Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, November 03, 2007

On second thoughts

I may have unwittingly traduced Melanie Phillips in my recent post. I'd forgotten that, like Ann Coulter, she is a creationist and a global warming sceptic, rounding off her own anti-science crusade by constantly telling lies about the MMR vaccine. Not even Coulter leaves a trail of unvaccinated, deformed and sterile children in her wake: at least, not so far as I know.

Also, I hadn't then read this gem. The bit I like best is when she lays into Geoffrey Wheatcroft, who had said:

For years, the Tory party and the Tory press have been infiltrated by our own neoconservatives, more determined even than Blair to serve the national interest of another country. Under William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard - egged on by Charles Moore, Matthew d’Ancona and Michael Gove - the Tories came close to being what the socialist leader Leon Blum called the French Communists, ‘a foreign nationalist party’.

Her response?

Eh? What is this other country whose ‘national interest’ the neo-cons supposedly serve? In the fevered imagination of the bigots who attack them, this is supposed to be Israel.

Oh, of course, Mel, it's all about Israel. Everything is about Israel. Any normal reader would realise at once that it was America that was being referred to, but Mel can't see that. Then again, she thinks the point of the following passage is to criticise America's links with Israel:

As Alan Cowell, the shrewd London correspondent of the New York Times, wrote last month, ‘If the Lebanon conflict said anything about what some Britons like to call their special relationship with America, it seemed to be this: in this Middle East war, the only special relationship bound the United States to Israel, not Britain’.

In fact, as you will have worked out for yourself, not being crazy, Alan Cowell was criticising Tony Blair's insistence, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that his embarrassing fawning over the Bush gang in some way gave him a huge amount of influence with the US administration. In fact, of course, Bush et al ignored him completely other than to give him orders.

Regarding her ignorant tilting at William Dalrymple, I'm not sure which of these statements is the most priceless:

1. "As for Islamic terrorism, Saddam was its godfather and patron."

Funny, because Saddam was a secularist who was often criticised by Iraq's mullahs for making their lives difficult. Perhaps she's thinking of the war he launched (with British and American backing) against the hardline Islamic regime in Iran. And the fact that al-Qaeda had no presence in Iraq until after the US invasion. Some godfather. Some patron.

2. "No-one has suggested Saddam was involved with 9/11"

Well, except the Bush Administration, which is why their response to 9/11 was to invade Iraq.

3. "He certainly had connections with al Qaeda"

Does hating each other's guts count as a connection?

4. "Islamic and Arab violence against the Jews was prompted by the entirely peaceful and lawful return of the Jews to their own ancestral home at the beginning of the 20th century."

The Jews hadn't been given an "ancestral home" until the UN established Israel in 1948. Up until then, the "peaceful returners" were stealing other people's land without even the fig-leaf of international respectability that the UN gave them. And these peaceful lambs were busily bombing civilians long before the Palestinians decided to emulate them.

Coincidentally, I recently came across a old comment by Judith-the-10%-Holocaust-denier Weiss, in which she describes Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's "Bring The Settlers Home" campaign as actually a "campaign to uproot the settlers from the heart of the historical Jewish homeland for the purpose of negotiating peace." While we all know by now that Weiss has no interest either in a negotiated peace or in the return of Israel to compliance with international law by dismantling its illegal settlements, it's revealing that she considers the "roots" of Israel's social misfits (each and every one fully aware that they had no right to build in someone else's country) to be deeper than those of the Arabs they ethnically cleansed, most of whose families had lived there since before Israel was invented. And she clearly shares with Mad Mel a belief in the myth of the "historic Jewish homeland" extending way beyond Israel (but where does it stop? Kashmir?) Isn't it funny how these people are keen to defend Israel's borders, but not to abide by them? Fanatical about the right of Israel to exist, provided that the Israelis don't have to live in it.

Weiss is of course an American, but I guess in Mel P we do have a domestic doozie pretty much as loathsome as Ann Coulter. Fortunately I doubt whether one Briton in ten thousand has ever heard of her, or ever will, which just shows that there are still things we can be proud of as a nation.


At 03 November, 2007 10:17, Anonymous Phil said...

"Entirely peaceful and lawful"!

I remember our French teacher telling us about the perils of syllogistic reasoning - essentially, it's easy to prove that pigs have wings, if you start from the premise that pigs can fly. If Phillips genuinely starts from the premise that the settlement of Zionists in Mandatory Palestine was pretty much like the settlement of Polish plumbers in Britain, that would explain a lot about the conclusions she draws.


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