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Spike

Politics & Stuff

Started by Spike,

8,625 posts in this topic

I think it does take away from his acheivements. I respect what Gandhi did greatly, but when you find out he was racist (and quite possibly a pedophile - look up his relationship with his 17 year old grand niece), it's hard to respect him as much.

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I think it does take away from his acheivements. I respect what Gandhi did greatly, but when you find out he was racist, (and quite possibly a pedophile - look up his relationship with his 17 year old grand niece) it's hard to respect him as much.

If you look at him from a purely political perspective, it doesn't really. His racism never crept into his politics (he was always very supportive of Muslim-Hindu unification, tribal peoples and the Untouchable's in India), aside from a regrettable early couple of years in South Africa.

Didn't he spend a night with that niece, with both of them sleeping naked- publicly- to dispel those rumours? Anyway his sex life didn't impact on his politics. As I said, all it does is remove the Mahatma image, which I don't think anybody aside from perhaps Mother Teresa types should be granted.

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The term 'to pilger' was invented by the right winger Auberon Waugh, aristocracy and Tory twat-so no surprises there. Basically it was invented because the corporate media could only ridicule incisive and truthful journalism that was almost a lone voice in criticising US and British neo-Colonialism, and the mass slaughter and subjugation of around 50 million people -usually brown people, round the world since WW2

Pilger isnt the messiah, but he is /has been a beacon of light in the constant shit drivel of corporate media propaganda

There is where we disagree. Pilger is a voice of the anti-Colonialist movement but to me that's not journalism, it's a political perspective that's narrow-minded and silly. The US has done a lot wrong, but to portray the US as bad guys and their opposition as good guys is ridiculous. One example that is typical. The US invasion of Iraq was based on a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was morally right to oppose the invasion of Iraq. However, once the US was in Iraq, even those of us who opposed the invasion, hoped for stability that would lead to Democracy. Pilger and his ilk supported what they called "the resistance" who were blowing up civilians and sending the country down the path to civil war (which he would then blame on the US for destabilizing the country.) His interest is solely in attacking the US. It's the enemy of my enemy way of arguing which is ridiculous. Not only that, but his arguments are the racism of the far left whereby "the other" are mindless children with no responsibility over their own actions. (The racism of low expectations). Every single bad behavior by any group is just a reaction to the US. Al-Qaeda? Well, that's because of American troops on Saudi territory. Iranian instability and crazy religious leaders? That's because of the coup of 1953. There is no responsibility of people for their own actions. Everything is the fault of the powerful. It's just nonsense. In 1973, the US helped overthrow the Chilean government which led to the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet. Chile is now one of the strongest democracies in the region with a modern economy and society. The US killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in the nuclear attacks in the 1945. Japan has a full democracy and a vibrant society. Societies, even greatly wronged societies, can make decisions to improve. It's not simply about reacting to American actions.

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That's true - despite a few stupid comments (calling the South Africans "kaffir," equivalent to nigger), he did keep it out of his politics.

I'm not sure about the pedophilla thing, I thought it was worth mentioning though.

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On the subject of India, has Partition really worked? I don't think so. We saw a civil war in Bangladesh in the 70s, eventually they seceded from Pakistan. India still has a Muslim population percentage of around 15%, more or less the same figure it was in 1947. We still see religious riots in India.

Imo, all that's come of it have been several wars. I think South Asia would have been better off if it stayed as one massive India and then Sri Lanka at the bottom, rather than Pakistan-India-Bangladesh-Burma.

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If you look at him from a purely political perspective, it doesn't really. His racism never crept into his politics (he was always very supportive of Muslim-Hindu unification, tribal peoples and the Untouchable's in India), aside from a regrettable early couple of years in South Africa.

Didn't he spend a night with that niece, with both of them sleeping naked- publicly- to dispel those rumours? Anyway his sex life didn't impact on his politics. As I said, all it does is remove the Mahatma image, which I don't think anybody aside from perhaps Mother Teresa types should be granted.

He was a force for good much more than bad -and being in the public spotlight leaves you wide open to criticsm. What he did for Indai, and his attempts at unification are immessurable -and the non-violent resistance was a genius tactic.

Mother theresa on the other hand was bad for India in my eyes -the Churchs' stance against contraception creates more poverty than it attempts to eradicate.

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Mother Theresa should be granted them least of all. Gandhi was a man of his time and I think it's difficult to judge people based on current mores. Lincoln was a great man but by today standards would be considered a racist. Churchill was a great man for standing up to the Nazis and leading Britain through the war, but by today's standards, he was a war criminal. Gandhi was still a great man, but, like all men, he was flawed. Mother Teresa was a media creation. Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens have a good documentary about this called Hell's Angel (available on youtube) but there are plenty of other very legitimate criticisms of her. She has somehow acquired this image as the default perfect person.

Churchill and Roosevelt's roles in the European theatre of WW2 are a little bit overrated, I think. Stalin basically won the war in Europe, they were inactive until they realised that he could go all the way to the French coast if he was bothered and then promptly launched D-Day to ensure part of Europe remained out of Soviet hands.

