Peace is “perpetual war” “Global” is imperial and “Austerity” is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor.

The Return Of Orwell And Big Brother’s War On Palestine, Ukraine And Truth

By John Pilger

John Pilger writes from London on the ongoing suppression of the truth by powerful vested interests.

It is only appropriate that the whole article should be quoted. But if you’d like to view the original, [please link here]

The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

Acclaimed by critics, the production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman in front of me, lighting up her phone.

As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in 1984. “Democracy” is now a rhetorical device.  Peace is “perpetual war”. “Global” is imperial. The once hopeful concept of “reform” now means regression, even destruction. “Austerity” is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.

In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith.  “Picasso’s red period,” says an Observer headline, “and why politics don’t make good art.” Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso’s lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell’s radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.

A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that “for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life”. No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice.  Among the insistent voices of consumer- feminism, none echoes Virginia Woolf, who described “the arts of dominating other people … of ruling, of killing, of acquiring land and capital”.

At the National Theatre, a new play, Great Britain, satirises the phone hacking scandal that has seen journalists tried and convicted, including a former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World. Described as a “farce with fangs [that] puts the whole incestuous [media] culture in the dock and subjects it to merciless ridicule”, the play’s targets are the “blessedly funny” characters in Britain’s tabloid press. That is well and good, and so very familiar. What of the non-tabloid media that regards itself as reputable and credible, yet serves a parallel role as an arm of state and corporate power, as in the promotion of illegal war?

The Leveson inquiry into phone hacking glimpsed this unmentionable. Tony Blair was giving evidence, complaining to His Lordship about the tabloids’ harassment of his wife, when he was interrupted by a voice from the public gallery. David Lawley-Wakelin, a film-maker, demanded Blair’s arrest and prosecution for war crimes. There was a long pause: the shock of truth. Lord Leveson leapt to his feet and ordered the truth-teller thrown out and apologised to the war criminal. Lawley-Wakelin was prosecuted; Blair went free.

Blair’s enduring accomplices are respectability itself. When the BBC arts presenter, Kirsty Wark, interviewed him on the tenth anniversary of his invasion of Iraq, she gifted him a moment he could only dream of; she allowed him to agonise over his “difficult” decision on Iraq rather than call him to account for his epic crime. This evoked the procession of BBC journalists who in 2003 declared that Blair could feel “vindicated”, and the subsequent, “seminal” BBC series, The Blair Years, for which David Aaronovitch was chosen as the writer, presenter and interviewer. A Murdoch retainer who campaigned for military attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria, Aaronovitch fawned expertly.

Since the invasion of Iraq – the exemplar of an act of unprovoked aggression the Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson called “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” — Blair and his mouthpiece and principal accomplice, Alastair Campbell, have been afforded generous space in the Guardian to rehabilitate their reputations. Described as a Labour Party “star”, Campbell has sought the sympathy of readers for his depression and displayed his interests, though not his current assignment as advisor, with Blair, to the Egyptian military tyranny.

As Iraq is dismembered as a consequence of the Blair/Bush invasion, a Guardian headline declares: “Toppling Saddam was right, but we pulled out too soon”. This ran across a prominent article on 13 June by a former Blair functionary, John McTernan, who also served Iraq’s CIA installed dictator Iyad Allawi. In calling for a repeat invasion of a country his former master helped destroy , he made no reference to the deaths of at least 700,000 people, the flight of four million refugees and sectarian turmoil in a nation once proud of its communal tolerance.

“Blair embodies corruption and war,” wrote the radical Guardian columnist Seumas Milne in a spirited piece on 3 July. This is known in the trade as “balance”. The following day, the paper published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the bomber were the words: “The F-35. GREAT For Britain”. This other embodiment of “corruption and war” will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered people across the developing world.

In a village in Afghanistan, inhabited by the poorest of the poor, I filmed Orifa, kneeling at the graves of her husband, Gul Ahmed, a carpet weaver, seven other members of her family, including six children, and two children who were killed in the adjacent house. A “precision” 500-pound bomb was dropped directly on their small mud, stone and straw house, leaving a crater 50 feet wide. Lockheed Martin, the plane’s manufacturer, had pride of place in the Guardian’s advertisement.

The former US secretary of state and aspiring president of the United States, Hillary Clinton, was recently on the BBC’s cosy Women’s Hour. The presenter, Jenni Murray, presented Clinton as a beacon of female achievement. She did not remind her listeners about Clinton’s profanity that Afghanistan was invaded to “liberate” women like Orifa. She asked  Clinton nothing about her administration’s terror campaign using drones to kill women, men and children. There was no mention of Clinton’s threat while campaigning to be the first female president, to “eliminate” Iran, and nothing about her support for illegal mass surveillance and the pursuit of whistle-blowers.

Murray did ask one finger-to-the-lips question. Had Clinton forgiven Monica Lewinsky for having an affair with husband? “Forgiveness is a choice,” said Clinton, “for me, it was absolutely the right choice.” This recalled the 1990s and the years consumed by the Lewinsky “scandal”. President Bill Clinton was then invading Haiti, and bombing the Balkans, Africa and Iraq. He was also destroying the lives of Iraqi children; Unicef reported the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five as a result of an embargo led by the US and Britain.

The children were media unpeople, just as Hillary Clinton’s victims in the invasions she supported and promoted – Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia — are media unpeople. Murray made no reference to them. A photograph of her and her distinguished guest, beaming, appears on the BBC website.

In politics as in journalism and the arts, it seems that dissent once tolerated in the “mainstream” has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground. When I began a career in Britain’s Fleet Street in the 1960s, it was acceptable to critique western power as a rapacious force. Read James Cameron’s celebrated reports of the explosion of the Hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, the barbaric war in Korea and the American bombing of North Vietnam. Today’s grand illusion is of an information age when, in truth, we live in a media age in which incessant corporate propaganda is insidious, contagious, effective and liberal.

In his 1859 essay On Liberty, to which modern liberals pay homage, John Stuart Mill wrote: “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” The “barbarians” were large sections of humanity of whom “implicit obedience” was required.  “It’s a nice and convenient myth that liberals are peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers,” wrote the historian Hywel Williams in 2001, “but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open-ended nature: its conviction that it represents a superior form of life.” He had in mind a speech by Blair in which the then prime minister promised to “reorder the world around us” according to his “moral values”.

