if I ever met him, because I have a short way with swankers who tell lies about mass murder. I recalled reading Alison des Forges HRW report on the genocide, and in particular the harrowing testimony of those who either survived this carnage, or who saw its after effects. That's why I think that Irvingite trash should stay in the sewer where they belong, rather than pollute the left with their presence. If you've got an issue with that, I've got a tissue for you to dry your eyes out.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Back to skidmark's post (broken down because of word limits):

'There are still Vietnamese kids being born with horrible deformities from American chemical attacks,'

And there are those who lost their loved ones in Communist atrocities such as the Hue massacre during the Tet offensives, boat people who lost relatives who drowned or were murdered by Thai pirates when they fled Vietnam after 1975, and those who survived years of hell in 're-education camps'. And that's not counting what happened to the Hmong in Laos, or the horrors of 'Year Zero'. Not that you'd give a fuck about any of them you hypocritical piece of shit.

'and you are a nauseating cheerleader for that'.

Swuppie thinking at its lowest. Apparently correcting skidmark's BS about Vietnam is akin to approving Agent Orange. I won't ask him to back that up by quoting me, because I know he can't. If in doubt - smear. That's the default position of the swanker.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'And You're the one who impersonated me to praise Toben,'

That's slander. I never did such a thing, and it could have been just about any one who visits HP's open comments page. I'm not the only person who hates members of the hemorrhoid left like yourself.

'so when you call me deceitful, it just exemplifies the projective lunacy that should embarrass anyone who associates with you'.

Skidmark, if you think that being outside your sick little red-brown clique is a badge of shame, it's one I'm actually proud to wear.

Now run away to Lenin's Tomb with all your fellow swankers. This site is for proper leftists.

BenSix said...

It was foolish of me to have commented. I blame utter perplexity (not offence as you, perplexingly, appear to have spied in my comment). To avoid being tedious or, worse, a moralistic fuck I'll get this over with quickly: (a) I've no real knowledge of the Rwandan genocide, (b) it is unseemly to, as skidmarx did, express a poorly formed opinion about hundreds of thousands of deaths, (c) I don't think that expressing sympathy - but not agreement - with the view of accredited scholars who feel that a large proportion of the killings were due to civil war, revenge murders or societal breakdown rather than a mad desire to eliminate an ethnic group is quite equivalent to Irving's longstanding and public quest to make people believe that Hitler was a decent bloke, (d) it might inspire correction but damnation and pseudo-outrage seems a little OTT - no offence, man, but if you were really pissed off I don't think fart jokes would be prime among your thoughts - and (e) an abusive, posturing back-and-forth may not be a splendid way to commemorate Rwandan deaths (or, indeed Iraqi deaths (or Vietnamese deaths (or Russian deaths))).

As you were.

skidmarx said...

Ben Six - thanks for your comments. While you may be right that offering a poorly formed opinion on such an important issue is unseemly, that would restrict debate to accredited scholars and the ranters and ravers. What I in fact did was take issue with the Shiraz post's assertion that Davenport and Stam were simply engaging in genocide denial, then when this was interpreted as meaning that I was subscribing to their views, said that I used to think that the RPF was entirely in the right and should be cut a lot of slack, but that the screeching on that thread was tending to discredit the simple view.

Modernity - I did reply on Atzmon (with also a brief mention of Pete Seeger in reply to Bob) but the comment appears to have been stuck in moderation.

s&a - If in doubt - smear...
Not that you'd give a fuck about any of them you hypocritical piece of shit...
Would you accept Ratko Mladic's account of what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995? Actually, I shouldn't ask that question, because you no doubt would.

Again, projective lunacy.
at least you admit that you're memory is hazy, and you haven't the faintest idea of its contents.
Well if your ironymeter has given up the ghost when my hurried typing led me to fail to put a space between to words, what will mine do when you mistake "you're" for "your"? And when I checked the Cliff volume in question, my memory of it was accurate.

skidmarx said...

I would take apart your continued libels about Rwanda, but you seem to think it is a useful piece of whattabouttery to try and divert any thread I comment on so I don't know if you should be encouraged. Just to note that when you say the alternative view to the entirely pro-RPF one is to minimise the death toll or deny the genocide shows that you have no interest in listening to what is argued whatsoever.Not even your mates at HP think this is worth pursuing, except for your own sock-puppets, that should really tell you that you entire case is a lie, but obviously one you stupidly repeat over and over. Again note to BenSix, I did respond once to this fool's repeated hounding over at HP to explain my views on the genocide (which he shouldn't really have needed to do if my original remarks supported his charges), but then found he was claiming I'd said the exact opposite of what I actually did. I gave up.

skidmarx said...

