Backtothepoint’s excuses for suicide bombing

The Immorality of Suicide Bombing – Backtothepoint’s excuses for suicide bombing

Today the Guardian covers the story of Massoud Hossaini’s photograph of the girl in green, that won the Pulitzer prize 2012. The shot shows Tarana Akbari, a 12-year-old Afghan, who cries in the aftermath of a suicide bombing at a Shiite religious ceremony at a shrine in Kabul

On the 28 January 2011 there was an interesting discussion on WDYWTTA about the moral and actual relationship between conventional armed forces and suicide bombers. As is often the case the discussion had begun over the issue of Israel / Palestine. There are some, like backtothepoint who still seek to find excuses for suicide bombing and bombers.

I was posting as klavier4.
klavier4
27 January 2011 2:28PM
kizbot wrote:

I was more trying to say to Katie that neither side has any high ground in the
war.

To which I asked:

And are you also saying that both sides use suicide bombers to kill the customers of high street restaurants or workers on their way to work on the public bus?

At this point backtothepoint joined in:

backtothepoint
27 January 2011 2:34PM
@klavier4

No, one side uses hi-tech weaponry to kill the customers of high street
restaurants or workers on their way to work on the public bus from a distance at no personal risk to themselves. Or white phosphorus over residential areas, knowing full well they’re slowly burning women and children to death.

Backtothepoint has a history on CiF of attempting to equate the acts of suicide  bombers with the acts of conventional soldiers and  suicide bombing with conventional military action.

I continued:

klavier4
27 January 2011 2:47PM
BacktothePoint

Would you provide us with one example of a military commander who has
instigated a military action with the sole intent of killing the customers of high
street restaurants or workers on their way to work on the public bus?

Or do you think that the suicide bomber who killed the innocents on the Transport for London No.30 bus in Tavistock Square, had set out with the intent of blowing up 10 Downing Street and lost his way?

backtothepoint wrote:
27 January 2011 3:02PM
@klavier

We were, I believe, talking about Palestine, not London buses.

The Israelis always argue that they target “terrorists” and that the large numbers of men, women and children killed alongside these “targets” are regrettable “collateral damage”. In the same way, a suicide bomber who blows themselves up on a bus or in a restaurant in Tel Aviv could argue that since most Israelis in a certain age group are troops or reservists, as long as there are a few people matching that profile present, they’re attacking a military target and the old people and children killed at the same time are regrettable “collateral damage”.

I condemn both these types of action.

But not it would appear and as is confirmed later, where the target is military.

I responded to a post from the poster MyHero, to repeat my request to
backtothepoint:

klavier4
27 January 2011 3:14PM
MyHero

I was talking about the suicide bomber.

And I was asking for an example of a suicide bomber, (and BTTP I don’t mind in
which country) who exploded on the public bus with the intent of killing only one passenger.

backtothepoint wrote:
27 January 2011 3:28PM
@klavier

We’ve all seen the pictures of children burnt alive by white phosphorus shells
exploded over residential areas in Gaza, so please spare us the claims that the
military commanders are noble of purpose while the suicide bombers are motivated by pure evil. Give the Palestinian resistants the same weapons as the Israelis and I’m pretty sure they’ll focus on military targets. Given a decent missile or two, do you think they’d fire them at Sderot or the Israeli Ministry of Defence?

And I notice you have nothing to say about the many suicide bombers who have blown up Israeli soldiers occupying their country, at “checkpoints” for instance.

And I take this as confirmation that backtothepoint does support suicide bombings when Israeli soldiers have been killed or wounded.

klavier4
27 January 2011 3:55PM
BackToThePoint

We’ve all seen the pictures of children burnt alive by white phosphorus shells
exploded over residential areas in Gaza, so please spare us the claims that the
military commanders are noble of purpose while the suicide bombers are motivated by pure evil.

I’m sure neither of them is “noble of purpose”, but are you suggesting that the
action in Gaza was for the sole purpose of killing the customers of high street
restaurants or workers on their way to work on the public bus? Or to use your
example, children?

backtothepoint
27 January 2011 4:10PM
@klavier4

I think the entire Cast Lead aggression was an act of criminal state terrorism
aimed indiscriminately at the entire population of Gaza. I don’t believe it in any way targeted combatants. Much the same as the bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv would be aimed indiscriminately at the Israeli population.