Richard Falk, the respected authority on international law and the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, once described a “a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen [with] positive images of western values and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted political violence”. It is “so widely accepted as to be virtually unchallengeable”.

Tenure and patronage reward the guardians. On BBC Radio 4, Razia Iqbal interviewed Toni Morrison, the African-American Nobel Laureate. Morrison wondered why people were “so angry” with Barack Obama, who was “cool” and wished to build a “strong economy and health care”. Morrison was proud to have talked on the phone with her hero, who had read one of her books and invited her to his inauguration.

Neither she nor her interviewer mentioned Obama’s seven wars, including his terror campaign by drone, in which whole families, their rescuers and mourners have been murdered. What seemed to matter was that a “finely spoken” man of colour had risen to the commanding heights of power. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon wrote that the “historic mission” of the colonised was to serve as a “transmission line” to those who ruled and oppressed. In the modern era, the employment of ethnic difference in western power and propaganda systems is now seen as essential. Obama epitomises this, though the cabinet of George W. Bush – his warmongering clique – was the most multiracial in presidential history.

As the Iraqi city of Mosul fell to the jihadists of ISIS, Obama said, “The American people made huge investments and sacrifices in order to give Iraqis the opportunity to chart a better destiny.” How “cool” is that lie? How “finely spoken” was Obama’s speech at the West Point military academy on 28 May. Delivering his “state of the world” address at the graduation ceremony of those who “will take American leadership” across the world, Obama said, “The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it. International opinion matters, but America will never ask permission …”

In repudiating international law and the rights of independent nations, the American president claims a divinity based on the might of his “indispensable nation”. It is a familiar message of imperial impunity, though always bracing to hear. Evoking the rise of fascism in the 1930s, Obama said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being.”  Historian Norman Pollack wrote: “For goose-steppers, substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manqué, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.”

In February, the US mounted one of its “colour” coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama’s assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland personally selected the leader of an “interim government”. She nicknamed him “Yats”. Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.

For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital.  No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism in the borderland through which Hitler’s invading Nazis took millions of Russian lives. They were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), responsible for the massacre of Jews and Russians they called “vermin”. The UPA is the historical inspiration of the present-day Svoboda Party and its fellow-travelling Right Sector. Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok has called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato Enlargement Project. Reneging on a promise made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has, in effect, militarily occupied eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato’s expansion is the biggest military build-up since the Second World War.

A Nato Membership Action Plan is Washington’s gift to the coup-regime in Kiev. In August, “Operation Rapid Trident” will put American and British troops on Ukraine’s Russian border and “Sea Breeze” will send US warships within sight of Russian ports. Imagine the response if these acts of provocation, or intimidation, were carried out on America’s borders.

In reclaiming Crimea — which Nikita Kruschev illegally detached from Russia in 1954 – the Russians defended themselves as they have done for almost a century. More than 90 per cent of the population of Crimea voted to return the territory to Russia. Crimea is the home of the Black Sea Fleet and its loss would mean life or death for the Russian Navy and a prize for Nato. Confounding the war parties in Washington and Kiev, Vladimir Putin withdrew troops from the Ukrainian border and urged ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon separatism.

In Orwellian fashion, this has been inverted in the west to the “Russian threat”. Hillary Clinton likened Putin to Hitler. Without irony, right-wing German commentators said as much. In the media, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are sanitised as “nationalists” or “ultra nationalists”. What they fear is that Putin is skilfully seeking a diplomatic solution, and may succeed. On 27 June, responding to Putin’s latest accommodation – his request to the Russian Parliament to rescind legislation that gave him the power to intervene on behalf of Ukraine’s ethnic Russians – Secretary of State John Kerry issued another of his ultimatums. Russia must “act within the next few hours, literally” to end the revolt in eastern Ukraine. Notwithstanding that Kerry is widely recognised as a buffoon, the serious purpose of these “warnings” is to confer pariah status on Russia and suppress news of the Kiev regime’s war on its own people.

A third of the population of Ukraine are Russian-speaking and bilingual. They have long sought a democratic federation that reflects Ukraine’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are neither “separatists” nor “rebels” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland. Separatism is a reaction to the Kiev junta’s attacks on them, causing as many as 110,000 (UN estimate) to flee across the border into Russia. Typically, they are traumatised women and children.

Like Iraq’s embargoed infants, and Afghanistan’s “liberated” women and girls, terrorised by the CIA’s warlords, these ethnic people of Ukraine are media unpeople in the west, their suffering and the atrocities committed against them minimised, or suppressed. No sense of the scale of the regime’s assault is reported in the mainstream western media. This is not unprecedented. Reading again Phillip Knightley’s masterly The First Casualty: the war correspondent as hero, propagandist and mythmaker, I renewed my admiration for the Manchester Guardian’s Morgan Philips Price, the only western reporter to remain in Russia during the 1917 revolution and report the truth of a disastrous invasion by the western allies. Fair-minded and courageous, Philips Price alone disturbed what Knightley calls an anti-Russian “dark silence” in the west.

On 2 May, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. There is horrifying video evidence.  The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). The New York Times buried it, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington’s new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”. Obama congratulated the junta for its “restraint”.

On 28 June, the Guardian devoted most of a page to declarations by the Kiev regime’s “president”, the oligarch Petro Poroshenko.  Again, Orwell’s rule of inversion applied. There was no putsch; no war against Ukraine’s minority; the Russians were to blame for everything. “We want to modernise my country,” said Poroshenko. “We want to introduce freedom, democracy and European values. Somebody doesn’t like that. Somebody doesn’t like us for that.”

The Guardian’s reporter, Luke Harding, evidently did not challenge these assertions, or mention the Odessa atrocity, the regime’s air and artillery attacks on residential areas, the killing and kidnapping of journalists, the firebombing of an opposition newspaper and his threat to “free Ukraine from dirt and parasites”. The enemy are “rebels”, “militants”, “insurgents”, “terrorists” and stooges of the Kremlin. Summon from history the ghosts of Vietnam, Chile, East Timor, southern Africa, Iraq; note the same tags. Palestine is the lodestone of this unchanging deceit. On 11 July, following the latest Israeli, American equipped slaughter in Gaza – 80 people including six children in one family — an Israeli general writes in the Guardian under the headline, “A necessary show of force”.

