12th August 2010
I have been called some names for even writing this blog with the name and picture of the “well-known war criminal” in the masthead. Not least among those names is “useful idiot”.
“Just you wait”, the incredulous know-alls say. “He’ll get his comeuppance. You’ll see!”
It seems that some men’s useful idiots are other men’s freedom fighters.
Late last night, being an avid late-night BBC World Service listener I caught some of this programme “Useful idiots” (first broadcast 4th August.)
Today CIF Watch has this on the programme:
These video clips are from the BBC Documentary: Useful Idiots, hosted by John Sweeney.
In political jargon, the term “useful idiots” was used to describe Soviet sympathisers in Western countries and the attitude of the Soviet government towards them.
Useful idiots, in a broader sense, refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and the public of the Utopian (rather than Dystopian) nature of the society.
In part one (the first three clips) John Sweeney looks at Stalin’s Western apologists.
In part two (the last three clips) he explores how present day stories of human rights abuses across the world are still rewritten.
I have used below the last three video/audios on today’s Useful Idiots.
Useful Idiots: Modern Era (1/3)
Recent historical: China – Chairman Mao/Western intellectuals/Cultural revolution. Chile – Pinochet/Lamont
From Oliver Kamm on western intellectuals – “There were others on the political left, including the liberal left who did see China as some sort of alternative, efficient and joyous even way of doing things differently and this was partly a testament to the stupidity of intellectuals, partly a function of the lack of information about China particularly the terrible details of the great famine and then the cultural revolution. But above all it was this recurrent belief among western intellectuals that because there are imperfections in their own societies there must be better ways of doing them outside, and alighting on appalling dictatorships as working examples of how to do things differently.”
Listen to Tony Benn wriggle to try to extricate himself from the “useful idiot” tag. Too late. You’re lo-o-ong hooked, Mr Benn.
Useful Idiots: Modern Era (2/3)
In part two Sweeney explores how present day stories of human rights abuses across the world are still rewritten. Africa. Benn, Galloway – Sweeney – “In the 1980’s quite a few British conservatives visited apartheid South Africa as a guest of the white minority regime. One was a young hopeful in the conservative research department , David Cameron, now Britain’s prime minister. Since then Mr Cameron has publicly disavowed Mrs Thatcher’s nuanced stance on apartheid and condemned it.”
Useful Idiots: Modern Era (3/3)
In part three John Sweeney looks at Iran, their presidential elections, Press TV and their supposedly British employees – George Galloway & Yvonne Ridley.
On the talkSport website, the station boasts about Galloway’s extreme views and notorious friendship with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
It says: ‘Gorgeous George has also shared tea and biscuits with now displaced-despot and all round bad guy that is former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and his sons Uday and Qusay, who were known to be fond of torturing footballers that couldn’t beat Barcelona blindfolded.’
During his show on Friday, Galloway had a blazing on-air row with the Times leader writer Oliver Kamm about the war in Gaza.
A Labour MP for 18 years, Galloway was thrown out in 2003 for ‘bringing the party into disrepute’. Opposing the war in Iraq, he called Tony Blair a ‘liar’ and called on British troops to disobey the Government’s orders.
At the request of Mr Reynolds, see comment below, I’ve found the audio of Galloway Vs Kamm’s row. Mr Reynolds likes a touch of fisticuffs. In two parts.
Having just listened to both it was hardly a blazing row”. Just Galloway at his most contemptibly rude. Nothing unusual there. But this waste of space and lying Saddam toady has to utter contempuously towards Mr Kamm when the latter is off air – “Well, the last word was indeed yours and it was up to standard with the rest of your words.”
This sarcastic scumbag is clearly not intellectually up to noticing that this means that Mr Kamm has NOT had the last word, which presumably had been their off-air arrangement.
Crawl under a stone, Galloway, where you belong.
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