Consider just one. At the end of the class on World War II, I always asked: “What is the moral difference between flying three planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon—killing 3,000 civilians—and using hundreds of U.S. planes to firebomb Tokyo on March 9, 1945—killing some 90,000 civilians?” Suffice it to say that most cadets didn’t like this question at all.
In sum, as we compare the two military organizations, one must conclude, ultimately, that CENTCOM is at least as terrorist as the IRGC. Maybe more.
No doubt many critics will label this assessment “treasonous.” I call it “ethically consistent.”
Let history be the judge.
“it is easy to condemn the far right nut case,” but dealing with the “soil and what’s been created, the culture of demonization, of fear, of incitement from main stream columnists, pundits, TV hosts, and politicians” is another matter entirely.
We have been conditioned to believe that a terrorist attack is only an attack carried out by a brown dude with a beard shouting something in Arabic.
Of course, statistics show otherwise. The ADL says three-quarters of terrorist deaths in the United States over the past decade were carried out by far right domestic white nationalist terrorists, a quarter by Muslims.
Can we say that the media coverage of terrorism in this country is 75 percent white nationalists, 25 percent Islamic terrorists? In face, Georgia State University did a study. They found that a Muslim terrorist gets four and a half times as much coverage of his crimes as a non-Muslim terrorist. Four and a half times.
a non-Muslim terrorist has to kill, on average, seven people more than a Muslim terrorist to get equal coverage, as a Muslim terrorist. That’s a hashtag media fail. And I’m always reminded of that old viral tweet that terrorism is one of the only areas where white people do most of the work and get none of the credit.
Putting this act of terror into perspective, in December 2018 there were at least 173 terrorist attacks worldwide, 261 in January this year, 196 in February and so far in March, including today’s despicable and cowardly attacks, 91 incidents, 422 dead and 553 injured.
Welcome to Planet Earth and what it has become in 2019.
So such acts “make” the day of those who peddle news for money, who peddle hits for bucks, who sell the adrenalin rush for dollars. Therefore it pays to hype up terrorist attacks with soundbites using the word “attack”, “strike”, “terror”, splashed all across the front page and on TV with the sound of screams and sirens. So much for the bottom line of the media outlet. Geopolitically, if you want to control someone, make her/him afraid and then tell her/him that your authorities are here to make you safe.
Is there a difference between selling weapons of mass destruction to a State or selling a machine gun to an individual, when one can murder 40 in a bombing and the other can murder 50 in a shooting? We remain silent about the first case but spread the second all over the newspapers, in turn creating impact which goads others on to perform copycat acts.
Food for thought? So let us spare a thought for New Zealand, a country today in shock. Let us also spare a thought for Yemen, and Pakistan, and Iraq, and Somalia and Afghanistan and Mali and Syria and India and Burkina Faso and Libya and Nigeria and South Sudan and India and Turkey and Cameroon and Myanmar and Chile and Colombia and Egypt and Mozambique and DR Congo and Thailand…some of the other countries affected by terrorism in the year 2019.
See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/142303-new_zealand/
Israel is the defacto airforce for terrorists. It also provides medical support for Al Qaeda affiliates (ODT)
The suspect in the Las Vegas shooting, which left at least 59 people dead, is an American white male and therefore not a ‘terrorist’.
By freef’all852 To “proscribe” a thing or person is to forbid, blacklist, deny to, and/or disallow actions or substances to be given or taken by persons or person for their use or benefit. So here we are suggesting a methodology to “proscribe” those Murdoch media personalities, backers and supporters who continue to promote hate and…
An initial police report on an attempted stabbing in the West Bank uses the word ‘terrorist’ to describe the suspect. Only when it transpires that the would-be attacker is Jewish does the word ‘terrorist’ vanish. It’s amazing to watch terminology change in realtime. At 4.19 p.m. on Tuesday, the Israel Police released a statement saying that a “suspected terrorist,” who they claimed had tried to stab a soldier at the Hizma checkpoint in the West Bank, had been “neutralized” and was in serious condition. [tmwinpost] Eight minutes later, the following update came out: “After an initial assessment, the suspect appears…
By Steve Hewitt | (The Conversation) | – – A middle-aged man with a history of criminal activity and violence, …
The blow to German Chancellor Angela Merkel could spell the beginning of the end for a union with open borders.
According to the official FBI database, only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 can be attributed to Muslims. This compared to 7% for Jews and 42% for Latinos. No, not all terr…
Australia’s highest-ranking Muslim is mysteriously yet to apologise on behalf of his religion for the attacks that took place in New York this week.
Shockingly, Aly – who is a Muslim – has remained silent on the issue, a full three days after the attacks took place.
The high profile entertainer, who is a Muslim on Channel 10’s The Project, was asked today what he was doing to stop ISIS, but was unavailable for comment, probably because he was too busy planning some sort of attack of his own.
Channel 10 and Mr Ali, whose parents are from the Muslim country Egypt, are being investigated.
NEW YORK – (CT&P) – A massive manhunt began on Monday morning as the FBI announced the identity of a suspect wanted for questioning in connection with weekend explosions in New York and New Jersey.
The identification of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, sparked a frenzied search around the region, as officials suggested that as many as four separate incidents could be linked, and may have been connected to an international network.
Mr. Rahami, known in his native Afghanistan as the “Corpulent Sheik,” is 5’6″ inches tall and weighs over 200 lbs. Rahami is well-known to intelligence sources in Kabul where he has destroyed or badly damaged over 300 dumpsters using explosive devices made from various cooking utensils.
“Rahami should be considered armed and dangerous,” said a CIA operative on condition of anonymity. “The public should at all costs avoid loitering or passing out in dark, filthy alleys behind restaurants and bars.
