Posts Tagged ‘Hizbollah’

Vox Political Attacks Islamophobic Survey in The Sun

November 23, 2015

Murdoch’s leading populist paper has been living down to its reputation again. It’s published the results of a survey, which it claims shows that 20 per cent of British Muslims support ISIS.

This is nonsense, and highly dangerous, malicious nonsense at that. Mike’s written an excellent article taking the survey apart at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/11/23/no-one-in-five-british-muslims-do-not-support-isis/. The article shows how the questions are too vague for anyone to draw that conclusion. It appears that the survey asked people whether they sympathised with Muslims fighting in the Middle East.

Mike rightly points out that you can sympathise with someone, without approving of what they’re doing. General De Gaul famously said that he understood why the Algerians were fighting for their independence. In that sense, he sympathised with them, and many patriotic Algerians thought that meant that he would end the war and negotiate a peace. But he didn’t, he carried on fighting until Algeria was lost completely.

Furthermore, the Middle East is now a cockpit of groups, sects and nations, all fighting each other. ISIS are merely one, albeit the nastiest. Sympathy for those fighting in the Middle East can mean sympathy for ISIS and other Salafist groups, like al-Qaeda. Or it could mean sympathy for those fighting for their homelands against ISIS, like Hamas, Hizbollah, the Shi’ah in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or the Kurds. There have been reports on the news of western blokes, who have gone to fight against ISIS and the like in the Middle East. One of these was a Kurd; another was a White guy, who was horrified at ISIS’ butchery. Now most of ISIS’ victims are Muslims, and I’d say that it was highly likely this fellow had Muslim friends. If he has, then they presumably would respond that they sympathised with someone fighting in the Middle East. This would not, however, mean that they supported ISIS: quite the opposite. They would sympathise with someone who was actively fighting ISIS.

The Long History of Racism at the Sun

Now let’s put this into some kind of perspective. Unfortunately, it’s just about proverbial that the Sun is a nasty, vile racist rag. It’s got a long, long history of complaints about racism, including judgement against it from the Press Complaints Commission. This includes not just Blacks, but also Arabs. A decade or so ago, they ran a cartoon with the caption that ‘even pigs are complaining about being compared to Arabs’. That got them prosecuted by the Commission and an entry in Private Eye, which noted the number of complaints of racism against the paper that have been upheld. It was something like 25, and that, as I said, was nearly a decade ago.

And this is not casual racism either. The hatred being peddled here is part of a carefully crafted, political strategy to produce a Conservative consensus. It looks like the old Neo-Con trick of finding an enemy, who can be presented as the enemy of the West and so produce social solidarity at home. And in the case of the Neo-Cons, this was first the USSR and Communism, and now Islam, according to the Huntingdon thesis of the clash of civilisations.

It’s the old Nazi strategy of finding an outgroup you can demonise, in order to gain maximum approval for your party and their plans for social cleansing. Last week, Zelo Street put up an article attacking some of the columnists over at the Telegraph blogs for criticising Corbyn for not being sufficiently bloodthirsty over the death of ‘Jihadi John’. These included the usual right-winger, including Mark Steyn. Steyn is almost quintessentially Neo-Con. He is bitterly critical of Islam, and pushes the ‘Eurabia’ nonsense. This forecasts that in a few decades, Europe will be overrun by Muslims, with the indigenous, non-Muslim population pushed into ghettos. He is also extremely right-wing in his domestic policies, a true low-taxation, small-government Conservative, who has consistently advocated cutting tax and welfare in order to lower the budget deficit.

To my mind, this is pretty much the same direction the Sun’s article today is coming from. And it’s not just nasty, it’s actively dangerous. Mike points out in his article that attacks on Muslims has escalated by about 300 per cent since the Paris attacks. Most of these assaults have been on women and girls wearing traditional Islamic clothing.

That would be bad enough, but it becomes even more chilling when you consider the horrifying anti-Muslim policies now being mouthed by Donald Trump. Trump has apparently decided that he wants all Muslims to be registered and carry some form of identification.