They also started the Cold War. Stalin was a very paranoid person, they shouldn't have antagonised him by making it seem like they wanted the Red Army to take the bulk of the casualties and fighting on the European front. That was the way Stalin (and I) read it, that the two tried to limit the damage they would take and forcing the USSR to fight solo. They promised they'd invade France in 1942, they didn't; they promised that they'd invade again in 1943 and they didn't do that either. You can't really blame them too much though, it was sound foreign policy; the British were licking their wounds from Operation Sea Lion and the US were too involved in Asia to contribute a significant amount of the war effort until 1944. You can't trust a snake like Stalin.

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There is where we disagree. Pilger is a voice of the anti-Colonialist movement but to me that's not journalism, it's a political perspective that's narrow-minded and silly. The US has done a lot wrong, but to portray the US as bad guys and their opposition as good guys is ridiculous. One example that is typical. The US invasion of Iraq was based on a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was morally right to oppose the invasion of Iraq. However, once the US was in Iraq, even those of us who opposed the invasion, hoped for stability that would lead to Democracy. Pilger and his ilk supported what they called "the resistance" who were blowing up civilians and sending the country down the path to civil war (which he would then blame on the US for destabilizing the country.) His interest is solely in attacking the US. It's the enemy of my enemy way of arguing which is ridiculous. Not only that, but his arguments are the racism of the far left whereby "the other" are mindless children with no responsibility over their own actions. (The racism of low expectations). Every single bad behavior by any group is just a reaction to the US. Al-Qaeda? Well, that's because of American troops on Saudi territory. Iranian instability and crazy religious leaders? That's because of the coup of 1953. There is no responsibility of people for their own actions. Everything is the fault of the powerful. It's just nonsense. In 1973, the US helped overthrow the Chilean government which led to the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet. Chile is now one of the strongest democracies in the region with a modern economy and society. The US killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in the nuclear attacks in the 1945. Japan has a full democracy and a vibrant society. Societies, even greatly wronged societies, can make decisions to improve. It's not simply about reacting to American actions.

Conversely it could be said all the corporate media that support wars and US and UK adventures are also not journalists. I dont think he does portray all the adversaries of the US and UK imperialism as 'good guys'. He explains the reaction to cluster bombs and dollar a day wages as does Robert Fisk and the excellent 'Blowback' by Chalmers johnson.

Racism of the far left ? Whats that then ??

Chile held up as a beacon of democracy is ridiculous -it has one of the deepest inequalities in the world-it was an experiment in privatising every utility and service , and has much of the inequality in living standards so beloved of Thatcher and Reagan. The eradication of trade unions and any employment legislation, along with the torture and murder of any reasonable opposition was endemic, - all so a few rich could benefit, and still do.

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Chile held up as a beacon of democracy is ridiculous -it has one of the deepest inequalities in the world-it was an experiment in privatising every utility and service , and has much of the inequality in living standards so beloved of Thatcher and Reagan. The eradication of trade unions and any employment legislation, along with the torture and murder there was endemic, so a few rich could benefit, and still do.

I never said Chile was a beacon of Democracy, but it is still a far better country than say Iran in virtually every way. My point was simply that Chile made the decision to move on and other countries haven't. There is inequality in Chile, but there is inequality everywhere. In truth Chile's inequality is standard for South America. The World Bank GINI index which measures income distribution has Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, and Bolivia all with higher income inequality. This is what I am talking about. The Quality of life index has Chile as having the highest quality of life in South America (the index includes health, gender equality, political stability, job security, etc...) . I am not giving this as a credit to the US, but to the Chilean people who built this society from a pretty awful situation. The main reason Chile is doing relatively well? They have generally resisted the stereotypical South American love of bombastic egomaniacs who swing from socialist revolutionaries to military dictators. Chile's socialist leader was not interested in putting his face everywhere and changing his countries laws so he could rule forever. He was signing free trade agreements, modernizing the economy, and so on.

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Churchill and Roosevelt's roles in the European theatre of WW2 are a little bit overrated, I think. Stalin basically won the war in Europe, they were inactive until they realised that he could go all the way to the French coast if he was bothered and then promptly launched D-Day to ensure part of Europe remained out of Soviet hands.

Usually, I'd agree with you. History tends to overrate individual accomplishments (as does science. It's a human thing I guess.) but Churchill really did fight against his cabinet to stand up to Hitler. It would have been much easier to capitulate as much of his cabinet wanted. Lord Halifax wanted to sign a peace treaty while Churchill did not trust Hitler (for some crazy reason.). John Lukacs' "Five Days in London, May 1940" is a fantastic book about this period and highly recommended. As for the war itself. The Russians and the Americans won it but it would likely never have gotten to that point had the British not been able to hold out as long as they had. The Roosevelt/Churchill relationship is also an interesting one. The Ambassador to London at the time was Joseph Kennedy (father of JFK and RFK) who was so anti thewar (with possible Fascist sympathies) Roosevelt and Churchill actually bypassed him completely when communicating between each other.

