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luka
17-07-2011, 01:32 AM
http://twitter.com/#!/olivercraner

explain them. (i think i know the answer)

lanugo
18-07-2011, 08:27 PM
After skimming some of the posts - the most telling being one linking to an interview with an obnoxious journalist and sympathetic Thatcher biographer who dutifully churns out the usual anti-Iranian fearmongering and nonchalantly equates criticising Israel with Anti-Semitism - I think it's safe to say that anyone interested in objective and non-compromised analysis of current events should stay clear of this twitter page and look elsewhere (e.g. globalresearch.ca or landdestroyer.blogspot.com). My only explanation for why someone would compile all this rather crude disinformation passing off foreign meddling and sedition in souvereign states as a legitimate pro-democracy struggle is that the person in question has either fallen victim to the official propaganda campaign himself or is a willful agent of that very perception management machinery instilling into us all that manichean crap about evil regimes vs. progressive forces.

crackerjack
18-07-2011, 08:37 PM
After skimming some of the posts - the most telling being one linking to an interview with an obnoxious journalist and sympathetic Thatcher biographer who dutifully churns out the usual anti-Iranian fearmongering and nonchalantly equates criticising Israel with Anti-Semitism - I think it's safe to say that anyone interested in objective and non-compromised analysis of current events should stay clear of this twitter page and look elsewhere (e.g. globalresearch.ca or landdestroyer.blogspot.com). My only explanation for why someone would compile all this rather crude disinformation passing off foreign meddling and sedition in souvereign states as a legitimate pro-democracy struggle is that the person in question has either fallen victim to the official propaganda campaign himself or is a willful agent of that very perception management machinery instilling into us all that manichean crap about evil regimes vs. progressive forces.

Yes, I believe that exactly sums Craner up. He's also Welsh.

Mr. Tea
18-07-2011, 08:42 PM
Yeah yeah, he's a right-wing loony. So what. Next question.

craner
18-07-2011, 08:49 PM
Presumably, that guy's talking about the interview with Claire Berlinski, which is primarily about Turkey, and very interesting to read if you are interested in Turkey and its relationship with Iran and the Arab states. She's not obnoxious; you just don't like her views. Or have you actually met her?

Mr. Tea
18-07-2011, 09:25 PM
Clearly a stooge. Any Turkish woman that wasn't spitting halva in your face must be a NATO cutiepie.

craner
18-07-2011, 09:46 PM
I must say, I cannot say anything to defend my twitter feed; nobody reads it and rightfully so. It's supposed to be an adjunct to my blog, but I'm just bad at it: too prolix, too lazy, not witty enough.

I have some amazing stuff to go on the blog, mind you, but I just can't seem to finish any of it. Bits of writing begun, sketched out, half written. Ground-breaking, beautifully written things about Gulnara Karimova, the Aliyev Clan, the MEK, Yulia Tymoshenko, Condoleeza Rice, Dagestan, British law firms in North Korea, the Communist Party of Wales, the former Soviet Aerospace programme at Baikonur, Scooter Libby, Lukashenko's moustache. You just won't believe how good some of this stuff is. If it ever gets finished, it'll be like Penman on Jacko, Hersh on Kissinger, Hitch on Clinton, Mailer on Marilyn, Miller on Greece, Shawcross on Cambodia, Burchill on Diana...only better!

padraig (u.s.)
20-07-2011, 03:08 PM
so normally I just ignore kooky message board politics guys but this is a bit much


I think it's safe to say that anyone interested in objective and non-compromised analysis of current events should stay clear of this twitter page and look elsewhere (e.g. globalresearch.ca or landdestroyer.blogspot.com)

when I'm looking for objective + non-compromised analysis of current events one of the places I make sure -not- to look is any website whose blogroll includes Prison Planet + various other Alex Jones endeavors, not to mention other New World Order fetishizing crazy persons like Webster Tarpley or Jim Corr. or any website whose list of major contributors includes Michel Chussudovsky or this guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._William_Engdahl). seriously, it only takes about 5 minutes of backtracking any of these wingnuts before it inevitably descends into the same dreary morass of nuttiness revolving around Lyndon LaRouche, 9/11 truth, Slobodan Milosevic apologists (or Mugabe or Khaddafi or whatever shitty dictator is currently resisting Western imperialism* apologists), global warming denialism/AIDS/etc (+ sometimes Holocaust) denialism, and so on. if you have an actual reality-based radical view of the world these dudes especially suck because they make you look crazy by association to people who can't tell the difference, i.e. most people.

sorry this has nothing to do with Craner - whose politics, from the little I know of them I wouldn't exactly rush to defend, although tbf he is well-read + has interesting points to make sometimes especially about more obscure kinds of geopolitics things most people don't know very much about - I just felt it was a duty not to let that crazy ish slip in under the radar. a debunking which should be scottdisco's job really but who knows where he is nowadays (scott? you hear me bro?).

padraig (u.s.)
20-07-2011, 03:09 PM
*just in case it's not clear, Western imperialism, in it's many forms both overt + subtle, still sucks it hard. imperialism in general (let's not leave China out, or anybody else) sucks it hard. but that doesn't mean shitty dictators don't suck just as hard in their own unique + shitty way.

