Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “Afghanistan”

The European Migration Crisis

It’s not often I agree with David Cameron, in fact this is probably the only time I have but he is right not to take immigrants from the masses pouring into Eastern Europe and mainly into Germany. He is correct when he says this will only encourage even more to attempt entry into the European Union, much better to take them from the overcrowded refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. I part company with him on the pathetic number he suggests we take in.

There many videos shown, from differing sources and differing locations of ‘refugees’ climbing into overfull trains in Croatia, Hungary, running at speed over border crossings including thousands chancing their lives and luck at Calais climbing under and into lorries heading for the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34307014

These are not desperate families fleeing for their lives but fit, almost exclusively, young men, in their twenties or early thirties that any reasonable person would conclude to be economic migrants. I am not for one moment suggesting that there are no genuine refugees, far from it, there is a terrible situation in the Middle East and North Africa and we must do all that we can to assist and no one in real need must ever be turned away.

The crisis is indeed a huge problem and it is for huge problems that we have politicians, smaller ones we can sort out ourselves, joint multi national decisions are needed here. Most problems can be reduced by discerning what the real problem is and it is obvious that many people are, for understandable reasons, jumping on this particular bandwagon of gaining entry to Europe on the backs of genuine asylum seekers and they should be weeded out in rapid time and sent back to wherever they came from, thus reducing the problem perhaps to manageable proportions.  It can’t be that hard to organise teams of interpreters and interviewers to quickly come to a decision in most cases, appeals could be allowed but heard within 24 hours after which transport arranged and return within another 24 hours. Their return would also act as a deterrent to others tempted to make the journey.

After this it is for Europe, the UK in particular along with the USA who is sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, to come up with humanitarian solutions to the mess they themselves created. In addition they might start to listen a bit more often to Russia who warned of this very catastrophe some years ago instead of trying blame everything on to them to take our minds off what is really happening.

Migrants – Asylum Seekers – Some Thoughts

You would have to be a machine or completely heartless not to be moved by the photo of the drowned little boy, Aylan, lying on a beach and a couple of people have asked me what I think about the horrendous situation taking place in the Middle East and in Europe.

Aylan Petitions are springing up like daisies asking Cameron and the Government to open our borders and take in thousands of these unfortunate people. So far, although being a weak prime minister he will probably do a U turn, Cameron is resisting and spouting on about how our Navy is in the Mediterranean to save people from the sea and how our foreign aid is helping in the middle east and north Africa. Quite true of course but picking people up and dumping them in Italy doesn’t seem at all neighbourly.

It’s perfectly natural, if you’re anything like a decent human being, to want to take them all in, to provide the means of a life free from fear of death, mutilation or rape, to build a life in a reasonably democratic country like ours (UK). It is, though, I feel, also essential for not only any refugees that we take in but for ourselves and the future of our nation that we stand back a little and consider the implications before we act in haste only to regret later.

Many of the people pouring into Europe are not refugees or asylum seekers but economic migrants seeking employment such as those risking life or limb climbing under lorries at Calais and this is understandable. The UK already has huge numbers of non EU immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Sub-continent. Many have integrated, built businesses and contribute to the economic wealth of the nation; many have not.

Differing cultures add to and benefit us all add to our enjoyment and increase understanding between peoples but only up to a point, a tipping point. There are towns here already that are culturally non British, where the once indigenous Briton now feels uncomfortable at best or unwelcome to say the least. Mosques are springing up replacing the Christian based communities. Admittedly I’m an atheist and would like a fully secular society but in the meantime I would like to hear church bells not an Imam crying out a call to prayer from a minaret.

The distressing scenes being played out emanating from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Libya are in part at least caused by Blair, Bush and Cameron and so we do bear most of the blame and with it some responsibility for the result. There has been a suggestion that each council in the land could take in one refugee family which would mean 10,000 asylum seekers allowed in and I think this would be a good and fair idea particularly as being spread out they would hopefully integrate rather than grouping together and forming little enclaves of their past. I feel this is the maximum we could assimilate particularly as immigration seems to be almost out of control with over a quarter of a million being added to our population each year.