The two halves of the last comment may appear out of order.

skidmarx said...

Or not at all

sackcloth and ashes said...

Firstly, I apologise to BenSix for any intemperance in my comments. But not, of course, to that mersey trout who has polluted this thread.

'The two halves of the last comment may appear out of order'.

You are 'out of order', skidmark.

Let me be clear. You have been given ample opportunities to clarify your remarks on the Shiraz Socialist thread. All you really need to say to clear things up (as BenSix has noted) is to say 'I don't know enough about this subject to comment on it, can anyone recommend me some good books to read before I open my fat, stupid mouth again?' That would work.

As has also been pointed out to you - frequently, and at length - genocide denial does not just mean saying 'this never happened'. It also means making efforts to excuse the perpetrators by minimising the death toll, which is what Davenport does. It is the same sick stunt as performed by those who claim that the victims of Srebrenica were 'executed', and by those who say that 'only a million Jews' died in the Holocaust, and this was as a result of natural causes (e.g. disease) rather than a deliberate policy of extermination.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Davenport's claim that out of the total death toll in Rwanda in 1994, 'only 100,000' were killed by the Hutu Power racists out of up to 1m dead is not only a travesty of the truth, as established by scholars, human rights activists (like the late Ms des Forges), journalists on the scene et al. It also begs questions as to what Davenport (and skidmark himself) actually believe. For if this is true, what did the remainder die of? And it speaks volumes for the fact that skidmark - on the basis of what is at best a position of total ignorance - is prepared to smear those who have written authoritatively on Rwanda (including individuals like Gerard Prunier who are not exactly sympathetic to the current regime in Kigali) as purveyors of the 'RPF view of events'.

This is why people like skidmark have no place on the left, and should stick to the far-right where they belong.

sackcloth and ashes said...

I would add a final point here. Bob was kind enough to quote my comments on an HP threat with reference to his 'five good/five bad/five not sufficiently influential' meme. You will notice from the original post to 'e-mail me your lists and I'll consider publishing them if I have time'.

If you, skidmark, think that you can step up to the challenge, then email Bob about your views (or rather, those of the party you belong to), and see if he responds. Given the content of his blog, I doubt very much he'll have any sympathy for you or the Strasserite filth you associate with.

skidmarx said...

You want to know what Davenport thinks? Trying reading what he said. You want to impute views to me based on your own twisted assumptions? We'll get nothing but a continuation of your stupid libels.If I was suggesting how the left should behave, you would be a model of all the things to avoid. As I said at the first, your dishonesty and hypocrisy should make it embarrassing for BOb or anyone else to promote your excretions as a foundation for any sort of critical thinking.
"Far-right?" Ho,ho,ho.(Santas gone but not forgotten). It's you and your friends that praise Pinochet in Chile, big up the far-right when they're praising Israel in House of Commons meetings, some go soft on the EDL... all frrm seeing any sort of Communism as part of an evil worldwide conspiracy that only big business and the American empire can resist. That's another track I think the actual left would best avoid.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'You want to know what Davenport thinks? Trying reading what he said'.

I have, skidmark. I've also read des Forges, Melvern, Prunier et al. I've also read the accounts of those that witnessed the genocide, and I think that Davenport has written what is at best a shoddily-produced piece of research, and what is at worst an apologia for mass murder.

'You want to impute views to me based on your own twisted assumptions? We'll get nothing but a continuation of your stupid libels'.

Look, skidmark, it's quite simple. You can either admit that you spouted off on a subject you know nothing about, and fell into the trap of inadvertently endorsing genocide denial. Or you subscribe to Davenport's views.

If it's the former, then you need to eat a slice of humble pie. If it's the latter, then it tells anyone reading this thread all they need to know about where you stand politically. And it more or less confirms the fact that SWPers like yourself have no right to claim to be a part of the British left.

sackcloth and ashes said...

If I was suggesting how the left should behave',

Which would be a bit like asking Karen Matthews on advice for parenting.

'you would be a model of all the things to avoid. As I said at the first, your dishonesty and hypocrisy should make it embarrassing for BOb or anyone else to promote your excretions as a foundation for any sort of critical thinking'.

And yet he has. You're more than welcome to drop him a line to see if he'll do the same for you, but given the content of his blog I suspect that he has more in common with my political views than yours.

'"Far-right?" Ho,ho,ho.(Santas gone but not forgotten). It's you and your friends that praise Pinochet in Chile, big up the far-right when they're praising Israel in House of Commons meetings, some go soft on the EDL... all frrm seeing any sort of Communism as part of an evil worldwide conspiracy that only big business and the American empire can resist'.

That passage is just simply demented. Even by your standards it's drivel, and it makes no sense outside a padded cell.

