Frsluflokkur: Bkur

Bartta "fgaaflanna"?

g hef ekki lesi bk Houllebecq, Soumission, lklega verur einhver bi v. g er ekki a sleipur Frnskunni.

En etta er riji staurinn sem g s minnst bkina tveimur dgum. Hinir tveir voru bloggsum eirraEgils Helgasonar og Haraldar Sigurssonar.

bloggi Egils mtti lesa etta stutta grip af sgurinum:

Bkin gerist 2022. a rkir ld Frakklandi, en um hana rkir gn fjlmilum. a er komi a kosningum, og n gerist a a frambjandi ns mslimaflokks, Mohammed Ben Abbes, vinnur strsigur Marine Le Pen. ur hafa reyndar kosningar veri giltar vegna vtkra kosningasvika. Abbes sigrar me stuningi bi hgri og vinstri manna.

Daginn eftir htta konur almennt a klast vestrnum ftum. r f styrki fr rkinu til a htta a vinna. Glpum linnir httulegum hverfum. Hsklar vera slamskir, og prfessorar sem streitast mti v eru sendir eftirlaun.

a getur veri varasamt a draga strar lyktanir af stuttu gripi, en g gat ekki varist v a upp huga minn komu riji og fjri ratugur sustu aldar.

tkust , ekki hva sst Evrpu, tvr fgastefnur, keimlkar en samt svarnir andstingar.

gnarldin hfst ekki fyrir alvru fyrr en r geru bandalag.

En hvar rkti ld gtunum? Hvar var konum bola t af vinnumarkanum? Hvar fengu ngift hjn hagst ln gegn v a konan vri heima? Hvar voru sklar miskunarlaust "stjrnmlavddir" og kennarastaa skilyrt flokksaild?

Hvar hurfu glpir af gtunum, en voru "rkisvddir"?

Hvar sndi almenningur trlega undirgefni og breytti um stl stuttum tma. Tileinkai sr tsku, menningu og lfstl "einingu vi jina"?

Nsta spurning sem dkkai upp kollinum mr var, skyldi vera minnst gyinga og samkynhneiga bkinni? Hver yru rlg eirra undir slkri stjrn?

Framtarsgur eru oft hrollvekjandi lesning. a er ekki oft sem bjartsnin er vi vld. Upp hugann koma bkur eins og 1984 og Brave New World.

En er rangt a skrifa svona bkur? Ala r tta, tortryggni og "phobium"?

Ea hvetja r gagnrna hugsun, vara vi httum?

Hvaa hefi veri sagt ef stjrnmlamaur hefi sett fram svipaa framtarsn? Ea eru eir a v?


mbl.is slamski Svartiskli Parsar
Tilkynna um vieigandi tengingu vi frtt

A mennta hershfingja

a framhjhald s sjlfu sr ekkert gamanml, get g ekki hlegi a einstkum atrium essu mli.

A Petreus og Broadwell (sem hann hlt vi) hafi fyrir stuttu gefi t bkina: All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, er mnum huga brandari sem ekki er hgt a ba til. Slkir gabrandarar vera aeins til raunveruleikanum.


mbl.is Htunarbrf komu FBI spori
Tilkynna um vieigandi tengingu vi frtt

Saga Borgarttarinnar - Eistnesku

morgun skotnaist mr eintak af Sgu Borgarttarinnar, Eistnesku.a sem er ef til vill hva merkilegast vi essa tgfu af bk Gunnars Gunnarssonar, er a hn er prentu og gefin t hr Toronto. Nnar tilteki ri 1961. Heitir sagan Eistnesku Borgi Rahvas.

tgfan virist vera hluti af tgfu bkaklbbs og er bk nsta mnaar auglst innan kpunni. Lklegast er a tgfan s a mestu leyti endurprentun Eistneskri tgfu sem kom t ri 1939. tgfan fr 1939 hefur lklega veri nokku vndu, m.a. eru gerar srstakar grafkmyndir fyrir tgfuna af Eistneska listamanninum Ernst Kollom. Smu myndirnar eru a llum lkindum Toronto tgfunni, en g hef ekki hugmynd um hvort a r eru allar. En r eru merktar EK annig a lklega er htt a draga lyktun a r su r smu.

a sem er ef til vill merkilegast essu samhengi, er a etta litla samflaga Eistlendinga sem var hr Toronto skuli hafa gefi t bk Gunnars. bjuggu hr borginni lklega einhvers staar milli 12 og 15.000 Eistlendingar, annig a markaurinn hefur ekki veri str. Eitthva hefur hugsanlega veri selt til Bandarkjanna v ar bjuggu einhverjir tugir sunda af Eistlendingum.

En essi fyrsta kynsl Eistneskra innflytjenda, sem kom hreftirseinna str,lagi miki sig til a vihalda tungu sinni og menningu. A mrgu leyti er trlegt hva ekki strra samflag hefur komi verk.

N arf g a reyna a grafa upp hvort a einhverjar fleiri slenskar ttaar bkurhafi veri meal ess sem hr var gefi t.


Sigurvegarar og eir sem tpuu

egar kosningar eru afstanar upphefst gjarna umran um hverjir eru sigurvegarar og hverjir hafa tapa og snist gjarna sitt hverjum.

Hr eftir fer mn eigin tgfa v hverjir eru hvorum flokki.

Sigurvegarar:

Vinstri grn. a getur engin teki fr eim a eir eru sigurvegarar. Vissulega unnu au ekki eins miki og skoanakannanir gfu til kynna nokkrum vikum fyrir kjrdag, en rflega 5% og 4 ingmenn er ekki eitthva sem stjrnmlaflokkar grpa upp af gtunni.

Hinga til m ef til vill segja a au hafi tapa stjrnarmyndunarumrunni, eirra yfirlsingar og ummli hafa veri skrtnari kantinum og ekki til ess fallin a efla traust flokknum ea afla honum fylgis.

Sjlfstisflokkurinn. Tvimlalaust sigurvegari kosninganna. Bta vi sig um 3% og 3 ingmnnum. Vissulega minna en VG, og smuleiis rtt a etta er ekki "sgulegur" sigur hj Sjlfstisflokki, en ef 16 ra stjrnarsetu er btt jfnuna, kemur t a etta er feikilega gur rangur og gur persnulegur sigur fyrir Geir Haarde. orgerur Katrn vinnur smuleiis grarlegan og mikilvgan sigur snu kjrdmi. Flokkurinn ni smuleiis eim fanga a vera strstur llum kjrdmum.

egar a btist svo vi a flokkurinn hefur stjrna stjrnarmyndunarvirunum er sigur hans augljs.

Af rum sigurvegurum m nefna:

Valgeri Sverrisdttur. Eins og ljsgeisli myrkrinu fyrir Framsknarflokkinn. NorAustur skilar 3 ingmnnum, nstum helmingnum af ingflokki Framsknar. Eina kjrdmi ar sem Framsknarflokkurinn er yfir 20%, eina kjrdmi ar sem Framsknarflokkurinn nr v a vera annar strsti flokkurinn. Valgerur hltur a hafa grarlega sterka stu innan Framsknarflokksins.

Ellert Schram. vntasti ingmaurinn essum kosningum. Skutlast inn ing eftir langa fjarveru. Hans sigur er algerlega kostna Marar rnasonar, LruStefnsdtturog Rberts Marshall.

Kristinn H. Gunnarsson. Kemur enn vart og kemur inn ing fyrir rija stjrnmlaflokkinn.

eir sem halda horfinu.

Frjlslyndi flokkurinn. Hlt sj, hlt ingmannafjlda, formaurinn sterkur.

Siv Frileifsdttir. Slapp inn 11. Hlt horfinu, a hn s verulega "lsku", sr von um "upprisu" og hefur "lifa af" marga andstinga sna.

Guni gstsson. Stendur nokku keikur, en styrkurinn er horfinn. Lklega hans sasta kjrtmabil.

eir sem tpuu.

Framsknarflokkurinn. a getur enginn mti v mlt a Framsknarflokkurinn fkk hulega trei essum kosningum. Flokkur sem ekki fr ingmenn llum kjrdmum getur varla talist til "Fjrflokksins" og fasts plitsks skipulags landsins. Eins og hlftm blara sem marrar hnh en er ekki sprungin enn.

Samfylkingin. a er engin lei a segja anna en a stjrnarandstuflokkur sem tapar rflega 4% fylgi (eftir a hafa veri stjrnarandstu fr stofnun) hafi gert anna en a tapa.

Enn verra fyrir flokkinn er a tapi er hva mest ttblinu ar sem v sem nst allir forystumenn flokksins voru framboi, formaur, varaformaur og formaur ingflokksins. Samfylkingin er ekki 30% flokkur og ef etta er breifylking jafnaarmanna sem a vera buraafl slenskum stjrnmlum, er a ekki beysi.

a er hlf grtbroslegt og strir salti sr Samfylkingarinnar, egar maur sr forystumenn hennar vera a telja sr tr um a etta s frbr rangur og "nst besti rangur vinstri flokks", v a er eins og eir gleymi v a Samfylkingin er samruni fjgurra flokka, Aluflokks, Alubandalags, Kvennalista og jvaka.

egar menn tala um eins og a s elilegt a VG s arftaki Alubandalagsins og fylgis ess, gera menn lti r flki eins og Margrti Frmannsdttur, Jhanni rslssyni og fleirum sem komu langt fr fylgislaus til lis vi Samfylkinguna. Ennfremur m lklega minna menn eins og Bjrgvin G. Sigursson, Rbert Marshall og ssur Skarphinsson sem eiga rtur Alubandalaginu og svo er lklega um marga fleiri. Ekki er heldur sta til a gera lti r fylgi Kvennalista og jvaka.

Ef menn vilja telja sr tr um a Samfylkingin hafi "sigra kosningabarttuna" og skoanakannanir, hltur a sama a gilda um Framsknarflokkinn. Hann var kominn niur um 4% egar verst lt, en enda tpum 12.

En a sj allir a a er franlegur mlflutningur.

slandshreyfingin. Ltill sem enginn rangur af framboinu og egar vi btist leiinda vl eftir a rslit voru ljs, er "lserstimpillinn" enn meira berandi.

Bjrn Bjarnason og rni Johnsen. egar um ea yfir 20% af kjsendum sj stu til a strika frambjenda t af kjrselinum, hafa menn bei hnekki og sigur. A mnu mati arf ekki a rkstyja a neitt frekar.


Vonbrigi Malasu

g get ekki neita v a g var bjartsnn fyrir hnd okkar Ferrariadenda fyrir kappaksturinn Malasu, en hvlk vonbrigi.

Fr fyrstu mntu glutruum Massa og Raikkonen essu niur, Massa geri slk mistk a a var me eindmum, en a verur a horfa fram vi.

a eina sem gladdi auga essum kappakstri var fantagur akstur Hamilton, raunar me eindmum hva hann ekur vel, rtt eins og hann s a keyra sinn 50 kappakstur en ekki 2.


A ekkja vinstri fr hgri, ea snst allt i hringi?

g fkk senda tlvupsti dag tengingu dlk Breska blainu Guardian. Dlkur essi er tdrttur r bk eftir blaamanninn Nick Cohen, sem er vst vntanleg snemma febrar.

a er nokku langt san g hef lesi eitthva sem g er meira sammla ea hefur fengi mig til a ba tkomu bkar, g held a essa bk veri g a lesa. a sem lesa m tdrttinum er feykilega vel skrifa og hittir vel mark, a minnsta a mnu mati.

a er fjalla nokku um "pltska rtthugsun" og san er raksstri ungamijunni. Afstaa vinstri manna til barttunnar rak hefur valdi hfundi miklum heilabrotum og skilar hann eim fr sr a einkar skran og agengilegan htt. Hvernig Cohen gerir skran greinarmun stuningi vi vi stri rak, og stuningi vi vi uppbyggingu landinu eftir str, ea stuningi vi "uppreisnarmenn" rak er lka vel ess viri a gefa gaum a. En best er a lesa trttinn r bkinni og mynda sr snar eigin skoanir.

