Friday, September 30, 2005

New Labour - New Terrorism Suspect...

Meet Mr Walter Wolfgang: an 82-year old OAP, Labour member for some 57 years and the first person to be detained at a Labour conference under section 44 of the Terrorism Act.

The spectacle was a disgrace as Mr Wolfgang shouted "nonsense!" from the very back row of the conference hall during a speech by Mr Straw in which he compared the "rebuilding of Iraq [sic]" with the situation of post-WW II Germany, was rather brutally manhandled and removed from the hall. A younger man who came to his rescue was then equally forcibly removed. But the fun had only gotten started yet.

Backstage Mr Wolfgang was then detained by Police under the Terrorism Act, while a Labour apparatchik tried desperately to keep the cameras from looking into the unfolding drama.

It would be all too easy to dismiss this sorry episode as the unfortunate result of some heavy handed stewards reacting a little overzealously. The incident has given rise to some

serious soul searching amongst that part of the Labour congregation that's getting worried about the party's swing to authoritarianism
, as a reaction to the "threat of terrorism".

Full story and video of Mr Wolfgang's misadventure.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Meeting Osama bin Laden

Robert Fisk is the only Western journalist that has met Osama bin Laden several times. Fisk has written a book about it, to be serialised in "The Independent" this week. A large extract can be found here. And for those who'll feel obliged to dismiss all this as "liberal twaddle", "apologist nonsense" etc etc (ad nauseam), I say (again): know your enemy.

Fisk's interviews show at least one thing to be crystal clear: there was no love lost between bin Laden and Saddam:

Bin Laden's first reference to Iraq and to the United Nations sanctions that were to result, according to UN officials themselves, in the death of more than half a million children. "Killing those Iraqi children is a crusade against Islam," Bin Laden said. "We, as Muslims, do not like the Iraqi regime but we think that the Iraqi people and their children are our brothers and we care about their future." It was the first time I heard him use the word "crusade".

But it was neither the first - nor the last - time that Bin Laden would distance himself from Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Much good would it do him. Five years later, the United States would launch an invasion of Iraq that would be partly justified by the regime's "support" for a man who so detested it.

How ironic then that reports are now coming in on al-Qaeda's increasing presence in Iraq, presumably in an effort to force the American forces to go home...

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Negotiating with al-Qaeda...

In an excellent article in the Los Angeles Times, Allen J. Zerkin asks perhaps for the first time the legitimate question: should we open negotiations with al-Qaeda?

Most people's gut reaction to this issue will be a clear: "you can't negotiate with terrorists, period" and this has been the official party line and mantra of most governments all over the world. But has it really?

Successful cases where governments have been brought to the negotiating table by consistent and irrepressible militias are a plenty. Perhaps the most striking case is Northern Ireland where after some thirty years of IRA violence and counter loyalist hostility, negotiations between the IRA and the British Government started through backchannels, ultimately resulting in the Good Friday agreement and a complete ceasefire on the part of the republicans. Verification of the total decommissioning of their arsenal is due to be reported on any time soon.

And it's important to note that the "terrorists" didn't exactly leave the table having all of their demands met: instead a typical compromise solution was reached.

We have to accept that even with some successes in the "war on terror", it's likely that al-Qaeda and affiliated groups haven't really begun their campaign in earnest yet and that attacks to come could make even 9/11 pale into insignificance.

And our societies remain ill-equipped to defend against the kind of guerrilla and urban warfare in which terrorist groups specialise. Our complex infrastructure of oil production and refining, massive chemical manufacturing, transport and communications infrastructure actually makes us rather an ideal target for any determined group of individuals.

No doubt the security services will get more savvy at intercepting possible threats, but the terrorists will also become ever more versed in using stealth and deception. In the long run this is a war which neither they nor we can win and that's where negotiating can provide a way out of the stalemate...

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Little Miss Piggy of Mabrouk...

On her blog "Miss Mabrouk of Egypt", the self-proclaimed "news jockey", fashion aficionado, lover of all things pink and near full time shopper, sets about congratulating the West for removing Saddam Hussein, in a nauseatingly badly written, confused and dazed piece called "Iraq - was it Worth it?"

I hope part of her mission statement "Without really knowing how, she has created a comprehensive news resource to Egypt" is meant to be ironic, otherwise God (well, Allah, mainly) help the Egyptians in their quest for serious news.

