vendredi, novembre 18, 2005

Silly-gisms, Journ-a-lists and Breakfast

"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little" - Tom Stoppard also via The Professor of Interesting Stuff.

I was forced to break fast this morning. When I opened the fridge I noticed a packet of lardons fumées and my mozzarella di bufala marinated in a mixture of tomatoes, basilic, rucola and baby onions. I could not walk away from the fridge without that guilty feeling of "I'll have to throw them away if they are still there tonight". So I made myself one of the most wonderful omelette the world can think. Both M. and F. enjoyed part of the resultant gourmet dish and pronounced fantastic verdicts. I would have blushed had I not been busy licking the platter clean.

Well, leaving home on a full stomach is always wonderful. I do not do it very often because I am usually hard pressed for time seeing that I wake up late (inevitable) and it takes me at leats an hour to get my bearings. So today was a pleasant change to drive in the 9:40 traffic. The cold 3 degree air outside was calmly enveloped in a bright sun. I love this kind of sun... as bright as any summer day but with no heat effect at all. The cage of still air is perfect and the road alternates trees that have long shed their last foliage and those that still proudly hang on to a few hundred that will never give up.

So it would have been easy to forget about the mental note I made to reply to Sharon's last post. I have been getting some personalised attention which seems to be attributable to the fact that I "misrepresented" Sharon's original post. Not only that. Now it is a professional issue. "For a lawyer, his grasp of syllogism is scarily shaky" - was the latest criticism. Interesting. Again, quoting Sharon... "Jahasra". You see, I find this is common among many people... it is the infamous argument that translates into "If you were a good lawyer you would agree with me". Would it make sense if I said "If Sharon were a good journalist she would be in Fallujah"? Of course not. Ridiculous. Balderdash.

But. I have now been told that my syllogisms are shaky. Here is the the equation/syllogism I am accused of formulating: "the US admitted use of MK77" plus "We have burnt dead bodies" therefore means "(unsaid - as in I did not say it but Sharon reads the syllogism) "the burnt bodies are a result of MK77".

It's true, I admit - lawyers must carry the additional burden of having to be consistent. Always. Their syllogisms - even those created in the mind of others (see unsaid) - must not be shaky. On the pain of negating 7 years of study and by now 4 years of practical work. On the other hand who ever said that journalists have to be consistent? Nobody. They do not have to be responsibly consistent. Their job is to report. At most they can be true or false. But consistency is not a journalists duty.

So, reading Sharon's two posts should I also be implying syllogisms?:

From "Man versus Man":
"I picked up the thread here, a post which Jacques chose to misrepresent by claiming that I was sceptical about the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah. I was not, and I think my original post is clear and its content stands." - SHARON is NOT SCEPTICAL ABOUT MK77

From "Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form"
"Statement A: We have an admission by US Forces that MK77 was used.Statement B: We have burnt dead bodies.Therefore: (unsaid) The burnt bodies are a result of MK77 (quite honestly, I can't think of a better explanation than burnt bodies = WF but I would not stake my reputation on the fact that it necessarily follows from statements A and B).Therefore: (stated) ... we (must not) question whether the clothing remains could help us tell something." - SHARON is suddenly telling us that Jacques is Wrong in Assuming the US used MK77 on civilians. Is it the same Sharon who is not sceptical about MK77?

Now maybe Sharon, like Fausto would like to break down the argument into minuter forms. Which is where we seem to be getting lost! Already we have the following:

1. Did the Americans attack Fallujah? (at least this one is accepted)
2. Did they use MK77?
3. Did they use it on civilians?
4. Is MK77 a chemical weapon?
5. Does it burn clothes? Does it attack water molecules?

The point is that all my posts have been of inequivocal condemnation. Yes I am prepared to stand by the RAI reporter. I do not believe that images like those would be doctored unless there is some sick fuck behind it all. What I do believe is that anyone doubting the veracity of the documentary has been backtracking for the past week along with the Duh!Mericans. Mine is an opinion. One which anyone is entitled to have and defend whether they are lawyers, journalists or haberdashers.

My earlier comment on hiding behind the journalist's veil stands too. It is a comfortable excuse to stand back. Are you honestly waiting for the American Military to make an international press release condemning themselves for excessive use of force in Iraq? These are the people who after invading and ravaging a country in the name of freedom now believe that there are no more civilians - everyone is a target. How many more times will you hear their lame excuse that ten year olds carry guns against them before asking them the most pertinent question... Who put the gun in their hands?

You speak about rage seeing images on tv and people watching wiht the "greatest equanimity". I boil and rage when I notice that people can calmly fall for the trap of lame Duh!Merican excuses and type away that we need more proof. From whom? Who the fuck is in Iraq to tell us now? The Americans? The American instated government and its investigation? (Ah of course. Let me see. I am a conspiracy theorist and I am not saying that the recent finding by the Americans of a torture nest run by the Iraqi militia will not be used as a tit-for-tat in an "I shut up and you shut up game" about some white powder business.) Give me a break.

So you can go on telling me that my syllogisms are shaky. It just makes me burn inside.

Meanwhile another type of "Shake'N'Burn" has been going on.

And the "burn" part is not coming out of any "shaky" syllogism of mine.

It's those US troops in Iraq who coined the term.

Yep. Whenever they use MK77 (for lighting purposes of course).


Hmm... now I wonder why their clothes are intact. It must really really be important.

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything.
Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this,
and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.
--Oscar Wilde

“A rain of fire fell on the city,
the people struck by this multi-coloured substance
started to burn,
we found people dead with strange wounds,
the bodies burned but the clothes intact.”
- An eye-witness account (not Sodom and Gomorrah).

PS. In case any future misunderstandings arise let me also declare here that I am against WP or MK77 being used on anyone - civilian or militant or soldier.

4 commentaires:

wwwitchie a dit…

I guess I shall just have to buy you a cup of coffee come Christmas and try to explain the subtleties of my very fine argument *grin* I honestly think you're not meeting me half way. I don't care whether you agree with me or not, but you are still refusing to see that you are attacking me over an argument I did not make! Insomma, chapter closed for me, oh wise one. :-)

Jodes a dit…

that omlette sounds yummy!!

Sean M. Madden a dit…


I have just posted a piece to my blog concerning your and Sharon's debate on the white phosphorous story.

I hope you don't mind my butting in.


Fausto Majistral a dit…

Yes I am prepared to stand by the RAI reporter. I do not believe that images like those would be doctored unless there is some sick fuck behind it all.

It seems that they are exhumed corpses totally unrelated to the battle of Fallujah. In which case they are "unrelated" rather than "doctored". I'll get the link.

These are the people who [..] now believe that there are no more civilians - everyone is a target.

Do they? Where? When?