Skip to comments.Some Stupid Ideas for the War
Posted on 11/05/2001 10:04:50 AM PST by H.R. Gross
It was supposed to be one of the best parliamentary debates for years, but the debate on November 1st also had some extremely stupid ideas coming out of it. Two honourable mentions should go to Andrew Tyrie and Bob Marshall Andrews, one Tory and one Labour for two excellent speeches. So here are the five worst ideas from the debate.
The fifth spot goes to Bernard Jenkin. Not really for any bad ideas, but for a lacklustre and (I hope) below par performance. It is also a chance to moan about the Conservatives' performance in general.
Mr. Jenkin is the new defence spokesman for the Conservatives. He was an average performer in the Commons, whose best decision in his political life was to choose the right father, Patrick Jenkin, a former Cabinet minister. A second good decision was to have a falling out with Michael Portillo, the presumed heir apparent to the Tory throne, and, as a consequence, to work for Portillo's most potent threat to the right, Iain Duncan-Smith. As a reward Mr. Jenkin got the leader's old job, defence spokesman.
This is a bit of a shame really, because he may be nice, but he is useless.
During the Kosovo adventure, the then Foreign Secretary was forensically disinterred by his Conservative opposite number, Michael Howard. Not that anyone noticed. I am told, from a trustworthy source, that the Conservative shadow cabinet was within a vote of opposing the Kosovo adventure. Indeed Michael Howard's successor has hinted that he privately opposed the Kosovo adventure.
No such luck this time. In a rather boring article for the Daily Telegraph, Iain Duncan Smith aimed some extremely mild criticism at Blair, accusing him of not setting out clear war aims. The response was quick. Charles Clarke, the Labour Party Chairman (and a Cabinet minister) accused Duncan-Smith and his shadow cabinet of being "known nutters". He also boasted about blackmailing Duncan Smith with a "killer fact file". The fact that some Tories may have built up a fact file on Charles Clarke from when he was in charge of housing allocations in a very corrupt London Borough may concern him.
Anyway, the point is that the Tories have neither opposed the war, nor, more realistically, put it under any serious scrutiny, yet they are still accused of being one step away from treachery. If the Tories were to oppose a war that had no conceivable British interest, or employed the same sort of critical attention they intend to apply to domestic legislation, they would get the same treatment as they are getting now. Supportive stance for a bad war bad idea.
Here is a suggestion for Geoff Hoon, Defence Minister: get some basic economics lessons. Like how a monopoly works. Let us try this exchange for a start:
Paul Flynn (Newport, West): My question arises from an earlier intervention. Will my right hon. Friend now kill the myth that the conflict will have some effect on the flow of heroin to this country and confirm what the United Nations has just said that the Taliban have reduced their poppy cultivation by 91 per cent, but the Northern Alliance has increased its poppy cultivation threefold? A great deal of the heroin coming to this country comes from Burma, Pakistan and other countries. Whatever the outcome of the conflict, it will have no effect whatsoever on the flow of heroin into this country.
Mr. Hoon: I am afraid that I do not agree with my hon. Friend, and I caution him against relying on the argument that, somehow, the Taliban regime had reduced the supply of heroin. In fact, the Taliban regime prohibited others from producing heroin so that they could exploit substantial stockpiles of heroin. Indeed, they were seeking to raise the price to derive further cash from that appalling trade. So I do not accept that there would not be a significant disruption of the heroin trade; it would certainly prevent the regime from trading in other people's lives to sustain its own appalling activities.
Well, that one is stupid in its own right - but it does raise an interesting point. Prior to the WTC attacks, we heard all kinds of nasty things from the left about how the Taliban treats women and how the West should just, you know, DO SOMETHING about it. Now we are taking action to attempt to drive the Taliban from power, and many of those same leftists are opposing that action - so I guess if we were to attack the Taliban for what they do to women, that would be OK, but to attack them because they harbor bin Laden, that is wrong...
By the time I struggled through this garbage to the link ("READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE") I was bored enough to consider chucking heavy objects through my monitor screen, just for something to do...
You know, I'll bet that the "author" has a degree in English (or worse, "Journalism"!)
Beg pardon, but I was specifically referring to LEFTISTS who BEFORE THE WTC ATTACKS were saying we should do something about the Taliban, NOT ALL WAR PROTESTORS. Try and follow the subject.
To tell the truth. I really don't know what a commie is. I just like saying it.
Absolutely right. In other countries is is perfectly ok to write articles critcizing foreign governments, but not their own. Here in the U.S.A. we are still free to criticize our own government. Yet people seem to resent the exercising of this freedom. I suppose if we were only free to criticize foreign governments like most of the world that would be one less thing for some people to whine about.
The Left is just as on board as the neoconservative Right in calling for escalating the overseas aspect of this war. The New Republic and the Weekly Standard -- united they stand. Tony Blair is the main international publicist for the war effort, and even old peaceniks like Todd Gitlin are echoing the Official Line. Good god, the smugness and belligerence that is pandemic since 9/11 is like anthrax of the mind. Wake up, conservatives, you're losing your republic even as you fight to preserve it. A "Patriot Act" that takes away basic liberties and paves the way for a national ID card -- Freepers should have been in the forefront of the effort to defeat that modern day edition of the Alien & Sedition Act. Why win the war against Osam bin Laden and lose the war against socialism and tyranny at home? Don't you people realize that when Hillary becomes President, she's going to use all these "anti-terrorist" measures against -- Y-O-U?
That is the single funniest comment ever posted on FR.
Thanks for the link, that's the first I've seen from the left pursuing that. I've seen plenty of others who act otherwise.
Don't be so modest...no one will ever threaten your efforts.
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