But are you saying that suicide bombers in restaurants and buses haven’t wanted to kill soldiers, but solely civilians. That given the choice, they’d have chosen to target non-combatants rather than combatants?

Given two soft targets, do you think the suicide bomber would say, “No, forget
the barracks, I’d rather blow up the school.” If so, what’s your evidence?

klavier4
28 January 2011 2:19AM
BackToThePoint

But are you saying that suicide bombers in restaurants and buses haven’t wanted to kill soldiers, but solely civilians. That given the choice, they’d have chosen to target non-combatants rather than combatants?

You display a stubborn insistence on refusing to recognise that the intent of the suicide bomber is quite different to that of conventional military personnel, whose first intent is to survive. And that survival means the possibility of facing international laws that govern military action and having to live with the consequences of their action. That goes for the humble foot soldier and the Commander in Chief. The war in Iraq has provided us with examples of the former and as we watch the outcome of Blair’s appearances before Chilcot, to some extent even the latter.

But no such qualms for the suicide bomber, the logic of whose philosophy is that human life is worthless, whose first intent is kill myself, as without achieving that objective, there is only failure.

Your explanation for refusing to recognise this crucial distinction is what? That
you are a passionate admirer of suicide bombers and see them as the only means of advancing the Palestinian cause?

And please don’t invoke childhood inoculations and parking violations in order to cloud the issue.

backtothepoint
28 January 2011 10:08AM
@klavier4

Re your 2:19 post this morning

conventional military personnel, whose first intent is to survive. And that survival means the possibility of facing international laws that govern military action and having to live with the consequences of their action

Oh yes. For that man with his finger on the firing button of the guided missile
aimed at a Gaza school or hospital where his superiors will later claim that
“terrorist elements were hiding”, survival’s a big concern, isn’t it? Will he survive pushing the button?

If he orders a bombing or killings in person, he may face an internal inquiry that will conclude he acted perfectly reasonably (unless he’s a bedouin, in which case he may be one of those who periodically get to be a sacrificial lamb).

that you are a passionate admirer of suicide bombers and see them as the only means of advancing the Palestinian cause?

So though I’ve firmly condemned suicide bombers who intentionally blow up
civilians, you’re still busily picking up your strawman and brushing him down.

Let me make it clear for you once again. I condemn both the Israeli bombers and the Palestinian bombers who indiscriminately kill civilians.

I don’t condemn the many Palestinian combatants, suicide bombers or not, who target the Israeli troops occupying their country in flagrant breach of international law.

Is that clear? Or are you off for more straw?

It is a regular tactic employed by backtothepoint to resort to “straw men”
accusations as soon as his argument falls apart.

klavier4
28 January 2011 10:46AM
BackToThePoint

I don’t condemn the many Palestinian combatants, suicide bombers or not, who target the Israeli troops occupying their country in flagrant breach of international law. Is that clear? Or are you off for more straw?

Yes it’s perfectly clear as it was the first time you made the point.

From the comfort of your armchair in Paris, you will encourage Palestinians to
become suicide bombers and sacrifice their own lives, providing their target is
Israeli troops. That’s quite a military strategy of despair BTTP but at least you’re being honest about your immorality.

backtothepoint
28 January 2011 11:00AM
@klavier4

Now that’s just silly.

If you really can’t grasp the difference between “not condemning” and
“encouraging”, you shouldn’t be trying to take part in a serious discussion.

If you’re just being clumsily dishonest, ditto.

backtothepoint
28 January 2011 11:20AM
@happycat

What I meant was the ‘evil’ people who brainwash women, children and people with mental health problems to die for a cause that their abusers are too cowardly to die for themselves.

Again, you feel that women can be brainwashed but not men? The Palestinian
liberation movement has a long history of woman combatants and even military leaders.

As I’ve said, if there are cases where children or the mentally incompetent are
manipulated into acting or forced to act as human bombs, I condemn that totally.

But I don’t accept the attempt to limit the term “suicide bomber” to ideas of
fanaticism, brainwashing, attacks on civilians, etc.

During the Normandy landings, a Corporal Sidney Leach dived into a German
machine-gun nest with an armed grenade. He took out the machine-gun nest,
saving Allied lives, and killed himself in the process. You could certainly call him a suicide bomber. But was he an “evil” fanatic?

