Tag Archives: Middle East

Welcome to The Abyss

September 11th 2001 was the day that will stay with everyone. It will also stay with Jo Moore, a special government advisor, who had to resign after sending an email suggesting it would be a “good day to bury bad news”!

Yesterday a frightening piece of news signalling Armageddon may have arrived, was successfully buried by a carefully directed media frenzy over the HSBC tax evasion ‘scandal’. I put scandal in quotes as I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. HSBC are only doing their odious job by maximising the efficient management of clients’ money.

Whilst our attention was being diverted by this non news, media mogul mates of President Obama quietly announced that he is seeking a ‘war resolution’ against Islamic State, with limited use of US force against militants operating in Syria and Iraq for three years . . . Welcome to the Abyss . . . which this morning’s media paid scant attention to.

It is now blatantly obvious that the Pentagon runs American foreign policy and that they are totally out of control. They have learned nothing from the 60’s, when the futility of the Vietnam war was recognised after 23 years of vicious conflict, in which reports suggest up to 3 million Vietnamese service members and civilians lost their lives?

25 years later, after the dust settled from the collapse of the twin towers in 2001, George W Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’, starting in Afghanistan and followed by Iraq 2 years later. Whilst enormous resources have been applied to these campaigns the end result has been unmitigated disaster.

Instead of the promised subjugation of the enemy and conversion of these Muslim countries to ‘democratic’ capitalism the complete reverse has happened. The effect of putting foreign troops on home territory has antagonised and enraged the civilian population, as unarmed civilians are systematically murdered through the cowardly practice of drone warfare.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to work out how you would feel if an Iraqi army invaded your country on the pretext of coming to help and then slaughtered friends, family and fellow countrymen from the protection of unmanned aircraft you are unable to fight back against.

To heap insult upon injury, when the Pentagon had finished knocking the stuffing out of the country’s infrastructure, it was then subjected to a second ‘invasion’ to help rebuild everything the army had destroyed. Only what was rebuilt was of inferior quality and unfit for purpose, as contractors reaped vast profits from the rebuilding contracts.

There is little doubt that these blunders fuelled a change in terrorism that had previously been supported by the West to destabilise unwanted power in the region. ISIS is the end product and its rapid and violent growth against the West speaks volumes about current resentment. What the Pentagon seems incapable of understanding is that they are not fighting an army but an ideology that is vehemently opposed to western values.

The greater the force fighting ideology the greater the resistance. Do the generals really believe they can subdue these people and even annihilate them? The reality is that any belief can never be eradicated by force, it will simply spring up somewhere else, as is now happening with alarming rapidity across the globe.

In the UK an ‘off duty’ solder returning to base was attacked and viciously killed in broad daylight in front of traumatised civilians. In France the Charlie Hebdo massacre left a country stunned. Only a few days ago Australian police arrested two men, seizing a homemade ‘ISIS’ flag along with a machete and hunting knife, whose intended gory application takes little imagination.

This is the future that now awaits us with this latest Pentagon initiative, where we will become frightened to walk out in public with our families, uncertain as to whether we will be attacked, or worse, that our children might witness such atrocities.

And what will be the impact upon youngsters growing up in this environment? Antagonism towards ‘foreigners’ will escalate and the curse we have lived with as a species for too long now will be reinforced as we continue to be divided and conquered.

Never was the wisdom of Einstein more relevant than now: “The thinking that creates the problem is quite incapable of solving it”. Obama’s message of yesterday is taking us to the edge of the abyss and the only way back is to find new visionary and committed leaders, as Greece has now done in an attempt to step back from her own abyss.

Only then might we create a narrow bridge over which we can tentatively embark upon new understandings instead of antagonism, to meet those in our growing Global Village who are equally entitled to live on this beautiful Planet. These are challenging times my friends.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

The plethora of reporting on ‘Terrorism’ raises questions in my mind as to precisely what is going on as we argue the fine line between a broad perspective and conspiracy theory. I find myself being pushed into the camp that postulates a cogent plan by our rulers to keep our attention diverted, whilst our countries are ransacked and our freedoms decimated by the clever application of surveillance, debt and restricted money supply.

First we had Al Qaeda, a virtually unknown group who rocketed to infamy and caused Bush’s “Bring it on” declaration of global war after 9/11. This was followed immediately by the (illegal) Iraq war and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which, given the resources available, seemed to take an inordinate amount of time in finding him.

Why was he immediately executed, rather than humiliated by a show trial and execution, with all the kudos this would offer? Having supposedly disposed of him, we are now told that no official evidence of his demise is available.

In contrast with Saddam Hussein, we were privy to every part of his capture, including his total humiliation by a public mouth search! His show trial covered the globe and finally we went into the death house to witness his execution. All pretty gripping stuff and guaranteed to hold our attention, with such ‘villains’ as Hussein and Bin Laden heading up the cast.

So having got our attention we now have a new and even more sensational story with the advent of ISIS. They are ruthless, well co-ordinated, well versed in social media and how to manipulate by sensation and scare. They are also well-resourced and successful to the point that young men flood to their camps to join in that success against an enemy that seems intent upon keeping its own young men unemployed and suppressed by debt.

