These two interconnected decisions make clear New Zealand’s position to support the Kiev government, a regime which is unequivocally militarily and politically supported by neonazi groups like the Azov and Aidar battalions and political groups like the Right Sector, and which for 8 years has been shelling and killing more than 10,000 innocent Ukrainian people in the Donbas simply because they want to speak their native language, Russian (note that these figures are confirmed by the Organisation for Security in Europe (OSCE)
New Zealand equipment and targeting information is undoubtedly also being used by the Kiev military to continue to fire missiles at Donetsk City and its civilian infrastructure.
While the Russian invasion of Ukraine is to be unequivocally condemned, a path to peace must be negotiated which dispassionately examines the reasons for this war and Western governments’ refusal to honour the Minsk agreements signed by Kiev, which would have meant the Russian invasion would never have happened.
While previous Labour administrations like David Lange’s and Norman Kirk’s had the moral courage to push back against the NATO white mans’ club, which continue to drone murder, torture and initiate wars against those who do not wish to ‘compulsorily share’ their resources with the Western world, this Ardern government has cemented its relationship as a NATO ‘ally’ and a key member of the Five Eyes group and continues to enthusiastically facilitate those illegal and immoral activities.
One would have that thought that those who have been victims of white man’s colonialism would have taken some courage and initiative to distance New Zealand from these activities of the white man’s club. New Zealand is, and will increasingly become a pariah state in the South and East while it maintains it enthusiastic support for NATO and the current ‘international rule based order’, which every non Western state recognises as code for the right for the US and its allies to do whatever it wishes , including sanctions, targetted killings and extreme violence against whole populations. Does not the current Labour government have the courage to push back against this ever expanding and dangerous war that NATO is fuelling at the expense of likely hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, and demand that each side sit down to negotiate firstly a cease-fire and then a peace agreement which is endorsed at the UN?
I sincerely hope that this Labour Government does belatedly recognise that New Zealand’s international and defense policies and actions are currently not on the moral side of rectitude.
Postscript 6th November 2022
The Telegram channel Rybar made the following post on 5th November.
#Ukrainian #Nazi group, within Azov Movement, Karpatska Sich, translated to Ukrainian the New Zealand shooter Manifesto that inspired the #Buffalo White Supremacist shooter.
The Ukrainian-language translation of the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto, flanked by a sticker for Ukrainian neo-Nazi group Karpatska Sich.
The New Zealand shooter Manifesto that inspired the #Buffalo shooter is a “must read” for all #NeoNazis and White Supremacists worldwide. Here a group of #Ukrainian #Nazis from Karpatska Sich holding copies of the book translated to Ukrainian by the Nazi elitist group inside #Azov movement.
Neo Nazi Polish/Ukrainian group Karpatska Sich made a hateful video regarding the Pride marches in the EU the year.
In other words, the New Zealand government’s military is funding, training and likely imbedded with neonazis in Ukraine who are directly implicated in the New Zealand mosque shooting in Christchurch in 2019, which the same NZ government has roundly condemned as a terrorist act.
Kiev officials continue to describe the Donbass separatists as “terrorists’ even while the Kiev administration has signed up to negotiating with separatists as part of the Normandy and Minsk agreements – but has never actioned that agreement . Defining the separatists as ‘terrorists’ makes it virtually impossible for Kiev to negotiate anything with them. Kiev is supported in this position (at least officially) by Poland, the U.K and U.S.)
The new government in Berlin however appears to be currently more reticent in supporting Kiev in its aggressive stance and has declined Kiev’s request for more weapons. There are real risks to Ukraine’s neighbours of neo-nazi military brigades like the Azov battalion and other extremist groups supported by the Right Sector, that those groups would not only continue to fight against the Donbass separatists , kill Russian speaking Ukrainians in other parts of Ukraine, and, as in the past, Poles and Jews as well as Russian speakers elsewhere, but also foment trouble in disaffected youth in their own countries…
Despite the 9/11 blowback that occurred with the U.S. and U.K support of Saudi and Turkish backed wahhabist extremists in Afghanistan against the Soviets, the strategy of using local extremists continues to be a key item in the U.S. destabilisation playbook. Extensive Ukraine government and Right Sector media has portrayed Western Ukrainian as ‘true slavs’, unlike the Russians in the north and east who are deemed to be lesser beings with eastern mongol genes; a strategy that gives permission for extremist groups like the Azov battalions to exterminate Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians with impunity.
