Thursday, 25 September 2014

BBC Radio 4 Today news values: why talk about Western foreign policy as the UK prepares to bomb Iraq again when you can talk about hip hop?

"Hello there.  I am the British citizen abandoned by my government and a long-term prisoner of the Islamic State.

In this program, we’ll see how the Western governments are hastily marching towards all-out war in Iraq and Syria without paying any heed to the lessons of the recent past, and how they are using the persuasive approach to lure the public back into the conflict.

So, let’s get straight to the point with a quote from former- C.I.A.-chief-turned-vigorous anti- intervention-campaigner Michael Scheuer: ‘President Obama does not have the slightest intention of defeating the Islamic State, which would require the aerial slaughter and boots in on the ground and the demolishing of the mujahedin' - Michael Scheur whose knowledge of the Muslim Nation and the complexity of their society is considerable adds "18 years into our war with the Islamists our government has given no public sign that it has the slightest awareness of what its enemies are fighting for.

Now, there are two solid points here.

The Obama Administration is so perplexed as they marched back into Iraq that they tap-dancing on the issue in a "we're getting involved but we're not really getting involved" kind of way.  You know, air strikes but no troops on the ground, limited operation time, no mission creep, all those pre-combat agreements that tend to get forgotten after the first six months of nasty tough stuff.
The pre-9/11 Afghans are already back in control of large areas of Afghanistan while the full might of the American war machine couldn't destroy the Islamic State in Iraq before.

So, now the State is far stronger now than ever it was.

What is this latest ill-advised foray really supposed to achieve? And Scheur's point is aptly made. As ever, the entire reason why we are at war with the Islamists and what they are fighting for is brilliantly avoided by all.

Senior US politicians seem content to call the Islamic State nasty names: "awful", "vile", "a cancer", "an insult to our values", but such petty insults don't really do much harm to the most powerful jihadist movement seen in recent history. That the Western governments were caught napping by the sheer speed of the Islamic State growth is now a given.  "Intelligence officers failed to anticipate the emergence of the Islamic State", says Tom Kean, the former New Jersey Governor.  "We certainly didn't anticipate them going across the border into Iraq and declaring themselves a Caliphate."

Obama and his allies were well and truly caught by surprise.  [Photos of Obama and his allies being caught by surprise.]

The President once called George Bush's Iraq conflict "a dumb war" and couldn't want to distance America from it when he came into power.  Now he is being inexorably drawn back in. But he is at pains to point out that this not the equivalent of the Iraq War.  In fact, it is far more complicated and prone to failure.  There is a newly-elected pro-American Iranian regime in Iran. They wait eagerly for further American intervention to strengthen the Iranian Crescent in the Middle East.
But the appointment of a new puppet is an important piece of the puzzle in America's Gulf War Free[?] as it allows them to get involved quickly via a proxy.  Iraq's leaders should know that "America will stand shoulder to shoulder with Iraqis as they implement their National Plan", gushed John Kerry on the 9th of September - meaning our National Plan to tackle the Islamic State.  Everyone now is getting involved.  Denmark and France have sent air power. Britain is arming the Kurds. Iran is sending troops. Contracts are being sought in Iraq and even Bashar Al Assad until earlier this year - the most hated and villainised tyrant in the Arab world - is being approached for permission to enter Syria.

"Can the Islamic State be defeated without addressing that part of their organisation that resides in Syria?" asked General Martin Dempsey.

The answer is NO.

It's all quite a circus - air strikes, the creation of last-minute puppet governments, advisory teams of the ground, wooing previous enemies to join in and trans-border incursions into a country that has been in a state of civil war for three years - all the while completely underestimating the strength and fighting zeal of the opponent. Not since Vietnam have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making.

Current estimates of 15,000 troops needed to fight the Islamic State are laughably low. The State has more mujahideen than this. This is not some undisciplined outfit with a few Kalashnikovs.

We started with Michael Scheuer, so let us give him the final word for now: "Think what you will of the Islamists and their brand of war-making," he says, "but they have been in the field fighting since 1979 and their movement has never been larger, more popular or as well-armed as it is today.

Join me again for the next programme."

Do you find much to disagree with here?


Is this why the Western media are making a point of NOT discussing or analysing it at all? And also why YouTube removed this video for allegedly violating its terms of service?

Does essentially affirm what John Cantlie says?

(These are really hints and tips to journalists interviewing politicians on this question, particularly John Humphrys, James Naughtie of the Crushing Handshake and Justin Webb unless they are FORBIDDEN from asking these questions or else be sacked.)


