David Cameron’s expensive bombing of Syria


This video from Manchester, England says:

US [Vietnam war] Veteran says No War on Syria

31 August 2013

Oil and Imperialism is what it´s about in the Middle East

Ron Senchak, President of Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition, speaking at a Don’t Bomb Syria protest in Manchester Piccadily Gardens.

David Cameron´s 2013, then defeated, plan for war on Syria would have made Great Britain an ally of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Chocks away, old chap

Saturday 5th December 2015

DEEP in the bowels of 11 Downing Street, the Chancellor and Defence Secretary are burning the midnight oil, trying to make the costs of the Syrian bombing more palatable to the gullible public.

Through the dividing wall in No 10 strange sounds can be heard.

“Neeeeyowwww, daga-daga-daga…”
Fallon: “What was that?”
Osborne: “Oh, that’s just Dave.”
F: “Ah yes, his youngsters in high spirits no doubt.”
O: “No, I mean THAT’S Dave.”
“doo-doo-doo-de-da-doo-doo…”
F: “Is that the tune from The Dam Busters?”
O: “You should have heard what he wanted to call this dog he saw the other day.”
F: “How long has this been going on?”
O: “Since you had the bloody stupid idea of telling him that the RAF had a spare plane kicking around with his name on it.”
F: “Aaah.”
O: “Oh and then when you got him all excited with your sabre-rattling and told him it was what Maggie would have done.”
F: “Hmmm.”
On the Chancellor’s desk the internal phone begins to ring. Reluctantly he answers.
Cameron: “I say Algie, where’s ginger? We need to take this kite up.”
O: “For God’s sake, Dave. For the last time my name is George not Algie, you’re not Biggles and we haven’t had any gingers around here since we shafted those Lib Dem morons.”
C: “Enough chatter, Algie. Loose talk costs lives and all that. It’s time we got up there in the old Sopwith Camel and taught these chappies what’s what.
“Let’s give the Bosch a good hiding what, chaps? Let’s get up there and give the Red Devils a taste of plucky British steel.”
O: “Er, Dave, the Red Devils are actually on our side.”
C: “Really?”
O: “Yes, I think you may have meant the Red Baron, he was German.”
C: “This is all jolly confusing Algie, which side is a chap on?”
O: “That’s what everyone else wants to know.”
He hangs up and turns to Fallon with a resigned look.
O: “I told them giving him that complete set of WE Johns books and a DVD of war movies was a bad idea. He’s going to be 10 times worse now after the Commons vote.
“What did you want anyway?”
F: “Er, £100 billion for Trident.”
O: “For God’s sake, can’t you see I’m busy? Thanks to you I’ve got to pretend to balance a budget AND fund a war. It’s a good job I don’t really care.”
There is the faint noise of someone knocking at the door and then the phone rings again.
O: “What now!? Yes? Oh, security, hello. What’s the problem? Not a terrorist attack I hope, ha ha! Just my little joke.
“I see, I see … well you know what to do.”
F: “Problem, George?”
O: “That was security. Apparently Hilary Benn has just turned up wearing a World War II fighter pilot’s helmet and what looks like a Tony Blair mask.”
F: “What does he want?”
O: “To know if Dave’s coming out to play, apparently.”

Well they went and did it again. And, sadly there was never really any doubt as to the outcome as a significant number of Blairite chancers cravenly crossed the floor to vote with the Tories on the latest tawdry episode of mass slaughter in the name of imperialist adventurism.

And with sickening predictability no sooner had the vote been announced than the bombs began falling quicker than the smile on a Donegal priest’s face when he realises his access-all-areas Boyzone ticket is not what he hoped it would be.

The quisling-in-chief was of course shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who delivered a braying tub-thumping performance which was praised to the rafters by the media despite being memorable only for the mendacity of his arguments and his flagrant manipulation of historical fact.

Now who does that remind you of?

Yup, it’s 2003 all over again, folks, and they don’t give a damn.

Benn disgracefully exploited the memory of the International Brigades and their heroically doomed fight against Franco in a cynical bid to sell the case for war, boasting that Labour had always supported those who stood up against fascism.

Three points here. First, when the brave volunteers went to fight in Spain in 1936 Labour initially did not support them, regarding them as extremists and communists despite the fact that they came from many walks of life and diverse political backgrounds.

It was not until the tail end of 1937 that Labour reversed its stance.

Second, the International Brigaders did what they did in defiance of their governments, who were quiet happy to sit back and let Franco get on with things with the support of Hitler and Mussolini, in a shameful stance which in many ways paved the way for WWII.

Many of the surviving volunteers were excommunicated, vilified and many were interned on their arrival back home.

They did not toady up to the powers that be in an attempt to make their lives easier at the expense of those of countless others.

Third, comparing Isis to Hitler, Franco et al is the kind of specious lazy rhetoric we have heard applied ad nauseam down the centuries.

Isis are bigoted murdering bastards but they are not “fascists.”

