Tag Archives: Ku Klux Klan

Desertion

Desertion is an ugly word, it is often contributed to cowardice and cowards, the truth is actually less straight forward. We can consider that the choice is left to someone who can no longer tolerate the actions of their government. Then there is another form, when it is not linked to a military decision, when in its purest form the application is the action of deserting a person, cause, organization or even a government, and even then people try to hide it behind words like forsaking, abandonment, shunning, stranding or jilting.

They consider desertion too harsh a word, but that is exactly what the US government is doing as the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/11/us/politics/house-democrats-saudi-arabia.html) gives us: ‘House Moves Again to Cut Off Support to Saudi War in Yemen‘, so when we see: “to prevent the Trump administration from using its emergency authority to transfer munitions to the kingdom, delivering twin rebukes as Democrats sought to leave their stamp on military policy“, when we see this, we should consider betrayal of an ally, abandoning a nation that the US claims to have good ties with. And it goes further than that, there is actually an issue that has been left unpublished for a much longer time (to the degree it should have been published).

Qatar has been accused of being a facilitator for state sponsored terrorism. This is not a light subject, it is quite heavy an accusation. Let’s be clear, I am not accusing them of this, they have been accused and it is an important accusation, because the US is in much deeper waters than you think. Even as Saudi Arabia is getting cut off from defence options to defend itself against Hezbollah and Iranian supported Houthi units, attacked by (mostly) Houthi forces using missiles, we learn that mere hours ago “a Houthi rocket was fired indiscriminately and targeted a non-military area“, the target was Dhalea in SW Yemen, so the fighting goes on and America is pulling out, or are they? With the news from ABC that less than 24 hours ago (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-10/qatar-donald-trump-military-and-commercial-deals/11294500) we are given: ‘US and Qatar ink deals for ‘tremendous amounts’ of military weapons and Boeing planes‘, the quote: “Qatar has agreed to buy “tremendous amounts of military equipment” and Boeing planes from the United States following a visit by Gulf Nation’s Emir to the White House, according to President Donald Trump” implies that the United States wants to be part of the Middle East, more importantly it is seemingly on track to keep stability to a nominal minimum, which is only serving America at present. It was given (by ABC as well ) that Qatar has an issue, in 2017 we saw the accusation “According to James Piscatori, deputy director at ANU’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, “It is probable that the regime, as well as some wealthy Qataris, have been supporting various groups, such as the Nusra Front.”” and unlike the implied murder of a journalist no one cares about, the accusation against Qatar is not one that requires ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, it requires ‘is it more likely than not‘ and that bar was seemingly passed. Over two years there has never been clear evidence produced that this was not the case and now we see that in the backwash of implied state sponsored terrorism we see the US making happy deals. The fact that these questions are not out in the open with the media is a lot more pressing than one might imagine. Media inaction allows for the accusation to fester and that is happening.

So when we get the additional quote: “The terrorist group, which has since changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, began as an offshoot of Al Qaeda. It’s been fighting President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war and wants to establish an Islamic caliphate“, the fact that this was given to AC out in the open in a stage where we see the American non treasury see a shift from one player to another is more pressing, there is a larger concern and as the US is keeping stability in the region to a minimum, the dangers will mount to larger degrees soon enough. the problem remains a large one, not because of the lack of evidence pointing one way or another, it is the statement from Gen. Charles Wald, former commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces, who gave us only a few days ago: “Qatar is helping Iran“, now this is a loaded issue, first of all, there might be a large issue with Iran, but that does not mean that some nations do not have an economic need to play mean to dump Iran as a business partner. Can we (or should we) prevent medications and food to be shipped to any nation? If we have a humanitarian side, it wold be that a population need not be hungry, famished or denied medical provisions. And we also acknowledge that less than 48 hours after the attack on the World Trade Centre, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar opened business to America so that it could have a strategic advantage. Even as we acknowledge it all, we also see the view that this general has with: “Qatar must choose: It can keep its U.S. air base or its ties to Tehran“, I am willing to think that issues are this simple, but they are not. Yet the state funded terrorism accusation lingers.

Then the second tier comes into play, consider that the accusation is true, how high does it go? Consider that Qatar is a monarchy with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani at the head of that table. No matter the accusations have never been linked, or were there any serious accusations (with some level of evidence) that a member of the monarchy was involved. Is Qatar therefor still guilty, or are there elements in Qatar (high ranking ones) part to the stage where state funded terrorism is a valid accusation? The fact that the media is not looking there, does not mean we must shun the question.

When we look at family, we see the father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, under his rule as previous ruler, we see that two US military bases were hosted, large investments in western corporations for well over $100 billion, there was the support of Arab spring and founded Al Jazeera, these are all actions that imply futuristic thinking, not funding terrorism and we need to acknowledge that. Then there is the brother (of the current monarch) Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as at Sherbourne School (Dorset), none of this screams terrorist support, this does not mean that it is not happening, it merely implies that the ‘more likely than not‘ might be a wrong standard and there has been very little investigation towards the guilt or innocence of Qatar.