“And most importantly, if anyone spots a chubby Afghan using a stepladder to wrestle a large unwieldy box or bag into a dumpster under the cover of darkness, they shouldn’t try to help him unless he’s a friend or acquaintance.
“This man is a savage and completely unpredictable,” continued the operative,”thanks to his patented ‘Pashtun Pressure Cookers’ he single-handedly ran Waste Management out of Kabul.”
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was quick to condemn the bombings saying, “After that dumpster went up I saw thousands of Arabs cheering outside Clinton Campaign Headquarters over in Brooklyn. Those people just don’t have our values. They’re dirty and don’t appreciate a good trash receptacle.
“After I’m elected I promise no one will dare attack our big, beautiful dumpsters.”
Corporate media concoct myth of terror ‘superman’ to help justify the perpetual war on terror.
A photograph has been emerged showing the inside of the flat where the man who killed 84 people in an attack in Nice lived.
Amaryllis Fox spoke for the first time publicly with AJ+ about terrorism, misguided narratives on why it happens, and the underlying motivators driving it.
Huldai tells Army Radio that Israel may be the ‘only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights.’ Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel’s occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is “perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights.” [tmwinpost] “On the…
Original Analysis by +972 Magazine’s bloggers and op-ed contributors
Source: Analysis | +972 Magazine
The Trump BS Parade is in full swing!
In case you were still in any doubt over whether the Muslim community should be made to condemn Isis, this very simple explanation may finally lay the ridiculous argument to rest.
Billions are being spent on Muslim “radicalisation” and its prevention — all because of one death in 100 years, writes Bob Ellis.
Ahmed Merabet was the first police officer at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo attack. He was shot dead in cold blood. Now his brother has appealed for calm
Ahmed Merabet, the police officer gunned down in the Charlie Hebdo attack, was killed in an act of barbarity by “false Muslims” his brother said in a moving tribute on Saturday, where he also appealed for unity and tolerance.
Speaking for a group of relatives gathered in Paris, Malek Merabet said the terrorists who ignored his brother’s plea for mercy as he lay wounded on the street may have shared his Algerian roots, but had nothing else in common.
“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”
Malek reminded France that the country faced a battle against extremism, not against its Muslim citizens. “I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and antisemites. One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither colour or religion,” he said.
“I want to make another point: don’t tar everybody with the same brush, don’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won’t bring our dead back and it won’t appease the families.”
His brief speech was a moving tribute to the slain officer, loved as a son, brother, companion and uncle, but also a powerful call for harmony.
Ahmed Merabet’s death was captured in a graphic video, as he was wounded by one of the two attackers and then shot in cold blood. Ahmed Merabet’s death was captured in a graphic video, as he was wounded by one of the two attackers and then shot in cold blood. Photograph: Twitter
There has been a rising tide of Islamophobia in France following the Paris killings, including a grenade attack on one mosque, an explosion in a kebab shop beside a mosque and gunfire at a Muslim family in a car, although there have been no casualties.
Merabet’s death was captured in a graphic video, as he was wounded by one of the two attackers and then shot in the head in cold blood. He is shot in the groin, then falls to the pavement groaning in pain and holding up an arm as though to protect himself.
The second gunman moves forward and asks the policeman: “Do you want to kill us?” Merabet replies: “No, it’s OK mate,” but the terrorist then shoots him in the head.
The images were widely shared online and one was published on the front page of a national newspaper.
Malek berated media outlets and websites that showed the graphic content, which he said was extremely painful for the family. “How dare you take this video and broadcast it? I heard his voice, I recognised him, I saw him being killed and I continue to hear him every day.”
Ahmed’s partner, Morgane Ahmad, who said she had watched footage of the shooting without realising it was him, also appealed for calm.
“What the family and I want is for everyone to be united, we want everyone to be able to demonstrate in peace, we want to show respect for all the victims and that the demonstration should be peaceful,” she said.
Ahmed had been a pillar of the family since his father died 20 years earlier, Malek said. The 42-year-old grew up in Livry-Gargan, in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris, and graduated from the local lycée in 1995. He ran a cleaning company before joining the police force eight years ago, and worked hard for a promotion.
“Through his determination, he had just got his judicial police officer [detective] diploma and was shortly due to leave fieldwork. His colleagues describe him as a man of action who was passionate about his job,” Malek said.
Merabet was called to the scene of the attack while on a bicycle patrol and arrived just as the killers were making their escape. They stopped to add him to the long list of victims.
“He was on foot, and came nose to nose with the terrorists. He pulled out his weapon. It was his job, it was his duty,” said Rocco Contento, a colleague who was a union representative at the central police station for Paris’s 11th arrondissement, where Merabet was based. He described him as a quiet and conscientious officer who was always smiling and widely liked.
As news spread that the gunned down policeman was a Muslim, the hashtag #JeSuisAhmed began spreading on Twitter in solidarity. One user, identified as @Aboujahjah, said: “I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.”
For those who scream blue murder about freedom of the press and freedom of expression being the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, let us take a deeper look and see to what extent the West in general is engaged in censorship and spreading lies. For those who complain about terrorism, let us not be hypocritical.
Let us start where we should, namely paying respect to the victims (and their families and loved ones) of the shocking attack which took place at the editing rooms of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris on January 7 2015, the first big event to mar the New Year, the first benchmark in the news which will constitute 2015.
Let us also start by underlining a universal human value, the right to life and let us condemn those who take it away in any shape or form. This involves an unqualified attack against terrorist acts anywhere at any time against any target; these must be condemned in the very strongest words possible whether they are perpetrated by some demented fanatic at the end of a Marathon, by Islamist fundamentalist jihadis avenging the Prophet, by some coward flying at 30,000 feet in the sky blasting the faces off civilians at a wedding party or by a Government which takes part in an uprising in a foreign country using terrorists as its tool.