What they want to do is build a brutally repressive theocracy that will suppress all opposition. The glaringly obvious comparison is not 1930s Europe but Saudi Arabia, which incidentally is Isis’s principal bankroller.

But we’re not allowed to mention that are we…?

Still, on the plus side we have been helpfully informed that Cameron’s swanky new ministerial plane is equipped with 159 seats.

That means it should only take two trips to round up all the warmongers and deliver them to The Hague.

This video from England is called Don’t Bomb Syria – Stop The War demonstration 28th Nov. 2015. Demonstration outside Downing Street in London.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

A Soldier Speaks: Blood Will Flow Freely in Syria

Saturday 5th December 2015

A former serviceman, who fought in Afghanistan, pours scorn on Labour’s hawks, who sold their honour cheaply

ON WEDNESDAY, hundreds of hawks in the House of Commons were given their way and now the blood will run in Syria.

The death toll from Isis atrocities will be garnished with those killed by British bombs.

Another year approaches and another British war in the sand and dust unfolds.

We will fight on the basis of terrible arguments, forcefully put. Hilary Benn’s speech is a case in point — rhetorically brilliant, devoid of sense and divorced from reality.

Despite my better judgement, I joined Labour a few months ago. The very party which betrayed the military over Iraq and Afghanistan and sent me into the preposterous war on terror. A conflict which killed men I knew and tens of thousands of people besides.

I joined Labour on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s surge to the top job. He is a man I have long admired and whose efforts and displays of conviction since being elected have impressed me.

He is a great man — a man apart — but my view is that he should have whipped over Syria and whipped hard. Jingoists need the war flogged out of them. I say that as a veteran.

It does the left no good to get to a position of power and then shy away from exercising it.

The whipping would not have secured a majority but it would have eased the way to an isolation and mass deselection of treacherous Red Tory MPs.

In my mind the decision to give a free vote was a moralistic call and not a moral one.

Corbyn’s intentions were noble and he remains a parliamentarian whose honour is intact.

But let us be frank. Sixty-six of Corbyn’s MPs have sold their honour cheaply. Sixty-six spots in the Commons are lying fallow — ground from which nothing good can spring.

Labour has always been a coalition of unions and movements. There are trade union MPs. There must also now be movement MPs.

Corbyn is a product of the movements against war and austerity. So must the 66 scrappers who take up these wasted spots be.

Where are the young leaders of the movement against war, racism and austerity?

Entertain, for a moment, what 66 women and men from the coalface of struggle could do inside and outside of Parliament.

If the pro-business SNP rattles bourgeois cages — and they put up by far the best opposition to the Tory bombing motion on Wednesday — what could our 66 achieve?

Elected from the movements, by the movements, for the movements, they must be fresh, young, fiery and accountable.

Their selection must bypass the ingrained, lumbering left aristocracy and reflect the vibrant, lived diversity of the movements.

I am a socialist first. I put no faith in bourgeois parties. Parliament is one tactic in a wide arsenal — let us use it.

The needless interrogation of a Belgian academic is exactly what Isis wants from us. Watching our Parliament’s grotesque debate on Syrian airstrikes last week (which had more to do with the destruction of Corbyn than the destruction of Isis), I do wonder what the future holds for Britain: here.

United States Republican politicians, Mark Fiore animated cartoon


This satiric video from the USA says about itself:

Conservatives Gone Wild

8 November 2015

Even though the presidential campaign is providing loads of entertainment and maybe even a bit of substantive discussion, the real show is in the House of Representatives. There is chaos in the Republican-controlled House after the far right ousted John Boehner and blocked Kevin McCarthy from the speakership. The right wing nuts are ascendant and in full display in the Freedom Caucus.

Lapwings stop Brazilian football match


This 12 November video is about a flock of birds, invading a football pitch in Brazil, stopping the match.

This was an under-20 Copa do Brasil game between São Paulo and Joinville.

The birds were southern lapwings.

Cartoon event in Brussels, Belgium


This video says about itself:

State of Denial: Western Journalism and the Middle East | Robert Fisk

5 November 2012

Robert Fisk, award-winning journalist and Middle East Correspondent for The Independent newspaper, gave the annual faculty-appointed Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) Distinguished Lecture on April 20, 2010 on the subject of “State of Denial: Western Journalism and the Middle East.” Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (GU-Q) student Amna Al-Thani introduced Fisk to a capacity audience of 800 guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha.

From Belgium:

INVITATION TO CARTOONISTS WORLDWIDE TO PARTICIPATE

YOU, THE WEST & THE MIDDLE EAST

First Edition

Cartoon event in the center of Europe

February 2016, MUNTPUNT, Brussels.

Cartoons engage creatively with current affairs. Uniquely capable of zooming in to magnify contradictions or untruths, and zooming out to condense wider connections or greater truths, they constitute a supremely subversive form of expression.

The event “YOU, THE WEST & THE MIDDLE EAST” provides a forum for the presentation of fierce, uncensored cartoons that force viewers to critically confront and reflect upon mutual understandings and misunderstandings of relations between “the West” and “The Middle East”.

Charlie Hebdo, radicalization, IS, the war on terror, drones, the war in Iraq, the refugee crisis … these developments leave no one untouched, and demonstrate the vital need for greater insight and understanding of what is happening in the world today.

While the success of this event relies on input and perspective from around the world, cartoonists from the Middle East are particularly encouraged to submit their work. If you would like to contribute to this groundbreaking exhibition, please submit a selection of your cartoons (maximum 3) before December 15, 2015. Original work addressing the theme of the exhibition is very welcome, but please feel free to submit previously published or exhibited work.

With your vital input, we are confident of putting together a fascinating event in February 2016. The exhibition will be accompanied by discussions between cartoonists, documentaries, lectures, workshops, and other relevant activities.

For further information regarding registration, submission of your work and other practical matters please click here! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions or concerns about this ambitious exhibition. You can reach us at: cartoon@muntpunt.be

Sincerely – Ward Treunen,

The BRussells Tribunal, Muntpunt, The cartoonist, Stripgids, European Cartoon Center, Victoria de Luxe, Menarg, Vrede, Pianofabriek.

Israeli comedian on terrorism scare


This 17 October video, in Hebrew by comedian Natali Cohen Vaxberg, is about hysteria in Israel, seeing terrorism everywhere. A hysteria which recently killed Eritrean refugee Haftom Zarhum [also referred to as Mulu Habtom Zerhom], who had nothing to do with terrorism; beaten to dead by a lynch mob. See also here.

Subtitles in English in the video are at the button at the leftmost button of the four buttons on the right of the underside.

Belgian police arrest Muslim student for joking


Mohamed Ouaamari

Translated from Nathalie De Bisschop in Belgium:

Student who was arrested for tweet: “People are so afraid of Islam that they don’t see humour”

October 1, 2015

“I still really do not good feel good about it,” says Mohamed Ouaamari to newsmonkey. The 24-year-old student Digital Design was arrested in Antwerp yesterday because he was suspected of terrorism after a tweet that was meant to be funny. “I regret that it has caused so much rumour and that people became scared, but my tweet really had nothing to do with terrorism”, says the young Muslim. “Sometimes we need a bit more perspective.”

A practical joke with hidden cameras, it seemed at first sight. “I did not quite understand what was happening. I really thought it was a joke,” Mohamed Ouaamari tells newsmonkey. “At the moment they handcuff you, you realize quickly that it is not a joke.”

It all began with a playful remark on Twitter. The young Muslim of Moroccan ancestry was at a student event about networking and started to tweet. He asked for some advice from his followers: “Has anyone any networking tips? To call loudly “Allahu akbar” probably is not a good way to break the ice” he joked.

“Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest) is a phrase often used by all kinds of Muslims. It has nothing to do with terrorism. Just like if people from Christian backgrounds uses phrases like “Good Lord” or “God bless you” that does not make them terrorists.

Also, Mohamed Ouaamari’s tweet did not advocate using “Allahu akbar”.

One of his followers challenged the young man, all smiling and joking, to try. “Tomorrow in the news: 25 dead and 93 injured after mass hysteria in the ING building,” Ouaamari tweeted back.

Some concerned citizens called the emergency services, which caused police intervention to evacuate the building. Ouaamari had to come to the police station where he was interrogated for hours and then he was allowed to leave without charges.

Context and regret

A joke can be misinterpreted, the student fully understands. Quite apart from the fact that the tweet was humorous, there is, according to the student also nothing wrong with that. “When I posted my tweet, I did not suspect for a second that it could be interpreted as a terrorist attack,” responds Ouaamari. “I actually had Mecca in mind, where this year many pilgrims died.”

“I regret that it has caused so much fuss,” Ouaamari adds. ” … I wish I could have avoided that.” The ambitious Antwerp young man has still not completely recovered from what happened to him. “It seems like a cool story, but that it is absolutely not.”

#JeSuisMohamed

Meanwhile, the hashtag #JeSuisMohamed is eagerly used on social media to express support for the young Muslim. “I think that’s far too focused on sensation and my situation has absolutely nothing to do with that of Charlie Hebdo“, he emphasized.

Yet there is some irony in the hashtag. “Once people talked about complete freedom of opinion and it was said that any humour should be allowed. It appears now that there surely are limits,” Ouaamari explains. “Do not get me wrong, of course I understand that limits must exist, but sometimes we need a bit more perspective. People are so fearful when it comes to Islam that they lose sight of humour,” he says to newsmonkey.

The young man does not let his head hang down. “I will continue to seize opportunities. I will continue to fight for my dreams and my ideals. We are young, we are the future and we must join in improving this country. I’m always going to keep doing my best,” he concludes.

Also here is his blog post after the recent events.