- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Being defamed by Russell Brown and Mr Smug

I have just received the equivalent of a drive-by shooting from a Lexus hybrid.

The aesthetic left of Mr Smug over at Fundy Post and local middle class foghorn Russell Brown* have disgustingly both insinuated on their timid blogs that I support Osama Bin Laden's actions when I blogged...

(From the Martyn Bradbury Collection on loan from the Art Museum of Cynicism)

Let’s remind ourselves. This week the West killed an unarmed elderly man in front of his daughter using information to locate him taken under torture at a cost of $1.2Trillion while killing anywhere between 100 000 and a million and you want a rousing round of USA?

Who knew Russell Brown and Mr Smug over at the Fundy post were such sniveling apologists for Western foreign policy?

Let's be very clear, because Russel Brown and Mr Smug don't seem to understand, I have never supported Osama Bin Laden and as Russell well knows from my position over the Urewera trials, I have no interest in guns and politics.

Russel's attack on Hone by continuing to misquote him (even though I am taking stuff.co.nz to the press Council over their disgusting misquote of Hone) has more to do with his Labour Party affiliations than any real understanding of what Hone actually said, because as it has been pointed out, Hone was referring to the Bin Laden family and how THEY saw Bin Laden.

Twisting Hone's words AND mine into some sort of support for a mass murderer is the sort of shit throwing one expects from the right, but not so often from those pretending to be left.

Their beef is that I support Osama Bin laden by mitigating his crimes, which is bullshit because i have done no such thing and have zero time for people wanting to advocate violence for political gain. My point was the following...

What a dreadful waste of a decade for the West's 'war of terrorism'. Over a Trillion dollars in direct costs and anywhere between 100 000 and a million dead civilians (we're not sure because we don't count 'them' when they die). The biggest waste has been that we don't seem to have learnt a God damned thing from Osama Bin Laden.

I love how the retrospectives of Osama all come to that point in his history where the CIA funded him, that the narrator always mumbles a bit. What have we learnt in a decade? Osama Bin Laden was created by Western foreign policy. We couldn't give him enough guns when he was killing Soviets but didn't see that we were seeding the grounds for a pathological monster.

Osama made the connection that there was no point fighting the regimes in the Middle East that the West propped up, he concluded the taxpayers of America were as legitimate a target as military ones because it was the over arching Washington consensus global economic hegemonic structure that funded the repression of Muslim countries.

You would think after such spectacular blow back that we would at least stop sowing the seeds of tomorrow's monsters with today's black ops budgets, but no, we are seeding the monsters in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and Tajikistan while continuing to prop up CIA client dictatorships.

We've learnt fuck all in a decade.

Turns out the West was the weapon of mass destruction.

...thank God Chris Trotter gets it...

But last Monday, when I learned that a commando unit of US Navy Seals had done just that, there was nothing. The sense of exhilaration I’d expected to feel just wasn’t there. Instead, I experienced a very different sensation: a feeling of emptiness; of moral vacuity; of a world going under for the final time … in a sea of blood.

And I realised with a dead feeling that Osama Bin Laden had won.

“HAVE A CARE when fighting monsters”, warned the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, “lest ye become a monster yourself.”

As I watched the crowd outside the White House wave their flags in the darkness, and listened to the guttural chanting of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”, I recalled the images of joyous Palestinians chanting “Allahu Akbar!”, “God is great!”, and passing out sweets, as news of Bin Laden’s successful attack swept along the Arab “street”.

I heard the American Right demand that President Barack Obama release photographs of Bin Laden’s dead body, and I recalled the “proof of death” videos released by Islamic terrorist groups – the ones where they cut off their prisoners’ heads.

I read the columns of respected New Zealand journalists; columns in which Bin Laden’s death is celebrated in gory, gloating detail: “They blew half his face off.” Columns in which the most splendid achievement of Western Civilisation – the Rule of Law – is casually cast aside: “There are certain people to whom the rules of law and life do not apply. There are certain people who simply have to be killed and thrown to the sharks”. Columns in which President Obama is told he had “a duty to kill”; to make it “final and tidy, no civil rights, no due process”.