War in the last 100 years or so...

1912 - 1913: Balkan wars (150 000)
1915 - 1923: Ottoman Empire Genocides (2 300 000)
1914 - 1918: World War I (20 000 000)
1916: Kyrgyz revolt against Russia (120 000)
1917 - 1921: Russian Revolution (5 000 000)
1917 - 1919: Greco Turkish War (45 000)
1919 - 1921: Russo-Polish War (27 000)
1928 - 1937: Chinese Civil War (2 000 000)
1931: Manchurian War (1 100 000)
1932 - 1933: Russo-Ukrainian War (10 000 000)
1932 - 1935: "Guerra del Chaco" (Bolivia / Paraguay) (117 500)
1934: Mao's "Long March" (170 000)
1936: Ethiopian War (200 000)
1936 - 1937: Stalin's purges (13 000 000)
1936 - 1939: Spanish Civil War (600 000)
1937 - 1945: Sino-Japanese War (500 000)
1939 - 1945: World War II (Including The Holocaust) (52 000 000)
1946 - 1949: Chinese Civil War (1 200 000)
1946 - 1949: Greek Civil War (50 000)
1946 - 1954: Indochina war (600 000)
1947: Indian Partition (1 000 000)
1947: Taiwan's War of Independence (30 000)
1948 - 1958: Colombian Civil War (250 000)
1948 - 1973: Arab - Israeli wars (70 000)
1949: Indian Civil War (Muslims / Hindus) (20 000)
1949 - 1950: Chinese Invasion of Tibet (1 200 000)
1950 - 1953: Korean war (3 000 000)
1952 - 1959: Mau Mau Insurrection in Kenya (20 000)
1954 - 1962: Algerian War of Independence (368 000)
1958 - 1961: Mao's "Great Leap Forward" (38 000 000)
1960 - 1990: South African Social Violence (21 000)
1960 - 1996: Guatemalan Civil War (200 000)
1961 - 2003: Iraqi Suppression of Kurdish Separatists and related Terrorism (180 000)
1962 - 1975: Mozambique War of Independence (10 000)
1962 - 1975: Angolan War of Independence (50 000)
1964 - 1973: Vietnam War (3 000 000)
1965: Kashmir War (6 800)
1965 - 1966: Indonesian Civil War (250 000)
1966 - 1969: Chinese Cultural Revolution (11 000 000)
1966: Colombian Civil War (31 000)
1967 - 1970: Biafran War (800 000)
1969: Philippine Civil War - Communists (40 000)
1969 - 1979: Idi Amin's Supppression of Uganda (300 000)
1969 - 2002: Northern Ireland Civil War and related Terrorism (2 000)
1969 - 1979: Equatorial Guinea Civil War (50 000)
1971: Bangladesh War of Independence (500 000)
1972: Philippine Civil War - Moslems (150 000)
1972: Burundi Civil War (300,000)
1972 - 1979: Zimbabwe-Rhodesia War (30 000)
1974 - 1991: Ethiopian Civil War (1 500 000)
1975 - 1979: Khmer Rouge Repression in Cambodia (1 700 000)
1975 - 1990: Lebanese Civil War (40 000)
1975 - 1987: Laos Civil War (184 000)
1975 - 2002: Angolan Civil War (500 000)
1976 - 1993: Mozambique Civil War (900 000)
1976 - 1998: Indonesian Suppression of Timorese Separatists (600 000)
1976 - 2005: Indonesian Suppression of Aceh Separatists (12 000)
1977 - 1992: El Salvador Civil War (75 000)
1979: Sino-Vietnam War (30 000)
1979 - 1988: Soviet invasion / occupation of Afghanistan (1 300 000)
1980 - 1988: Iraq-Iran War (1 000 000)
1980 - 1992: Peruvian Civil War (69 000)
1984 - Present: Turkish Suppression of Kurdish Separatists and related Terrorism (35 000+)
1981 - 1990: Nicaraguan War with the Contras (60 000)
1982 - 1990: Chad Civil War (40 000)
1983 - Present: Sri Lankan Civil War (70 000)
1983 - 2002: Sudanese Civil War (2 000 000)
1986: Indian Kashmir War (60 000)
1987 - Present: Palestinian Intifada (8,500+)
1988 - 2001: Afghanistan Civil War (400 000)
1988 - 2004: Somalian Civil War (550 000)
1989: Liberian Civil War (220 000)
1989: Ugandan Civil War (30 000)
1991: Gulf War I (85 000)
1991 - 97: Congolese Civil War (800 000)
1991 - 2000: Sierra Leonian Civil War (200 000)
1991 - Present: Russian Suppression of Chechnyan Separatists and related Terrorism (200 000+)
1991 - 1994: Armenia / Azerbaijan war (35 000)
1992 - 1996: Tajikistan Civil War (50 000)
1992 - 1996: Yugoslavian Civil Wars (260 000)
1992 - 1999: Algerian Civil War (150 000)
1993 - 2005: Burundi Civil War (200,000)
1994: Rwandan Civil War (900 000)
1995: Maoist Uprising in Nepal (12 000)
1998 - Present: Wars between Congo / Zaire / Rwanda / Uganda / Zimbabwe / Angola / Namibia (3 800 000+)
1998 - 2000: Eritrean War of Independence (75 000)
1996 - 2008: Kosovar War of Independence (2 000)
2001: USA / UN invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (40 000)
2002: Ivory Coast Civil War (1 000)
2003 - Present: Iraq War and Ongoing Iraqi Civil War (160 000+)
2004 - Present: Thai Civil War with Muslim separatists and related Terrorism (3 700+)

