War & Terrorism

War & Terrorism (48)

Just as the Russians learnt recently that for their participation in the Syrian conflict led to reprisal by the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai desert, the French discovered the same through the recent attack in Paris. President Hollande declared it as an act of war by IS (Islamic State), thus, waving the placard of victimhood.  However, like Russia, France had already declared war and one of the attackers made this point to the French hostages. "It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president; he should not have intervened in Syria". When you bomb a country or aiding another country to do the same, you are committing an act of war and expect retribution. A former Supreme Court Judge of India echoed the same on Twitter reacting to the Paris attack “You bomb the Middle East to hell and expect no retaliation?”.

France along with many other western countries may scream terrorism through their corporate media, but when you terrorise (‘foreign policy’) other nations, then be prepared to be terrorised too. The less regulated social media tells a different story from the corporate media. Many pointed out that selective outcry is an attempt to project a molar stance that in fact, conceals something that is profoundly immoral - because it reflects that they value some lives more than others. One tweet poignantly stated we are France today, but we are never, Iraq, Syria or Palestine, who are facing similar attacks on a daily basis.

The Charleston shooting that hit the headlines a short while ago put the spotlight on the White supremicist terrorist, Dylann Roof, that except 'extremism', 'terror' and 'radicalisation' were not words used to describe the biggotted and hateful individual, for whom we were then expected to show sympathy.  On the other hand, whenever anyone of a non-White, and especially Muslim background is reported as carrying out such atrocities, a different picture is painted by the mass media.  Their portrayal of the recent shooting in Tunisia painfully highlights their hypocrisy in handling such incidents.  Here is my analysis of where the mass media, and the governments who point the finger away from themselves when talking about radicalisation, have got it wrong.   - Yamin Zakaria


Two gunmen in two different parts of world carried out near-identical attacks on defenceless civilians with machine guns. Both were cowardly acts, massacring people who were caught by surprise. Neither in a church, nor on a beach would you expect that kind of attack. Can we draw any other parallels between the two incidents? Both also have an underlying political motive, and that is where the similarities stop.

Before I elaborate my viewpoint on this matter, I ask the following questions: under the current climate, will my viewpoint be considered as a legitimate expression of free speech or evidence of radicalisation? Will I get a knock on the door from the Liberal Inquisition brigade? Indeed, critical analysis of the government’s domestic and foreign policy should be at heart of free speech, a pillar of democracy; it is a way of holding the government accountable, and thus serves a legitimate purpose. This is far removed from those advocating hate speech disguised as free-speech, by drawing needless, offensive cartoons that convey insults, fulfilling the crude urges of rightwing xenophobic bigots.

After eight years, Tony Blair’s time as Middle East Envoy, representing the Quartet (the US, Russia, the UN and the EU), has finally come to an end. Robert Fisk asks, in the Independent Newspaper, how a war criminal ever became a ‘peace envoy’ in the first place. His appointment to this role was an insult to many. Perhaps Blair thought this would serve as adequate redemption for his sins during his war criminal years, and he certainly has blood on his hands.

Sitting in the UK and uncritically consuming our media flow, it can be easy to believe that it is all of our young Muslims are running away to the Middle East to join ISIS, but who is actually providing that group with the most support? This infographic, published by the Independent Newspaper via the Brookings Institute, shows who, exactly, is giving them a shout-out on Twitter, one of the world's most active social media platforms. And do you know what? The UK is at the bottom end of that list. Unsurprising really, as the majority of British Muslims are quite sickened to see Islam associated with that group. Maybe Theresa May should take note before branding Muslim citizens as 'Anti-British extremists' next time, as she did in Monday's speech?

Does Clint Eastwood’s movie glorify war? Is it an ode to militarism? A repellent, barbarous message that shedding blood is good? Is the hero actually a villain?

American Sniper tells the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the lethal sharpshooter who, during his four tours of Iraq, notched up 160 kills. A record? Worry not. An anonymous Royal Marine sniper boasts 173 hits, mostly Taliban fighters, according to The Sun newspaper. Huh! These bloodthirsty Brits! You can always count on them to come up on top.

Actually, Kyle is not a particularly violent man. In an early scene, finding his girl in bed with another guy, he simply throws the culprit out - I can imagine more sanguine reactions. However, after watching on TV massive attacks on American marines in Beirut and the slaughter of 9/11, he volunteers into the SEALS and is sent to US-occupied Iraq. A country which had absolutely nothing to do with the abovementioned crimes. Some irony, eh?

Can you enlist evil to fight evil? Could Mafia gangsters assist in fighting terrorism? ‘Let me out and I will crush Islamic State’, Sicilian boss Toto ‘Shorty’ Riina has sworn from his cell. Makes your flesh creep. Preposterous and unacceptable. Still, for the hell of it, let me consider it.

The objections. First, the Mafia is not a unified organisation. Octopus-like, it has many far-reaching tentacles, but no single head. Rather, it has several. Shorty cannot command all the power he boasts. It is just a stratagem to get out of prison.

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