France, unfortunately, did exactly this and was a leading member of the FUKUS Axis (France-UK-US) attack on Libya, a sovereign state enjoying the highest Human Development Index in Africa, living at peace, disturbing nobody. This is not to justify or gloat about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, but let us call a spade a spade: all terrorist attacks are wrong, including those perpetrated by NATO in Libya, in Syria and elsewhere.
So, you throw the boomerang and it comes back to hit you square in the face. You spend months demonizing “Assad”, saying “he must go”, then what happens? Thousands of youths with empty lives jet off to Syria to become Jihadis, many of them thinking they are doing their duty for their religion (although because President Assad is a Moslem therefore any act against him is unjustified) and their country. And now what? Many of these Jihadis are totally demoralized because they see the Syrian “Opposition” for what it is, namely a bunch of thugs and terrorists impaling kids on metal spikes, slicing the breasts off women in the streets, decapitating them then raping the bodies, using Downs Syndrome children as suicide bombers and so on. Just as the West’s darling terrorists did in Libya. But they are radicalized, have no lives to come back to and have learnt some new tricks among the terrorists trying to topple President Assad.
And the next move on the social and political chess board is for radical extremist groups to pop up like mushrooms across Europe calling for moves against Moslems in particular and immigrants in general, as Fortress Europa continues to be assailed by hundreds of migrants a day looking for a slice of the cake, while up to 60 per cent of Europe’s youth in some areas are endemically unemployed.
A positive situation it is not, and it seems things can only spiral downwards from here. While every problem has a solution, this one is very complex and it would appear there is no easy way out of a situation which has been brewing for decades.
When a terrorist group is localized and has a cause which is regional or local in its scope, it is relatively easy to engage the organization on two levels – officially, through military operations and the security services, and unofficially through negotiations to bring the action onto the political stage. Examples of success are the IRA, ETA and several groups in Africa, for instance in the DR Congo.
But when you have terrorist acts being perpetrated by cells of disaffected youths without any particular cause, except for a misty and vague idealistic chimera about defending Islam, no such approach is possible.
It is important to contextualize the situation with the example of a group of Portuguese Jews in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Banned from Portugal by the Inquisition, they fled to Amsterdam, where they were also banned by the Inquisition, so they fled to London where they were banned by the Christian King and then went to Italy, where they were again banned by the Christians, and ended up enjoying their freedom and hospitality protected by the Moslem Ottoman Empire.
So Islam and Moslems are one thing, Islamist fundamentalism is another, and in fact this movement is a blasphemy to Islam itself because Islam is, more than a religion of peace, a way of life which involves respect for all living beings, including animals and plants.
Why these youths have been radicalized cannot be blamed on the western education system in general because most people do not go around blowing themselves up on trains or planting bombs indiscriminately in public places. However, how many of these youths are engaged inside the societies in which they live, with stable jobs and hopes for the future? How many of those young radicals in Paris come from the banlieues, the suburbs, rings of poverty around the main cities of France?
How many of Britain’s radicalized youths come from the Inner Cities, where once again they are marginalized and feel they do not belong to the society in which they grew up and find in radical Islamist doctrine an escape, as others find an escape in drugs?
The problem, therefore, is not a complex one of religion, it is a simple socio-economic question. The way forward therefore, is to engage the community leaders in the banlieues and inner cities, giving reinforced powers to local authorities, including structuring the education program so that it makes sense to individuals in certain areas. The legacy of Muammar al-Gaddafy was to teach us that the human being thrives when the system of governance is localized and when small communities govern themselves – this was the Jamahiriya, which France and its Anglo-Saxon bedmasters helped to destroy.
Let us end where we should, once again sympathizing with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack and their families and loved ones. And for those who scream blue murder about freedom of expression and freedom of the press after this outrage against a French satirical publication (very much a French tradition dating back to the times of the Revolution), let us remember the hacking attacks by western agents against social media, let us remember the purposeful taking over of social media accounts by western agents, let us remember the hacking of emails by western agents. Is this freedom of expression?
Once again, after the December 20-22 facts in Tours, Dijon and Nantes, France was targeted with a terror attack, probably the bloodiest carried out by Islamist terrorists on French soil. Could it have been thwarted? Well, those who deal with security issues on a daily base know how hard it is to prevent an attack, especially when the judicial system lacks proper laws on preventive restrictive measures that must go side to side with surveillance activities.
Although, the two terrorists, French-Algerians Said and Cherif Kouachi, were well-known to French intelligence, they had been in Syria, fighting side to side with the Islamic extremists. According to the French police the two brothers were small criminals that had progressively radicalized. Cherif was arrested in 2008 and charged with 3 years for being part of a cell that was sending fighters to Iraq.
It is interesting to notice how the two were able to penetrate with the car in the center of Paris, fully armed with automatic rifles and a rocket-launcher, in front of a newspaper that had already been targeted in the past by Islamic extremists and that was expected to be well-guarded; they knew that the newspaper was holding the weekly meeting that day at that exact time, they managed to carry out an attack that lasted at least 5 minutes, calling their victims by name, shooting multiple times and then fleeing the scene, hijacking two cars and yet they are still at large.
On March 24th 2014 another French-Algerian with previous jihadist history in Syria and with criminal records, Mehdi Nemmouche, had fired on the Jewish Museum in Bruxelles, killing four people. He was later arrested in Marseilles while getting off a bus and denied charges against him.