As for brainwashing, that’s an accusation that can work for anyone. How about
“evil” ministers and chiefs of staff brainwashing young men and women to die for a cause that their abusers are too cowardly to die for themselves?
Notice how having dismissed the relevance of the suicide bombing of a London bus earlier on the thread, backtothepoint invokes the Normandy landings of World War II.

At this stage meerkatjie, who works in the UK’s higher education sector as a
lecturer joined the thread quoting one of my earlier posts:

meerkatjie
28 January 2011 11:58AM

the intent of the suicide bomber is quite different to that of conventional military personnel, whose first intent is to survive.

Are you quite sure of this? Surely if their first intent is to survive, they’d be
needlepointing at home? To suggest that the military aren’t trained to kill, and
that they do not intend to do so seems a little disingenuous. “I became a soldier, but I didn’t think killing would be involved.”? Nah, come on.

klavier4

28 January 2011 12:29PM

BackToThePoint

If you really can’t grasp the difference between “not condemning” and
“encouraging”, you shouldn’t be trying to take part in a serious discussion

So enlighten me.

Or would you prefer it that your support of suicide bombings is allowed to pass as the norm of civilised behaviour?

He didn’t enlighten, and again having agreed he’s a supporter of suicide bombings, albeit with certain caveats, backtothepoint resorted to another of his fabled response methods:

backtothepoint
28 January 2011 12:47PM
@klavier4

I have to take issue with your continued support for wife-beating and child abuse. 

(You don’t mind me making stuff up too, do you?)

klavier4
28 January 2011 12:48PM
BackToThePoint

I’m interested in your Corporal Sidney Leach about whom, for a man committing such a gallant act of self-sacrifice to save his comrades, google is remarkably silent.

Could it be Corporal Sidney Bates VC of the Royal Norfolk Regiment?

The official citation in the London Gazette stated “Corporal Bates, by his supreme gallantry and self-sacrifice, had personally saved a critical situation.”

But to suggest either had the motivation of a suicide bomber is even more
insensitive than young Mr Gilmour’s antics at the Cenotaph.

klavier4

28 January 2011 1:11PM

Meerkatjie wrote:

Surely if their first intent is to survive, they’d be needlepointing at home? To
suggest that the military aren’t trained to kill, and that they do not intend to do so seems a little disingenuous.

Then perhaps you’d enlighten us all on the use to the military of dead soldiers, the waste of the time and money spent training them and the impact on the morale of their comrades?

Only this week we read about the self-sacrifice of Private Martin Bell who
disregarded a direct order not to help a stricken comrade because his own life
would be at risk. The young paratrooper rushed to administer first aid and was
killed when another booby-trap bomb exploded.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison, said:

‘The term “hero” is overused in contemporary commentary; take a moment to
reflect on the image of Martin Bell, who disobeyed a direct order in order to render life-saving first aid to his colleague.’

Do you still think it’s disingenuous?

Quite how was meerkatjie able to conclude that anything I’d written suggested “that the military aren’t trained to kill, and that they do not intend to do”, is quite beyond me. Later I offered some basic advice to meerkatjie about the modern day military strategies devised to minimise casualties during conflict.

meerkatjie
28 January 2011 1:32PM

Then perhaps you’d enlighten us all on the use to the military of dead soldiers, the waste of the time and money spent training them and the impact on the morale of their comrades?

Sorry, but that really has no relevance to what I actually posted (a query about
the suggestion you made that soldiers somehow don’t INTEND to kill). So no, I
won’t enlighten you, since your question doesn’t actually have anything to do
with the point I made.

Do try to stick to debating what people actually say. I find it makes for more
interesting discussion.

klavier4
28 January 2011 1:54PM
Meerkatjie

Sorry, but that really has no relevance to what I actually posted (a query about the suggestion you made that soldiers somehow don’t INTEND to kill).

I made no such suggestion – and to save you the trouble here’s what I posted
about BTTP’s refusal to recognise intent:

You display a stubborn insistence on refusing to recognise that the intent of the suicide bomber is quite different to that of conventional military personnel, whose first intent is to survive.

So nothing here or in any of my other posts stating “soldiers don’t INTEND to kill”, but everything on their full intent to survive.

meerkatjie
28 January 2011 2:30PM
Yes, but your post still bears no relevance to my point – that if their FIRST
INTENT was to survive, they’d have stayed at home with their knitting.

Your point is disingenuous, and your later post does nothing to dispute that.

