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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Israel – unwelcome truths

Unwelcome (to some) truths about Israel

  • The UN declared decades ago that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal.
  • In DECADES, Israel has done almost NOTHING for Palestinians. They STILL OCCUPY much of their land, on which control economic life and operate roadblocks.
  • EMPATHIZE – Put YOURSELF in the place of an young Palestinian. You grow up UNDER ENEMY OCCUPATION. Every so often, the enemy BOMBS and/or invades you. What do you do? NOTHING? How comes we PRAISED the French Resistance but EVERY TIME SIDE WITH ISRAEL when the Palestinian resistance acts out of utter desperation?
  • Since Arafat died, the bulk of the Palestinans have GIVEN UP VIOLENCE. TELL ME WHAT THEY GOT FOR THIS IN RETURN.
  • There were PEACE TALKS. In the MIDDLE of these talks Irael announced that SETTLEMENT BUILDING WOULD RESTART.

After the war, Israel – for good reasons (in our eyes) – created a state in Palestine, which had been Arab for nearly 2,000 years. Many Palestinians went into camps or exile. That was in 1948 or so. THEY ARE STILL THERE. Their territory has been STOLEN and OCCUPIED.

No, one doesn’t condone violence of the kind we saw yesterday, but unless Israel changes course and is magnanimous in victory, it can expect more of the same.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Politics

 

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Better government ….

Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE etc?

If they are helping with logistics relating to the military action, then they are involved – they are part of the UN-backed Allied effort to save lives, which – as I have stated – can ultimately only be done by removing Gaddafi.

“David Cameron has confirmed that Kuwait and Jordan are to make logistic contributions to action in Libya.”

Turkey is apparently also providing a submarine, though not without a load of ludicrous belly-aching.

Anyone who sees this as an American anti-Muslim fight is a lunatic. Unfortuately, there are plenty of lunatics around, and not just overseas.

I was thinking about this good v evil guys thing and the assumption that those who today are “good” will tomorrow inevitably become “bad”. This is of course the usual rubbish peddled by the hysterical anti-US brigade. Still, one should try to find some sort of rational counter-argument, even if you know that reason will be totally ignored by the aforementioned.

  • China supported North Korea in the Korean war. When this stopped, the side that China supported had a surreally BAD government. The side that the insufferable Yanks supported eventually had a democratic government, after a few hiccups along the way.
  • In WWII, the side that the dreadful USSR supported had in EAST GERMANY a very BAD government, which shot any citizens trying to escape their government’s awfulness (Castro no doubt approved). The side that the insufferable Yanks supported had of course a very GOOD government, though it now seems to have forgotten the sacrifices that the free often have to make to liberate the oppressed.
  • The Yanks for better or worse liberated Iraq, which now has a democratic government. Expecting it to be better than it is is surreally-stupid given the trauma the country has been through. ( ALWAYS the case with dictators)

ERGO. Any country the US liberates will end up having if not a perfect government (which is?) then one which is FAR BETTER than the one it replaced.

Logically therefore (but logic is in short supply generally) ANY rebel movement should BEG for a ground invasion by the USA since the likely outcome is not only to WIN against a gruesome dictator but also to end up with FAR BETTER GOVERNMENT.

Oh, once a democratic government is in place and in no danger from extremely nasty people then the USA withdraws, and in the case of Iraq (withdrawal ongoing) with NO OIL CONTRACTS. Which reminds me, neither South Korea nor Germany has any oil, which rather negates the hysterical Chavezian/Mugabian/Chinese claptrap about oil that has grown so wearisome.

Unfortunately, since hysteria prevails, the marines cannot liberate Miseratu (which they could do in hours) whose people continue to die minute-by-minute.

Pity.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Core Thought, Politics

 

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Let them fight it out

Of course, in this business it is essential to know who to believe. One can start by working out whom NOT to believe or indeed listen to.

