C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Hall the Half-wit (Can he fix it?)

In response to a post from yesterday, about the Iranian president's visit to the US, serial cyber-pest Iain Hall has decided to go on the warpath again.

Hall tends to have a circle of bloggers he calls 'leftist' whom he reads, and attempts to critique. The present author appears to be one such blogger, though given Hall's refusal to actually debate on my blog, one can only conclude that he is attempting to drum up hits for his pathetic blog.

Debating on Hall's blog is amusing, given the poor arguments in Hall's arsenal, and the nutters who rail to his defence. Nonetheless, I've been placed on moderation, meaning that my comments do not appear on his blog until some hours later. This is hardly helpful to open and honest debate.

Before responding to Hall's imbecility, it may be worth reminding readers of some of my principal objections to his garbage. Hall's opinions are similar to those of many pig-ignorant hicks, but he is a special case for a number of reasons. These can be summarised as follows:

1. He has repeatedly embarked upon cyber-stalking campaigns, and threatened to expose the identity of pseudonymous bloggers with whom he has poitical disagreements.
2. He actively promotes and endorses the sentiments and output of fascist bloggers (such as AWH).
3. Virtually all of Hall's 'arguments' are cobbled together from the off-cuts of Melbourne's village idiot, Andrew Bolt.

Further background on Hall can be found here. Despite Hall's absolute refusal to acknowledge an debating positions other than his own, confronting his idiocy can be a useful exercise, if only so that his audience can discern how laughable his views are.

Now for some retorts to a retard:

Hall begins by saying:

Hap has been on holiday and despite being of the leftist greenie persuasion
he went on one of those environmentally nasty overseas holidays on one of those
polluting aeroplanes. So take a bow my Marxist friend and accept responsibility
for the many hundreds of tons of extra CO2 that you have paid to add to the

I've never described myself as a 'greenie', nor written a post on the environment. Still, nobody would expect honest argument or serious debate from this species of rightard, who still apparently believes that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy.

In the post, I explain that my attention is focused on the US reaction to Ahmadinejad's visit, not the relative virtues of the man himself. This latter topic has been the subject of much attention, and I provided the reader with a couple of links should they want some background. Preambles notwithstanding, Hall responds:

See how he, quite neatly, sidesteps any serious considerations of this evil
little man so that he can clear the decks to get a good swing at his actual

Since it is my blog, I would have thought I was entitled to 'get a good swing' at my 'actual topic'. Also, see how, quite clumsily, Hall sidesteps any 'serious considerations' of Ahmadinejad by summarily dismissing him as an 'evil little man'.

In my post, I made it perfectly clear that I did not regard Ahmadinejad or Iran as democratic in any satisfactory sense. Whilst elections are held, I'm well aware that candidates are picked from a limited field, state censorship is rife, and the regime engages in many practices that human rights agencies regard as abuses. For this reason, I don't give Ahmadinejad any praise, and I don't think any progressive person can. Having said that, the hypocrisy of Ahmadinejad's detractors was my topic, not Ahmadinejad himself. Ahmadinejad has been subject to a significant misinformation campaign in the West, primarily as a result of his supposed anti-US leanings. Observers will note that pro-US Islamic regimes with worse track records than Iran (particularly Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan) are routinely ignored by the Western media.

In any case, in Iran, it is not Ahmadinejad who sets the agenda on foreign or nuclear policy, but rather, the Ayatollah. Hall doesn't seem to have got this far in his 'thinking', if his tortured neural spasms even deserve the term.

Hall continues:

People are naturally outraged the president of one of the world most
significant state sponsors of the Islamists wanted to “pay his respects ” at
ground Zero.

Actually, I don't think any state has sponsored more terrorism than the US in recent years. This is why I wanted to write about the hypocrisy of US reaction. Ostensibly, Ahmadinejad was 'paying his respects'. As a politician, he may well have been doing this for cynical propaganda purposes, but such use of 9/11 is routinely made by US politicians themselves. Unless Hall is a mind-reader, I'm not sure how he can assess the Iranian president's sincerity.

There is no doubt that most of the ordnance used in roadside bombs is
coming from Iran. It is also clear that Iran has been providing a great deal of
practical support and training to the Shia in Iraq. Iran clearly is not the only
supporter of the “insurgency” but to suggest that it is not a significant player
is to tell a lie.