If their first intent was to survive, too, incidentally, your other points about
glorious heroism don’t make a lot of sense either. If they deliberately die for their cause, as the brave individuals you talk about clearly did, then clearly their FIRST intent is not, in fact, to survive, is it? They’re there serving an ideological purpose.

klavier4
28 January 2011 2:55PM

Meerkatjie

Yes, but your post still bears no relevance to my point – that if their FIRST  INTENT was to survive, they’d have stayed at home with their knitting.

Your cynicism about those who choose to defend the democracy of which they
and we are part is noted Meerkatjie.

“If they deliberately die for their cause, as the brave individuals you talk about clearly did, then clearly their FIRST intent is not, in fact, to survive, is it? They’re there serving an ideological purpose.”

I think anyone with even a tad of humanity would recognise that if they chose
anything it was, as Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison said, to save the lives of their collegues.

If that is “serving an ideological purpose”, perhaps you’d explain which ideology?

Or perhaps it was this:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

meerkatjie
28 January 2011 6:34PM

Klavier:

You’re really fond of stretching what people say to the point where it’s more or
less unrecognisable to them, didn’t it?

Your cynicism about those who choose to defend the democracy of which they and we are part is noted Meerkatjie.

I don’t think anything I said in fact indicates this, but thanks for playing. I’m
certainly cynical about the military as an institution. Individual soldiers – well, I think as a country we treat them appallingly badly, and that most jingoists who bang on about our heroic troops do relatively little about that.

If that is “serving an ideological purpose”, perhaps you’d explain which ideology?

I’m sorry, but anyone who imagines war is not ideological is either a bit thick, a bit ignorant, or a bit disingenuous. Which is it in your case?

As to what ideology – well, it depends on the war, doesn’t it?

Soldiers are used as tools of ideology. Nobody really questions the individual
bravery that are demonstrated in the examples that you cite. However, I think
that such individuals are used for profoundly cynical ends, much of the time.

There was a time when those employed in the UK’s higher education were expected to encourage and develop critical thinking, not merely heap abuse, but times change.

klavier4
28 January 2011 11:39PM

Meerkatjie

I’m sorry, but anyone who imagines war is not ideological is either a bit thick, a bit ignorant, or a bit disingenuous. Which is it in your case?

And I’m sorry too as I’d come to expect better from an intellectual like you. Is this the kind of response you give to your students when they proffer a point of view with which you disagree?

At this stage a new poster entered the fray, but not to enhance or extend the discussion but to run telling tales to the moderators.

BeautifulBurnout
28 January 2011 11:42PM – quoting me:

And I’m sorry too as I’d come to expect better from an intellectual like you. Is this the kind of response you give to your students when they proffer a point of view with which you disagree?

Now there’s some syntax I recognise…

klavier4
28 January 2011 11:52PM

Meerkatjie

You’re really fond of stretching what people say to the point where it’s more or less unrecognisable to them, didn’t it?

I don’t think anything I said in fact indicates this, but thanks for playing. I’m certainly cynical about the military as an institution. Individual soldiers – well, I think as a country we treat them appallingly badly, and that most jingoists who bang on about our heroic troops do relatively little about that.

What I referred to as cynical was your advice that a soldier who sacrificed his
own life to save those of his comrades, for which he was awarded the Victoria
Cross, should have “stayed at home with his knitting” if he’d wanted to survive.

Back came BeautifulBurnout to demonstrate that she failed to understand or maybe even read the thread:

BeautifulBurnout
29 January 2011 12:04AM – quoting me:

What I referred to as cynical was your advice that a soldier who sacrificed his own life to save those of his comrades, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, should have “stayed at home with his knitting” if he’d wanted to survive.

*WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOP!*

Strawman alert! Strawman alert!

I don’t recall Meerkatjie saying anything of the kind.

She simply suggested that if the first intent of soldiers was self-preservation,
they would have stayed at home to do needlepoint.

klavier4
29 January 2011 12:04AM

Meerkatjie

You’re really fond of stretching what people say to the point where it’s more or less unrecognisable to them, didn’t it?

I don’t think anything I said in fact indicates this, but thanks for playing. I’m certainly cynical about the military as an institution. Individual soldiers – well, I think as a country we treat them appallingly badly, and that most jingoists who bang on about our heroic troops do relatively little about that.