En grpum aeins niur tdrttinum:

"In the early Seventies, my mother searched the supermarkets for politically reputable citrus fruit. She couldn't buy Seville oranges without indirectly subsidising General Francisco Franco, Spain's fascist dictator. Algarve oranges were no good either, because the slightly less gruesome but equally right-wing dictatorship of Antonio Salazar ruled Portugal. She boycotted the piles of Outspan from South Africa as a protest against apartheid, and although neither America nor Israel was a dictatorship, she wouldn't have Florida or Jaffa oranges in the house because she had no time for then President Richard Nixon or the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

My sisters and I did not know it, but when Franco fell ill in 1975, we were in a race to the death. Either he died of Parkinson's disease or we died of scurvy. Luckily for us and the peoples of Spain, the dictator went first, although he took an unconscionably long time about it.

Thirty years later, I picked up my mother from my sister Natalie's house. Her children were watching a Disney film; The Jungle Book, I think.

'It's funny, Mum,' I said as we drove home, 'but I don't remember seeing any Disney when I was their age.'

'You've only just noticed? We didn't let you watch rubbish from Hollywood corporations.'

'Ah.'

'We didn't buy you the Beano either.'

'For God's sake, Mum, what on earth was wrong with the Beano?'

'It was printed by DC Thomson, a non-union firm.'

'Right,' I said.

I was about to mock her but remembered that I had not allowed my son to watch television, even though he was nearly three at the time. I will let him read Beano when he is older - I spoil him, I know - but if its cartoonists were to down their crayons and demand fraternal support, I would probably make him join the picket line.

I come from a land where you can sell out by buying a comic. I come from the left.

I'm not complaining, I had a very happy childhood. Conservatives would call my parents 'politically correct', but there was nothing sour or pinched about our home, and there is a lot to be said for growing up in a household in which everyday decisions about what to buy and what to reject have a moral quality."

"Looking back, I can see that I got that comforting belief from my parents, but it was reinforced by the experience of living through the Thatcher administration, which appeared to reaffirm the left's monopoly of goodness. The embrace first of monetarism and then of the European exchange-rate mechanism produced two recessions, which Conservatives viewed with apparent composure because the lives wrecked by mass unemployment and business failure had the beneficial side-effect of destroying trade-union power. Even when the left of the Eighties was clearly in the wrong - as it was over unilateral nuclear disarmament - it was still good. It may have been dunderheaded to believe that dictators would abandon their weapons systems if Britain abandoned hers, but it wasn't wicked.

Yet for all the loathing of Conservatives I felt, I didn't have to look at modern history to know that it was a fallacy to believe in the superior virtue of the left: my family told me that. My parents joined the Communist Party, but left it in their twenties. My father encouraged me to read Alexander Solzhenitsyn's exposs of the Soviet Union and argue about them at the dinner table. He knew how bad the left could get, but this knowledge did not stop him from remaining very left-wing. He would never have entertained the notion that communism was as bad as fascism. In this, he was typical. Anti-communism was never accepted as the moral equivalent of anti-fascism, not only by my parents but also by the overwhelming majority of liberal-minded people. The left was still morally superior. Even when millions were murdered and tens of millions were enslaved and humiliated, the 'root cause' of crimes beyond the human imagination was the perversion of noble socialist ideals."

"There were many moments in the Thirties when fascists and communists co-operated - the German communists concentrated on attacking the Weimar Republic's democrats and gave Hitler a free run, and Stalin's Soviet Union astonished the world by signing a pact with Nazi Germany in 1939. But after Hitler broke the terms of the alliance in the most spectacular fashion by invading the Soviet Union in 1941, you could rely on nearly all of the left - from nice liberals through to the most compromised Marxists - to oppose the tyrannies of the far right. Consistent anti-fascism added enormously to the left's prestige in the second half of the 20th century. A halo of moral superiority hovered over it because if there was a campaign against racism, religious fanaticism or neo-Nazism, the odds were that its leaders would be men and women of the left. For all the atrocities and follies committed in its name, the left possessed this virtue: it would stand firm against fascism. After the Iraq war, I don't believe that a fair-minded outsider could say it does that any more."

"It is hard to believe now, but Conservative MPs and the Foreign Office apologised for Saddam in those days. Tories excused Farzad's execution with the straight lie that he was an Iranian spy - and one reptilian Thatcherite declared that he 'deserved to be hanged'.

By contrast, Saddam Hussein appalled the liberal left. At leftish meetings in the late Eighties, I heard that Iraq encapsulated all the loathsome hypocrisy of the supposedly 'democratic' West. Here was a blighted land ruled by a terrible regime that followed the example of the European dictatorships of the Thirties. And what did the supposed champions of democracy and human rights in Western governments do? Supported Saddam, that's what they did; sold him arms and covered up his crimes. Fiery socialist MPs denounced Baathism, while playwrights and poets stained the pages of the liberal press with their tears for his victims. Many quoted the words of a brave Iraqi exile called Kanan Makiya. He became a hero of the left because he broke through the previously impenetrable secrecy that covered totalitarian Iraq and described in awful detail how an entire population was compelled to inform on their family and friends or face the consequences. All decent people who wanted to convict the West of subscribing to murderous double standards could justifi ably use his work as evidence for the prosecution.