No doubt to whom, Hall? As you can find in my previous Iraq posts, and on several bloggers in my links list, the Iraq insurgency is largely composed of Iraqi nationalists, not foreign fighters, Iranian or otherwise. The US itself has been providing a 'great deal of support' to all sorts of unsavoury groups within Iraq, Shia and Sunni. If Iran is a 'significant player', perhaps this is because, unlike the US, Iran is a neighbour to Iraq, and is directly subject to the outcome of war in Iraq. In Hallworld (also known as Noddyland), only the US are permitted to act in their perceived national interests, irrespective of where those interests may lie.

In my post, I compared Iran with Saudi Arabia, and suggested that the former got a 'bad rap', whilst the latter tended to receive a 'pass' in the Western media. Hall disagrees:

Err no Iran and Saudi Arabia are both theocratic states that are both
pernicious in their own ways but I seriously doubt that you could draw the
differences a broadly as suggested by Hap. In any case the Saudi’s don’t want
the bomb, as Iran clearly does.

Many things are 'pernicious' in Hallworld. Hall might have noted that Iran's leaders have repeatedly and explicitly said that they do not want 'the bomb'. Perhaps they ought not to be believed, but any honest person should be capable of noting that Iran is surrounded by a series of dubious nuclear powers (US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Israel). Iranians would possibly have to be considered insane if they didn't want 'the bomb'. Nonetheless, if Hall has 'clear' evidence of Iran wanting nuclear weapons, he might wish to pass it on to the UN, US, and Israel, since these guys don't seem to have any definitive evidence themselves.

Hall opines:

You see in Haps Universe it is the USA that is the greatest threat to
the world. None the less he is happy to enjoy the fruits of American technology
like the plane that few him to is tropical holiday or the operating system on
his computer but he would soon realise the error of his ways were he to be
obliged to pray five times a day by the regimes that he clearly thinks are more
virtuous than the USA.

Actually, the US has behaved more violently and aggressively than any other nation since WWII, so yes, it is the 'greatest threat to the world'. This does not prevent people from within the US making a variety of important contributions to the world. Most people can distinguish between a government and its people, and since I regard the US as a pseudo-democracy in any case, I don't hold the US people solely accountable for their government's atrocities. Furthermore, I didn't claim that Iran was 'more virtuous' than the USA. Discussions of virtue are for the preachers in any case. Iran's record on foreign policy is positively saint-like compared to the records of Nixon, Kissinger, Bush, and others. These facts somehow seem to escape Hall, who, to my knowledge, has never once managed to criticise US foreign policy, no matter how bloody or self-interested it is. To that end, I briefly remarked upon US misadventures in Asia and Latin America, to which Hall responded:

I would dearly love to know what part of the globe is now totally blank
because the last time that I looked the map of the world was still intact. Of
course Hap ignores the pernicious influence of his beloved Marxism and the
necessities of the cold war, that have been long gone now.

The first line is mere gibberish that can be safely discarded. As for the 'cold war' - it wasn't 'cold' for the millions of people destroyed by it. I would like to see Hall explaining its 'necessities' to the Cambodians who were carpet-bombed, to the Vietnamese who still have quantities of Agent Orange in their breastmilk, to the Hungarians who were ignored and left to die during their 1956 uprising, to the Chileans who had a democratic leader overthrown, to the Salvadoreans who were raped, tortured, or assassinated under the US-backed junta, or to the Nicaraguans dodging sea and landmines laid by US-sponsored terrorists. Or, to look at more recent examples, perhaps Hall could explain the 'necessities' of US foreign policy to the Pakistanis and Saudi Arabians, oppressed by US-backed tyrannies, or to the democracy protesters gunned down in resource-rich Uzbekistan, or to the Iraqis trying to avoid the horrors of white phosphorous, or to the Colombians who 'disappear' for the heinous crime of joining a trade union antithetical to US interests.

Hall does not stop here, however:

What is ridiculous about students protesting about a particularly bad
regime that hangs young women for the “crime ” of being raped? What is
ridiculous about protesting against the leader of a nation that makes being Gay
a capital offence? Hap appears to suggest that unless “human rights” are
universally observed that protest against any particularly nasty regime is
ridiculous. To my mind THAT makes Hap’s whole argument ridiculous.

To use a Christian expression, it does seem rather 'ridiculous' to point out the splinter in your brother's eye, whilst ignoring the log in your own. I'd have thought the anti-Iranian protesters would have more influence objecting to the regimes that are as bad or worse than Iran, but who receive support from the US government. After all, Iran is not beholden to the US for its policies (and this, no doubt, is its principal crime, in the eyes of Western commentators).

