Don't want to post? Email me instead.

cavehillred AT yahoo.co.uk

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fair Play, Red Ken

Fair play to London's mayor, 'Red' Ken Livingstone for being probably the only politician in this hemisphere to own up to the fact that Muslims are being vilified on an unprecedented scale.

According to Ken, nonsense 'debates' like that about the veil have been deliberately fomented in order to avert the public's eye away from real issues, such as the devastation of Muslim Iraq by the British and American militaries.

"Over recent weeks we have seen a demonisation of Muslims only comparable to the demonisation of Jews from the end of the 19th century," says Ken.

This is actually a very useful analogy. Will we ultimately involve ourselves in statebuilding for the Muslim peoples we are currently occupying and killing, or will we simply commit genocide upon them? Or will we do both, as we did with the Jews?

In today's world, old habits continue to die hard. While the US-led occupation has directly caused over 650,000 excess deaths in Iraq, we are still being told that Muslims are the 'terrorists' - a word which itself has become a grubby, meaningless mantra parrotted by those who invariably have the most blood on their hands.

Robert Fisk's superlative book 'The Great War for Civilisation', which is perhaps the only primer on the mess that is the Middle East any of us will ever need, makes this very point in such wonderful prose that it is worth quoting in full:

Terrorism is a word that has become a plague on our vocabulary, the excuse and reason and moral permit for state-sponsored violence - our violence - which is now used on the innocent of the Middle East ever more outrageously and promiscuously. Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It has become a full stop, a punctuation mark, a phrase, a speech, a sermon, the be-all and end-all of everything that we must hate in order to ignore injustice and occupation and murder on a mass scale.

Terror, terror, terror, terror. It is a sonata, a symphony, an orchestra tuned to every television and radio station and news agency report, the soap opera of the Devil, served up on prime time or distilled in wearyingly dull and mendacious form by the right-wing 'commentators' of the American east coast or the Jerusalem Post or the intellectuals of Europe.

Strike against terror. Victory over terror. War on terror. Everlasting war on terror. Rarely in history have soldiers and journalists and presidents and kings aligned themselves in such thoughtless, unquestioning ranks. In August 1914, the soldiers thought they would be home by Christmas. Today, we are fighting forever. The war is eternal. The enemy is eternal, his face changing on our screens.

Once he lived in Cairo and sported a moustache and nationalised the Suez canal. Then he lived in Tripoli and wore a ridiculous military uniform and helped the IRA and bombed American bars in Berlin. Then he wore a Muslim Imam's gown and ate yogurt in Tehran and planned Islamic revolution. Then he wore another white gown and lived in a cave in Afghanistan and then he wore another silly moustache and resided in a series of palaces around Baghdad. Terror, terror, terror, terror.
When you hear the word 'terror', now is the time to stop, think and listen. To what extent are those dispossessed of their land, homes and even lives 'terrorists' in Palestine, while those who committed those evils upon them are not?

If North Korea and Iran are 'terrorists' for seeking to develop a nuclear bomb, how is America, the only country to use one, not?

If Saddam Hussein was a terrorist for invading Kuwait, how come those who invaded Iraq repeatedly in the past century - ie Britain and America - are not terrorists?

Terrorism is the word used to stop people questioning the persecution of Muslims in Western interests. And this brings me back to Red Ken.

"The attack on Muslims in reality threatens freedoms for all of us, which took hundreds of years to win - freedom of conscience and freedom of cultural expression. Every person who values their right to follow the religion of their choice or none should stand with the Muslim communities today."

We are living in Orwell's world of perpetual war, shifting enemies and Newspeak news broadcasts. If you truly value your freedom, the freedoms that Ken refers to, then the rejection of the 'terror' terminology and the defence of Muslim freedom of cultural expression and self-determination are the only things standing between you and total acquiescence to the Big Brother state.


Anonymous said...

Here Here, my fellow pissed off at the excuses for carnage!! We all need someone to blame, internationally and at home for all our woes! Before questioning why and pointing the finger at the Governments and hidden agendas, start with voting for a party in your country that has a marked ticket for pulling out off these small countries (namely Iraq and also pay for damages) and let their population get normallity back for their children. The question is, who are the parties for peace? Maybe JCSkinner could do a piece on this!

JC Skinner said...

Care to suggest such a party? Looks to me like all the parties in the UK supported the war in Iraq when it happened, though the Lib Dems seem to have done a U-turn since.
And in Ireland, where the country is officially nothing to do with that war, the march of 100,000 of the people through the capital didn't stop the government permitting US torture planes to fly through the country, with the torturers stopping off for a quiet drink en route.
Who are the parties for peace? Very good question, Mr A Nonymous. I'm still looking for them. I suspect they could prove as elusive as Saddam's weapons of mass distruction.