In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her films that glorified the Nazis. Using revolutionary camera and lighting techniques, she produced a documentary form that mesmerised Germans; it was her Triumph of the Will that reputedly cast Hitler’s spell. I asked her about propaganda in societies that imagined themselves superior. She replied that the “messages” in her films were dependent not on “orders from above” but on a “submissive void” in the German population. “Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked. “Everyone,” she replied, “and of course the intelligentsia.”

www.johnpilger.com

English: John Pilger NS head shot

English: John Pilger NS head shot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Empires come and go #FreeThe4 need their freedom

Saudi Arabia “Age of Decadence”

English: Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia....

English: Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Taken by BroadArrow in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

empires life fall

Copied from PDF by RexResearch [jump to LINK]

In gratitude to the work of Lt Gen Glubb

 

The average lifespan of an empire is 250 years.  The life cycle of an empire is broken down into six ages.  They are:

  1. The Age of Pioneers
  2. The Age of Conquest
  3. The Age of Commerce
  4. The Age of Affluence
  5. The Age of Intellectualism
  6. The Age of Decadence

Taken from blog post an full article can be found on Reflection on the fate of empires by Brengleman

 

 

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#Blair Aka “Miranda” Rhetoric – Truth and all things in between

What do you really know about Tony Blair? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question?

Is this possible

Tony Blair as “Miranda” or here

‘Blair covering up paedophile scandal?’

brought to my attention via @charlesfrith

Be it far from me to feed you the answer because mine would be a view of the kaleidoscope of a very rich man by the name of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

Copied from Bigraphy.com

Tony Blair Biography

Environmental Activist, Lawyer, Prime Minister (1953–)
Tony Blair was leader of the British Labour Party from 1994 to 2007, and prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007.

Synopsis

Tony Blair was born on May 6, 1953 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1994, he became the youngest leader of the Labour Party. In 1997, he was sworn in as prime minister of the United Kingdom. He stepped down as prime minister and left his position as leader of the Labour Party in 2007. In more recent years, he has been in the press for allegedly attempting to keep quiet a phone-hacking scandal.

 

Nafeez Ahmed has this to say

Tony Blair’s Islamist obsession is a smokescreen to defend ‘blood for oil’

Tony Blair speaking at Bloomberg

Tony Blair speaking at Bloomberg in London yesterday. ‘These are the reflections of a hugely experienced politician who has the trust of the Quartet’ says former Labour adviser John McTernan. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Yesterday morning, Tony Blair – former Prime Minister and current Middle East envoy for the UN, US, EU and Russia – delivered one of the most Orwellian speeches of his career at Bloomberg London HQ, on the subject of ‘Why the Middle East matters’:

“When we consider the defining challenges of our time, surely this one should be up there along with the challenge of the environment or economic instability.”

Blair is talking about what he sees as “a radicalised and politicised view of Islam” that “distorts and warps Islam’s true message,” an ideology which is “spreading across the world,” “destabilising communities and even nations,” and “undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation.”

Spearheaded largely from the Middle East, the expansion of Islamist ideology “still represents the biggest threat to global security of the early 21st century.”

Oil and money

But Blair also candidly sets out his four key reasons for elevating the significance of the Middle East to such a level. The first reason is control of oil:

“First and most obviously, it is still where a large part of the world’s energy supplies are generated, and whatever the long term implications of the USA energy revolution, the world’s dependence on the Middle East is not going to disappear any time soon. In any event, it has a determining effect on the price of oil; and thus on the stability and working of the global economy.”

So presumably something needs to be done to ensure our continued access to oil on the most favourable terms possible to ensure the stability of global capitalism.

Blair’s second reason is the region’s proximity to western Europe, just “a short distance from the Levantine coast.” Third, he highlights the centrality of Israel at the “centre of this maelstrom,” and the need to protect its “alliance with the USA, its partnership with leading countries of Europe, and the fact that it is a Western democracy” – no mention here of Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation and legal apartheid. And fourthly, he argues that Islam’s future “will be decided” in the region:

“Underneath the turmoil and revolution of the past years is one very clear and unambiguous struggle: between those with a modern view of the Middle East, one of pluralistic societies and open economies, where the attitudes and patterns of globalisation are embraced; and, on the other side, those who want to impose an ideology born out of a belief that there is one proper religion and one proper view of it, and that this view should, exclusively, determine the nature of society and the political economy.”

You’re either ‘with us’, or ‘against us’

In other words, for Blair the “essential battle” is between benevolent capitalists – associated by definition with democrats – and mad fundamentalists, whose tyrannical social models stand in the way of the techno-utopia of globalisation; this means ‘us’ in the west “taking a side and sticking with it.”

But Blair’s binary Bushi’ite vision of the world obscures well-documented realities. For instance, although he laments the last half century of “funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous,” he simply ignores that throughout this period, such activity blossomed with western acquiescence and support precisely to guarantee access to cheap oil. More recently, as former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke points out, the US has tacitly approved continued Saudi and Gulf state financing of Islamist extremists to weaken Syrian and Iranian influence.

Similarly, when Blair refers to the “terror being inflicted” in north and sub Saharan Africa, such as “Nigeria, Mali Central African Republic, Chad and many others,” he overlooks the fact that our very own security services have turned a blind eye to the Algerian state’s ongoing sponsorship of al-Qaeda affiliated terror networks across the region. The strategic benefit of that gamble, it appears, once again turns out to be protecting access to Algeria’s, and northwest Africa’s, lucrative oil and gas supplies.

Capitalism’s unspoken holocaust

Indeed, the bulk of Blair’s argument is derived from utter fantasy. He says that “the modern world” works through “connectivity”; its “essential nature is pluralist,” favouring “the open-minded.” Modern capitalist economies, he said, “work through creativity and connections.”

While there is certainly much to celebrate in the values, principles and achievements we associate with modernity, Blair’s black and white vision is incapable of acknowledging that the expansion of global capitalism was and remains a deeply violent process.

Wherever one stands ideologically on the benefits or pitfalls of modern capitalism, the expansion of global capital since 1945 was not a wondrous process of economic inevitability. It was tied directly to military interventions in over 70 developing nations designed to create the political conditions conducive to markets that would be ‘open’ to western capital penetration, and thus domination of local resources and labour.