'That's another track I think the actual left would best avoid'.

You, skidmark, and your vile little clique are not part of the 'actual left', and have no right whatsoever to claim to speak for it.

skidmarx said...

"You can either admit that you spouted off on a subject you know nothing about, and fell into the trap of inadvertently endorsing genocide denial."
What nonsense. I didn't endorse genocide denial at any point, and you are stupid and libellous to cotinue to claimsuch.

skidmarx said...

"what is at best a shoddily-produced piece of research, and what is at worst an apologia for mass murder."
So you're not even sure that he's engaged in genocide denial, when you have been stupidly libelling me for months, simply on the basis that I might support his view?(Emphasis on might, all of course I actually did was point out that he isn't). Your one piece of evidence for these months of stupid libels is an inaccurate piece of guilt by association to something you aren't even certain says what you want to accuse me of ? You may claim to have read much but you understand nothing.
Incidentally there is another major inaccuracy in both your comments, but I think I'll amuse myself by not bothering to point it out.
"Yet he has" - well shame on him for asociating with a shameless fantasist.
The passage you call demented points out the way you and your ilk have far more in common with the far right than I ever will. Hopefully Bob will realise at some point that some of his anti-communist buddies are justr simple rightwingers like you.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'So you're not even sure that he's engaged in genocide denial, when you have been stupidly libelling me for months, simply on the basis that I might support his view?'

Look skidmark, I know you're a swuppie, but even someone like you should understand this. Genocide denial is not just about claiming that a specific act of state-sponsored mass murder did not occur. It can also involve playing around with the figures to disguise the enormity of the crime committed.

I allowed for the fact that Mr Davenport may have written his trash because he is a poor scholar, and not a ghoul. But the end result is just the same. Your refusal to acknowledge this is a testimony to either your preternatural stupidity, or your inherently amoral and hypocritical character.

As for your rants about slander, I have given you the opportunity to set matters straight, and you have consistently refused to take it. So let me make this clear for you. Do you regard Davenport's claims as genuine scholarship, or a travesty of the truth? Do you regard the accounts provided not just by witnesses of the genocide (e.g. Dallaire, Gourevitch etc) but by reputable scholars and human rights effects - to the effect that the Hutu Power regime slaughtered up to 800,000 people between April and June 1994 - as the historical truth, or the 'RPF view of events'?

Stand up and be counted, skidmark. Tell us what you really think happened.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Incidentally, if we are talking about association with the extreme right here, tell me which of us belongs to a party that pays court to a minor musician who declares that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a reflection of reality. And tell us which of us marches alongside those whose chants call for the destruction of the Jews.

Just be honest and admit that you're a piece of red-brown filth. It's what everyone who isn't a fellow swuppie knows, so there's no point trying to pretend otherwise. In any case, thank you again for proving my point about the incompatibility of the real left with the Gadarene swine who hang out with the SWP.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, this is an opportunity for you to clarify your rants. Do you think that Davenport's account of the Rwandan genocide is accurate or not?

If you are, then you are aligned with someone who - either through his own shortcomings as a scholar, or through his own malice - is a genocide denier. As I said in one of my earlier comments, genocide deniers either try to claim that a specific act of state-sanctioned mass murder did not take place, or they try and minimise the death toll in order to disguise its enormity.

If you think that Davenport is correct, then you are of his kind. As they say, if you lie down with dogs, don't be surprised if you catch fleas. In any case, you have no right to pretend you belong to the real left, as opposed to the hemorrhoid variety.

BenSix said...

As I said in one of my earlier comments, genocide deniers either try to claim that a specific act of state-sanctioned mass murder did not take place, or they try and minimise the death toll in order to disguise its enormity.

Again, I've no wish to take sides in this particular argument (in fact, I'm ashamed to say that I have little knowledge of Rwanda beyond watching this) but let's be clearer: there's nothing inherently disreputable about claiming that specific acts of mass murder haven't taken place. For example, I deny U.S. atrocities at Malmedy. They must surely be entirely and provably mistaken (and, if they're to be seen as actively immoral rather than just foolish, through their own malign intent or bigotry, or some gross idleness).

modernity said...

Bob,

Is there a problem with this thread?

I keep getting emails of posts which haven't appeared....

bob said...

Mod, you get the e-mail of the comment submitted, but it doesn't appear on the blog until approved if it has been sent to spam.

If I migrate to Wordpress, what happens to all the old comments? There are comment threads I'd want to preserve as much as some of the posts.

skidmarx said...

this is an opportunity for you to clarify your rants.
You talk bollocks. If you don't have enough from the statements I've made to claim that I'm a genocide denier, then you shouldn't be making such a stupidly libellous accusation at all. And of course as already pointed out, when I did respond to your constant hounding on this issue on HP , you immediately started lying about what I'd said, just as you have lied consistently about what I said in the original Shiraz post.
tell me which of us belongs to a party that pays court to a minor musician who declares that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a reflection of reality.
Not me, you stupid fuckwit.