I would have simply posted a comment on her post but on Miss Piggy's blog the comment page opens in a new window and cut and paste is not possible.

"Ritzy's" ramblings are so inconsistent and thrown together from a far distance that a simple rebuttal would seem like a lazy attempt to defuse her misguided "views", thus she leaves me no choice but to refute her scribblings more or less blow by blow, so here goes...

Removing Saddam was a moral obligation; the way he abused his subjects is difficult to match in the history of dictators

There is no moral obligation to invade a sovereign nation, except in very, very exceptional circumstances. What if tomorrow the Chimp in the White House starts disliking Mubarak, should the "Coalition of the Killing" also invade Egypt? Oh but, the US are our allies Miss Piggy might say? For how long, my dear...

Of course Saddam Hussein was a butcher and a bully but it is very easy to find dictators that more than match his brutality. Saddam was a dictator but he was Bush Sr's dictator, until the Madman decided to invade Kuwait. The US did nothing when Iraq invaded Iran, except offer assistance toward the end of that little publicised 8-year long war which cost an estimated 1 million lives. Conspiracy theory? Sure [sic]...
For the coalition, there was also the issue of global security. It is easy to cry failure when a bomb blow in London, but don’t forget the attacks that have been hindered; the terrorists that never made it to our countries because their networks were smashed and the fanatic warriors imprisoned

Now you're claiming non-existent attacks that have been "hindered" because their "networks have been smashed". If their networks had been smashed then they would have been paraded on every news network in the world as the best coalition photo-op ever. Does the News Jockey actually watch any news at all?

Nothing has been found relating to al-Qaeda at all and more attacks on the West are still to come, trust me on that. 7/7 was committed by practically school kids, imagine what a hardened and determined attacker could do to our refineries, chemical manufacturing etc.

Were you having a threesome with Cheney and Rummy whilst dictating the above part of your "piece" (of piss)?
Unfortunately for the Iraqi’s, that’s where the Jihadists are gathering these days. The advantage for the anti-terrorist fighters is that the Jihadists are forced into a war and it isn’t as easy for them to meet fully equipped troops as to sneak explosives into a shopping mall with unsuspecting civilians

The "anti-terrorist" fighters are actually at a serious disadvantage when it comes to fighting insurgents, Jihadis and terrorists. Last night's reporting on how a small angry mob, armed with nothing but stones and primitive petrol bombs turned a British armoured vehicle into a burning torch, with it's crew (of "Warriors") fleeing in humiliation and fearful of their lives and one of them on fire, is nothing but one of many examples. Western armies were never designed to combat determined individuals; they were designed to fight "grand old enemies" like the former Soviet Union.

WMD was never a crucial issue. It become an important argument in the effort to convince the U.N., but it was enough that the possibility of WMD’s in Iraq existed, the threat of it and Iraq’s resistance to account for what it had done with the recorded stacks of for example biological agents were enough to motivate intervention;

You're simply sustaining that the Gangs of Four on both side of the Atlantic used the WMD as a convenient lie to try and convince the UN to endorse this umpteenth crusade in the Middle East. Nice try, Bush and Blair.

There is of course one country in the Middle East that has massive stacks of true WMD (nuclear war heads): Eretz Israel. Should we send in the boys? But, oops, that's an American and Egyptian ally... To Egypt my advice is: don't dissent too much with the Butcher in Tel-Aviv, magic mushrooms are waiting for you...

Let us not forget that the only people who have the right to say if it was worth it or not is the Iraqi people. The rest of us are simply standing on the side and our discussion is academic at best.

"The rest of us" are also comprised of the many people who've lost friends and relatives in a conflict for which Mr Blair only obtained the narrowest of a majority through the most manipulating effort of gathering support for this doomed attempt to undo the wrongs of the past, so no, our discussion here isn't academic (to an airhead like you anything is academic anyway), it's legitimate and part of our internal democratic process, one that you feel in the light of your version of the "greater good" can be trampled on perhaps, but not in my world.

Most intellectuals who had heard about the evils and should know better, chose not to believe it; blamed it on the conspiracy or simply ignored it.

Here we go: "intellectuals ahoy!" Anyone who in this whole affair doesn't jump up with glee at the sad results of this latest Western military sortie, is an "intellectual", "a liberal", "a conspiracy theorist", "a terrorist apologist", "a socialist or even a communist", "anti-Israel", "anti-Semitic", "anti-Zionist", un-patriotic","a pacifist" etc etc, ad nauseam. Well I strongly disagree with the West's bogus "War on Terrorism", yet don't fit any of these labels...