Still these sides do not imply that the US is wrongfully selling arms, it does still support the tactic of minimalizing stability in the region and that is wrong, the abandonment of Saudi Arabia seems clear too and as such the dangers in the Middle East are escalating, not lowering, which is a large failure.

What happened?

For this we can turn to yesterday’s Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/the-saudi-qatari-breach-explained/2019/07/09/96ec69de-a260-11e9-a767-d7ab84aef3e9_story.html) Here we see: “The crisis was sparked in 2017 when hackers published a story on Qatar’s news agency quoting Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as criticizing mounting anti-Iran sentiment after a trip to the region by U.S. President Donald Trump. Qatari officials quickly deleted the comments, and appealed for calm as Saudi and U.A.E. newspapers, clerics and celebrities accused Qatar of trying to undermine efforts to isolate Iran“. Here my issue becomes ‘when hackers published a story‘, and they have journalistic integrity how exactly? Hackers tend to lack credibility, not to mention in an age with over 10,000,000 hackers there is a group (well over 90%) that have only greed driven needs, so how is that reliable?

How money flows

Then the Washington Post gives a gem that is worth its weight in gold. With: “Some Qataris have provided support to al-Qaeda and its spinoffs, U.S. officials say. According to the State Department’s report on international terrorism, despite government controls, “terrorist financiers within the country are still able to exploit Qatar’s informal financial system.” The U.S. report uses similar language in its section on Saudi Arabia. The report details efforts by both the Qatari and Saudi governments to counter terrorism financing. It offers greater praise of the Saudi efforts“, it does something strong, the premise of ‘more likely than not‘ now fails to a much larger degree. when we see: ‘Some Qataris‘ we recognise that there is a small issue, but when we place ‘some Qataris‘ next to the thousands of terrorists that America has (the members of the Ku Klux Klan to name merely a first group), we see that the accusations against Qatar are suddenly less powerful. Now we accept that the issue existed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, yet we see that Saudi Arabia has been more eager to fight this than Qatar it does not make Qatar more guilty, it merely means that optionally more is required from Qatar, yet in all this there remains the issue on why America abandoned Saudi Arabia. I believe that these steps have seemingly nothing to do with commerce, merely with reduced stability and in this day and age in the way that Iran is jumping around not a good thing, when the kettle boils a short decisive war would be essential and America just made that a non-option.

so when we get back to the New York times, we see how the US government is making themselves liable (as I personally see it) “But the most consequential amendments on Thursday continued Congress’s months long effort to intervene in the Yemen conflict and punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of the dissident Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi” you see, no evidence was ever presented, no evidence can be presented at present making a government privy to intentional murder, there is no body, there is no forensic evidence, there is merely circumstantial evidence at best and even then, some of that evidence in tainted. So the US taking the work of an essay writer (seemingly named Eggy Calamari) as gospel to the degree it is doing is not staging any level of progress, it was a document at best and presented in three stages, every time merely meant to attack Saudi Arabia, progressing destabilisation in the Middle East (better stating inhibiting stability).

It gets to be worse (for America) when we consider “Lawmakers voted 236 to 193 to prohibit the administration from using funds to support the Saudi-led military operations — either with munitions or with intelligence — against the Houthis in Yemen“, especially when we see mounting evidence that Houthis have directly been targeting civilians, have engaged on a larger scale firing Iranian missiles into Saudi Arabia and using drones to attack ships and airfields in the region, that is a group you want to protect? I think that there are optionally 236 voters guilty of supporting terrorism to a much larger degree, I wonder which excuse they will use for letting the battle rage on, stopping humanitarian aid to go forward towards the Yemeni civilians and now with the added accusation that Houthi forces have recruited 30,000 child soldiers up to this point (source: Middle East monitor). As I see it, when the dust settles, I will have fun! I will try to publish the photos of the cadavers from all over Yemen with (or is that ‘in’) all their exposed guts and glory. I will on the principle of the matter make sure that these 236 names are published with these images so that the American people know who they voted for and how humanitarian their actions were in the end, that’s only fair, right?

When you desert your ally, you should be proud of that fact and get named in full, should you not?

 

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Removing the right of choice

Fox News had an opinion piece 2 days ago that only now met my eyes. Now, for the most, apart from some Guardian opinion pieces, I tend to stay away from them. Yet, this one caught my eye because not only was the situation upsetting. The issue that Americans use their right to free speech to deny others the right to choose (to some degree) is another matter and it became clear that I should give my view in all this.

The title ‘Is the West finally pushing Saudi Arabia to squelch its version of radical Islam?‘ First off, why on earth do we see the need ‘forcefully silence or suppress‘ the choice of Islam? Now, I am merely a Christian in this, but I do not see any reason here. In the second, the setting of ‘radical Islam‘ is equally an issue. What makes it radical? That is not me being clever, it is an actual question. When does any religion become ‘radical’?

