Israel kill a woman and child. Completely justifiable, of course…

August 20, 2014

After 8 days of relative quiet in Gaza, an Israeli air strike killed the wife and son of the Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif. As the attack was targeted at Deif, Israeli military consider the Hamas commander’s home as fair game. They have tried to kill Deif several times. They use air strikes as a method of assassination, and of course a missile will kill not only the intended target but also anyone near him. This is what happened overnight (20 August).

Scene of the air strike that killed the wife and child of Mohammed Deif

Scene of the air strike that killed the wife and child of Mohammed Deif

I wonder: if Hamas bombed the home of an Israeli commander and killed his family, would Israel shrug its collective shoulders and say “Fair enough”? Or would they condemn it as an evil terrorist attack slaying innocent children etc? What do you think? Seriously, I’d love to know your opinion. Please let us know via Comments.

Using air strikes to carry out assassinations is a cowardly act. Israel is known to have efficient special forces and other soldiers. So when they want to kill a particular military individual, why don’t they send in troops to find and shoot him? Why do they prefer to use missiles launched from fighter planes or drones, which will kill arbitrary people in the area, such as innocent passers-by or, as in this latest case, non-combatant family members? To me it seems plain: the much vaunted Israeli Defence Force is commanded by cowards. Much better to kill 100 children than to risk losing a single soldier.

I do not support Hamas, or the Al-Aqsa Brigades or Islamic Jihad. But Israeli arrogance and cowardly aggression makes me sick. And the fact that only 6% of Israelis recently polled think that too much force is being used against Gaza makes me wonder why this so-called free, developed democratic state gets so much support from the UK and other governments. Israel is a blustering, cowardly terrorist state.

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Why aren’t terrorists considered as political prisoners?

August 19, 2014

Seems to me that many terrorists are the epitome of political prisoners. According to MI5:

Although there is no generally agreed definition of terrorism internationally, in the UK the Terrorism Act 2000 new window defines terrorism as:

The use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes:

serious violence against a person;
serious damage to a property;
a threat to a person’s life;
a serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or
serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.

See my emphasis there? If someone is in jail for a politically-motivated act, surely he is a political prisoner?

Groups like Amnesty International pick and choose amongst politically-motivated prisoners – from Wikipedia:

AI uses the term “political prisoner” broadly. It does not use it, as some others do, to imply that all such prisoners have a special status or should be released. It uses the term only to define a category of prisoners for whom AI demands a fair and prompt trial.

In AI’s usage, the term includes any prisoner whose case has a significant political element: whether the motivation of the prisoner’s acts, the acts in themselves, or the motivation of the authorities.

“Political” is used by AI to refer to aspects of human relations related to “politics”: the mechanisms of society and civil order, the principles, organization, or conduct of government or public affairs, and the relation of all these to questions of language, ethnic origin, sex or religion, status or influence (among other factors).

The category of political prisoners embraces the category of prisoners of conscience, the only prisoners who AI demands should be immediately and unconditionally released, as well as people who resort to criminal violence for a political motive.

See how airy-fairy their definition is? It’s a nonsense.

Look at the case of Nelson Mandela. He was almost universally viewed as a political prisoner. But was he non-violent? Again, from Wikipedia:

Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961, leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

Bloody hypocrisy. “One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter” blah blah, okay, but surely he’s a political prisoner whether you sympathise with him or not?

Go see Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and ask him if he was a political prisoner. When he was tried for being near a car containing 250 pounds (110 kg) of explosives and nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition, he refused to accept the legitimacy of the court and declared his membership of the Provisional IRA without equivocation: “We have fought against the killing of our people… I am a member of Óglaigh na hÉireann and very, very proud of it.”

Martin McGuinness of the IRA... political prisoner or not?

Martin McGuinness of the IRA… political prisoner or not?

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


World War One Commemoration: Atrocities, by Siegfried Sassoon, uncensored version

August 4, 2014

As everyone is commemorating the start of World War One (“The Great War”, “The war to end all wars”) today, I thought I’d do my bit. The famous war poet Siegfried Sassoon wrote a poem “Atrocities”, one of the many he wrote concerning the first world war. When it was published in 1919, it was censored to hide any anti-war sentiment it might contain. It was republished in uncensored format in July 2014. You can hear actor Samuel West reading it here. And here’s the text.