Berlin’s current reticence to fully support the NATO and U.K./U.S. agenda in Ukraine appears to come from a sudden realization that they are hugely reliant on Russian gas. The Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russian to Germany was initiated at the insistence of Germany with the understanding that Russian gas would not only be much cheaper than U.S. gas shipped across the Atlantic to Germany, but was also both more reliable and able to be delivered in greater volumes than the Americans could ever provide. Germany’s economy therefore relies on cheap Russian gas, particularly now that its coal fired electricity producers have been largely shut down in response to climate change concerns . The German government therefore walks a tightrope between supporting its NATO allies, and getting the energy it needs for its economy .
The Russians have insisted that the expansion of NATO up to its borders be reversed ( an outcome of the negotiations that led to East Germany and the other Easter European countries becoming independent from Russia in the 1990s, on the verbal understanding that NATO would not expand beyond its 1990s borders). U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and NATO’s Stoltenberg have insisted that that agreement never existed ( despite multiple citings of evidence of its existence) and that NATO will continue to expand its membership and site weapons wherever it wishes to, regardless of the resultant explicit threat to Russia’s existence..
Exactly what NATOs current purpose is now that communist Soviet Russia has gone, is never explicitly stated, but it is clear that its purpose is to stop Russian ‘aggression’ and intimidate Russia through ongoing military threats. U.S. think tanks have also intimated their wish that Russia be balkanised, so that the carve-up of Russia’s economy can continue from the Yeltsin years, and so that Russia does not have the capacity to militarily oppose any Western military plans (as it has done in Syria).
While Western media and the U.S. continue to hype up the threat of a Russian land invasion of the Ukraine ( with extensive videos of Russian tanks conducting military exercises in Russia), the reality is that it would simply not be worth-while for Russia to invade Ukraine with tanks and troops.
It is possible however, that if the Kiev government or its extremist wings were to launch a large scale attack on the Russian speaking Donbass ( emboldened by Western weapons supplies and bombacity) that Russia would feel obliged to protect its Russian speaking neighbours and respond militarily. Sending columns of Russian tanks into Eastern Ukraine, let alone across the Dnieper River into Western Ukraine, where Ukrainian nationalism is most fierce, would however be a suicidal endeavour; not least because the Ukrainian economy is devastated after years of corruption and mismanagement, and Russia would have to take responsibility for economically supporting 37 million Ukrainians, whilst countering an Eastern Ukrainian insurgency (supported and trained by the U.S. and U.K)
Russian not only wants a NATO pullback, but also the Kiev government to officially adhere to and implement the Minsk agreements they signed up to-i.e. negotiate with the Donbass separatists and agree to their self-government within a Ukrainian federal structure. However the level of Kiev propaganda against the ‘terrorists’ in the East and against Russian speaking people generally, seems to indicate that such a compromise is currently not possible; particularly while the extremist right wing groups hold such sway in Kiev. Those groups would also be fearful that a re-integration of the Donbass population into a federal Ukrainian democratic framework, would tip the balance towards a national government that once again would be more favorable to Russia, and likely result in many of the underhand deals that have occurred since 2014 between the Kiev government and Ukrainian oligarchs, being re-aligned once more towards Russian interests.
Ukraine is in crisis; its young people drifting in the multitudes to more favourable economic conditions in Western Europe, and an accelerating drift towards a centralized autocracy in Kiev driven largely by extremist groups like the Right Sector, with corruption widespread throughout the economy. The loss of revenues from Russia from the Russian gas pipeline which passes through Ukraine to Europe (and the siphoning of some of that gas for Ukraine’s use) with the inevitable advent of the opening of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and beyond, via the Baltic Sea , will only exacerbate this crisis. The Ukrainian ex-comedian President Zelensky’s position is extremely fragile- torn between the demands of the ever-increasing power of the right wing extremists in Kiev and Western Ukraine, and the demands of the U.S and U.K., while his popularity with the majority of Ukrainians plummets. Zelensky has tried to eliminate some of his key political rivals like Petro Poroshenko and Viktor Medvedchuk, with legal challenges of ‘treason’, but the opposition forces are gathering against him.
