Posted in Palestine and the Middle East, Politics

Israel, the United States, and the real Writing on the Wall

Peter Münch has been writing on Israel for ‘Die Süddeutsche Zeitung’ for a long time and his most recent article “Menetekel”, which translates as “the writing on the wall”, can only confirm a contention made in this blog exactly seven years ago; his reporting represents “drivel of the sort that requires very little research and certainly no thought.” Or, how else are we to view his account and analysis of Israel’s latest incursion into Syria?

The reader is told that this was a routine mission and Israel has been launching attacks like this for years and, even if it does contravene international law, it is given a veneer of normality when it would in fact be normal if Israel was criminalised for its actions. However, what is not normal for hack writers of Mr Münch’s persuasion is, …. wait for it, ….that Syria has retaliated, which Mr Münch sees as an indication of the following scenario if Assad and his allies win in Syria.

Iranian troops will be on Israel’s border, there will be a constant threat to the Golan Heights, which our hack fails to mention is illegally occupied Syrian territory, and the Hezbollah, battle hardened and armed with Syrian weapons, will be relieved of its commitments elsewhere and better prepared for a war with Israel than it was in 2006.

Not only does it appear doubtful that Mr Münch knows how well-prepared the Hezbollah actually was in 2006, but he seems to be unaware that Israel attacking its neighbours, which he says it has been doing for years, and describes as “routine”is in fact a blatant breach of international law. Indeed, all that his piece would appear to do is support the Zionist state in its belief that it needs to adopt an “iron wall” strategy in order to deal with the Palestinians and with its neighbours from a position of unassailable strength.

However, that should come as no surprise as the strategy has become almost synonymous with Israel’s raison d’être and, even if it should be a justification for putting the Zionist state beyond the pale, it is highly unlikely that Mr Münch and millions of other apologists for Israel are going to make that point. Therefore, what we have here is a classical rogue state, minus the unpredictability,unleashed, and unconstrained.

Of course, the reader has to leave the daily drivel pumped out by the mainstream media to get a more realistic assessment of what Israel is doing and Stephen Lendman hits the nail on the head when he says, “Israel reserves the right to attack Syria preemptively at its discretion for any reason any time – a flagrant international law violation” before referring indirectly to the “iron wall” strategy when he points out “if Syria exercises its right of self-defense in response to an Israeli attack on its territory, the IDF will unleash greater aggression than before.”

Mr Lendman the Journalist and Mr Münch the pseudo Journalist seem to agree on what Israel is doing. However, it is only the former who questions the legality of Israel’s actions before going on to criticise the world community when pointing out that it “is silent in the face of Israel’s announced intention to violate international laws governing warfare, besides numerous previous breaches against Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, along with subversion against Iran and other nations.”

Furthermore, Mr Lendman succinctly argues that “Israel’s only threats are ones it invents” to effectively continue its ethnic cleansing of Palestine and to continue its support of Washington’s foreign policy. Indeed with the US sending an additional 400 troops to Syria and with the American military having “declined to say how many troops it has deployed”, the evidence would appear to suggest that an original neocon/Israeli/Saudi plan for “regime change” in Syria is still very much on the agenda. Hardly unexpected, but at least proof that Trump’s promised move away from the policy of “intervention and chaos” was nothing more than hot air, but that is another story, even if it represents that bigger picture which totally eludes hacks like Peter Münch.

Posted in Politics

‘Al Jazerra’ Report on Hungary’s Treatment of Refugees and the Pot calls the Kettle Black

It is, of course, right and desirable that the Hungarian government imprisoning refugees is highlighted. Therefore, whether the details of this come to our attention by way of the jingoistic ‘Daily Telegraph’, which the link in the above sentence leads to, or via ‘Al Jazerra’ shouldn’t really matter. No need to shoot the messenger and no reason for us to be anything other than concerned and appalled when we read that “men, women and children are being held in detention centres with little access to medical and mental care.”

Yes, awareness of Hungary’s treatment of refugees and the Central European country’s descent into authoritarianism should be of concern to all of us. As should similar developments in Poland where Jarolaw Kaczynki’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) hold power. Nevertheless, while it might be counterproductive look too closely at the messenger when addressing the issues that are being discussed, a smirk and a shake of the head  are sometimes inevitable.

