Good Time For savages

The last week was a good one for extremist loonies of all sorts. Pakistan experienced yet another dose of vicious hatred by a bunch of murderous fanatics.

In Israel a hard-line enemy of Palestinian statehood, Ruby Rivlin, was elected president and in the US a right-wing fascist, David Brat of the Tea Party, came to the top of the pile in the Republican Party when he defeated a not-quite-so-fascist opponent in an election selection contest.

Then in Iraq, a country driven into hideous anarchy by the US invasion of 2003, a group of extremist thugs of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Shams, savaged the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, while in the US a couple of young fanatics “stormed into a fast-food restaurant armed with a duffel bag full of military gear, shouted, ‘This is the beginning of the revolution!’ and pinned a flag associated with their political movement to the dead bodies of the police officers they executed at point-blank range – then killed another innocent person and carried out a suicide pact.”

(This wasn’t considered to be a terrorist attack because the murderers weren’t Muslims: they were home-grown white savages who don’t count in the terror stakes.)

The world is in a dreadful state, and Pakistan’s admirable representative to the UN, Ambassador Masood Khan, summed it up when he said that “Terrorism is not an abstract phenomenon. It is a scourge that hits us every day. It is truly an existential threat. All around the world we witness the catastrophic consequences and costs of terrorism.” Exactly, but some places experience more terror than others, and at the moment Pakistan is a front-runner in suffering from the excesses of bigoted barbarity. So what can be done about this appalling situation?

Not very much unless the world packs together – and the world isn’t very good at doing that. But there might, just might, be a long-term solution that would cost masses of money over very many years but could stop the ideals, the essence, the ethos of terror taking root in the minds of the young. And we’ll have a look at that in a moment; but meanwhile let’s examine the problem more closely.

I agree with Ambassador Masood Khan’s observations and sympathise with his exhortation that “developed countries must hone their skills to strike a balance between effective provision of security to their citizens and respect for the basic principle of the rule of law and justice.” There must, he said, be “sweeping reforms which cannot wait because of the urgency to respond to the ever evolving threat of terrorism.”

Right. But there’s more to it than that; and first is identifying a major misconception. I don’t want to link Ambassador Masood Khan to card-carrying defectives like US Secretary of State John Kerry, but we must bear in mind that Kerry keeps using the word ‘coward’ when describing people who don’t act quite like Kerry.

And let me bear my breast on this and say that I used to be an admirer of Kerry. We served in Vietnam about the same time, and although of course I didn’t know him, this is a bit of a bond. I strongly supported his 1971 statement to a US Senate Committee that “there is nothing in South Vietnam that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom is the height of criminal hypocrisy.” Excellent summation.

But now he says all terrorists are cowards. Certainly those who kill innocent unarmed people are cowards of the most despicable sort – but those who storm well-guarded establishments knowing full well that they are not going to survive…Well, what are they?

They are maniacs, certainly. They are savages, to be sure. And they deserve no pity. But they are not cowards. They are fighting because they believe in something so strongly that they will hazard their lives – willingly forfeit their lives – to forward whatever crazy cause has attracted their unqualified devotion. However bizarre and incomprehensible to us their motives might be, to them they are the ultimate in principle.

So Ambassador Masood Khan was not completely correct when he said about the Karachi airport blitz that “Pakistan has been in the grip of a battle against the fury and cowardice of terrorists.” Fury, yes. But we can’t call them cowards, because they knew they wouldn’t come out alive.

Can you place yourself for even the tiniest instant in the mind of a person who is going to smash into the Karachi airport or anywhere else with the certain knowledge that he’s not going to survive? Whatever he is, he’s not a coward. He is, however, terrifyingly and irredeemably ignorant of compassion.

One of the most chilling photographs I can recollect is that of a quartet of suicide bombers (three being sons of Pakistani immigrants and the other a Jamaican) in a railway station in the UK just before they went on their London bombing spree in 2005.

On the video clips they looked just like everyone else, but of course they were not. They were fanatics, one of whom had declared that “I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger. Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters.”

It is this type of warped interpretation of Islam that is motivating thousands of young people around the world to take up arms, to don and detonate suicide vests, to slaughter people without thought to an alternative. And the alternative is compassion, kindness, decency, and living-with-neighbour tolerance. It’s called civilisation.

The long-term solution to terrorism is education. It would cost billions of dollars to create a world-wide education system that can counter the loonies. Even starting now, right this minute, it would take years to get off the ground. There would be massive problems. But it’s got to be done in every country, otherwise we will be overcome by ignorant bigoted savages who ‘forsake everything’ in order to create a hell on earth.

By: Brian Cloughley

What is Faith?

2/135 : And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters.
2/136 : Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah (God) and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
2/137: And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah (God) will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
2.138: (We take our) colour from Allah (God), and who is better than Allah (God)at colouring. We are His worshippers.
2/139: Say (unto the People of the Scripture): Dispute ye with us concerning Allah (God) when He is our Lord and your Lord? Ours are our works and yours your works. We look to Him alone.
2/140: Or say ye that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know best, or doth Allah (God)? And who is more unjust than he who hideth a testimony which he hath received from Allah (God)? Allah (God)is not unaware of what ye do.
2/141: Those are a people who have passed away; theirs is that which they earned and yours that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
3/084: Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah (God)and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
3/085: And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to God) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.