I read these columns, and more than ever I was seized by the completeness of Bin Laden’s victory. By the way in which his 9/11mission had succeeded in overthrowing all of the religious and civic traditions which had, over the course of twenty bloody centuries, ceded to the West the unprecedented role of global moral arbiter.

...the celebrations and ritualistic chanting of USA while ignoring the Wests own role in building the monster of Osama Bin Laden equates to support of Osama Bin Laden in the cosy leafy suburbs of Public Address and Fundy Post, so how does one go about tackling middle class sanctimonious clowns like Brown and Mr Smug at Fundy Post? Why you quote directly from their Lord and saviour, Noam Chomsky...

It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.

...what Mr Smug and Russell Brown seem to miss is the very nature of this State sanctioned assassination. Noam Chomsky doesn't miss this point. We 'won' nothing by shooting an old (I note your main petty point seems to be that I described the 54 year old Bin Laden as elderly, so let me replace that with old) unarmed man in front of his daughter. Such assassinations are not how Freedom and Democracy are defended.

Chomsky continues...

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

..my point alongside Chomsky is that our Western double standards give us no cause for celebration. Articulating that does not mean I support Bin Laden's violence!

NZers were easily led by the manufactured crises at the Hobbit promoted by Russell Brown and the corporate media, let's not get misled once again by the same clowns into believing that I or Hone support terrorism.

Who knew this final image would actually sum up the middle class blood lust of Public Address and Fundy Post?

*Yes I know it was only this week that I was calling on the NZ Herald to add Russell Brown to their weekly political column to give balance to their incredibly unbalanced appointment of a Government propagandist like Farrar, and i still stand by that. While I totally disagree with Russell Brown's defamation of me, a middle class fog horn is still a better balance to a Government pollster than not having him at all.



At 11/5/11 8:16 am, Blogger Unknown said...

To have actually defamed you, it would have a) not obviously been Russell's opinion and b) would have had to lower your reputation in the eyes of Joe Bloggs — which would be darn near impossible.

It's not defamation. It's his opinion. It's not defamation because no one thinks less of you because of it.

Quit you're whinging and misuse of the term defamation.

(But good on you for taking people to the press council over the comments about Hone. Ka pai.)

At 11/5/11 8:30 am, Blogger Tiger Mountain said...

Perhaps you have to look at a bloggers efforts over time and Russell would be ok at the Herald when compared to the likes of the obsequious DPF. But...

RB usually vacillates when the heat goes on and a firm rather than ‘global’ view is required. Exhibit A being the shameful Public Address ganging up on Actors Equity during the ‘Hobitt’ debacle. As if there was not enough of a power imbalance for AE to contend with. No, he and his middle class mates put the slipper in, ultimately helping Warners to raid tax payer $.

It is dirty stuff persisting with the Hone misquotes. Labour loyalists still have not got their heads around the Mana movement scenario.

At 11/5/11 8:53 am, Blogger SamV said...

It's a bit fanciful, though, isn't it? Claiming that he was representing how Bin Laden's family felt? Given that his family disowned him decades ago, seems more like that was really what Hone thought they would think. And he did apologize for those comments.

And I think you'll find that not being able to criticize your peers is more of a crazy right-wing trait. At least, it is when it comes to climate change.

At 11/5/11 12:00 pm, Blogger backin15 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/5/11 12:05 pm, Blogger backin15 said...

Bomber, you've excelled yourself. You've managed to make this about you and about the failings of the entire middle class and all of Labour... bit hyperbolic perhaps? I don't think anyone's in doubt about your style, so why fuss when someone points out you're being overly rhetorical... you often are and you must surely know it?

At 11/5/11 12:10 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Wow backin15, if you had the balls to identify yourself rather than hide behind an anonymous tag, you might find it offensive to be insinuated as supporting terrorism. I've never supported Osama Bin Laden and have pointed out the hypocrisy of the West in celebrating Bin Laden's death.

How bout this backin15, you email me your actual identity and I'll post a blog insinuating you support Osama Bin Laden and then we'll see how you feel huh?

At 11/5/11 12:33 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

That's not true Ken - the CIA gave money to the Pakistani ISI who funneled it through to radical mujahideen to Bin Laden- Noam Chomsky again on this issue

At 11/5/11 12:57 pm, Blogger Ken said...

