featured, Guardian Watch

The Revolt Against Reason: Jonathan Freedland’s latest polemic broken down

by Frank Lee

Jonathan Feedland explains his ethical stance

A response to Ratko Mladic was unlucky. These days most war criminal go free

Notes on Nationalism [see HERE] was a short essay written by George Orwell in 1945. The title might have been a little misleading since the term ‘nationalism’ as it is commonly understood, was not the object of his investigation. His purpose was to explain and analyse a type of mindset which has migrated to and colonized other areas of mental and social life.

He explains:

‘’By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’… But secondly – and this is much more important – I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit placing it beyond good or evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. I am only using the word ‘nationalism’ for lack of a better. Nationalism in the extended sense in which I am using the word, includes inter alia such movements and tendencies as Communism, political Catholicism, Zionism, anti-Semitism, Trotskyism and pacifism.’’

I suppose Freud would have explained this in terms of attachment to a specific love object, be it a nation, race, political or religious belief systems, or even a football team. The phenomenon is ubiquitous, and Reason seems as weak as straw by comparison. But these emotional allegiances can also be very unstable; it is not at all uncommon to see a radical 180-degree shift from one belief system to another. Someone like Christopher Hitchens moving from the Marxism of his early days at Oxford and the Socialist Workers’ Party to an almost neo-con position just prior to his death. This was a copybook repeat of the defection of a group of left-wing American intellectuals to neo-conservatism in the post-1945 period, Irving Kristol being the leader of the cult.

Suffice to say that in recent times we have been subject to a prime example of ‘nationalism’ viz., a media tsunami of what can only be called religious fundamentalism – a trend which seemed triggered by Brexit-Gate and Russia-Gate. Pick up any newspaper, tune in to any news channel, and it’s an even bet that one or both these topics will come up. But these items are not news as such, they are political constructions, or party lines, based upon a fabricated narrative, which in turn is predicated on a specific world-view, a view which I would define as liberal utopianism, with heavy neo-totalitarian overtones.

An archetype of this contrived approach is well illustrated by the reputed ‘journalist’, Jonathan Freedland, Zionist honcho at the Guardian. On 24th November 2017 he wrote an article ‘’Ratko Mladić was unlucky. These days most war criminals go free.’’

The article dealt with the trial of Mladic who was accused of war crimes in Yugoslavia, although this is contested, by prominent figures on the left, including Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali. In these situations, it is always difficult to know who to believe in the in the all-enveloping propaganda fog. But even if Mladic was guilty as Freedland asserts, the diatribe which followed was noticeable by the glaring contextual omission of NATO’s 78-day bombing campaign – an aerial blitzkreig of a defenceless civilian population in Serbia and other parts of Yugoslavia (Kosovo) where Serbs had also been present for generations. Even the New York Times had to admit to at least 500 civilian deaths. Moscow (Yeltsin’s Moscow) put the figures much higher.

In the course of the bombing campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo. source: RT

Suffice it to say that bombing of unarmed civilians and civilian infrastructure is a war crime, as is bombing or invading a country which was not threatening or at war with the United States. Thus, lying by omission and reporting out of context has become the usual method of the propagandist.

He then goes on to say:

‘’No tyrant has the right to kill with impunity, even if it is within his own borders.’’

Unless of course he is ‘our’ tyrant, as was initially the case with Noriega (‘he may be a sonofabitch but he’s our sonofabitch’) and Saddam. Both of these former CIA assets, ‘got whacked’ – to use entirely apposite mafia terminology – when they started getting big ideas, similarly with Gaddafi. In addition, according to Freedland, killing within borders is apparently an unconditional evil worthy of international sanction (which, depending on the context, may or may not be true) but killing outside of our borders – Obama’s drone strikes and the saturation bombing of any number of countries ranging from Yugoslavia to Libya, well that’s ok.

It is indeed very impressive to see this double-think and double-standards at work. One is humbled by its grandeur. Orwell describes this as follows:

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour, when it is committed by ‘our’ side.

Back to Freedland:

Meanwhile, civilian blood is shed every day in Yemen, by the Saudi-led coalition; and in Syria, at the hands of the Assad regime and what remains of Isis. Who would bet on the perpetrators of those crimes ever standing in a dock?