Now, I am merely quoting Wiki here (just the easiest part), and important that as a Christian and not armed with a knowledge of Arabic, I might wrongfully quote her, so be aware of that. With: “In the 18th century, a pact between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and a regional emir, Muhammad bin Saud, brought a fiercely puritanical strain of Sunni Islam first to the Najd region and then to the Arabian Peninsula. Referred to by supporters as “Salafism” and by others as “Wahhabism”, this interpretation of Islam became the state religion and interpretation of Islam espoused by Muhammad bin Saud and his successors (the Al Saud family), who eventually created the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932“, you see, my issue, perhaps partially better stated as my grievance with Nina Shea is not that she is a lawyer or a Christian, but that she is both. That one nation that has been hypocrite towards empowering outspoken Christians and Christian puritans at nearly every twist and turn of every American administration since WW1 is now speaking out against another puritan based religion? How screwed up is that?

And the fact that we also see in the Fox News pages that she currently is a leader of a campaign for Christians threatened with genocide by ISIS, is even worse. As American Presidents have refused to name the Armenian Genocide as such because of concerns over alienating Turkey, with former president Barack Obama being the latest weakling in that long line of individuals in denial. And when we get to alienating Turkey? Turkey alienated them self for a long time, going all the way back to 2001 and they only alienated themselves stronger with nearly everyone after that. So genocide is only recognised when it is in the interest of US political policies? How hypocrite is that? So even as this happened less than a year ago, we see: “But although ISIS’ genocidal intent has long been clear, the extent of the group’s atrocities has remained murky. Local authorities and human rights organizations have made some attempts to compile lists of victims. According to those lists, between 2,500 and 5,000 Yazidis had been killed by ISIS while over 6,000 had been kidnapped. But the UN has not yet been able to independently verify these figures” (source: www.foreignaffairs.com), so how should we see these differences?

Personally I have no issue with people and their religion, you see they can be a puritan as they want to be, and until they start pushing that onto us (read: me) they are fine. I have absolutely no regard for any Christian pushing their values onto others, in that I am quite happy to see the separation of state and church to be forever. There is in equal measure another issue, you see, puritan is often seen as ‘against pleasure‘, which is not always the case and that makes that discussion a lot harder, for what sets the definition of Puritan?

So when we see the quote from Nina Shea that gives us: “Now Europe is finding its voice with a new willingness to pressure the Saudi Arabian government to end its spread of extreme Islamic ideology, known in the West as Wahhabism“, so she has set ‘puritan‘ as ‘extreme version of‘. The question is on one side is what constitutes a puritan version as such and even if so, the Vatican forced Christianity into the world, whilst under its flag committed genocide by removing no less that 11 civilisations. The church and greed have gone hand in hand for centuries whilst the nobility, or should that be in modern tongue ‘Big Business’ have not been held accountable since before World War 1. The bible approved of slavery and in Matthew 19:14 and Mark 10:13 stated ‘Let the children come to me‘, Catholic priests saw that as an optional clear signal to fuck every young boy in town (whenever possible). So as the Holy See was considering thousands of priests actively taking the cherry from young boys for over 50 years, how many went to prison? In that light the media is equally to blame, until the movie Spotlight got the limelight in the Academy Awards, millions of Americans remained in denial. Even as the Boston Globe exposed it in 2002, it would take 13 years, until after the movie was released that the larger part of the media changed their tunes, the church still has that much power. So as we oppose one form of puritan religion, we see the outrages acts of our own religions and in that regard I have an issue with certain settings.

In addition we see: “As I told Congress in testimony last July, 16 years after the 9/11 attacks – led and carried out primarily by Saudis” we see yet another issue. In the first, this attack was done by Al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, who was indeed born Saudi, yet he was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, 9 years before the event. More important, their family came from the Yememi Kindah, so another ‘faith’ altogether, in that regard, when we consider that Kindites converted to Judaism following the conversion of the Ḥimyarite kings, which happened roughly 1500 years ago, so why is she not blaming Israel in all this? It seems to me that Nina Shea has no religious agenda; she has a political one and is willing to play Saudi Arabia towards her needs. In the part that we accept that Al-Qaeda was made up from Islamic Extremists and Salafists, there is the legitimate question on how many of the members of Al-Qaeda are (still) Saudi, but is that even possible to grasp? There are so many splinter organisations, active all over the Middle East, In Yemen is gets even more of an issue where they are fighting the Houthi’s. The New York Post gave us two weeks ago: “An immigrant from Saudi Arabia suspected of applying to join an al-Qaeda training camp has been arrested on a visa fraud charge in Oklahoma, according to a report. The FBI recently discovered Naif Abdulaziz Alfallaj after his fingerprints matched those taken from a document found in Afghanistan“, it makes matters worse and less clear. It is not a clear picture for those getting all the information, for people like Nina Shea who are willing to ‘filter’ data before their presentation make matters worse, we do not only get a distorted picture, we get more non-truths (at times non-verifiable truths, or speculations) and as such the picture shift a little more. We can argue that to some Saudi citizens desire a life of ‘action’ in perhaps the wrong direction is preferred over whatever they had before. We have all had those moments. I myself have argued within myself to find 1-2 paedophilic priests and hang them in the nearest tree without trial, so should I join some anti-religion and blow up churches? Of course not, that would be just insane, but some might do just that.