What options does someone like Zelensky now have in the face of such challenges ? War can so often improve a leader’s political chances..
On 3rd September 2021, a Sri Lankan refugee, Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, living in Auckland New Zealand , stabbed 6 people with a knife he had just picked up from a supermarket shelf.
According to later reports the man had been once again seeking asylum in New Zealand for some years, but had been denied because of previous violent actions and an interest in ISIS literature, and had been released from a New Zealand prison 3 years before the attacks.
During the subsequent years from Ahamed’s release, he had been constantly followed by Police when out and about in Auckland, to monitor his actions and keep others safe.
Auckland was in lockdown 4 at the time of the supermarket attack- masks required and no less than 2 metres between people in places like supermarkets. Within hours the New Zealand prime minister was announcing that this was a ‘terrorist attack’, and that the man was known to her. However Ahamed Aathill Mohamed made no known statements about allegiance to ISIS immediately before his death, and no terrorist organization attributed the stabbings to themselves.
The terror, trauma and physical danger to those he attacked is beyond question, and this blog does not in any way endorse his or any other person’s violent behaviour to others.
With 60 seconds of his knifing of 6 people in the supermarket, he was fatally shot 7 times by Police with semi automatic weapons, who had been following him.
Or again the horrendous Mosque shootings in Christchurch in March 2019 where 51 people were killed and 40 injured, by a white supremacist using automatic rifles, the white male was subdued, unharmed, heroically by a police officer.
While we acknowledge that every violent incident is different and must necessarily be handled differently by Police, it does seem strange that a man in an enclosed supermarket aisle with a kitchen knife, could not be subdued without fatal consequences, by a number of police officers who were presumably wearing protective clothing.
Police subsequently noted that their policy is to shoot for the largest body surface area (i.e. the torso) so that they don’t miss the target, but clearly other options than shooting the attacker were possible, or alternatively those seven shots could have immobilised him in that enclosed space, without causing his death.
We know that Ahamed’s life history before his arrival in New Zealand as a young man was incredibly traumatic- witnessing his father being kidnapped and almost killed, and himself being tortured by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.
The Spinoff notes that Ahamed ‘had been in New Zealand since 2011 when he arrived on a student visa. He made a claim for refugee status soon after, but was declined. He appealed, and was granted the status the following year. The prime minister said on Friday that his claim was based on a fraudulent document’
We also know that Ahamed had been on remand (i.e. charged with an offence but not convicted in court) in New Zealand for threatening activities for some years before his conviction – during which time he was held in prison, but was not able to access any supports that might have reduced his risk to himself or others because he had at that stage not been convicted and the government was attempting to deport him. Additionally once released from gaol after his conviction, he was constantly tailed by armed Police; actions which would not have helped his fear and paranoia.
It is clear that Ahamed was acutely distressed because of his trauma, but did not receive the necessary supports by New Zealand authorities to reduce the impacts of that trauma and distress. Instead, he was immediately labelled a ‘terrorist’ by the New Zealand prime minister and the New Zealand media after his death, and there was no call for an independent review into his death.
Is it coincidental that 3 violent attacks were handled so very differently by Police; that a dark skinned man could so easily be deemed a terrorist and shot dead, but two white males, despite the acute violence of their attacks, be subdued without fatality?
We are informed that the New Zealand government, in a knee-jerk reaction to this attack, now wants to ‘tighten’ the responses around ‘terrorist activities’. Andrew Geddis has noted that the draft legislation’s proposal, allowing for people to be prosecuted for planning an activity, but not actually executing that plan , is currently an unheard of judicial procedure in New Zealand.
Listen to the University of Otago Peace and Conflict studies debate about the ‘terrorist attack’ below.
We need to acknowledge too, that no act of violence is acceptable; whether it be in a persons’ home, a random attack in public, a terrorist attack, or violence by the state.
The terror of those 2997 killed, and the trauma experienced by those many bereaved and the first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001, are very real and still raw. However the barbaric responses to those attacks by the United States and their ‘Coalition of the Willing’, defies both logic and humanity. Millions of people in Arab nations killed, economies and environments ravaged, and thousands tortured or drone murdered, with the rationale being suppression of terrorism, rather than the reality of more arms sales and theft of foreign resources, and the resultant creation of more angry terrorists.