‘Al Jazerra’ is owned by the Qatari government, which is run by the Al Thani family. In other words, Qatar is a hereditary constitutional monarchy ruled by a family which controls the country’s massive oil and gas reserves. Now, not only does Qatar not accept refugees, but it has “also become a focus of international criticism of the mistreatment of low-paid migrant workers” and those workers still need to get their employer’s permission to change jobs or leave the country.

In other words, it could be as difficult to leave an abusive situation in Qatar as it is to get out of a Hungarian prison. Indeed, foreign journalists who attempt to report on migrant workers’ living and working conditions are detained regularly. Yes, with ‘Al Jazerra’ it really is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Nothing new, of course, and with the Western media singing the praises of our freedoms while our governments kill innocent men, women, and children throughout the globe, with Russia’s ‘RT’ often hitting the nail on the head when discussing the injustices in the West, and perpetrated by the West, but ignoring the crimes committed by the Kremlin both domestically and abroad, it doesn’t mean that we should ignore the news.

Moreover, not only should we not ignore the news wherever it comes from, it is also time we took Viktor Orban and Jarolaw Kaczynki to task in an effort to prevent that magnitude of hypocrisy and base behaviour which characterises, among others, the Gulf States, the oxymoronic “Jewish Democracy”, Washington, Moscow, and BBC Blighty.


Posted in Politics

Theresa May will block Scottish Referendum and it is good News for the Independence Movement

With the news that “Theresa May has moved to block a new Scottish independence referendum”, the predictions on what will happen, if the Scottish government announce that it intends to hold a second referendum made in my last post, which it has now done, are already taking shape and, as implied in that post, the British Prime Minister’s announcement might even represent a best case scenario for the SNP at the present point.

Next week Nicola Sturgeon will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to open discussions with the UK government on the details of a Section 30 order, which will facilitate the holding of a second referendum by transferring the necessary power from London to the Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish Parliament will give her that approval. That transfer of power will allow the Scottish government to set the conditions for the next referendum.

That Theresa May would want to deter that happening before the Brexit negotiations have been completed was always certain and we might be sure that Nicola Sturgeon was aware of this. Therefore, while an element of academic caution might be advisable, it is easy to conclude that an excellent piece of political brinkmanship by Sturgeon has handed her government the moral high ground at this early stage and with that a number of voters who might have voted “No” at the last referendum, but who are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the high-handed attitude we see on a daily basis from May and her cronies.

With the upcoming vote in the Scottish Parliament, and with the British government unlikely to react to that vote, the campaign for independence will enter the next stage. However, that should be accompanies by a number of strategies going forward.

Firstly, with the unionist rag, ‘The Scotsman’ announcing that an online petition calling for a second independence referendum bid to be dropped has reached over 145,000 signatures”, it could be time for the Scottish government to start its’ own online petition and that might be accompanied by pro-independence demonstrations throughout the country. This is important because,  even if the country is probably split 50/50 at the moment, the pro-independence movement is more steadfast and, especially with the pig-headed arrogance coming out of London, it is more likely that many of the softer unionists will change camp.

Secondly, the Scottish government’s political brinkmanship last week has already had a desired result for the independence movement. However, calling a referendum, even if the British government refused to recognize it, might be an even more poignant example of political one-upmanship. With the British mainstream media using everything at its disposal to undermine it and with the government in Westminster refusing to recognise the result, there could very well be a reaction in Scotland that would see independence as inevitable and all the more so if the Scottish government can approach the OSCE and get them to observe the referendum.

Finally, while it is an extremely risky strategy, the Scottish government could declare unilateral independence from parliament if the Westminster government continues to block a referendum. Of course, as stated, that could be a dangerous venture . However, it should at least be remembered that what creates a recognised state, is not a referendum, but rather it is that state being recognised in the United Nations.

An independent Scotland is as inevitable, as an independent Ireland was in 1916. Then the British government turned the rebels, from being dangerous lunatics, into martyrs by executing them.Moreover, while martyrdom is what it took in the empire’s heyday, in today’s Scotland it is sufficient to show that, even if the remnants of that disgusting empire is no longer allowed to practice the same type of cruelty on home soil, the arrogance of the British authorities’ towards the Scottish people is as crystal clear as it was towards the Irish people then. It is that arrogance which the SNP and the independence movement will continue to provoke over the next few months.