The apparently sincere commitment to help Iraqis vanished the moment Saddam invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and became America's enemy. At the time, I didn't think about where the left was going. I could denounce the hypocrisy of a West which made excuses for Saddam one minute and called him a 'new Hitler' the next, but I didn't dwell on the equal and opposite hypocrisy of a left which called Saddam a 'new Hitler' one minute and excused him the next. All liberals and leftists remained good people in my mind. Asking hard questions about any of them risked giving aid and comfort to the Conservative enemy and disturbing my own certainties. I would have gone on anti-war demonstrations when the fighting began in 1991, but the sight of Arabs walking around London with badges saying 'Free Kuwait' stopped me. When they asked why it was right to allow Saddam to keep Kuwaitis as his subjects, a part of me conceded that they had a point."

"I got to know members of the Iraqi opposition in London, particularly Iraqi Kurds, whose compatriots were the targets of one of the last genocides of the 20th century. They were democratic socialists whose liberal mindedness extended to opposing the death penalty, even for Saddam Hussein. Obviously, they didn't represent the majority of Iraqi opinion. Equally obviously, they shared the same beliefs as the overwhelming majority of the rich world's liberals and leftists, and deserved our support as they struggled against fascism. Not the authoritarianism of a tinpot dictator, but real fascism: a messianic one-party state; a Great Leader, whose statue was in every town centre and picture on every news bulletin; armies that swept out in unprovoked wars of foreign aggrandisement; and secret policemen who organised the gassing of 'impure' races. The Iraqi leftists were our 'comrades', to use a word that was by then so out of fashion it was archaic.

When the second war against Saddam Hussein came in 2003, they told me there was no other way to remove him. Kanan Makiya was on their side. He was saying the same things about the crimes against humanity of the Baath party he had said 20 years before, but although his arguments had barely changed, the political world around him was unrecognisable. American neoconservatives were his champions now, while the left that had once cheered him denounced him as a traitor.

Everyone I respected in public life was wildly anti-war, and I was struck by how their concern about Iraq didn't extend to the common courtesy of talking to Iraqis. They seemed to have airbrushed from their memories all they had once known about Iraq and every principle of mutual respect they had once upheld.

I supposed their furious indifference was reasonable. They had many good arguments that I would have agreed with in other circumstances. I assumed that once the war was over they would back Iraqis trying to build a democracy, while continuing to pursue Bush and Blair to their graves for what they had done. I waited for a majority of the liberal left to off er qualified support for a new Iraq, and I kept on waiting, because it never happened - not just in Britain, but also in the United States, in Europe, in India, in South America, in South Africa ... in every part of the world where there was a recognisable liberal left. They didn't think again when thousands of Iraqis were slaughtered by 'insurgents' from the Baath party, which wanted to re-establish the dictatorship, and from al-Qaeda, which wanted a godly global empire to repress the rights of democrats, the independent-minded, women and homosexuals. They didn't think again when Iraqis defi ed the death threats and went to vote on new constitutions and governments. Eventually, I grew tired of waiting for a change that was never going to come and resolved to find out what had happened to a left whose benevolence I had taken for granted."

"Why is it that apologies for a militant Islam which stands for everything the liberal left is against come from the liberal left? Why will students hear a leftish postmodern theorist defend the exploitation of women in traditional cultures but not a crusty conservative don? After the American and British wars in Bosnia and Kosovo against Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansers, why were men and women of the left denying the existence of Serb concentration camps? As important, why did a European Union that daily announces its commitment to the liberal principles of human rights and international law do nothing as crimes against humanity took place just over its borders? Why is Palestine a cause for the liberal left, but not China, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Congo or North Korea? Why, even in the case of Palestine, can't those who say they support the Palestinian cause tell you what type of Palestine they would like to see? After the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington why were you as likely to read that a sinister conspiracy of Jews controlled American or British foreign policy in a superior literary journal as in a neo-Nazi hate sheet? And why after the 7/7 attacks on London did leftish rather than right-wing newspapers run pieces excusing suicide bombers who were inspired by a psychopathic theology from the ultra-right?

In short, why is the world upside down? In the past conservatives made excuses for fascism because they mistakenly saw it as a continuation of their democratic rightwing ideas. Now, overwhelmingly and every where, liberals and leftists are far more likely than conservatives to excuse fascistic governments and movements, with the exception of their native far-right parties. As long as local racists are white, they have no difficulty in opposing them in a manner that would have been recognisable to the traditional left. But give them a foreign far-right movement that is anti-Western and they treat it as at best a distraction and at worst an ally.

A part of the answer is that it isn't at all clear what it means to be on the left at the moment. I doubt if anyone can tell you what a society significantly more left wing than ours would look like and how its economy and government would work (let alone whether a majority of their fellow citizens would want to live there). Socialism, which provided the definition of what it meant to be on the left from the 1880s to the 1980s, is gone. Disgraced by the communists' atrocities and floored by the success of market-based economies, it no longer exists as a coherent programme for government. Even the modest and humane social democratic systems of Europe are under strain and look dreadfully vulnerable.

It is not novel to say that socialism is dead. My argument is that its failure has brought a dark liberation to people who consider themselves to be on the liberal left. It has freed them to go along with any movement however far to the right it may be, as long as it is against the status quo in general and, specifically, America."

"On 15 February 2003 , about a million liberal-minded people marched through London to oppose the overthrow of a fascist regime. It was the biggest protest in British history, but it was dwarfed by the march to oppose the overthrow of a fascist regime in Mussolini's old capital of Rome, where about three million Italians joined what the Guinness Book of Records said was the largest anti-war rally ever. In Madrid, about 650,000 marched to oppose the overthrow of a fascist regime in the biggest demonstration in Spain since the death of General Franco in 1975. In Berlin, the call to oppose the overthrow of a fascist regime brought demonstrators from 300 German towns and cities, some of them old enough to remember when Adolf Hitler ruled from the Reich Chancellery. In Greece, where the previous generation had overthrown a military junta, the police had to fire tear gas at leftists who were so angry at the prospect of a fascist regime being overthrown that they armed themselves with petrol bombs. "

"Saddam Hussein was delighted, and ordered Iraqi television to show the global day of action to its captive audience. The slogan the British marchers carried, 'No war - Freedom for Palestine', might have been written by his foreign ministry. He instructed the citizens of hdad to march and demand that he remain in power. Several thousand went through the streets carrying Kalashnikovs and posters of the Great Leader.

