I REALLY can't stand Melanie Phillips
The worst thing one can do is legitimise the wild and illogical ravings of this crazy woman by addressing them. Well, all the blood has rushed to my head upon reading the latest outpouring of her garbage which she has written in her internet "diary" (dear diary, today I wrote another column on The War on Terror. One of these days I will actually read a history book or learn some of the basic laws of international relations and logic, but why rush when I can just parrot what my schitzo-neo-con friends across the pond say?)I've detailed before how she repeatedly uses phrases like "self-hating" (to describe anybody who opposes the lunatic policies of Bush and Blair), "Israel-hater" (referring to those who think there is a slight chance that the Palestinian people are not being made totally at home, or that Israel shouldn't have nuclear weapons or invade and occupy neighbours), "jihadist" (that would be the BBC, or the "Biassed Broadcasting Corporation") and "appeasenik" (to slime those who don't understand the arguement that bombing people will save them and bring democracy to the Middle East). Now she tells us that the Church of England are "on their knees before terror" because, in an article featured in The Times they assert that we should apologise for the Iraq "war" (I have elected to put the word "war" in those "ironic" little quotation marks because the first war crimes committed were not done in a state of war, but in a sadistic bombing campaign which killed many people. How many we will never know).I happen to think so too, and I think it's pretty obvious why. I am even more extreme because I happen to think that reparations in order. The country, and the lives of most of its inhabitants are a wreck and she has the temerity to dribble out: "apologise -- for what, precisely?"She's stuck on that question, although I suspect that the answer was given in the very article that sent her into this frenzy, but still she wants to make other clever enquiries, like: "And apologise to whom exactly?" If the answer to this is just a little too obvious, you can rely on the witch to conjure up her own distorted answer: "To the Ba’athists, perhaps, who subjected the rest of the population to a regime of unmitigated horror and towards whom the church – by this logic – feels badly that they have been deprived of power?" I suspect she may be taking things a t-i-n-y bit out of context here, but then, who I am I to judge. I opposed the war too. All hail mighty Saddam!Her worst distortion happens right before the reader's eyes, when from this part of the Times article:‘The bishops cite as precedents the official statements by the Vatican expressing sorrow for the Christian persecution of the Jewish people throughout the ages, the repentance by the Anglican Church in Japan for its complicity in Japanese aggression during the Second World War and the regret expressed by leaders of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa for their theological and political backing of apartheid.’ (The Times)She gets this:"In other words they are comparing the removal of Saddam Hussein with the persecution of the Jews, the axis against democracy in World War Two and South African apartheid. But it was Saddam Hussein, the butcher of his own people and sponsor of terrorist murder against Israel and America who was the brother in blood to the tyrants of history. To compare these evils with the attempt to remove a similar modern evil is a straightforward inversion of good and evil. One associates such anti-reasoning with moral imbeciles – but the church?" (Melanie Phillips) Sorry for the patronosing brackets, but we are dealing with children here, I think. "In other words"?? Whose words? Who is "comparing" anything here? By "other words" I assume she means her own straw-man argument, where she changes all the words so that she may refute it more easily. Yes, it's really easy to outwit someone when you change their entire sentence and view, though I suggest that if you want somebody to eat their words, you serve them back to them as you found them. Never one to shy away from playing the "anti-semite" card, Melanie Phillips probably sat at her computer, selectively cutting and pasting, while cackling at the mighty achievement of outwitting an imaginary neo-Nazi. Even a true moral imbecile like her can pull that off. That's when she isn't comparing BBC newsreaders with Osama bin Laden. The woman is a logician's nightmare. She cannot make even the most basic deductions.All the way through she repeatedly slams the bishops for overlooking the threat of Jihad. I think she means events like 9/11 and the Madrid train bombings, but just in case I'm taking her out of context I'll include Newsnight, the Evening News and Working Lunch. Yet, of course, Saddam Hussein was not involved in any of these things. Melanie, unlike those with a working mind and a fairly up to date knowledge of current affairs, still believes that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda and friends. She still thinks Stephen Hayes' glorified Tom Clancy novel The Connection is proof, despite it being long refuted by experts, including Dick Cheney, who audaciously denied that he had ever claimed there was such a link in the debate with John Edwards last year (and got away with it). I don't think Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and Iran at the behest of Al Qaeda (who, of course, overwhelmingly opposed the former) and I don't see what the ruler of Iraq had to gain by any attempt "to restore the medieval caliphate." Still, obfuscation and a disregard for the intelligence of her audience comes naturally to her. That does bother me. When she isn't typing in her "diary" (dear diary, I've been writing about terror for two whole years now, and still nobody listens to me. Is it just me, or am I going crazy?) she is popping up in The Daily Mail, which regrettably some people very close to me choose to read at least twice a week. They are not her target audience. They're not bigots, warmongers or uptight schoolmaster types. What they do seek is an understanding of what is going on, and they will never get that from her evil, illogical and insulting discharges. A real logician, Ludwig Wittgenstein, famously ended his treatise by stating that his work was like a ladder, which had to be climbed, then kicked away once the reader was at the summit. In a similar vein, Melanie Phillips demands to be read, refuted, exposed and ultimately disregarded. After one has cut through her contradictory positions and half truths, they are left with little than childish tantrums on paper, that need not be considered because they desparately scream at the reader as if from an era rapidly passing into irrelevance. Her nutcase defences of the Israeli government, no matter how much they defy international law, her desire to indiscriminately sweep away those threatening her position of privilege, even if it means killing hundreds of innocents in the process. The twisted facts and logic that grow from these core values, like stinking weeds, are easily cleared away, and even the most obsessive types (regretably that means me) know that is time to get down to business and make the world a better place (anti-war demo on Saturday) rather than wasting too many resources on such feeble distractions. At least until she next surfaces. Now, I must get on, lest anybody accuse me of "comparing" Melanie Phillips with Ludwig Wittgenstein.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." - George W. Bush (March 24, 2004)