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I never said Chile was a beacon of Democracy, but it is still a far better country than say Iran in virtually every way. My point was simply that Chile made the decision to move on and other countries haven't. There is inequality in Chile, but there is inequality everywhere. In truth Chile's inequality is standard for South America. The World Bank GINI index which measures income distribution has Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, and Bolivia all with higher income inequality. This is what I am talking about. The Quality of life index has Chile as having the highest quality of life in South America (the index includes health, gender equality, political stability, job security, etc...) . I am not giving this as a credit to the US, but to the Chilean people who built this society from a pretty awful situation. The main reason Chile is doing relatively well? They have generally resisted the stereotypical South American love of bombastic egomaniacs who swing from socialist revolutionaries to military dictators. Chile's socialist leader was not interested in putting his face everywhere and changing his countries laws so he could rule forever. He was signing free trade agreements, modernizing the economy, and so on.

To say Chile made the decision to 'move on' somehow makes it sound as though there is a collective will there. Washingtons 'model democracy' and other Central and South American countries are not run by right wing CIA appointed despots anymore (they did the dirty work torturing and murdering trade unionists and millions of others) -they are though ironically as you mentioned them, run by the World Bank, the WTO and Corporations. The World Bank talks of a ''globalised world economy'' in which capital and investment can freely move around, and developing countries can compete in a ''free'' international market.

Any fool can see the reality of this is all that is being globalised is poverty and the power of the huge corporations based in the advanced capitalist countries and international institutions, such as the World Bank, to exploit cheap labour. Another thing about Chile on R4 last week, mentioned the hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of having no power or water because of subsistence wages, or no jobs at all, and the private companies incessant putting their prices up for shareholders dividends

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Every single bad behavior by any group is just a reaction to the US. Al-Qaeda? Well, that's because of American troops on Saudi territory. Iranian instability and crazy religious leaders? That's because of the coup of 1953. There is no responsibility of people for their own actions. Everything is the fault of the powerful. It's just nonsense. In 1973, the US helped overthrow the Chilean government which led to the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet. Chile is now one of the strongest democracies in the region with a modern economy and society. The US killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in the nuclear attacks in the 1945. Japan has a full democracy and a vibrant society. Societies, even greatly wronged societies, can make decisions to improve. It's not simply about reacting to American actions.

I'm not familiar with this Pilger guy so I won't defend him but I would argue that all the US' 'problems', at least in the middle east are self-made. For example, it was the US who 'stirred up' the extremist anti-christian Muslims and helped bring back 'Al Jihad' in central Asia in the late 70s and early 80s to fight against the Soviet Union. They funded and armed all those, which they then called oppressed, including Ben Ladden. Needless to say that those extremest then turned into Al Qaeda and once they started fight the US they turned into terrorists.

Another example is Saddam who was turned into a force to be reckoned with in the middle east by the US. He was sold devastating weapons by the US to use them against Iran after the demise of the Shah. Iran, itself, is another example of what I'm taking about. The ambassadors of democracy supported the biggest tyrant in the region in that time. Iran in the era of the Shah had more weapons than Israel, all from the US of course. When the oppressed people had enough, they rose against the tyrant and those who supported him.

You say that societies should 'move on' as if the US screwing your country and killing your people is as inevitable as a natural disaster that hits third world countries, they should all just accept that it is bound to happen to them and move on in hope that they somehow stop being a third world country so that it doesn't happen to them again!

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I'm not familiar with this Pilger guy so I won't defend him but I would argue that all the US' 'problems', at least in the middle east are self-made. For example, it was the US who 'stirred up' the extremist anti-christian Muslims and helped bring back 'Al Jihad' in central Asia in the late 70s and early 80s to fight against the Soviet Union. They funded and armed all those, which they then called oppressed, including Ben Ladden. Needless to say that those extremest then turned into Al Qaeda and once they started fight the US they turned into terrorists.

Another example is Saddam who was turned into a force to be reckoned with in the middle east by the US. He was sold devastating weapons by the US to use them against Iran after the demise of the Shah. Iran, itself, is another example of what I'm taking about. The ambassadors of democracy supported the biggest tyrant in the region in that time. Iran in the era of the Shah had more weapons than Israel, all from the US of course. When the oppressed people had enough, they rose against the tyrant and those who supported him.

You say that societies should 'move on' as if the US screwing your country and killing your people is as inevitable as a natural disaster that hits third world countries, they should all just accept that it is bound to happen to them and move on in hope that they somehow stop being a third world country so that it doesn't happen to them again!

US foreign policy has always been enormously pragmatic, though. They saddled themselves with ideological enemies many times, first with the USSR, then with pro-US dictatorships, finally with anyone anti-Soviet.

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US foreign policy has always been enormously pragmatic, though. They saddled themselves with ideological enemies many times, first with the USSR, then with pro-US dictatorships, finally with anyone anti-Soviet.

They keep making the same mistake over and over again. Look at Syria now, the US are back to funding Qaeda-like groups to fight Al Asad. They're going to turn Syria into another Afghanistan.

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