And I suppose that in your pink littered world, the West's sustained support for pre-Kuwait Baghdad,
the overthrowing of Iranian Nationalists in 1953 with an Anglo-American sponsored coup and installation of the Shah puppet and the massive and practically unconditional support for Israel's plans for a Greater Israel are also all part of conspiracy theory? And that's just a few examples from the catalogue of Western self-serving misdemeanours in the Mid East region...

As for what the Iraqi people think, the answer was given in the last elections and will be stated again next time they’re off to the polling stations.

The sad truth is that the Iraqi's are hopelessly divided amongst themselves and have been for decades and more. This in itself shows that there was no exit strategy: a simply study of the violent internal history of Iraq, something the British at least have had plenty of first hand experience with, would have revealed the difficulty in bringing together such an ethnically diverse country under one acceptable umbrella government and constitution. That is something only Saddam achieved, unfortunately only by means of brutal repression.

Ritzy, stick to wearing silly, pink, fluffy hats and too much eye make up and stop your feeble blitz of disinformation: it doesn't suit you...

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Monday, September 19, 2005

bin Laden and the Swedish Connection...

For those that still, against better judgement, believe that Global Terror has its roots in some dark and unfounded hatred of Muslims for all things Western, I've sometimes paraphrased Osama bin Laden's "ask yourself why we don't attack Sweden" statement.

Some have made it clear they believed I made this statement up, others have asked for the source of my claim. Well, it took me a while to find it back, but I have, courtesy of
Ed Strong. The "Swedish connection" was part of a communiqué by bin Laden, addressing the American people in a tape first released on 11 January 2004, via Al Jazeerah.

This text is very worthwhile reading. As usual, I'll be accused of apologism and get the "he understands ergo he condones" treatment. To those I say: know your enemy...

Here's the entire text:

Peace be upon he who follows the guidance: People of America, this talk of mine is for you and concerns the ideal way to prevent another Manhattan, and deals with the war and its causes and results.

Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom.

If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike Sweden, for example? [my emphasis] And we know that freedom-haters don’t possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 – may Allah have mercy on them.

No, we fight because we are free men who don’t sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours.

No-one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.

The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorized and displaced.

I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.

This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr. did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children humankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children – in Iraq – as Bush Jr. did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages.

So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11 came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary?

This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the Mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.

All Praise is due to Allah.

So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah.

And it was to these sorts of notions and their like that the British diplomat and others were referring in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

When they pointed out that, for example, al-Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than 500 billion dollars.

Meaning that every dollar of al-Qaeda defeated a million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs. As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.

And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the Mujahideen recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of the bleed -until-bankruptcy plan – with Allah's permission.

In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaeda.


Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security.

And Allah is our Guardian and Helper, while you have no Guardian or Helper. All Peace be Upon he who follows the Guidance.
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International Day of Peace

Very shortly it's time for the annual International Day of Peace, on 21 September. Will the deafening clamour of war drown out the voices of those calling for peace or even a mere cessation of fire for one day, as it usually does?

The International Day of Peace is a
UN endorsed (resolution 55/282) international initiative:

The International Day of Peace “is meant to be a day of global cease-fire.
I call on all countries and all people to stop all hostilities for the entire day. I also urge all people around the world to observe a minute of silence at 12 noon. Let us hold in our hearts the ideal of peace.”

-- Kofi Annan --
United Nations Secretary-General
21 September 2005

Let's give peace a chance, if only for one short day. We might actually enjoy it...


Friday, September 16, 2005

They knew...

In this article in of just over 12 months ago, the authors show a rarely seen thoroughness in exposing the lies and bogus pretences the Bush administration used to justify going to war in Iraq. The article also provides a clear time-line and a multitude of cross-references.

From the article's conclusion:

In the context of what we now know the White House knew at the time, Bush was deliberately dishonest. The intelligence community repeatedly told the White House there were many deep cracks in its case for war. The president’s willingness to ignore such warnings and make these unequivocal statements proves the administration was intentionally painting a black-and-white picture when it knew the facts merited only gray at best.

