Syria and the disgusting dishonesty of John Rentoul

Why bother with John Rentoul. That’s what some of you will argue about an obscure hack remarkable only for the level of his sycophancy towards an almost farcically unpopular politician at the beginning of the piece, let alone by the end of it. So let’s be clear: a wider point is being made.

I wrote a piece today criticising those who claimed Donald Trump was a mortal threat to US democracy and world peace and then lauded him as soon as he started firing missiles.

This was John Rentoul’s response.

Here’s what my article said:

As you can see — factually speaking — John Rentoul is a liar. Actually, a disgusting, reprehensible liar. I am not litigious. If I was, I would sue John Rentoul for publicly suggesting that I don’t care about the gassing of little kids who suffered unbearable torture as they were murdered by the Assad regime. To suggest somebody does not care about the gassing of little children in an article when they abundantly make it clear that they do is not only a despicable and demonstrable lie, it is, frankly, morally repugnant in a way I am unable to express in words.

Do I believe Assad is a vile, murderous tyrant? Yes. Do I want him removed and replaced by a democratic secular government? Yes. Do I think Vladimir Putin and his vile regime (as above) are responsible for horrific war crimes? Yes Do I think Donald Trump on the one hand or many of the rebels fighting Assad’s regime represent a solution to the slaughter of Syria? No, I don’t. In good faith, actually, and with pretty solid reasons.

Subsequently, John Rentoul wrote this:

Hold on a minute. I didn’t tweet John Rentoul. I didn’t retweet him. My “followers”, such as I have ownership over the people who have chosen to follow me on twitter, haven’t been engaged in any way.

So here we have it. He accuses somebody of not caring about the gassing of little children. And then he plays the victim. Yes, an example is being made here of a liberal pundit who uses their platform to make despicable smears against those who question whether military action by Donald Trump — Donald Trump — will end well.

John Rentoul is among those who passionately supported the invasion of Iraq, which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, led to the displacement and maiming and traumatising of millions, which fed the rise of ISIS and helped destabilise the Middle East. Pundits like him demonised opponents of the said war as having no compassion towards Saddam Hussein’s victims. If Rentoul had any influence whatsoever, which he doesn’t, he would have blood on his hands as somebody who helped build the case for the biggest Western foreign policy calamity of our time, involving the deaths of 179 British service personnel and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Nonetheless, the twisted attempts to demonise the opponents of Donald Trump’s coming military adventures will be opposed, and here is a marker to make that very, very clear.