NB: This list is not exhaustive, and many of these figures are contested, and/or estimates which are most likely too low.

If somebody would like to do a similar count of victims of ''terrorism'' we could compare?

Questions for Muslims who have condemned terrorism

Which is better?

(a) To be a terrorist in a just cause
(b) To be a soldier in an unjust war

In answering this question, bear in mind the following points:

  • History is written by the victors. 
  • Might is right.
  • Terrorism is a poor man's war.
  • A terrorist fights for a cause he believes in.
  • A soldier fights whatever the state tells him to do without ever being expected to consider the rights and wrongs of it.
  • Most people don't care about foreign policy, not even when it bites them in the bum in the form of terrorism. Even now THEY STILL DON'T.
  • More people get killed in wars than are killed by terrorism.  
  • Terrorism can easily be fixed by altering your foreign policy.

"Being a terrorist is worse than being a soldier." Agree/Disagree

"Being a soldier is worse than being a terrorist." Agree/Disagree

"If there are just wars, then there must be just acts of terrorism." Agree/Disagree

Muslims living in the West who are condemning terrorism are only condemning terrorism in the hope of escaping the wrath and hatred of Islamophobes. ISIS will ignore their condemnations because they already know that these moderate and peaceful Muslims only do so for self-serving reasons. As for the Islamophobes, they will neither believe them or nor be reassured.

If I were a Muslim leader, I would tell all Muslims and non-Muslims with an interest in foreign policy and who think Western foreign policy is immoral and criminal to join me in REFUSING TO CONDEMN TERRORISM as a PEACEFUL PROTEST against the government bombing people and committing atrocities in the name of the voters. Then the Islamophobes - who also hate the war - might like Muslims a little more for rendering them this useful service.

If you were a Muslim terrorist, what would your view be about the effectiveness of the acts of terrorism committed thus far in changing Western foreign policy?

(a) Too few acts of terrorism have been committed.

(b) Too many acts of terrorism have been committed.

(c) Just the right amount of terrorism has been committed.

Below are the three possible positions you can have on terrorism:

1. Supporting Terrorism

Being guilty of acts that would assist terrorism or being a terrorist yourself, eg donating money to terrorist organisations, becoming a member of one, recruiting new members etc.

2. Refusing to Condemn Terrorism 

Why would anyone refuse to condemn terrorism? In order to make a point. I believe that all terrorism is the result of bad government policy, and merely condemning terrorism distracts us from condemning what we really need to condemn ie government policy

3. Condemning Terrorism

What would be the point of condemning terrorism? It would be like condemning war, or murder, or rape, robbery or theft or complaining about getting wet when it rains.

So now you know why I don't condemn terrorism.

I don't condemn it because I dislike the making of empty gestures and the saying of empty words.

I would rather discuss the government policy that caused the terrorism complained of.

Condemning terrorism is a distraction from condemning UK foreign policy

"Terrorism is pursuing your political objectives through violence, just as war is pursuing your political ends through violence. If you want to condemn all acts of terrorism, then you have to condemn all the wars in which your nation declared war on another."