So when we consider ‘members of the Ku Klux Klan planted and detonated dynamite at the 16th Street Baptist Church‘ we also need to see that J. Edgar Hoover had secret recordings that proving the involvement of guilty parties (according to some sources), he also ensured that a court could not use them as evidence to prosecute the attackers, making it more difficult to convict. For 14 years after the bombing, none of the men were prosecuted for their crime. The first one to be arrested (and convicted) was Robert Edward Chambliss in 1977. So we, Americans and non-American Christians alike have closets full of skeletons, perhaps when it comes to certain matters we should not be the judging or reforming parties in the matters of other nations.

Now, there are a few sides that do bare consideration.

Even if we agree with: “In 2010, a top U.S. Treasury counterterrorism official warned that without Saudi education reform “we will forever be faced with the challenge of disrupting the next group of terrorist facilitators and supporters.”“, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state, it has its rights and it has forever been a Muslim state. You see, until the oil prices went down and the profits declined, America remained unwilling to hear any level of criticism on Saudi Arabia, making a lot of the matters in play hypocrite at best.

The next ‘wrongful representation‘ is “The West seems to be finally waking up. The new assertiveness shows official recognition of the link between Islamist ideology and terror, and our governments must keep it up“, you see, I see this as “as the profits are declining and as Saudi Arabia is now set to be a growing force beyond the petrochemical industry” we see issues because the ‘link between Islamist ideology and terror’ has been known for a long time and seen as such. Hamas, Hezbollah are the clearest ones. There is the Muslim Brotherhood, and plenty of others, whilst the PLO was delisted as a terrorist organisation is now again rearing its tail by no longer recognising the state of Israel, so that could escalate again. In addition we see that only the UK saw the Orange Volunteers as a terrorist organisation, I wonder why the US did not see it that way. So whatever makes that list is also very dependent on how they cross the United States of America (speculation on my side), so as the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia is becoming a growing centre of commerce and an economic power we start seeing more anti-Saudi events. Yet the US will happily sell all the weapons and planes they can for now. Nina also refers to a report that was classified and forced into the open in 2016 regarding the Saudi textbooks (at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/17/international-home/document-state-dept-study-on-saudi-textbooks.html), it is 148 pages, so read it there (the PDF was too large to place here).

My issue in this is not the paper; it is the chance of comprehending it all, it is linked to hundreds of books, to hundreds or issues all linked to the Koran and to the rights that Saudi Arabia has as a sovereign nation. We might not agree and as Christians we might to a certain degree oppose outside of Saudi Arabia, but its sovereign rights are as they wanted it, linked to the Muslim faith. We need to recognise that we are not all alike, that others have their rights and they need not be based on democracy. However we must also recognise that ‘democracy’ in America and largely in Europe is set towards what the rich and powerful want it to be. If you disbelief that then try to change laws in America that makes Wall Street criminally accountable. Good luck getting that done within the next 50 years!

You see, in support of my view, I would like to call attention to page 3, where we see “The national identity of Saudi Arabia is deceptively simple. It is an absolute monarchy“, so what makes a monarchy absolute? The Netherlands is a monarchy, so is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain and a few others. So as these are predominantly Christian monarchies, are they not absolute or dangerous? Perhaps they are merely seeing eye-to-eye with the US and not that much of an economic threat? The EU and the ECB simmered down the European nations as threats is another view and it is for people with better economic degrees than mine to make a call on that. Again a speculation from my side, but it seems to me that the US would prefer every nation to be a republic, so that the larger corporations can sweep in and reduce that national population into a spreadsheet and reduce the abilities of those being a hindrance, a non-consumer or a liability.