We are obviously in front of a new type of terrorism that doesn’t involve anymore suicide bombings but rather cold-blooded assassins that were trained in camps in the Middle East and who have acquired the necessary operative preparation to plan and carry out attacks in Europe, in an extremely efficient way, fleeing the scene and giving the authorities a hard time in tracing them. Europe will soon need new laws to deal with such a phenomenon.
We are in the midst of a wave of soul searching trying to understand the Lindt Café siege in Sydney. In a sense we’ve been collectively holding our breaths for years wondering if Australia would ever fall victim to a terrorist act.
Terrorism has many definitions but by and large usually refers to the use of violence and intimidation for political purposes. Its goal is to produce widespread fear and anger. The purpose is to polarise opinion and progress a political battle. It’s like throwing an accelerant on a fire: it forces the opposing parties to respond and fight.
There is a term in psychology called operant conditioning – it’s so intuitive to most people it barely needs description. It describes how we learn (at least in part) according to the outcomes of our behaviours. If you’ve ever raised pets or kids you’ll be an expert. So if I’m rewarded for a behaviour I’m likely to do it again. If I’m punished I’m likely to do it less. If a dog wees in the garden instead of the carpet and you pat it or give it a treat, it will soon learn to go outside every time it needs to urinate.
What can operant conditioning teach us about terrorism? How can we use our knowledge of emotions and conditioning to search for ways to undermine the success of terrorism?
First on the agenda is the fear and anger. We need to contain the fear and address the anger.
Our leaders need to stand up and promote calm to give the message that we are prepared for such situations and that our response is appropriate and considered. They also need to address our natural response of anger and blame. They should not jump to conclusions about events being terrorist in nature, they should encourage people not to start the blame game prematurely. My impression from the Lindt siege was that our politicians tried to convey calm and control, but didn’t quite achieve their goal.
The media is in a trickier position. The less attention they give to terrorism the better. However, unlike in decades gone by, where a smallish group controlled most of the media, there are now hundreds of thousands of players – especially online. There is less ability to give a measured response. Hysteria sells, it’s a crowded media market place and competition is fierce. I think it is reasonable to expect the ABC to prioritise reason over ratings, but I think the commercial networks cannot be expected to have the same balance.
Despite this, I was mostly impressed with the coverage. There were constant calls for calm, constant stories trying to quell racism against Muslims, and various attempts to provide a balance between information and understanding. Most media outlets refused to air videos made by the perpetrator in the cafe. The constant news on multiple channels was unfortunate, but unavoidable.
Can we separate ideology from actions?
Terrorism is no more about religion than rape is about love-making
We need to somehow separate the act of terror from the cause it claims to support. Terrorism is no more about religion than rape is about love-making. It’s about power, control and violence. I’m not a religious person but my impression is that religion and spirituality aim to provide meaning and hope. By and large they promote humanity and peacefulness. I know many wars and unspeakable acts have been done in the name of religion, but my sense is that these acts reflect people’s desire for control and profit – religion just gets hijacked as a vessel.
Psychology has turned its hand to trying to understand terrorists, but it’s hard. Terrorists don’t volunteer for experiments! What we know is limited, and more driven by opinion than evidence. The limited evidence out there suggests terrorists are angry, disenfranchised, feel victimised, powerless and believe violence is not immoral.
Psychologists are also trying to understand the dynamic interplay between terrorists and government responses. For example there is some evidence that excessive responses to terrorist acts can encourage more people to join terrorist organisations.
Programs aiming to reduce terrorist behaviour tend to focus their efforts on addressing peoples’ fears of cultural annihilation, highlighting the common humanity between different religious groups and challenging the dream versus reality of terrorist involvement. These programs have a long way to go, but surely are a step in the right direction.
Why use violence?
Violence is a popular weapon for people chasing power – it’s never been the weapon of choice for people spreading ideas. Violent acts say far more about the perpetrators personalities and life experiences than they do about their beliefs. Resist the temptation to blame a belief system for the way people act.
Finally, amongst all the soul searching, take time to recover. Spare some thoughts for the victims, their families and those who put themselves at risk to respond. Protect your kids from over-exposure and teach them how to react with compassion and consideration. Just like our leaders, we need to try to respond without fear and anger – the antidote to terror is calm, understanding and tolerance. Regardless of your ideological background, don’t jump to conclusions. Take some time to read the views of others and then spread your ideas…. with words.
It began with an unexpected rapping on the front door.
When Wiley Gill opened up, no one was there. Suddenly, two police officers appeared, their guns drawn, yelling, “Chico Police Department.”
“I had tunnel vision,” Gill said, “The only thing I could see was their guns.”
After telling him to step outside with his hands in the air, the officers lowered their guns and explained. They had received a report—later determined to be unfounded—that a suspect in a domestic disturbance had fled into Gill’s house. The police officers asked the then-26-year-old if one of them could do a sweep of the premises. Afraid and feeling he had no alternative, Gill agreed. One officer remained with him, while the other conducted the search. After that they took down Gill’s identification information. Then they were gone—but not out of his life.
Instead, Gill became the subject of a “suspicious activity report,” or SAR, which police officers fill out when they believe they’re encountering a person or situation that “reasonably” might be connected in some way to terrorism. The one-page report, filed shortly after the May 2012 incident, offered no hint of terrorism. It did, however, suggest that the two officers had focused on Gill’s religion, noting that his “full conversion to Islam as a young [white male] and pious demeanor is [sic] rare.”
We are having an outbreak of reports in the Canadian press about “home grown” terrorists, “radicalized” young men of Muslim faith traveling out of the country to participate in extremist groups abroad – a relatively insignificant phenomenon which has received inordinate publicity. In any event, if you give the matter some thought, you realize that this “news” is a kind of empty publicity, noise about something as old and familiar as human life itself, although it has been bestowed with a new name intended to frighten us into supporting measures outside the framework of a society of laws.