– First of course, is Chavez of Venezuela. As Sibyl Fawlty said: “I’ve seen headless chickens running round farmyards with more sense.”

– Second is anything whatsoever that Libyan “state” television says. At the very moment as a govt spokesman was announcing that a ceasefire was in place (without looking at the camera – is it a Muslim fascist thing? I’ve noticed that Gaddafi rarely looks the camera in the eye – in his latest rants he hasn’t even shown his face.) armour was advancing towards Benghazi in a stupid but murderous attempt to take the city before the “no-fly zone” came into operation. NINETY-FOUR people were killed during this incursion, which was repulsed. The injured included a young boy and his mother shot. The injured in all cities subject to Gaddafi’s indicriminate shelling are often disfigured, limbless for live – their lives totally destroyed.

Allah be praised for the French, whose planes destroyed these scum as they scurried out of the city back west.

And of course the Libyan “govt” is claiming that the Allies hit a hospital. Anyone who believes that has less sense than the aforementioned headless chickens.

– Third is the Russians who want us to “avoid indiscriminate action”. They of course are the experts on this, having honed the art in Chechnya. All their actions were extremely discriminate, though whether that made any difference to those killed by their soldiers is a moot point.

Of course, Russia is led by Putin formerly of the KGB of the USSR which certainly avoided “indiscriminate action” in Katyn Forest, where they machine-gunned TWENTY-THOUSAND Polish intellectuals, high-ranking military and so on. One can certainly admire the Russian’s stoic defence of “indiscriminate action”. They have a different philosophy; “If you’re going to kill someone, do it with discrimination.”

As for the action, what a pity that so few speak the truth. The murder and oppression of civilians will continue until Gaddafi is removed from power, most likely dead. This has always been true of tyrants. And the idea that this can de done without killing a lot of his people is stupid, just as the Nazis and Wehrmacht soldiers had to be defeated and in most cases killed before victory came.

Which reminds me of “letting them fight it out”. What a hilarious, morally-vacuumed nonsense! Can you pls tell me why my father had to flog his way across North Africa and then all the way from Normandy to Berlin when we could QUITE EASILY have let Hitler and Stalin “fight it out”?

We could easily have made a separate peace with Hitler – after all, the French did. He wasn’t interested in us. After all, we were mostly Aryians, weren’t we? He was only interested in Lebensraum and the extermination of the Jews and Slavs.

Come on – let’s hear it. Why DID we fight Hitler, killing HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent Germans? Why did we put our men in danger, resulting in the deaths and maiming of MILLIONS on the Allied side? Why did Taffy Evans risk his life every day on convoys to bring aid to Russia?

Because it was the RIGHT THING TO DO TO FIGHT FASCISM.

TODAY’S FUNNY? Gaddafi complaining that “foreigners have no right to interfere in Libya” HA, BLOODY HA ….. and I supposed the massed mercenaries from black Africa are Libyans are they?

And again: “What right has America et al to interfere in Libyan affairs?” What a MORON. He clearly cannot see that he himself HAS NO RIGHT TO RULE, having NEVER BEEN ENDORSED by the people. More than that, he has systematically opressed and murdered “his” people for FOUR DECADES, quite apart from those OUTSIDE the country.

As for “Gaddafi has more support than we realize” (from the headless chicken brigade) let’s review this when Tripoli falls, shall we, where the mass of the population are terrified. And so would you be; in true despot fashion, Gaddafi’s diehards even shoot their “own” soldiers who refuse to kill civilians.

As for the action, Gaddafi’s, tanks have finally broken into Miseratu, which has heroically held out for weeks against overwhelming odds. No doubt the Gaddafi people will strap kids to their tanks to use as human shields – another fascist ploy. And a ship is supposed to be preventing aid reaching the people from the sea. I hope the insufferable Yanks sink the ship and supply the “rebels” with anti-tank weapons. That should bring home the message.