Is there a problem with this thread?
Where should I start?

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, for once in your life, give a straight answer to a straight question. Do you think that Davenport's account of events in Rwanda in 1994 is correct, and those associated with the so-called 'RPF view' (as you call it) are a distortion of the historical record?

A simple 'yes' or 'no' will be sufficient.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Incidentally, skidmark, I'm not surprised to see you lying about your party's association with Gilad Atzmon.

http://hurryupharry.org/2010/03/28/gilad-atzmons-new-adventures-in-nazism/

modernity said...

Sorry Bob, me being thick there.

As far as WP goes you can do *all* that blogger does and more.

I have stuff going back 4+ years.

There's a migration process, basically you create a WP blog same name etc point it at your blogger one and it takes over ALL of the old stuff for you....automatically, when you are happy you can shutdown the blogger one, so you don't have to do it all at once...

skidmarx said...

s&a - for once in your life admit that if you still need to ask the question it is because there is nothing in what I have said that supports the gross libel that I'm a genocide denier and apologise.But I really don't expect that any more than I expect one for the comparison to Karen Matthews or the allegation that I'm a supporter of Ratko Mladic.I can see that when you're exposed as a charlatan,a hypocrite and an outright scumbag you resort to this sort of thing, it's just not really wise to spout such serious lies when you have to ask the target for evidence to support your case.

Bob - I find wordpress works very well elsewhere, though I assume there must be some reason why blog owners don't more universally go for it.

Your second comment is based on ignorance.

sackclothand ashes said...

Skidmark,

Do you agree with Davenport, yes or no?

It's a straightfoward question, and the fact you refuse to give a straightforward answer tells us all that you know where you stand on this issue, but are too cowardly to admit it, even online.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, it's a simple question. Do you support Davenport's account, yes or no?

There is no point screaming about being misrepresented if you are too cowardly to make your views on this subject clear.

skidmarx said...

s&a - again it's a simple point: if you're having to ask me for clarification of my views, then what I have said so far doesn't support your outrageous accusation and you should apologise for repeating it over and over again on every HP thread you could, in a display of whatabouttery that shows up how hypocritical your suggested memes are.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, I know where you stand. I also know that your refusal to answer my question shows that you lack the guts to come clean. You endorse Davenport's attempt to minimise the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, and describe genuine accounts of this horrific atrocity as RPF propaganda.

You are a genocide denier, and you are not fit to class yourself as a leftist.

skidmarx said...

I know where you stand
Mind reader are you? Or just an idiot who has ignored it when I've said I don't have particularly strong views on the subject?
You endorse Davenport's attempt to minimise the horrors of the Rwandan genocide,
Lie.Two lies in one in fact.
and describe genuine accounts of this horrific atrocity as RPF propaganda
Lie.
You are a genocide denier
Complewtely unsubstantiated gross libel, you're not fit for..well anything.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'Or just an idiot who has ignored it when I've said I don't have particularly strong views on the subject?'

Skidmark, these are your own words, are they not?:

'I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along'.

What exactly is the 'other view' that you think was 'right all along'? You've never dared to ellaborate on this, and it is evident why this is the case.

If you refute these words, and admit that you wrote your comments on Rwanda out the kind of crass, arrogant self-confidence which makes swuppies assume they have expertise in every subject they approach, that's one thing.

But what you are saying here - and it is unambiguous - is that you reject the established and verified accounts of the Rwandan genocide in favour of Davenport's pseudo-scholarship.

Unless you refute your comments on the Shiraz Socialist thread, it is clear where you stand politically. And I thank you again for demonstrating why you and your fellow swankers have no right to be classed as belonging to the left.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along'.

That's unequivocal, skidmark. So much for your claim that you have 'no strong views on this subject'.

skidmarx said...

The one view being that expressed by the author of the Shiraz post that anyone who questions Kagame and co. is a genocide denier, and the other view being that of the blogger Lenin and Davenport and Stam, who suggest that that there was undeniably a genocide, but that there were other deaths in the conflict as well.
Maybe you made an honest mistake in thinking that when I said "the other view", I meant that the Hutu Power regime was in the right. No, I didn't.
I think it is hard from that quote to think that I have strong views on the subject. I used to lean one way, that thread made me think that perhaps I should lean the other (again, towards a more nuanced view of events, not towards excusing the genocidiares). Not exactly a proclamation of certainty.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'The one view being that expressed by the author of the Shiraz post that anyone who questions Kagame and co. is a genocide denier,'

That is a complete distortion of the debate. You do not have to be a supporter of the RPF (and - as I keep pointing out - people like Prunier are not) to accept the fact that up to 800,000 people were deliberately slaughtered by the Hutu supremacist regime in the spring of 1994. Your attempt to smear anyone who was written authoritatively on this subject as a Kagame apologist just goes to show how obnoxious and ignorant you are.