As Chris Hedges notes,those responses are the work of evil killers. The fact that ex President George W Bush can stand up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and be applauded in Western media for his demonic destruction of Iraq, and Afghanistan, defies belief.
In any sane and just society, such a man ( along with the deranged Tony Blair and their other neoliberal cronies)
would have long ago been locked away for their lifetimes – for the common good.
What we desperately need now is for ex-colonial states like New Zealand, to show global leadership in addressing terror threats, in the absence of leadership from the larger powers.
We need to undertake more research to explore opportunities to better respond to threats of violence, to implement strategies that reduce group and individual threats of terror; through acknowledging the genuine basis of the anger, trauma and fear that created those threats, acknowledging that often our state responses to ‘terror’ threats by ‘others with dark skins’ is a relic of our racist and colonial history, (as witnessed by New Zealand Police’s infamous ‘anti-terrorist’ raids into the Ureweras in 2007); and beginning to treat responses to terror threats as a normal and just and equitable part of our range of enforcement and judicial responses to violence, which respects everyone’s human rights, rather than something that needs to be responded to beyond the normal rule of law.
After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,
As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.
The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.
After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001
If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?
The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.
It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)
As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.
Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.
Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?
As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions.
We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.
The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..
While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.
The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..
Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..
“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.” – Booker T. Washington
That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.
It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.
It is time now for the new Afghan government to demand reparations from all those Western occupation governments for the deaths, torture, trauma and misery; and land and property losses of the last 20 years.
Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…
Wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen (let alone their unconditional support for Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian people), by the West are indisputably gross human rights transgressions which require the U.N. to demand , on behalf of those populations, compensation from the aggressor. The U.N. is silent….
While Uighur ‘re-education’ camps, which significantly impact on some Uighurs’ human rights, certainly exist in Xinyang (China says these are to reduce the risk of Uighur Muslim extremism and terrorism promoted by Turkey, the Saudis and Western intelligence groups); current evidence tends to suggest that statements about genocide are a fabrication by those very groups.
The Uighur genocide stories can perhaps be likened to the U.S. state political propaganda theatre of American POWs captured by the Koreans and Vietnamese in the United States’ genocidal colonial wars against those two countries. No solid evidence exists of genocide of Uighurs, but we can make up a really good story with ‘anecdotal evidence’ and ‘statistics’ and newspaper headlines …..
In response to U.N. criticisms of Navalny’s political party in Russia being forcibly disbanded, and Hong Kong protesters and their Western funded protests militantly arguing for separatism from mainland China, we may yet have to see how Western countries respond to foreign countries funding political parties advocating separatism and sanctions of their own countrymen, on their own patch….
Indeed the continuing and increasing use of sanctions by Western countries against those countries they wish to destabilise is surely another key example of breaches of human rights of those populations. Cutting off access to food, energy and medical supplies and ‘withholding’ ( i.e stealing) money in state bank accounts from countries like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba are blatant abuses of those populations ‘ human rights.
As Telesure notes about Nicaragua: Human Rights Watch… has been notorious for taking a pro-State Department line on Latin America and even contains former State Department personnel on its board of directors. The former (the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation ) , meanwhile, is led by an anti-government partisan who supports imperialist sanctions on her own country. As The Canary reported in December 2018, Jagger has not only expressed support for the crippling US sanctions already in place but even called for the European Union, Canada, and other Latin American nations to issue their own set of sanctions as well.
Western led statements supporting greater freedom and democracy in Russia and China and other autocratic states that don’t kneel to Western business interests, should indeed be a wonderful ideal and a catalyst for freedom for all, were it not for that fact that those very Western governments- particularly the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and some other Western European countries, are also the countries that have waged savage wars across the third world to promote their own ‘interests’ ( i.e. money).
For some unknown reason, those countless wars of aggression by Western and predominantly ‘white’ countries; along with indiscriminant sanctions, torture, drone murders and the promotion of extremism in other countries, do not appear on the list by the U.N. advocate for human rights- one might wonder why that is?
On 11th June 2020, the United States reacted with outrage that the International Criminal Court (ICC) intends to investigate the United States and Israel for crimes against humanity. How dare they? Surely the exceptional nation and its closest ally have every right to conduct mass-murder and torture with impunity?