The truth is that young men, at least a certain portion of them, have always traveled abroad to join causes and wars. It’s about as ordinary a phenomenon as playing team sports or joining clubs. In many cases, we end up praising them for their bravery and idealism, as was certainly the case with the many thousands of Europeans, Americans, and Canadians who traveled to Spain in the 1930s to volunteer in the civil war against General Franco. In other cases, we condemn and imprison them and sometimes even execute them as part of the losing side, as America has been doing in its rampage through the Middle East.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of new, independent nations from the British Empire drew thousands of young men to Africa to fight as mercenaries or volunteers. Apartheid South Africa used to run classified ads in newspapers abroad to attract young men in its battle against the African National Congress. Young Jewish men in the past went to Israel to join the IDF out of some sense of brotherhood, and they do so still. The French Foreign Legion gained almost mythical status as a place for young men to leave things behind, embracing an undefined sense of purpose and brotherhood. Young European adventurers, often young noblemen with hopes of gaining glory, sailed across the Atlantic in the 1770s to volunteer in the American colonies’ revolt against the British Empire, far more of them than Washington’s meagre army could use
Magnetic leaders like Napoleon or Castro or Nasser attracted countless volunteers from abroad in their heyday. Our history books don’t dwell on the fact but large numbers of young men from many countries volunteered for Hitler’s invading legions. The phenomenon does not depend on the high or noble nature of the cause, although the luster and publicity around grand causes undoubtedly attracts a still wider range of young men.
Young men often just want to escape from every-day, humdrum life, a boring marriage, a nothing job, or, as in the case of the Foreign Legion, to leave a criminal or failed past behind in hopes of high adventure, a new identity, and a fresh start in life. The genuine nature of a cause often matters little because young men’s fantasies convert grubby deeds into mythic stuff at least for a time. Young men in the Foreign Legion were actually fighting for a brutal imperialism in North Africa. Volunteers to the IDF only assist in the oppression of an abused people, not in the protection of the Jewish people. Those who joined Napoleon thought they were spreading liberté, égalité et fraternité across a mummified old-order Europe, but they were helping one of history’s great bloody soldier-conquerors glorify himself and do what it was he lusted after doing.
Mental illness also intrudes into terrorist matters, all things unusual or different being grist for the big dumb mill of the press. In Canada, during the wave of empty chatter about “home-grown terrorists,” there were two isolated incidents of murder in different parts of the country, one of a policeman and one of a reservist in the military. Immediately the press began a completely uninformative and patience-exhausting round of speculation about the dark nature of the perpetrators, complete with interviews of various self-proclaimed “terrorism experts,” men, as it generally turns out, who run security firms and are out drumming up business. In both cases, we finally learned through the fog of misinformation generated by the press, that the young dead men were deeply mentally disturbed, their acts having no more political significance than the crazed men set on suicide who first kill their wives or children or the boys who periodically show up heavily armed at school, shooting their way through classmates.
And of course, it is almost invariably males who do these things, our prisons containing about ten men for every woman. The violence we see in professional football, hockey, or boxing being almost an exclusive male domain. Woman rarely commit murder, males being responsible for almost all of it, with young males being responsible for an extraordinarily disproportionate share.
Aside from the psychotic and deeply depressed, there is a certain segment of young men in every society who are simply attracted to opportunities for legal killing, rape, and mayhem – this being the truly ugly side of every war and conflict that we never mention in our sentimental world-war memorial services or high school textbooks. These men are variously termed sociopaths or psychopaths, and they appear to exist naturally in some proportion in any population. They enjoy killing, inflicting pain, and the sense of supreme power over the lives of others, and they are incapable of sympathy for their victims or remorse for their acts. They only fear being caught, and war provides a wonderful legal playground for them.
The bloodiest, most brutal and pointless war of the last half century, America’s grotesque slaughter in Vietnam, attracted thousands of volunteers from other countries to join in the gruesome fun – acts which included everything from raping girls and then shooting them to throwing men out of helicopters. Even then-peaceful Canada, whose prime minister, Lester Pearson, bravely turned down Lyndon Johnson’s bullying demands to send troops (charmer that Johnson was, he is said to have grabbed our Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader by the lapels during a meeting and pushed him against a wall), saw hundreds of adventure-seeking young men, on their own, join the American holocaust, which would see three million horribly slaughtered, countless wounded, and an ancient agricultural land overwhelmed with America’s landmines, cluster bombs, and poisons.
Today we call people terrorists as easily as we more accurately might have called them reckless or mad. The word terrorist has been given an almost frightening, superstitious connotation much resembling the word witch in the seventeenth century when any poor old soul who suffered from a mental illness like schizophrenia might be burnt alive for her mumblings and delusions. Today, the same people we once burnt would be sent to a homeless shelter or a psychiatric hospital. Another aspect of the word terrorist is related to what Stalin used to say when he expected his officials to launch a new purge to keep the country terrorized into submission. The Vozhd would say something about “wreckers” or “wreckers of the revolution” and his minions would busy themselves demonstrating alacrity in finding large numbers to consign to prison or death. All of our press and government spokespeople now use terrorist with those two meanings, and to the extent that they do, we should recognize the foolishness of their speech and its danger to a free society.
Of course, anyone who commits violent crime needs dealing with, and we do have laws covering every form of violent crime and what is judged the degree of culpability. But creating a special class or type of crime, somehow understood to be different in nature from other crimes, and thereby requiring extraordinary measures of espionage and policing and imprisonment and standards of evidence, is a shabby, dishonest, and cowardly political act. It is a political act in exactly the sense best explained by George Orwell.
