WHERE’S THE FUN GONE? – Communal Anhedonia?

Have you noticed that people around you appear to be really trying to have fun rather than randomly enjoying themselves in un-constructed ways? A festival here, a show there, a pub gig, a long weekend, a reason to go out, a planned holiday. But its all so constructed and contrived, like the smile on that TV host later reported as having died suddenly of a self inflicted injury.

If what’s on TV is any indication of how so many spend their time (or so we’re told) these sources of TV amusement rely on us seeking vicarious pleasure in someone else’s pain. Programs exposing sloppy home videos to make us laugh at unfortunate people being injured through their own stupidity, ubiquitous reality shows of stressed out chefs ‘tearing up’ instead of ‘plating up’ and DIY junkies flogging themselves like dead horses to win the chance to have their mortgage paid out. Then there’s the slips and embarrassments of the famous. Not that they don’t amuse me sometimes but where has the raw fun gone?

We know communities can suffer en mass the same psychological ups and downs as individuals and that the well-being of communities are severely effected by trauma, violence and those additional often ignored emotional harms perpetrated both from within and without those communities. America is desperately trying to stop the latest ‘down’ caused by their extended invasion of Iraq. Not enough to have annihilated the country over the last 23 years (yes 1991 Gulf War Bush 1) they now have to deal with Jihadist Sunni lunatics rampaging across their newly ‘democratised’ state. If they believe In the completely believable conspiracy theory about their own government setting them and the Sunni Jihadists up they would be even more inclined to be feeling traumatised.

When emotional pain is not caused by the obvious as in war, famine or environmental catastrophe, its much more difficult to recognise, but its no less there. Perhaps we also don’t recognise it when we are a part of a suffering community feeling despair alongside our neighbours. I suppose you’ve picked up the increased media concern and concurrent raised public concern around the numbers of people suffering with depression. The distinction between the medical definition and the understanding of the general population is often chasms apart and we are being educated about what constitutes being sad and what’s a medicatable diagnosis.

Then there’s…….Anhedonia – a distinct lack of pleasure in what are or have been typically enjoyable things to do or share. Anhedonia can be an element of depression. It is also I believe a socially absorbable phenomena, it can be ‘caught’ just as hysteria can be. Anhedonia often gets overlooked amongst more readily acknowledged elements of depression like low self esteem, isolation, irritated mood, or low energy, but can play a huge role in maintaining these other elements because it becomes nearly impossible to find things to do to alleviate those feelings of depression. Leo Tolstoy is believed to have suffered from it, (and probably passed it on through his writing of War and Peace!) and I would like to suggest, on a broader community level anhedonia is increasingly being ‘shared’ by the poor.

The challenge for everyone in being constantly bombarded with the ‘amazing’, the ‘phenomenal’, the ‘awesome’, and dare I say the ‘iconic’ is not to be completely underwhelmed by everything and not to become anhedonic. Things are so often less like their advertised selves and more like a complete con. This challenge is more complete for people with zero ‘disposable income’.

I remember when being asked to complete a form on my financial expenditure there was a section set aside for ‘entertainment’. This might have meant movies, videos, music venues, the costs of holidays or the purchase of a football ticket. None of these things are available to anyone on ‘benefits’ especially if their rent, utilities, transport, food bills and increasing debts are paid. Reason? Zero excess.

So with zero excess ‘entertainment’ means finding amusement in the little things, the crazy guy on the bus, the dog that barks strangely every day when you walk passed his gate to get to that job interview, the time you answer your friends phone with a stupid voice when their granny with dementia calls. With zero excess, reliance on being ‘entertained’ as the working class are has been forcibly removed.

The other thing that has changed is the capacity to measure your experiences against the ones you cant afford. Descriptors have become so far removed from the reality of our experience everything we do becomes mediocre in comparison. Words like awesome used to mean awesome now they just really mean ‘that’s great’, whereas words like ‘great’ just mean ‘sure I’ve seen or heard that one before’. This next example came across my desktop this morning… “Entrepreneur Natalie Archer has a policy of doing three “extraordinary” things each day. For the founder of $8 million strategic advisory firm Bendelta, this might mean watching the sunrise on a morning jog down Bondi Beach or having a meaningful chat with one of her staff……… “If you want an extraordinary life, you have to do extraordinary things.”

If that ‘entrepreneur’ thinks either of those things are ‘extraordinary’ she must have been particularly boring before deciding to change her ways. So having a case of anhedonia could well be causing me to have lost interest in her dull little existence. Or maybe I just don’t carry youths exuberance about such dull shit being described as ‘extraordinary’. Then again perhaps her belief that she is telling anyone anything other than she is rich because she does the extraordinary and only the mundane are poor!

More annoying than believing a jog in Bondi as the sunrise is ‘extraordinary’ (which it probably is if you have to get a bus from Punchbowl to do it,) is that talking to your employees is something out of the ordinary! Perhaps it is! Perhaps I am wrong and this is the real reason people are feeling depressed they have no connections to their work or their colleagues or their boss, or indeed they have none of the above. I think the person who wrote that drivel and the millionaire strategic adviser they wrote about are both very underwhelming and have had more than enough of my time and are distracting me and my community of the great unwashed unemployed from our anhedonia.