This won’t end till Gaddafi is dead, and the sooner the better. All this pissing about pretending otherwise is pathetic. It was true FORTY YEARS ago, and every year since, and it is still true. It was EXACTLY the same with Hitler as it ALWAYS is with dictators, unless they manage to flee at the last minute. Can we look forward to Chavez presenting Gaddafi as a “hero of the people” at a press conference. He is of course a clown already, but that will prove he is a headless-chicken brained one, too.

“Let them fight it out”! Christ, what an appalling moral sickness has seized some people’s brains.

 
 

The UN Charter

The UN Charter …

“to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest,”

Here is the crux. I believe that it is clearly in the “common interest” to – where possible – save fellow-humans from oppression, torture and death.

Others, however, believe that the “common interest” means “letting them fight it out” so that we can continue our comfortable lives unaffected by the suffering of others at the hands of dictators.

If we deny that aiding – where possible – those oppressed by dictators is relevant to the “common interest”, we are underlining OUR interest and not any interest that is COMMON to the oppressed. The oppressed, tortured and murdered are thereby EXCLUDED from “the common interest.”

Well done, Chavez, Castro, Mugabe et al.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Core Thought, Morality, Politics

 

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Why bother in Libya?

Food for thought: Libya is a tribal and clan-based society which has been held togther by centralised coaxing and coercion for four decades.

I’d prefer “tyrannical oppression, terror, summary kidnapping, imprisoning and/or execution”. I don’t recall a lot of “coaxing”. It isn’t really in the genes of brutal dictators.

It is reported today that two of the tribes in Benghazi have come out in support of Gaddafi. That may be genuine or they may be trying to save their own skins but either way what’s clear is that the situation is (and always has been) much more complex than just a tyrant with his security apparatus oppressing a cohesive country of freeedom-loving democrats.

Tribes? The biggest is believed to have declared early on for the rebels and then gone back to Gaddafi when he kidnapped numerous of their children “to encourage them”. We CANNOT know what people really want until they are free of terror. The signs seem to show that even in the west most people hate him. In Zuwiyah and Miseratu many have died against hopless odds to show this.

The imposition of a no-fly zone/military action seems to raise more questions than it answers.

1. What happens (as seems possible) if Gadaffi has the numbers and firepower to defeat the rebels despite limited Western military support for those rebels?

He hasn’t. Even with his vastly superior weaponry (and the ever-present “Geneva Convention? Wot? Us?” approach) he has struggled to take and hold cities all over Libya. He maintains power by TERROR. Once people are no longer terrified of him, this will all change. However, this terror will ONLY end when he is GONE. People have been living under his oppression for forty-two years.

2. Will the outcome of 1 lead to greater Western military involvement in another interminable, expensive and unwinnable conflict?

No – Gaddafi’s forces can be destroyed with comparative ease, except that he will of course place tanks and heavy weapons in the centre of cities and use the population as human shields. However, if the “intl community” takes this seriously, Gaddafi is finished. He cannot prevail against vastly-superior air-power PLUS supplying the rebels with sufficient modern weapons.

When we started World War II, (and WE started it against Hitler) we didn’t know the outcome in advance. Sometimes there is a right thing to do; you cannot predict all eventualities, but this is right.

3. What if Gadaffi doesn’t fully prosecute the attack, and say just recaptures the oil terminals and waits out the West while pulling strings and seeing if the rebels can really hold things together?

Yes. He won’t make it easy. However, it will depend on how serious the “intl community” is. It would be very easy to block all oil exports and thus all revenue. I can’t see his hangers-on tolerating that for long.

4. Is Benghazi/rebel territory in any way self-sustaining or capable of self-governance and feeding/supporting the population? If not what happens?

5. Is it sustainable or desirable to have Gadaffi running half of Libya with the rebels running the other half?

Yes, and No, but life is rarely perfect. If Benghazi has access to oil, fuel and water then it can hold out for ever. There are many viable countries far smaller than Eastern Libya. Most of these countries are arbitrary anyway.Gaddafi and “his tribes” HATE the east anyway. They’d be better off alone if needs be, but they have to have some oil wells; there is nothing else.