And summarising:

  1. They [the Bush administration] knew Iraq posed no nuclear threat

  2. They knew the aluminum tubes were not for nuclear weapons

  3. They knew the Iraq-uranium claims were not supported

  4. They knew there was no hard evidence of chemical or biological weapons

  5. They knew Saddam and bin Laden were not collaborating

  6. They knew there was no Prague meeting

  7. They knew they were misleading America

$ 195,000,000,000 later...

An estimated $195 billion of taxpayers money has so far been spent on the war in Iraq, without any signs that these cost will start to abate anytime soon. The cost of security, you might say? Only if you believe spending that kind of money on negative security a good investment: there is every reason to believe that the war in Iraq has made the US much, more of a desirable item on Al-Qaeda's target wish list, not actually a more secure place to live. Talking of Al-Qaeda, two expensive and botched invasions later and OBL is still roaming free, apparently gathering strength by the day...

And the financial cost can be estimated but the cost in human lives remains as always intangible and incalculable.

A lose-lose situation

With the invasion of Iraq the coalition has manoeuvred itself into that rarest of human situations: not being able to move neither forward nor backward.

Immediate withdrawal of the coalition forces would almost certainly plunge the country into a state of more intensified civil war, leaving the West open to a barrage of criticism and the Iraqi people more destitute than ever before.

But staying might mean an indefinite presence, a constant being caught up in the crossfire of the insurgents as well as being the perpetual target of Iraqi Jihadis that want to see the occupiers leave ASAP.

The lap dog from Bulldog Nation

To most Britons it must be inconceivable that Mr Blair, often dubbed Mr Bush's lap dog, could have been so reckless as to decide to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with an administration that so clearly produced only the feeblest house of cards to justify what has been shown to be one of the most irresponsible military actions of the past 50 years.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that Downing Street has lied and lied and lied again about its motives for joining the Iraq coalition, Mr Blair, rather than apologise, continues unashamedly to claim that the terror attacks in London are in no way related to Britain's involvement in this latest military and political debacle.

Instead, a number "instant" pieces of new legislation, are designed to give the good but right now rather comatose people of Britain the impression that something is being done about the terrorist threat facing their country. A terrorist threat created in large part through the careless, misguided actions of its own government and opposition.

Future wars galore...

And the Retarded Monkey Boy's administration has a thirst for war that makes previous American governments look like "Hare Krishna" chanting peaceniks.

Plans for dealing with North Korea have been on the cards for quite some time now.

As regards, Iran, it's been made quite clear that in the case of nuclear non-compliance, American air strikes against that country's nuclear installations are considered a viable option. Mind the fall-out, boys...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Defining Terrorism

The term "terrorism" and in particular "Islamic terrorism" has become one of the most used and abused of the English language, especially since the 9/11 WTC atrocities. But the lumping together of so many different factions of perpetrators of acts of extreme violence aimed at innocent civilians has a serious downside and is also due to a form of linguistic erosion that is often used by cynical world leaders to justify anti-terrorism knee-jerk reactions that appear popular with a largely ignorant but vengeful electorate.

At the UN summit the members remained incapable of coming up with a definition that was acceptable to all, and instead resigned itself to condemning terrorism in the broadest possible of ways.

Mr Bush said that terrorism, fed by anger and despair, passed easily across oceans and borders.

"There can be no safety in looking away or seeking the quiet life by ignoring the hardship... of others," he said.

Is this the Bush that's going to "smoke out and hunt down" the "evil-doers"? Or does this man actually have a grain of common sense?

Palestinians fighting Israel in the first Arab-Israeli war of '48 were considered soldiers at war, as were their Israeli counterparts. After losing the war, these same Palestinian fighters were considered resistance fighters or freedom fighters, fighting the occupation of what is still widely regarded as their territory. Today, Palestinian resistance to the occupation is seen as "Palestinian terrorism" and can be easily and conveniently lumped together with "Islamic terrorism" and Al-Qaeda.

And what do all terrorists have in common? The main common denominator is the targeting of innocent civilians. But targeting innocent civilians is nothing new in warfare. The German Luftwaffe used it extensively during the Blitz of London. Allied bombers raided German cities, culminating in the attack on Dresden which cost 320,000 civilian lives, almost as many as the nuclear Hiroshima and Nagasaki raids put together. The latter targeted of course also almost exclusively civilians as well.

