What happens when the lights go out? #Gaza

The genocidal reign of Israeli fire continues in Gaza with the death toll currently standing at over 1800 Palestinians, the majority civilian and at least a third being children. The world sits by and watches disgraced but largely inactive with the exception of those marching in major cities around the world as people in Gaza list the names of the dead children on a wall.

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Following the news of another UN school being bombed in the past 24 hours, another dozen or so killed and many more injured, weeks of inaction and a refusal to condemn Israel – as though our governments were watching a natural disaster unfold in front of their eyes – there has finally been the faintest signs of movement from the UK government as they seek to review the £8bn arms deals they have in selling weapons to Israel, weapons that are now being used to kill civilians and children in the streets of Gaza beyond the ‘buffer’ zone. Perhaps someone in the upper echelons of our government had their Richard Feynman moment, watching their weapons of mass destruction wipeout an entire population and decided to call for a formal review of our arms policy.

The people largely at fault for the destabilisation of the Middle East are successive UK and US governments with their foreign policies in the pursuit of resources and in the case of Palestine/Israel for giving away something that was not theirs to give in the first place when they created the state of Israel. Our governments are guilty of showing contempt for life in Gaza with their inaction, they are as complicit in the murder of children in much the same way that the mainstream media would have us believe that Vladimir Putin is responsible for the rocket allegedly used by the Ukrainian rebels to shoot down flight MH-17.

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Across the water in the United States the blame for this aggression is a simple argument, it is the fault of Hamas, a terrorist organisation – not a government (as though this would somehow legitimise slaying children in schools and hospitals!) and Israel has the right to defend itself. Hamas have killed 60 odd people, the majority armed forces personnel, but it is Israel who are given $3bn a year in aid from the US, supplied arms by the UK and US, who hold the Gazans in an open air prison that is not that far removed from a concentration camp; it is Israel who are targeting UN schools and hospitals, indiscriminately bombing residential areas killing almost 2000 people in the process. This is nearly as many as were killed in 9/11 yet in the UK those trying to send aid to Gaza are having their bank accounts closed claiming that they fall outside their ‘risk profile’. HSBC are happy to launder money for Mexican drug cartels but not process accounts to help people being subject to extermination, you could not make it up.

The fight that Hamas is trying to put up is not all that different from the battles of the ANC in apartheid South Africa, a place where Nelson Mandela and the ANC were at one time viewed as terrorists, terrorist leaders that our leaders of today once wanted hung…in 2013 Nelson Mandela died a hero. The same might be said for Hamas in years to come, but the mainstream media is trying hard to convince us it is terrorism that they are engaged in, commentators such as Sean Hannity from FOX NEWS this past week a perfect example or as John Pilger put it on Russia Today, they are trying to create “worthy and unworthy victims“, no prizes for guessing which side the people of Gaza fall on in this case. Israel is losing the propaganda battle and now the IDF are blocking radio broadcasts, targeting media outlets and power stations – why? Because how else will they continue to get away with genocide if people continue to tweet and stream live images of dead children and obliterated schools into the palms of our hands?

We are living in a moment of history, we all play our part in what happens next – what we do will shape and define it, if we do nothing then the future will be written for us by the warmongers and aggressors wearing suits in public office and their financiers from the military industrial complex in the shadows in its corridors. What will it be?

The Great debate; Remembering World War One

Yoda - wars not make one great

On the eve of its hundredth anniversary, people gathered St James church in London last night, for the great debate on how we should remember World War One. The discussion was led by Lindsey German convener for Stop the War, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Julian Brazier MP and John Blake, a history teacher and Editor of Labour teachers. The key points debated by the panel hinged on whether or not World War One was a ‘just and necessary one’ or only served the interests of empire.

WW1 Debate

The full speeches and Q&A sessions can be found here:

Speeches

Q&A

There were some quizzical views and opinions expressed by both John Blake and Julian Brazier, the debate ebbed and flowed on the historical context which resulted in the war and subsequently world war two. The legacy of these wars should have been peace but instead we have seen countless wars every decade since. The UK, not content with ending the troops on the ground campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, have instead chosen to support the US in the use of unmanned flying machines to be judge jury and executioner (whether you are innocent or not) and Tony Blair would have us blood stained in the midst of a civil war in Syria, going to show that you cannot keep a good war criminal down. Only Lindsey German really touched on this or the role that the military industrial complex plays in the permanent war economy we live in. As for John Blake, to suggest that the military industrial complex was a shadowy conspiracy theory raises eyebrows to say the least.