6.What is to stop it becoming a fight between competing tribes/clans/interests over the spoils/territory while there are still some spoils to fight over?

Well, who knows, but if there is a decent, strong central government then the oil receipts can be doled out fairly, which they never were in the past. Yes, “IF”, but if you never took any action without being CERTAIN of the outcome then you never WOULD take any action and there would be another forty years of utter misery for the Libyan people.

But if the Intl Community fully supports the Benghazi people and recognizes their “government” – and why not – then these tribes will have to fall in line for economic reasons.

7. Given the likely exodus of tens of thousands of frightened Libyans who is volunteering to take the refugees…are we?

Well, it seems that after the last government we do anyway. As for this crisis, there have already been tens of thousands of refugees. Leaving a horrendous dictator in place is hardly likely to minimise the flow. Most of the refugees trying to get into Europe are anyway fleeing from utterly despicable regimes where the people see no hope. Were Libya to make a transition to some sort of fairer society then the people wouldn’t leave.

8. Does anybody seriously believe a simple scanario like: “Defeat Gadaffi and then watch democracy grow in the Libyan desert, has any chance of success?”

YES. It won’t be easy, but it has SOME chance of success. Under Gaddafi, it has NO chance of success, only continuing terror and horror.

9. Even if 8 should come to pass do we think a new Libyan regime would more likely face towards the West or Mecca…

Who can be sure, but it’ll be their choice. And not all “Islamic” regimes are as insane as the Iranian one. Almost nothing could be worse than Gaddafi. We should not bother whether any resulting regime is “friendly” to us – their FREEDOM is more important. Mubarak and the Shah Of Iran were supported by the west because they were “friendly”. That was a terrible mistake, both morally and practically.

Anyway, as we are trying to save the future government of Libya, why shouldn’t they be as friendly towards us as we could reasonably wish them to be?

10. …and what would we do if a government more antipathetic to Western values came to power with wide support from the Libyan people?

So what? We should do the right thing (which is to help save an entire nation from brutal fascism). What they then make of it is up to them. Personally, I don’t believe for a moment that Libya will do an Iran. Nor will Egypt. However, nothing is certain.

I don’t have the answer to those questions but it strikes me nobody should be getting involved miltarily unless they do. Its easy to shout “something must be done right now ” but much harder to be clear waht the outcome will be and who it will ultimately benefit.

See answer to number 2

My only experience of a clan-based society where a central government was ousted is Somalia and I doubt that’s an example anyone would wish to see spread further, it certainly hasn’t done most of the Somali people or anybody else much good

People always tell me not to see things in black and white. Not all Arab countries are the same. The alternative to doing nothing was to see Benghazi destroyed and thousands of people killed, since they are determined to resist and if necessary die. Whatever the uncertainties, this could not be allowed to happen especially because A) we CAN stop it and B) there is regional and now international backing for action.

As far as that is concerned, I was on the receiving end of an enormous amount of stick because the “intl community” did not support the Iraq war. Now thery ARE supporting it with a vengeance and we should wish the people involved in policing this the best of luck in what is clearly a dangerous campaign.

However, as we speak, Gaddafi has ordered a “ceasefire”. This isn’t much use, and I am not sure what room for action it leaves us. The rebels will certainly NOT accept Gaddafi staying in power …… Will the “intl community” then attack any rebels trying to fight Gaddafi’s forces?

