14 December 2006

Oliver Kamm: little man with large ego

I have just seen the interview on The Late Edition, and what surprised me most (I don't know why it surprised me really), apart from seeing just what a small man Kamm is (albeit with an enormous superiority complex), was his use of the classic myth of "we are a civilised state, Iran and North Korea are not," argument to justify Trident, and the UK's own breaking of the NPT. Like most of his opinion, this is contradicted by the historical record.

Kamm has either not read Mark Curtis' books Web of Deceit and Unpeople which document what such a 'civilised' state we really are or he just ignores them.

In fact Curtis could be pointing directly at Kamm when he writes "The history of British foreign policy is partly one of complicity in some of the world's worst horrors. If we were honest, we would see Britain's role in the world to a large extent as a story of crimes against humanity. Currently, contrary to the extraordinary rhetoric of New Labour leaders and other elites, policies are continuing on this traditional course, systemmatically making the world more abusive of human rights as well as more unequal and less secure" Mark Curts, Web of Deceit p. 432.

Not surprisingly, Kamm also resorts to inverted logic in his opinions, for example when he states his primary reasons for supporting Trident:

"Because nuclear armories will be around for at least the next 50 years, that is, the life span of the successor to Trident; the likely acquirers will be the worst of states, in the not so distant future Iran and North Korea; the costs of acquiring Trident are known; the costs of renouncing it are incalculable; it is a prudent thing to do"

Kamm apparently can't see, or more probably ignores:

1. That "as Britain, especially with the US, increases military spending, heightens 'power projection' capabilities, develops even more sophisticated weapons and ensures Western conventional miltary dominance", in order to impose on the world a fundamentalist economic ideology that promotes the increasing takeover of the global economy by big business, "these priorities breed increasing insecurity and further encourage others to acquire even more devastating weapons". Mark Curtis, Web of Deceipt

2. That as Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, openDemocracy’s International Security Editor and a consultant to the Oxford Research Group, explains:
"The determination of Britain's political elite to maintain the country as a nuclear-weapons state is rooted in a half-century of military planning to which the possibility of tactical and first use of nuclear weapons is central."

3. The policy itself sends a "clear signal" to other states who are "serious about pursuing an independent course of development": "if a country does not have these weapons, it may be threatened wth destruction and pulverised, as in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Iraq. Nuclear weapons could be seen as protection against this new phase of Western threats and interventionism masquerading as the 'war against terrorism'." Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit pp.432-433

The simple explanation is that this policy actually encourages the proliferation Kamm talks about.

Finally he states "it is a prudent thing to do".

Prudent? For someone who acclaims his own superior intellect, and calls others 'ignoramus', this is a remarkable word to use.

Prudent: "characterized by, arising from, or showing prudence"

"1 : the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2 : sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3 : skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4 : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk "

In fact, as is common with Kamm, he uses words which describe the opposite of reality.

Trident is ill-considered, ill-judged, and rash.

Media Lens Message Board

Re: Oliver Kamm: little man with large ego

Posted by The Editors on December 14, 2006, 6:27 pm, in reply to "Oliver Kamm: little man with large ego "User logged in as: Editor

: Trident is ill-considered, ill-judged, and : rash.

Actually, David, I think that's extremely generous. I think Trident is completely, 100%, insane. How else to describe a massively expensive response to a threat that doesn't exist which simultaneously increases the danger from threats that do exist (nuclear terrorism, etc)? It reminds me of the 'debate' in some circles on whether climate change is real - it wouldn't even be happening but for the influence of big money, big interests and big power.

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