craner
20-07-2011, 03:56 PM
I'm not an Imperialist. I'm simply interested in corrupt, powerful and/or glamorous women, and nuclear weapons that haven't been accounted for. Ukraine is particularly interesting to me, as it combines the two.

lanugo
20-07-2011, 07:57 PM
so normally I just ignore kooky message board politics guys but this is a bit much



when I'm looking for objective + non-compromised analysis of current events one of the places I make sure -not- to look is any website whose blogroll includes Prison Planet + various other Alex Jones endeavors, not to mention other New World Order fetishizing crazy persons like Webster Tarpley or Jim Corr. or any website whose list of major contributors includes Michel Chussudovsky or this guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._William_Engdahl). seriously, it only takes about 5 minutes of backtracking any of these wingnuts before it inevitably descends into the same dreary morass of nuttiness revolving around Lyndon LaRouche, 9/11 truth, Slobodan Milosevic apologists (or Mugabe or Khaddafi or whatever shitty dictator is currently resisting Western imperialism* apologists), global warming denialism/AIDS/etc (+ sometimes Holocaust) denialism, and so on. if you have an actual reality-based radical view of the world these dudes especially suck because they make you look crazy by association to people who can't tell the difference, i.e. most people.

sorry this has nothing to do with Craner - whose politics, from the little I know of them I wouldn't exactly rush to defend, although tbf he is well-read + has interesting points to make sometimes especially about more obscure kinds of geopolitics things most people don't know very much about - I just felt it was a duty not to let that crazy ish slip in under the radar. a debunking which should be scottdisco's job really but who knows where he is nowadays (scott? you hear me bro?).

Granted that the work of these authors is probably not devoid of falsehoods, biases and speculation it strikes me as rather ignorant to outright dismiss it just because they are operating from a fringe where certain sensitive topics are not placed under a taboo. Your denunciation of these particular authors and their subject matter - which, by the way, also compromises non-conspirative topics such as drone warfare, the military contractor business, cyber warfare, et. al. - bears all the signs of the exasperation of someone whose neatly arranged version of reality is contested by contravening facts and opinions.

Please tell me: what constitutes a "credible" source for you? The nimbus of "quality journalism", meaning the kind published by the five remaining major news corporations not owned by Murdoch but some other tycoon? Self-imposed abstinence from controversial topics (i.e. every author taking the official version of 9/11 for the sacrosanct truth is credible - which would exclude Robert Fisk and Daniel Ellsberg)? And how exactly is such a newspaper as the NYT not compromised by providing Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy with an op-ed to disseminate their usual worn-out PR/newspeak lingo in defense of the NATO invasion in Libya? After all, it was this very statement and the declarations made therein which were then used by Sarkozy to justify France's violations of the UNSCr. 1973. If providing the forum for the justification of arbitrary power abuses doesn't discredit a medium then I don't know what does.

vimothy
21-07-2011, 01:33 AM
If you're looking for the truth about 9/11, you have to see this:

"Where Did the Towers Go? The Evidence of Directed Free-Energy Technology on 9/11 (http://www.drjudywood.com/)"

As one commenter put it, "the final level of 9/11 batshit.. not an ‘inside job’, not ‘a plot with bombs and planes’..but the fucking NO PLANE crowd... hologram starwars bleep bloop".

Just awesome

IdleRich
21-07-2011, 03:29 AM
"Granted that the work of these authors is probably not devoid of falsehoods, biases and speculation it strikes me as rather ignorant to outright dismiss it just because they are operating from a fringe where certain sensitive topics are not placed under a taboo."
That's what you did to the blog in the original piece though isn't it? Precisely because they were, in your eyes, filled with biases and speculation.
Regardless of anyone's particular bias I would expect them to be able to master the basics of putting together an argument that is at least heading towards consistent but yours are so stupid that you make me feel the need to get involved and act like a teacher trying to correct a primary school child's spelling so that it's at least at a level that is worth the other children bothering with.

padraig (u.s.)
21-07-2011, 04:57 AM
bears all the signs of the exasperation of someone whose neatly arranged version of reality is contested by contravening facts and opinions
here's the stock answer these dudes always give. the issue isn't their theories, it's that the rest of us are simply unable to unshackle our minds from their New Order mental bonds. unfortunately all those poorly edited 12000 word diatribes about the globalists are blowing exactly no one's mind, tho I agree that they are exasperating. in any event you're barking up the wrongest of wrong trees. I grew up in the anarchopunk scene and all its loose associations + fellow travelers. I've met tons of dudes about a million times loopier than a bunch of paranoid old white guys who behold the pale horse from their strange little corners of the internet.

incidentally, no, I don't uncritically accept everything I read in the NYT or any other mainstream outlet, but I've had enough experience with independent media - credible independent media I mean, not conspiracy theorizing - not to trust that infallibly either. you want to make it out as if the only choice is between CNN + Alex Jones etc but very clearly it is not. 9/11 "truth" is its own endless rabbit hole that I really have no desire to dive down into, so I'll just say that it seems very sad to me, in multiple ways, more than anything else. Ellsberg I have total respect for but just b/c you respect someone doesn't mean they're always right.