Technically speaking the differences between massive bombing raids on civilian areas and today's suicide bombers are:

  1. The aerial bombing raids claimed far, far more casualties than any suicide bombing attack has ever claimed

  2. The bomber squads did everything they could to return home safely, rather than blow themselves up.

Others will argue that there exists no state of war between e.g. the London bombers and the UK, but the bombers do not really see it that way. And in the case of the Palestinian resistance, a state of war with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory at the core, does effectively exist.

Do I condone the use of extreme violence against civilians? Of course not. The German and Allied bombing raids have in any case shown that such tactics usually cause the opposition to become even more resolved. This can also be seen in Israel, which has gradually turned itself into a walled and fortified security bunker. But whether an often called for unilateral cessation of violence by the Palestinians will have the desired effect on Israeli actions regarding withdrawal, also remains to be seen.

It is this clumping together of all those who resort to violence, in particular those of Islamic denomination, that leads to further contempt for the Palestinian cause. In particular in the eyes of many poorly informed Americans, to whom Palestinian violence is just another manifestation of Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden has in the past shown nothing but contempt for the PLO, whom he sees as too prone to compromise and unwilling to see things in the greater context. The PLO has also indicated that Bin Laden has never been willing to offer any help at all.

There are other examples of how the spin doctors have managed to control public opinion, simply by renaming things.

The Israeli Occupied Territories are now a "security zone", essential for the "survival of Israel". A security zone full of fortified settlements...

And since there is no "occupation", there can be no "withdrawal", instead there is going to be a "disengagement"...

A fellow blogger, in a private communication, also suggested that we don't call the Palestinian refugee camps, well... "refugee camps" any more. He didn't suggest what they should be called in New Speak but I bet it'll be something nice and cosy. "Resettlement areas", perhaps?

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Monday, September 12, 2005

9/16: Sabra and Shatila

On 16 September 1982 a massacre was committed on a scale that equals 9/11 in terms of loss of human life, possibly even exceeding it.

On that day, some 150 Lebanese Phalange militia men were allowed into the Sabra-Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut, by Israeli forces which had encircled and sealed-off these camps. What followed was an orgy of rape and murder for some 40 hours, in which an estimated 800 to 3,500 men, women and children were killed, while the Israeli forces looked on, even lighting up the night sky from helicopters.

For a detailed account, as well as background, of the massacre that bordered on genocide click on this link.

Ariel Sharon, then Minister of Defense, had authorised the entry of the murderous Phalangists, and was held responsible and he was forced to step down. Some 300,000 to 400,000 demostrated in Tel Aviv in protest of the murder of these innocent civilians.

The United Nations has also condemned the massacre.

In spite of this,
remembrance ceremonies for 9/11 and 9/16 are rather very different in scale and tone. For Sabra and Shatila, the world hasn't even bothered counting the dead and only rough estimates are available.

The remembrance "ceremony" for the Sabra/Shatila victims will be a sober affair. Here's how the BBC put it, commenting on the 2002 (20th) anniversary of the massacres:

The Palestinian survivors of the 1982 massacres will probably gather for speeches at the place where their loved-ones were buried en masse - a dusty vacant lot marked by a pathetic temporary monument of breezeblocks.

This year is unlikely to be very different...

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How the West Won the World...


What we see happening in the world today, regarding the emergence of international Islamic terror, is to a large extent due to how the West, collectively speaking at least, regards Arabic and African nations and cultures as under-achieving, corrupt, tribal trouble makers. The point I will expand on is that the West, from a position of great power, can afford to do so. And what we can do, we will do.

Power and the Human Perspective

A person's perspective of another person depends largely on the relation of power between them. The more powerful of the two can afford to treat the less powerful one with contempt and much worse, besides mere contempt. The underdog has little choice: he can stay put and be humiliated or he can (try) to run and risk being caught all the same.

This principle is not confined to the interaction between two individuals; instead it applies to a whole range of interactions, including how nations treat each other.

Because of the superior firepower of the West's military machinery, African and Arab peoples, cultures and nations have been looking down the barrel of a very loaded gun, for most of modern history.

In today's world, this statement is true more than ever before. Militarily speaking, any contest between these parties would be almost impossible to lose for the West.

We are more than ever in a position where we do not have to take our opponents' claims too seriously: there is little they can do to make their claims hard or make the West change position.