By 2012, U.S. Congress had threatened that it would use military force to rescue any US citizens that were somehow called to account by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and has signed agreements with more than 100 governments pledging them not to hand over US citizens to the ICC. U.S. Secretary of State, Texan, Mike Pompeo ; the epitome of the “exceptional nation” in all its bravado, bullying and sheer brutality , has also recently threatened the families of ICC justices with ‘consequences’ should any indictments proceed.
Impact of sanctions
Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Palestine, and hundred other little hidden wars were American troops are engaged in “counter-terrorism” and ‘black sites’ of torture.
Only when it becomes the international norm that any war fought by an aggressor shall require full reparations to the victim state, will wars be finally deemed not to be financially advantageous. That day is coming; the United States should be aware that its leaders are likely to be prosecuted and condemned for the litany of war crimes they have committed since the most heinous of all- their merciless slaughter of Koreans in the Korean War, and that the reparations for their endless wars will be in the many trillions of dollars.
The United States and its allies will one day soon, no longer be able to inflict its savagery on the world.
George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25th 2020. Preliminary autopsy reports showed that George’s air supply was cut off at the neck by external ongoing pressure.
The videos of the event clearly shows police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George’s neck while George gasps that he can’t breathe. Derek seems to looking for approval from the 3 other police officers nearby.
President Trump is undoubtedly one of the most incompetent, ignorant and bigoted of U.S. presidents, and his actions both during the ongoing pandemic, and his response to the sometimes violent demonstrations that have occurred in response to George Floyd’s murder, have been extraordinarily counter-productive and dangerous. However it is clear that his actions are applauded by a large proportion of the United States’ population. Donald Trump is a symptom, not a cause, of America’s dysfunction.
America is a country where lying and cheating, cheap exploitation and unmitigated violence at all levels of society are projected as capitalism unfettered – an Ayn Rand society where anything goes, and to hell with anyone and anything else. Such a society (despite the country’s enormous wealth from its natural resources) is destined for disaster. Former President Obama was a master at saying all the right things, while continuing to lie, cheat, steal and murder on behalf of the “exceptional nation”.
It is a society and culture that has pursued the propaganda of selling “product” , no matter the cost to vulnerable workers or the environment, or the lies required to make that sale, with religious zealotry for over a hundred years. And as a consequence, where those who are not wealthy are not worthy. Adam Shatz ,in “America Explodes’ describes the phenomenon of systemic racism in America with great clarity.
The disjunct between those in power staying “all the right things” about prejudice poverty and violence, and the reality on the ground has in the past 20 years, grown to become an enormous sink-hole of hypocrisy. It is vital that all people recognise that actions and good conduct alone determine whether we are a force for good or evil in this world. Words are cheap.
And we have seen this commodification of “terror’ creep all across the globe in the last decade like a virus. Police officers around the world now dress in absurd black clothing or camouflage outfits armed with sub-machine guns. Such foolish role-playing dress-ups encourages police (often with minimal training in de-escalation and risk assessment) to behave like frightened ‘warriors’ in a war setting, where no such threat exist.
A supreme irony then that one of the bigger earlier demonstrations for “Black Lives Matter’ outside of the U.S. , was in Auckland, New Zealand.
However the lead global agency for systematic violence, brutality and torture must surely go to Israeli ‘security ‘ forces operating day and night against largely defenseless Palestinians for the past 70 years (with unequivocal and unquestioning support by the United States and its Western allies for this brutality) . And not because Palestinians are a threat to the huge Israeli military juggernaut, but because they have land that Israeli settlers covet.
What is needed therefore, is not simply righteous indignation and protestations at police brutality, but a systematic global assessment of where the fault lines that lead to to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable members of all of our societies, occur. Once those systemic and sociological drivers of violence and exploitation are identified – (and named-and they are both complex and many)- have been identified, then a complete overhaul of global societal values and systems is required.
Footnote:The current simplistic motions in the United States to “defund the Police” will create ever more divisions in an already fractured society and the potential for vigilante groups on the “right” and “left’ to determine ‘justice for others.
An impartial government policing system ( one federal system) with regulations that underscore that no police-person is immune from prosecution for violence; that recognizes but does not excuse, the roles that colonialism, slavery, discrimination, poverty and historical injustice have played in creating communities which tend to be more dangerous, and addresses those needs; that ensures that every police officer is extensively trained in de-escalation, conflict management, and only uses force as a very last resort (which can be prosecutable) and that the endemic U.S. culture of violence and gun use is recognised and addressed.