As well as this Europe (EU) needs to get a grip and provide refugee centres in the inwardly affected countries then send back without delay any economic migrants. The UN and EU countries must pressure the middle eastern governments to take in these desperate people, after all they have similar religions and way of life as well as climate. It should be remembered that the UK is more crowded than India. The USA has vast areas of land so why should it too not take in refugees given that it bears huge responsibility for much of the mess in this world?

Another Mistake in the Making?

Attacking Iraq (twice) was a mistake, attacking Libya was a mistake and gave rise to IS, ISIL, Daesh, whatever you want to call the power hungry, heinous, murdering hordes that are rampaging in the Middle East and giving rise to deluded religious fanatics in Europe and elsewhere.

The US and UK are engaged in air strikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq in the US case and currently only in Iraq by the UK. The UK government is about to consider expanding strikes into Syria also. Another mistake? I think so. Attack by air can never defeat these thugs and more importantly thousands of innocent people will be killed in the process giving rise to even more hatred of the West and so becoming a recruiting sergeant for more terrorists. There is an argument that troops on the ground is the only way to defeat them but as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can defeat a nation and impose a new government under the guise of a flawed democracy but you cannot impose peace. Thousands of bombs have been dropped in the last year and yet ISIL is unmoved and the lack of western triumphalist videos and news reports rather make the case for me.

So if air strikes can’t ‘win’ and using western troops on the ground is politically unacceptable to the electorate, as is the case at present, what should the West do? This is always the question asked but never the question “Should we do anything?” We first have to accept the fact that the West is Capitalist and Capitalism cares nothing about the suffering of people and only has an interest in money. Having accepted that point we can move on and see that the death and destruction wreaked upon the Middle East was not to free a people from Saddam Hussein or the Taliban but to ensure reliable cheap oil supplies from Iraq and the hope of building an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. The result as we can see has been utter chaos; we may be getting cheap oil by way of repayment of Iraqi debt (incurred by the war) but the pipeline is still too risky a project and ISIL has been born and is a bigger threat to Capitalist hopes than before.

As I said and history has shown, peace in the region cannot be forced by western arms so just suppose we pulled right out and indeed did nothing. Middle Eastern nations are awash with wealth and stocked to the skies with armaments, supplied by us of course. Leave them all to get on with it and maybe, just maybe, the two wings of Islam might cease their squabbling and co-operate against the common threat of ISIL and with the excuse of Western infidels removed it would focus their minds. We may have to cut down a little on oil imports which is no bad thing but the Arab need and greed for cash would ensure it kept flowing. In addition by removing ourselves as a perceived threat to the region and also to Islam we would vastly lower or remove the risk of terrorist attacks in our own cities. We would of course, be morally bound not to supply arms to any other nation and perhaps there is the rub. Arms sales equals deaths equals Capitalist profits.

Very Strange

A huge row has erupted today over a YouTube video that appears to show four US Marines urinating on the bodies of several dead Afghanis or Taliban. An investigation has been instigated and threats of prosecutions and even imprisonment if this video is genuine and leads to the identification of those involved.

Now, any decent person would find this act utterly appalling and disgusting but that said it is hardly surprising and in some respects understandable. In order to fight effectively soldiers must be trained and encouraged to ‘de-humanise’ their enemy, to think of them as less than animals, so with such a mindset pissing on their dead bodies wouldn’t seem, to the soldiers, as the abhorrent act that it would and does to us.

What is strange though to my mind is, that it is ordered, approved and applauded for the military to riddle the enemy with bullets, to throw grenades at him and blow his body into little pieces or to drop bombs on a village killing or maiming the innocent as well as the enemy and ultimately to drop a nuclear device over a city and kill millions.

Let’s stop the killing first and then there’ll be no bodies to urinate on.

Afghanistan Casualties

It was bad enough before but the ever rising number of our troops seriously injured in Afghanistan has now reached such a horrendous pitch that our hospitals are under great pressure to cope.