Appallingly badly?

The 2009 armed forces continuous attitude survey found that British servicemen and women were generally happier than in previous years, with nearly 90% saying they were proud to be in the armed forces. Personal satisfaction levels were higher, with 49% of troops saying their own morale was high and more than 60% saying they were happy with service life in general.

The same survey found that just one-third of British troops feel valued and one in five believe morale is high in their branch of the armed forces.

The figures reflected deep concerns across the armed forces about the treatment of personnel, which prompted all three main parties to promise improved welfare provision and housing for British troops and their families in their election manifestos.

This in my book this doesn’t describe appallingly bad treatment and I’d be
interested to know how your own university, which I assume conducts an annual staff attitude survey, fares in comparison.

klavier4
29 January 2011 12:33AM

BeautifulBurnout

WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOP!*

Strawman alert! Strawman alert!

I don’t recall Meerkatjie saying anything of the kind.

She simply suggested that if the first intent of soldiers was self-preservation, they would have stayed at home to do needlepoint.

She responded to my claim that in contrast to the suicide bomber, the first intent of conventional military personnel was to survive, with the following statements:

Are you quite sure of this? Surely if their first intent is to survive, they’d be needlepointing at home?

and

Yes, but your post still bears no relevance to my point – that if their FIRST INTENT was to survive, they’d have stayed at home with their knitting.

Now I think we can all agree that serving soldiers don’t have the option of going
home to their knitting or any other hobby whenever they feel their lives might be threatened. And of course it’s an insult to their professionalism to suggest they might. As such Meerkatjie comments are both cynical and fatuous.

But maybe you know of British military strategists who advocate a different
approach? One perhaps where loss of life of their own men and women is
considered unimportant?

Enter the fray MontanaWildhack, also rather missing the point:

MontanaWildhack
29 January 2011 1:32AM

klavier4:

What I referred to as cynical was your advice that a soldier who sacrificed his own life to save those of his comrades, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, should have “stayed at home with his knitting” if he’d wanted to survive.

Meerkatjie:

Are you quite sure of this? Surely if their first intent is to survive, they’d be
needlepointing at home?

and:

Yes, but your post still bears no relevance to my point – that if their FIRST
INTENT was to survive, they’d have stayed at home with their knitting.

You see, neither of MK’s comments comes anywhere close to being what you’re
claiming they are:

advice that a soldier who sacrificed his own life to save those of his comrades, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, should have “stayed at home with his knitting” if he’d wanted to survive.

Are you deliberately twisting what she said or are you just too thick to
understand her point? Which is not that serving soldiers would, could or should opt to stay at home with their needlepoint and/or knitting, but rather that if — as you claimed —

the first intent of conventional military personnel was to survive

they never would have joined the military in the first place. She is trying to point out to you that people who join the military are aware when they sign up that they may die in service. That fact renders your assertion ludicrous.

By the way, you seem to be rather exercised about the affront to the
professionalism of the British armed forces that you claim this is. Funny.

Because your claim that their first intent is their own survival sounds to me quite a bit like a statement that British soldiers are self-serving cowards who care more about their individual survival than they do about fighting for whatever cause they have been asked to fight for.

klavier4
29 January 2011 1:50AM

Meerkatjie

I’m sorry, but anyone who imagines war is not ideological is either a bit thick, a bit ignorant, or a bit disingenuous. Which is it in your case?

Firstly Meerkatjie, it is those who pursue war who hold ideologies – An orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group or nation. Ascribing ideology to war itself leads us into all kinds of problems.

You continue:

Soldiers are used as tools of ideology. Nobody really questions the individual bravery that are demonstrated in the examples that you cite. However, I think that such individuals are used for profoundly cynical ends, much of the time.

In the example I used, that of Corporal Sidney Bates VC of the Royal Norfolk
Regiment, his death came as a result of the war to defeat Nazism, one of the
most pernicious ideologies man has devised. Are you suggesting he was a tool of ideology or do you think that just possibly he was a willing participant?

And I’m sure if any ideology entered his mind before or during his act of bravery, it would have stemmed from that which became foundation of Christianity, which I quoted yesterday: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Backtothepoint then returned with further unresearched prejudice:

klavier4
29 January 2011 2:00AM

BackToThePoint, you write:

Come on! All through history soldiers have volunteered for suicide operations, with about as much chance of surviving as a suicide bomber.