The template for this kind of state activity comes directly from Israel. It long ago succeeded in changing the outside perception of events since 1948 from that of a relatively powerless people having their homes and lands taken with great brutality. Everyone knows instinctively that people treated in that fashion have every right in international law and custom to fight their oppressors. We call them at various times and circumstances freedom fighters, guerillas, resistance fighters, or irregulars. But in this case, they were transformed into terrorists who seek only to destroy law-abiding, democratic Israel – unspeakably evil beings intent on attacking the imported Ozzie-and-Harriet peacefulness of white-picket fence neighborhoods constructed on other people’s property. It truly is a case of the world turned on its head.
It does make things so much easier when you shoot someone or bulldoze their home or send them to prison indefinitely with no trial and subject to torture, if you first have demonized them, much as in the case of witches or wreckers, with terrorist being this generation’s choice demonizing word. And when Israel kills some people whose identity as “terrorists” might be seen as very doubtful, the victims magically become militants, a Newspeak word which strives to make the killing of anyone from boys to grandfathers palatable, our shabby press in the West having adopted the word in its reportage without so much as blinking an eye, much less asking a question. This has been Israel’s day-in, day-out pattern of government for decades, but now it has managed to export to the United States the same pattern of behavior. The United States, after all, is a nation given to Captain Ahab-like obsessions, as it has demonstrated many times in its history, Muslims now having displaced the Communists it pursued with relentless fury for decades at home and abroad. And when the United States embraces a new obsession, its dependants in Europe, Canada, Australia, and other places are bullied into embracing it too. America has many avenues for pressuring the acceptance and recognition of its latest craze or special interest or dark operation and to quiet the criticism which would naturally flow from those who disagree and think for themselves.
Were America not enthralled with this voodoo about terror, Europe and others would quickly fall away, and Israel’s ugly behavior would be left in a glaring spotlight, much as South Africa’s once was.
It is the force of these considerations in part which leads so many to question the true nature of what happened on 9/11, for that set of events was pivotal in having American public opinion embrace extraordinary, anti-democratic, and anti-human rights measures. I do not subscribe to the (not-uncommon) conspiracy notion that the American government was complicit in 9/11, using it as a kind of Nazi Reichstag Fire to ignite the mindless war on terror and a crusade through the Middle East to overturn governments unfriendly to Israel. I do very much believe though that the full story of that event has never been told, and, as always, that can only mean highly embarrassing or compromising facts are being suppressed. The immense body of confidential information in Washington on all matters of state – literally tens of billions of documents – would largely disappear if it weren’t for considerations of embarrassment and compromise, the need for genuine government secrecy being much rarer than many assume.
A free society does not recognize crimes deemed in some way to be different or more heinous or extraordinary: it maintains and enforces sensible, well-reasoned laws which apply equally to all. It does not create criminal laws which reflect political pressure or special interests. The United States, now on a new hunt for a great white whale, has virtually re-created East Germany’s dreaded Stasi, only in a much more sophisticated and far-reaching form. It meshes with the all-pervasive secret state police apparatus Israel has constructed in the Middle East with infinite care since 1948. Now, over all our lives there is something, not answerable to any electorate, working to dissimulate, to intimidate, and to generate fear as nothing of which the Soviet Union was remotely capable. It influences all of our laws and customs, even attempting to shape the way we speak and think.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO (CT&P) – A masked gunman killed a soldier standing guard at Canada’s war memorial Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in an attack that was stopped cold when he was shot to death by the ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. Canada’s prime minister called it the country’s second terrorist attack in three days.
Investigators offered little information about the gunman, identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “In the days to come we will learn about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.”
In a televised address to the nation, Canada’s prime minister said Wednesday’s fatal shooting of a Canadian soldier in Ottawa and a hit-and-run that killed another earlier this week are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism.
Harper said the two separate attacks will strengthen Canada’s resolve to work to keep Canada safe and work with allies around the world to fight terrorist organizations.
“But let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” said Harper.
After the nearly twenty-minute speech, Prime Minister Harper then proceeded to repeat himself word-for-word in French, so no one who lives in Quebec would get their feelings hurt. The repetition turned what would have been an uplifting address to the nation into an almost hour-long marathon of political correctness run amok.
“It’s another example of why the Canadians are so difficult to work with,” said Andrew McCabe, head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “Every time I call up my counterpart in Ottawa the son of a bitch has to repeat every thing he says to me over the phone in French. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Current head of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson agreed with McCabe, and told reporters that Zehaf-Bibeau could have been apprehended before he got to the parliament building if the cops that were chasing him just shot his ass instead of trying to address him in two different languages.
“We think our friends from north of the border could decrease their response time by half just by dropping this idiotic regulation that law enforcement personnel have to repeat themselves in French every time they address a suspect,” said Johnson.
“I mean how ridiculous is it that you say “HALT! Stop or I’ll shoot!”, then immediately have to say “HALTE! Arrete ou je tire!” said an exasperated Johnson.
“The next thing you know they’ll have to include Arabic so as not to offend the fucking terrorist they are trying to apprehend!”
Terror case thrown out
Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Justice Michael Adams said one ASIO officer had committed the crime of false imprisonment and kidnap at common law
November 12, 2007 – 2:19PM
A high profile terror case was abandoned before it got to trial today after a judge found that two ASIO officers had kidnapped and falsely imprisoned a young medical student, Izhar ul-Haque.
Mr ul-Haque’s lawyer, Adam Houda, later accused authorities of launching a politically motivated and “moronic prosecution” against his client.
In a scathing judgment, NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams found that two ASIO officers had broken the law in a deliberate attempt to coerce answers from Mr ul-Haque.
“I am satisfied that B15 and B16 [the ASIO officers] committed the criminal offences of false imprisonment and kidnapping at common law and also an offence under section 86 of the Crimes Act,” the judge said.
