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

Christopher Cutrone ccutrone at speedsite.com
Fri Apr 9 11:06:58 PDT 2010

Except there's no smear: Ali said what I said he said. It may be to some, as Henwood says, uncontroversial, but I think what Ali said should be treated as controversial. That's my point, to not accept it as uncontroversial (on the "Left"). Perhaps saying "lie" was too strong, because it implies intentional falsehood, but innuendo doesn't quite capture the problem, either. And it's indicative that now he doesn't remember saying what he said, i.e., it no longer jives with even his notion of the truth. Perhaps not a "lie," just a false innuendo, unintentional, but still.

-- Chris

Richard Seymour leninstombblog at googlemail.com Fri Apr 9 10:41:35 PDT 2010

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On 09/04/2010 18:19, Christopher Cutrone wrote:
> I'm very careful about what I write or say.

If that's the case, then you must concede that you deliberately smeared Tariq Ali. If you did not intend to smear Tariq Ali, then you are not careful in what you write or say.

> I did not same that most attacks were directed by Iraqis against other Iraqis but that most of the death and destruction was caused by Iraqis attacking other Iraqis. There are statistics that prove this, which is to my mind more important than the number of attacks, which could include sniper fire. I was addressing the mosque and marketplace bombings, ethno-religious cleansing operations, etc. Most of the deaths during the occupation were caused by the so-called "resistance."

There are not likely to be any statistics which "prove" your case - you cite none - and it is at variance with most of the statistics of which I am aware. The most comprehensive surveys published by Johns Hopkins show that a third of deaths were known to be caused by US forces, a third by insurgents, and another third were classified as 'unknown'. Given that the US did in fact organise death squads, particularly the Special Police Commandos, among whose talents was the ability to perpetrate terrorist and sectarian attacks, assassinations, mutilation-cum-executions, etc., it is hardly beyond the realm of possibility that not only a large part of those deaths attributed to insurgents, but also those classified as 'unknown' were in fact instigated by the occupiers.

> About Hitchens, I'm not so sympathetic but I do think he needs to be taken seriously, and as a Leftist, just as seriously as Ali.

Hitchens does not claim to be a "Leftist", even a so-called "Leftist". He ceased doing that in 2001.

> Platypus is about attacking and overcoming thought-taboos, and recognizing that nothing cannot be accepted as received wisdom, and all bets are off. We are starting from scratch trying to make sense of the world and orient ourselves politically. "The Left is dead! -- Long live the Left!"

You are about creating thought-taboos, specifically about creating a taboo on anti-imperialism. That's the only reason for the irrational outburts about Ali and the demands that Left acknowledge what every schmuck with a copy of the New York Post already knows, namely that there are some bad guys with guns and bombs who don't happen to employed by the Pentagon.

-- 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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