Sheer utter nonsense – provide us with one example of a conventional military
operation that has been planned and executed from this strategic assumption,
that all combatants will kill themselves as a means of defeating the enemy.

The use of suicide bombing as a military strategy has proven to be such a
disaster, quite apart from it being intuitively a no-brainer, that your continued
defence of it, or to use your words, reluctance to condemn it, which as far as I
am concerned is the same thing, is suspicious in the extreme.

So I conclude that rather then being a genuine supporter of the Palestinian cause, you are in fact a Parisian armchair fifth columnist intent on undermining a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Palestinians’ long running dispute with the State of Israel.

At this point BTTP withdrew and katie60 provided a little light relief and some telling analysis:

katie60
29 January 2011 9:05AM
Klavier

The surreal quality of the debate you’re having with Cif’s deluded browbeaters is par for the course on these pages.

The inability of supposedly smart individuals to distinguish between suicide
bombers and professional soldiers is just flat-out stupid. The inability to distinguish between the actions and motives of suicide bombers and professional soldiers is flat-out pernicious.

And the combination of pseudo and ignorant comment, laced with the likes of
meerkatjie’s ridiculously laboured condescension and backtothepoint’s infantile allegiance to communism, is flat-out blogging fuckwittery.

meerkatjie
29 January 2011 11:59AM
Isn’t it sweet how our very new members have already grasped the full use of the recommend feature?

Now, this tendency of our new friend Klavier to take someone’s point, twist it out of all recognition, and then ascribe personal defects to the poster on the basis of points they didn’t really make…. That manoeuvre that klavier just pulled on spike…. Hm. I’ve seen that style somewhere before.

Well, if you’re who I think you are, Klavier, welcome back. If not, perhaps you
could try sticking to arguing with what I actually say, and then I might bother to reply to you.

Either way, it’s quite nice to have someone about with a reasonable coherence,
able to put forward an alternate point of view.

meerkatjie, quoting Katie60

29 January 2011 12:02PM

And the combination of pseudo and ignorant comment, laced with the likes of meerkatjie’s ridiculously laboured condescension and backtothepoint’s infantile allegiance to communism, is flat-out blogging fuckwittery.

Bless. This is the person who couldn’t seem to grasp the distinction between
public and private a couple of days ago?

Perhaps if you showed a spark of comprehension there’d be no need to labour to explain such basic concepts to you, Katie?

And then a wonderful piece of theatre:

OZKT29B
29 January 2011 1:11PM
A park. Meerkatjie sits on a blanket strewn with various picnic items. She is
playing on a Nintendo DS. Klavier enters from stage right and sits on the blanket.

Meerkatjie:  There is absolutely no difference between a suicide bomber and a
member of any other armed force. You know why? Because if soldiers wanted to survive, they’d stay at home and do some knitting.

Klavier:  Hmmmm…not really, because most armed forces go to great lengths to ensure that their soldiers don’t die. Soldiers may accept a risk of death, but they don’t set out with the intention of dying. So really they’re nothing like suicide bombers.

Meerkatjie:  Look, clearly you’re incredibly thick, but bless you for trying to
understand my argument about the knitting. I really appreciate your effort dearie, but perhaps we could talk about this when you have stopped being so incredibly thick? Thanks. Bye now.

Klavier:   Hang on, wait a minute…

Katie60 walks on from stage left and sits on a nearby bench.

Katie60:   Klavier, I wouldn’t bother. She won’t listen to you, she’ll just keep making random supercilious, insulting and condescending remarks until you get frustrated and leave.

Klavier:   Ok, but…I was just saying…

Meerkatjie:   Aw bless, Katie60 is saying stuff now! Look at her, saying words like a real person! Well, you two are just adorable, but I’m afraid I’m only interested in, you know, real debate and stuff? One day you’ll understand.

Audience [en masse]: Oh you cannot be fucking serious!
backtothepoint
29 January 2011 1:47PM
@OZKT

Klavier claimed the first intent of military personnel was to survive.

Meerkatjie simply pointed out that if their first intent was to survive, they
wouldn’t be soldiers (she said nothing about suicide bombers.)

Klavier pretended not to understand what she was saying.

You apparently really didn’t understand. Why don’t you go back and have another look here.