He said this misconduct meant subsequent police records of interview with Mr ul-Haque were inadmissible as evidence.
The judge’s findings forced the Crown to withdraw its case against Mr ul-Haque, just before a trial jury was to be empanelled.
Mr ul-Haque had faced charges of training with the Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Toiba since April 2004.
He was accused of receiving weapons and combat training from the organisation during a visit to Pakistan in January and February 2003.
“This is reminiscent of Kafka,” Justice Adams said in a lengthy judgment in which he derided the misconduct of both ASIO and Australian Federal Police officers.
He detailed how ASIO officers had confronted Mr ul-Haque, forced him into a car and then taken him to a park where he was threatened with serious consequences if he did not co-operate fully.
Justice Adams said Mr ul-Haque rightly believed had no choice but to comply with all their demands.
The student was taken to his home where as many as 30 plain-clothes intelligence officers and police conducted a search while his family watched.
Mr ul-Haque was then interviewed again amid continuing threats against him, even though ASIO only had a search warrant.
It was a “gross breach of the powers given to the officers given under the warrant” Justice Adams said, adding later that at least one ASIO officer had broken the common law and legislative protections against false imprisonment.
He also heavily criticised two AFP officers who had demanded Mr ul-Haque become their informant against Faheem Lodhi, a Sydney architect who was found guilty last year of terrorism offences. That verdict is now subject to appeal.
The police officers also threatened Mr ul-Haque with adverse consequences if he didn’t comply.
However, Mr ul-Haque refused to wear a wire and to spy for the authorities, and was charged three months later with a single terrorism offence.
Justice Adams detailed evidence of how law enforcement authorities had told Mr ul-Haque all along they accepted that his brief training with Lashkar-e-Toiba was linked to the Indian presence in the disputed state of Kashmir and had nothing to do with Australia.
Mr ul-Haque declined to to comment to the waiting media after today’s case ended.
However, Mr Houda said his client had been unfairly persecuted.
“This has been a moronic prosecution,” Mr Houda said. “From the beginning, this was no more than a political show trial designed to justify the billions of dollars spent on counter-terrorism.”
Beware people, the word terrorist can be (and is being, read below for an extract of the parliamentary speech made by this right wing nut job) broadly applied to those who oppose the Abbott government. I wonder which Coalition MP will be the first to apply the word terrorist to the Union movement? Watch this space.
“We will call out their falsehoods and call for the Extremists to be treated the same as anyone else who commits a crime or an act of terrorism.”
“The extremists are the large, well organised, and very well-funded organisations who use fear and blackmail to coerce the government and the public into adopting their extreme political and ideological views.”
“The eco-terrorists butchered the international tourism market, which sources tell me is down 30 per cent as a result of their campaign, not for the sake of the reef but for the sake of their political ideology.”
“They threaten to kill off thousands of more jobs in the resource industry because they don’t like coal, they don’t like capitalism, and they don’t like people working hard to earn a decent living.”
“Today, I put the Extreme Greens on notice,” he said. “North Queensland will not bow down to eco-terrorists. We will not allow them to lie, to smear, to defame, and to break the law for their own political purposes.”
Sources and read more:
Australian Media Spawned By Andrew Bolt have no compassion
The only place to deal withe the leader of this swarm is Section 18C of the RAD
Bruce Giles AFP Commander said:
“He(Numan Haider hadn’t been monitored for a long time, it was very early days of investigation with this individual”
Totally ignored by these news hounds baying for a headline and grasping at any rumour that might come to their perverted imaginations.
That Numan had been on police radar for months,bullshit. That he planned to behead the two cops crap. That the young man was a full blown terrorist in constant communication with ISIL. In their kafkaesque media storm they have turned this young 18 year old kid with no priors into the devil. Their moronic reporting is doing what extremists want. Fairfax ought to be ashamed Newscorp is on par. Andrew Bolt has spawned print media morons everywhere. The image of Mr Smith in Matrix has morphed into Andrew Boltcame when I picked up this mornings paper.
The only sensible words heard anywhere were those of Gaith Krayem of the Islamic Council of Victoria
“brandishing a flag and making disparaging comments about agencies does not make someone a terrorist”
“Many young men of that age can be brash, angry and immature. None of those things make him a terrorist”
Not one single reporter or commentator many of them with kids of their own gave any creedance that this young man might just have been suffering from a mental illness.
The percentage of people meeting the criteria for diagnosis of a mental illness was highest in younger people, with the prevalence decreasing with age. Twenty-six per cent of 18-24 year olds had experienced a mental disorder, while only 5.9% of people aged 65 years and over had experienced a mental disorder. – See more at:
When for the past few years the papers have been full of the fact that mental illness is is increasingly prevalent amongst young men none of the reporting even gave it consideration. 26% of young men 18-24 no matter their religion suffer from a mental disorder.
This young man had all the markers of a psychotic breakdown which had been building up for some time.
- He was extremely stressed because he’d broken up with his girlfriend who was extremely important in his life some months before. A common trigger in the onset of a mental breakdown among young men.
- His friends indicated that he’d changed. That he had become withdrawn and really didn’t want to talk.
- Neighbuours said he was quite removed just nodded when they passed
- He had left the “extremist” group months before which was yet another an indication of his withdrawl
- His parents didn’t know what he was doing he wasn’t talking to them another sign of withdrawl.
- He was paranoid and angry as he’d only just had a confrontation with police on the 18th of September. Bruce Giles head of the ADF comment above says it clearly that he’d just come on their radar.
- He had a strong relationship with god. Not uncommon in mental illness.
- He was by and large a normal Aussie kid.