Yes, the American backed and armed regime in Saudi-Arabia has been actively engaged, albeit not in frontline operations, but its behind the scenes involvement has enabled this merciless outrage possible. Predictably the American involvement is once again omitted. Even Assad gets sucked into the vortex of Freedman’s convoluted mind-set. Mr Freedland might like to note that ‘Blood is being shed in Syria’ since there is a war going on – a war against the jihadis, which Syria is winning, and we should be glad that it is. But at this point the assertions are beginning to sound like a self-righteous rant.

At the same time, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, a small but widely admired NGO similarly engaged in crucial evidence-collection in Syria, has had its US government funding cut off – perhaps as the precursor to a US-Russia deal that allows Assad to get away scot-free having slaughtered hundreds of thousands.

Poor old Assad! ‘Slaughtered hundreds of thousands’ (sic!) Actually, his crime was defending his country against a foreign backed Jihadi invasion. Outrageous, a crime against humanity!

Talking of getting away ‘scot-free’, brings me to the elephant in the room – Israel. Israel is an apartheid, expansionist, racist state. It’s crimes against the people of the middle-east, including most of all the Palestinians are common knowledge, as also are its lobbying activities which have apparently secured the unwavering support of the US. (see The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt)

In terms of being let off ‘scot free’ let us consider one, Menacham Begin, leader of the Irgun paramilitaries and his co-conspirator Yitzhak Shamir ex-Irgun who joined the even more extreme terrorist group the Stern Gang. Both were leading figures in the terrorist campaign in Israel in the late 1940s. Terrorism too strong a word? Well in July 1946, Begin planned the destruction of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where one floor was used by British intelligence, detonating an explosion which killed over 90 people, mostly Arabs. They went one better in April 1948. The inhabitants of the Arab village of Deir Yasin were simply massacred outright: 250 Arabs; men, women and children were summarily murdered. Of course, this is nothing new.

October 14-15, 1953 — Under the command of Ariel Sharon, Israeli squads attacked the unarmed Arab village of Qibya in the demilitarized zone. Where they blew up 42 houses and killed more than sixty residents who were trapped inside. The details were so gruesome that (incredibly) the U.S. joined in a U.N. condemnation of the Israeli action, and for the first and only time, suspended aid to Israel in reprisal.

Then came the Sabra and Shatila Massacres in 1982. At approximately 18:00 on 16 September to 08:00 on 18 September 1982, a widespread massacre was carried out by the Lebanese Phalangist militia virtually under the eyes of their Israeli allies. The Phalanges, allies to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), were ordered by the IDF to clear out Sabra and Shatila from Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters, as part of the IDF manoeuvring into West Beirut. The IDF received reports of some of the Phalanges atrocities in Sabra and Shatila but failed to stop them. Approx. 450 to 3500 Palestinians were murdered – the figures are disputed, and the true figures will probably never be known.

And on and on … things haven’t changed much.

Those responsible for this and subsequent Human Rights outrages were never charged with anything. In fact, they became heroes and rose to the highest positions in the Israeli state. As well as it leaders Israel as a state is of course beyond criticism, as is the United States and its vassals. These are the good guys of course, the indispensable peoples, and have been mandated by a higher power to reconfigure the world in their own image. Thus, Freedland’s list of Human Rights abusers – which of course excludes Israel – is hardly objective, indeed it is a propaganda exercise.

The narrative formulated, imbibed and regurgitated by these apologists of empire requires a particular type of mental dexterity usually consisting of four approaches. 1. The nationalist believes without reservation his own propaganda so there is no question of him ever actually lying. 2. He is aware of the existence of some awkward and compromising facts which might undermine his sacred beliefs and mission, but since this might challenge the authority and nobility of his cause, lying and suppression of counter-narratives becomes acceptable – for the greater good. 3. ‘’ … he not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by this own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.’’ (Orwell op.cit) 4. He is a hack pure and simple and will write anything he gets paid for. Presstitute.

In general terms the nationalist descends to a lower level of mental judgement, both rational and ethical, as soon as his love object is in any way threatened or disparaged. He argues and analyses in a way which he would readily recognise as infantile within the sphere of everyday realities and immediate personal interests. He becomes a primitive again his thinking – if we can call it that – becomes associative and affective. Such is the essence of this psychic aberration. Indeed –

Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world. Orwell, op.cit

We no longer have a media worthy of the name; we have a propaganda machine. A Ministry of Truth stretching from the ‘’soundly conservative to utterly reactionary’’ to use Ralph Miliband’s apt description. A daily scripted fog-horn ramping up the population for war against Russia; and we have been brought to this impasse by a cabal of fanatics ensconced in an ideological bubble – the neo-conservatives – who are frankly deranged. But this group of cranks could never had succeeded if it were not for the sell-out by the one-time guardians of the liberal class and its institutions –e.g., Freedland at the Guardian and Friedman at the New York Times being prime Ideologues – which had traditionally acted as a countervailing power to the dark forces in the CIA, Pentagon and Military Industrial complex. Grim times ahead.

La Trahison des Clercs? You bet!


  1. George Cornell says

    I would appreciate a response to my query and comment about moderation. I know you are short staffed but are doing a great job nevertheless. When you have a minute.

    • We have answered your query. Yes we are very busy, very short staffed. Thanks

  2. George Cornell says

    Many Americans are Nobel Laureates.

  3. George Cornell says

    Just testing the moderation. Many Jews are Nobel Laureates.

    • George Cornell says

      So the single word Jew triggers moderation. Could admin please explain. I can guess but surely this should be transparent.

      • No single word incurs moderation. Repetitious phrases and duplicate posts incur moderation to avoid spam.

        • Max Paine says

          @ GeorgeCornell I just tested your hypothesis. Comment with the “J” word went straight through and was published immediately. There’s no auto moderation on the “J” word. I’m now going to duplicate this post and see what happens

          • Max Paine says

            Yeah, when I tried to duplicate my comment above it was held back for moderation, even though I changed the wording slightly. The Admin is completely correct.

  4. Brup says

    The Ur-Leftish Freedland is only a quisling and a minion of The Cabal.

  5. It’s funny how great writers seem to write about the present, whatever age they lived in. But where’s the present day George Orwell? If they’re around, they’re not getting a lot of press.

  6. Hugh O'Neill says

    My wife dared me to read Freedland’s book “To Kill a President”, knowing how much I detest Jonathan Freedland. I have to confess, I could not put this book down (she had superglued it to my hand!). I have never read any thrillers or pulp fiction, and now I know why. This was breathless prose at its most turgid. There were so many cliff-hangers, that I was tempted to stand on their fingers just to give the character some solid grounding (Ouch!).

    I have no idea which President Freedland has in mind, but since the bad guy is called MacNamara, then one presumes JFK or LBJ…(Yeah, right!). However, if Freedland is aiming his assassin’s rifle at the present incumbent, then this work is completely irresponsible, dangerous, amoral, divisive, and tawdry. Freedland (in his Guardian persona) frequently attacks “Conspiracy Theorists” and yet here he is giving precise details on which rifle, which telescopic sight, which ammo etc. Since Freedlandd has no sympathy for any who dare question the Warren Commission, then the weapon of choice really ought to be a mail-order Mannlicher-Carcano (aka as the Humanitarian rifle,,,’cos it never killed anyone!), with a wonky sight and three magic bullets (its the stuff of Brothers Grimm & Dulles fairy tales).

    One of the biggest holes in the plot (no, not in the Presidential vest!) is that the whole situation is resolved (Spoiler Alert) because Maggie has given a recording of her conversation to a NYT journo who brings the whole regime tumbling down. If only MSM journals had an ounce of integrity, then that might happen. Otherwise, Freedland and Maggie, dream on. Before any Smart Alec shouts “What about Watergate?” you need to know that the WaPo was then and is now one of the main organs of the CIA Operation Mockingbird. The CIA got rid of Nixon because he threatened to reveal the truth about the whole “Bay of Pigs thing” code for their assassination of JFK.

    It is also extremely naive of Freedland that the major moral transgression committed by the Big Mac was that one of the CIA would-be assassins of the rhino hunter was killed i.e. our brave boy died in the line of duty for a corporate thug…Errm. Jonathan, that is precisely what the CIA does, whether it be the Dulles Brothers United Fruit in Central America, Big Oil in the Middle East and Venezuela, the MIC everywhere else (did I mention Haliburton?).

    Finally, since Jonathan is a patent failure at writing unbelievable fiction in the Guardian, perhaps he ought to stick with his Sam Bourne career where at least fiction is the intention…

    • Hugh O'Neill says

      Whoops! I was having tech issues trying to log in and appear to have done so twice now. My comments are out of context and are in fact my Amazon review of Freedland’s “To Kill a President” – which I now cannot find on Amazon. I wonder if thats because I rubbished the Wapo in the process..?

        • Hugh O'Neill says

          Good Morning Admin. My concern was that I had posted my comment twice. Once I get the hang of the system, then I shall aim to be more topical in future. I had only intended to make a reference to my book Review, but the rest of my comments were probably superfluous, in keeping with the general reaction to Freedland’s vacuous heart and mind.

        • Jen says

          No no, don’t delete the comment – some of us want to see how Jonathan Freedland’s feverish mind works even through the filter of his Sam Bourne nom de plume. And what we see looks horrific enough!

    • My final illusion shattered :)! Watergate only happened cos Nixon was going to reveal JFK assassination.

      • Hugh O’Neill says

        Evening Flax person. That’s my understanding of Watergate, though I could be wrong. None of it ever made any sense to me. However, Nixon did indeed threaten to spill the beans on the Bay of Pigs thing. Haldeman delivered the message and Richard Helms exploded with rage. These are not innocent parties. Or maybe you don’t consider the CIA assassinating the President and then the cover up still extant. Don’t take my word. Read James Douglass “JFK & The Unspeakable”, or just check out the reviews. I also suspect that the CIA regularly performs limited hang outs e.g. My Lai exposure via Sy Hersh to conceal Op Phoenix (see Douglas Valentine). But what would I know.

        • I think you think I’m being sarcastic. No, not at all. No doubt you’re right. And God no, I know that the JFK assassination was not the work of a lone gunman. Fascinating explanation of it in the film JFK to 9/11 Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM.

          • Hugh O’Neill says

            My apologies, Flax. I had indeed suspected sarcasm, but I am so used to that reaction that I react with all guns blazing. My contempt and loathing for the CIA and it’s singular record in usurping all that is pure, decent and good, including critical thinking. Now any who dare question the Official Account fears being labelled a Conspiracy Theorist. They then censor their thoughts until Black is white, just as Orwell predicted.

            • If only you knew how so very tired I am of being treated like a crazy conspiracy theorist. A quote from Orwell I saw the other day:

              If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

              I posted it on my FB page hoping that all those who take great umbrage at my claims that Manchester Bombing, Barcelona, Las Vegas, etc are staged events see it. I really don’t understand why it upsets people so much. If I’m wrong, so be it but I’m only saying what I believe to be true. If people really did die or were injured the fact that I say it didn’t happen is not going to affect them but if it was a staged event then people should know.

              • Hugh O'Neill says

                As Bismarck said: never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                  • Hugh O’Neill says

                    Bismarck also said: the nay lesson we learn from History is that no-one learns from History.

                    • Never a truer word spoken. I googled (I know I shouldn’t use that search engine anymore) and it seems it was Hegel who is famous for saying it but perhaps Bismarck said it too.

                      The other thing we seem incapable of doing is seeing what the future obviously holds, probably the greatest example of which is catastrophic climate change. Somehow, people will take out loads of insurance on things that they probably don’t need to worry about so much and get all concerned about bullshit terrorism and security but the complete and utter elephant in the room of climate change we simply ignore.

  7. Harry Stotle says

    Freedland’s piece is disingenuous, and not just for the reasons cited by Frank Lee.

    My reading is that Freedland cites the Ratko Mladić case not because he is especially interested in the Balkan civil war (at least not in this particular instance) because if he was Freedland’s first concern should have been about a selective form of outrage that on the one hand wags a finger at Mladić while ignoring alleged atrocities committed by other groups involved in the conflict such as the Kosovan Liberation Army (including claims of kidnap, murder, and organ theft), no, in this instance Freedland is simply using the trial of Ratko Mladić as a way to attack the lack of similar actions being taken against Assad, and Putin.

    In other words Freedland is saying that if Ratko Mladić has been investigated then surely Assad and Putin should be as well, not least because both are linked to chemical weapons (if we blindly accept western narratives – claims already de-bunked on Off-G).

    Freedland of course is very selective about his targets but if Nuremberg taught us anything it is that morality is in the eye of the beholder – no investigation of Stalin and the gangster culture that pervaded Russia before WWII, nor the Americans who by the end of the war had ceded all moral credibility by dropping atom bombs on civilian populations.

