“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defence. Call it what you like, it's not defence.”
Professor Noam Chomsky
President Obama wants to broker a ceasefire, but what is the credential of the US to play the role of an impartial broker? This is the country that has armed Israel to the teeth, it continues to finance their existence and turn a blind eye to the creeping colonisation of the remaining territories of Palestine; with unrestrained access to the US media, the Zionist narrative is fed to the American masses, who above all, stand by Israel, no matter how many Palestinian civilians are killed and maimed, whilst the Israeli casualty figures barely reach double figures.
Let us put aside the point of US neutrality to act as a peace maker. The issue is - brokering a ceasefire could only take place, if both sides had something to negotiate. This conflict is not a fight between two armies; it’s a one-sided massacre of civilians and the destruction of their livelihood and properties, accomplished efficiently with US made weapons. Therefore, the brokering process is essentially about getting the Israelis to halt their war machine, even if Hamas were to continue to fire the rockets, the Israeli casualties will remain close to zero.
As usual, the Zionist apologists will point out the home-made Hamas ‘rockets’ as the cause. If you want to identify the cause, then examine the sequence of events, and the long-term Israeli strategy to suffocate the Palestinians, in the concentration camp of Gaza. Not to mention the Zionisation of the West Bank, where the illegal settlements (theft of land) continues to grow, in flagrant breach of International Law. This process is to facilitate the right of return for the Jews, whose ancestors may have lived there, and concurrently the dispossessed Palestinians within the last 100 years are still seeking their right of return. Many still have the keys to their houses, now occupied by thieves, known as ‘settlers’. In addition, the impact of these so-called rockets have been magnified beyond all proportions, and then recycled continuously through the Zionist dominated media, to justify the carnage.
As we entered the 5th day of the conflict in the month of Ramadan, the UN managed to issue the most ridiculous statement with no provisions for any action; the statements suggests the conflict is a two-way battle, both parties should share the responsibility equally, but the facts on the grounds show otherwise.
“The Security Council members expressed serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.”
Well so far only the Palestinians have suffered 140 casualties and no deaths of Israelis reported, therefore, the statement should have reflected that, placing much greater burden on Israel to ensure protection and welfare of civilians in Gaza. It then goes on to say the following.
“The Security Council members further called for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”
This can only apply to Israel, whose army and the civilians are beyond the reach of the Palestinians in Gaza; the IDF has been busy destroying houses, killing civilians, cutting off power supplies to essential services like hospitals. During the previous incursion into Gaza in 2006, Israel prevented medical aid getting through and firing at ambulances, by the end of the operation, 1500 Palestinians had been killed, whilst Israel suffered only 17 casualties.
The Zionist dominated media narrative, along with the voices of western leaders, tells us the following about the Israeli incursion:
It’s not a war crime despite the deliberate killing of defenceless civilians, and the wanton destruction of their properties; it is not terrorism despite the killing of non-combatants; it is not a collective punishment of a population, even though it is acting in retaliation for the actions of a few, and it is not a one-sided massacre, even though over 99% of the victims are the Palestinian - Israel the victim, is simply defending itself.
Acting in self-defence means, it is a preventative measure and not a full scale offensive like that taken in a war situation. Given the failure of these Hamas rockets to inflict any casualties or real damage, and many of the missiles are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome system, the ‘defensive’ measures taken by Israel by bombing Gaza, are well beyond what is required, because Israel’s intention is to wage a war, and subdue the Palestinian will for existence. As the Palestinians are suffocating in the Gaza concentration camp under siege, they will naturally retaliate with crude weapons, and this in turn has become a basis for the Israeli slaughter, in the name of self-defence. Since when did the Israeli Defence Force ever carry out a defensive operation after the end of the 1973 war? Lebanon to Gaza has been a one-sided carnage of cities and the civilian population.
So why has Israel attacked Gaza? Professor Noam Chomsky answered this question during the previous incursion into Gaza, and I think the answer is still applicable now.
“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenceless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.”
Finally, the Arab clowns sitting as heads of state, collectively the impotent Arab league, which has never managed to erect anything. The Arab ‘leaders’ are paralysed and speechless; they could not even muster a protest. It’s uncomfortable to confront the Israelis through the US and over the last 30 years, the Arabs have become accustomed to fighting each other, so much so, it kind of evokes the pre-Islamic stories of tribes fighting for 40-years, just over a camel.
So what does the future hold? The Arab Spring has come and gone, the new Caliphate (ISIS) has mysteriously emerged from nowhere, and I suspect that too will vanish or prove to be just as hollow with the passage of time.
