Ten reasons why bombing Iraq and Syria is no way to defeat ISIS – Stop the War Coalition

Took the link Ten reasons why bombing Iraq and Syria is no way to defeat ISIS – Stop the War Coalition. from the ‘Stop the War’ website. For now, I would just like to pick up on one of the ten reasons:

“The issue of the Kurds is central to countering ISIS expansion in the region. The Iraqi Kurds are close allies of the west, but there is a very different attitude to the Kurds in Turkey and Syria. The PKK, which has been struggling for Kurdish self-determination for decades, is still listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US. This is despite the PKK and its allies being prominent in the battle against ISIS. Turkey has oppressed the Kurds for many years and will not help those in Kobane, now under imminent threat of seizure by ISIS. Turkey could open its border to the Kurds, but refuses to do so, in contrast with its support for ISIS in the past. Instead the Turkish parliament has voted to create a ‘buffer zone’ at the Syrian border which will involve the disarming of the Kurds.” 

With Turkey refusing to help the beleaguered town and Turkish troops guarding the border to ensure that PKK’ fighters cannot help, The Guardian’ reports:

“The sense of betrayal is palpable. The Kurds on Turkey’s southern border with Syria are embittered as the tragedy of Kobani unfolds before their eyes on the other side of a wire fence.”

However, with Kurds throughout Turkey demonstrating their anger, it might just be that Erdogan, who believes that the Kurds of Kobani and the jihadists should be dealt with jointly, has decided to take a calculated risk. We can expect Turkish military intervention, but only after Kobani has fallen.

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A few words on Ilan Pappe’s ‘The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge’

IMG_9343Ilan Pappe’sThe Idea of History: A History of Power and Knowledge’ is an excellent read. It is well-structured and cohesive and coherent to a point where you can familiarise yourself with the narrative, even if a lot of the reference is new to you. Should there be a need, however, to acquire a more detailed background knowledge of the topic, then the author’s ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestineand The Forgotten Palestinians might represent good starting points.

The book is divided into three parts and covers the classical Zionist, post-Zionist and Neo-Zionist narratives.  Pappe begins by taking us through that school of fabrication which viewed “Palestine as land without people, for a people without land”; a school where there was  “no contradictions between ideology and professionalism” and which ensured that the Nakba was erased from Israeli academic discourse. This classical Zionist narritve was perfect for the oxymoronic “Jewish democracy” established through an oxymoronic “purity of arms” on someone else’s land.

The author the goes on to talk about post-Zionism and places its’ starting point, as he says, “artificially”,  in 1994, one year after the Oslo Accords, while connecting it to developments in Israeli society and the emergence of the “new historians” in the late 80s. That is certainly valid, because not only might these historians be seen as the ideological precursors of post-Zionism, but the developments that led to Oslo also facilitated a climate where, for a time at least, serious research could be undertaken and the right moral conclusions could be drawn.  It might be advisable not to overestimate their influence, but they were there, and they were being seen and heard. Moreover, that also mean that the Palestinian narrative was being discussed in the public space. However, things were to change, and, beginning with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin at the end of 1995, a new Zionist consensus was to assert itself during the next five years.

Of course, the genie was already out of the bottle and there could be no going back to the gobbledygook fabrication of classical Zionism. The Nakba happened, the land was not empty and there was an ethnic cleansing. That is why, we now have the spectre of neo-Zionists, such as Benny Morris,  who, no longer in complete denial (he does continue to argue that there was no systematic plan in 1948 to expel the Palestinians) contend that in Israel’s case, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, are justified.

This is the current prevailing consensus in Israel and, of course, as Pappe says, it has far-reaching political implications for it not only shows that Israel is “unwilling to reconcile with the past and with the Palestinians “, but that the Zionist state is “overtly confident that its policies of ethnic cleansing and dispossession can be morally justified and politically maintained as long as there are Western academics and politicians who are reluctant to apply the same set of values and judgements to the Jewish state that they would have quite brutally to countries in the Arab and Muslim world.” That, however, might lead to a different discourse. However, it would not be unrelated and it would also be concerned with power and knowledge. Therefore, it might be appropriate to finish with Edward Said’s quote on page 27 of Pappe’s book, which was taken from Said’s 1999 publication  ‘After the Last Sky’.

“To most people Palestinians are visible principally as fighters, terrorists, and lawless pariahs. Say the word “terror” and a man wearing a keffiyeh and mask and carrying a Kalashnikov immediately leaps before one’s eyes. To a degree, the image of a helpless, miserable-looking refugee has been replaced by this menacing one as a the veritable icon of ‘Palestine’.”  This might be part of the Zionist narrative, but it is one which is in keeping with the world view that Zionism and its allies are creating of the extended Muslim and Arab world. For just as no images of maimed and dead children in Gaza reach our screens, so too is the reality of dead Arab and Muslim children from Afghanistan to Libya, Somalia to Syria, either being kept hidden, or justified, in that Orwellian world where knowledge is a victim of power.