The rising number of soldiers killed, three this week so far, is terrible enough and rightly deserve the, albeit somewhat muted, publicity but we hear very little about the mutilated and crippled, the blinded and the brain damaged. Not surprising that injury statistics are shrouded in mystery otherwise perhaps, just perhaps, the nation as whole might re-discover it’s spine and demand an end to this horror.

This invasion is unwinnable, will make no difference to our security and the cost in financial terms runs into tens of millions of Pounds that we cannot afford.

Helicopters

Lots of media hype going on about a shortage of helicopters in Afghamistan for our troops and naturally the Tory opposition is squeezing all that it can from the situation.

Just one thought for this blog though. In Vietnam the US had so many helicopters buzzing around the sky that they had to queue up to land. They still lost thousands of men and in addition they also lost the war.

Military Families to Sue MoD…..Why?

Four families of servicemen killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan by roadside bombs whilst in ‘Snatch’ Land Rovers are suing the MoD for compensation.

_45947434_comp226_modCome on! If you join the armed forces you do so knowing that there is a risk of injury, disablement or even death, it’s not all mountaineering, skiing and piss ups with your mates.

I feel very sorry indeed for the loss that these families must feel and even more sorry for the young men who died but no amount of money (even if they win the case which I doubt) will make up for it.

Public Anger

The public are rightly outraged and angry over the subject of MP’s expenses and perhaps we could do with some more anger.

If only the public would show more anger then perhaps we might get some worthwhile changes. Like anger over our young soldiers dying in a futile invasion of Afghanistan; like wasting billions on nuclear weapons, submarines and aircraft carriers; like billions more on ID cards and intercepting all our ‘phone calls and emails. Like refusing to allow the imposition of Unitary Authorities when the people, on the rare occasions they have even been asked, give a resounding no. Let’s get angry about the unaccountable House of Lords and yes, let’s get angry about that bastion of anti-democracy, the Royal family.

If this current anger over expenses helps to make voters take note of politics and realise that power really does lie with the people but that we have to fight to keep it, every inch of the way, or risk losing it altogether, then it will turn out to have been a good thing.

More Military Deaths For What?

Four young UK soldiers die in Afghanistan in one day and the total rises to 157. Speaking of one of the men, Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette said he  had made the “ultimate sacrifice to bring hope and peace to the people of Afghanistan”. It’s time the lying stopped!

This soldier didn’t die ‘to bring hope and peace to the people of Afghanistan’ he died because he was ordered there to fight by his officers who in turn obeyed the Government who are acting on behalf of the City of London. Not one politician has even tried to explain the nonsense they speak, about terrorism being rampant in the UK if we didn’t fight in Afghanistan because it’s obvious rubbish. Plans for terrorism in the UK are more likely to be made here not in Afghanistan and even if the impossible were to happen and that country was completely under the control of the West then plans would be made in Pakistan, Somalia, the USA, anywhere at all.

So why fight the unwinable war there? Energy! Plans exist to build huge pipelines for oil and gas right across Afghanistan but cannot be laid if the Taliban are going to blow them up on a regular basis.

Our politicians tell us these lies and treat us like fools and you know what, most of us swallow them while our young men die for them. Wake up UK, enough is enough.

The Budget

There can be little doubt that the Government should have seen the crash in the banking system and the housing market along with the approaching recession long ago. That though is now history and yesterdays budget was probably about the best that could be done in the circumstances.

There does seem to be however, a failure of government to recognise fully the seriousness of the situation and therefore a failure to make savings where they could easily be made and a failure to look at the bigger picture. For example, they could have cancelled the ridiculous I.D. Card scheme which is estimated to have a price tag of £15billion. This nation does not need two gigantic aircraft carriers at a current estimate of £6billion and defence estimates usually double by their completion. Equally we do not need to replace Trident nuclear submarines at even more billions of Pounds. We do not need either, to be fighting a futile war in Afghanistan at vast cost in cash and lives.

Virtually every household in the UK will be looking at where savings can be made and Government should do nothing less.

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