'and the other view being that of the blogger Lenin and Davenport and Stam, who suggest that that there was undeniably a genocide, but that there were other deaths in the conflict as well'.

Again, you're lying through your teeth. By claiming (on the basis of shoddy scholarship) that 'only 100,000' people were killed by Hutu Power, Davenport is trying to minimise the enormity of the latter's crime against humanity. And you, Seymour and other scumbags are cheering him on from the sidelines.

Just one other question for you not to answer. If you believe Davenport when he says that only 100,000 out of up to 1m people who died in Rwanda during the spring of 1994 were the victims of the Hutu extremists, then what did the remaining 900,000 or so die of?

skidmarx said...

Your attempt to smear anyone
I haven't tried to smear anyone.
Again, you're lying through your teeth.
No, I'm giving an honest view of what I think their argument is, thus lacking the intentionality for delibrate misrepresentation even if they are wrong and I'm wrong in my assessment.sti

skidmarx said...

And before this HP comment thread disappears due to their understandable fear of libel actions can I point out that this exchange:

Lamia - Shaun Wright-Philips is a notorious right winger.

skidmarx - but his dad was a great striker.

sackcloth and ashes - Notice the fact that Lamia’s joke sails right over skidmark’s head (hence my point about the SWP’s ability to recruit morons only).

shows your limited understnading of the English language, I was noting Lamia's use of the double meaning of "right-winger" by the double meaning of "striker". Before you set yourself up as a role model for anything you really ought to learn some English (and perhaps get a sense of humour and some civility, but hey, baby steps).

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, you have described reputable scholars on the Rwandan genocide as proponents of the 'RPF view of events'. That is a smear on their reputation, as it deliberately implies that their output is propaganda rather than genuine research.

You also state quite openly that you support Davenport's myth-making, which again shows that when you said you had 'no strong views' on this subject, you were lying.

As for your rant about the HP threat, it just goes to show that the SWP are no good at telling jokes, but they're very good at recruiting them.

Incidentally, I'm waiting for you to tell my why sources like this are a travesty of the historical truth but - hey - baby steps and all that.

http://www.amazon.com/Leave-None-Tell-Story-Genocide/dp/1564321711
http://www.amazon.com/Rwanda-Crisis-G%C3%83%C2%A9rard-Prunier/dp/023110409X/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294948738&sr=1-4
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_39?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=philip+gourevitch+we+wish+to+inform+you&sprefix=philip+gourevitch+we+wish+to+inform+you
http://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Murder-Rwandan-Genocide-Revised/dp/1844675424/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294948829&sr=1-3

sackcloth and ashes said...

Oh, incidentally skidmark, my question about Davenport and his figures remains unanswered. I'm not holding my breath for an honest or coherent response.

skidmarx said...

it deliberately implies that their output is propaganda
No it doesn't. And even if there were such an implication wrongly taken, there is nothing deliberate about the implication, though perhaps something deliberate about your misinterpretation.

You also state quite openly that you support Davenport's myth-making,
No I don't. I state as I have all along that I think the the abuse heaped on him is unwarranted, for the reasons BenSix gave earlier in the thread.Your twisting of my words here shows why I'm disinclined to bother investigating your sources further: if you had said at the beginning that you disagree with what Davenport said and put a coherent case for why he's wrong and why that might show that his thinking and methodology is so skewed as to make his views beyond the pale, I might have given your opinion respect and engaged with it and looked at your sources to see if they put a convincing case. But instead you have tried to lambast me as a genocide denier in a quite outrageous piece of libel, compounded by your use of the libel as a piece of whatabouttery on dozens of unrelated threads. When you are still twisting my words with such claims that I am "stating quite openly" what I am clearly not, it seems far easier to point out your errors than to satisfy your mendacity by providing you with more words to distort.
If I had the time right now I might expand this into a general point about how it is best to behave on blogs, with your penchant for the stupid lie top of the list of things to avoid.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, these are your own remarks.

'I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along'.

This is what you are implying.

'RPF view' = Established and verified accounts of the genocide.
'the other view' = Davenport's pseudo-scholarship.

That's the end of that. So stop claiming I misrepresented what you wrote.

Anonymous said...