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The United Kingdom enters another illegal war

Obama’s “Authorization to use force in Iraq”  suggests that the President of the United States of America believes all the domestic authority he needs to carry out attacks comes from the legislation passed by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the 2002 Authorization which provided the domestic legal basis for the Iraq War. That is, to say the least, debatable. What, however, is not debatable is that there is absolutely no international legal justification for strikes on Iraq.

Therefore, when MPs in the British parliament vote by 524 to 43 to sanction the UK air strikes in Iraq, what we effectively have is the United Kingdom entering an illegal war as it, once more, lines up behind the US-led drive to reassert control over the entire Middle East. That is why, before the British extend their campaign to Syria, which they have put on hold for the time being, it is worth reminding ourselves of just some of the consequences of the *great game” that these madmen play out when they pursue their plans for a new Middle East.

The major consequence is, of course, mass murder being perpetrated and when the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights , an EU funded propaganda front, asserts 36 non-combatants, many of them women and children” were killed in American air strikes on an oil facility, a modicum of cognitive processing will allow us to deduce that not only are innocent men, women, and children, once again, being slaughtered in an illegal war, but that the number of reported deaths might only be the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, the modicum of cognitive processing is invariably neglected and when the same article informs us that another 147 people have died in those attacks the senseless slaughter is justified. Queen Reason takes a back seat, it all gets very irrational, very emotional, and aren’t these ISIS guys very nasty people?

The evidence would seem to suggest they are. However, there is evidence to support the contention that they are also a US strategic asset. For instance, when Günter Meyer, Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at the University of Mainz, in Germany, says that “the most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates,”  what we have is someone who can hardly be accused of an anti-Western or anti-US position directly pointing to the West’s allies as being the banker behind ISIS. Michel Chossudovsky goes further when he asserts that the creation of ISIS is all part of Washington’s plan to carve up the Middle East.

However, while that thesis is worthy of consideration, it might be appropriate to look specifically at Britain’s more immediate aim in lining up behind the US. According to Paul Mitchel that aim is “to use ISIS as a pretext to reverse the climbdown last year, when plans to bomb Syria were derailed.” Remember, a resolution to bomb Syria was defeated in the UK parliament last August? Well, of course, you don’t, and if you could, you are hardly likely to put two and two together. The fact the nasty men being shown on your television screens are only a pretext for another illegal war.

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The Big Debate on Scottish Independence; Pie in the Sky narratives and George Galloway

Ten busy weeks in England are coming to an end and I now find myself coming up for air in a sometimes bizarre country which is plagued by vague personal interest stories and pie in the sky narratives.

It’s infectious of course and to some extent personified by the character of George Galloway who is determined by his own vaguely interesting personal story and his very own irrelevant narratives. On the BBC’s ‘Big Debate’ on Scottish independence at Glasgow’s Hydro yesterday, he really was one big misplaced ego. What we got was the world according to George instead of his addressing the questions the audience were asking. Well, that is what you often get from George, but it really did get extra silly when he was asked to sum up why we should all stay together and out came a stream of silly drivel about how, if it wasn’t for the stance that we all took together back in 1939, we would be speaking German rather than English today. This from a man who seeks to impress in the Muslim world with an Arabic discourse that is limited to “salam alikum.”

‘ The Herald Scotland’ hits the nail on the head and sums up this person of the crudest crude half educations when it writes about how he ignored a question about jobs and spoke “not of jobs but of borders, share prices and banks and he did it in halting, broken sentences as though not trusting these young people to understand” and that is George, nobody understands only he does, and it really is not easy to understand him at times. It was, as the article continues, really a case of his being “just too intent on the role he was playing to step out of the persona and address the reality.”

How can it be any different? After all, our beings in society determine our consciousness and in that bizarre country, which is plagued by vague personal interest stories and pie in the sky narratives, there has to be delusional egos that are detached from reality. Therefore, whether the people of Scotland realise it or not, they are being offered an opportunity next week to get real.

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Almost 100 years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement they are still carving up the Middle East

Map-1024_178602kDrawing lines across maps and then pocketing whole regions as their property; they were very good at it and, while the “they” being referred to is the British, it could also be the French or any of the other colonial powers. Today it is the United States and its allies. Those allies are called “the international community”, and surprise, surprise, the “international community” includes …..yes, bingo, the British, and the French, and other erstwhile colonial powers

However, for the purposes of this piece, back to the “they” being refered to in the first sentence have you ever wondered why the continent of Africa has all those straight border lines? Or, have you heard about the agreement  signed by British India’s Sir Mortimer Durand, who we are told, was a Persian scholar and spoke the language fluently, but failed to impress his superiors in London, and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan back in 1893? The Durand Line as it came to be known established the border between what was then British India and Afghanistan, it ran cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and, in the south, through Balochistan, and it divided Pashtuns, Balochs, and other ethnic groups. It was inherited by Pakistan in 1947 and  …….. well it is a right old mess, isn’t it? Yes, they were good at laying the foundations for a right old  mess.im

In his book ‘A Line in The Sand'(2012)  James Barr contends that, unlike Sir Mortimar Durand, Mark Sykes did create a favorable impression on his superiors and that he left Downing Street after a meeting on the 16 December 1915 “he left the prime minister and his colleagues under the impression that he was fluent in both Arabic and Turkish”, when in fact, “he could speak neither.”(ibid: 8). Of course, that favourable impression was to lead to his being instrumental, along with his equally inept French counterpart, “a diplomat  with a grudge” (ibid) Francois Georges-Picot, in the carving up of the Ottoman empire back in 1916. Furthermore, the manner in which they did so, was, according to Taki Theododoracopulus to show them (and by implication their governments): “as ignorant as George W. Bush was to be 87 years later.” He continues, by pointing out that “the 1990 wars over Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, the Gulf War of 1991 and the disastrous Iraq war of 2003, as well as the Israeli–Palestinian tragedy can all be traced directly to  the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1920 and those two fools carving up the Middle East.”