No one knows how many people demonstrated. The BBC estimated between six and 10 million, and anti-war activists tripled that, but no one doubted that these were history's largest co-ordinated demonstrations and that millions, maybe tens of millions, had marched to keep a fascist regime in power.

Afterwards, nothing drove the protesters wilder than sceptics telling them that if they had got what they wanted, they would, in fact, have kept a fascist regime in power. They were good people on the whole, who hadn't thought about the Baath Party. Euan Ferguson, of The Observer, watched the London demonstrators and saw a side of Britain march by that wasn't all bad:

'There were, of course, the usual suspects - the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Socialist Workers' Party, the anarchists. But even they looked shocked at the number of their fellow marchers: it is safe to say they had never experienced such a mass of humanity. There were nuns, toddlers, barristers, the Eton George Orwell Society. Archaeologists Against War. Walthamstow Catholic Church, the Swaffham Women's Choir and "Notts County Supporters Say Make Love Not War (And a Home Win against Bristol would be Nice)". One group of SWP stalwarts were joined, for the first march in any of their histories, by their mothers. There were country folk and lecturers, dentists and poulterers, a hairdresser from Cardiff and a poet from Cheltenham. I called a friend at two o'clock, who was still making her ponderous way along the Embankment - "It's not a march yet, more of a record shuffle" - and she expressed delight at her first protest. "You wouldn't believe it; there are girls here with good nails and really nice bags."'

Alongside the girls with good nails were thoughtful marchers who had supported the interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan but were aghast at the recklessness of the Iraq adventure. A few recognised that they were making a hideous choice. The South American playwright Ariel Dorfman, who had experienced state terror in General Pinochet's Chile, published a letter to an 'unknown Iraqi' and asked, 'What right does anyone have to deny you and your fellow Iraqis that liberation from tyranny? What right do we have to oppose the war the United States is preparing to wage on your country, if it could indeed result in the ousting of Saddam Hussein?'"

"In fairness to all of those who didn't want to think about the 'occasional genocide' or ask heaven's forgiveness for recommending that the Baath party be left in power, they were right in several respects. The protesters were right to feel that Bush and Blair were manipulating them into war. They weren't necessarily lying, in the lawyerly sense that they were deliberately making up the case for war - nothing that came out in the years afterwards showed that they knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and thought, 'What the hell, we'll pretend he does.'

But they were manipulating the evidence. The post-mortem inquiries in America convicted the US administration of 'collective group think': a self-reinforcing delusion in the White House that shut out contrary information and awkward voices. Lord Butler 's inquiry in Britain showed the Prime Minister turned statements that the Joint Intelligence Committee had hedged with caveats into defi nite warnings of an imminent threat. Before the then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook resigned in protest against the war, he pointed out to Blair that several details in his case that Saddam had chemical weapons couldn't possibly be true. Cook told his special adviser David Mathieson after the meeting that Blair did not know about the detail and didn't seem to want to know either.

'A half truth is a whole lie,' runs the Yiddish proverb, and if democratic leaders are going to take their countries to war, they must be able to level with themselves as well as their electorates. If Blair had levelled with the British people, he would have said that he couldn't be sure if Saddam was armed, and even if he was there was no imminent danger; but here was a chance to remove a disgusting regime and combat the growth in terror by building democracy, and he was going to take it. Instead, he spun and talked about chemical weapons ready to be fired in 45 minutes. If the Labour party had forced Blair to resign, there would have been a rough justice in his political execution.

The war was over soon enough, but the aftermath was a disaster. Generals, diplomats and politicians covered their own backs and stabbed the backs of their colleagues as they piled blame on each other, but for the rest of the world pictures released in 2004 of American guards with pornographic smirks on their faces standing beside the tortured and sexually abused bodies of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison encapsulated their disgust. To those who knew that the Baathists had tens of thousands of people tortured and murdered at Abu Ghraib, the pictures were evidence of sacrilege. It was as if American guards had decided to gas a prisoner in Auschwitz, while their superiors turned a blind eye.

Just as dozens of generals, politicians and diplomats shifted the blame, so journalists and academics produced dozens of books on the troubles of the occupation of Iraq. One point demanded far more attention than it got. Hard-headed and principled Iraqis, who knew all about the ghastly history of their country, failed to understand the appeal of fascism. The y worried about coping with the consequences of totalitarianism when the Baath party was overthrown. They talked about how many people you could reasonably put on trial in a country where the regime had made hundreds of thousands complicit in its crimes against humanity, and wondered about truth and reconciliation commissions and amnesties. They expected the invaders to be met with 'sweets and flowers' and assumed Baathism was dead as a dynamic force. They didn't count on its continuing appeal to the Sunni minority, all too aware that democracy would strip them of their status as Iraq's 'whites'. They didn't wonder what else the servants of the Baath could do if they didn't take up arms: wait around for war crimes trials or revenge from the kin of their victims? Nor did they expect to see Islamist suicide bombers pour into Iraq. Despite vocal assurances from virtually every expert who went on the BBC that such a pact was impossible, Baathists and Islamists formed an alliance against the common enemy of democracy."

"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, wasn't against elections because he was worried they would be rigged or because he couldn't tolerate American involvement in the political process; he was against democracy in all circumstances. It was 'an evil principle', he said, as he declared a 'fierce war' against all those 'apostates' and 'infidels' who wanted to vote in free elections and the 'demi-idols' who wanted to be elected. Democracy was a 'heresy itself', because it allowed men and women to challenge the laws of God with laws made by parliaments. It was based on 'freedom of religion and belief' and 'freedom of speech' and on 'separation of religion and politics'.