'Skid uses the term “right-wing” as an insult, both here and in his other recent comment, just as his ilk at the Hoare/Gibbs thread at Mod’s place use “neocon”. Using these words as substitutes for criticism indicates a refusal to think through the actual content of the ideas.'

Isn't it funny that British neocons try to pretend that "neocon" has no meaning. Why are you so ashamed of being associated with your ideological partners on the other side of the Atlantic? They describe themselves as neoconservatives, what's your problem?

skidmarx said...

stop claiming I misrepresented what you wrote.
As long as you carry on misrepresenting what I said I'm entitled to point out what a lying piece of trash you are. What's likely to stop me is more boredom than anything else.
"Makes me think" implies an inclination towards an argument that challenges the notion that the genocide was all that's going on, precisely on grounds that the figures don't verify its correctness,nothing more. And what tended me to consider the argument seriously? The screeching on the thread by yourself and others that anyone who might consider the argument that the figures don't stack up is engaging in genocide denial themselves.
That is a really bad cheapening of the serious offence that denial of verifiable mass murder is, placing as it does really genocide deniers as simply part of of a broader mass of people whose crime is to do some thinking of which you disapprove.

Again, in the areas of a left blogosphere where more polite and intelligent conduct occurs, someone questioning a point I made would be far more likely to accept my interpretation of a statement of mine they disagreed with, not twist everything I say with their own interpretation of what it "really" means. You are a chronically dishonest debater, and deserve to have your ignorant and twisting ways exposed, and not considered as a valuable contributor to notions of left behaviour by anyone who can rub two brain cells together.And the parallel with your denial of the extent of the American killings in Vietnam shows(on the basis of some almost non-existent scholarship claimed to be based on Vietnamese figures; I'm sure if I bothered to check the official Vietnamese figures would be nothing like as low as claimed, but you're simply not worth taking the effort over)how hypocritical it is for you to libel someone as a genocide denier for being prepared to consider an analysis which doesn't deny the genocide but says there was more to events in Rwanda, when you are openly denying the extent of the slaughter of the Vietnamese.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'As long as you carry on misrepresenting what I said I'm entitled to point out what a lying piece of trash you are'.

Skidmark, you have taken umbrage at the description of Davenport as a genocide denier, even though he is engaged in genocide denial, and even though no scholar or genuine expert on Rwandan history and politics who treats his output as anything other than a distortion of the historical record.

I have repeatedly given you the opportunity to clarify your position on where you stand on this issue, but since your comments on the Shiraz thread last August you have refused to provide any straighforward and honest answer to a simple question - Who do you believe provides the correct version of events in Rwanda from April-June 1994, Davenport or his detractors?

That is a simple and unambiguous question, but your only response is to rant about misrepresentation. It is patently obvious that the only reason you do not want to provide an answer is because it will belie your claims that you are anything other than Strasserite filth. Just like the rest of the SWP.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'in the areas of a left blogosphere where more polite and intelligent conduct occurs'

I do not have 'polite and intelligent' conversations with people I do not respect, and that includes members of the red-brown fraternity like yourself. And as I will never tire of telling you, you are not a part of the left, you belong to its totalitarian, crackpot fringe and have no place to count yourself amongst those committed to genuine progressive politics.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'And the parallel with your denial of the extent of the American killings in Vietnam shows(on the basis of some almost non-existent scholarship claimed to be based on Vietnamese figures'

skidmark, the conflict in Vietnam happens to be something called a 'war'. As for 'non-existent scholarship', I could refer you (as I've consistently done) to Rummel, Record, DeGroot, Lewy, Kutler et al. But then just like the sources I highlighted on Rwanda, you obviously won't read them.

As I have also pointed out, Hanoi admitted to 1.1m military casualties for both the North Vietnamese Army and the VC (see press clipping from NYT, dated 22 April 1995).

http://www.virtual.vietnam.ttu.edu/star/images/232/2322414020.pdf

sackcloth and ashes said...

Continuing - you will notice that the Vietnamese give the figure of an additional 2m dead for the same time frame (1954-1975), but admit that they have not counted ARVN or other military/security force deaths. I point this out because someone as inherently dishonest as you will not.

Hanoi provides the following figures for the bombing campaigns - Rolling Thunder (1965-1968) and Linebacker I and II (1972). 52,000 civilian dead from 'Rolling Thunder', and at least 1,623 from the two Linebacker campaigns. The mayors of Hanoi and Haiphong reported 1,318 and 305 dead respectively (see Clodfelter, 'Limits of Air Power', pp.136-137, p. 195 - yet another 'non-existent' scholar for you to ignore).

sackcloth and ashes said...

Furthermore, if we are to look at civilian deaths in the South, there is of course no indication from Hanoi as to how many were killed by the North Vietnamese or the VC. You may have heard of the Hue massacre, skidmark. Or maybe not.