You bragged how once in savage mood
Your men butchered some Saxon prisoners; that was good.
I trust you felt no pity as they stood
Patient and cowed and scared as prisoners should.
How did you kill them? speak now, don’t be shy,
You know I love to hear how Germans die
Downstairs in dug-outs, ‘Camerad!” they cry;
And squeal like stoats when bombs begin to fly.
I’m proud of you; perhaps you’ll feel as brave
Alone in no-man’s land when no one can shield you from the horror of the night.
There’s blood upon your hands
Now go out and fight.
I hope those Huns will haunt you with their screams
And make you gulp their blood in ghoulish dreams.
You’re great at murder; tell me, can you fight?

Never forget.

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Palestinian “Day of Rage” sees violence and deaths spread to West Bank

July 25, 2014

Today, Friday 25 July 2014, has been dubbed a “day of rage” by Palestinian factions. And at time of writing this (15:30 GMT), up to 6 Palestinians have been reported killed and scores injured by Israeli soldiers and settlers. The violence and killings have spread to the West Bank, where previously it was mostly concentrated in the Gaza Strip (a captive war zone, where Israeli and Egyptian border blockade allows Gazan militants nowhere they can retreat to other than their homes – then the Israelis pummel the residential areas with airstrikes and artillery fire, and blame the Gaza fighters for any civilian casualties that ensue – a disgusting “justification” for deliberately targetting homes, hospitals and schools).

46-year-old Hashem Abu Marieh was killed in the Palestinian village of Beit Ummar near the flashpoint southern city of Hebron by Israeli soldiers.

A 26-year-old man was also reported to have died in Hebron from gunshot wounds.

A group of settlers opened fire on protesting Palestinians after they threw stones at their car near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian security sources said. An 18-year-old Palestinian named as Khaled Oudeh was killed.

Shortly afterwards, Israeli troops arrived at the scene and clashed with the Palestinians, firing live bullets and tear gas. The Israeli army fire killed a second Palestinian, 22-year-old Tayyib Oudeh, the security sources said, adding that three other Palestinians were injured by live fire.

Friday’s violence followed major clashes on Thursday, when 20,000 people took part in a march from Ramallah towards East Jerusalem in protest over the bloodshed in Gaza. Two Palestinians were killed and several hundred injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers, with 120 treated for gunshot wounds. [all from the Guardian]

And in Gaza the violence has continued. Israeli air force jets struck 30 homes in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, killing a leader of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad and his two sons. There were heavy firefights between IDF ground troops and Hamas fighters. Israel confirmed that one of their soldiers was killed, and reported that 35 rockets were fired from Gaza, 10 of which were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, has called for a ceasefire, after several meetings with the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and Egyptian officials in Cairo aimed at ending the 18-day conflict that has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians. His office released a statement saying: “On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel. This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period.”

French lawyer Gilles Devers announced he had lodged a complaint at the International Criminal Court on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister accusing the Israeli army of war crimes. “Israel, the occupying power, is carrying out a military operation which in principle and form violates the basis of international law,” he said.

The Israeli security cabinet is review the ceasefire proposal and to discuss the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.

The Israeli airstrike on the home of a leader of Islamic Jihad and is 2 sons will no doubt be defended by Israel on the basis that it was a legitimate attack on the militant leader and it is that militant’s own fault that he was using his family as a “human shield”. I wonder: if the Palestians in Gaza had more accurate rockets, and destroyed the homes of Israeli commanders and politicians, killing those targets’ families in the process, would Israel accept the attacks as legitimate war actions? Or would they denounce the killing of the families as “terrorism”? Don’t worry, that was a rhetorical question. I know damn well what Israel would say. Their position is: if Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli attacks, Israel says it’s Hamas’ own fault for hiding amongst civilians; if Palestinians kill Israeli civilians, it’s a terrorist attack.

Here’s a map, showing how Israel has devoured and settled Palestinian territories between 1946 and 2000. It misses out changes since 2000, but I think you’ll get the idea:

Fragmentation of Palestinian territory 1946-2000

Fragmentation of Palestinian territory 1946-2000. Map from here.

Will UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon’s call for a ceasefire over Eid be listened to? I doubt it. This is going from bad to worse to even worse, inexorably approaching “worst”. Israel, look at yourselves. Is it right for the IDF to fire live rounds at stone-throwing youths and men? Is it right for Jewish civilian settlers on traditionally Palestinian land to kill stone-throwing demonstrators? If Palestinian militants are in civilian areas, is it right to shell those areas indiscriminately? Is it right to attack UN schools and hospitals containing thousands of civilians? Hundreds or even thousands of Palestinian civilian deaths, tens of Israeli deaths. I’m not saying this should be balanced with more Israeli deaths; what’s needed is less Palestinian deaths. Is this really too much to ask?

