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Abracadabra! (We just destroyed capitalism)

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

6 Comments

  1. Anthony D Herrera
    July 7, 2016 @ 10:59 am

    Of all the subjects you write about the idea of legality strikes the biggest chord with me. Slavery was legal for Christ’s sake. Great post and holy shit that book cover.

    Reply

  2. Matt
    July 7, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    Unfortunately it is not the season finale. The conflict in that part of the world has a ways to run.

    The Chilcot report has triggered a local response in Australia: link

    It’s worth noting that both Blair and Howard are lawyers by training (Bush is not really anything by training but he somehow got an MBA). Much of their response to the report is lawyer-style dissembling. Their main claims are that they didn’t lie. Much as legality is ultimately beside the point, so is honesty. Is being being honestly incompetent really better than being dishonestly competent?

    Yes, there were imperialistic elements to the Iraq War. But this was incompetent, half-assed imperialism (altho incompetent and half-assed is the default mode of imperialism it would seem). Not quite Leopold II, more Alden Pyle.

    Reply

  3. Tim B.
    July 7, 2016 @ 10:51 pm

    The ‘lets impeach Blair’ plans that were talked about demonstrated in a microcosm the head in the sand issues around the disconnectedness of politicians the Labour Party seem to be struggling with post EU vote. Is there anything more pointless than preventing a multi-millionaire from holding public office when there exists a 2.6 million word report that you could stick a pin in it anywhere and start asking him awkward questions about his suitability to return to public life.

    ‘International Law’, like history is only ever written by the victors.

    Reply

  4. Kit Power
    July 8, 2016 @ 11:39 am

    I find the parallels with the recent Hillsborough verdict striking. And it does matter – it’s gone from ‘everybody knows’ to historical fact, and that’s significant. It will move more people to take a second look, it will help cement the reality of Iraq as an avoidable disaster. That all matters – though I agree, not sufficient, and certainly not an end goal.

    still, progress, IMO. Lovely piece.

    Reply

  5. Gavin Burrows
    July 8, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    There are parallels to Hillsborough, yes. But there’s also an important difference. What they attempted to cover up at Hillsbrough was police incompetence, laced with a pathological fear of the crowd. (As many have pointed out, no-one in Britain died from pitch invasions, while ninety-six people died from ‘safety’ features designed to prevent them.)

    With the invasion of Iraq, once the incompetence of the operation became obvious (which didn’t take very long) that itself became the cover-up. Of course their intention had been the liberation of the Iraqi people all along, they just hadn’t been good at thinking things through. Still, they meant well, eh?

    This is at it’s most noxious in Blair’s continued line of defence that he’d been motivated by honest beliefs, like we’re supposed to care about it or that it’s even relevent. As Jack says, they may have botched doing it. But that’s not justification for what they were trying to do.

    We should also remember that the Neo-Con’s original plan, based on their fantasy that the invasion of Iraq would run smoothly, was to use it as a spring-board to invade or threaten to invade other countries. Iraq was intended as their base of operations to ensure a compliant Middle East.

    Reply

  6. Wingstitch
    July 11, 2016 @ 10:24 pm

    I think the problem with public inquiries nowadays is that we have far too many of them – it’s fast becoming the customary response to any hurdle which the public or the government can’t handle themselves. Apart from the obvious issues of running so many big investigations all the time (that they often take years and the lawyers aren’t cheap) – there’s the problem of expectations.

    Inquiries acquire so much hype and so much press speculation (not helped by the fact that some have their own logos, websites and YouTube channels now) that the eventual result will never be able to satisfy large swathes of the public who are baying for blood. They can’t accept that the report doesn’t perfectly validate everything that they thought from the beginning so dismiss the whole thing as a stitch-up.

    The whole point of these procedures is to take conniving politicians out of control and give the job to impartial jurors, but instead the result has been to politicise the judiciary, which then weakens their reputation and legitimacy, not to mention the moral issue of having judges and lawyers in a position to dictate policy to elected statesmen when it comes to giving recommendation for the government to implement.

    Some interesting reading on this topic:
    http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/5627/public-inquiries-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

    http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/5627/public-inquiries-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11396324/Weve-got-too-many-inquiries.-I-demand-an-inquiry.html

    Reply

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