Interesting. I was going by The Guardian, and they use the qualification "direct". I particularly like the one about him being a Gunners supporter. Maybe after yet another title challenge crapping out he just wanted to end it all:


At 11/5/11 3:31 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Hey Ken - as an avid reader of the Guardian, yes I saw that but I also noted the qualification they used. No the CIA didn't directly fund Osama, they sent it through the ISI.

At 11/5/11 3:33 pm, Blogger paul said...

I must call you out on your comment "NZers were easily led by the manufactured crises at the Hobbit promoted by Russell Brown."

That is just not true.

The Hobbit situation was manufactured by the CTU and the Australian Union - the prize they were after, IMHO, was a cut of the way that the Hobbit residuals were to be paid.

At the time various spokespeople for NZAE called for the blacklisting of the Hobbit the NZAE was not even registered as a union.

The whole situation was manufactured - quick we have called for balcklisting lets get 15 people together and register the union.

It was intersting that NZAE didn't call for blacklisting of the Sparta Thang - Oh that right Ward Leland's husband was working in or on it.

Mark Hadlow made a good point -"When was the last time NZAE were ever involved in your negotations" - Likely Never.

You are wrong to suggest that Brown in any way promoted the crisis.

At 11/5/11 3:46 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

I'm sorry paul, I very much disagree. Russell Brown deserves the supporting actor in a negotiating tactic for a corporation. This had nothing to do with the Actors Union and you know this Paul, why do you know this? Because Peter Jacksons emails were released weren't they? And what did Peter Jackson say? Why let's quote directly shall we?

"There is no connection between the blacklist (and it's eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit,"

The entire event was a manufactured crises to create the sense of panic that Warners wanted when they hard balled the PM for MORE corporate welfare.

Russell's attack on the Union came right when it was starting and gave middle class cover to attacking the Union and the wider Union movement who of course the Monday this story broke had gone to the streets to protest against the 90 day right to sack law.

Tell me Paul, did the Warners Bros executives laugh and call us Hobbits when flying back to the Hollywood bank?

At 11/5/11 4:58 pm, Blogger paul said...

Brown did no attack the union movement in his Hard News Blog Anatomy of a Shambles, it was not a negotiating tactic Brown was not a party to any of it other than to observe and blog about it.

You assign motives and attribute action to others. I wonder what in your view was behind WB considering having the film shot elsewhere.

The seed of the “crisis” was manufactured by CTU/The players that became NZAE/and the Australian Union.

The timing issue of falls with CTU (who guided NZAE) and shows what amateurs they were in that they undermined the 90-day protests which effectively became a non-issue.

They were so ill prepared the union NZAE had not been registered at the time the blacklist was called for – this raises a shit load of questions – like who were they representing, who did they consult with, where did they get the resolution from.

The problem with comment like “middle class cover” – is that the union movement has it fair share of bureaucratic dead weights that you would likely classify as middle class, though they may not drive a Lexus. Union bureaucrats look out for number one.

In answer to “Tell me Paul, did the Warners Bros executives laugh and call us Hobbits when flying back to the Hollywood bank?” That is ridiculous and emotive nonsense as is your disparagement of Brown for the role only you perceive in the Hobbit Shambles make as much sense as shaking a fist at the rain.

That is all I really want to say - it really is hand bags at twenty paces.

At 11/5/11 5:39 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Brown did no attack the union movement in his Hard News Blog Anatomy of a Shambles,
Yes he did, he wrote a damning piece on the Union and it's shambolic inner workings, and this was used as middle class cover during the entire reign of bullshit during this manufactured crises at the Hobbit. perhaps you're late to debate love, Tumeke called this as a manufactured crises from day one.

it was not a negotiating tactic Brown was not a party to any of it other than to observe and blog about it.
Of course Brown wasn't he was merely a supporting actor, I do wonder if he was sent any emails from the Ministry of Culture though. he put the boot in and blamed the Actor's union when it wasn't their fault.

At 11/5/11 5:40 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

You assign motives and attribute action to others. I wonder what in your view was behind WB considering having the film shot elsewhere.

