Tag Archives: peace

Munich: Kabul – all lives matter

All Lives Count

I saw yet another politician in the past week state that attacks on the West are because Daesh/Al-Qaeda and other suchlike groups are deeply envious of Western ways of life.

I really roll my eyes when I see this sort of smug, self-satisfied, superficial and silly comment which is trying to pander to a domestic audience with superficial platitudes.

Because in essence it’s dangerous and misleading.

It totally ignores the real reasons behind terrorist attacks in Britain, the US and Europe which is that people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and so on are fed up to the back teeth with getting the shit bombed out them and, when ordinary people get blown apart or their homes destroyed, hearing that they are “collateral damage”.

When that happens, is it any wonder that people get radicalised and want to retaliate?  Don’t we in the West start spouting “search and destroy” when atrocities happen?

And no, I’m not condoning mass murders wherever they occur. I am suggesting that, until we start to try to understand the roots of the massacres which are happening so often in so many European cities, those bombings and shootings will continue.

Look at the situation last week. In Munich, nine people were shot to death. The papers are full of outrage about these murders.

Yes, they are terrible. But what we are suffering in the West is nothing like the slaughter happening in other countries.

At the same time as the mainstream media in the West were filling page upon page with photos and comment about the Munich deaths, 80 Shia Muslims were killed by a Daesh suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Muslim deaths merited small mention in the media, perhaps the odd paragraph in the international news section, reinforcing to those alienated by Western interference in their countries that Western lives matter a whole lot more than those who are dying in far great numbers due to the catastrophe unleashed by the illegal invasion of Iraq.

I know it’s hard to know what to do when the world looks in chaos. But it does seem to me that we ordinary folk, people on the street, can take small steps to build solidarity with our friends in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia by posting our sympathy and regrets on social media when atrocities happen in their nation to let them know that we stand in solidarity with them, they are not forgotten.

We need to stop automatically rushing to judgement and blaming Muslims for attacks by organisations like Daesh because they don’t represent Islam. In much the same way as we don’t blame all Christians for the actions of Blair and Bush who claim to be Christians and whose actions have led to the deaths of tens of thousands. We can support organisations which are helping shattered communities rebuild their lives. Or give a helping hand to refugees and asylum seekers – make sure your know the facts and stand up to those who try to spread ignorance, racism and hatred towards people driven out of their homeland by war, poverty, drought, repression, and so on.

And of course, we need to oppose war and fight for peace at every opportunity.  Each of us, as individuals, needs to step up to the plate to take responsibility for what happens in our world. You can join organisations like AVAAZ, SumOfUs, Amnesty International, make donations to help causes which offer support for refugees and asylum seekers, support anti-war organisations, let politicians know what you feel and ensure they in turn know their actions are being monitored out in the community.

When we stand silent, we support the status quo and that status quo is in the process of falling apart.

When we speak up, we can make a difference to that status quo and contribute to a world where every life matters.

 

All Lives Matter

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Bolshie & Brazen – no more “Ism’s”

Compassion

As you can see, I’ve been fiddling with the site name again, basically because the one I used previously was really long and over the top. I decided to  shorten it to “Warrior Woman” because someone commented on a post in Facebook and said they didn’t know my politics but liked my descriptive passion. This is what I said:

“Having seen the new ad by Nigel Farage, all I can say is that the man is a disgusting racist, using fear to promote his Brexit campaign, amid echos of Nazi propaganda about Jews, gypsies, the handicapped, trade union leaders. Farage is unfit for purpose and time those who oppose his disgusting policies stood up to oppose this smirking ratbag. Having seen those lined up for Brexit, I’m for Europe and staying in the EU. Playing little is no solution to problems with the EU, staying in, uniting with Greece, Portugal and Ireland to fight class war is far better than living on our knees under the disgraceful Farage and his cohorts.”

I sometimes dither about what I write but now I’ve decided I have to be and if I do rant on or preach, well, that’s who I am. I can’t be different to fit into someone’s mould of what a woman should be or write about or act. So I did decide, after reading the comment, that I like the idea of Warrior Woman, because I am passionate and militant and I don’t want to be associated with “ism’s” because they’re so limiting.  And “politics” is just so divisive and creaking of old age.  Surely we can do better!

Just to divert slightly, on July 2nd it will be the 20th anniversary since I broke my leg and ankle when I was living halfway up a mountain in south-east Queensland. I know the date as it was my father’s birthday. That date marked a complete break with my previous life where I’d been a member of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) for 18 years as well as being Vice-Chair for quite a few years. I was immobilised and I knew I could no longer look backwards, I had to look forward to a completely new approach to how I live. Now more than half my life has been spent as an artist, crystal worker, Tarot reader, lover of nature and photographer. Quite a turn around, which is probably a bit of an understatement!

Since then I’ve been involved in metaphysical areas because, over the years, I’ve had more examples of life after death than you can poke a stick at and there’s no way I could ever be an atheist.  Nor, to return to the “ism” comment, do I ever want to be tied down again to a particular ideology which labels me as being of a particular political persuasion, bowing to majority opinion, because political structures these days are a hangover of patriarchal society. Politics seems to depend on who can debate best, who’s got the best charisma, who shouts loudest, how much money can be raised to buy elections, and how do you lie most efficiently to win an election which changes sod all basically.Oh, and don’t forget flogging armaments left, right and centre around the world regardless of the poor buggers getting blown to bits by those armaments.