Mr. Tea
21-07-2011, 07:21 AM
If you're looking for the truth about 9/11, you have to see this:

"Where Did the Towers Go? The Evidence of Directed Free-Energy Technology on 9/11 (http://www.drjudywood.com/)"

As one commenter put it, "the final level of 9/11 batshit.. not an ‘inside job’, not ‘a plot with bombs and planes’..but the fucking NO PLANE crowd... hologram starwars bleep bloop".

Just awesome

Oh man, you could crossbreed this with the Philadelphia Experiment, just amazing!

droid
21-07-2011, 11:01 AM
Jim Corr.

He's hilarious. IIRC, he links to a few holocaust deniers on his site.

craner
02-08-2011, 04:40 PM
Return of the Rajavi Cult (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/return-of-the-rajavi-cult/)

My assault on the MEK/MKO/PMOI/whathaveyou. There are a couple of good lines in there for Droid.

luka
03-08-2011, 08:05 AM
where do you get your information from?

luka
03-08-2011, 08:22 AM
th way its written shows you wrote it to sell so why did you not sell it? i dont lik to see you write like that but if you must then at least sell the things. it doesnt have your usual glamour. the story could be intresting i suppose but the writing is banal which must be intentional.

craner
03-08-2011, 09:29 AM
where do you get your information from?


Their own websites, parliamentary records and legal reports, a couple of books (particularly Masoud Banisadr's memoir), newspaper and magazine archives, Human Rights Watch, and so on.

Mr. Tea
03-08-2011, 10:08 AM
Their own websites, parliamentary records and legal reports, a couple of books (particularly Masoud Banisadr's memoir), newspaper and magazine archives, Human Rights Watch, and so on.

So you just pulled the whole thing out of your ass, in other words? ;)

craner
03-08-2011, 11:22 AM
Yeah, I basically have a grudge.

luka
03-08-2011, 12:19 PM
thats a huge amount of work to put in. im sort of impressed.

craner
03-08-2011, 12:43 PM
It's been a long-held grudge.

I'm not just about flash adjectives and contentious polemic, Luka Vandross.

luka
03-08-2011, 01:19 PM
this is a new dvelopment tho surely. you cant tell me youve been spending years following trails of breadcrumbs like that.

sufi
03-08-2011, 01:25 PM
Return of the Rajavi Cult (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/return-of-the-rajavi-cult/)


Not Found
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

¿ :( ?

craner
03-08-2011, 01:36 PM
Yes, I can. I've been following these fuckers since about 2006. I've been meaning to do a number on them for years. I just got around to it.

Ah, yes, I should mention that I had to remove the post as I submitted it for publication this morning -- not that it is likely to get published, but give it a week.

Would you like me to email you the text, Sufi?

sufi
03-08-2011, 08:19 PM
oooh yes please
kab@ooo.om! <- address will self destruct in 24 hours

thanks olly

luka
04-08-2011, 01:28 PM
oliver craner do you like the koran? whats your favourite bit?

luka
06-08-2011, 12:16 PM
Foreign policy is self-interest.
this is the key to craners politics. its the interesting part of his politics. its why he is good at uncovering links between different groups, countries and stuff... its a shame hes so overemotional. if it wasnt for the hysteria which is probably a result of Welshness, all his things would be good to read. illuminating. he sees the world as a big battlefield, and he knows more about what goes on in that battlefield than any of us. i will give him that. not a battlefild of good vs evil, more lik the columbia he wrote about with about 9 different factions all fighting each other at the same time with coalitions forming and dissolving all the time as the balance of power shifts. its quite a sexy 19th c view of th world. i find it very seductive and manly.

craner
23-08-2011, 03:24 PM
This (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/googoosha%e2%80%99s-golden-globe-part-i/) is the first part of my Gulnara Karimova expose. I had to snap it in two, because there was too much to write about.

It's a bit of fluff, really, but Part 2 gets quite heavy.

e/y
23-08-2011, 07:45 PM
not fluff at all, imo, quite interesting nonetheless. thanks craner, looking forward to pt. II.

craner
01-09-2011, 07:58 AM
Part 2 of the my Gulnara Karimova expose. (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/googooshaa-golden-globe-part-ii/)

Volumes of sleaze and badness.

craner
06-09-2011, 11:01 AM
Alright, I realise this was a bit too large and dense for easy internet digestion, so I smoothed it out a bit, broke it into easily digestible chunks.

http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/googoosha%e2%80%99s-golden-globe-part-i/

http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/googooshaa-golden-globe-part-ii/

padraig (u.s.)
06-09-2011, 02:46 PM
just wanted to say I also enjoyed - or maybe that isn't the right word, was very interested by I guess - your Gulnara expose. it reminds me of something out of the middle ages, the way a despot (or despot's child, whatever) can exercise great power and commit all kinds of atrocities and still move in the most fashionable social circles. or like Louis XIV crossed with a Vanderbilt or Carnegie, any of those elite university namesake robber barons, who cutthroat their way to the top and then bought respectability...it puts me mind of that part in Chinatown where John Huston says politicians + whores both get respectable if they live long enough, since I reckon Gulnara is more than a bit of both. anyway, I reckon it all says more about the world we live in now than Gulnara who, while not to excuse any of her/her family's personal responsibility or heinous acts, is mainly a cipher for that, like she's at the very end of this chain of evolution, this ultimate post-modern capitalist beast just gobbling up everything in sight while producing nothing of value. or maybe just Central Asian gangster Imelda Marcos on steroids. anyway I'm rambling but I liked it. you're a good writer.