UPDATE 18:20 GMT
Israel’s cabinet on has unanimously rejected a US-backed proposal for a week-long “humanitarian pause” in the offensive on Gaza after 18 days of fighting that has claimed more than 800 Palestinian lives.

So, why the rejection? Judging from earlier rejections of ceasefire proposals, Israel probably will claim that any cessation of hostilities would give Hamas time to regroup and consolidate. This, despite the fact that the Kerry/Ban Ki-Moon proposal would have allowed Israeli troops to remain behind to to continue destroying cross-border tunnels.

The ceasefire would probably have been a non-starter anyway, as Hamas had already signalled its opposition to the terms of the US plan, which it deemed too favourable to Israel. It signals to the rest of the world that neither Israel nor Hamas are ready to stop the senseless slaughter. But that isn’t much of a surprise. And it shows that the USA (via Kerry) and the UN (via Ban) are running out of working ideas.

A ceasefire will come, eventually. But it will leave the situation in a worse position than ever before the Israel-Fatah agreement. Today’s protests, violence, and deaths in the West Bank show that Palestinian opinion is swinging towards a stronger stance against Israel, which Fatah will ignore at its peril. And then what? Back to intifadas? Full-scale occupations? Suicide bombings in Tel Aviv?

Bunch of idiots. The region will ignite into flames again if both sides (Israel especially) don’t move positions. Israel whines that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate state. But so what? Does Israel recognize Hamas as a legitimate political entity? No. They’re all “terrorists”, on both sides. And I would be quite happy to see them “terrorize” each other to extinction, if not for the innocents trapped between them. Irrational, insane bastards with guns and bombs. Like most governments, when I come to think of it…

Oh yeah, interesting piece in the Guardian: “In Gaza, Hamas fighters are among civilians. There is nowhere else for them to go.” Read it. And stop whining about “human shields”. Remember: Israel say how they have to attack residential areas, hospitals etc, because that’s where Hamas is holed out. But that’s bullshit. Israel don’t have to bomb the civilian areas. They choose to.


Bloody Israeli terrorists

July 20, 2014

As Israel’s “anti-terrorist” actions in Gaza enter their second week, I’ve decided to point out (again) that Israel is a terrorist state.

Back in the day of the British Palestine Mandate, one of the major anti-British, pro-Israeli state terrorist organizations was Irgun (aka Etzel), who wanted a Jewish Israeli state to be formed, laying territorial claim to Mandatory Palestine and the Emirate of Transjordan. One of their later leaders was Menachem Begin. a terrorist who later became a “respectable politician”.

Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin

From Wikipedia:

The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts.[3][4] In particular the Irgun was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain,[5] the 1946 Zionist Congress[6] and the Jewish Agency.[7] The Irgun believed that any means necessary to establish the Jewish State of Israel, including terrorism, was justifiable.[8]

The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel’s right-wing Herut (or “Freedom”) party, which led to today’s Likud party.[9] Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977.

And who is the leader of Likud? Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Also, Wikipedia points out that Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. So, if Irgun was a terrorist organization, surely the IDF is also a terrorist organization. The “soldiers” who are killing Palestinians (including civilians, women and children who have never engaged in anti-Israeli actions) – surely these IDF “soldiers” are terrorists. A fact which is borne out by the IDF’s indiscriminate slaughter of those who live in Gaza.

Please please please do not think I am anti-semitic because I point out these facts. I know that some people think that any criticism of Israel is anti-semitism. but anti-semitism is (according to many sources including the US Department of State) as “hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.” I have absolutely no problem with Jews. I don’t even have a problem with “terrorists” per se (“one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” etc). I have a problem with people who lay claim to land because “God gave it to them” and who slaughter non-combatants in defence of that “claim”.

Sorry if I’m harping on tiresomely about this. But Israel’s actions in Gaza are really pissing me off; and my dog is sick and tired of me moaning at her about it all the time.

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Who’d fly Malaysian?

July 18, 2014

Until a few months ago, Malaysia Airlines had one of Asia’s best plane safety records. But 2014 changed all that. On March 8 Flight MH370, carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, lost contact with air traffic control and has yet to be located. A massive international search is now concentrated in the Indian Ocean to the far west of Australia. And now, MH17 has crashed, apparently shot down by a surface-to-air missile, allegedly fired by a pro-Russian separatist in Ukraine.

The MH17 death toll, at time of writing, is 298, including people from: Netherlands 173, Malaysia 44, Australia 27, Indonesia 12 (including 1 infant), United Kingdom 9, Germany 4, Belgium 4, Philippines 3, Canada 1, New Zealand 1. There are still 20 unverified nationalities.