All in all, classing what is a major inter-state and intra-state conflict (Vietnam) as akin to a systematic genocide (Rwanda) just goes to show what a stupid, ill-informed and unpleasant little shit you are. Which is why of course you gravitated towards the SWP.

skidmarx said...

I have repeatedly given you the opportunity to clarify your position on where you stand on this issue,
So that you can libel me more? You ascribed to me then views that I haven't formed, and have badgered me ever since to provide grist to your mill so that your lies might have some substance in retrospect. I really haven't considered the question further since then, as it seems easier to point out what an obsessive liar you are, than to bother to engage with the demads of someone seemingly incapable of any honesty.
Of course there was one time I let up and pointed out that I didn't think all the blame for the deaths in Rwanda fell on the RPF, which you then reproduced repeatedly as me saying that the RPF was entirely responsible (or something of that order, with the threads deleted because HP realise that libelling people repeatedly is not a smart thing to leave on the internet indefinitely I can't be sure). If I had firm views on what happened I might defend them even to an arsehole like you. But I'm not going to "clarify" them just to give you sopmething to hang your lies on.

I do not have 'polite and intelligent' conversations
As Sisko said to the Kardassian tailor, "I think that's the first entirely truthful thing I've heard you say."

As Adrian Mitchell would say,or perhaps not, I'm sick of your denial of American atrocities.

bob said...

Anonymous writes:
'Skid uses the term “right-wing” as an insult, both here and in his other recent comment, just as his ilk at the Hoare/Gibbs thread at Mod’s place use “neocon”. Using these words as substitutes for criticism indicates a refusal to think through the actual content of the ideas.'

Isn't it funny that British neocons try to pretend that "neocon" has no meaning. Why are you so ashamed of being associated with your ideological partners on the other side of the Atlantic? They describe themselves as neoconservatives, what's your problem?


Obviously "neocon" has even less meaning than I thought if I am being accused of being one! What does the term mean? And who is it that disseminated the term in our political discourse?

sackcloth and ashes said...

'"I have repeatedly given you the opportunity to clarify your position on where you stand on this issue,"

So that you can libel me more? You ascribed to me then views that I haven't formed, and have badgered me ever since to provide grist to your mill so that your lies might have some substance in retrospect"'.

Skidmark, you have now gone so far you your arse you can scratch your tonsils with your nose.

If you want to stop me (briefly using your own twisted excuse for logic) from 'lying' about your views, it's quite simple. You could say 'I think Davenport is wrong', or 'I have blundered into a subject I know nothing about, and I need to do some remedial reading. Disregard anything I've said up till now as mis-informed'. Either way, you will clarify that you do not endorse genocide denial on Rwanda, and that will be the end of that.

But what your continued ranting shows is that you know that you stand alongside pseudo-scholars and ghouls who have made it their job to spread disinformation and outright lies about one of the worst acts of genocide committed in the latter half of the twentieth century - being up there with 'Year Zero' and 'Al Anfal', both committed by two regimes the SWP has acted as apologists for. All of which demonstrates my essential point, which is that you and your kind pollute the leftist cause in Britain, and that genuine progressives should spurn you as they would members of the far-right. Because essentially you and they are the same breed (or spawn, I should say).

sackcloth and ashes said...

'"I do not have 'polite and intelligent' conversations"

As Sisko said to the Kardassian tailor, "I think that's the first entirely truthful thing I've heard you say."'

What a truly pathetic example of quoting out of context that is. I bet you're preening yourself over your wit.

Now tell me some lies about Rwanda.

skidmarx said...

I haven't endorsed genocide denial anywhere, so you shouldn't have started in the first place.
And of course the SWP was condemning the attacks on the Kurds at the same time as the Americans you so admire were selling Saddam weapons.
The idea that it, or its forerunner the IS supported Pol Pot is laughable, and shows the extent to which you are just a block to any sort of intelligent discussion, and a simple witch-hunter who only ever makes false accusations.

I recently saw a documentary by those damned Russkies in which a Vietnam veteran explained that he saw how genocidal the war was when he heard that they had reformulated napalm to make it stick to the skins of its victims better. Your appeal to the left to turn into anti-communists isn't a suggestion for anti-Stalinism, but for a return to McCathyism, which your style of smear and false exposure already exemplifies.

Which brings me to Bob's point, yes like most terms of abuse it is liable to overuse, perhaps you should. Here's wikipedia on the subject, most relevant may be Michael Harrington's use of it to describe former leftists, though Joe Klein's comment that "today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends" might accurately descibe one of the memes from this post.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'I haven't endorsed genocide denial anywhere, so you shouldn't have started in the first place.'