In his landmark book, Intervention and Revolution: The United States in the Third World (1968), the late former State Department official Richard J Barnet observed:

“Even the word ‘communist’ has been applied so liberally and so loosely to revolutionary or radical regimes that any government risks being so characterised if it adopts one or more of the following policies which the State Department finds distasteful: nationalisation of private industry, particularly foreign-owned corporations, radical land reform, autarchic trade policies, acceptance of Soviet or Chinese aid, insistence upon following an anti-American or non-aligned foreign policy, among others.”

The number of people that died in the course of this forcible integration of former colonies across Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East into the orbit of an emerging US-UK dominated global economy, is astonishing.

In his book, Unpeople (2004), British historian Mark Curtis offers a detailed breakdown of the death toll at approximately 10 million – a conservative under-estimate, he qualifies. American economist Dr JW Smith, in his Economic Democracy (2005), argues that globalisation was:

“… responsible for violently killing 12 to 15 million people since WW II and causing the death of hundreds of millions more as their economies were destroyed or those countries were denied the right to restructure to care for their people… that is the record of the Western imperial centers of capital from 1945 to 1990.”

It’s not ‘us’ – it’s ‘Them’

But obfuscating imperial history and its legacy is necessary for Blair to convincingly project an image of a near-perfect “modern world” whose chief problem supposedly boils down to Islamists holding back the region’s growth potential. The reality is that what we face is not a ‘clash of civilisations’ with barbarians out there, but a Crisis of Civilisation that encompasses us all – a global political, economic and ideological system that is breaching its own environmental and natural context.

The turmoil of the Arab Spring, for instance, that Blair wants to reduce to religious rivalry, is actually rooted in the increasing incapacity of regional states to remain stable in the face of mounting challenges of oil depletion, climate-wrought droughts, and widening inequality wrought by neoliberal austerity.

Yes, this crisis is refracted through the lenses of longstanding political repression, inter-religious divisions, and sectarian competition. But Blair’s focus on the latter serves to distract from the deeper, systemic causes of the crisis, beguiled instead by the ever-looming spectre of ‘Them.’

But this is no surprise. In truly Orwellian language, Blair’s prescription for action in the Muslim world entails “supporting” polities which uphold “the principles of religious freedom and open, rule based economies” – which seems to mean any political system capable of underpinning the legal basis for west-friendly capitalism.

Egypt – ‘democracy’ with guns?

For instance, Blair describes the Egyptian coup of July 2013, bringing to power indefinite Army rule under the command of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as “the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation.” While millions of people did indeed take to the streets to protest the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood via President Mohamed Morsi – who whatever the many faults of his regime was at least originally democratically elected and up against overwhelming odds – the regime now in place whose success Blair claims is “massively in our interests” is essentially Hosni Mubarak’s tyranny on steroids.

Compare Blair’s narrative with the facts. He trivialises the ‘new’ Army regime’s crimes, which he concedes we “disagree strongly with – such as the death sentence on the 500,” by emphasising the need to be “sensitive” to the “violent deaths” of “over 400 police officers.” In the process, Blair conveniently overlooks the Army junta’s unprecedented massacre of thousands. As the Economist reports:

“In the months since the coup more than 300 policemen and soldiers have been killed in terrorist attacks or clashes with protesters. Egypt’s press has near-unanimously pinned blanket blame on the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government officially declared a terrorist organisation in December. This is despite evidence that the security people were targeted by more radical Islamist groups, and despite the killing of an estimated 3,000 civilians, most of them supporters of Mr Morsi.”

Having declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist” group without an ounce of due process, the regime continues to accelerate its crackdown on anyone who dares to protest the legitimacy of the Army’s reign, which appears less a transitional phase to democracy than a stepping stone to “a hybrid regime that would combine Islamism with militarism” – at least if Sisi’s 2006 US Army War College thesis is anything to go by.

Peacemaker

Blair’s unashamedly tokenistic cheerleading for ‘democracy’-junta-style should come as no surprise. During and since his stint as Prime Minister, under the guise of do-gooding, his diplomatic clout has consistently been wielded in the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

He has, for example, given speeches and presented reports on climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit, focusing on “the need for governments to fund new technology while allowing industries to keep polluting.” Among schemes he advocated were “global carbon-trading” enabling “polluting industries and countries” to “buy the right to emit extra greenhouse gases from those with lower emissions.”

Even as Middle East envoy, his ‘peacemaking’ has included brokering “large business deals in the West Bank and Gaza involving telecoms and gas extraction which stood to benefit corporate clients of JP Morgan” – the giant banking firm that employs him as a “£2m-a-year adviser.” Among these deals was a plan to sell Gaza’s gas to Israel, which could prevent Palestinians from accessing the bulk of the revenue.

Blair’s blood-drenched, oil-soaked speech comes at a time when expert warnings on how business-as-usual will intensify global energy, economic and environmental crises are at an all time high.

So make no mistake – this is not simply about Tony Blair. His speech is about rehabilitating the narrow, powerful interests he represents; a thinly veiled effort to distract public attention from the systemic causes of the Crisis of Civilisation and onto its symptoms, with a view to shore-up the old guard of a dying system through fear-mongering propaganda.

Old habits die hard.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books. Follow him on Twitter @nafeezahmed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tony Blair “centre of this maelstrom, is Israel” (transcript of speech)

In amongst all the words this vile war monger can spout is the central thesis of a “UNIPOLAR”  world.

Putin spoke of it (VLADIMIR PUTIN:
(THE SPEECH Delivered by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy “Peace Through Dialogue” February 10, 2007, Munich, Germany (full transcript)))

and so has Iran

Thanks to IIT

Tony Blair’s ‘Why the Middle East Matters’ Speech – Full Transcript

  • April 23, 2014 11:56 GMT
Tony Blair gives a speech at Peking University in Beijing, China.

Tony Blair gives a speech at Peking University in Beijing, China.Reuters

It is unsurprising that public opinion in the UK and elsewhere, resents the notion that we should engage with the politics of the Middle East and beyond. We have been through painful engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. After 2008, we have had our own domestic anxieties following the financial crisis. And besides if we want to engage, people reasonably ask: where, how and to what purpose?

More recently, Ukraine has served to push the Middle East to the inside pages, with the carnage of Syria featuring somewhat, but the chaos of Libya, whose Government we intervened to change, hardly meriting a mention.

However the Middle East matters. What is presently happening there, still represents the biggest threat to global security of the early 21st C. The region, including the wider area outside its conventional boundary – Pakistan, Afghanistan to the east and North Africa to the west – is in turmoil with no end in sight to the upheaval and any number of potential outcomes from the mildly optimistic to catastrophe.