A lot of the passengers were HIV/AIDS researchers, on their way to an international Aids conference in Melbourne, Australia. No names have been confirmed but it is believed leading HIV/Aids researchers are among the dead. Malaysia Airlines is still contacting the next of kin of the deceased passengers but said in statement it would release the passenger manifest when it had finished.

It is looking more and more like pro-Ukrainian were responsible, though they are denying it. The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton however went further and said there were indications Russian-backed militia were to blame. TheAustralian prime minister, Tony Abbott, said it appeared the plane was shot down by Russian-backed rebels.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said Ukraine bore responsibility for the crash, according to a Kremlin statement issued early on Friday, but he did not accuse Ukraine of shooting the plane down. “This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in south-east Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.” By that, does Putin suggest that the UK was responsible for the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 because it was destroyed over Scotland?

Whether the pro-Russian separatists destroyed the plane or not, there are certainly signs that they are controlling access to the wreckage. Why are they doing that? What are they trying to hide? It was initially believed the separatists had taken away the plane’s black box flight recorder, but Ukrainian emergency workers have found the plane’s black box flight recorder, AFP has reported.

The separatists are thought by many to have shot down the plane. Th3e Guardian has published this:

Audio was being circulated on social media, apparently released by Ukrainian security services, purporting to be an intercepted conversation of pro-Russia rebels confirming they had shot down a civilian jet.

The conversation is apparently between a group leader and his superior and suggests that they initially thought they had brought down a military aircraft but later realised their error.

The group leader, “Demon”, tells his boss: “A plane has just been shot down. [It was] ‘Miner’s’ group. It crashed outside Enakievo. Our men went to search for and photograph it. It’s smouldering.”

After his men apparently inspected the crash site, Demon reports back. “Cossacks from the Chernunkhino checkpoint shot down the plane. The plane disintegrated in mid-air … they found the first body. It’s a civilian.”

He carries on: “I mean. It’s definitely a civilian aircraft.”

If it was separatists who did this, they have very likely shot themselves in the foot (if not the head). How many allies will they have now?

In the meantime, if you’re planning an international trp, remember the old adage: “Bad things happen in threes”….

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


The “right to be forgotten” bites thief in ass

July 16, 2014

So people who have done dodgy crap in the past have a “right to be forgotten”… meaning Google, Bing, etc have to delete links to stories about what crooks and conmen have got up to in the past. Basically, Google etc have to delete links to online stories that might “damage the reputation” of people who have done stupid and even criminal things they’ve done in the past.

But as Dan Gillmor has pointed out in the Guardian, it’s basically a charter for crooks and idiots to hide their stupidity and criminal actions, censoring their past so it looks like they’re not idiots or crooks… info that potential employers, new acquaintances and the like could well need to know. Are you going to enter into business with someone whose ineptness or criminal behaviour is public knowledge? Probably not. But now people will be employing unsuitable people.

But what’s funny about this charade is the fact that the “right to be forgotten” by Google will mean other news outlets will report on these secretive idiots. Check out the story on Robert Daniels-Dwyer. He wanted Google to remove links to reports that he was was convicted of trying to steal £200 worth of Christmas presents from Boots in Oxford in 2006. Google removed the links… but the Oxford Mail’s editor, Simon O’Neill, argued that it is “an assault on the public’s right to know perfectly legitimate information,” and Dwyers’ naughty past has been re-publicised far more than it would have been before the ruling! The Oxford Mail’s editor, Simon O’Neill, argued that it is “an assault on the public’s right to know perfectly legitimate information.”

Check out the original Oxford Mail story here. If the idiot had kept his gob shut, no one would have known about it… it was in 2006 for goodness’ sake!

Calling it a “right to censorship”, editor O’Neill continued: “It is an attempt to re-write history… We often get complaints from convicted criminals that publishing stories about them invades their privacy or is unfair but the simple fact is if they didn’t go out committing crime and appearing in court then there would not be a story.”

The Guardian reported:

The paper reported that Daniels-Dwyer had previously attempted to have the story removed from the Mail’s websites via a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.

He demanded that Newsquest “should purge the article from all databases, internally and externally available, and from any news databases to which it provides content.”

Two factual amendments were made to the article, but the PCC dismissed his case.

If Daniels-Dwyer was the complainant to Google then it has rebounded on him because the 2006 story has got renewed, and extra, publicity – a direct consequence of all such complaints about online coverage (see the Streisand effect).

The right to be forgotten could well turn out to be the right to be remembered.

So it looks like Daniels-Dwyer has well and truly screwed himself! Ha ha ha!!

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 172 other followers

%d bloggers like this: