Friday, March 21, 2008

Sullivan's Anguish

A must read, this.


  1. Honest stuff. i like that he can admit to his own self-righteousness. i'd recommend Tim Collin's 'A Life in Conflict' and James Ashcroft's 'Making a Killing' regarding Iraq. Also Duncan Falconer (an ex-SBS merc)'s website, though it seems buggy of late. He has good articles on daily life as a merc in Iraq.

    Fact is, when you destroy a culture, however skewed and messy it is, chaos will result. Culture - the understood ways of life - is what keeps people from regarding each other as prey. You can't impose a culture, the most you can do is slowly alter it, i think. Americans, who lack a culture, don't understand this. They feel free to steamroller over indigenous cultures while crying brightly, "viva la difference!" and "embrace diversity" as if any established culture could only profit by becoming a good consumer society of Nike and Starbucks worshippers. They just don't get it. They never will because they have never had a coherent culture.

    America has - as ever power (including GB) has - employed torture and murder. The difference, i think, between Bush and Reagan is that Bush is fairly open about it. That isn't honesty. It's a lack of shame. And shame is, as Rushdie illustrates in his first novel, one of the things that distinguishes civilisation from barbarism; that there are some things you would be ashamed to do even if no one found out; and plenty of things you'd be very ashamed of other people knowing about.

    Bush lacks shame. He doesn't give a fuck what you or i think. His political standpoint is that of a Stone Age thug. He makes me think of Stalin, reacting to some accusation of the Pope's: "how many divisions does he have?"

    i hear tell this coming economic collapse is largely due to the vast sums of money squandering in destroying Iraq so Bush and his skull & bones chums can get even more obscenely wealthy. If so i only hope the rioters burn his fucking mansions down at some point in the very near future.

  2. My anguish.

    In the 1980s I was a supplier to a machine tool company called Matrix Churchill in Gateshead, their headquarters were on Fletchampstead Highway in Coventry.
    Eventually the Gateshead factory closed and all assembly was transferred to Coventry, most of their components were outsourced.
    I became their sole supplier of certain types of components, they became my largest customer.
    The sun shone, as it did for an awfull lot of European machine tool companies and there suppliers.
    The reason for this is that the end user was the Iraqi armaments industry, the equivalent to our ROF.
    I once had a photograph of Douglas Herd on my office wall, at an Iraqi exhibition, encouraging us to help Saddam in his struggle against the Iranian devils.
    The events that followed seem to me today to run in slomo.

    Matrix supplied machine tools to manufacture 105mm and 155mm shells, used in very large quantities by both sides.
    They were then bought by the Iraqi armaments ministry.
    I actively trained Iraqi engineers to run the factories in Iraq that Matrix were setting up so that they could manufacture their own machine tools.
    Eventually for obvious reasons Thatchers government withdrew Matrixes export licences.
    This was deftly circumnavigated by a tie up with a Chilean sweetie pie called Dr Cardoen, the crates marked "Cardoen Industries, San Diego, Chile" the ships simply turned left as they passed Gibralter.
    Eventually things got obviously shitty, the Iraqis were asking for, and having built, machine tools that made much larger diameter in rockets.
    Then the real shit started to fly, who the fuck wants conventional armaments made in maraging iron (you lot look that one up yourselves)
    Then of course the brain dead old prick invaded Kuwait.
    Eventually Matrix closed, my company never really recovered and after some hard years we went to the wall.
    All of the sentiments expressed by the armchair philosophers appear faux to me, I was there, and although I cannot express my sentiments in the same fine style as they do, to my dying day, will have to live with what I was involved in.
    "Honest stuff" elberry, fuck off and get real for once.

  3. deirdre_bookbindings@yahoo,comMarch 21, 2008 9:54 pm

    Andrew Fucking Sullivan : GUILTY!!!

  4. i think there's a talk show in your self-pity, could weekly hold forth on the topics of the day, e.g. AIDS, Africa, whales, pollution, genocide, slapping your thigh and saying solemnly "Now I can't express myself in fine style like some armchair philosophers. But I was there."

    People dig that shit, Malty, you should submit a proposal to Channel 4.

  5. elberry,
    I kneel before the alter of your charm and wit.
    I shall go now and wallow in, how did you describe it again, self pity.
    Leaving you alone to enjoy the comforts of your sitzplatz.
    Lovingly yours

  6. testy?
    - nope, can't work it out - or is this code for you, Lord of the Blog, slamming your spear down between the antagonists?
    The thunder rumbles...