It may be useful to note that most of the statues and monuments about important people ( almost exclusively men) are of people who lives were dominated by the need for power, fame and/or money. These were damaged people often exposed to early trauma in their lives, and a determination to succeed at all and any cost.
To know where we have come from is to empower us. It is well to remember where other societies’ book burnings and erasure of history have led us in the past.
As Craig Murray notes in his summary of the proposal, the Kushner plan, and the responses to it from Western governments, underscore the long-term hypocrisy of Western nations and particularly the United States ( as the ‘honest’ broker) in pretending to support the much brutalized Palestinian people into believing there could ever be such a thing as a viable ‘two state solution”.
If it were not for the fact that successive Israeli governments since 1948, have terrorized, stolen, destroyed houses, lands and property, tortured and imprisoned many thousands of Palestinians (including many children) for the crime of wanting to retain their own homes and lands, then this could almost be some stupid farce; a joke by puerile amateurs who know nothing of history, and certainly nothing about human rights or even compassion.
If you have the stomach for it, read the daily litany of extreme abuse, racism and terror inflicted by Israeli army soldiers and “settlers” on the Palestinian people at https://imemc.org/
The news outlet IPSNews, notes: The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as “more like Swiss cheese– with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians”.
There is now only one solution; and that is a single state entity which recognizes all peoples in the lands of what is now Israel/Gaza and the West Bank as having equal rights: which recognises the right of return of those millions of Palestinians dispossessed of their lands and liberty since 1948 by the Israeli machine, and which provides appropriate compensation for those losses….
What however we do get from that obituary is an acknowledgment of the close ties that Le Mesurier and MI6 had and continue to have with Israeli secret police and military in brutally putting down what Churlov describes as the Gaza “insurgency” ( a curious but telling name for an uprising against the disgusting barbaric ( and internationally illegal) Israeli occupation and imprisonment of Gaza’s population). But again; this should not come as a surprise; we know the U.K. intelligence community’s and UK Military’s longstanding and ongoing involvement with corruption, torture and murder across the Middle East , and its mercenary longstanding involvement with the Saudi regime’s jihadist terror and genocidal campaigns against Shiites.
If you believe Martin Churlov, Le Mesurier was able to somehow mysteriously access large amounts of Western government money to establish and maintain and provide Western logistics to a band of humanitarian workers who operated in areas where the officially recognised Syrian Red Cross could not access because the jihadists would have killed them.
In Wikipedia we are told (without any hint of sarcasm) that: The Times reported that Le Mesurier was “the subject of an intense black propaganda campaign for years by pro-Assad activists and Russian diplomats”.The New York Times reported that the group and Le Mesurier were the target of “unfounded conspiracy theories”. It was alleged that Le Mesurier’s British Army background meant that he was effectively operating as a British state agent.Janine di Giovanni has written the claim he was a spy lacks any evidence. The accusations, from those who are opposed to any Western involvement in Syria and are backers of the Assad regime, include bloggers connected to the English-language Russian media who claim the White Helmets and Le Mesurier were intending to push for regime change in Syria.
One of the White Helmet’s key functions ( unlike any other internationally recognised humanitarian mission), was to publicise itself and the supposed military actions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) under Assad. The recent expose of reports made by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) after the allegations by the White Helmets of SAA chemical weapons use in Douma, clearly show corruption at a senior level in the OPCW to manipulate evidence and come to conclusions not supported by their investigators .
Le Mesurier died mysteriously; somehow falling from his balcony at his home in Ankara to his death in the middle of the night without his wife hearing anything. And yes, security cameras reveal no breach of security at his home- so presumably-no evidence of murder.
Did Mesurier jump because he knew he was soon to be exposed to the world as the charlatan he was, and not the humanitarian portrayed so well in the White Helmet’s expensive movie and Western mainstream media?
Or was he pushed because he knew too much? Perhaps we will never know.