We can take any view on these matters, but in the end we see a person with a rightful opinion get the centre stage all the way to the US Congress, whilst we consider her quote: “Germany finally pressed Saudi Arabia to close the King Fahd Academy in Bonn in spring 2017, according to a 2016 Deutsche Welle report. It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda“. The question that is here is ‘It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda‘, so was that ever proven? That is the part that Nina Shea does not want you to know; in addition there is the part that was in the Deutsche Welle. ‘Now, the King Fahd Academy is about to close its doors of its own accord‘, which she did not mention. In addition (at http://www.dw.com/en/controversial-saudi-school-in-bonn-to-close/a-19511109), we see the clear mention of ‘Moving beyond oil‘, it seems that Europe and the US stayed very silent whilst the oil profits were flowing their way making a lot Nina states even more hypocrite. So as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing stronger towards his “Vision 2030“, we see that slowly his reforms are catching hold, there is momentum and there is additional evidence that it is a worry for the United States, particularly the people who were having benefits on the matters before Vision 2030. When we consider the rumour from last month when we were introduced to “The new policy means Apple is administering collection and remittance of tax to authorities at a rate of 20 percent in Armenia and Belarus; 5 percent in Saudi Arabia; 18 percent in Turkey; and 5 percent in United Arab Emirates” we see the clear benefit for Apple to grow in Saudi Arabia, yet in that it could cost the US 20 cents to every dollar pushed to Saudi Arabia and as Apple tends to think in tens of billions, the US is about to lose out of a pretty penny they desperately need. In addition with Amazon and Google gaining tech hubs there, the loss of revenue and data is about to cost the US a lot more and in this greed driven economy that is what has been setting plenty of people over the rails and into the sea of chaos, frustration and outcry. So as Saudi Arabia ends up getting 5 data centres, how many will not be upgraded in the US or Europe in the near future? How much is that going to cost them?

These are all matters linked to the opinion of Nina Shea, because if that was not the case we would not have seen “These events are being driven by Western governments that are now pushing hard for the government of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to pull back from Wahhabist support – a push that appears to be working“, you see, the fact that (some) schools closed on their own accord was not mentioned, neither is any part of Vision 2030 which has been on the front page of the Saudi plans of actions for almost 2 years now and in addition, when we see “For decades European and U.S. leaders bit their tongues while the Saudi governments spent billions of dollars indoctrinating Sunni Muslim communities“, whilst not stating that the oil money flowing into these places was too good to ignore is equally an issue because it shows us to be hypocrite and it shows Saudi Arabia to be business oriented. OK, I will give you that the last part is not entirely correct, but why did Europe and the US bite their tongues? If they were so morally high we would have seen a lot more, an issue that never happened.

So who will Nina Shea blame for that? I reckon we will leave it non-mentioned (for now).

Finally we need to look at her statement “Tiny Belgium, population 11.27 million, has sent more Islamic fighters to Syria per capita than any other European country“, so when we see the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-balks-at-taking-back-isis-fighters-1518557328) where we see the quote “An estimated two to three dozen Belgian foreign fighters are in detention in Syria and Iraq, another Belgian official said“, so as we consider an unrelated statistic like “Hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s 700 people per day, notes Steve Swensen“, the fact that we see the mention of 36 Belgium fighters in Syria in a pool of 5000, seems to be too irrelevant to use as a focal point in her presentation, whilst in the US 700 people a day die in Hospitals through mere errors. She has the wrong focus as illumination in her presentations. You see, it would not have mattered if she had mentioned the number of Belgium fighters and the total pool of ‘extremists’ but she did not want that, she wanted the hypocrite limelight, so I will happily keep a focus on her and how she tries to misinform the people around her next.

In all this Fox News should get an equal share in the blame by not setting the stage properly. By leaving too much unstated we should consider that the reliability of Fox News and what they present is equally taking a turn downwards.

In the end

In the end this was less about speaking for Saudi Arabia (they can do that themselves perfectly well), then speaking against Nina Shea. I find this a hatched job that should not have been placed on Fox News the way it was. Whatever points she could have made was drowned out by the misrepresentation that I see them to be and in several fields in many ways. This requires me to add her mention of ‘Islamist terror has replaced chocolate as Belgium’s best known export‘, you see the best export the Belgium ever had was beer, the finest in the world. And even as we agree that their chocolates are the best, we need to see that terrorism is not their export, or their best known export. Perhaps their flaw was to have the most cordial of borders in Europe, together with Sweden, yet as Sweden is up in the north and Belgium is caught between the Netherlands, Germany and France, there is no doubt that whatever they get came initially from one of the three other nations and guess what, Nina made no mention of that either. Perhaps because she was in doubt whether it was a good idea to piss the other three nations off? Again, merely speculation from my side, but in the end, we have seen in evidence from reputable sources that the economy has been a central reason in creating extremism, a part that has hit Belgium and several other nations. That too remains unmentioned.

 

 

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By what standard

An article appeared several hours ago that brings forth questions. The Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/03/saudi-execution-call-for-west-to-condemn-killing-of-shia-cleric), gives several causes for concern. The first one is in the title ‘Saudi execution: call for west to condemn killing of Shia cleric‘, why? The subtitle ‘UK Treasury minister describes the killing of Nimr al-Nimr as a ‘worrying development’ as tensions escalate‘ is cause for additional concern. In my (simplistic) viewpoint, why is David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury speaking here (read: quoted)? Why is this not voiced by the UK foreign office (and the Home office for that matter)? THEY are spokespeople in this case, well the Foreign Office more than the Home Office in this case, but the home office would be voicing the ‘home front’ feelings. No, it is the financial secretary to the Treasury, whose voice does not count in this situation that is the view that is voiced.