Please remind us again - is Israel the only democracy in the Middle East, where the rule of law prevails! It is nauseating to put up with jibes that are not only false, but carry an obvious racist undertone, implying that the Arabs are not civilised enough to be democratic. Israel could have proven its democratic credentials by capturing the culprits that killed the three Israeli teenagers, and then trying them through the courts. Instead, it embarked on the usual route of issuing collective punishment on the entire Palestinian people by bombing Gaza, carrying out arbitrary arrests of ‘suspects’, and invading Palestinian houses at will, as if they have no basic human right of privacy; such behaviour is reminiscent of the Nazis in Germany hounding the Jews, and not a modern democracy.
It is not enough that Israel continues to use the victimhood of Nazi Germany, known as the holocaust industry, to make political mileage, but they go further and use that perversely to justify the persecution of the Palestinians in a way that is replicating the Nazi behaviour. To some extent this makes sense, as the defenceless Palestinians are far easier to blame and target, than confronting the mighty Germans.
"How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" - Dr. Samuel Johnson
The Declaration of Independence in 1776, the formation of the US constitution in 1789, and the first 10 amendments to it, collectively known as the “Bill of Rights” passed in 1791, are the three most significant sets of documents that have contributed towards shaping the political history of the US. The core principles embedded in those documents form the basis of US democracy, and the functioning of the Congress (legislative), the Supreme Court (judiciary) and the President (executive).
Don’t worry; this is not a religious sermon. I am neither an Imam, nor a priest of any kind. Although fasting in the month of Ramadan is a spiritual act for Muslims, it may offer valuable lessons that are beneficial to all humanity, and provide some insight into human nature.
To abstain from consuming food and drink, and sexual intercourse, is to break from the usual routine. By observing this annual fast, it gives the hard working organs of the body some rest, allowing them to recuperate. For a more in-depth analysis of the physical benefits of fasting one can consult a medic, and there is plenty of literature out there. I am more interested in the collective social benefits that can be derived from fasting.
As the events continue to unfold in Iraq, a full scale sectarian conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites looks imminent. No surprise that Obama will not commit ground troops, and why should he. The US interest will be served by funding both sides behind the scenes, whilst politically it will appear to oppose ISIS and play out the role of a peacemaker, and nominal air strikes driven by political expediency will not change the underlying policy.
The flags, the banners, and the message of ISIS clearly convey they want to impose Sharia laws, and bring about the Caliphate, like it or not. It has sent out alarm bells, the Caliphate will pose challenge to western hegemony in the region, and the existing regimes will feel the heat and it may destabilise the entire region. This is an overreaction and largely contributed by the self-created Islamophobic climate in the west.
From the northern UK cities of Bradford, Rochdale, and Manchester to the rural areas of Pakistan, the grisly issue of honour killing persists. This has recently surfaced in the media, with the savage killing of Farzana Parveen, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, literally bludgeoned to death with bricks and stones by family members, for having married the man she loved. It beggars belief, how anyone can do this to their own flesh and blood. What kind of values do these people carry? Whatever it is, I can see no reference in Islamic law, and the life of the Prophet (saw), to remotely endorse such barbarism and cruelty.
Tony Blair’s recent outburst on Political Islam sounds like an indirect confession. He has contributed towards its rise, and now wants the rest of the world to contain it. His message sounds like an intolerant person who cannot co-exist with an opposing view. If political Islam is the people’s choice then what exactly is the problem Mr Blair? Or Is Blair an intolerant extremist who wants to impose his ways on others?
He is also a war criminal; accordingly, he should stand for trial at The Hague. However, that is extremely unlikely, regardless of his crimes and the evidence presented, because leaders of a western block countries set the rules to subject others, whilst they have total immunity. The empirical evidence corroborates this; the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been largely applied on former leaders of African and Arab countries. In the spirit of equality and progress, we must break from our ‘prejudice’ and pluck out a leader for a trial from the Western block, be it Blair or Bush or even a second rate Dick Cheney will do. It is possible, the US produced a black leader, even though he may not be black enough for some, but at least it’s something. Likewise, we may get to a point, where the international tribunals are applied to all war criminals, not just the non-white ones.
What about the extremism of Tony Blair? And the question follows, what is an extremist. Let us take the commonsense approach and define it as deviation from the norm. Thus, note the following points: Is it normal for the leader of a country to invade another sovereign country on a false pretext? Yes, so much blood spilt over those mythical WMDs in Iraq, and they are still missing, but who cares as long as only Israel has them! Is it normal for a leader to lecture on religious fundamentalism and then proclaim that he has a hotline to a Christian God, who is directing the slaughter, like some modern day crusader? Is it normal for a leader to lecture on democracy, and then side with the military coup d’état in Egypt, against the choice of the people? Is it consistent to call for democracy in the Middle East, and then remain silent, as the neo-Pharaoh of Egypt calls for elections, whilst all the legitimate opposition are all locked up in jail, tortured or waiting to be executed?
