Friday, July 8, 2005

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Raising the Union Jack

If the State Department can do it, so can the good folks who put together


If that seems too.... dignified a response, click here or here.

posted by Dan on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM


while i agree that there should be sympathy for those who are suffering in london (sympathy which i share), i think this post of yours is idiotic.

Were is your Congolese flag? or your god damned Iraqi one, or Chechen, or Iranian one (there were terrorist attacks there a couple weeks ago), or you Palestinian one, or Israeli one, even spanish one, or basically, where is your sympathy for all the millions of people who suffer.

I am so utterly sick of stuff like this. seriously, blair started this war and his people are suffering for it now. i feel sorry for those who are suffering, but it was totally to be expected. just as the future attacks on the USA are expected. And, i totally disagree, we are not all british now. maybe, if you supported the sanction against iraq, as well and the war, and if you have a history of imperialism and exploitation, then you may be british. personally, i am not.

I personally would much rather identify myself with the real victims of this world. the starving people in africa, or the palestinians, the iraqis, the kashmiris, the chechens, the vietnamese, the cambodians, the afghans, the zimbabweans, the burmese or the indigenous Americans.... the forgotten. not the fucking brits.

posted by: this is idiotic on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

hey "idiotic"

go to hell. i also wish you were one of the starving ... and forgotten.

posted by: chris on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

'this is idiotic' expresses a valid sentiment. I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can disagree with him.

posted by: peter on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

It’s a sentiment I shared when I was younger, but not anymore. Yes, all of the suffering peoples listed deserve our sympathy, much as “This is idiotic” expressed his/her sympathy for the victims of the bombing in Britain (that is, before referring to them as “the fucking brits,” in any case). But “identifying [ourselves] with the real victims of the world…” does this do them any good? Does it lead to an improvement in their situation? Or does it arise from a narcissistic desire to purify ourselves from the unavoidable moral ambiguity of our lives? I have seem plenty of people working in the third world, with a realistic understanding of the societies they are working in, recognizing their limitations, making a difference in people’s lives. But I have seen many more western, lefty student types traveling around North Africa, not recognizing that their “alternative” regalia offends the average citizens they want so badly to “identify” with, being taken by tourist hustlers and hash dealers, seeking out exoticism and much treasured contacts with what the Germans call Naturvoelker, hoping for some collateral “authenticity,” all in the name of some half-baked “One World” ideology.

Taking seriously the problems of the world, recognizing the fact that we will never attain a utopia, recognizing that some of the best-intentioned programs do more harm than good, recognizing that a simplistic Manichean world view is morally crippling and paralyzing, we can hope to make some progress. Always maintaining a state of remorse over and compassion for a generalized Wretched of the Earth (c in a circle) doesn’t do the wretched any good and at best allows us to assuage our own sense of guilt at living well. Is it so awful if I feel a greater sense of identity with people whose history is entwined with the history of my own society and who live lives more analogous to my own? Does this really strike you as a slap in the face of other people who are suffering, even if their suffering might objectively be greater? If you happen not to share the sentiment, fine. But why insult those who do?

posted by: ken on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

I have to agree 'this' He posted an illiberal screed but labled it as idiocy. Just so.

posted by: Don on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can disagree with him.

I suggest you broaden your mind.

An expression of solidarity for an ally is appropriate.

posted by: rosignol on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

Sympathy and solidarity with innocent victims is great and nobody would disagree with it. But hoisting the flag doesn't convey solidarity with the victims simply as people but rather as British subjects. And that to me is clearly inappropriate. If Britain's leaders hadn't joined in an illegal, immoral and unnecessary war the victims would still be alive. Remembering the victims with a flag is thus something of a slap in the face to their memory.

As to broadening my mind, I'd like to suggest that all the flag wavers out there broaden their minds, get out of their mindless nationalism rut, and start deciding a bit more carefully what concepts actually deserves your support. Just because someone is British doesn't necessarily make him less of a war criminal if he has engaged in an illegal and immoral war. And just because a country's government is your government's ally doesn't make it your friend.

posted by: peter on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]



In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.

Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.

We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.

God says: "You who believe: If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly."

posted by: rosignol on 07.08.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

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