And you’re right. This is exactly like the Jews – and other political, racial and religious groups in Nazi Germany. Somebody from NBC asked Trump this exact question – how did his policy differ from that of the Nazis?

And chillingly, Trump didn’t have an answer. He just kept on repeating, ‘You tell me. You tell me.’

This bigot is the Republican front-runner.

And this is how Nazism started. Not by overtly persecuting the Jews, but by beginning the discrimination quietly. And when they were taken to the extermination camps, the German people were told that they were being ‘resettled in the east’.

And just as the Nazis did that to the Jews, so they rounded up their political opponents, and forced them to wear identifying badges. Communists, trade unionists, Socialists, Liberals, even Conservative non-Nazis, like Conrad Adenauer, who became post-War Germany’s first president, were ‘taken into protective custody’, as the pretext went. The Nazis claimed they weren’t persecuting them, but taking them under arrest for their own protection.

This is terrifying stuff. I hope Trump doesn’t get in, or if he does, that the vast majority of decent Americans won’t stand for that nonsense and block it. But if he did, I can’t see Cameron or Osbo doing anything but copying it over here. Of course, at first it’ll be entirely voluntary, you know, for the Muslims’ own protection.

I don’t know whether the Sun wants Muslim to be compulsorily registered. It might be too much for them, but considering how frothingly extreme they’ve always been, I wouldn’t put it past them.

This is a nasty, dangerous, disgusting piece of hate, and the Scum should be properly vilified for it.

The Young Turks on the Amphetamines Used by Fighters in Syria

November 23, 2015

A few days ago I posted about the report on the atheist news programme, Secular Talk, about the use of amphetamines by ISIS to keep their troops awake and fighting. The report originally came from one of the mainstream news agencies, based on statements made by ISIS’ opponents in Hizbollah. The Lebanese ‘Party of God’ stated that when they fought ISIS, the fearless warriors for the caliphate turned tail and ran. Later, when Hizbollah took their HQ, they found stacks of amphetamines used to strengthen the fighters’ resolve to maim and butcher for their sick theology.

I suggested in my post that, while the story is not incredible, it might be wise to take it with a pinch of salt. Hizbollah are also a militant Islamist group, who have shown themselves perfectly capable of using propaganda themselves. This might be more of it.

It seems in this respect, I was wrong and a bit too cautious. The drug certainly exists, and was the subject of an article by the Groaniad. The Young Turks discuss the Groan’s report in this video, describing the drug’s effects and the way it has been exported to other nations in the Middle East outside of Syria. The drug is Captagon. It’s a powerful amphetamine-based stimulant that keeps those on it up and awake for days. It makes them feel immensely powerful. They don’t feel they need to eat, and numbs them so they can carry on fighting.

It is highly addictive, and long term use results in psychosis and brain damage. Most of the victims of the drug aren’t in Syria, however, but elsewhere in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where about 50,000 people a year go into rehab addicted to it.

The report states that it’s used by the fighters in Syria, and does not mention it as being exclusively used by ISIS. The impression is that everyone involved in the fighting’s using it.

Warning: Like a lot of people, The Young Turks are in favour of the legalisation of cannabis, and their pro-weed views come across in this report. I know a lot of people enjoy a toke, but it is an illegal drug and there is some medical evidence to suggest that it too can cause brain damage.

That caveat aside, the Turks make it extremely clear that they certainly do not endorse this drug, and warn people about how nasty it is. They aren’t clear on how available it is in the US, and on that score wonder how necessary their warnings about it are.

Regardless of its availability, it’s clear that this is an extremely unpleasant drug, not just for its addictive and medically harmful qualities, but for its effect fuelling the bloodshed in that region. The various groups using it are being funded partly through sales abroad of the drug.

Here’s the video.