Julian Brazier also championed the “volunteer nature” of our armies over the conscription of our enemies over the decades but we have conscription, only under a different name – economic necessity. That is why recruitment posters for the armed forces feature heavily in community centres and areas where social deprivation is at its highest and why the ‘Ruperts’ generally come from a higher class base than your children, who get given faulty equipment and bulletproof vests, in the hope they don’t catch an IED and lose a limb.

War is a racket and it is paid for in the blood of innocent people and young men and women from working class backgrounds. We have more in common with the ‘enemy’ our governments and media prescribe to us than the corrupt billionaires sounding the drums of war. If we are to honour the memories of the dead then we must start by putting our arms down and start exposing the links between these generals, military industries, our politicians and the international banks.

Tony Blair blood hands

Stealing children will not solve the issue of ‘radicalisation’, whatever that means.

BORIS JOHNSON has once again caused outrage with his comment that children at risk of radicalisation should be treated the same as child abuse victims and be removed from their parents and put into care, singling out Muslims in the process.

The Mayor of London cited the recent court case of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the men found guilty of the murder of Lee Rigby last year, as an example of what he called the potential for children to “learn to become killers or suicide bombers.” Boris must have casually forgotten that the two men he used for his sound reasoning and such delusion were actually born and raised Christian by Nigerian parents. Where will we draw the line for this? Did anyone from the government come out to say that when Emma West made her Nazi rant on London’s underground with her son on her lap? Her punishment was a 24 month community order under supervision, no mention of her children being taken away from her by Boris Johnson for his potential radicalisation, side man Nick Clegg or anyone else. So is Boris deliberately trying to drive a cultural war that they are getting extremely good at fanning the flames for? What about Tommy Robinson, the former EDL leader who’s group have previously expressed desire to blow up Mosques, will they be taking his children from him too for radicalisation? What about removing Catholic children from Irish parents in case we see a rise in the IRA?

No, Boris is quite clear when he talks about radicalisation, he means Muslim parents teaching their children about a peaceful religion, Islam.

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If Boris is so keen to deal with radicalism in the UK and indeed the world, then perhaps he wants to steer parliament away from the military industrial complex puppet masters and away from their agenda of imperialism and globalisation. If we really believe that the way to peace is to send unmanned drones to bomb women and children in Pakistan and Yemen, to wage shock and awe bombing campaigns on Iraqi citizens and to destabilise governments we aren’t happy with, sending countries into a vicious spiral of civil war that threatens to engulf the world, well then we are lost. We can bomb this world into pieces but we will not bomb it into peace. We need to create an environment where radicalism cannot breed and this is the issue Boris so poorly fails to address – the role of environment.

What the Lee Rigby murder trial highlighted, as details of the pairs life was recounted, are the key roles society and environment play in our development from cradle to grave, Adebowale, the younger of the two was said to have had a history of mental illness and they point to a number of events that occurred in their lives that lead to that fateful day in May 2013. In fact, it is argued that we our susceptible to environmental conditioning from the moment we have one to be influenced by and this starts as early as our mothers womb, where we are at the mercy of their daily lives and chemical balances. It is here we first develop predisposition for addiction etc. The documentary Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, the third by Peter Joseph, had a 15 – 20 minute introduction on the role of genetics and predisposition which centred on the role environment plays in our development and is worth taking the time to watch if you haven’t or to revisit even if you have.

This does not excuse any of the numerous things that we humans do to each other every day and we are all guilty when it comes to the radicalisation of children/people because we allow environments to fester whereby hatred is the order of the day, but we are the ones that can change that, we are the ones who can demand an end to illegal wars and the sale of arms to people today who tomorrow we will be at war with for New Democracy. What is certain is that knee jerk, popularity seeking soundbites from people like Boris Johnson, who is only in it for himself, that only deal in symptoms and not the root causes of our problems are not the way to change things for the better. I will finish off with a quote from Nelson Mandela who captures this last point best.

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