Never mind the fact that Hall's oeuvre largely consists of limpwristed attacks against minorities and their rights, whether these minorities consist of gays, women, 'leftists', or Muslims.

And yes, I do think that 'rights' need to be 'universal'. How quaint and quixotic of me, not to make moral exceptions when 'friendly' regimes engage in murder and plunder.

I also claim, in passing, that the US executes and imprisons a vast number of its citizens, and that it is, relatively speaking, an unsafe place in parts. I cited a recent study in support of this claim. Hall doesn't seem to like this:

One has to ask by what measure is Hap making such claims about the
cities in the USA? In any case if we were to group enough of these third world
cities together to equal the population of the United States would we have a
violent crime more often than the twenty two seconds of the piece quoted by our
friend Hap? I some how doubt it. This is typical of the foolishness and
falseness that you can get when you base the entirety of your argument on some
statistical snippet ,as Hap does here.

I'm happy to put statistics aside, and am also happy to aver that Saigon is safer than Detroit, and Vienna is safer than LA. I'd have hardly thought that this was a revelation. In any case, this is largely peripheral to the gist of my discussion, but just highlights the extent to which Hall is clutching at ever-diminishing straws.

Hall's tirade doesn't stop there, folks:

Just how can Hap claim that the outrage of these protesters is not real?
This is a wonderful example of our would be revolutionary projecting his own
prejudices upon the subject of his approbation. Can we really expect anything
different from someone who is so inculcated with the pernicious ideology of Marx
and Lenin?

Putting aside Marx and Lenin, and all their 'perniciousness', my post was grounded on facts, not revolutionary theory. It's particularly amusing how the rightards use and abuse the term 'projection', as if any of them had ever read Freud. It's abused almost as frequently as the term 'existential'. Perhaps that will be the topic of another post, namely, the intellectual bankruptcy of the Tories.

If I may ask my readers for one last display of patience, Hall goes on to conclude:

I must say that Haps conclusion gave me a much-needed belly laugh this
morning. Firstly, using Wikipedia, he cites a contentious court case as proof
that the USA is a land of bigotry , yet this case is still subject to appeal
through the courts and from what I have read is not as simple as Hap wants to
believe, then he cites the long dead “Jim Crow ” laws, again from Wikipedia. But
by far the most amusing is his citing of a piece from Gay news about the
treatment of homosexuals in the USA. This is hilarious when you consider that
Homosexuals in Iran face not discrimination as they do in some parts of the USA
but death at the end of a rope; When asked about Homosexuals in Iran Ahmadinejad
said that there were none. Of course this is because they have been killed or
will be if they dare “come out”. I could not think of a more ironically stupid
way of trying to suggest that the USA is morally inferior than all other places
and cultures on the planet. Can you dear reader?
So in conclusion just what
has Hap given us? From where I sit it seems that he has given us another of his
ANTI-USA rants that is long on prejudice and hypocrisy but very short on a
nuanced understanding of either political reality or the true nature of
humanity. Hmm, sounds like situation normal for the far left.

There's plenty of evidence that the US is rife with bigotry, and is probably more 'fundamentalist' than either Turkey or Malaysia, for instance (though not, in fairness, more whacky than the mullahs of Iran). You can find evidence for this in studies, for instance, or even in last week's episode of The Chaser, where US respondents reported it would be a good idea for Muslims to be forced to identify themselves, with tattoos if necessary. One can only hope that that segment was a 'set-up'.

The Jim Crows laws are not so far removed from the experience of many Black Americans, which is precisely why we have seen such a strong reaction to matters of race in Jena. We must remember that the laws in question were state-sanctioned racism, dissolved a relatively short time ago. The laws themselves were not radically different to the 1935 Nuremberg laws. Germany has come clean about its past, and has attempted to make amends. The US, and its blind and ardent supporters (like Hall), have done no such thing.

Obviously, I have no interest in showing the US to be 'morally inferior'. My point was simply focused on the hypocrisy of the protesters, and the idiotic response of conservative pundits. Their pious wailing in the name of 'human rights' would be akin to apartheid-era White South Africans complaining about Black rights in the US.

In short, Hall has produced another misguided attempt to draw readers to his blog, and to ignite further flame wars. All of this I would accept in good humour, if not for Hall's continued and baffling support of bigots and would-be fascists. Until Hall can redeem himself by renouncing his endorsement of such scum, it is only fitting that he be treated as the unprincipled cretin he is.