"An act of terrorism is justifiable if there is no other way of making your point that would make the government address your genuine grievance." Agree/Disagree

"Terrorism is invariably the result of bad government policy." Agree/Disagree


A soldier is not expected to think about the rights and wrongs of the wars he fights while a terrorist has arrived at his position through moral reasoning, and it is not hard to guess who is more morally and politically motivated.

Do people become terrorists for fun?

Or do they become terrorists after being convinced of the futility of effecting change by non-violent methods, when they realise that the political process is there only to act as a distraction for those foolish enough to believe that it might work?

Is our political process just occupational therapy, like basket weaving for basket cases?

If we cannot trust our government to get domestic policy right, what makes us think they will get foreign policy right when there is even less interest and oversight?

What are the consequences of getting foreign policy wrong? War and terrorism eg WW1, WW2, 9/11, 7/7

What are the consequences of getting both foreign and domestic policy wrong? Revolution and terrorism eg Weimar Republic

As for who is better, I suppose only God will know, so we better hope He exists. If not, history will be written by the victor, yet again.

There is no point being weakly good, because in real life and in realpolitik, might is always right, and because the weakly good, the morally compromised, the effeminate and emasculated will always stand aside and say nothing in the triumphant face of evil.


The West has been able to get away with its militarily aggressive foreign policy because voters don't care who their government attacks and all the mainstream political parties have the same foreign policy of military aggression, and even UKIP has a Friends of Israel.

Do Haliburton have shares in ISIS? Do ISIS have shares in Haliburton?

"The world would be a more peaceful place if NATO countries were required to conduct a referendum before going to war." Agree/Disagree

Is NATO an aggressive alliance or a defensive one?

Does the West have a rational foreign policy?

Can Western foreign policy be predicted by Western arms sales?

Do you know a single voter who votes for or against a political party on the basis of its FOREIGN POLICY? No, these voters would be too busy trying to work out which bribe to accept. The reason why the West has an insane and aggressive foreign policy is because the voters don't care who their governments bomb and kill as long as its not them.


Should MPs have a free vote when voting for or against military strikes in Iraq? If not, why not?

"Democracy is the tyranny of people who don't know and don't care about foreign policy." Agree/Disagree

The reason why the West has been able to get away with its dishonourable and criminal foreign policy of military aggression badly disguised as humanitarian liberal intervention is because most voters would not dream of voting for a political party on the basis of its foreign policy because they are too busy working out which bribes to accept from the political party of their choice in a general election, and general elections are really no more than politicians pandering to the vices of the electorate. If people cared at all the BNP would be in power, for they are the only party who have unambiguously protested against UK foreign policy.

But don't care was made to care.

Don't care didn't care,
Don't care was wild:
Don't care stole plum and pear
Like any beggar's child.
Don't care was made to care,
Don't care was hung:
Don't care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done.

Should Anjem Choudary join the BNP because it is the only party that is against UK foreign policy?

Are Muslim terrorists more rational than liberals and BNP supporters?

How the end the problem of terrorism without violence and turn it into a politics show for TV

Do you know a single voter who votes for or against a political party on the basis of its FOREIGN POLICY? No, these voters would be too busy trying to work out which bribe to accept. The reason why the West has an insane and aggressive foreign policy is because the voters don't care who their governments bomb and kill as long as it is not them.

The Koran only allows defensive wars. Therefore the world would be a more peaceful place if it were governed by Koranic principles. A referendum should be conducted before any country is allowed to go to war. At the very least MPs should have a free vote on this.


Is the foreign policy of NATO members in the national interest of its participating nations?

The West has been able to get away with its militarily aggressive foreign policy because voters don't care who their government attacks and all the mainstream political parties have the same foreign policy of military aggression, and even UKIP is a Friend of Israel.


Is Neoconservatism Liberal Interventionism? Is Liberal Interventionism the same as Liberal Internationalism? Are these euphemisms for naked military aggression? Is this what all representative democracies in fact practise?

Is Western foreign policy operated by the apathy of those who don't know and don't care about foreign policy?

If Western foreign policy - which is criminal and dishonourable - suffered to remain unchanged because of the apathy of voters and because their political process does not in fact allow them to express their real preference except through voting for a party that is vilified and its members considered the lowest of the low, then is not its entire premise immoral and evil?

Are general elections nothing more than corrupt and incompetent politicians pandering to the vices of their uncomprehending and indifferent electorate?

No surprise then that the victims of Western foreign policy don't want any more of it.

They don't want to have to endure what poor John Humphrys had to endure to either.

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