Davenport, right or wrong? Answer.

'And of course the SWP was condemning the attacks on the Kurds at the same time as the Americans you so admire were selling Saddam weapons'.

Wow, that's a new one. Now skidmark's telling me that Scuds, MiGs, T-72s, Kalashnikovs etc are made by Uncle Sam. Here's the stats from SIPRI on arms supplies to Iraq between 1973-2002:

USSR - 57.26% of total.
France - 12.74%
China - 11.82%
Czechoslovakia - 6.56% *
Poland - 3.83% *
Brazil - 1.65%
Egypt - 1.29%
Romania - 1.19% *
Denmark - 0.51%
Libya - 0.46%
USA - 0.46%

* All prior to 1989.

(See SIPRI Arms Transfer Database - 'Imported Weapons to Iraq in 1973-2002, 5th March 2003).

'The idea that it, or its forerunner the IS supported Pol Pot is laughable, and shows the extent to which you are just a block to any sort of intelligent discussion, and a simple witch-hunter who only ever makes false accusations'.

Is that a fact? Michael Erza has been through the back issues of that shitty and misnamed rag 'Socialist Worker', and begs to differ.

http://hurryupharry.org/2010/12/14/the-swp-and-the-eichmanns-of-cambodia/

sackcloth and ashes said...

'I recently saw a documentary by those damned Russkies in which a Vietnam veteran explained that he saw how genocidal the war was when he heard that they had reformulated napalm to make it stick to the skins of its victims better'.

Wars tend to be pretty nasty, skidmark. And I suppose you think that when the other side killed fellow Vietnamese (as they did in their thousands) they did it in a nice, painless and humane way.

'Your appeal to the left to turn into anti-communists isn't a suggestion for anti-Stalinism, but for a return to McCathyism,'

McCarthy's victims were honourable people, not Strasserite scum.

'which your style of smear and false exposure already exemplifies'.

Davenport, right or wrong? Answer please.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Paul McGarr, 'Socialist Worker', 23 March 2003:

'The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces'.

The SWP. Totally not in favour of keeping Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq. Skidmark must think that everyone is as stupid as he is.

skidmarx said...

McCarthy's victims were honourable people, not Strasserite scum.

Not a fan of Voltaire then?

Davenport, right or wrong? Answer.
So you can establish a post-hoc justification for your stream of libellous misrepresentations?

Here's the stats from SIPRI on arms supplies to Iraq between 1973-2002:
Funny, I don't see the SWP anywhere in that list.

Michael Erza has been through the back issues of that shitty and misnamed rag 'Socialist Worker', and begs to differ
And I seem to remember that johng in particular (you remember the guy you keep making ad hominem attacks on over his educational achievements, possibly to compensate for your failures in the field) put him straight in the following thread, but then with HP running scared of libel actions because of the sewer that your ilk have made of its comments boxes we may never be able to see.

The SWP. Totally not in favour of keeping Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq.
Indeed. Still opposed to imperialist bloodbaths with it. I think I can recall Rob Hoveman pointing out the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja at an SWP meeting at the time the Americans were siding with Iraq in the latter stages of its war with Iran.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Aside from the fact that Voltaire never came out with that quote (it was invented by one of his biographers), I think that comparing yourself with one of the luminaries of the enlightenment represents the depths of stupidity on your part. Particularly as when your party was involved in the 'RESPECT' fiasco you teamed up with the very theocrats Voltaire hated. Hence his statement 'ecrasez l'infame'.

''Davenport, right or wrong? Answer'.
So you can establish a post-hoc justification for your stream of libellous misrepresentations?'

No skidmark. The fact is that you still lack the guts to answer a straightforward question.

'Funny, I don't see the SWP anywhere in that list'.

(Facepalm). Got any comment to make on Comrade McGarr's statement?

''Michael Erza has been through the back issues of that shitty and misnamed rag 'Socialist Worker', and begs to differ'

'And I seem to remember that johng in particular (you remember the guy you keep making ad hominem attacks on over his educational achievements, possibly to compensate for your failures in the field)'

Projecting again, skidmark?

'put him straight in the following thread'.

Yet again, I wish HP kept its threads (which it ceased doing after it was subjected to a malicious hacking attack inspired by a BNP loon called Lee John Barnes). The exchange actually went like this.


johng: The SWP condemned the Khmer Rouge once evidence of its crimes against humanity were published.

Ezra: No it didn't. I've been through all the back issues and there isn't a mention of Cambodia after the articles I quoted.

johng: (Silence).


So yet again, skidmark, you are either proving to us that you have the memory of a goldfish. Or you're lying through your teeth.

sackcloth and ashes said...

And I ask you again, skidmark. Davenport. Right or Wrong?

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