    Ever since WWII the worlds biggest exporter of terror, the US have been able to pursue war after war, black-op after black-op without the likes of Freedland ever losing a nights sleep over it so why is that he is getting his knickers in a twist over the war in Syria?

  8. Seamus Padraig says

    Unless of course he is ‘our’ tyrant, as was initially the case with Noriega (‘he may be a sonofabitch but he’s our sonofabitch’) …

    I think you may be confusing Noriega with Somoza.

  9. Tom Warwick says

    Propagandistic counter-factual denialism writ large. And I don’t mean the Guardian….

    “….of Mladic who was accused of war crimes in Yugoslavia, although this is contested…”
    “….But even if Mladic was guilty as Freedland asserts…”

    Guys, a reminder: MLADIC WAS FOUND GUILTY at the UN-backed international criminal tribunal in THE HAGUE, of 10 offences involving EXTERMINATION and MURDER of civilian populations.

    This isn’t just something that “Freedland asserts”. If you’re going to question a criminal verdict from a court at the Hague, you need a different type of argument.

    • Please try to discuss the issues raised in the article rather than using generic dismissals such as “denialism”. Clearly the author is not “denying” anything, he is raising a possibility Mladic may not have been guilty. Do you think this possibility should not be raised? If so why don’t you contest it with some evidence instead of trying to overrule it with appeals to authority? What “different type” of argument would you think appropriate?

      Employing slogans to dismiss without evidence as you do is genuine “denialism”, and does you no credit.

      • Tom Warwick says

        Thanks, I get it. “Generic dismissals” such as “denialism” are a no-no. But all the other “generic dismissals” that you and your authors routinely use against Guardian journalists are okay (and – to be sure – you do use a lot of them).

        • Anyone who reads us knows our responses to Guardian misinformation are specific and often extremely detailed, as they need to be. Stop employing generic allegations in order to divert discussion. If you think the verdict against Mladic is beyond doubt and should not be questioned even in passing – tell us why. If you think this article is propaganda – tell us what would be a more evenhanded and rational analysis, and why you think so.

          In other words start contributing and stop trolling.

    • MoriartysLeftSock says

      You are diverting the discussion. Let me remind you of this paragraph in the text above::

      The article dealt with the trial of Mladic who was accused of war crimes in Yugoslavia, although this is contested, by prominent figures on the left, including Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali. In these situations, it is always difficult to know who to believe in the in the all-enveloping propaganda fog. But even if Mladic was guilty as Freedland asserts, the diatribe which followed was noticeable by the glaring contextual omission of NATO’s 78-day bombing campaign – an aerial blitzkreig of a defenceless civilian population in Serbia and other parts of Yugoslavia (Kosovo) where Serbs had also been present for generations. Even the New York Times had to admit to at least 500 civilian deaths. Moscow (Yeltsin’s Moscow) put the figures much higher.

      The point is that only war crimes committed by one side are being discussed, and that mass murder is acceptable to Freedland if it is being done by people who share his world view.

      Regarding your irrelevant point though – the mere fact a person is found guilty in a court does not bestow absolute and unquestionable proof of guilt does it? Every society has its show trials and innocent people have been convicted by mistake or through political expediency for as long as civilisation has existed. So you can’t point to the verdict as poof of itself. The evidence is all that matters, and you don’t mention that.

      And no, I am not saying Mladic was innocent. For all I know he was guilty as hell – but his guilt or innocence is not what this piece is about.

      • Tom Warwick says

        You do realise that the paragraph you quote (to “remind” me) contains the lines that I, myself, quoted?

        (Indeed, the lines that you EMPHASISED IN BOLD, as if to draw my attention to them, are in fact the very lines that I, myself, quoted and addressed directly).

        • MoriartysLeftSock says

          That was the point. You were quoting out of context. Once again you insist on missing the point.

    • MoriartysLeftSock says

      Further to Admin’s invitation, here is a link already posted on this thread, to an article that claims the Mladic trial was a political stitch up. It would be very interesting to get your opinion on where it goes wrong. This is a great opportunity to help counter all this OffG propaganda!