A Small Head Start

Somewhere in the sands of time, the Western world, and in particular Europe, started to obtain a small but significant advantage in scientific, technological, economical and military terms, over what I'll very broadly call the rest of the world. Superficially speaking at least, from that moment on the principle that wealth creates more wealth, caused the gap to widen at an almost exponential rate.

It is futile to try to pin this "moment" down to a precise point in time, nor is it necessary. Suffice it to say that by the end of the 18th century Europe is in a good position to start colonising large parts of the world, in search of resources and often living space as well.
Islamic forces had also been driven out of their European strongholds centuries before.
The colonisation itself provides the West with the means to consolidate its leading position and widen the wealth divide to a point where it is almost impossible for the rest of the World to catch up.

The Colonisation and Slavery

At the end of the 18th century colonialism seemed to have become a thing of the past. Britain had lost its Thirteen Colonies in America, Spain and Portugal had lost most of South America and Holland was having difficulties holding onto the East Indies.

A hundred years later, however, a second wave of colonisation took place. Within twenty years, from 1880 to 1900, every corner of the Earth, from the highest mountains in the Himalayas to the most remote Pacific island and Antarctica, came to be claimed by one or other European power. Africa saw the most dramatic colonisation. It was divided up as if it had been a cake split between greedy European leaders. This was called the "Scramble for Africa".

One only needs to look at a current day map of Africa to find traces of this colonial period: the many straight borders speak volumes about nation-building in that corner of the world.

The colonisation of Africa itself is an example of how power from the barrel of a loaded gun has allowed Europe to conquer entire, vast regions of land and subjugate the peoples that lived there. The West's ruthless exploitation of the resources present there, in terms of human resources (labour), minerals, ores, rubber, later also oil etc, has contributed vastly to the West's fortunes, thereby further increasing the gap between "us and them" in all respects.

The way, generally speaking of course, white people of European descent have been able to exploit their position of indisputable power through vastly superior fire power, culminated in the ability to dehumanise and objectify entire indigenous peoples, to the point where slavery was largely considered justified, even part of the "natural" order of things.

And when slavery in the US was finally abolished in the middle of the 19th century, black people found themselves free but penny-less. On the whole (there are many exceptions on the individual level), black people in America, have not been able to even remotely to bridge the gap between rich "white" society and "poor" descendents of African slaves, a situation that causes serious problems today.

The American dream of a "meritocracy" remains firmly out of reach for those who are at the lowest end of the nation's economical prosperity.

Western Influence in the Middle East

The motives for the West's dominance in the region cannot be explained by expansionism alone. Here's how Daniel Pipes put it in his book, "The Long Shadow".

Second, the Middle East is the one not-industrialized area of the world which directly affects vital United States interests. It contains the largest oil reserves on the planet; should the U.S.S.R. gain control over these, Moscow would be in a position to undermine the existing world order without firing a shot. Geographically, the Middle East is the membrane at the middle of the world through which most everything passes. Its land, water, and air passages have the greatest importance for trade; just to mention the names of some of the passageways-the Suez Canal, the Straits of Hormuz, the Bosphorus, the Bab al-Mandab-conjures up the region's critical role in international trade and strategy.

The USSR has since long gone but the possibility of a threat in which one nation (or group of nations) could strongly affect the world's balance of power by gaining control over its largest oil reserves, remains in place.

Islam v. Christianity

Many argue that the events of 9/11 and other acts of terrorism against the West, are the start of a new international war by Islamic forces on the Christian West. There are indeed a few "mad mullahs" who advocate starting such a new attempt to conquer the West and impose Islam on all peoples of the world, even though most of them advocate the use of peaceful means to achieve their goals.

In the West, we have quite a few Christian crackpots too, in particular the minority, dominionist movement of the American Religious far Right, the so-called "Fundies", whose aim is to defeat the Muslim world for once and for all.

But such an all-out conflict between Islamic and Western forces remains of course highly unlikely for various reasons.

Firstly, militarily, the West could not lose such a war and that in itself is a strong motive for the Islamic forces not to start it.

Furthermore, neither the West nor the Ummah are unified enough to be able to mount a concerted attack on each other. Massive calls to arms against Islam would create further strong divisions in all already strongly divided Western world. We have after all also a strong presence of assimilated Muslims in many of our countries.

And the Ummah exist more as a theoretical concept than as a concrete reality: Islam too is strongly divided. Its assimilated brothers and sisters would almost certainly be largely opposed to an all-out worldwide Islam-on-Christianity international war.

