Category Archives: Torture

The Silliest Blog?

I think I have read one of the silliest blog article ever and it has some stiff competition. It is by Brendan O’Neill on Comment is Free, an attack piece on the Dalai Lama with about as much coherence as a typical Beijing press release on the subject. O’Neil is clearly one of these Troll bloggers using the Malkin/Coulther business model; Stephen Bainbridge (by way of Andrew Sullivan):

Malkin and Johnson seem to have internalized what I call the “Ann Coulter Business Model.” It’s a familiar concept, based on a couple of simple propositions. First, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Second, as the sage Charles Barley Barkley observed, the meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t get the ball. To stand out from a crowd, you’ve got to be provocative. You’ve got to make your friends—and, almost as important, if not more so, your enemies—keep tuning in to see what you’re going to say next.

So the reader will understand my reluctance to feed these kind of trolls with links.

It isn’t as if it is impossible to criticise the Dalai Lama. As well as a spiritual leader he is a political leader and it has become fashionable to judge him on results: the number of Tibetans liberated from the heal of the political wing of the People’s Liberation Army (i.e., zero). The narrative runs that he missed some fabled window to cut a deal with the Chinese and his do-goody peace-rhetoric is great for cultivating street cred among the hippies that turn up at Dharmsala but not so effective in the real world that adults live in.

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Desmond Tutu: Human Rights Abuser?

It is interesting how some writers can say things that others would be utterly unqualified to say, even if they used the same words. Desmond Tutu has just written a Cif article explaining why Sri Lanka should be excluded from the Human Rights council–its record of kidnap and torture of its own citizens, a trend that is worsening.

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‘Big’ Ethics and the War on Terror

How to end the War on Terror, quickly

[Here I try to pick apart many issues that get tangled in the debate on the ethics of the War on Terror taking a recent discussion between Megan McArdle and Daniel Drezner. It boils down to the importance of drilling for the real motivation in making ethical judgements and loving the sinner while hating the sin.]

If anyone hasn’t listened to any of the bloggingheads.tv diavlogs (what I think of as divalogs) then I suggest you do, especially if you like witty, intelligent discussion of American politics and current affairs.

I picked up the latest divalog between Megan McArdle and Daniel Drezner from Megan’s blog at The Atlantic and was intrigued by the section that started about 40 minutes in where Megan says she is more interested in ‘small’ (manageable?) ethical issues rather than the ‘big’ issue of whether the US prosecution of the War on Terror is evil. (I am paraphrasing a bit here, but I think this is the sense.)

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