You see, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation where the use of capital punishment is based on Shari’ah (or Islamic law). I did not study Shari’ah Law and as such I cannot answer the legality in this, but Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation with its own set of laws and it is time for people to start understanding that other cultures have other rules and laws. For me, I am still amazed on how capital punishment is not in existence in Commonwealth Law, in addition, I am amazed how targeted killing is still not a legal option, an absence I still believe is more an act of cowardice than anything else (I will address this part later in this article).

So Saudi Arabia has the death penalty, this is not new, it is a given. Yet, what people seem to forget is that when you look deeper into Islamic Banking and Finance that this system is not greed driven, that what is regarded as Sharia compliant finance. It approached the view where Sharia prohibits acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money, whether the payment is fixed or floating, which as I understand it implies any excess compensation without due consideration (absent of time value of money), which implies (without deeper investigation, cannot be stated as for certain by me) that the hedge funds nightmare that Wall Street bestowed upon the world would never have happened under Shari’ah Law, I will let you contemplate that thought by yourself!

Let’s get back to capital punishment! When we look at an article by Elizabeth Peiffer (at http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1132&context=wmjowl), we see the following on page 508 (page 3 of the article), “The harsh punishments required for hudud crimes are intended to deter those who might commit crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society“, in additional support there is something I should add from the Catholic Education Resource Center (at http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/social-justice/catholicism-amp-capital-punishment.html), where we see “At no point, however, does Jesus deny that the State has authority to exact capital punishment. In his debates with the Pharisees, Jesus cites with approval the apparently harsh commandment, “He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die” (Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10, referring to Exodus 2l:17; cf. Leviticus 20:9)“, in addition I offer “The last case of an execution by the Catholic Church was that of the schoolmaster Cayetano Ripoll, accused of deism by the waning Spanish Inquisition and hanged to death 26 July 1826 in Valencia after a two-year trial” (at http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/805877-196/daily-twip—the-spanish-inquisition-executes.html).

We seem to impose ‘our’ values on every nation, yet we do not take responsibility or repair the damage we allow others to make under either a Christian or atheist guise, how just is that?

Let’s get back to the issue that started all this, you see Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was sentenced to death. The BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29627766) gives us “he was found guilty of seeking “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, “disobeying” its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces“, ‘taking up arms against the security forces’ could be seen as insurrection at best and treason at worst, when I point back to the issue shown in the article by Elizabeth Peiffer we get ‘intended to deter those who might commit crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society’, is that not the case for both insurrection and treason? Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was himself a cleric, so how was the consequence a surprise? Because he was regarded as ‘popular among youth’? The sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia has a set of laws, this is known, so again, why do we read that David Gauke sees this as a ‘worrying development’? Shouldn’t the man be playing with an abacus and solving the UK economy issues (the UK has plenty of those)? In addition, he represents South West Hertfordshire, which is part of Hertfordshire, where less than 1% is Muslim, a county where 90% is either Christian or has no religion (27.3%), so again, what gives, personal interest or unofficial messenger?

The blunt cold issue is that a cleric went against the established order and Shari’ah Law intervened directly and definitively, which I admit is my rather simplistic view on the matter.

In an age where culling over 30% of the planets population could solve food issues, housing issues and several other issues, we seem to embrace the solution that does not get us anywhere. Now it is time to get back to an earlier statement and explain my reasoning. In our day and age, capital punishment should not be seen as a bad thing, we should see this as the ultimate form of accountability. Consider the News in Brisbane where “Cole Miller, 18, was allegedly struck in the head from behind as he walked with a friend through the Chinatown Mall about 3.35am yesterday (AEST)” (at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/01/03/07/16/young-man-randomly-king-hit-while-walking-through-brisbane-mall-overnight). Why not ‘reward’ Armstrong Renata and Daniel Maxwell with the death penalty for such a cowardly attack? I feel certain that after a few of these executions teens will get hit in the head from behind a lot less. Why was he attacked in the first place? That is still for a court to decide, but too often and for too long the victim and its family gets to suffer whilst the courts ‘go soft’ too often on the transgressors and it is not because there are so many jobs or there are so many apartments available. As stated, it is for a court to decide and there is of course the need for evidence, because we know how it ended, but how did it get started? I do not have the facts, but that is an important element in Common Law, I am just no longer willing to see that the abolishment of capital punishment is a good idea.