At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message. The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is de-stabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.

In this speech I will set out how we should do this, including the recognition that on this issue, whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and cooperate with the East, and in particular, Russia and China.

The statement that the Middle East ‘matters’, is no longer uncontested. Some say after the shale revolution, the region has declined in significance for energy supplies, at least for the USA. Others say that though they accept that it continues to be a relevant and important region, there are other more pressing problems, most particularly now with Eastern Europe facing a resurgent, nationalist Russia. For the most part, a very common sentiment is that the region may be important but it is ungovernable and therefore impossible and therefore we should let it look after itself.

I would say there are four reasons why the Middle East remains of central importance and cannot be relegated to the second order.

First and most obviously, it is still where a large part of the world’s energy supplies are generated, and whatever the long term implications of the USA energy revolution, the world’s dependence on the Middle East is not going to disappear any time soon. In any event, it has a determining effect on the price of oil; and thus on the stability and working of the global economy.

Secondly, it is right on the doorstep of Europe. The boundary of the EU is a short distance from the Levantine coast. Instability here affects Europe, as does instability in North Africa, in close proximity to Spain and Italy.

Third, in the centre of this maelstrom, is Israel. Its alliance with the USA, its partnership with leading countries of Europe, and the fact that it is a Western democracy, mean that its fate is never going to be a matter of indifference. Over these past years, with considerable skill, the Israelis have also built up relationships with China and with Russia. These aren’t the same as their long standing Western alliances but they have significance. Were the Israelis to be pulled into a regional conflict, there is no realistic way that the world could or would want to shrug it off. For the moment, Israel has successfully stayed aloof from the storm around it. But the one thing the last few years has taught us (and them) is that we can expect the unexpected.

Finally and least obvious, is a reason we are curiously reluctant to admit, in part because the admission would throw up some very difficult policy choices. It is in the Middle East that the future of Islam will be decided. By this I mean the future of its relationship with politics. This is controversial because the world of politics is uncomfortable talking about religion; because some will say that really the problems are not religious but political; and even because – it is true – that the largest Muslim populations are to be found outside the region not inside it.

But I assert it nonetheless. I do so because underneath the turmoil and revolution of the past years is one very clear and unambiguous struggle: between those with a modern view of the Middle East, one of pluralistic societies and open economies, where the attitudes and patterns of globalisation are embraced; and, on the other side, those who want to impose an ideology born out of a belief that there is one proper religion and one proper view of it, and that this view should, exclusively, determine the nature of society and the political economy. We might call this latter perspective an ‘Islamist’ view, though one of the frustrating things about this debate is the inadequacy of the terminology and the tendency for any short hand to be capable of misinterpretation, so that you can appear to elide those who support the Islamist ideology with all Muslims.

But wherever you look – from Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Yemen to Lebanon to Syria and then further afield to Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – this is the essential battle. Of course there are an array of complexities in each case, derived from tribe, tradition and territory. I would not for a moment suggest that these conflicts do not have their own individual characteristics. And the lack of economic opportunity is without doubt a prime proximate cause of the region’s chaos. But there is something frankly odd about the reluctance to accept what is so utterly plain: that they have in common a struggle around the issue of the rightful place of religion, and in particular Islam, in politics.

It is crucially important in this description not to confuse the issue of religion and politics, with the question of religiosity. Many of those totally opposed to the Islamist ideology are absolutely devout Muslims. In fact it is often the most devout who take most exception to what they regard as the distortion of their faith by those who claim to be ardent Muslims whilst acting in a manner wholly in contradiction to the proper teaching of the Koran.

Neither should this be seen in simplistic Sunni/Shia terms. Sometimes the struggle is seen in those terms and sometimes it is right to see it so. But the real battle is against both Sunni and Shia extremism where the majority of people, Sunni or Shia, who are probably perfectly content to live and let live, in the same way that nowadays most Catholics and Protestants do, are caught in a vicious and often literal crossfire between competing exclusivist views of the ‘true’ Islam. Where the two views align, whatever their mutual antagonism, is in the belief that those who think differently are the ‘enemy’ either within or without.

The reason this matters so much is that this ideology is exported around the world. The Middle East is still the epicentre of thought and theology in Islam. Those people, fortunately not a majority, in countries like, for example, Indonesia or Malaysia who espouse a strict Islamist perspective, didn’t originate these ideas. They imported them.

For the last 40/50 years, there has been a steady stream of funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous. Unfortunately we seem blind to the enormous global impact such teaching has had and is having.

Within the Middle East itself, the result has been horrible, with people often facing a choice between authoritarian Government that is at least religiously tolerant; and the risk that in throwing off the Government they don’t like, they end up with a religiously intolerant quasi-theocracy.

Take a step back and analyse the world today: with the possible exception of Latin America (leaving aside Hezbollah in the tri-border area in South America), there is not a region of the world not adversely affected by Islamism and the ideology is growing. The problems of the Mid East and North Africa are obvious. But look at the terror being inflicted in countries – Nigeria, Mali, Central African Republic, Chad and many others – across Sub Saharan Africa. Indeed I would argue that that religious extremism is possibly the single biggest threat to their ability to overcome the massive challenges of development today.

In Central Asia, terrorist attacks are regular occurrences in Russia, whose Muslim population is now over 15%, and radical influences are stretching across the whole of the central part of Northern Asia, reaching even the Western province of Xinjiang in China.

In the Far East, there has been the important breakthrough in resolving the Mindanao dispute in the Philippines, where well over 100,000 people lost their lives in the last decade or so. But elsewhere, in Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia, there remain real inter-religious challenges and tensions. In the recent Indonesian elections, the Islamic parties received a third of the vote.

The Muslim population in Europe is now over 40m and growing. The Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations are increasingly active and they operate without much investigation or constraint. Recent controversy over schools in Birmingham (and similar allegations in France) show heightened levels of concern about Islamist penetration of our own societies.

All of this you can read about.

