Saturday, 23 August 2014

Banning the viewing of the beheading of James Foley would be an own-goal for the West

The Guardian’s stance on Foley is a demonstration of the fine balance of those decisions: at present, one image of Foley from the video is used, but not as a lead picture. None of his forced speech is portrayed, and the short audio elements from the video – some of his murderer’s speech – have been used against a still image.

A police warning that watching or sharing the graphic video of journalist James Foley being beheaded by Isis (known as Islamic State) could be a "terrorist offence" has been slammed by a lawyer, who says the statement was "false and alarmist".

But what would happen if they criminalised it anyway?

Then only the speech of James Foley before he was executed would be left:

"I call on my friends, family, and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the US government. For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality.

My message to my beloved parents, save me some dignity, and don't accept some meagre compensation, for my death, from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq.

I call on my brother John, who is a member of the US air force. Think about what you are doing, think about the lives you destroy, including those of your own family. I call on you John, think about who made the decision to bomb Iraq recently and kill those people, whoever they may have been. Think John, who did they really kill? And did they think about me, you, our family when they made that decision?

I died that day John, when your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people they signed my death certificate. I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again. But that ship has sailed. I guess all in all I wish I wasn't American." 

As for this speech, all that falls to be discussed is whether Foley meant what he said or whether he was forced to say what he did.

To me, it reads as authentic and eloquent, and the words of an educated man trained in the use of words, such as a journalist. The jihadists probably don't have it in them to write elegant sentences in English, I wouldn't have thought.

If he knew he was going to be executed anyway, he would have said "Nuke these bastards and avenge me!" as a Neoconning American might be wont to do. He had nothing to lose anyway, did he, after he knew he was going to lose his head? But he said his words with conviction and clarity and even inserted the personal message to his brother.  

Perhaps he was eventually persuaded of the wrongness of US foreign policy and had the generosity of spirit to acknowledge that even as he knew he would be executed in place of those who formulated US foreign policy and implemented it in its complacency and criminality. If so, that was mighty big of him and his parents have every right to be proud. 

What if repeated viewing of his speech to establish for ourselves whether he was forced to say what he said were criminalised too? (The Guardian has already censored it, and even The Mail did not quote it in its entirety, as you can see at Then we would be no better than Iran when it issued a fatwa for the execution of Salman Rushdie, and very soon Western civilisation as we know it will be no more.  

I think his executioners knew precisely what they were doing. Even if we catch and kill Jihad John, he and his confederates will have won this round.  

Why will no one discuss foreign policy properly? This may be something to do with the complacency Foley referred to in his speech. 

What can you do if you object to UK foreign policy when all the parties who have seats in Parliament support the foreign policy in question?

Does even UKIP who challenges this political cartel offer a different foreign policy? Nope.

Can it be that only the BNP - Britain's fifth largest party who are infamous for their plebeian xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia - has the non-aggressive foreign policy that Muslim's objecting to current UK foreign policy would approve of? It would appear so.

British foreign policy can be summed up as follows: cause a situation where the sale of British armaments is made to willing buyers after they have had their countries destabilised by the Western media and NGOs.

Is this not a state-sponsored criminal enterprise? Perhaps the government and its supporters did not realise this, but this is how it is perceived to be by the rest of the world.

And Foley was a member of this Western media.

Are Muslims expected to vote BNP then, when they are known to be rabid Islamophobes? Isn't that expecting a bit much of Muslims? Perhaps a few of them do, but that does not mean that that party of racist plebs will ever garner enough votes to hold the balance of power, does it?

If no protest except violent protest will move anyone in government away from their complacent and criminal foreign policy, what are those who protest against it supposed to do? Turn the page and forget all about it? This is OK if you are a mere liberal, but what if you are Muslim and burn with rage at these injustices committed against the ummah? What if they prefer not to have a drink or switch on the TV or view some porn to take their mind off things? Surely it is a bit insulting to suggest that they should do what a liberal is expected to do?

How do you fight against state-sponsored criminal enterprise that is armed to the teeth, except by violence, especially when they will not listen and will not pause to examine their actions honestly even after so many acts of terrorism and suicide bombings?

Which politician have you heard of is discussing this thing called an ethical foreign policy? Did the idea die with Robin Cook?

If UK foreign policy is not ethical then it is unethical. Indeed, it may even be criminal. If our government is committing crimes in our name, then we must expect some form of retaliation by those aggrieved by the policies that we should be able to tell our government to cease and desist, if we truly lived in a democracy governed well.

Did you know you can more or less predict Western foreign policy just by reading Jane's Defence Weekly?

How many of you will be voting for a political party based on its foreign policy in the 2015 General Election?

No comments: