Wake up Charlies: Why these world leaders are a threat to you

January 12, 2015

The killing of 12 journalists from French magazine Charlie Hebdo was a horrible murder carried out by crazed ideologues. I condemn it unconditionally…But…expressing solidarity with mass murderers and the enemies of freedom of speech is a backward step.

Read this statement from Paris-based socialist John Mullen on why the better sections of the French left marched separately and at a distance from the world leaders.

This letter from another French leftist also sets out some very cogent and nuanced arguments that non-French people should probably read. It outlines the difficulties of fighting fundamentalism and fascism at the same time. But it is the necessary form that solidarity must take — not the perverted version of marching with ghouls.

This is the difficult argument I am having with my French friends: we are all aware of the fact that the attack on Charlie Hebdo will be exploited by the Far right, and that our government will use it as an opportunity to create a false unanimity within a deeply divided society. We have already heard the prime minister Manuel Valls announce that France was “at war with Terror” – and it horrifies me to recognize the words used by George W. Bush. We are all trying to find the narrow path – defending the Republic against the twin threats of fundamentalism and fascism (and fundamentalism is a form of fascism). But I still believe that the best way to do this is to fight for our Republican ideals. Equality is meaningless in times of austerity. Liberty is but hypocrisy when elements of the French population are being routinely discriminated. But fraternity is lost when religion trumps politics as the structuring principle of a society. Charlie Hebdo promoted equality, liberty and fraternity – they were part of the solution, not the problem.

Solidarity is a fine and welcome human emotion. It shows that we are not all Ayn Randian sociopaths who will always place our individual comfort and wealth above the problems of others.

Solidarity is an expression of hope that the world can be a better place and it is a recognition that by coming together in collective action we can and we will change the world.

While the murder of journalists in cold blood by crazed Islamic terrorists can never be condoned and is rightly condemned by anyone of conscience; we cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into displays of solidarity unthinkingly and based only on a gut reaction to horror.

Think before you walk, zombie-like in the footsteps of the damned.

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The world is unbalanced: Zionist murders vs rancid butter – where’s justice?

June 1, 2010

Sea Shepperd activist Pete Bethune is fighting a potential 15 year jail sentence in Japan for throwing a bottle of rancid butter at a whaling ship illegally “fishing” in international waters.

On the high seas, Israeli commandos kill a dozen unarmed activists and the Zionist propaganda machine goes into hyper-drive complaining that the dead and injured humanitarians had the temerity to fight back with iron bars and hockey sticks against heavily-armed and heavily-disguised storm troopers.

Go figure! The world is unbalanced.

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The Zionist state has been roundly condemned by everyone except the United States for the callous and unnecessary carnage inflicted on a flotilla of vessels attempting to break the Israeli’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

Obama’s weak statement falls well short of condemning the Israeli’s murderous actions and instead calls for all the “facts” to be made public:

“The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals,” the statement said.

“The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible,” the statement added.

This is Washington beltway code for giving the Zionist state time to get its story straight.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the incident “murder committed by a state” and said Israel had “lost all legitimacy”.

But Israeli UN representative Daniel Carmon told the Security Council that some on board the ships had motives other than providing humanitarian assistance, and had tried to lynch Israeli soldiers. [BBC]

Hang on…”tried to lynch Israeli soldiers”. WTF? This sounds preposterous. In the middle of a raid and with activists hoisting the white flag of surrender, they tried to lynch soldiers. It doesn’t make sense, but it scares the children.

The Guardian: Israel accused of state terrorism That’s more like it.

Surely if there is to be justice then Pete Bethune should be home in New Zealand very soon and the Zionist state should be charged with crimes against humanity; piracy and murder most foul.

Don’t hold your breath.

There’s also a Kiwi woman in custody in Israel after taking part in the flotilla. According to the New Zealand Herald, the woman has not been named. Another detainee is an Irish political activist, Caoimhe Butterly.

But, we haven’t heard the last of the Israeli attacks. There are already protests globally and I would imagine that Israeli embassies in Turkey and other nations will be targets.

Burn, baby, burn.


Tumeke boycott a red herring

April 23, 2009

I will not be joining the Tumeke boycott instigated by Whaleoil and now supported by Something should go here, maybe later and its stablemate Keeping Stock.

Tumeke’s mildly left-of-centre-ish in a libertarian pro-capital kind of way; Whaleoil is hard-right. Keeping Stock and SSGHML are variants of  some weird Christian intermediate thingy which both lean heavily rightwards.

The ostensible reason for the boycott, according to Whaleoil, is that Tumeke host Tim Selwyn is a holocaust denier because he dared to criticise media coverage of the walk-out during a speech by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN anti-racism conference in South Africa a few days ago.

Holocaust denial is actually a hard charge to sustain against Tim on any reading of his post. The main thrust of which is to have a go at New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully for not attending the conference in the first place; to have a go at the soft coverage given to the walk-out and to point out that Zionism is actually a racist ideology.

Nothing wrong with that. Tim does not make any reference to support for the holocaust deniers and he doesn’t offer much defence of Ahmadinejad either. He mainly talks about how New Zealand is too close to the Americans on foreign policy – such as military involvement the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations.

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Why defending the Palestinians is not anti-semitic

January 16, 2009

In a recent post – my first on the Israeli’s attacks on Gaza – I mentioned my reluctance to get into the debate because of the tendency of defenders of the State (and territorial borders) of Israel to equate any criticism with anti-semitism.

This is just nonsense, but it strikes a chord because the Zionist propaganda machine has done a good job of guilting us into soft-shoeing criticism of Israel lest we be seen to be being racist, or religiously intolerant.

First of all being Jewish is not a racial thing, secondly not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jewish. Third what part of the phrase “war crime” don’t these people understand?

The logic of the “attacking Zionism is anti-semitic” position is that if you are against the existence of Israel as a geographic and political entity in the Middle East you are of the same political ilk as the Nazis.

Bullshit!

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A war crime by any other name – Israel’s “shake and bake” attrocities

January 16, 2009

UNRWA Director John Ging said UNRWA’s headquarters — located in a densely populated neighborhood — was hit repeatedly by shrapnel and artillery, including white phosphorus shells — the use of which is restricted under international law.

“It looks like phosphorus, it smells like phosphorus and it’s burning like phosphorus,” Ging said. “That’s why I’m calling it phosphorus.” (CNN 16 Jan 2009)

Under international law, technically, white phosphorus (WP) is not banned as an “obscurant” – but the Israelis know full well that the “secondary” effects are deaths and horrific burns for anyone caught in the hot, burning rain.

Does the use of WP in Gaza constitute a war crime. I think it might.

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I’ve taken sides in the social networked war

January 15, 2009

The propaganda war in cyberspace is hotting up. It’s an interesting twist on social networking that Facebook has become a battleground in the Gaza conflict.

The BBC is carrying a detailed report about hacker attacks on pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian websites.

Gaza crisis spills onto web [BBC]

I’ve also joined a Facebook group “Stop Israeli attacks on Gaza”


Israel responds to media “Please explain”

January 15, 2009

ifj-slogalIn times of war, the line between winning and losing can come down to the public relations battle as much as the military offensive itself.  (CNN 14 January)

The Israeli miitary machine is coming under increased pressure from news organisations to expain its reasons for limiting reporters’ access to Gaza.

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres) reports that more than 100 media organisations have signed its petition urging the Israeli government to lift the ban, which has been in place since November.

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