The problem with the sensational, when so widely broadcast, is that it has to become more and more dramatic to maintain such a vast audience. This has led from ground attack and butchery of civilians to brutal beheadings. Their leadership have now ramped up the sensational by placing an Iranian pilot in a metal cage and brutally burned him to death. This latest atrocity begs the question: “What next?!”

To add to information overload we were told by journalist Didier Francois, a captive who was subsequently released, that his captors “hammered” hostages with their political, not religious ideology. This revelation now casts huge doubt over the news stories we have been fed about religious zealots. Not only that but it begins to replicate the equally unpleasant ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, where terrorism was also used to gain political power.

Which again begs a question: “Where is Tony Blair in all of this?”, having been in government during the Northern Ireland peace process and witnessed the giving of power to the political wing of the IRA. Now, ‘Special Envoy to the Middle East’, he seems eminently qualified and experienced to apply his skills here, but is nowhere to be found . . . Hmmm!

It seems to me that Terrorism ticks so many boxes in supporting the covert escalation of global power. It diverts our attention from the gradual financialisation of this world and our subsequent enslavement by debt. It creates the needed enemy that is violently threatening our peace and security. It provides a righteous war able to feed us a diet of sensational barbarism, which spreads fear and justifies a global web of surveillance to further subjugate our every move.

What, I ask myself, would have been the result of no media coverage? Would this latest terrorist group have really brought the world to its knees, by robbing us of our freedom so quickly and efficiently, if we knew nothing about them . . . or are we being played? (As an aside, the Norwegian government responded to the murder of 69 of its people, mainly youngsters, with more democracy, more openness and greater political participation!)

If we are being played and apply this to our forthcoming elections, is it any wonder the same corporately governed political parties are re-elected to continue the enslavement of Society?

Or have the very beginnings of the fight back now begun in places like Greece and Portugal? Judging by the people, the will to change is evident because they have had enough . . . and also have nothing to lose!

With renewed belief in itself, through a greater understanding of what is going on in our growing ‘Global Village’, I believe Society will somehow find the wherewithal to end the traditional tyranny that has plagued it for so long.

Overwhelming? . . . Certainly! Possible? . . . What have we got to lose?

 

Until the next time

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Paris: 2 Sinister Hypocrisies

As I watched the 40 world leaders marching with the people last weekend in Paris I was immediately struck by how out of place they all looked. Not one of these people we have given our power away to had any thought about freedom of speech and the press. It was simply a chance to get a lot closer to vast numbers of the people who elect them than they have ever done before in their political lives. It was blatantly a photo op to end all photo ops and not to be missed!

Even as a photo op it has become a joke, as we now hear that Netanyahu had Merkel ‘photo shopped’ out of the official pictures used by the Israeli media to record the event. Global unity and Freedom of the Press . . . You decide. (As an aside is it any wonder there is no resolution to the ongoing conflict in Palestine when there is a mind-set that nurtures decades of ongoing hatred such as this?!)

Cynical . . . Moi?! Try this for size:-

 Sinister Hypocrisy No 1:

In one of the largest demonstrations the world has seen in recent years, how could such countries as Russia, Turkey, Israel and Egypt, to name but a few, even contemplate attending with their track record of Human Rights abuse and the suppression of journalism and free speech. Also, if not impertinent, where did Saudi Arabia get the energy to attend, given how exhausting it must be to administer 1000 lashes to a blogger exercising free speech!

Then there’s ‘our Dave’ linking arms with his mates and wearing his best Remembrance Day ‘face’ for the march and then quickly scuttling back to inform us he would be giving MI5 greater powers of surveillance. Not only that but then he phones his ‘special friend’ Barak Obama to ask if he would give GCHQ greater abilities to invade the internet!

At least the US had the good sense not to attend, given their treatment of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, which still reverberates across the globe. I remain confused on precisely what their official line on freedom of speech is however, in the light of their condemning the Sony Corporation for giving in to (alleged) threats from North Korea if they released their film The Interview . . . but maybe that’s just me.

Sinister Hypocrisy No 2:

This one really blows me backwards! How can these people turn up to such a protest when most of them are responsible for the whole ugly state of affairs we are now trying to deal with? Was it not George ‘Dubya’ Bush who declared war on global terrorism, supported by the crass statement to “Bring it on”? Well they certainly have sunshine, further exacerbated by an illegal war that added oceans of fuel to the flames his puerile macho language had already ignited in the Middle East!

The whole situation is made even more sinister as we are told that Al Qaeda, ISIS and all the other groups have been funded and supported by many of the countries represented at this demonstration, supporting a US led policy to control the Middle East and its oil.

If we then add to this TTIP and other trade deals being pursued by the US, in the deepest secrecy, to further subvert our democratic rights, all in collusion with these same attendees at the march, then how could they possibly look any of the people they were marching with in the face?

 

However, a tiny light shines from this, the grossest of political theatre. It was not those we have given our power to that organised this event but the spontaneous reaction of the 99%, driven by shock, horror and anger at yet another mindless atrocity and to which the 1% quickly invited themselves (at the taxpayers’ expense!).

