Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “war”

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?

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Israeli Bastards

Watch this video of United States technology given into the hands of Israeli unspeakable bastards! Check when you shop and if it says Made in Israel don’t buy it.

http://rt.com/news/172316-israel-knock-roof-video/

 

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.

Taking a break

Freethinker has got very depressed of late so is taking a break from the attacks on our feeble democracy, from the devious royals, the wars and bankers et al.

Although my hopes for a better World are fading, I’ve not given up, just having a rest.

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.

Israel’s White Phosphorous in Gaza

The last I heard from Israel was denying using white phosphorous bombs on Gaza. These disgusting weapons (aren’t they all) burn with great intensity and can only be put out by covering them and keeping them covered with sand. Should a piece of this substance strike a human being it will stick on and burn right through to the bones.  These bombs are intended to provide smoke screens on the battlefield and are illegal to use against civilians. A question was asked in the Commons yesterday about mine clearance in Gazaen schools and the Minister confirmed a report by MAG that white phosphorous bomb parts had been removed. Q.E.D.

Colin Breed (South East Cornwall, Liberal Democrat) | Hansard source

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports he has received from the Mines Advisory Group on the types of unexploded ordinance it has removed from schools in Gaza.

Douglas Alexander (Secretary of State, Department for International Development; Paisley & Renfrewshire South, Labour) | Hansard source

There are 157 UNICEF-supported schools in Gaza, and work with the Palestinian Ministry of Education identified 40 as high risk in terms of potential unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination. These schools have been visited by technicians from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG). During this clearance 40mm high explosive grenades, as well as 81mm and 120mm high explosive mortars, were removed. Remnants of exploded ordnance were also taken away, including parts of Hell Fire missiles and 155mm high explosive and white phosphorous artillery shells.

Heartening

I’m not going to bang on about the BBC’s disgraceful decision to refuse the DEC’s request to broadcast an appeal for donations to help the injured and homeless victims of war in Gaza. Nor will I comment on the Mark Thomson, Director General of the BBC, blog with his pathetic reasoning.

I will though sound the trumpets and bang the drums for the vast majority of licence fee payers who posted comments condemning the BBC stance, as well as government ministers, the Charity Commissioners and many others. Not forgetting of course Tony Benn’s brilliant interview on Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Most people do care so let’s take heart from this and who knows, maybe the appeal will generate even more cash as a result of this lamentable stance.

As an after thought I think there is a strong case for the licence fee payers to elect the BBC directors.

Israel – Rogue State

The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, with the body count now at around 850 with 265 children confirmed dead by the UN. Leaflets are dropped telling Palestinians that worse is to come so they should leave their homes and find safety. Gaza, one fifth the size of London, most of it’s borders abut Israel which has sealed them off and just a small crossing into Egypt, also closed. Just where are Palestinians supposed to hide?

This rogue State of Israel continues to ignore UN resolutions calling for a truce, with no International sanctions imposed upon it, thereby giving it a carte blanch to carry on with it’s terror. It is becoming obvious that the real aim behind this attack is to destroy much of the infrastructure of Gaza, leaving it totally devastated and even more impoverished. The expectation being that the Gazans will turn against Hamas and become compliant with every whim of Israel. I fear they will be sadly disappointed.

There is something that we can do on a practical level by supporting the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign and not buying anything with the ‘made in Israel’ bar code commencing with 729.

barcode

Knife Crime in UK

Freethinkeruk has just returned from a long weekend in Brittany France. Whilst browsing around the shops for a while, as you do, I came across a sport shop where, amazingly, almost an entire window display was taken over by knives. There were pen knives, lock knives, hunting knives, scuba diving knives, all obviously extremely well made and at reasonable prices.

Here in the UK there are laws banning the sale of certain knives and calls for a total ban are even being made along with, even weirder calls for all knives to be manufactured without a point; so hard luck if you’re a fisherman or a chef or many other legitimate users of a knife. Despite all this and various campaigns death and injuries caused by the use of a knife have increased but not as much as could be believed from the tabloid press. There is however not a dramatic increase in France where, as I said, knives can still be legally purchased over the counter.

When freethinkeruk was a young teenager (many, many years ago) nearly every boy had a knife which was most likely to be of the ‘flick knife’ design. Possession gave a mild feeling of bravado, an enjoyment in the quality, skill and design of it’s manufacture as well as being useful for carving bits of wood. It was never (or hardly ever) considered for attack or even defence when threatened and when past the age of around 16 was discarded or sold on to a younger lad.  What has changed is not knife possession but the willingness to use one in the UK. So what has changed in the last half centuary? It is true that there is far more more graphic and explicit violence on television and in films, video games almost invariably involve killing someone or something and war and our military is often glorified in the news items. I’m sure that in combination all these influences must lead to a somewhat deadening of our morals and sensibilities but not turn us into killers. During this period of time though, there has been a huge widening of the divide between those who have a lot and those who by comparison, have little. State control and surveillance has never been greater and opportunities for social mobility have been decreasing to the point where it is all but impossible for those in inner city estates and similar situations to achieve their potential. The frustration and indeed inner rage resulting from this oppression will inevitably vent off in vandalism, graffiti or violence.

More restrictions will do nothing, what is required is social change on a huge scale which this government will not give and neither will any potential replacement. The only hope is for enough of us to think for ourselves to demand change. It is possible and hopefully this blog will in it’s very, very, small way will help along with other voices in the wilderness.

Good News for a Change

After decades of marching, demonstrating, writing to the press and politicians as well as taking part in non violent resistance and finally (well almost) becoming a somewhat disillusioned grumpy old man I have come across some good news for a change.

The Human Security Brief report 2007 continues to show a real decrease in wars and an increase in peaceful resolutions to disputes. Also and perhaps surprisingly, the Russian military have accepted the Alternatives to Violence Project to work with their armed forces in an attempt to cut down on violent bullying within their ranks, particularly with regard to new recruits who have been conscripted in. source

Of course non of this is down to my efforts of the past forty years or so but it is down to millions of people world wide who spent even just a little time and effort saying ‘NO’ to war, violence, greed and injustice. There’s a long way to go but at least a substancial start has been made and can inspire us all to keep up the pressure on those who have the power for change.

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