He did not mean it as a compliment. His strategy was to terrorise Iraq's Shia majority. To Sunni Islamists they were heretics, or as Zarqawi put it in his charac teristic language, 'the insurmountable obstacle, the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom'. Suicide bombers were to murder them until they turned on the Sunni minority. He explained: 'I mean that targeting and hitting them in [their] religious, political, and military depth will provoke them to show the Sunnis their rabies and bare the teeth of the hidden rancour working in their breasts. If we succeed in dragging them into the arena of sectarian war, it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger and annihilating death.'

Journalists wondered whether the Americans were puffi ng up Zarqawi's role in the violence - as a foreigner he was a convenient enemy - but they couldn't deny the ferocity of the terror. Like Stalin, Pol Pot and Slobodan Milosevic, they went for the professors and technicians who could make a democratic Iraq work. They murdered Sergio Vieira de Mello, one of the United Nations's bravest officials, and his colleagues; Red Cross workers, politicians, journalists and thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who happened to be in the wrong church or Shia mosque.

How hard was it for opponents of the war to be against that? Unbelievably hard, it turned out. The anti-war movement disgraced itself not because it was against the war in Iraq, but because it could not oppose the counter-revolution once the war was over. A principled left that still had life in it and a liberalism that meant what it said might have remained ferociously critical of the American and British governments while offering support to Iraqis who wanted the freedoms they enjoyed."

"When a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein came, the liberals had two choices. The first was to oppose the war, remain hypercritical of aspects of the Bush administration's policy, but support Iraqis as they struggled to establish a democracy.

The policy of not leaving Iraqis stranded was so clearly the only moral option, it never occurred to me that there could be another choice. I did have an eminent liberal specialist on foreign policy tell me that 'we're just going to have to forget about Saddam's victims', but I thought he was shooting his mouth off in the heat of the moment. From the point of view of the liberals, the only grounds they would have had to concede if they had stuck by their principles in Iraq would have been an acknowledgement that the war had a degree of legitimacy. They would still have been able to say it was catastrophically mismanaged, a provocation to al-Qaeda and all the rest of it. They would still have been able to condemn atrocities by American troops, Guantanamo Bay, and Bush's pushing of the boundaries on torture. They might usefully have linked up with like-minded Iraqis, who wanted international support to fight against the American insistence on privatisation of industries, for instance. All they would have had to accept was that the attempt to build a better Iraq was worthwhile and one to which they could and should make a positive commitment.

A small price to pay; a price all their liberal principles insisted they had a duty to pay. Or so it seemed.

The second choice for the liberals was to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. To look at the Iraqi civilians and the British and American troops who were dying in a war whose central premise had proved to be false, and to go berserk; to allow justifi able anger to propel them into 'binges of posturing and ultra-radicalism' as the Sixties liberals had done when they went off the rails. As one critic characterised the position, they would have to pretend that 'the United States was the problem and Iraq was its problem'. They would have to maintain that the war was not an attempt to break the power of tyranny in a benighted region, but the bloody result of a 'financially driven mania to control Middle Eastern oil, and the faith-driven crusade to batter the crescent with the cross'.

They chose to go berserk."

1. hluti greinarinnar er hr og 2. hlutinn hr.

Allar feitletranir eru blogghfundar.


Frank og Ji

a muna eflaust einhverjir eftir v a hafa lesi barna ea unglingsrum bkurnar um Frank og Ja Hardy. Alla vegna gleypti g r mig bkasafninu gamla daga, og hafi gaman af.

En g vissi ekki fyrr en g s a vef Globe and Mail, a hfundurinn var Kanadskur, skrifai undir dulnefni og tk skrifin Frank og Ja bkunum a sr gegn fastri greislu, u..b. 100 dollara bk (sem var svo sem okkaleg upph ). Hann fkk v engan skerf af eim aufum sem bkurnar skpuu, en r voru ddar yfir 50 tunguml og prentaar milljnum eintaka.

Hr eru nokkrar klausur r greininni:

"The personal archive of Canadian author Leslie McFarlane -- much better known as Franklin W. Dixon, the pseudonym affixed to the best-selling mystery series, the Hardy Boys -- has been given by his heirs to Hamilton's McMaster University.

The material, valued at about $150,000, includes boxes of correspondence and daily diaries that McFarlane kept between 1929 and the early 1950s.

McMaster archivist Carl Spadoni, who negotiated the donation, says the archive will be added to material that McFarlane gave to the university in 1976. The total now occupies some 12 feet of shelf space in the library.

Calling it "wonderful stuff," Spadoni says the diaries reveal McFarlane's "daily struggle to earn a living during the Depression, wondering when the next cheque would come from his agent.""

"Under the pen name Roy Rockwood, McFarlane subsequently produced seven novels in the syndicate's Dave Fearless series, then moved on to write more than 20 Hardy Boys novels.

For most of these, he was paid a flat fee of $100 per book and, although the novels sold many millions of copies and were translated into 50 languages, he earned no royalties. A well-preserved first edition is now worth about $1,500.

At the time, according to his son, Brian, himself the author of some 65 books, he regarded the Hardy Boys assignments as something of a nuisance, having no awareness of their growing popularity.

"In his diaries," Brian McFarlane said in an interview last week, "my father talks about having to write another of those cursed books, in order to earn another $100 to buy coal for the furnace. And he never read them over afterward. It was only much later that he accepted plaudits for the work."

"The major focus was money," concurs Spadoni. "He's a freelancer and he's churning the stuff out. The Hardy Boys recedes in the background. He wasn't in denial. He just didn't think it was important."

"They'd give him an outline," recalls his daughter, Norah McFarlane Perez, also a writer of short stories and novels. "But to make it palatable, he'd come up with different characters and add colour and use large words, and inject his wonderful sense of humour. And then he'd finish and say, 'I will never write another juvenile book.' But then the bills would pile up and he'd start another.""