However for the purposes of this speech, two fascinating things stand out for me. The first is the absolutely rooted desire on the part of Western commentators to analyse these issues as disparate rather than united by common elements. They go to extraordinary lengths to say why, in every individual case, there are multiple reasons for understanding that this is not really about Islam, it is not really about religion; there are local or historic reasons which explain what is happening. There is a wish to eliminate the obvious common factor in a way that is almost wilful. Now of course as I have said, there is always a context that is unique to each situation. There will naturally be a host of local factors that play a part in creating the issue. But it is bizarre to ignore the fact the principal actors in all situations, express themselves through the medium of religious identity or that in ideological terms, there is a powerful unifying factor based on a particular world view of religion and its place in politics and society.

The second thing is that there is a deep desire to separate the political ideology represented by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood from the actions of extremists including acts of terrorism. This stems from a completely laudable sense that we must always distinguish between those who violate the law and those we simply disagree with.

But laudable though the motives are, which lead us to this distinction, if we’re not careful, they also blind us to the fact that the ideology itself is nonetheless dangerous and corrosive; and cannot and should not be treated as a conventional political debate between two opposing views of how society should be governed.

It may well be the case that in particular situations, those who follow a strictly Islamist political agenda neither advocate nor approve of political violence. There are of course a variety of different views within such a broadly described position. But their overall ideology is one which inevitably creates the soil in which such extremism can take root. In many cases, it is clear that they regard themselves as part of a spectrum, with a difference of view as to how to achieve the goals of Islamism, not a difference as to what those goals are; and in certain cases, they will support the use of violence.

At this point it must again be emphasised: it is not Islam itself that gives rise to this ideology. It is an interpretation of Islam, actually a perversion of it which many Muslims abhor. There used to be such interpretations of Christianity which took us years to eradicate from our mainstream politics.

The reason that this ideology is dangerous is that its implementation is incompatible with the modern world – politically, socially, and economically. Why? Because the way the modern world works is through connectivity. Its essential nature is pluralist. It favours the open-minded. Modern economies work through creativity and connections. Democracy cannot function except as a way of thinking as well as voting. You put your view; you may lose; you try to win next time; or you win but you accept that you may lose next time.

That is not the way that the Islamist ideology works. It is not about a competing view of how society or politics should be governed within a common space where you accept other views are equally valid. It is exclusivist in nature. The ultimate goal is not a society which someone else can change after winning an election. It is a society of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable.

Because the West is so completely unfamiliar with such an ideology –though actually the experience of revolutionary communism or fascism should resonate with older generations – we can’t really see the danger properly. We feel almost that if we identify it in these terms, we’re being anti-Muslim, a sentiment on which the Islamists cleverly play.

Right now in the Middle East, this is the battle being waged. Of course in each country, it arises in a different form. But in each case, take out the extremist views around religion, and each conflict or challenge becomes infinitely more manageable. This is where, even though at one level the ideology coming out of Shia Iran and that of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood may seem to be different, in reality they amount to the same thing with the same effect – the holding back of the proper political, social and economic advance of the country.

It is this factor that then can explain many of the things that presently we seem to find inexplicable in a way that fuels our desire to dis-engage from the region and beyond it.

So we look at the issue of intervention or not and seem baffled. We change the regimes in Afghanistan and in Iraq, put soldiers on the ground in order to help build the country, a process which a majority of people in both countries immediately participated in, through the elections. But that proved immensely difficult and bloody.

We change the regime in Libya through air power, we don’t commit forces on the ground, again the people initially respond well, but now Libya is a mess and a mess that is de-stabilising everywhere around it, (apart from Algeria partly because Algeria already went through a conflict precisely around the issue of Islamism in which thousands lost their lives.)

In Syria, we call for the regime to change, we encourage the Opposition to rise up, but then when Iran activates Hezbollah on the side of Assad, we refrain even from air intervention to give the Opposition a chance. The result is a country in disintegration, millions displaced, a death toll approximating that of Iraq, with no end in sight and huge risks to regional stability.

The impact of this recent history, on Western opinion is a wish at all costs to stay clear of it all.

Then there has been the so-called Arab Spring. At first we jumped in to offer our support to those on the street. We are now bemused and bewildered that it hasn’t turned out quite how we expected.

Even in respect of the MEPP there is an audible feeling of dismay, – that as the world around Israel and Palestine went into revolutionary spasm, and the need for progress seemed so plain, the issue in which we have expended extraordinary energy and determination through US Secretary Kerry, still seems as intractable as ever.

Yet the explanation for all of these apparently unresolvable contradictions is staring us in the face.

It is that there is a Titanic struggle going on within the region between those who want the region to embrace the modern world – politically, socially and economically – and those who instead want to create a politics of religious difference and exclusivity. This is the battle. This is the distorting feature. This is what makes intervention so fraught but non- intervention equally so. This is what complicates the process of political evolution. This is what makes it so hard for democracy to take root. This is what, irrespective of the problems on the Israeli side, divides Palestinian politics and constrains their leadership.

The important point for Western opinion is that this is a struggle with two sides. So when we look at the Middle East and beyond it to Pakistan or Iran and elsewhere, it isn’t just a vast unfathomable mess with no end in sight and no one worthy of our support. It is in fact a struggle in which our own strategic interests are intimately involved; where there are indeed people we should support and who, ironically, are probably in the majority if only that majority were mobilised, organised and helped.

But what is absolutely necessary is that we first liberate ourselves from our own attitude. We have to take sides. We have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time. We have to have an approach to the region that is coherent and sees it as a whole. And above all, we have to commit. We have to engage.

Engagement and commitment are words easy to use. But they only count when they come at a cost. Alliances are forged at moments of common challenge. Partnerships are built through trials shared. There is no engagement that doesn’t involve a price. There is no commitment that doesn’t mean taking a risk.

In saying this, it does not mean that we have to repeat the enormous commitment of Iraq and Afghanistan. It may well be that in time people come to view the impact of those engagements differently. But there is no need, let alone appetite, to do that.

I completely understand why our people feel they have done enough, more than enough. And when they read of those we have tried to help spurning our help, criticising us, even trying to kill us, they’re entitled to feel aggrieved and to say: we’re out.

However, as the Afghans who braved everything to vote show us and the Iraqis who will also come out and vote despite all the threats and the inadequacy of the system they now live in, demonstrate, those who spurn our help are only part of the story. There are others whose spirit and determination stay undaunted. And I think of the Egyptians who have been through so much and yet remain with optimism; and the Palestinians who work with me and who, whatever the frustrations, still want and believe in a peaceful solution; and I look at Tunisians and Libyans and Yemenis who are trying to make it all work properly; and I realise this is not a struggle without hope. This is not a mess where everyone is as bad as each other. In other words it matters and there is a side we should be proud to take. There are people to stand beside and who will stand beside us.