The seed of the “crisis” was manufactured by CTU/The players that became NZAE/and the Australian Union.

Oh really Paul? Well, well, well - what do we have here? A damning point by point indictment from Helen Kelly detailing how NZ was played and manipulated into the manufactured crises at the Hobbit, all backed up by the emails released under the Official Information Act where Peter Jackson admitted to Gerry Brownlee that it wasn't about the Actors Union at all.

Tumeke called this a manufactured crises on the very first day and called it as an attempt to manipulate NZ into blaming the Actors Union by threatening to take the movie overseas when in reality the entire manufactured crises was a negotiating tactic by Warners Bros to gain more corporate welfare.

We called that on day one. However the bias and anti union hysteria by the mainstream media painted a totally different story. According to the mainstream media poor Sir Peter Jackson was facing trouble at Shire with Union busting Hobbits officially referred to as Scabbits. Poor Sir Peter Jackson was being forced to consider one actors contract to rule them all, one actors contract to find them. One actors contract enforced by Trans-Tasman Unions and in the darkness bind them. The Union bosses at the Shire had forced the Orcs to work to rule and all 9 members of the Nazgeal were considering wild cat strikes.

In response, poor Sir Peter Jackson had to threaten to outsource the eye of Mordor to Eastern Europe where naturally hairy residents would save him on Hobbit feet make up.

That was the official story by the mainstream media.

At 11/5/11 5:40 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Warners Bros has a long history of attacking Unions, all the way back to the Un-American committee blacklisting of supposed communists...

The founder of the performers union the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), John Howard Lawson, was also one of the ten jailed for contempt. Jack Warner – founder of Warner’s Bros was a “friendly witness” at the hearings and cooperated with the Committee’s work including enforcing the blacklist of those performers, writers and others named in the testimonies. Many believed he did so in retaliation for the month long strike by SAG during a dispute with Warners over pay.

It is disgusting that John Key simply handed our sovereignty of NZ to Warners Bros to ram through under a misuse of urgency deeply flawed employment law minus any select committee process or public consultation whatsoever while handing them millions more in corporate welfare. The 20 000 Union members who had marched 24 hours earlier against Key's harsh new labour laws had all media attention sucked out of them in a Crosby/Textor moment of pure media and political manipulation symmetry.

The mainstream media's unquestioning regurgitation of hysterical union bashing as a manufactured crises negotiating tactic by Warners Bros to extract more corporate welfare from our Optimist Prime led to death threats against Unionist's, Robyn Malcolm and Helen Kelly who had done nothing more than courageously stand up for the basic human right of collective bargaining.

Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states it is a fundamental human right for people to form Trade Unions and collectively bargain, that was all the Actors Union attempted, yet watching the way they had been denigrated and proclaimed as 'damaged goods' is right out of a Paul Henry supporters character assassination wet dream.

You would need to go back to the 1950's waterfront strike to see an equivalent level of union hysteria in the mainstream media.

The real outcry should be that John Key has handed out more corporate welfare while slashing domestic welfare, yet like a pack of chumps played by the most obvious of divide and rule tactics, we got sucked into increasing our corporate welfare by over 50% more.

So much for the great deal maker, by siding with Warners Bros in the Union bashing, John Key had no choice but to simply ask, ‘how much’ when Warners Bros hard balled him for more corporate welfare.

So, yes Paul, I do bet the Warners Bros execs laughed all the way home to their Hollywood bank after playing us for Shire folk,

At 11/5/11 7:09 pm, Blogger frances jane said...

I think the assasination was a warning to all those file-sharing law breakers who want to download free stuff...

At 12/5/11 8:36 am, Blogger Tiger Mountain said...

RB was a speaker (on the Hobitt “dispute”) at the SPADA conference 12 Novemeber 2010 before the dust had even settled on Warners heist.

I have never seen a text of his session but you can bet it was not pro worker.

At 12/5/11 3:22 pm, Blogger backin15 said...

Bomber, I posted a reply to your comments to me yesterday that haven't appeared. For the record, I'd prefer they did (which I assume is possible your end) since I both make clear I didn't mean to be anon and also clarify my views.

Paul Williams


Post a Comment

<< Home