Corpse of sanity exhumed, raped and buggered

I know I shouldn’t read the comments on Biased BBC when drunk, and particularly shouldn’t reproduce them here when drunk, but: "I wouldn’t be surprised if there are those high up at the BBC who received similar kickbacks from Saddam as did Galloway, and they view him as ‘one of them’"; and "It’s rather ironic that ‘Beeb’ could also be a shortening for Beelzebub" (here). These people [*] should not be allowed out.

Incidentally, Mark Steyn says his favourite bloggers are Natalie Solent and Tim Blair. I guess they represent his articulate sort-of-libertarian side and his lying hack side, respectively…

[*] Commenters, not contributors. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m fairly sure I’d have been invited to join any Evil Left-Wing Conspiracy to make B-BBC look silly, I’d assume the comments were posted by Beeb fans trying to ensure any real points made by the blog authors were drowned in the general lunacy.

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21 thoughts on “Corpse of sanity exhumed, raped and buggered

  1. Mark Steyn spouts quite a fountain of crap in that interview. I used to think of him as a sort of poor man’s Christopher Hitchens, but I think the voices in his head are getting a bit too loud.

  2. "It’s essentially the American taxpayer, for example, who pays for European government health care, by assuming the defence costs for Germany, Belgium and so forth."

    I never knew that!

  3. "but I think the voices in his head are getting a bit too loud."

    So loud that you can hear them.

  4. I’ll put in a good word for Natalie (on her own blog and Samizdata, rather than Biased-BBC though). She differs from the run-of-the-mill libertarian bloggers in that she genuinely engages with argument rather than doing what so many of her co-thinkers do, which is to crank the libertarian speak-your-weight machine and produce the answer they first thought of. When the blogosphere functions as a locus of decent conversation (rather than competitive shouting) it is often because of people like her. Blair, on the other hand, is just a nasty partisan hack.

  5. Well, Steyn collapsed in a pool of his own credibility as far back as 2001, when he managed to advocate the bombing of Canada as a move in the Global War on Trrrr.

    @Matt: This is an old-time meme referring to NATO; its validity now there is no Soviet threat and the US European Command has been radically run down is questionable to say the least. Its applicability to Germany was never defensible: the Bundeswehr would have been by far the biggest contributor to a putative NATO defence of the Central Front (12 divisions, ~500,000 men). It’s also not well known that up to the 1970s the UK actually received payments from West Germany towards the cost of BAOR.

  6. And the US bases as well, didn’t they? I certainly read somewhere that Germany basically paid the bills for the US presence.

  7. As I understand it, the US’s contributions to NATO outweigh every other member’s put together. In return for that, European NATO members heckle the US for spending too much on defense. And the French insist on being allowed a say in NATO decision-making while they also insist on contributing zero forces.

    If I were a US President, I’d set more reasonably apportioned payment targets, give other NATO members five years to meet them, then, if they didn’t, pull out. The European attitude to Article V — "By signing this, we invoke the right to veto all US action; no, it certainly is not a declaration of intent to use force" — when they know full well what the US attitude to Article V would have been if they’d signed it during the Cold War — "This means war" — made NATO a total and utter piss-taking waste of US money.

  8. Nato during the cold war was a total and utter piss-taking waste of US money? Right…

    Incidentally the US’s contribution to every defence pact it is signatory to outweigh every other member’s put together. But I don’t really believe you would like it to be different.

  9. "As I understand it, the US’s contributions to NATO outweigh every other member’s put together."

    As I understand it, from having spent 30 seconds on Google, this is completely untrue.

    Country/ Civil Budget/ Military Budget/ Security & Investment Programme
    United States/ 36 523 000 (23.3%)/ 284 500 000 (28.0%)/ 132 000 000 (28.3%)

    "Incidentally the US’s contribution to every defence pact it is signatory to outweigh every other member’s put together. But I don’t really believe you would like it to be different."

    Check some basic facts before making an ass of yourself, Matthew.

  10. Doh. I think I may have got confused with the UN there, or maybe I just dreamt it. My apologies.

    The contributions are still way out of whack, but not to the extent I said. I stick by my if-I-were-President policy, except that I’d only give them three years, since there’s so much less of a shortfall to make up than I thought.


    I was talking about the European attitude to Article V, which was signed post-9/11, hence not during the Cold War.

  11. Don’t be a twat. S2’s argument is presumably based on their contribution over and above simple funding of the organisation.

  12. Oh. I apologise. S2 did mean the organisation’s funding cost. Oh, well yes that is nonsense.

  13. OK, now I’m confused. Those figures weren’t anything like what I vaguely remembered, but I bowed to their authority. Matthew, how much other expenditure is there?

    (I’ve got a lot of other distracting and important crap on my mind just now, so expect numerous mistakes from me for a while. Sorry.)

  14. I’m not sure you can put hardware, or personnel into the mix for a number of reasons:

    1) All parties incur hardware and personnnel costs. Those costs are not transparent, nor necessarily consistent with contribution. [I.e. the French may spend 50% more on Officer training, US tanks may be 25% cheaper than British ones]
    2) Hardware (such as tanks, planes) and personnel, even though they may be based in Germany, for example, are also part of their respective militaries, not just Nato.

    For example: British tanks and vehicles and personnel from Germany have gone out to Iraq. The large German hospital (whose name escapes me) is not a Nato facility, but used for all US military personnel in operations in Eurasia.

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