I also mentioned cowardice earlier, for this I need to address the issue of targeted killing. You see, the law as is seems to revere ‘non-permanent’ solutions. In all that people are faced with dangers and risks. Consider that 70% lives in a legal way, no crimes committed, now we get 29.9991% that does have a criminal side, for that we have the law, I do not oppose this, they are criminals of all kinds, from pickpockets, to robbers to murderers, for those we have the law. There is a very small group, 0.0009%, this group is so malignant, so violent (read: extremely fanatic or terrorist), that their presence is a direct threat to the people and to our way of life. In all this, we ‘hide’ behind Common Law and its settings, like it is a Golden Calf (I am referring here to Exodus 32:1–6), how dare we revere a book to that level whilst knowingly endangering the people we swore to protect, are those victims in that same view not degraded to simple human sacrifices for the existence of a book of rules? How can we sacrifice those lives and are we not willing to take the lives who are knowingly and intentionally threatening those innocent (and some less innocent) lives? Are we not bound to protect the people in any accountable way we possibly can? It is the word accountable that should have opened the door to targeted killing a long time ago, I am not referring to 9/11; I am referring to events even before that. To the days of Baader Meinhoff and the Rote Armee Fraktion. Italy had the Red Brigade, Japan the Red Army and that list goes on for a while. We seem to focus on Islamic groups, yet we forget that the Ku Klux Klan, White Power groups as Christian groups and most other religions have their terrorist organisations, groups with members focused on extreme violence against a specific group or a nation in general, as such, when that government has a direct responsibility to keep its citizens safe, where is the logic to not pursue these extremists with all options, including terminal ones?

So by what standard are we judging?

We seem to push our standards onto others, whilst in most western European nations we have only succeeded in making a bigger mess, whilst not holding anyone accountable for anything, as I see it, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr decided on a course of action, here (Australia, UK, Canada, sometimes the US too) we all believe in freedom of speech, yet In Islamic nations there seems to be an interpretation that ‘crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society‘ are strictly dealt with by holding that person accountable. Please consider that I am voicing a view based on the ‘facts’ as I see it published, I am not stating on the ruling of the specific court case of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr as I do not have all the facts on that case. And consider again, why is the voice of David Gauke quoted and not from the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP? In this case it is his voice as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that sets the tone of how we as a Commonwealth (read: United Kingdom) shall deal with our allies, our connected nations and our enemies, not David Gauke. In Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated today that the Australian government is deeply disturbed by Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of 47 people that same approach was taken by Canada where Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion condemns Saudis over Mass Execution (including the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr). So why did the article by Martin Chulov not mention the big names from Canada and Australia within that article? OK, in all fairness, the response from Julie Bishop was only voiced a few hours ago, but the Canadian voice was given yesterday, plenty of time to include that one, it seems to me that the article is about careful ‘voicing’ what does not really matter for the political field that becomes a lot less maneuverable over the coming year, another fact conveniently ignored.

All this regarding the standard a sovereign nations holds. We might not agree and we can voice that, but we must equally accept that every nation has its own rights in dealing with transgressors, even if we are too unwilling to do this ourselves. Consider that hypocrisy is knowingly not practicing what you tell others to do (like having just laws against crime and for victims), now consider that Irony is becoming a judge after illustrating the failure of law.

So is this a mere case of Hypocritical Irony?

 

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Comprehension

Yesterday has been a weird day for France, unlike here in Sydney; they had their dealings with terrorists. You see, I remain in the mindset that what happened in martin Place last month was a crazy person with a gun, the fact that he was a Muslim makes little difference. He was a mental health case with deadly intent, it got him killed, but only after he killed some of his victims. France is an entirely different kettle of fish. Here is the YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBGVwZyXYlQ (in French with English subtitles), I normally would not add something like this, but it is important to see the difference. This is not some hostage situation asking for a flag, this is almost military precision, it is direct, clean (pardon the expression), kill and get out! A policeman was on the scene and was executed without any consideration.

Here you see directly what Israel has faced on a daily basis; this is what the direct hatred of Jews looks like. Even though this is against a satirical cartoonist, the hatred of these extremists’ remains the same. The Guardian has an article by Jonathan Freedland that covers several parts of what bothers me. The article ‘Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/charlie-hebdo-cartoonists-paris-killers-fascist-death-cult) gives us a few views. The quote: “They hated the cartoons, we say. Free speech was the target, we declare. They wanted to silence satire and gag dissent“, this was not unlike my view. I find satire enjoyable, but when you touch religion (any religion), some people tend to get a little off the balanced sane side. Some get abusive, some get a little violent, yet as far as I know, none will act to this degree (although opposites in the India – Pakistan debates might not agree with me). No matter what I think or believe, Charlie Hebdo was in a place with free speech and he was entitled to it. The best comparison I heard was from an American Journalist describing Charlie Hebdo as the French version of ‘the Onion’.

When we see the following two quotes we get to the real stuff: “Then on Friday, a siege at a kosher supermarket, four hostages confirmed dead, the murderers apparently linked to those behind Wednesday’s carnage” and “Perhaps the murderers are bent on killing people not only for what they do, but for who they are“, this is at the centre of a lot of issues behind the objections against allowing Palestine into the UN and other places. I and many others have no hatred for Palestinians however, we will not accept Hamas to be allowed at any table for the terrorist organisation that they are. And so long as Palestine will not disavow Hamas and as long as Hamas calls the shots, there is no future for Palestine as I see it. This is at the heart of the matter, so when you think of these poor poor Palestinians, watch the uncensored shooting in Paris and now realise that this is what Israel faced for many years now, with added rockets and nail bombs!