Sykes might have had stupidity as his excuse. At least, that is suggested when Barr compares him to the “brilliantly clever” T.E.Lawrence, writing that the man who “left the prime minister and his colleagues under the impression that he was fluent in both Arabic and Turkish” (ibid), also “left Cambridge without completing his degree, but found a job through contacts as an honorary attaché at the British Embassy in Constantinople” (ibid: 38). There you have it! At best a person of the very crudest half education, at worse a veritable buffoon …… and the idiots causing chaos in the region today?

However, Taki Theododoracopulus, sees Sykes as ignorant, rather than stupid and there is even some hedging in that assessment when he suggests that, when they (Sykes and Picot) were drawing up the agreement “their minds were obviously elsewhere,before adding in parenthesis, “most likely trying to figure out whose family was older and richer.” That is probably hitting the nail on the head and the “they”, the British, or the British establishment, while generally not very bright, are not particularly stupid. At the end of the day it really is all about “the family” and “getting richer” …. and, while millions continue to die in the Middle East, there is most certainly no cunning plan apart from the one where they get richer and stay richer. However, we should not take it too personally, after all its only business.

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Another Zionist informs us that our reaction to Israel’s massacre of innocent men, women and children is Anti-Semitism

Israel invades Gaza, kills 1,800, leaves tens of thousands more maimed, and according to a certain Eylon Aslan-Levy, who is chairman of the National Council of the Union of Jewish Students and a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the bigger problem is not the oxymoronic “Jewish democracy” slaughtering innocents, but the rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe.

An obviously rather confused young man, who writes a number of very confusing things. Firstly, he says, I have been told that if I am a Zionist – which means no more than believing that Israel has a right to exist – that means I must support the murder of children”. Well, yes Mr Aslan-Levy, if you are a Zionist you do support the murder of children. Or, am I wrong in thinking that there has been an ongoing ethnic cleansing since 1948? Indeed, the “terrorized” front line Zionist settlement of Sderot is in fact built on land that belonged to the Palestinian village of Najd?

Of course,Zionists like Mr Aslan-Levy, appear to place Israel’s right to exist above every other basic human right and, while they are generally aware that all of Israel is built on Palestinian land, they will adopt the same position as the morally bankrupt Benny Morris and argue that in Israel’s case ethnic cleansing is justified. After all, as Mr Aslan-Levy informs us, Israel is a “vibrant democracy”, the only democracy in the region, ….. conveniently ignoring, of course, that it is a “democracy” which denies its own Arab citizens equal rights, which ignores international law at every turn, and which continues to illegally occupy someone else’s land.

Elsewhere in his quite pathetic defence of Israel in general, and more specifically of Israel’s daily killing spree in Gaza, Aslan-Levy draws comparisons with,  atrocities committed by  the British in Afghanistan, ISIS in Iraq, and, while forgetting to tell us why the Palestinians are in the Lebanon in the first place, what he calls the “plight” of the Palestinians in the Lebanon. Strange behaviour indeed from someone who objects to what is in fact the slaughter of Palestinian children by the Israeli Air Force and Army being compared to the slaughter of Jewish children by the Nazis. It is that analogy which is being expressed when the swastika and the Israeli flags are shown on the same placard even if we would all do well not to forget the fact that the star of David has a very special place in history away from the Zionist state. Nevertheless, while the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Majdanek should not be forgotten, it is today just as difficult to ignore the Palestinian father carrying the remains of his child in a plastic bag.

Finally, this person of the obviously crudest of half educations seeks to educate us when he finishes by saying,  “the lessons of history are all too plain when the perceived iniquities of a certain population develop an obsessive grip on the public imagination.” Now, if that “certain population” you are referring to includes the grieving families in Gaza, your “perceived iniquities” are nothing short of slanderous.

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The slaughter, genocide, and ethnic cleansing continues and Zionist wishful thinking wants to remove Gaza from the last map

It wasn't planned, it just happenedThe iGaza app tells me that the “death toll hits 1,830″, while from ‘the Guardian’ we can learn that the Israeli Air Force have hit another UN school, the slaughter continues and the genocide goes on and, with Israel refusing to send any delegation to Cairo for talks on a Ceasefire there is evidence to suggest that Netanyahu might be finishing off the ethnic cleansing that David Ben Gurion started all of 66 years ago. That might be the bigger picture and this Gaza slaughter could be a Zionist wishful thinking penultimate chapter with population expulsions to follow.

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