[lbo-talk] Platypus: what we are, what we do, and why

Richard Seymour leninstombblog at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 9 09:04:37 PDT 2010

On 09/04/2010 16:14, Christopher Cutrone wrote:
> He said that British special forces were captured in "native" clothing with a bomb in their car.
This obviously referred to special forces who were indeed caught with various weapons and explosives, while wearing the clothing of Mahdi militias.

> He inferred from this that the sectarian bombings were being carried out not by Iraqis but by British and American forces.

He said nothing like this. He argued, on the basis of the statistics produced by the coalition forces, that most attacks in Iraq are directed against occupation forces and were not sectarian - barring a four/five week period which he referred to. He did not deny that sectarian attacks were taking place. On the substantive point, he was correct, and you were in the wrong. When you interviewed him in 2007, the trends detected by the quarterly 'Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq' report still confirmed the point made by Ali, just as it had since the reports were first published. Ali further mentioned the "black ops" aspect of the war, which he invited you to take seriously, mentioning the British special forces role in Basra. But he did not dispute that sectarian attacks had taken place, or that these had been carried out by Iraqis.

> He also said that there was no such thing as al-Qaeda (in Iraq).

No he did not. He said: "Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, it went in with the occupation". He later said that in Basra "Al Qaeda in Iraq doesn't exist", which was accurate.

> My point is not to vilify Ali but to point out that all sides of the so-called "Left" are playing problematic role, "pedagogically," regarding the realities of the world we face. There's a lot of posturing, but nothing of political substance.

You accused Tariq Ali of having "lied through his teeth", this on the basis of accusations that are simply untrue. Much as I'd like to impugn your lying eyes, I don't actually believe your eyes are responsible for the misleading information on this occasion. If there is posturing going on here, it is not on the part of Tariq Ali, whose discussion was substantive and accurate, and whom you have traduced.

-- Richard Seymour Writer and blogger Email: leninstombblog at googlemail.com Website: http://www.leninology.blogspot.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/leninology Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Seymour_(writer) Book: http://www.versobooks.com/books/nopqrs/s-titles/seymour_r_the_liberal_defense_of_murder.shtml

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