You'll want a laugh before the run-up to Christmas, so head on over to Red Pepper where you'll be able to find Naomi Klein being interviewed (together with Haifa Zangana) under the headline 'Killing Democracy in Iraq'. Who's killing it? The Americans, obviously. One thinks of the vibrant democracy which prevailed in Iraq before Klein and a few hundred thousand other people marched so that it might not be taken down by the US and its allies. One thinks of the democracy being fought for now by the head-choppers and the suicide-bombers and car-bombers. Anyway, here is one of the things Klein says:
They're using feminism and women's issues to advance the occupation in a really dangerous way, because they are sullying the reputation of women's issues, which could be seized upon by anti-women forces in Iraq. It is easy then to say, 'if you are advocating women's rights, you're for the occupation'.What brilliance. They (the Americans, obviously) should rather be doing all they can to oppose the advancement of Iraqi women, so as to discredit such backward attitudes and win converts to feminism amongst Iraqis in a most subtle and cunning way. (Hey, the Americans could broadcast 'anti-Zionist' propaganda, thus winning new friends for Israel in the Arab world.) Try this one, Big N: the 'peace' movement should henceforth cut out expressing its concern about global poverty. What do you think it does for the world's poor if people who marched to the potential benefit of - by way of an extended life for - the Saddam Hussein regime take up their cause? Won't this turn any open-minded person right off bothering about global poverty? She has more:
There should be a ban on embedding. If you look at the kidnapping of journalists, whenever someone is kidnapped and released they tell the same story: 'They thought I was a spy. They checked, found I wasn't and I was released.'You see who's to blame for the kidnapping and the head-chopping? Not the kidnappers and the head-choppers. Don't be so naive. No, it's... their confusion. They just don't know who anybody is. All those journalists and NGO folk are embedded; they're embedded so deep; you know I saw one myself in the centre of Baghdad, and I'll tell you he (or it could have been she) looked for all the world like a Bradley. Yes, it's the confusion. No, it's the embedders. Not the in-bedders - wake up, won't you?! It's the embed Mbed under-the-bed embedding embedders. Right! Big N again:
But it's not just journalists who've been embedded: it's those working for the NGOs. Society is being destroyed by the embedded journalist and the NGOs. What's the difference between a spy and an embedded journalist? It's certainly confusing if you're a Western journalist and are dressed like a soldier... Destroying the lines between combatants and journalists and aid workers has embedded what is called 'civil society' into part of the war machine.
We need to deepen our discussion of what democracy means because they have taken this word 'democracy' and... made it into a dirty word. Arundhati Roy talked of [the US] bombing Afghanistan with butter. Here they are bombing [the country] with ballots: literally, the election as a weapon of war.I wondered when the name of good old Stamp-my-footie, 'Please, stop the war now' (that's the one that saw off the Taliban), would come up. But anyway, imagine it. Ballots. Elections. We need to deepen our discussion of democracy. You know what? Those pesky Americans should just put Saddam back in power. This would utterly discredit him in the eyes of Iraqis, and... and... Deepen, deepen.
I think we should deepen our discussion of discussion. I think we should discuss our deepening of deepening. (Hat tip: Matewan.)
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