We do know from TASS however that the British have been getting increasingly concerned about the ongoing ever-deeper incursions into Idlib in Northern Syria by Russian and SAA troops, where most of their intelligence operatives are working alongside the jihadists and particularly Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) , the Al Qaeda affiliated group funded by the Saudis. A captured British operative in Idlib could reveal much of the very embarrassing support by the British French, US and Turkey of the jihadists (including the White Helmets), and their links to Israeli operatives.
In addition, “Old Boy” Boris Johnson’s Etonian and City of London links might be put even more at jeopardy if any of this little escapade comes to light during the current British General Election…
As with U.S. foreign policy, we need to understand that British realpolitik is simply about the money. How much can I or my cronies get out of this next little war?
With dear little Mike Pompeo immediately accusing Iran of attacking two Japanese-bound tankers in the Gulf of Oman with supposed “torpedoes” or limpet mines (note that limpet mines have limited effect above the waterline and would only punch a small hole in a large tanker, and that torpedoes have not been known to fly out of the water to hit targets above the waterline) – we reach new heights of lunacy within the United States foreign policy arena. The attack was precisely timed to ‘fit’ with Iran’s meeting with a Japanese foreign policy team attempting to defuse a confrontation between Iran and the U.S. -which cannot be defused. (Clear principle of mediation Mr Trump (oh wise and great mediator!) – where one party is attempting to threaten and bully another party into total submission- no agreement is possible until the bullying party desists. The other party will fight to defend itself unless physically defeated. Where the bullied is aware of the bully’s strengths and weaknesses , the bullied party can and will come up with alternative strategies that defeat the bully at their own game…they are after all, fighting for their survival and their lives, not for new profits in the weapons industry..
It is quite likely that one of John Bolton’s terrorist allies, like his good friends the brutal MEK , played a part in the tanker bombings after having not achieved the desired result a few weeks ago in a botched attack on other tankers in the Gulf that caused minimal damage . The fact that Pompeo, -ex CIA Director, ( it tells one a lot about ‘intelligence’ agencies when they have men with the extraordinarily limited intellectual capacities like Pompeo at their heads ) has immediately come out saying it was ‘Iran wot did it’, does somehow demonstrate the crudity and stupidity of American foreign policy, and its total reliance on violence and intimidation as its sole foreign policy tool.( with a little bit of bribery and corruption thrown in for good measure)
The United States has been forthright in saying that Iran does not behave like a ‘normal country’ . What they mean is that Iran does not accept the United States’ right to impose its will and ‘values ( such as they are) on other countries – Iran does not behave according to ‘accepted international norms’.
An article by Christopher Black in New Eastern Outlook article by notes that the (U.S.) ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report’, of June 1, 2019 includes the statement that, “We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order (my emphasis)– an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values”.
Christopher Black notes that, ‘”What they mean by “rules based international order” is not the order of international law as accepted by the world governments in the United Nations Charter and other international agreements but a US imposed international order, – an order that does not yet exist except in the fantasies of these gangsters-but which they never stop trying to impose on the world, an order of militarism, fear, and tyranny for the rest of the world”.
The fact that the United Kingsom’s current government can immediately endorse the wild accusations of these crazed and foolish Americans about Iran being the cause of the tanker attacks , is not unsurprising. Britain since the First World War has promoted and supported the brutal Saud tribe in Arabia and its fanatical Wahhabist ( and anti-Shi-ite) teachings, and used to such great effect in Libya, Iraq Afghanistan and Syria in promoting sectarian division and violence to provide power and profit for both British and American business interests in the Middle East.
What is perhaps most disturbing in recent analyses of the rumours that the U.S. will bomb Iran’s non-existent nuclear bomb facilities -even by those opposed to the bombing-is that this is not going to end well for the United States. As with the previous multiple acts of murder against the Iranian people; (not least the attack by USS Vincennes on an Iranian civilian jumbo-jet which killed 290 people in 1988: -(just one of so many attacks the United States has never apologised for ; let only compensated the victims for)we see the complete absence of analyses of what terror, murder and destruction such attacks will inflict on Iran’s 80 million people -already under atack from years of United States’ vicious sanctions . As with almost every United States war; this is a rascist war- a war of agression against darker skinned peoples who clearly are no match for ‘exceptional’ (white) Americans like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
It’s time to acknowledge that the United States is simply a rogue state that needs to be controlled by others more mature and steady and with some modicum of intelligence. Hvaing pychopaths at the helm does not bode well for the survivability of the planet.