(+ just in case that wasn't clear, eff Gulnara, her sister, dad and brutal shitty dictators everywhere + forever. especially ones who brutalize + impoverish their own people for the sake of making fucking couture. although the celebrity parasites she attracts are arguably even worse. as if there weren't enough reasons to loathe Sting. also, did you know she has a Masters from fucking Harvard? they must be really proud of that one at the Kennedy School of Govt...)

craner
06-09-2011, 02:57 PM
Thank you; I tracked my quarry, she's been my muse. It's a global exclusive, in fact, nobody has ever put together all of that information on her before, that's why I'm so pleased with myself. I actually had to start learning Russian to do it properly. Да. But she was fully worth it, mind; Guli was a gift that kept giving. She's been in my dreams and nightmares.

e/y
06-09-2011, 03:17 PM
what padraig said - very interesting pieces, craner.

our own Dear Leader has recently cut the ribbons for the world's tallest flagpole (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/31/us-tajikistan-flagpole-idUSTRE77U12120110831) - which stands about 50 meters away from a collapsing, decrepit school.

btw, if in the future you need any Russian texts translated, PM me and I'll give it a try.

craner
06-09-2011, 03:37 PM
I will, thanks. It's not an easy language to learn, but I found a good looking teacher, so that helps. By the way, am I missing something in your link, or are you Tajik?

e/y
06-09-2011, 03:42 PM
half Russian, half Tajik, yeah.

craner
23-09-2011, 01:19 PM
My rousing defence of Yulia Tymoshenko (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/the-passion-of-yulia-tymoshenko/), just in case you thought I was going soft.

e/y
23-09-2011, 04:40 PM
I strongly dislike her but the case and everything surrounding it (from my rather uninformed perspective) is a disgrace, though hardly surprising. (another) good post, craner.

craner
21-02-2012, 10:11 PM
A thrilling defence of Condi Rice. (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/in-defence-of-secretary-rice-part-1/)

luka
22-02-2012, 02:54 AM
youre hilarious.

luka
22-02-2012, 05:56 AM
would the craner of old used 'vile' and 'grotesque' in the same sentence though? i prefered it when you preened and strutted. what prompted the stylistic change? ive mentioned it before. do you think it will help you get published?

craner
22-02-2012, 07:31 AM
What do you mean, change? This is as polemical as I get. Is it wrong to use both words in the same sentence? The thing flows, I think. It has energy and momentum. That's what is important.

luka
22-02-2012, 08:52 AM
theres been a quite serious deterioation in your prose. i assume its deliberate.

luka
22-02-2012, 08:53 AM
im not being abusive for the sake of it. i can show you what i mean once my mum leaves i guess shes chatting to cahty at the moment.

luka
22-02-2012, 10:01 AM
its not about about being polemical/ its partly to do with, to use one of your favourite words, chutzpah, partly to do with performance, partly to do with personna, partly to do with word choice and rhythm.

luka
22-02-2012, 10:04 AM
personna is important. it lends depth and nuance to what you write. you developed a very good personna. it was very recognisable. it lent humanity to the writing so it could be enjoyed even when you were talking the most heinous objectionable load of bollocks. it made it clear there was some sense of self-awareness and humour and proportion. it undercutthe pomposity because it recognised and was duly awkward about the pomposity. nuance. it was a balancing act. the writing needed it. it was a good performance. everyone liked it.

craner
22-02-2012, 11:30 AM
Don't talk such rubbish, the style is more burnished and fluent than it has ever been. You're hallucinating, or being abusive for the sake of it, possibly because you are bored or unhappy with your own performance.

luka
22-02-2012, 11:49 AM
no its now flat and hackneyed. im quite pleased with my performance, although i admit ive been very flat over the last week or two. but put that down to the heat and humidity which is sapping my vitality.

luka
22-02-2012, 11:58 AM
if it helps i dont think the decline is terminal. you can get it back. maybe youve lost some of your sense of fun too. irresponsibilty.

craner
22-02-2012, 12:27 PM
What are you basing this fantasy of decline on? I'm writing the same stuff now as in 2005. If it is crap now it was crap then. I think it's alright, myself. Nothing much has changed. Still fluent, still pretentious and overblown.

craner
22-02-2012, 12:47 PM
You would not be able to find an example to back up what you are talking about. Not one sentence. You've been banging on in the same tone in regard to everything I have done in the last six years. It's usually exacerbated simply by the fact that I have't taken your advice about something.

luka
22-02-2012, 10:42 PM
i did give an example. the vile/grotesque sentence is ungainly.

craner
23-02-2012, 07:21 AM
Yes, but there is an element of ventriloquism in that passage that you have totally missed. Did you even read beyond the first three paragraphs? Probably not.

baboon2004
23-02-2012, 10:19 AM
reading from the beginning of this thread to try to understand what's going on, that Claire Berlinski woman is mad:

http://berlinski.com/thatcher

luka
23-02-2012, 10:41 AM
i read the whole thing i promise i found it very interesting. i just didnt like the prose and i rarely criticise your prose in actual fact. i certainly havent been doing it for years. ive been cirticising your politics for years but ive given up doing that. the only things ive criticised for the writing have been this and one other thing, possibly the iranian peice.