Traditional Social dynamics are gradually changing, as the internet increasingly empowers us to quickly unite and speak out.  We must not lose sight of this powerful fundamental change, which the 1% fear more than anything else. ‘Terrorism’ provides them with the excuse to clamp down on us, as their hypocrisy about the subject becomes more and more evident.

Finally, I see that Cameron is showing up ahead of Labour in latest polling and I truly cannot see where he gets any credibility from whatsoever. However, to get our political environment into true perspective, I see the comedian Al Murray ‘The Pub Landlord’ is standing against Farage in May.

With all the ‘comics’ already in Westminster he seems to have the right sort of experience and qualifications although, with much respect, I fear we are no further forward in finding real solutions to Debt, Terrorism and the continued erosion of Democracy.

We desperately need new Visionary Leaders . . . and soon!

 

Until the next time

 

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Gaza: Bloodbath or Global Inspiration . . . You Choose!

Betty_Williams

“Betty Williams” by http://www.centersofcompassion.org – http://www.centersofcompassion.org. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Betty_Williams.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Betty_Williams.jpg

Mairead_Corrigan_Gaza

Mairead Corrigan By Free Gaza movement [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

From the fall of Rome in 476 the recorded history of warfare has shown that the quest for power and then holding on to it has cost the lives of millions, if not billions of innocent people, manipulated into fighting by religious or political greed. As the war in Gaza turns into a bloodbath we are again witness to this constant barbarity and manipulation, with military thinking that has changed little over time.

It is somewhat surprising to me that we have evolved from tribes living in caves and mud huts to nations living as sophisticated societies, with current scientific and medical achievements beyond the comprehension of our parents, let alone our forefathers, and yet our barbaric aggression towards each other remains unchanged.

However, there is a BIG change now going on in this 21st century, diminishing forever the control of the political and religious propaganda machines that previously created whatever version of the truth justified the aggression and its reporting, as our technology lifts the veil on the horror of modern day warfare and its causes. Continue reading

Gaza needs a Mandela

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)

South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it. Albert Einstein

Compulsion is inherent within the human condition, often pushing us to extreme and destructive behaviour that is beyond comprehension. It is stimulated by many things, including the derivatives of harmless aspects of Nature. A poppy is a beautiful flower until turned into opium, grape and grain are nutritional foods until distilled into alcohol. Both then fuel the destructive compulsions of drug or alcohol addiction.

Aggression is also an inherent part of that human condition, and it too has a compulsive element of ‘tit for tat’ revenge when the anger becomes overwhelming. The growing depravity of the violence we are now experiencing in the Middle East is witness to this compulsion at work, something I believe could also have happened in South Africa in the 1990’s. Continue reading

Gaza . . . Why 5 Hours?!

 

doves

As I looked at the screens I, like millions of others, struggled to understand the latest horror to come out of this troubled land and the resultant 5 hour ceasefire. But almost immediately afterwards I thought “Why 5 hours?” What is the mind-set of the people responsible that they come up with such a figure? What was the Instruction that came from the command post?

Oh Fuck!!! Some more kids got killed. Better have a 5 hour ceasefire . . . that should sort it”

5 Hours. That’s 1 hour 15 minutes of ceasefire for each child’s life. Is that the going rate? I really don’t know but it makes the financial costs of warfare pale into insignificance. And why 5 hours? Why not 1 hour 34 minutes, or 15 hours 10 minutes, or the more traditional 24/48/72 hours? Is it just that after such a long period of conflict, senses are now so dulled as to remove all morality from human thought?

In no way do I feel qualified to comment on the history and religious politics of this running sore of conflict on our beautiful Planet. What I do know however, is that if you look down from Space you cannot see any natural barriers of race, colour, creed or gender that separate us. These have come from the religious and political beliefs of our species, used as a tool to ‘divide and conquer’ the majority for millennia. In the beginning it was brute force that took the power but now, in a modern democracy, we elect these people to continue the divisions that divert our attention from turning on them.

Isn’t it perverse that we elect them to indoctrinate us in beliefs that keep them in power at the cost of ours, and our children’s lives? Left to their own devices people get on well together, learning from each other’s different means of living this thing called Life. Maybe the time is fast approaching when we ‘unelect’ these trouble makers and watch world peace grow across this increasingly joined up Planet.

As I finish this piece I am not ashamed to admit for the first time in 8 years of writing there are teardrops on my keyboard. I believe the toughest challenge Life can throw at us is the death of children. There is not only the agony of the grief and loss but a sense of guilt that we have unnaturally outlived our own children. My heart goes out to those and the many other parents paying the price of senseless power plays.

It also goes out to those who actually witnessed this barbaric atrocity. For a moment they were watching kids laughing and playing the timeless game of hide and seek, something we have all enjoyed at one stage or another in our lives. Then a mighty explosion and suddenly nothing. I hope and pray they find the wherewithal to deal with the mind numbing trauma they have experienced, both now and in the years that stretch out before them, because it will surely always haunt them.

One last thought on the 5 hours. Perhaps it was just a favourite number that now demands another child’s life to square everything!

Until the next time