Then true to his political origins backtothepoint commited himself fully to being the moderator’s nark:

backtothepoint
29 January 2011 2:03PM
@OZKT

Still, it’s very courageous of you to stand up for bitethehand. Is it the beginning
of a beautiful friendship?

Of course it meant klavier4 was no more, to be replaced by Reikval

Reikval
29 January 2011 3:36PM
klavier4 is now banned from this site but those who wish to read what might have been posted here following his final post at 2.55am should look here

And when the good lord said it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, he might as easily have said, it is easier for a poster to avoid the Chinese state censors than it is to get past The Guardian’s moderators.

meerkatjie
29 January 2011 3:44PM
Bitethehand, why do you think anyone would really care?  You continue to argue points no-one actually made, over on The Untrusted. And…. ? It’s not exactly War and Peace, is it?

Fencewalker, I’m sorry, I was doing a bit of a skim this morning, and I did miss
your post:

Soldiers may die in missions, but it does not mean that it’s their first intention. They accept when they join, presumably, that they might be injured or killed in the line of duty, but they won’t assume that it’s going to happen – most will be thinking ‘it’ll never happen to me’. And statistically, they’d be right.

That’s perhaps true. But it doesn’t speak to their FIRST intention, does it?

My basic dispute has been with the claim of primacy. I then got rather annoyed
with Bitethehand / Klavier telling me I held views I hadn’t expressed.

I don’t disagree with you regarding much of the rest of what you wrote.

I’m buggering off for a few days now – got mountains of work to shift, and no
point posting here if it’s just going to be endless argybargy. See you all in a week or two.

The discussion then resumed on the Untrusted site:

Bitethehand posted:

Sadly klavier4 has been banned from CiF, (was ‘syntax’ a hidden message to the mods BB?) so this exchange will need to continue here, rather than be completed there. Anyone interested in free speech might like to post a note informing WDYWTTA readers.

Montana wrote:

Are you deliberately twisting what she said or are you just too thick to
understand her point? Which is not that serving soldiers would, could or should opt to stay at home with their needlepoint and/or knitting, but rather that if — as you claimed —

the first intent of conventional military personnel was to survive

they never would have joined the military in the first place. She is trying to point out to you that people who join the military are aware when they sign up that they may die in service. That fact renders your assertion ludicrous.

Well I might be too thick to understand Montana so as a member of the teaching profession do you have a self-administered test I can do that might help us answer the question?

So now we have a second member of the teaching profession who sees no irony
in accusing those who don’t agree with her as being “thick”.

At this point one of UT’s posters, Luke compiled a list of merkatjie’s quotes with the comment:

And that’s only in the last couple of days – there’s a veritable treasure-chest of equally rational and reasoned ‘interesting discussion’ from meerkatje if you care to look. I finally understand why such a monotone and patronising poster is admired by so many here. Such wit and intellectual brilliance is a rare commodity. It’s a shame about the total lack of substance.

To which she responded:

Meerkatjie wrote:

Oh look. Luke and Bitey playing really nicely together. It’s good to find friends,
boys. Kindred spirits, even.

“Logic and reason are wonderful things and context is everything.”

Which in a nutshell is pretty much the point of every one of those quotes you’ve just chucked out there, Luke.

Do you have a day job? I know you’re frightfully political and everything, but do you actually do anything other than sitting on the internet telling people like BB and I how crap we are?

Meerkatjie wrote:

And Bitey, Oz’s post might have been funny if his premise was right. As it is, I
didn’t actually say the stuff he’s claiming in his opening paragraph, which was also the substance of my query to Klavier, who had similarly decided that I’d said something I hadn’t in fact said.

Montana’s summary of that discussion is rather more accurate. Why don’t you cut and paste that too, there’s a good chap?

To which request Iwas more than happy to oblige.

Bitethehand

MontanaWildhack wrote:

Are you deliberately twisting what she said or are you just too thick to
understand her point? Which is not that serving soldiers would, could or should opt to stay at home with their needlepoint and/or knitting, but rather that if — as you claimed —

the first intent of conventional military personnel was to survive

they never would have joined the military in the first place. She is trying to point out to you that people who join the military are aware when they sign up that they may die in service. That fact renders your assertion ludicrous.

And now Montana you really are showing your ignorance of the UK armed
services. It might have been true in the days of conscription that the loss of life
of the foot soldier and as recently as The Great War, of the Officer Class was
considered of less importance to the most senior army personnel than it might
have been, had they had more concern for the welfare of those who actually did the fighting.