But we have to be clear what that side is and why we’re taking it. So what does that mean?

It means supporting the principles of religious freedom and open, rule based economies. It means helping those countries whose people wish to embrace those principles to achieve them. Where there has been revolution, we should be on the side of those who support those principles and opposed to those who would thwart them. Where there has not been revolution, we should support the steady evolution towards them.

If we apply those principles to the Middle East, it would mean the following.

Egypt. I start with Egypt not because what is happening in Syria is not more horrifying; but because on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region. Here we have to understand plainly what happened. The Muslim Brotherhood Government was not simply a bad Government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country. The revolt of 30 June 2013 was not an ordinary protest. It was the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation. We should support the new Government and help. None of this means that where there are things we disagree strongly with – such as the death sentence on the 500 – that we do not speak out. Plenty of Egyptians have. But it does mean that we show some sensitivity to the fact that over 400 police officers have suffered violent deaths and several hundred soldiers been killed. The next President will face extraordinary challenges. It is massively in our interests that he succeeds. We should mobilise the international community in giving Egypt and its new President as much assistance as we can so that the country gets a chance not to return to the past but to cross over to a better future.

Syria. This is an unmitigated disaster. We are now in a position where both Assad staying and the Opposition taking over seem bad options. The former is responsible for creating this situation. But the truth is that there are so many fissures and problems around elements within the Opposition that people are rightly wary now of any solution that is an outright victory for either side. Repugnant though it may seem, the only way forward is to conclude the best agreement possible even if it means in the interim President Assad stays for a period. Should even this not be acceptable to him, we should consider active measures to help the Opposition and force him to the negotiating table, including no fly zones whilst making it clear that the extremist groups should receive no support from any of the surrounding nations.

Tunisia. Here there have been genuine and positive attempts by the new Government to escape from the dilemmas of the region and to shape a new Constitution. Supporting the new Government should be an absolute priority. As the new President has rightly said for a fraction of what we’re offering Ukraine – which of course is the correct thing to do – we could put Tunisia on its feet. We should do so. This would be a very sensible investment.

Libya. We bear a responsibility for what has happened. Their urgent need is for security sector reform. We have made some attempts to do so. But obviously the scale of the task and the complications of the militia make it very hard. But Libya is not Iraq or Afghanistan. It is not impossible to help and NATO has the capability to do so. However reluctant we are to make this commitment, we have to recognise the de-stabilising impact Libya is having at present. If it disintegrates completely, it will affect the whole of the region around it and feed the instability in Sub- Saharan Africa.

Yemen. Again the country is trying to make progress in circumstances that are unimaginably difficult. We are giving support to the new Government. There is a new Constitution. But again they urgently need help with security sector reform and with development.

Iran. We should continue to make it clear, as the Obama administration is rightly doing, that they have to step back from being a nuclear threshold state. The next weeks will be a crucial phase in the negotiation. But I do not favour yielding to their demands for regional influence in return for concessions on their nuclear ambitions. The Iranian Government play a deliberately de-stabilising role across the region. Our goals should not include regime change. Their people will, in the end, have to find their own way to do that. However we should at every opportunity, push back against the use of their power to support extremism.

MEPP. Since becoming Secretary of State, John Kerry has put immense effort into making the peace process work. As we speak, his efforts hang in the balance. Many people said he should not have given such priority to this issue. They are wrong. It remains absolutely core to the region and the world. Not because the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is the cause of our problems. But because solving it would be such a victory for the very forces we should support. Now it may be that after years of it being said that solving this question is the route to solving the regions’ problems, we’re about to enter a new phase where solving the region’s problems a critical part of solving the Israeli / Palestinian issue. But the point is that John Kerry’s commitment has not been in vain. He has put himself in an immensely powerful position to drive this forward by virtue of that commitment. He needs our support in doing so.

Elsewhere across the region we should be standing steadfast by our friends and allies as they try to change their own countries in the direction of reform. Whether in Jordan or the Gulf where they’re promoting the values of religious tolerance and open, rule based economies, or taking on the forces of reaction in the shape of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, we should be supporting and assisting them.

Finally, we have to elevate the issue of religious extremism to the top of the agenda. All over the world the challenge of defeating this ideology requires active and sustained engagement. Consider this absurdity: that we spend billions of $ on security arrangements and on defence to protect ourselves against the consequences of an ideology that is being advocated in the formal and informal school systems and in civic institutions of the very countries with whom we have intimate security and defence relationships. Some of those countries of course wish to escape from the grip of this ideology. But often it is hard for them to do so within their own political constraints. They need to have this issue out in the open where it then becomes harder for the promotion of this ideology to happen underneath the radar. In other words they need us to make this a core part of the international dialogue in order to force the necessary change within their own societies. This struggle between what we may call the open-minded and the closed-minded is at the heart of whether the 21st C turns in the direction of peaceful co-existence or conflict between people of different cultures.

If we do not act, then we will start to see reactions against radical Islam which will then foster extremism within other faiths. Indeed we see some evidence of this already directed against Muslims in Asia particularly.

When we consider the defining challenges of our time, surely this one should be up there along with the challenge of the environment or economic instability. Add up the deaths around the world now – and even leave out the theatre of the Middle East – and the toll on human life is deplorable. In Nigeria recently and Pakistan alone thousands are now dying in religiously inspired conflict. And quite apart from the actual loss of life, there is the loss of life opportunities for parts of the population mired in backward thinking and reactionary attitudes especially towards girls.

On this issue also, there is a complete identity of interest between East and West. China and Russia have exactly the same desire to defeat this ideology as do the USA and Europe. Here is a subject upon which all the principal nations of the G20 could come together, could agree to act, and could find common ground to common benefit. An international programme to eradicate religious intolerance and prejudice from school systems and informal education systems and from organisations in civic society would have a huge galvanising effect in making unacceptable what is currently ignored or tolerated.

So there is an agenda here in part about the Middle East and its importance; and in part about seeing what is happening there in the context of its impact on the wider world.

This is why I work on the Middle East Peace Process; why I began my Foundation to promote inter-faith dialogue. Why I will do all I can to help governments confronting these issues.