All extremist acts and reacts disproportionately; the neo-conservative-led America responded to 9/11 consuming many more innocent lives in distant lands, than the approximate 3000 that perished on that day. Extremist Blair was one of the cheerleaders, and despite the level of carnage and moral outrage and deceit, he remains unrepentant, and refuses to acknowledge the flimsy and manufactured evidence supplied to support the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, because arrogance is a companion of extremists. Did these actions not contribute to destabilising the region, and propel more young Muslims to take up the ideology of Jihad as a means to repel the invasion?
Usually, torture and incarceration is attributed to non-democratic extremists like Saddam Hussein, or some other despot, but as the war unfolded, it confirmed that all extremists depict the same traits. A by-product of the war produced Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and from the leaked documents we now know with certainty that systematic torture, or as conveniently called by the liberal extremists “enhanced interrogation”, was a policy set in motion by Dick Cheney, who was then Vice President, not to mention many incarcerated until today.
The consciousness of extremists does not acknowledge the double standards, so they remain oblivious to the systematic torture and incarceration which contradict the values they preach; the fundamental values of human rights and presumption of innocence. Moreover, this policy of torture was applied on the very people they are trying to lecture about the virtues of human rights and good governance.
To add insult to injury, extremist Blair was appointed as an ambassador for peace in the Middle East where he was partly responsible for the carnage and destabilising of the region. I guess his overt pro-Zionist credentials make him very suitable for the post! Accordingly, he remained supportive of the disproportionate response by the Israeli forces, and the carnage that resulted in Gaza.
Blair tells us that he is only opposed to the extremist elements among the Muslims, who make a twisted interpretation of the text. Let us put that on freeze, and agree with him. So we would expect some kind of support and sympathy when non-extremists Muslims suffer. He could have demonstrated that over the situation in Burma and CAR (Central African Republic) were the defenceless Muslims were attacked in the most horrific manner.
As for those making a twisted interpretation of the Islamic texts, they are no different to those who make twisted interpretations of democracy. The extremist liberal clerics believe that democracy can be and should be imposed with bombs and bullets. Similarly, they argue to force a Muslim woman (nuns excluded) to remove her veil to set her free!
Only extremists would impose democracy or Islam by force. The non-extremists believe to the contrary. For different reasons both systems require consent of the masses - this is more so for Islam, obeying the divine laws and values is worship, thus it has to come from within. And godless democracy in a secular paradigm also has a similar attribute, it is expressing the will of the people, hence also has to come from within.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, received a lot of flak in the press for declaring “mission accomplished” when he visited the troops in Afghanistan recently; it evoked memories of George Bush’s premature declaration of victory in May 2003, as Iraq was disintegrating into a quagmire.
What was the mission in Afghanistan? Initially, it was about removing Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which was accomplished relatively quickly with Western firepower and money, as the loyalties of the Afghan tribes were easily purchased. In this sense, the mission was accomplished a while ago, but the Taliban and Al-Qaeda alliance could easily return if the US-led troops left, therefore, a long-term solution was required. Accordingly, the mission morphed into installing democracy, curtailing poppy production, and promoting women’s rights. The underlying reason is that a stable government would ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven for Al-Qaeda again.Read More...
The Islamophobic media of the far right, and the more subtle elements within the mainstream media, have continued to construct the view that child marriage is exclusively an Afghan problem, and the Islamophobic narrative given as explanation is - it stems from their Islamic heritage, and using crass language, they go on to cite the lone example of Prophet Mohammed’s marriage to Ayesha, and conveniently ignore all the other marriages to much older women.
Throughout large part of the history, this was not an issue; the Christian nemesis did not make much of an issue, as the mother of Jesus, Mary, at the age of 12-14 married Joseph, who was considerably older around the age of 90. Indeed, in the old days, marriage between an older man and a younger woman in her teens was the norm in most societies. In contrast, Western liberal societies view such marriages with scorn, instead the young ones gain the experience by having unlimited pre-marital sex with various partners, a bit like polygamy, but we dare not call it that! According to one government report , almost all Americans are engaged in per-marital sex and there are similar trends in Europe.Read More ...
“One of the major arguments being lobbed around this week as to why Muslim women shouldn’t be wearing veils in public is because they are a symbol of male dominance in society. As if knicker skimming dresses aren’t? ... On the streets of our cities every night of the year there are girls in outfits created purely for the pleasure of men.” - Alison Phillips, Journalist
A woman’s right to choose is at the heart of feminism; also endorsed by the liberal ideology of ‘freedom’. So, they argue that Hijab or the Niqab should not be enforced in society, and it should be left to the prerogative of the individuals. But surely, the notion of choice also implies that women should not be forced to remove it either. Accordingly, I was expecting to hear feminist voices coming to the defence of the right to wear the Niqab, along with the bare-breasted women from ‘Femen’ running through the streets of London, waving their fists, demanding the same. A disclaimer, I used the term bare-breasted as an adjective, and this should not be taken as my personal desire to see these semi-nude women behaving like cavewomen; it’s not dignified for any woman or man to behave in this way, in my book.