Viewing posts tagged iraq
5 years, 4 months ago
NOTE: This article has been amended to correct factual mistakes and clarify arguments.
Iron Man (2008), starring Robert Downey Jnr. and directed by Jon Favreau, is objectively one of the most evil films ever made. Possibly the most evil, actually.
I’ll get around to justifying that opening statement in a bit. But first, I just want to say… ahem… fuck Tony Stark. Seriously, fuck him. The arrogant, smug, privileged, sexist, immature, selfish, capitalist prick. The rich, preening, self-satisfied asshole. The callous, self-involved, vainglorious, narcissistic wanker. This guy isn’t charming or funny or lovable. He’s scum, masquerading as humankind’s best friend. He’s the 1% as saviour of the world, at a time when the 1% are directly and knowing destroying the world. He’s the smiling face of the anthropocene (or rather capitalocene) extinction. He’s genocidal imperialism as (lone) humanitarian intervention. He’s neoliberal capitalism and neoconservative foreign policy as a series of bad-boy quips. He’s private capitalist industry as heroism. He’s mega-wealth as heroism. He’s white male privilege as heroism. He’s militarism, imperialism and American exceptionalism as heroism. He’s the War on Terror as heroism. He’s everything sick and twisted and rotten and filthy and evil and insane ...
6 years, 3 months ago
It is incredibly depressing to realise that I have been asking the rulers of the state I live in to refrain from bombing Iraq for my entire fucking life.
There's an extent to which the 'it won't work' critique is entirely valid as an objection to waging yet more war upon the Middle East. Because the surface aim of the politicians is almost certainly to impose 'stability' on 'the region'. They like stability. No threats to embarass them, no revolts to topple their friendly dictators, no threat to Israel, no danger to neoliberal exploitation of local resources and markets, etc. And, as has been shown, it doesn't work. They try and try to bomb the Middle East into passive compliance, and all they succeed in doing is generating more troubles for their empire.
This is, of course, what empires have always done. Create the problems of tomorrow by viciously conquering the problems of today.
But there's another sense in which the 'it won't work' argument is fatally flawed, because there's a sense in which it does
work. It may never achieve 'stability' but it does keep the ...
7 years, 2 months ago
A flying ship has plunged into a tall public building, causing panic.
Outside 10 Downing St., the media have been sat around for hours with their cameras trained on the closed black door, waiting for someone official to come out and hand them their version of events... which will, of course, be repeated verbatim as The Story.
Luckily for these relentless seekers after truth, a politician comes out to give them a press conference.
"Our inspectors have searched the skies," he tells the journalists, "and they have found massive weapons of destruction, capable of being deployed in 45 seconds. We face extinction unless we strike first." He goes on to beg the UN for "an emergency resolution" which will give them permission to launch this pre-emptive strike. His words are relayed on the TV news without comment... except by the Doctor and the other people watching.
As satire, this isn't subtle. It's like a sledgehammer to crack a nut... because that's what the WMD story always was: an easily cracked nut. But in a world in which barely anyone in the global media is capable of cracking nuts even with a ...
7 years, 6 months ago
On 'A Town Called Mercy'
The ends can justify the means, but there needs to be something which justifies the ends.
Jex experiments on people in order to create a cyborg supersoldier. His motive is to end a war which is killing his people. But were his people the attackers or the attacked? That this is ignored tells us a great deal about the writer/s but deprives us of the possibility of making moral sense of the story. It is ignored, presumably because it is considered irrelevant. Yet, the whole point of the story appears to be the question of whether Jex is a bad man or a good one... with the answer being, of course, "yes". But I'd argue that the wider social context of Jex's actions (beyond just saying that 'it was war') is as important as it is obscure.
The notion - that war is, as Jex puts it, "a different world" in which normality shifts drastically and morality becomes fuzzy - is, for a start, a somewhat glib truism. Like all such glib truisms, it can be pressed into service (i.e. "Yes, an invasion will ...