Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In defence of Wikipediaphilia pt2

I was chatting the other day with a character who posts recycled publicity images from the Pentagon onto Flickr (it takes all sorts).

At one point I complimented him on his Tora Bora photographs, recording as they do the efforts of the coalition forces to capture a completely non-existent cave complex, taken straight out of a James Bond film; complete with Blowfeld style international criminal mastermind and everything.

The conversation changed direction.

Bizarrely, he was still under the impression that the cave complex actually existed.

Which gets me to the end of my line of thought about the mixed blessing that is the Internet. If it wasn’t for the Internet I would probably still believe that Tora Bora crap and lots of other crap as well. The very existence of the Internet has turned the notion of keeping abreast of current affairs by passively consuming media on its head. It’s much harder work and much more interactive than any of us would reasonably want it to be.

Whether there is any real point to keeping abreast of current affairs or not is another subject.

And why stop at Tora Bora? Mainstream coverage of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq has consisted of almost pure horse manure from beginning to end. And why presume that the horse manure is restricted solely to the War on Terror? It seems unlikely. Without the Internet I would have suspected that. With the Internet I am certain of it.

Favourite examples from Iraq and Afghanistan that come to mind, aside from the now obvious ones, include:

And a blast from the past

I won’t go on but I could, for a very, very long time.

The Saddam killed his own people story was especially crucial in justifying the 2003 war. Whilst it is rarely articulated, the government and the media are presumably aware that military intelligence is composed of two elements; capability and intent. We know for sure that lots of countries have WMDs but we do not perceive them as being a threat as we have judged that they do no intend to use them on us. So when it came to lying us into a war in Iraq it was necessary to exaggerate the Iraqi intent side of things as much as the capability aspect.

That’s why we kept hearing the same mantra time and time again ‘He used chemical weapons on his own people’. The plain fact that Saddam didn’t use his supposed WMDs when we kicked his arse and ripped through his army the first time was simply ignored.

I don’t know if Saddam gassed Kurds in Halabja. The article I linked to above raises questions that no one is answering. I know I can’t trust anything Saddam says. I also know I can’t trust anything the Kurds say on this either. They have a stake in perpetuating the story whether it is true or not. And the fucking pisser is that I can’t trust my own government or newspapers.

Up until the start of Saddam’s trial I tried to maintain an open mind on the subject. And then, surprise, surprise, it turns out that the Halabja atrocity and none of the other incidents that proved what a wicked regime we have overthrown will be aired in a court of law.

Saddam is going to be tried for reprisals made after an attempt was made on his life almost 25 years ago. If he’s found guilty he will be executed without any further hearings. In particular, nothing will be heard about the really big stuff the bastards responsible for the war still cite as being a justification for that war. Our wonderful news media and opposition politicians apparently see nothing wrong with that.

What’s a boy supposed to think?


Daniel said...

I live in a base like that.

I can't see why people get worked up over the practicalities of it over the internet! That said it gets a bit cramped at times, what with Adolf Hitler's brain, Lord Lucan, Martin Boorman, Clive Cussler, Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa as housemates.

Anonymous said...

Good article.....

Well, we will never know the true extent of Tora Bora. Those members of the US Special Forces (Fort Bragg) who spoke out about the apparent US complicity in the planned escape of OBL were suicided or murdered.


Anonymous said...

Another good blog article:


Stef said...

Thanks for the links - particularly the second one. I haven't seen that guy's stuff before

Sinclair (formerly Anon) said...


The Rigorous Intuition blog is an excellent site with excellent well-written articles on wide ranging 'deep' politics themes.

A paricularly good example (on the 9/11 theme) is at (It as been reproduced loads of times on numerous blogs & I would post it on your blog, with an accreditation of course)

The discussion board at RI is an excellent forum too.

Cheers, Sinclair

Stef said...


Thanks again for another interesting link. A nice summary of much of the material available.

One of the problems with talking to people about 9/11 issues is the sheer volume of material that indicates foul play - eyes glaze.

I'll keep that link up my sleeve for Ron, as in later Ron



Superchou said...

well, looks like things are a-changing there:

David said...

er... isn't that IKEA??

Apprentice said...

Spot on, Stef.