Posted in Politics

A British Nationalist condemns Scottish Nationalism

The Brexit, Trump, and, yes, even the unforeseen 45%, or so, that the “YES” campaign got in the last referendum, were all sort of unexpected, and that is why an element of caution should be advised when it comes to listening to what the possible outcome of a second independence referendum might be. Still, a couple of conversations in Glasgow last week informed me that another referendum at this point in time might not have the desirable outcome for the SNP and the independence movement.

And there you have her, Theresa May, the sorry strategist, thinking the same thoughts. But, the drivel, the verbal diarrhea, prattle, prattle, hyperbole, hypocrisy, and puerile pathos?  Instead of being obsessed with , “a tunnel vision nationalism”, the Scottish government should be more concerned about “public services like the NHS and education,” she gibbers, and there was me drifting back to one of the two conversations that I had in Glasgow last week.

“Yes, the NHS in Scotland might offer a better service than it does in England, but waiting three hours for a doctor is not much of an improvement on waiting four hours.” There you have it and the SNP, instead of looking for independence, should be making sure that Scots have a health service and public services that are not just a bit, but much much, better than the services that are being provided elsewhere in the UK.

And the “tunnel vision nationalism”? Might that be waking up and walking away from the nightmare that is misplaced myopic megalomaniac Brexit Blighty! Of course, the Scottish people will miss out on all of these super trade deals that are going to happen. “Super trade deals” my arse! Unless, of course, what is meant is selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia, which is bombing civilians in Yemen and that type of rentier capitalism which sucks money from all over the planet into the pockets of the 1%. Or, in other words, makes lots and lots of money for Theresa and her criminal clique.

Apart from the “prattle, prattle, hyperbole, hypocrisy, and puerile pathos” there is nothing holding the United Kingdom together and it really is time for Scotland to break free. Nevertheless, with “prattle, prattle, hyperbole, hypocrisy, and puerile pathos” still bedazzling and beguiling many north of the Tweed, it might be advisable for the Scottish government to play this one out a bit. Of course, Edinburgh could ask the UK government to grant a Section 30 order, which makes the referendum legally binding, and just hope that Westminster rejects the request until the Brexit negotiations are over.

Posted in Politics

Brexit and Blair re-enters the Stage

Article 50 has still to be triggered, the negotiations have yet to begin, and the “news” on the Brexit continues to be based mainly on hearsay, hypothetical humbug, and hubris of the worst sort. However, the daily bombardment of unsubstantiated drivel means that this particular UK passport holder, who has lived in Germany for most of the last 40 years, will make his own arrangements before D-Day.  Yes, a modicum of Teutonic efficiency, rather than the hapless haphazardness that appears to be defining Brexit Blighty.

There appears to be an indication of that haplessness in Ellesmere Port, near Chester where slightly more than half of the people voted to leave the EU and the self-induced misfortune is even more pronounced in Luton where 56.55% voted for Brexit. Well, it might be argued that with the wisdom hindsight affords us it is easy to be a little clever clogs. Nevertheless,  wasn’t  David “abandon the sinking ship” Cameron outlining this eventuality in the run-up to the referendum?  Now, with General Motors likely to sell Vauxhall to Peugeot there is an increasing possibility that even a bailout from the British government will not prevent these job losses occurring. After all, if a French company, which is partly owned by the French government, has to choose between France, or a post Brexit Britain, isn’t the writing is on the wall?

Of course, ego, who “has lived in Germany for most of the last 40 years, and will make his own arrangements”, shouldn’t really give a monkey’s. Nevertheless, there is this lingering belief in the European project, even if there are a number of reservations (for instance, the fact that the Euro has no surplus recycling mechanism) regarding the direction the EU has taken, and, yes, Britain should be a part of that project.

It might be expected, therefore, that Tony Blair announcing his latest crusade to “persuade the UK to stay in the EU”, while saying that “the British people were misinformed by Brexit campaign and would be correct to change their minds”, would be welcomed. However, the last bandwagon anyone wants to jump on is the one where that odious creature is at the helm and in order to remind myself of that I revisited ‘Blair Inc.: The Man Behind the Mask’ , which begins with Blair officially resigning as PM and setting about immediately to make himself seriously rich. From there I went to  ‘Broken Vows: Tony Blair the tragedy of Power’, Tom Bower’s “devastating indictment” of the war criminal’s time in office. Yes, “odious” just about hits the nail on the head.

Therefore, if the hearsay, hypothetical humbug, hubris, and the hapless haphazardness, isn’t enough to make us realise that we all have to make our own arrangements before D-Day, the re-appearance of this actor with the messiah complex, the paranoid narcissist and proven war criminal, on the stage, should certainly not convince us that there can be common cause and common ground in trying to reverse that rather stupid decision which has already been made.




Posted in Palestine and the Middle East

“Us” and “the Other”


There he is, a guy you hardly know, a self-proclaimed Zionist, who prefers to live in Innsbruck  than in the Oxymoronic “Jewish Democracy”; ranting and raving in your living room. “The  Arabs this, and the Arabs that …..”, “Muslims threaten Western Civiisation” and “Israel will smash everyone and doesn’t give a fuck (“Wir machen alle fertig”) what the world  thinks”.

So, what do you do after the coffee has been supped, the guests have left, hands have been shaken, and a civilised “do drop in again”has been spontaneously expressed in the most willy-nilly way imaginable? Well, you chew the cud and think you could at least have given him a copy of Pappe’s “Die ethnische Säuberung Palästinas”, or maybe, just maybe, you could have shown him the attached copy of adverts taken from an English newspaper the twenties.

Who knows he might have just about understood. And is it really so difficult to understand that Arabs and Muslims have never done him any harm? They have never tried to set up home in his garden in Innsbruck and they are not even allowed to live in the same street as him in Tel Aviv. Not to mention the fact that Arabs and Muslims, and not only those in Palestine, are more likely to kill each other, or be killed by us, than they are to kill us. Oh and the “us”?

Well, of course, the “us”is that increasingly islamophobic West, a West which has pillaged the Middle East, and the rest of the planet since time immemorial and it is also that “plucky” little oxymoronic “Jewish Democracy”, which  is armed to the teeth by us and doesn’t begin to understand the real message behind those adverts in an English newspaper in the 20s. It is all quite fucking sad, really!





Posted in Politics

UK Government to increase Prison Sentences for Whistleblowers and Others

According to ‘the Guardian’ today there are “proposals to radically increase prison sentences for revealing state secrets and prosecute journalists”, with the British government’s legal advisers saying that “the definition of espionage should be expanded to include obtaining sensitive information, as well as passing it on”, while whistleblowers should be imprisoned for up to 14 years. At the moment the maximum prison sentence is two years.

With Jim Killock, the chief executive of Open Rights Group, saying that “this is a full-frontal attack, recommending criminalising even examining secret services’ material,”  while adding that “the intention is to stop the public from ever knowing that any secret agency has ever broken the law,” there is certainly cause for concern and Theresa May contending that it is not, never has been and never will be the policy of the government to restrict the freedom of investigative journalism or public whistleblowing” might be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Moreover, with ‘The Investigatory Powers Act’, which gives  “the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world”, now in effect the UK  has the most extreme surveillance any western democracy has ever seen and, indeed, a level of surveillance that,  according to Edward Snowden, goes farther than many autocracies.” Now, effectively, if any secret agency abuses what are already very extensive powers, they cannot be held to account. Of course, on top of this, a possible sixteen year prison sentence might also deter journalists and others from accepting and publishing materials that show quite clearly that crimes are being committed by the British government.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that this spying and these crimes are common public knowledge. The UK government sells weapons that are killing children in Yemen, that are used to subdue protesters in Bahrain, that are used to bomb Gaza. Indeed, according to one report, Britain is the second biggest arms dealer in the world. Similiarly, this blog was pointing out some seven years ago that the NSA “has its own rather comprehensive spying operation which would appear to include spying not only on American citizens but indeed on the whole planet.”

With everyone being spied on and the sword of Damocles hanging over anyone who publishes, or is even in possession of, information which can harm the dealers in death, it might appear that we have entered a new age where an unaccountable big brother has created a world in his own image; a world where the 1% rape and loot the planet, where perennial wars are the order of the day. Still, hope springs eternal and, when all is said and done, they don’t appear to be blocking this blog.