The next part is actually at the centre to what we tend to feel and also how our civilised minds should be feeling. “For Muslims, that has meant spelling out that these killers speak only for themselves. Note the speed with which a delegation of 20 imams visited the Charlie Hebdo offices, branding the gunmen “criminals, barbarians, satans” and, crucially, “not Muslims”“, this makes sense in regards to the next part “Of course they should not have to do it. The finger-wagging demand that Muslims condemn acts of terror committed by jihadist cultists is odious: it tacitly assumes that Muslims support such horror unless they explicitly say otherwise“, this makes sense. Perhaps we all remember the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and white power groups against African Americans. We distance ourselves as Christians, because their acts are not those of Christians at all. They are at the centre of some agenda of hate that the boggles the usual civilised mind. Some cannot grasp the small mindedness of it. Yes, we all hate at times and we hate enough to kill, maim or harm, but that comes in defence of a rational against us, or our family when it is harmed. To blatantly hate is not within our power (it should not be), I will go one further, children when they are born do not have the capacity to hate; it is the one dark side that gets taught to us, which makes it so inexplicable to some.

Now we get to the parts that I do not completely agree with (even though what is stated is not wrong) “Wednesday’s deaths brought a loud chorus insisting that Charlie Hebdo was vulnerable because it had been left out on a limb. That was down, they said, to the cowardice of the rest of the press, lacking the guts to do what the French magazine had done“. The press has been many things (cowardly to some extent as well), when the press (globally generically speaking) started to cater to advertisers and circulation, many papers started to cater to the emotional reader “Flight MH370 ‘suicide mission’” (The Daily Telegraph, March 2014) and “Death Cult CBD Attack” (The Daily Telegraph, December 2014). It is only one of several papers, the public gets misinformed too often, too much innuendo. “Andrew and the under-age ‘sex slave’” from The Daily Mail, implying the Duke of York is just the most recent of revenue claiming headlines. When you rely on income in this way, we see the newspapers as they no longer are, they are no longer informing the people, hopefully setting their minds to a more informed stable position, we are left with groups of people getting angry on implied innuendo. It makes for revenue (but becomes non-informative). So how about we make it a little more clear? How about tax offices change that glossy magazines are not tax deductible as they do not qualify as ‘researchable materials’? The ATO states “Newspapers and magazines, you can claim a deduction for that part of the cost of newspapers and magazines that relates to your using them in researching a topic as an employee journalist“. When we remove glossy magazines and add the Daily Telegraph and sort minded groups on that list, perhaps they will clean up their act?

So as non-violent Muslims fear repercussions for emotional responses, we in general have a duty to shield them, but in my mind we have an equal need to hunt down these extremists. We need to become a lot less tolerant of hate crimes like we are seeing in Paris this week, but they must be held against the real threat, not the threat that some papers perceive to instil. So this is where my view slightly differed from Jonathan Freedland. The French issue should wake us up in other ways too. Not only should we regard the hate attacks Israel has been under for a long time, we need to notice that walk softly and ‘try to reason’ will not work. The policeman had little option but to talk the man into not shooting him, it did not work! I feel for his family, and for the family of other victims, but you all need to wake up now, terrorists are real, they are not some deranged Sheik with delusions of grandeur wanting a ‘Shadada’ flag in a chocolate shop. They are people with guns, with a tactical mind that tells them to kill that what they hate without hesitation or remorse, so as you keep on crying on ‘your’ privacy, whilst posting your ‘nightly’ achievements on Facebook, remember that limiting those who hunt these extremists, might get you or someone you know killed at some point.

Yet Jonathan’s gem is at the very end “Theirs is a dirty little war, a handful of wicked fanatics against the rest of us. And they must lose“, I could not have said it better myself, but with that comprehension comes a change to all our minds, not to our hearts! Our hearts must never embrace the acts and the violence needed; our minds must however accept that some need to do what they do to stop these people, preferably before innocent lives are lost. It must happen everywhere and it needed to start yesterday. So, as you ponder these ‘lost souls’ as they go Jihad in Syria, then also quickly realise that these people come back with the skill, the intent and the reasoning of the extremists that you saw in the YouTube video, so if you are a parent and you wave your hand to your little boy or girl as they go to school, you should realise that they might leave the house the last time that day. What are you willing to do to keep them safe?

I am not trying to quell you into emotion like the press so often does; I need you to comprehend what must be done by professionals to keep you and your family safe. Think it through and cast your vote! You need not act, you are not trained and not qualified to suddenly emotionally react to these extremists. Only the calm mind will know what to do and they must be given the option to win and to make sure that extremists lose, or we lose it all!

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