craner
23-02-2012, 11:28 AM
I know you too well. That is a very tactical post. You are lulling me into a false sense of security. If I retreat one step from my defensive position, you will lunge in for the kill. Very clever, Mr. Vandross.

luka
23-02-2012, 11:32 AM
jesus you are so paranoid. i did find it interesting. in a number of ways. i read it twice.

luka
23-02-2012, 12:08 PM
elaborate on the 'ventriloquism' i admit i didnt pick up on it.

luka
23-02-2012, 12:15 PM
also interested in what you think should be done about the brotherhood. you either have elections and they win becuase of membership base, funds, popular support etc or you have elections and ban them which isnt democratic, or you dont have elections which again is hardly promoting democracy in any meaningful sense of the term. i have trouble understanding you point of view sometimes.

luka
23-02-2012, 12:16 PM
to what extent is the us supposed to determine the results of these things?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:18 PM
what is the meaning of a speech? what does a speech acheive? what does a speech signify? what is the differnece between a presidents speech and a secretary of states speech?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:20 PM
to what extent does either have power over events? to what extent does either shape the agenda of the state?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:24 PM
i simply dont know. i make my own assumptions but i have very little faith in them.

luka
23-02-2012, 12:29 PM
what does demoracy mean in this context? does it mean self-determination or does it mean 'liberal values' can we be more precise and fastidious in our use of words?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:50 PM
was obama wrong to use his image to smooth the waters while he was still able to ie before it became clear he wasnt the messiah? wasnt that partly what he was elected to do?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:51 PM
there was a narrative, and he was the hero, didnt he have a duty to the fiction he had created and expolited?

luka
23-02-2012, 12:52 PM
does this make him 'a buffoon?'

craner
23-02-2012, 12:54 PM
Ok, briefly.

1) As in, expressing the general view of these events, which Obama was channelling.

2) How the US engages the Brotherhood, and if and when it does, are complicated questions, particularly now they will "run" the country, bar another military coup. The point being made is that, in 2009 Obama chose to court the Brotherhood rather than the liberal, conservative and left democtratic opposition in Eqypt.Condi did the opposite, by championing Ayman Nour.

3) The unmentioned tension in that piece is between rhetoric and action, which never exactly track. But in the case of both speeches, I briefly suggest ways in which the speechs of Obama and Condi overlapped with actual foreign policy and its implementation. A speech on its own doesn't mean much, but I was analysing the differences in the two speechs, and this spoke for the difference between each administration.

4) The US doesn't determine the Egyptian elections; it has a say in how these elections are conducted, indirectly through NGOs and election monitors and diplomatic pressure.

5) The different definitions, or expectations, of democracy are addressed in both speeches; Obama tilts towards "self-determiniation", Condi clearly defends "liberal values" -- I don't go into it in great detail, because it is not a very theoretical piece. But the question -- what kind of democracy? -- hangs in the air, with no easy answer or single definition.

That's part of what's happening: the Brotherhood obscure their reactionary and anti-democratic instincts and values by setting up a political party called the Freedom and Justice Party. Fine, that's the way it goes; I see no reason to invest great hope in this arrangement.

craner
23-02-2012, 12:57 PM
6) Yes, I agree with that, his speech had a function, and he was playing a role; I have some sympathy for this, but I also pick apart some trends in the speech that reveal a very old and conservative and almost abject policy tilt within a speech titled "A New Beginning".

7) I don't think he's a buffoon, I was only being flippant with Jim on Twitter!

luka
23-02-2012, 12:58 PM
well that suggest a much more nuanced view than the hyperventilating in the article you actually wrote. perhaps you should write another one. a better one now youve proved you are capable of it.

craner
23-02-2012, 02:19 PM
Hyperventilating? It's polemic, and full of nuance. The best bit is when I describe modern Egypt as an ethnically-cleansed pan-Arab wasteland created by Nasser, which is easy to back up. Every sentence in that article, however colourful, has rock hard facts behind it.

luka
24-02-2012, 04:18 AM
hyperventilating. i think thats accurate yes.

craner
24-02-2012, 10:18 AM
Flat, and yet hyperventilating? Look, if that's true, then it's a stylistic achievment anyway.

I think you have failed to appreciate the way in which I have made one narrative out of two seperate events. I only bother to research and write something if I want to read it myself and nobody else has done so -- like, a lurid technicolour portrait of Gulnara Karimova, or a machinic mauling of the MEK. Who else has made such a careful and expansive comparison of these two Cairo speeches, one of which reacts to and reflects upon the other in such a critical it occluded manner? Nobody has, except for me.

luka
24-02-2012, 11:53 AM
youre drunk and being self-aggrandising which of course i find encouraing and approve of.

luka
24-02-2012, 11:55 AM
i dont think you are an idiot. ive never given any human the praise ive bestowed on you.
there was a time i considered you to be competition.

luka
28-02-2012, 07:20 AM
i asked my sister to read your article. she and condi are like this )(

craner
28-02-2012, 08:06 PM
There's a second part to this in the pipeline, you know.

craner
28-02-2012, 08:07 PM
It'll probably be even better than the first part. Hard to believe, I know.