The above are all telling signs of a young man suffering from a mental illness rather than the fanciful idea of being a heroic over idealised terrorist. Gaith Krayem of the Islamic council of Victoria seems to be the only one quoted by the media that is the voice of reason and more-over compassion in the circumstance for everyone involved
Andrew Bolt has kids he should be so lucky as to not have one of his sons come down with a mental illness so crippling that something like this occurs. Any of the other media fuckwits that claim to have half a brain should have considered this possibility. They have certainly gone down in my eyes. Christian,Muslim,Seikh or Buddhist are not immune to the crippling effects of Paranoid Schizophrenia,Schizo-Affective Disorder, Chronic Bi-Polar Episodes, or Devastating Depression which can bring about psychosis.
I’m sure some of the above media dolts suffer or have suffered from a mental disorder at some time in their life. Or that they have experienced the effects of it in others yet none even considered the possibility of it climbing over themselves for the headline. I’m certain Andrew Bolt more than any of you knows what mental illness is …no compassion, blinkered tunnel vision, inflexibility, inability to listen are also symptoms
Mohammed Haneef sues ex-immigration minister Kevin Andrews for defamation
|Born||29 September 1979
|Occupation||Doctor of Medicine|
|Known for||Accused of terrorism, and subsequent detention|
|Parents||Shami Khaleel (father)|
Haneef was arrested on 2 July 2007 at Brisbane Airport, Brisbane, Australia on suspicion of terror-related activities. He is the second cousin once removed of Kafeel Ahmed and Sabeel Ahmed, the operatives in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. Haneef’s ensuing detention became the longest without charge in recent Australian history, which caused great controversy in Australia and India.
Haneef was released when the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew its charge on 27 July 2007, whereby his passport was returned and he departed Australia voluntarily on 29 July 2007. Hannef’s visa cancellation was overturned by the Federal Court on 21 August 2007, with the decision being reiterated by the full bench of the court on 21 December 2007, resulting in Haneef having his Australian visa returned.
In December 2010, Haneef returned to Australia to seek damages for loss of income, interruption of his professional work, and emotional distress. He was awarded compensation from the Australian government. The amount of compensation awarded was not disclosed, but was described by sources as “substantial”.
2007 Deja Vous
Governments around the world are trying to come to terms with the fact that their nationals – and young people in particular – are leaving to join extremist groups such as Islamic State.
The battleground against radicalisation is waged in the mind. It is here that persuasive arguments and passionate discussion appeal to the hero inside us to rise up and do something, be someone or make history.Foreign policy often provides a fertile bed of manure in which the seeds of radicalisation can grow.
What is the Australia’s foreign policy on Iraq? Those seeking to radicalise others will be able to summarise it in a single sentence. The more negative the policy is perceived to be, the less human the government or even the Australian people are perceived to be. Abbot is insisting it’s humanitarian. 6 Hornet fighters are hardly gonig to drop aid. 600 SAS troops ,our top killers, to load these fighter planes and train locals hardly seems believeable.
Radicalisation involves getting us to focus on the negative experiences we have had and the negative experiences of those we love or feel we should love.These things happen to us because some enemy wants them to, chooses them to and allows them to.It focuses on the difference between us and them and emphasises the wrongs that they do. Australia is going to help kill Sunnis no matter who they are. They don’t care, want to distinguish or want to understand anything about the history of what’s occurred on the ground. Yesterdays raids reinforced that perception. What’s more with lazy media frenzy . Was there anyone report from the families of the raided?
Isis recruiters lay the blame for each of the killings squarely with British and American foreign policy. The more human we can make the enemy, the less we will feel separated from them to us IS is the ‘devil cult’. Only when we stop seeing the opposition as completely different to us, can we start to be reconciled with them.The British government, on behalf of the taxpayer, donated £11.4bn in aid with £600m set aside for the Syrian crisis alone. These kinds of figures provide useful ammunition in the battle of the mind. The apparent enemy becomes less hostile and more human. What has Australia done other than offer war cries and identify our selves as the enemies. Does Abbott understand over 100,000 Sunnis were killed since Bush ousted Saddam. Mothers , fathers children families he created a bitter sectarian power vacuum and gave birth to ISIS. It can’t be stopped with bombs.
Some young people see no opportunity to get involved and make a difference other than by joining the jihad. It’s positive that young people are passionate about inequality, just not that they see violence as the only way to address it. We need ways ways to counteract the messages being sent to young people by those who wish to indoctrinate them.
“If, in order to defeat the beast, we become the beast; then the beast has won”.
It’s not easy to rid people of firmly held prejudices but a consistent and reasonable argument is a better way to start than threats about removing passports or prison sentences. Todays effort just pushes young people away. 800 to lay alleged charges on one 22 year old is farcical. Why with all the media didn’t we hear the other side of the story? The families side how lazy and complicit was the media.
Explosives mistakenly left at Sydney Airport by federal police during sniffer dog training
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has been left red-faced after an explosive device used during sniffer dog training was left in a suitcase at Sydney Airport.
The AFP apologised after the suitcase, containing about 230 grams of plastic explosives, accidentally ended up in the hands of a female passenger on Tuesday afternoon.
The device, which was not live, was hidden inside the unclaimed suitcase during what the AFP said was a “routine canine exercise”.
The suitcase containing the explosive device was then mistakenly given to the woman whose luggage was damaged during her flight.
The woman only discovered the device once she was in Cessnock. She took it to the local police station, where officers evacuated their building as a safety precaution.
AFP Sydney Airport commander Wayne Buchhorn said the AFP was taking the error seriously.
“The canine instructor who inadvertently left this device behind has been identified and will be the subject of a formal Professional Standards Investigation,” he said.
AFP = Awfully F***ing Pathetic