But in this day and age, I don’t deny either that class war still exists – foisting the economic crisis of 2008 onto the backs of ordinary people under the guise of “austerity” while the billionaire bludgers get even more obscenely wealthy and the banks behind the crisis got off scot-free PLUS they were handed out billions in so-called “rescue” money.

WCorporate revolutione need to think of ways to organise against this horrible, horrible turning of the screws on so many sections of society to undermine the Establishment and set up alternative ways of running a compassionate, not a dog-eat-dog, society.

So I choose to be a freewheeling, feminist, independent, bugger-toeing-the-line warrior woman. My vision happens to be that I’m passionate about social justice and putting people before profits, building a society which is creative, encourages innovation, looks after people’s health and offers an education which encourages young people to be visionaries thinking outside the square.

That doesn’t mean I hate profits – it simply means that I happen to believe that people count and I think it’s bloody awful when shares go up after hundreds or thousands of people are sacked because the less money spent on providing people with a decent, living wage the more profits are made.

But I also happen to think that being in the Communist Party has some meaning in  my life. Why was I there?  What did I learn?  How does it colour what I am today?  Coupled with this is an involvement in the New Age movement, in fighting for peace, so how do the two mesh? Because I happen to believe they do mesh. Everything we do in life has some meaning and it’s up to us to sort it out and learn lessons from our experiences.

I don’t want to continue banging on today in this post, I’ll explain in more detail in my next post. But I do want to say that, coming to live in North Cyprus, where armed conflict waged until 1974, I’ve been forced to consider what peace, conflict and self-defence actually mean in practice, not just on paper And that’s it until my next post!

 

 

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Both Sides Now – Israel/Palestine Pt 2 (39)

Be CourageousWhat has changed in the intervening years, from my ardent support for Israel which I think was pretty prevalent among most people at the time, to the widespread condemnation of the recent vicious warfare in Gaza, is the fact that people now have access to far more information about what’s going on in the world.

If we relied on conventional media, we would have had no idea of what was happening in Gaza – only what was allowed by Israel and supine media outlets too much intertwined with Zionist interests to publish the truth.
But nowadays we have social media – mobile phones, tablets, Twitter, Google, Facebook and other independent news outlets who are showing the carnage as it is – doctors, nurses and medical staff killed when hospitals are bombed; paramedics killed when ambulances are fired on; dead babies and children carried out of the rubble of smashed homes; elderly men and women grief-stricken as they see their homes destroyed; medical staff like Dr Mads Gilbert pleading for an end to the insanity because hospitals are overwhelmed with the dead, the dying, the injured; people praying under the ruins of a mosque bombed to smithereens.
And in the face of silence from leaders in Europe, the UK and the US, I would ask how loud their howls would be if synagogues were bombed by Palestinian resistance fighters at the same levels mosques, religious buildings for Islamic people, have been flattened in Gaza. And how loud would the US, British, Israeli and European howls have been if Palestinians had bombed Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day or another other religious observance day in that country, whereas it’s okay to bomb Gaza during Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims, and during Eid-Al-Fitr, an important religious festival for Islamic people following on from Ramadan?

In the past few weeks we’ve seen huge support building up for the people of Gaza. Tens of thousands have marched around the world to support Palestinian people and condemn the slaughter by the Israeli Armed Forces. It is people on the street who have come out against the injustice perpetrated by Israel, the US, UK and European leaders.

What to do in your daily life?  I fully support the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions grassroots movement which is Peace can do bettergrowing rapidly. You can support calls for an arms embargo on Israel.  You can join Palestinian support movements. You can donate to support the rebuilding of Gaza and the support of its people.

What can happen in the future?  Whenever political leaders talk about the situation, they start with “I acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.”  But why does it have the right to exist?  It was founded on terrorism and is maintained by state terrorism.  The United Nations passes resolutions critical of Israel, describes its settlements in Palestinian territories as illegal and thumbs its nose at the UN because the US backs Israel to the hilt and has turned the UN into an impotent organisation.

So no, I don’t happen to think Israel has the right to exist although that will probably send some people off into paroxysms of incoherent range. I don’t think it should be demolished by violence either.  Violence just begets more violence. My own view is that work needs to begin – perhaps under the aegis of community elders respected around the world (which excludes the despised Tony Blair) – of moving towards a one-nation state of current Israeli residents and Palestinian people. Such a state would need to be secular and with a constitution which includes equal rights for all.  Do I believe such a thing could happen overnight? Well, no. But it’s the logical, long-term solution to achieving peace in the Middle East.

Whatever – just don’t be silent. Speak up for justice for the Palestinian people, and also for Israeli people, because when you are consumed by hate, you do yourself an injustice. When Israelis sit on chairs, watch the bombing of Gaza and toast to the deaths of Palestinian people, they are to be pitied because they’ve lost their humanity. The task in the Middle East is to restore humanity to all the people who live there, however hard that task might be.

 

 

 

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