craner
14-03-2012, 10:06 PM
I would like to say, stung by Luke's critique, that this thing I wrote in 2004 (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2004/10/28/world-war-four/)stands up to the test of time.

craner
14-03-2012, 10:37 PM
A couple of tags on this thread that are missing: Bollywood starlets, Queen Rania, Michael Ledeen, Giallo, Long-tailed tit, Bulgarian wine.

craner
14-03-2012, 10:43 PM
The essay on British law firms in North Korea is proving harder to write than I anticipated, but I am chasing Michael Hay for an interview. The Communist Party of Wales don't do anything, which makes them hard to infilterate, but I'm trying. The Aliyevs are on the radar, have no fear; particularly the fit, corrupt daughters.

craner
21-03-2012, 10:16 PM
Why do I bother writing this stuff? Certainly not for adoration, or publication. I gave up on both long ago. I can't write to pitch, and I have tried. I have never needed to be liked, particularly; I have some residual self-confidence. It can only be because:

1) I really enjoy writing, for the sake of it.

2) To show off. That's what writing is. And I am vain.

3) To organise my own thoughts. To create a narrative out of random events, and understand the whole world, which I have always been interested in and wanted to be involved in.

4) To write things I want to read. This is the most arrogant part, actually. The web has nearly made writers obsolete. I'll give another example: my young cousin is studying to become a photographer. He is very good. But in this day and age of digital photos and Photoshop and Iphone apps, who isn't? Well, there is a unique artistry that remains. Now, I am not trying to be a professional writer, but I make the effort (for myself at least) when nobody has written an article or review I would want to read. I think, fuck it then, I'll write it myself. I get some inspiration when I read the boring and/or uniformed rubbish I see published. If no one else will write it, I will.

Now then: 5) Not being timid or scared of your name or ideas. Loads of people are, but to quote Adam Ant, ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Writing gets harder the more you know, the better you become and the better you read (and the better writers you read). I'm at that point, now. I find it harder to write now than I did in 2003, and yet the ideas are bursting out of my head. I'm carrying on because of points 1, 2, 3 and 4. It's a hobby, but without it, I couldn't exist.

I HAVE TO WRITE.

I have 10 readers, at most, but it doesn't really matter, now. I make it public, because that's part of the point, and the game. My cousin will make a living, I'm sure; and his own photos, the art he does, may not be famous, or even different, but there will, I am sure, be a care, a reason, an expertise, that sets his pictures apart. I am not humble about this. I have always been a swash-buckler with words, and never afraid of making a fool of myself.

bruno
21-03-2012, 11:06 PM
Now then: 5) Not being timid or scared of your name or ideas. Loads of people are, but to quote Adam Ant, ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Writing gets harder the more you know, the better you become and the better you read (and the better writers you read). I'm at that point, now. I find it harder to write now than I did in 2003, and yet the ideas are bursting out of my head. I'm carrying on because of points 1, 2, 3 and 4. It's a hobby, but without it, I couldn't exist.
i identify with this. i'm not a writer, but almost in parallel to you i've made it a mission to dominate writing as a means of conveying my thoughts as clearly as possible.

in the process i've lost my voice at times, i have second doubts about commas whereas before i just carried on or did things more intuitively. when my english writing finally does seem effortless i find i've neglected my expression in spanish/french and the cycle continues.

the other issue is one of cultural distance, different rhythms (when i'm awake you're asleep, when it's winter here it's summer there) that is evident in messageboards and affects the perception of things.

the one good thing to come out of this process has been to be more economical with words, the result is less artful, but more concise/honest (i think).

to return to your declaration of 'i will write', this seems to me very sane. it's important to keep writing, and you do that very well. even if you don't, you should do it. we'll all be dead soon anyway, and so will the opinions of others. fuck them.

baboon2004
22-03-2012, 11:07 AM
pretty much true with all creative endeavour. if you're doing it to be loved by others, you're never going to be loved enough. all about the process, not the result/adoration.

craner
22-03-2012, 12:07 PM
Wow, I was really pontificating last night. I felt the full effects this morning, have no fear. Roll on lunch time.

craner
22-03-2012, 12:08 PM
Next page, please.

craner
22-03-2012, 12:11 PM
I do what I like, and if anybody else likes it, that's a bonus. I sound like a member of The Verve.

craner
22-03-2012, 12:17 PM
we'll all be dead soon anyway, and so will the opinions of others. fuck them.

Quite.


the one good thing to come out of this process has been to be more economical with words, the result is less artful, but more concise/honest (i think).