Israel’s Impunity

Before going further, click here to see how good the Israel’s regime is.

On June 1 there were many newsworthy incidents around the globe. Trawling the web’s news sites and international newspapers, you could see what was being brought to the attention of the world at large.

There were reports on the US-sponsored shambles in Ukraine, the savagery in Iraq and Syria, the British prime minister making a fool of himself yet again, Pakistan’s military operations against the militants in North Waziristan, the disgrace of a formerly popular Australian entertainer, a bomb killing 20 people in a Nigerian market, fraud in the Afghan presidential election (surprise, surprise) and a multitude of other reports on all sorts of remarkable occurrences.

And the event that received most cover was the funeral of three Israeli teenagers who had been murdered.
We should not be surprised about this, because anything that upsets Israel is automatically headline material, and reportage was intriguing in its support of the Tel Aviv regime.

Now don’t get me wrong: nobody in their right minds could possibly approve of the wicked murder of three perfectly innocent teenagers of any nationality, anywhere in the world. The people who committed this horrible crime should be hunted down and dealt with. And by that I mean killed, because they are the lowest of the low and do not deserve to live. But the Israeli blitz bombing of Palestinian Gaza in retaliation is not justice – any more than was the useless firing of rockets by Hamas.

For once I agreed with the venomous, brutal and amoral prime minister of Israel, the hideous Benjamin Netanyahu, when he declared that the three boys were “cut down by the hands of evil men.” But then Netanyahu went into the realms of fantasy in declaring that “a broad moral gulf separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death, we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength.”

For Netanyahu to claim that he is in any way familiar with “mercy and compassion” is utterly bizarre. This is the man who ordered air strikes on Gaza in November 2012 that killed dozens of children. In one of these atrocities “Five women, including one 80-year-old, and four small children were among the dead.” Even Ha’Aretz newspaper recorded that “More than one-third of the Palestinian civilians killed during Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip last November were under the age of 18,” as recorded by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The secret of Israel’s strength lies not in mercy and compassion but in brutality and world-tolerance of its relentless suppression of Palestinians.

Netanyahu is a murderous fanatic who will not rest until the last Arab is driven from the land that was Palestine and is now occupied by Jewish ‘settlers’ whose illegal colonies are forbidden by UNSC resolutions. These resolutions are ignored with contempt and impunity by Israel which is regarded as being above the law.

If any other country behaved like Israel in regard to its ethnically separated and persecuted majority population there would be international condemnation. But there isn’t a hope of that because there is oleaginous US endorsement of all that Israel does to maintain its military dominance over lands it continues to occupy illegally.

Take, for example, the reaction of prominent American politicians to the deaths of the three Israeli teenagers. New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio was “deeply saddened and outraged by news of the tragic murders” and declared that “New York City mourns them together with their families.” Does it really? The whole of New York is in mourning for the death of three young Israelis? Well maybe it is. Because the Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo said that he was “deeply shocked and saddened.” He added that “our thoughts and prayers are with their families and the state of Israel.”

Can you imagine the mayor of, say, Oslo, Manila or Tokyo commenting in such a fashion about the deaths of three Israelis? Would the governors of the states of Queensland, Bavaria or Uttar Pradesh consider it necessary to commit their citizens to pray for the state of Israel?

The crime was terrible but the circumstances are opaque. There is no proof that members of Hamas, the ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’ in Palestine, were guilty of the murders. This is not to say that Hamas extremists were not responsible for the killings. It is certainly likely that some Hamas thugs killed three young innocent defenceless boys. It’s just their style, in fact.

But there is a thing called due process of law. And Israel is supposed to be a country in which there is attention to proper legal process. It is proper that even in Israel a person accused of a crime should be held to be innocent until proved guilty. This happened, for example, in the case of the recently-disgraced former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, who was recently convicted of corruption. He was obviously guilty of massive venality over many years but until the evidence was produced in court there was no question of condemning him in public. So why, without evidence of any sort, does Netanyahu declare that “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay”?

Netanyahu threatened to “vigorously strike” in Gaza and the occupied West Bank and then ordered over 30 air attacks, saying “if need be, we will expand the campaign.” His foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was quoted by Israel Radio as saying that reoccupation of Gaza would be more convenient than “small-scale operations,” but Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, condemning the murders, made the point that “justice will not be served by Israel seeking revenge by imposing collective punishment, or committing other violations of Palestinians’ rights.”

Then things became even worse when a Palestinian boy aged 16 was murdered in occupied Jerusalem – and suddenly Netanyahu changed his tune. Obviously fearing retaliation, he said, far too late, that justice should be done and declared that “Israel is a law-abiding state and everyone is obliged to act according to it.” But justice will not be done, because Israel is not a law-abiding state. It is a country built on stolen land and it refuses to obey resolutions of the UN Security Council to return the stolen land to its rightful owners. It refuses to obey resolutions forbidding it to build more ‘settlements’ on the land. And it need not fear any action to force it to obey international law.

The mayor of New York and the governor of NY State have demonstrated that US support for Israel is total and that the Israelis can get away with anything. All US administrations are committed unconditionally to the state of Israel, whose impunity is absolute. But if Washington continues to endorse Israel’s contempt for international law, and the Palestinians are denied justice, the outcome will be catastrophically brutal.

By: Brian Cloughley