"Even a small percentage of the royalties would have made McFarlane wealthy. "It's kind of sad," says Brian McFarlane. "We never owned a car. The house was rented and a little chilly. But we never thought we were poor -- we sure had a good upbringing."

It was only a year before his death, with publication of his 1976 autobiography, The Ghost of the Hardy Boys, that McFarlane announced his role in their creation. The Stratemeyer Syndicate had insisted that their ghostwriters never reveal authorship."

Greinina heild m finna hr.


Nokkrar bkur sem myndu gera a gott jlabkaflinu, ef r aeins kmu t

Hr eru titlar a nokkrum bkum sem g held a myndu gera sig vel jlabkaflinu, ef r kmu anna bor t. En a eru lklega ekki miklar lkur v.

Nokkur g r n Ingibjargar
ssur Skarpshinsson rifjar upp r sn sem formaur Samfylkingarinnar sinn hispurslausa htt.

Einn bti grasrtinni
Kristinn H. Gunnarsson segir fr rum snum Framsknarflokknum

Vinstribylgjan
N pltsk skldsaga eftir Sigmund Erni Rnarsson

Alla btana
Ritgerasafn eftir frjlslynda slenska stjrnmlamenn um innflytjendavandann

Oft er holti heyrandi nr
Ntt safn jsagna og vintra, Jn Baldvin og rni Pll tku saman.

Frelsi, jafnrtti og systkinalegur krleikur
Stikla stru sgu kvenfrelsis og mtur tknmynda og ora karlrembusamflagsins brotnar til mergju. Srstakur gaumur er gefinn umferarljsum og rum karllgum kgunartkjum.

Tkni og mistk tengd henni
N sjlfshjlparbk eftir rna Jo.

g er drekinn, kri Jn
Lngu tmabr bk sem tekur eim tilfinningu sem eir upplifa sem missa starf sitt af vldum Jns. Hfundarnir Margrt Sverris og Rbert Emm. segja fr upplifunum snum og gefa g r.


mbl.is Konungsbk enn sluhst
Tilkynna um vieigandi tengingu vi frtt

Glamr terroristar? - Ofbeldi leit a mlsta?

Vildi hr vekja athygli vitalti vi Salman Rushdie sem finna m vef Spiegel, ar er spjalla vtt og breitt, en mestan partinn er vitali um hryjuverk mslma, hver s undirrt eirra og ar fram eftir gtunum.

g hvet alla til a lesa vitali, eins og gengur geta menn veri sammla, ea sammla einstkum atrium, en a er llum hollt sem hafa huga heimsmlunum a lesa skoanir og vihorf manns sem var dmdur til daua fyrir ritverk sn.

En grpum niur vitali:

"SPIEGEL: While researching your books -- and especially now after the recent near miss in London -- you must be asking yourself: What makes apparently normal young men decide to blow themselves up?

Rushdie: There are many reasons, and many different reasons, for the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism. In Kashmir, some people are joining the so-called resistance movements because they give them warm clothes and a meal. In London, last year's attacks were still carried out by young Muslim men whose integration into society appeared to have failed. But now we are dealing with would-be terrorists from the middle of society. Young Muslims who have even enjoyed many aspects of the freedom that Western society offers them. It seems as though social discrimination no longer plays any role -- it's as though anyone could turn into a terrorist."

"Rushdie: I'm no friend of Tony Blair's and I consider the Middle East policies of the United States and the UK fatal. There are always reasons for criticism, also for outrage. But there's one thing we must all be clear about: terrorism is not the pursuit of legitimate goals by some sort of illegitimate means. Whatever the murderers may be trying to achieve, creating a better world certainly isn't one of their goals. Instead they are out to murder innocent people. If the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, for example, were to be miraculously solved from one day to the next, I believe we wouldn't see any fewer attacks."

"Rushdie: Lenin once described terrorism as bourgeois adventurism. I think there, for once, he got things right: That's exactly it. One must not negate the basic tenet of all morality -- that individuals are themselves responsible for their actions. And the triggers seem to be individual too. Upbringing certainly plays a major role there, imparting a misconceived sense of mission which pushes people towards "actions." Added to that there is a herd mentality once you have become integrated in a group and everyone continues to drive everyone else on and on into a forced situation. There's the type of person who believes his action will make mankind listen to him and turn him into a historic figure. Then there's the type who simply feels attracted to violence. And yes, I think glamour plays a role too."

"Rushdie: Yes. Terror is glamour -- not only, but also. I am firmly convinced that there's something like a fascination with death among suicide bombers. Many are influenced by the misdirected image of a kind of magic that is inherent in these insane acts. The suicide bomber's imagination leads him to believe in a brilliant act of heroism, when in fact he is simply blowing himself up pointlessly and taking other peoples lives. There's one thing you mustn't forget here: the victims terrorized by radical Muslims are mostly other Muslims."

"Rushdie: ... and there are others like al-Qaida which have taken up the cause of destroying the West and our entire way of life. This form of terrorism wraps itself up in the wrongs of this world in order to conceal its true motives -- an attack on everything that ought to be sacred to us. It is not possible to discuss things with Osama bin Laden and his successors. You cannot conclude a peace treaty with them. They have to be fought with every available means."

"Rushdie: Fundamentalists of all faiths are the fundamental evil of our time. Almost all my friends are atheists -- I don't feel as though I'm an exception. If you take a look at history, you will find that the understanding of what is good and evil has always existed before the individual religions. The religions were only invented by people afterwards, in order to express this idea. I for one don't need a supreme "sacred" arbiter in order to be a moral being."

"Rushdie: Oh yes. Over the past few years I've been the president of PEN in New York, the chairman of the American writers' association. Again and again, we've had to deal with these far-reaching attacks on civil liberties. And most complaints have been justified, because it wasn't even apparent in what way arrests and surveillance operations were connected with anti-terrorism. And I know what I'm talking about: From my own history of being threatened, I have indeed developed a sympathy for intelligence activities, my protectors enjoy my greatest respect.

SPIEGEL: So are Bush and Blair going too far?

Rushdie: This is the problem with politicians who by nature tend towards being authoritarian: When they are given the chance, they go too far. We have to watch out there. I find it deeply depressing that the Anglo-American politics and Arab politics are currently corroborating each other -- that is: their worst prejudices. Take a look at Iraq, at Lebanon. There is no just side in either conflict. But at the same time we need moral clarity, something I have often missed recently in many liberally minded people -- and I myself am liberal. We need clarity about what is right and wrong, the willingness to defend our values with clear words and to actually call the guilty persons guilty."

"Rushdie: I've always been strictly against blasphemy laws, which are supposed to protect religions against alleged defamation. It's perfectly all right for Muslims to enjoy religious freedom like everyone else in a free society. It's perfectly all right for them to protest against discrimination, whenever and wherever they are faced with it. And undoubtedly there are often reflexive reactions in the West, which lead to premature, anti-Islamic suspicions. What is not at all in order, on the other hand, is for Islamic leaders in our countries to demand that their faith be protected against criticism, disrespect, ridicule and disparagement. Even malicious criticism, even insulting caricatures -- these are part of our freedom of speech, of pluralism, of our basic values, which they have got to bow down to if they want to live with us."

Gott vital sem finna m hr. Allar feitletranir eru gerar af hfundi essa blogs.

P.S. bti hr vi hlekk grein sem birtist nlega vef Times, en ar er einnig fjalla um ntma hryjuverk.


egar hmor er httulegur heilsunni

Hmor er til margra hluta nytsamlegur, og oft grpur flk til hmorsins egar astaan er erfi, hann lttir lundina og gerir flki kleyft a tj skoanir snar og andstu, gjarna undir rs. Engar kringumstur eru a erfiar a sumir sji ekki skoplegu hliina og er a vel.

g rakst grein vef Spiegel um hmor "rija rkinu", en ar er fjalla um bk sem er vst vntanleg haust og tekur essi tti jlfsins skalandi valdadgum nazista. Undir lokin gat brandi kosta ann sem flutti lfi, en samt stoppai a ekki alla fr v a vihalda skopskyninu. Grpum aeins niur greininni:

"But by the end of the war, a joke could get you killed. A Berlin munitions worker, identified only as Marianne Elise K., was convicted of undermining the war effort "through spiteful remarks" and executed in 1944 for telling this one:

Hitler and Gring are standing on top of Berlin's radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. "Why don't you just jump?" suggests Gring.

A fellow worker overheard her telling the joke and reported her to the authorities."

"Such jokes were harmless to the Nazis and didn't reflect opposition to them, says Herzog. He contrasts it with the desperate gallows humor of Germany's Jews as the noose tightened during the 1930s and in the war years:

"Two Jews are about to be shot. Suddenly the order comes to hang them instead. One says to the other "You see, they're running out of bullets."

Such jokes told by Jews were a form of mutual encouragement, an expression of the will to survive. "Even the blackest Jewish humor expresses a defiant will, as if the joke teller wanted to say: I'm laughing, so I'm still alive," says Herzog."

"This joke about Dachau concentration camp, opened in 1933, shows people knew early on they could be imprisoned on a whim for expressing an opinion:

Two men meet. "Nice to see you're free again. How was the concentration camp?"
"Great! Breakfast in bed, a choice of coffee or chocolate, and for lunch we got soup, meat and dessert. And we played games in the afternoon before getting coffee and cakes. Then a little snooze and we watched movies after dinner."
The man was astonished: "That's great! I recently spoke to Meyer, who was also locked up there. He told me a different story."
The other man nods gravely and says: "Yes, well that's why they've picked him up again.""

"As it became clear that Germany was losing the war and Allied bombing started wiping out German cities, the country turned to bitter sarcasm:

"What will you do after the war?"
"I'll finally go on a holiday and will take a trip round Greater Germany!"
"And what will you do in the afternoon?"

But telling such jokes was dangerous. "Defeatism" became an offense punishable by death and a joke could get you executed. "With the defeat at Stalingrad and the first waves of the bombing campaigns against German cities, political humor turned into gallows humor, silliness gave way to plain sarcasm," says Herzog.

Humor hasn't fully recovered in Germany. "Jewish humor is famous for its sharpness and biting character and we miss that here today along with a whole range of aspects of Jewish culture," said Herzog."

Greinina m finna hr.

Hmor var ekki sur mikilvgur fyrir sem urftu a ba undir gnarstjrn kommnismans, ar var lka refsa harlega fyrir skopskyni oft tum, en hmor brst alltaf fram.

essi brandari flokkast lklega undir klassk:

A man dies and goes to hell. There he discovers that he has a choice: he can go to capitalist hell or to communist hell. Naturally, he wants to compare the two, so he goes over to capitalist hell. There outside the door is the devil, who looks a bit like Ronald Reagan. "What's it like in there?" asks the visitor. "Well," the devil replies, "in capitalist hell, they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

"That's terrible!" he gasps. "I'm going to check out communist hell!" He goes over to communist hell, where he discovers a huge queue of people waiting to get in. He waits in line. Eventually he gets to the front and there at the door to communist hell is a little old man who looks a bit like Karl Marx. "I'm still in the free world, Karl," he says, "and before I come in, I want to know what it's like in there."

"In communist hell," says Marx impatiently, "they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil, and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

"But but that's the same as capitalist hell!" protests the visitor, "Why such a long queue?"

"Well," sighs Marx, "Sometimes we're out of oil, sometimes we don't have knives, sometimes no hot water"

Ea essi:Kruschev was busy denouncing Stalin at a public meeting when a voice shouted out ``If you feel this way now, why didn't you say so then?'' To which the Soviet leader thundered ``Who said that?'' There was a long and petrified silence which Kruschev finally broke. ``Now you know why.''


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