Humor Magazine

Kamm v. Oborne

By Davidduff

Well, well, well, here's a turn up for the book - and, yes, I'm in tired old cliché mode tonight, or at least, I'm tired after a day grass-cutting in the Churchyard and planting my bedding plants in my miniscule garden.  But, I have just stumbled across the best bit of news I have had in ages - I have found my old e-pal (well, perhaps 'pal' is tad familiar), Oliver Kamm.  He was one of the first bloggers I ever came across 'back in the day' and I took to him instantly, not that I agreed with everything he wrote but I learned rapidly, as I surveyed the remnants of his opponents littering 'Blogdom', to be exceedingly cautious before taking him on.  Back then he was just another 'something in the City' but before long he was taken on by my mate 'Rupe' and today he is a leader writer for The Times.  Alas, 'Rupe' ignored my advice and took The Times behind a pay wall and Oliver stopped his blog, and thus was one of the most fiery and intelligent voices in 'Blogdom' silenced - unless you wanted to make 'Rupe' even richer!

However, today I came across a piece at The Coffee House by Peter Oborne, perhaps the equal of Oliver in journalistic pugilism, counter-punching vigorously against two posts written by Oliver concerning a recent book by Oborne and a co-writer, David Morrison, called A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.  In it, Oborne and Morrison propose that Iran has absolutely no nuclear weapons and no intention of getting them.  In Oliver's first attack ( I cannot call it otherwise), he had not yet read the book itself but he took exception to Mr. Morrison whom he accused of being a Srebrinica-denier.  As I hinted above, you need to be very sure of your facts before you take on Oliver:

Srebrenica denial is, as I’ve argued here, the same class of “argument” as Holocaust denial. Except the lie is even more blatant. We know how many victims perished because the bodies have been found. Scientists have recovered the remains of more than 7,000 victims and used DNA analysis to identify 6,838 of them. I’ve noted here the heroic work of the International Commission on Missing Persons, which can thereby reliably estimate the number of victims as between 8,000 and 8,100.

Oborne answers this in his Coffee House response:

This analysis was based on an article for the Labour & Trade Union Review in August 2005. I have read it carefully and do not find that it supports Mr Kamm’s interpretation, or anything like it. Indeed Dr Morrison explicitly stated in his article ‘that Bosnian Muslims got massacred in large numbers is not in doubt’ (a statement to which Mr Kamm did not draw his readers’ attention).

Well, 'you pays your money and you takes yer pick'.  Of course, far and away the most interesting point is whether Oborne and Morrison are correct in their assertion that Iran does not now and will not in the future possess nuclear arms.  I suspect that neither party knows for sure, any more than I do.  Oborne's claim that Khomeini has stated that nuclear weapons are against Islamic creed may have been said but how far would you trust him if you were an Israeli?  And mention of Israel brings me to the key player in this frighteningly dangerous poker game.  It doesn't matter if the CIA is convinced that Iran has weaponry because the USA will do nothing so long as Obama is in the White House.  However, I reckon Israeli intelligence knows exactly the state of the game and the day they are certain the weapons are there will be the day before the Big Attack and then we will all know for sure!

Incidentally, if any of you techie-swots know how to log in to this Times.tumblr. thingie without paying I would be very grateful and 'Rupe' would be irritated!


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