My guess is that, sooner or later, this muck’s going to find its way onto the streets of the West. The Americans partly kept their allies in the Vietnam War and the Contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua going through getting the CIA to arrange to sell the drugs produced by them in the Land of the Free. In Vietnam, this was heroin. The Contras produced cocaine. And thanks to our invasion of Afghanistan, opium production there has also skyrocketed. This rubbish will probably end up here, to blight further of the poor and disadvantaged, while giving big profits to the butchers producing it.

Lobster on Maggie’s Arms to Iraq

October 4, 2013

In previous blog posts on the activities of the CIA in South America, such as on Alan Moore’s strip ‘Shadowplay’ in the graphic novel anthology, Brought to Light, I mentioned the way Reagan supplied guns and armaments to the Contras in Nicaragua, and Hizbollah and Iran in the Iran-Contra affair. America also broke the arms embargo and secretly supplied Saddam Hussein with armaments. As did Britain, by express authorisation of Premier Thatcher. The parapolitical journal, Lobster, has an article, ‘Maggie’s Guilty Secret’, by John Hughes-Wilson, exposing how Thatcher aided the Americans secretly to supply arms to both sides during the Iran-Iraq War bin contravention of international law. He discusses how this was done through secret contracts and CIA front companies. This account of Maggie’s duplicity, and the way it was kept secret from parliament and the public eye, is at http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster66/lob66-maggies-secret.pdf.

Alan Moore on CIA Atrocities in Central America; Brought to Light

October 2, 2013

Apart from V for Vendetta, Alan Moore has also written a number of other, overtly political comic strips. Unlike V for Vendetta, these were based very much on contemporary events rather than works of fiction set in the future. One of these was the strip, ‘Shadowplay: The Secret Team’, illustrated by another great comics veteran, Bill Sienkiewicz. With two other strips, ‘Flashpoint: The La Penca Bombing’, by Joyce Brabner, Thomas Yeats and Bill Pearson, and ’30 Years of Covert War’ by another major figure in underground comics, Paul Mavrides, this was published in the anthology graphic novel, Brought to Light, edited by Joyce Brabner and published by Eclipse Comics. The graphic novel was published on behalf of the Christic Institute, and exposed the brutality and atrocities committed by the CIA and its allies in South and Central America, such as General Pinochet, Manuel Noriega in El Salvador, and the Contras in Nicaragua. ‘Flashpoint’ is more or less a straightforward narrative retelling of one particular journalist’s discovery and coverage of the massacres and mass mutilations committed by the Contras in Nicaragua. Mavride’s ’30 Years of Covert Action’ is a two-page map showing the areas around the world in which the CIA has engaged in drug trafficking, rigging elections, assassination and other crimes.

Moore’s strip, ‘Shadowplay’ was somewhat different. It was a mordantly funny satire in which the reader also features as a framing character. Leaving a cruise ship, the reader finds a drunken, cynical American Eagle drinking in a low dockside bar. Speaking in a drawl, the Eagle then proceeds to inform the reader about the American Right’s long history of covert political subversion and support for extreme Right-wing regimes. This goes at least as far back as the 1930s, when various politicians, alarmed at Roosevelt’s New Deal, began to plot a military coup. The strip then comes up to date with the CIA Iran-Contra scandal, in which Reagan’s regime supplied arms to Iran through Hisbollah, and shifted cocaine into America to support the Contras. At last the persona of the reader, sickened, leaves the bar, only find that his ship has sailed. The last image of the reader’s upraised hand towards the departing boat.

According to Wikipedia, Brought to Light was made into a spoken word audiobook on CD, narrated by Moore himself in 1998.

Here is the address for the Wikipedia entry on Brought to Light: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brought_to_Light.

Alan Moore also gave an interview about Brought to Light, as well as the Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke, and his contribution to the anti-homophobia anthology, Aawrgh on Blather. Part I is at this address:http://www.blather.net/articles/amoore/brought-to-light1.html.
Part 2 is here: http://www.blather.net/articles/amoore/brought-to-light2.html.