      For it is not a judgement. A true judgement in a criminal trial should contain the evidence presented by the prosecution, the evidence presented by the defence, and the arguments of both sides about the evidence. It must contain references to witness testimony both as witnesses testified in chief and in cross-examination. Then there must be a reasoned decision by the judges on the merits of each party’s case and their reasoned conclusions. But you will be hard pressed to find a trace of any of the defence evidence in this document. I could find none except for a few references in a hand full of paragraphs and some footnotes in both of which testimony of a defence witness was briefly referred to in order to dismiss it and to dismiss it because it did not support the prosecution version of events

    • Deposited says

      I suggest you read John Laughland’s book “Travesty” on the Hague Tribunal on the war crimes in former Yugoslavia. I think that’s a different type of argument. Among other things, such as complete breakdown of standards of legal procedure, Laughland makes the point – made by Frank Lee here – that only one kind of war crime was investigated. Those of NATO were not admitted.

      Incidentally, this is the second time I’ve noticed that you posted very early in an Off-Guardian discussion and tried to shift the topic. That is the action of a troll.

      [edited by Admin to fix formatting]

    • Yonatan says

      The ICTY allowed hearsay evidence against defendents that they could not challenge. That is the very definition of a show trial.

    • archie1954 says

      The Hague dispenses the “justice” of the victors and nothing else! A true international court would be dispensing justice to both sides of any conflict when war crimes are present.

    • bevin says

      The argument made by Christopher Black, a Toronto lawyer with considerable experience of the international criminal courts, gives very good reasons for questioning the verdict of the court.
      International jurists, like Louise Arbour, work in perfect harmony with journalists of the sort typified by the egregious Freedland.
      In the business of kangaroo courts and public lynchings it is always of primary importance to ensure that what the public actually sees is obscured by smokescreens laid down by the media.

    • Peter says

      I think Frank Lee’s point was not about the guilt or otherwise of Mladic, but the fact that the people who are prosecuted by the ICC don’t include what I’ll call ‘perceived friends and allies of the West’, such as Israel, Indonesia, Central American dictators and indeed the US and UK themselves.

    • Milošević was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War, by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. He was found guilty and died in prison. Since then a US Court has found that there was no evidence that Milosevic was ever guilty of those crimes and stated that much of the witness testimony and charges were contrived.
      Is it alright then, if Mladic is also found not guilty after the fact, despite having been found guilty by the UNICC?
      How many times must the UN ICC find an innocent man guilty of crimes which he did not commit, before doubt about a conviction is warranted? When it’s convenient to do so, perhaps?

      • Expat Swede says

        Milošević was not found guilty. In fact, he died during the trial, only days after complaining that he suspected that he was being poisoned. He was probably innocent of the war crime charges he was indicted for. The court has actually admitted itself that he was innocent, although that has not been given any publicity, funnily enough.

    • bevin says

      Sorry I see that I have used the same link. I did so inadvertantly.

  10. rtj1211 says

    One of the things never discussed is the moment when individuals swim across the river Styx and accept killing as just one of those things.

    Of all the irredeemable differences between the 0.01% and the rest, it is the spiritual embracing of acceptable collateral damage as being acceptable which is the most stark.

    What one does not know is whether that is compartmentalised or whether they also change in how they treat their children….

    We do come from murderous ancestors, like most animals. We are not derived from grass eating ovines and bovines, after all.

    But now we have drone warfare, war journalists can now spout with bulging eyes, ever having seen a severed limb, a blown up child, a torched village, in the flesh.

    Just as politicians who have never served in a human military conflict can take decisions bereft of experience concerning the unutterable violence of war.

    One tends to suspect that swimming the River Styx is easier for those wide eyed innocents…..

  11. michaelk says

    The Guardian’s writers are so self-absorbed and sanctimonious. Their conceit and pride is overwhelming and irritating. This whole idea that they are the guardians of the ‘Truth’ and the road to the ‘truth’ in a complex and chaotic world, please… stop.

    Their towering partisanship is extraordinary. Our side cannot be guilty of war crimes and our leaders aren’t war criminals because such a thought is heresy. Our killing, usually on a scale that’s massively larger than what the ‘terrorists’ can manage, unless we arm and train them as in Syria, cannot be addressed and to do so is tantamoutn to treason.

    This is because democratic politicians and democratic countries cannot be guilty of war crimes, unless they are ‘accidents’ and ‘mistakes.’ If our actions were equal to war crimes then, arguably, this would mean we no lived in healthy and functioning democracies with the rule of law and accountability; and that’s a big intellectual step to take for most people within our media with fundamental consequences. Therefore, we can not be guilty of such actions as – war crimes. It’s simply not within the sphere of the possible in a liberal democracy, even if we’re guilty of committing them over and over again.

  12. summitflyer says

    So very well said by Frank Lee . The pathetic lies swallowed by the common man/woman who has no knowledge of how they are being manipulated by huge media conglomerate lies and propaganda .A total and complete reversal of reality where criminals are appointed to high places in government with an ever increased level of corruption .How far down this swamp cesspool do we have to go before the lights go on . I feel for my children and grandchildren .

  13. michaelk says

    I think the Guardian brand is tainted and doomed. It’s a platform that’s becoming increasingly irrelevant as society changes and the Guardian refuses to acknowledge this and bizarrely attempts to stand in the way of the tide, not totally oblivious to what’s happening, but dogmatically determined in its’ refusal to admit to the changes occuring.

    So many at the Guardian get so much so wrong so often, that it’s embarrassing. The get Trump wrong, Brexit wrong, Corbyn wrong, Russia wrong, Libya wrong, Syria wrong… the list seems to just grow and grow. What’s staggering is that they appear to learn nothing from their ‘mistakes’ only to keep on making them; regardless. That’s the true mark of he committted dogmatic ideologue. For them ‘faith’ is everything reality takes second place. What one believes to be true, is more important than objective reality and facts. This is all rather scary.

  14. Excellent article that needs re-posting time and again – every time Freedland puts fingers to keyboard or even opens his mouth. This one is going to be repeated using the Graunds own share buttons until they can find a way to stop me.
    The author forgot to mention that the only “good” Jew is a Zionist, all others are “self hating” or apologists of some sort, which makes Freedland anti-Semitic.
    Presumably Freedland has been calling for Blair’s trial for war crimes(missed that article by him) . If we take into account Zionist supporters here in the UK and their attempts to demolish anti Israeli atrocities opposition by bashing decent Jews, they too have taken a hammering from him for their opposition to Zionist War Crimes? (Must have missed that article, as well)
    Also, have I missed the article by Freedland which denounced the US support of AQ and further war crimes by Arch Criminal Obama and his bombing of seven countries in six years killing hundreds of thousands and his excellent drone killing sprees costing the deaths of over two thousand to include four weddings and thereafter numerous funerals – dependent on how many of the families survived to bury their relatives?
    I could go one and on and on. Many of those within NATO guilty of War Crimes who have shown themselves to be merciless, grotesque proponents of crimes against humanity, are still alive, has Freedland named and shamed them in an article that must also have slipped my notice?
    Then there was the article he wrote(another one that must have slipped my notice) wherein he railed against the Kagan bitch, Victoria Nuland caught “red-mouthed” so to speak organising with Pyatt, the coup against democratically elected leader of Ukraine, Yanukovich – and their involvement in the Maidan Massacre?
    He’s less the presstitute and more the whore for egregious lies and fake truths of his own invention.

    • rtj1211 says

      You could of course emulate the IRA and fire a missile into Guardian HQ when Freedland is in the building. If he ever is……

      Course, that would make YOU a terrorist.

      And as you are not a neocon, for that you must be strung up…….

  15. bevin says

    Freedland is no nationalist. He is often quite relaxed about criticising British crimes. It is the imperial entity, the United States and its mini-me Israel , which can never do wrong in the Freedland book.
    The word for what Jonathan is is gaelic. He is a shoneen, that pathetic creature from the Irish past who always sided, against his own countrymen, with John Bull. the modern shoneen instinctively clings to Uncle Sam’s ample calves, whimpering as he denounces those who dare to criticise the hegemon.
    And then there are the lies: the hundreds of thousands that Assad has ‘killed’ taking their place besides the hundred millions allegedly done to death by dread bolshevism. It has become an established part of our culture’s body of belief that Stalin was a sadist whose career of murder puts Hitler’s in the shade and that Mao was even worse.
    Freedland is, in simple terms, a serial liar, representative of a culture which is founded on lies and falsehoods, such as economic theory, whose obvious fallacies are ignored. And each lie is a paving stone on the road to barbarism.

    • Squeeth says

      He went on the game in 1989 as cynically as Baron Cohen did with Ali G.

      • rtj1211 says

        Well at least Ali G gave us all a good laugh…..

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