However since the UK has had totally volunteer, professional armed services, a
major stratregic concern has been to minimise casualties and it’s a strategy that’s been remarkably successful. Construction, agriculture and extraction industries all have higher fatality rates than the army despite the fact that these industies are covered by the Health and Safety at Work legislation.

Now this is hardly surprising given the need to make the armed services an
attractive proposition to young men and women. So even before they join up, the idea that would be soldiers might stay at home with their knitting and needlepoint is as ridiculous and insulting as suggesting to would be bricklaying, quarrying and agricultural apprentices, “that they might die in service”.

Of course if you opt for the fighting Corps, your risk of death and injury is higher, but so are the rewards of being part of some of the most effective combat units anywhere. And the potential for career progression is very good, so I’m told.

Bitethehand

MontanaWildhack wrote:

By the way, you seem to be rather exercised about the affront to the
professionalism of the British armed forces that you claim this is. Funny.

Because your claim that their first intent is their own survival sounds to me quite a bit like a statement that British soldiers are self-serving cowards who care more about their individual survival than they do about fighting for whatever cause they have been asked to fight for.

You might like to spend a little time examining the strategic and the tactical
approaches to minimising casualties in military operations Montana. Then you
might realise that while the former relies increasingly on advanced technology,
intelligence and planning to minimize casualties, the latter relies on taking the
fight to the enemy. This is why the highly trained British infantry units are
capable, not only of defending themselves and minimising casualties but at the
same time taking on and defeating numercially superior enemies, through a long standing tradition of courage in battle.

As such I think you might reconsider your accusation of “self-serving cowards”, don’t you think?

Now I know vitually nothing about military combat so I’m quite happy to be
corrected on any of this by those who do. Shame Peter Bracken isn’t around don’t you think?

Bitethehand

Meerkatjie

Montana’s summary of that discussion is rather more accurate. Why don’t you cut and paste that too, there’s a good chap?

Glad to have obliged and you may now explain why your jibe about knitting and needlepoint, was really being supportive of those young men and women who rather than spend their youth and young adulthood on the dole, are prepared to seek a career for themselves in the relative safety of our armed services.

And for the record, I have always treated you with the greatest respect.

Bitethehand

Meerkatjie

My basic dispute has been with the claim of primacy. I then got rather annoyed with Bitethehand / Klavier telling me I held views I hadn’t expressed.

I really thought better of you Meerkatjie than to see you sink to the level of Tony Shallcross. (backtothepoint / spike) I suppose you’re going to claim the
BeautifulBurnout defence of  “please Miss, Shallcross did it before me”.

So I’m not surprised you’re heading back to the sanctuary of your work.

You say in response to Fencewalker:

My basic dispute has been with the claim of primacy. I then got rather annoyed with Bitethehand / Klavier telling me I held views I hadn’t expressed.

So let’s dissect my original post, initially contesting Shallcross‘ refusal to recognise intent:

You display a stubborn insistence on refusing to recognise that the intent of the suicide bomber is quite different to that of conventional military personnel, whose first intent is to survive.

Now can’t you see that this is a statement of overall strategy for as others
have pointed out, dead soldiers can no longer fight, their death is bad for morale, they are expensive, they make recruitment more difficult and most of all they are likely to leave wives and children fatherless. Individual soldiers on the other hand will have a variety of intentions ranging from the sacrifice of Private Martin Bell who defied his commanding officer, to others who might avoid risk whenever they can.

But I also went on to add the caveat about preventing soldiers and indeed
politicians from taking any actions, particularly unlawful ones, that might improve their chances of survival:

And that survival means the possibility of facing international laws that govern military action and having to live with the consequences of their action. That goes for the humble foot soldier and the Commander in Chief.

The war in Iraq has provided us with examples of the former and as we watch the outcome of Blair’s appearances before Chilcot, to some extent even the latter.

So if you still stand by your statements about knitting and needlepoint, then I
think you’re the poorer for them.

Bitethehand

Spike, you really are quite slow on the uptake sometimes.

Reikval was constructed merely as a means of completing the exchange that I
started with my post to kizbot on 27 January and to point out that as klavier4 had been banned, the exchange would continue here.

As and when I want to post on CiF I’ll go through the rather tedious process of
constructing a new identity yet again.

And here the discussion ended.

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