Yes, “uncertainties”. However, the only certainty would have been:

  • the continuation in power of a brutal tyrant
  • the utter destruction of Benghazi and brutalisation of its people – no doubt much “cleansing of rats” and many unmarked mass graves hidden in the desert
  • an appalling witchhunt in other cities which have rebelled. I am not sure if fighting is still going on in Miseratu for a start; and anyway, you can’t believe ANYTHING the Libyan state media says and journalists can’t get into the areas where savage fighting is still going on
  • an appalling moral message sent to the region and the world that might is right and that a dictator with NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER TO rule only has to be brutal enough to survive (as the Chinese, Burmese, Belarus and North Korean govts etc know full well)
  • the end of any idea that the free world is prepared to stand up for the oppressed WHEN IT CAN (it can’t ALWAYS)

SHOULD we stand up for the oppressed when we can? As I’ve said, we can’t do EVERYTHING but we can often do SOMETHING to make a big difference and save people. We did it in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kosovo and some other places, but in others we failed.

Life involves both failure and success, but taking the easy, comfortable way out as Germany has is despicable. They should try to empathize a bit more with suffering fellow-humans.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Politics

 

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Jobs and Protectionism

The results of globalisation in the USA

Any manufacturing company (except perhaps¬† very hi-tech ones – see Germany, Switzerland, France etc and a few still left in Britain) is going to go bankrupt if they keep production in the UK because that is “a good thing” – which of course it is in principle, but not if it goes bankrupt.

This is a fact of life. The ONLY alternative to this is protectionism. I was once ferociously opposed to the latter, but as with ALL things, one can go too far. If you look at the USA as in the link above, the situation is catastrophic, many of their once-great manufacturing industries having been largely destroyed through relocation to China et al. No different to ship-building, steel etc in the UK

But you CAN’T blame individual companies. If they DON’T operate within the parameters that – after all – governments set up, then they are DEAD, because the CONSUMER will almost never pay over the odds for a British-made product if something of the SAME or even better qualify can be bought cheaper from abroad.

We are ALL to blame. Look around your home. How many times did you pay less for a foreign product when a British one might have been available for more? People are of course very moral and indignant and even outraged about factories moving abroad (without our workers) but when it comes to making a choice, we usually vote with our wallet. Most of us are of limited means, so how much are we to blame then? And as time goes on, there are FEWER and FEWER home-made products for this very reason.

The western world hasn’t found a solution to this, and unless it does we are in big trouble and may have to wait a long, long time until costs in ALL continents even out. One solution may be to go back to Edwardian days, when many of the plebs were servants in the houses of the rich. Oh Brave New World ….

Of course, some mad colonel might stage a coup and do it his way, but don’t bother appealing to “the international community” to help out. As long as he murders enough people fast enough he clearly will have the right to oppress you for ever.

 
 

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The Cuban Embargo

What the Americans have done is wage a “financial” war on Cube for over 50 years.

A) The USA has a right to trade with whom it wants. If ALL nations refused to trade with fascists then perhaps the latter would collapse more quickly. Presumably you are quite happy that we traded with Gaddafi for decades and thus supported his evil regime which is now murdering its citizens with the weapons we sold him.

Yes, I’d be happier if the US would refuse to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, China et al as well. However, nobody’s perfect as they say.

B) The Cuban “government” has waged economic war on its OWN people for 15 years, banning the most basic and widespread economic practices in use ALL OVER THE WORLD except in insane “socialist” regimes where economic insanity is imposed “for the good of the people”, who of course are happy as we are told.

So nutty have been these practices imposed on the Cuban people WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT in ANY shape or form that Cuba Рno longer bankrolled by the murderous Soviet Union (see KGB, Stalin, murder in London of Litvinenko  history of) Рis rapidly going bankrupt, perhaps to be saved by oil and to turn into yet another nauseating oil-rich dictatorship.

These economic practices are indeed SO daft that Castro is now going to RELAX them … not that you’ll hear him apologize for the 50 years of impoverishing lunacy.

“So Fidel – for 50 years you have banned private ownership and businesses, not allowing even small businesses to employ anyone.”

“Yes, these things are evil.”

“But if they are evil, why are you going to allow them NOW?”

“Ermmmmm ….. ahhhh …. – sorry, your time’s up.”

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Politics

 

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