 

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WMD, Lying Politicians, Imbedded Journo’s, Skewed reporting. Truth is left to the seeker

Faith is belief without evidence  R. Dawkins

We are fed information drip by drop that pre-conditions us to accept the conviction displayed by, say for example, Tony Blair and we too imbibe and absorb, till gradually, slowly our  irascible ire transforms into willing acceptance.  Images of 9/11 cloud our brain and we are in unison (figuratively speaking) against the cave dwelling, bearded men that are flashed on our screen and told this is the work of Al Qai’da, even disregarding the grating american-ism of George Bush.

Evangelist of terror

Tony Blair sold a solution; Invade.

The fear he preached with such zeal was no different from any hell fire preacher  of yester-year  who offered you  Jn 3:16 and salvation.

No different to the seller of indulgences that led Martin Luther to pin his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany, of the Holy Roman Empire, that famously held one of Europe‘s largest collections of holy relics.

As with any cult, you have to admire his personal conviction, but politely disagree.  We are never going to change his mind.  Tony Blair is still just as deluded as he was then, believing that his legacy will respect him. Somehow I doubt it.

Hope and fear and the flip sides of the same coin.

Bush and Blair offered us the Precautionary Principle [The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment,…en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle]

Truth and reconciliation of South Africa has taught us that people do begin to glimpse that they were wrong.

A video:  

C.I.A. no al-qaeda ever existed – BBC documentary the power of nightmares

We used to believe that the victor in any major famous conflict of past humanity had the freedom to write his-story.  While this maybe true, nowadays however the narrative of events is rehearsed, choreographed and steered towards the sanitized bite-size version that we regurgitate.

Bush, Blair found guilty. But not enforceable

Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes in Malaysian tribunal. (Trial in Absentia = Assange Sweden Red Notice)

Also watch video of Sex, Lies and Julian Assange by Journeyman [Link]

Thanks to @sensimeliajah [Twitter link] https://twitter.com/sensimeliajah

In Kuala Lumpur, after two years of investigation by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC), a tribunal (the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, or KLWCT) consisting of five judges with judicial and academic backgrounds reached a unanimous verdict that found George W Bush and Tony Blair guilty of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide as a result of their roles in the Iraq War…..

The tribunal acknowledged that its verdict was not enforceable in a normal manner associated with a criminal court operating within a sovereign state or as constituted by international agreement, as is the case with the International Criminal Court. But the KLWCT followed a juridical procedure purported to operate in a legally responsible manner. This would endow its findings and recommendations with a legal weight expected to extend beyond a moral condemnation of the defendants, but in a manner that is not entirely evident…….

This recent session of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal offers a devastating critique of the persisting failures of international criminal law mechanisms of accountability to administer justice justly, that is, without the filters of impunity provided by existing hierarchies of hard power.

Source:Al Jazeera [http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/20111128105712109215.html” target=”_blank”>Link to article]

Related

Interview with Barrie Sander “On the Run”

http://www.bushtothehague.org/

Tony Blair should face trial over Iraq war, says Desmond Tutu

[Link to article here]

Truth, lies bleeding on the streets

While the spin doctors tell us that life in Iraq is improving. Yet a female suicide bomber struck Shiite worshippers in the holy city of Karbala on Monday.

The dead/wounded toll rises from 8 to 15 to 35 to 43.

Do the numbers matter? Well it does, if you are one of the family of those blown up, but not for someone here in UK or US.

It isn’t even news anymore. As they say, talk to the hand

talk-to-the-hand.jpg

Img credit to Farm1

However there are people on this planet who will tell us that Tension Escalates in Iraq.

Reading between the lines, it is becoming obvious that Shock and Awe has had such a brilliant effect that this week, 5 years later as

Cheney’s motorcade zigzagged through Baghdad to meetings as helicopter gunships circled overhead. Explosions were heard in parts of the city, but none were near the vice president.

So what is Joe Public supposed to believe?

There appear to be two camps:

1. One that says one thing but knows another.

“The United States can do a lot for Iraq, but we cannot provide Iraq with an anchor in the Arab world, a kind of legitimacy for the new Iraqi project that comes from being fully integrated in its neighborhood,” said a U.S. official who asked not to be identified.

“And I think clearly some of our friends in the Arab world can do more on that score,” the official said of Cheney’s coming visit to Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Thanks to Faizshakir.

McCain, who arrived in Iraq on Sunday, told reporters that he also discussed with the Shiite leader the need for progress on political reforms, including laws on holding provincial elections and the equitable distribution of Iraq’s oil riches.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., speaking to reporters from Kuwait after a visit to Iraq, said Iraq should begin picking up more of the bills.

“We’re paying for things that Iraqis clearly should be paying for,” Levin said. “They have the capability, the surplus funds to do their own reconstruction, and to do their own weapons purchases and other things which we’re paying for and they need to pay for.”

Reported in

2. One that faces facts as they see it.

But some analysts have doubt about any major breakthroughs when Cheney talks about the matter with Arab countries.

“I don’t think that he’s going to be able to bring back anything meaningful because he’s got nothing to offer,” said Steven Simon, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“He represents a lame duck president, a floundering economy, a situation in which the U.S. for all its efforts in Iraq has no leverage on the government in Baghdad,” Simon noted

In the final analysis it all boils down to simple things like

The Iraqis do not yet have a law for sharing the nation’s oil wealth among the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, a law that the Bush administration believes will trigger multinational energy companies to invest in exploration and production in Iraq.

Five years and still nothing to show for what they really came for except perhaps as Desert peace eloquently puts it “The Invisible Wounds of the Iraq War”.

Remember Mr Joe Public, they did it on our behalf and we let them.

People sometimes say they respect the ‘sincerity’ of those who display passionate conviction, even when what they are convinced about is visibly false. Tony Blair is regularly given credit for his sincerity, at least by the right-wing media, as he remains the only person in the world to believe in Iraqui weapons of mass destruction. But surely we ought to find passion and conviction in such a case dangerous and lamentable. The tendency of mind that they indicate is the vice of weakness, not the virtue of strength. Far from being a sign of sincerity, passionate conviction in these shadowy regions is a sign of weakness, of a secretly known infirmity of representational confidence. If we sympathize with the doughty Victorian W. K. Clifford, we will see it as a sign of something worse: a dereliction of cognitive duty, or a crime against the ethics of belief, and hence, eventually, a crime against humanity. (A paper by Simon Blackburn “Religion and Respect” Simon Blackburn is currently the Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge)

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