This is almost exactly what has happened to me; you've described it with uncanny precision. It's what Luke alluded to earlier in this thread, I think, when he was describing what a dreadful writer I am. Less art, more clarity. I am always trying to find a balance, though, and seeking that one thing: elegance.

craner
23-03-2012, 09:24 PM
This (http://poochandlead.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/at-the-welsh-national-sheep-dog-trials-take-a-look-at-what-you-do-for-food/) is a thing I wrote for a friend's blog, about dogs. There are a couple of mistakes, and I would have edited them, but I dashed it off quickly, let it go, and there you go. It was fun to write about something other than neoconservatism, the Middle East and Italian horror movies.

bruno
24-03-2012, 01:15 AM
nice.

you know, you could always write thrillers on the side under a pseudonym like oliver du pont, or david avebury, it could be a creative challenge. you certainly have the material for it.

or write cablemaster, a series loosely based on the state department cables where the central character is a smart twelve year-old kid (with moderate hacking skills) who becomes an unwitting witness and participant to history. his parents are diplomats, every episode is a different country/event, something like that. this would let you explore geo/political themes from the morally upright vision of a child and in the process deal with your own ambiguities, and crucially present this to a wider audience. it could have illustrations, or be a choose your own adventure-type book with different outcomes, etc.

craner
09-04-2012, 06:51 PM
In Defence of Condi, Part 2 (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/in-defence-of-secretary-rice-part-2/)

About Iraq and the NSC, this one. There will be Part 3, I'm afraid.

luka
10-04-2012, 10:10 AM
im not sure we need a third part. concentrate on editing. i look foward to reading this though. i will dedicate the next 6 minutes to it.

craner
11-04-2012, 09:21 PM
The third and final part (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/in-defence-of-secretary-rice-part-3/) of my Rice eulogy, in which I talk about Africa and India.

So, now, I'll see you all in a few weeks with the wonderful Aliyev family, who are currently preparing to host the Eurovision song contest.

craner
23-05-2012, 09:09 PM
As the Eurovision caravan arrives in Baku, here is my dissection of the Aliyev kleptocracy.

Caspian Kitsch (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/caspian-kitsch/)

Patrick Swayze
26-05-2012, 09:56 AM
pipeline realpolitik..... desires and the reality they have created

Patrick Swayze
26-05-2012, 10:01 AM
my two favourite bits^

craner
28-05-2012, 11:48 AM
Thank you very much for reading it.

Patrick Swayze
29-05-2012, 10:14 AM
no problem i enjoyed it gonna read your other stuff at some point

you should write a book though, maybe you have I dunno...

craner
04-07-2012, 09:40 PM
My obituary for Saudi Crown Prince Nayef (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/nayef-bin-abdul-aziz-al-saud-1936-2012/), who died a couple of weeks ago.

yyaldrin
09-07-2012, 12:23 PM
Interesting article. Never heard about this Nayef guy but have read some other stuff on the Saudi elite, having orgies and wild parties on drugs. To me, Saudi-Arabia is together with North-Korea one of the weirdest countries in this world and I've never understood why there isn't more media attention for this country, in contrast with aforementioned North-Korea and also considering the attention countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Iran are getting. I mean, if I'd start a war on terrorism I'd probably start with Saudi-Arabia but somehow they manage to stay under the radar?

craner
09-07-2012, 12:59 PM
Thanks for reading it. It is, as you suggest, insane. Western media coverage of the House of Saud is a fascinating, if depressing, topic. The Saudis have too much wealth, power and influence to be touched. Their exiles and expats are under constant surveillance. Their critics can be ridiculed, side-lined or sued.

One of the more interesting examples of this is the fate of the book Alms for Jihad by J Millard Burr and Robert O Collins, which had some explosive information on the Wahhabi terror-sponsoring activies of various Saudis, including Khalid bin Mahfouz. He sued Cambridge University Press for libel, and the publishers cancelled distribution and witthdrew (or asked to be withdrawn) all the library copies that had been sent out. It was a craven retreat, though understandable. CUP didn't have a Saudi war-chest. CUP reps were going around bookshops in the UK unable, legally, to even mention this book.

There are a few copies still in circulation, but look how much you'd have to pay for one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alms-Jihad-Charity-Terrorism-Islamic/dp/0521857309/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341835108&sr=1-1).

sufi
10-07-2012, 04:31 PM
not sure i fully agree with your wildly stereotypical generalisations about saudi, having spent a pleasant fortnight there recently, though this might interest tho
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18761359?ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

craner
10-07-2012, 06:55 PM
How interesting, where did you stay?

sufi
11-07-2012, 10:52 AM
up and down the lovley hijaz, mostly in Jeddah
http://a0.twimg.com/profile_images/87430206/Jeddah_1_bigger.jpg

craner
11-07-2012, 09:53 PM
Well, I haven’t been up the lovely Hijaz or visited Jeddah.

The thrust of my understanding and critique of the Saudi rulers and their social order comes from listening to the brilliant Saudi feminist and academic Madawi al-Rasheed and a ten year long dialogue with a close friend who is also the daughter of an affluent Jeddah family. Her circle of Saudi and Arab friends was also one of mine for a couple of years in the middle of the last decade. Some of them had hair-raising ideas and conspiracy theories about Zionists and Masons despite being quite Westernised, and this didn’t always detract from their physical allure.

Yet they were all united in their hatred of the Al-Saud and the constricting and unhealthy nature of Saudi society. They all suffered to some degree from its deep institutional and social chauvinism. It is not something I experienced first hand, needless to say. But then I haven’t written a piece of reportage, but a polemic in the manner of my 2005 King Fahd obituary. I wrote that because of the almost universally lenient pass Fahd got after he died, which I found bewildering and (almost) unbelievable. It made me angry. I felt the same this time, too.