The real danger of such a highly hypothetical conflict therefore lies not in a full scale, head-on collision but in a war of attrition fought by a world-wide group of Muslim militants, which are likely to be only very loosely affiliated (if at all) and may have quite diverse objectives. But the kind of violence most of these groups inflict does have one common aspect: it is Islamic-on-Western violence, branded rather gratuitously as Global Terror.

And the West, with its extremely complicated infrastructure of energy production, chemical manufacturing, transport systems etc, remains very vulnerable to low-tech attacks which can inflict massive damage, as shown clearly on 9/11. This vulnerability forces the West in a position of entrenched internal and National security, to prevent further attacks from happening. These security measures can become tools of oppression and control of entire ethnic groups, further perpetuating the cycle.

Black and White

The White, Western, man, as a mythical construction at least can afford to see himself as vastly superior to all other "races". Race, in human terms is almost certainly a White construction itself and one that most clearly does not have a basis in genetic make-up, or much else for that matter, except perhaps in power itself. There is only the human species (Homo Sapiens), not a collection of human races, which has adapted and evolved and today is completely intertwined, making the notion of race completely arbitrary and superfluous.

Today, the contentious term "racism" (or the even more risible "racialism") is also used when a person expresses dislike for the people of a particular nation, as if that nation were inhabited by a "human race" of its own (the "French Race", the "German Race", the "Lichtenstein Race").

But the myth of a White Race, superior and "chosen by God", has served and continues to serve as a rationalisation of many crimes and genocides perpetrated by white peoples.

In popular myth White man is still described as an Architect, Builder, Conqueror, Super Achiever, Son of God and... ultimate Ubermensch.

Many quack "White Histories of the World" see other "races" as inferior, perhaps even aspiring to the White ideal, through a succession of reincarnations (see e.g. the Dutch "philosopher" and self-proclaimed medium Josef Rulof).

And compared to the White Man's , the achievements of other peoples pale into insignificance, or so at least it is perceived.

The success of European civilisation allows the White Man to consider himself still the original Herrenvolk...

The Holocaust

In Nazi Germany, this erroneous belief of racial superiority of the White Man has led to what today remains a genocide of unparalleled scale. Nazi doctrine was based on a fabricated ideology, in which assumed but completely unproven superiority of the White upper race (Der Ubermensch) was central to attempt to justify the murder of 6 million Jewish people, as well as many other inferior "undesirables", in what was seen as the "final solution" (die Endlosung) to a perceived problem dating back to the beginning of all human time: these "parasitic non-white people".

Despite complete defeat and utter destruction of a the new empire (the Third Reich) that was supposed to last at least one thousand years, in a matter of years, myths regarding the Jewish inferiority continue to be bandied around by many, as well as being believed by many others.

Freedom and equality, Rich and Poor

From a position of power, the West really only pays lip-service to the lofty ideals of freedom and equality when dealing with Arab and African nations.

The West will write off the Third World debts, which they were not paying back anyway because they could not do so in the first place.

We will continue to provide aid to African nations, at the same time making sure they cannot catch up with the advantage we have over them. The gap between rich and poor is in fact widening, not narrowing.

The Israeli-Palestinian question

In the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process continues to be hampered by Israel's position of military invulnerability. Palestinian militants can wreak death and destruction on the Israeli civilian population but the extremist views of Hamas et al regarding the total destruction of the state of Israel cannot be achieved militarily, or by any other means for that matter. The Palestinian resistance has had its purpose in the past but it has also clearly shown that a Palestinian military victory is completely out of the question. And fighting a war that cannot be won is pointless.

Conversely, Israel's military supremacy also allows a minority of hard line Likhud members to refuse to give up even a square inch of territory to the Palestinians, as they are rightly convinced there is not much the Palestinians could do to force such a withdrawal. Israel has military superiority both on the ground and in the air.


While at a personal level, most Western people including myself, have many successful relationships (in the broadest sense of the word) with people of all creeds, colours and religions, but as a culture our position of strength changes our collective perspective.

Our position makes it unnecessary to take other cultures, less affluent and militarily weaker, all that seriously.

And resentment over this causes resistance movements to try and give us a bloody wake-up call... At this, sadly, they succeed. However, we in the West, in general, remain in a deep coma regarding our attempts to understand the violence directed at us.

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