Pyresome

In my last post I highlighted a phenomenon whereby some opponents of the Iraq war attempt to reduce the conflict to a force of nature – like a fire – in order to redirect moral blame away from those actually doing the killing. Today, in The Guardian’s Comments is Free, one Pankaj Mishra does precisely that.

Many [critics of totalitarian Islam] championed the misbegotten wars that have already killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims and ruined innumerable more lives.

In phrasing things this way, he avoids mentioning who – i.e. insurgent groups and, strangely enough, the representatives of totalitarian Islam – are actually slaughtering Muslims. Instead it’s simply an abstract concept – “wars” – that have killed them. And the wars were supported by the critics of Islam. It’s a trick – and it’s become tiresome. Keep an eye out for it.

Update: Ophelia Benson at Butterflies and Wheels deals with different guff in the same article.

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2 Responses to “Pyresome”


  1. 1 Edmund Standing February 24, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Sad to see a good blog stagnate.

    What happened?

  2. 2 Ed February 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Edmund,

    We have since returned to education and have precious little time for writing. We vaguely intend to pick it up again at some point, though, and your comment can only encourage us. Anyway, it’s sweet of you to mention it. We both enjoy your articles wherever we find them, so please stay in touch!

    Edward.


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