I have got a lot from the work of Stephen Schwartz, whose main target (as a Sufi convert) is Wahhabism and (therefore) their Saudi patrons. In my piece I also draw on the experience of Ed Husain, who lived and taught in the Kingdom with his wife, and who were both (as moderate Sufi-leaning Muslims) appalled by what they saw. Other writings that shaped my understanding (for what it is) include those of John R. Bradley, Robert Lacey, Thomas Hegghammer and Qanta Ahmed. I was also electrified and appalled in the very beginning by Said K. Aburish’s partisan but detailed screed, The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud.

There were parts of this piece I had serious doubts about including, but decided to anyway. My point is not to stereotype Saudi subjects, and I do realise I am pointing to the extreme effects of a system of rule and religious manipulation and oppression that I have collated from second hand accounts. I don’t claim anything more than that. If I am completely wrong here, and Saudi Arabia is actually fine and healthy and a pleasant place to live for men and women alike, with an accountable ruling family whose malign imprint on global terrorism and religious reaction is overstated or false, then all I can say is: phew! That’s good news for everybody.

As for the hijab, abaya and niqab, which are direct and terrible Saudi exports, I understand the justifications and reject them all. From every angle, they are nothing but a sexist imposition.

craner
11-07-2012, 09:57 PM
The Mahfouz scandal I had direct juice on, because of my job at Foyles. The CUP rep at the time was somebody I also socialised with, and he described the whole dreadful unfolding of this saga in private. He felt slightly ashamed of it. In the shop, he couldn't even mention the name of the book.

sufi
12-07-2012, 04:37 PM
thanks Olly for this
nothing wrong with a bit of polemic! & Nayef was undeniably a proper nasty bit of work
Jeddah is renowned as the most moderate & cosmopolitan town in the kingdom, most Saudis i encountered live normal modern lives and the extreme attitudes you mention are very exceptional, the state ideology is so incoherent that it's not easy for normal folk to share (any more than our neo-colonial monarchy). I found it laid back, reminicsent in many ways of sunny california - big cars, big roads, big food, hot and misogynistic lala land
this banal reality is unfortunately not portrayed often or well understood by the lazy negative english speaking media, which prefers to exoticise and simplify - i reckon many Saudis are weary and baffled by this misrepresentation of their society as extreme and their culture as backward,

"Saudi Arabia is the purest Islamist dream state still standing after the demise of the Taliban in Afghanistan" & "As for the hijab, abaya and niqab, which are direct and terrible Saudi exports, I understand the justifications and reject them all. From every angle, they are nothing but a sexist imposition." cases in point - simplifications to the point of nonsense really

Mind you i had some classic conversations with (male obviously) drivers stuggling to justify keeping women off the roads!
http://www.oliviaarthur.com/2009/images/saudi_05.jpg
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/photography/9226152/Olivia-Arthurs-Jeddah-Diary.html wise words and wonderful images from olivia arthur (http://www.oliviaarthur.com/) http://www.oliviaarthur.com/2009/images/saudi_02.jpg

craner
20-09-2012, 09:48 AM
Lukashenka Lives! (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/lukashenka-lives/)

scottdisco
21-09-2012, 10:10 PM
i hate Thatcher and read Berlinksi on Turkey (not sure what i think).

Cognitive dissonance right there, is what i believe they call it. (like when you want a torta and all they have are burritos.)

craner
22-09-2012, 10:44 AM
The Thatcher book is a superficial free-market pamphlet aimed at a superficial conservative American audience. Apart from that, there is nothing wrong with Claire Berlinski. She has a perspective on Turkey, and that is all, but it is a fairly interesting one. Turkey seems to be as confusing to Turks as it is to anyone else.

luka
22-09-2012, 10:37 PM
whats a torta? english people dont eat mexican food. what are you talking about scott?

Mr. Tea
23-09-2012, 02:27 AM
I read it as a cunning pastiche on the lyrics to Alanis Morissette's 'Ironic'.

Mr. Tea
20-11-2012, 04:07 PM
I'm not sure we're ready for The Truth About Abs...

craner
02-01-2013, 12:03 PM
2012: A Progress Report (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/2012-progress-report/)

craner
25-01-2013, 09:25 PM
Requiem for a Regime (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/requiem-for-a-regime/)

Latest pontifications on Syria, sure to raise Droid's blood pressure and hopefully not lead to a disciplinary from Sufi.

craner
06-12-2013, 11:04 AM
The Fall of the House of Guli (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/the-fall-of-the-house-of-guli/)

crackerjack
06-12-2013, 11:30 AM
The Fall of the House of Guli (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/the-fall-of-the-house-of-guli/)

Was just LOLing at how the guy on the right looked like a hideously fat, ugly Gerard Depardieu. And then I saw the text.

Christ :eek:

craner
11-12-2013, 08:36 PM
#Euromaidan vs. Zookraine (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/euromaidan-vs-zookraine/)

craner
18-12-2013, 02:55 PM
The Political Aesthetics of Euromaidan (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/the-political-aesthetics-of-euromaidan/)

luka
12-11-2015, 10:06 PM
https://instagram.com/p/je-oc5utis/

Rare photograph of the man himself

craner
13-11-2015, 09:52 AM
Very funny.

droid
13-11-2015, 11:39 AM
Exactly as Ive always pictured him, except he's wearing clothes and is slime free. Was this taken on a Sunday before church?