I will leave you with a quote from Tolstoy about those who do not appear to suffer from anhedonia and who live off the work of others:

I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.

Headings, shorts and comments -The downfall of real communication?

Hizb ut-Tahrir member’s speech at Festival of Dangerous Ideas is pulled by Sydney Opera House amid flood of online protest

………A Sydney-based Muslim speaker whose planned lecture on “honour” killings was cancelled by the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night in the wake of public outcry does not believe the barbaric murders of women are justified, organisers say.

The St James Ethics Centre arranged the lecture called “Honour killings are morally justified” for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in August. It was to be delivered by the public face of Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Uthman Badar, but quickly provoked a flood of angry comments on Twitter and the Opera House Facebook page.

The executive director of the centre, Simon Longstaff AO, said people had not read beyond the title of the lecture, which was intended to be a discussion about how honour is used as a justification for a range of acts, including going to war and murder.

“Uthman’s view is that no form of vigilante killing is justified,” Longstaff said.

“So while honour killings are not what he believes in, he does believe there is a context in which this does happen and where those people believe they are justified.

“We wanted to begin having a conversation about these killings, which should never happen and yet the fact is, there are societies that allow it to. We wanted to examine how that is the case.”…………………………………

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/25/cancelled-honour-killings-talk-did-not-aim-to-justify-says-organiser

Facebook and twitter responses are nothing if not predictable. Their message is usually brief by virtue of the medium and public interest is fickle remaining only as long as the tweeting respondents commitment to the issue.

If we don’t talk about things like this our ignorance will continue to exceed our awareness. We are not the font of all knowledge. None of us knows everything, but we would all be guilty of comment from anassumed superior position of ethics or cultural supremacy. The belief in the ‘civilised’ nature our education and our history is the highest error.

Someone responded on facebook saying that entertaining the discussion at all was “like entertaining discussing murdering children!” as if there is some highbrow moral position about not talking about killing people. Humans kill other humans daily, children, women and men. This happens either directly through murder and war or indirectly through funding murder and war or eating more than our share.

Discussion that exposes us to tribal and cultural rationales we are unaware of, or beliefs that concern themselves with killing to retain family  honour should not be stopped by the Opera House fear of stupid tweets.

Uthman believes “hysteria has done its job” and that it has.

What if we pay you to go back where you came from?

Remember in 2002 when the Howard government offered detainees in our state of the art detention facilities $2000 to go back to Iran and Afghanistan?

Always short of ideas and policies of his own, Abbott has revitalised the concept, considered inflation and taken the offer to up to five times the 2002 amount (not a bad increase in just 12 years). Now we hear http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-offers-iraqi-asylum-seekers-6k-to-return-home-20140624-3aqsh.html  the Abbott government is offering Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers up to $10,000 to return to the warzones they fled.

In 2002……

“Woomera’s Afghan detainees signed a pact to reject a repatriation deal between the Howard government and the Karzai administration in Kabul. Under the agreement, refugees who fled Afghanistan’s war, repression and poverty are now threatened with forcible return. The Howard government, which is determined to exclude nearly all Afghani refugees, has declared that it will deport those who do not accept an offer of $A2,000 and a flight to Afghanistan.

Returning Afghans would be at risk of their lives in a country where US-led military forces continue to bomb and kill civilians in the name of the “global war on terrorism.” Basic infrastructure has been devastated and ethnic conflict and persecution continues. Canberra’s hypocrisy is exposed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s warning to Australian citizens not to visit Afghanistan because of the extreme dangers posed by the country’s ongoing conflicts.” https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/07/refu-j10.html

Yet the Age informs us that “just last week Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced $5 million in assistance to support Iraqis fleeing the country.” No information was made available about what that money was intended to do.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/move-to-protect-iraqi-asylum-seekers-fails-20140623-3aoyn.html

Obviously it wasn’t to help them pay smugglers so they had some chance of avoiding a probable more than 10 years stint in a refugee camp awaiting the improbable assistance of UNHCR

So what advice would the Department of Foreign affairs give to anyone thinking of travelling to Syria?

Advice             Issue date              Region                Alert Level

Syria 13/05/2014 Middle East Do not travel

and for good measure, here’s the current DFAT warning for Iraq

Iraq 24/06/2014 Middle East Do not travel

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We have a saying that explains the dilemma this ‘offer’ puts the refugees in… “Caught between the Devil and the deep Blue Sea”

In Arabic the saying goes something like… “The choice between death and ……..lose everything and die” ….seems more apt as the deep blue sea got them here in the first place.

Consciousness or Oblivion?

The web based news outlet ‘Truth-out’ has recently reported on the call from Chilean Australians for extradition back to Chile of former DINA agent Adriana Rivas, who has been living in Australia for “36 years, despite knowledge of her participation in the crimes committed at the Chilean torture and extermination centre known as Cuartel Simon Bolivar – the place where no one got out alive..”

The article raises issues I have raised in this blog about sanitising and reinventing history to suit political propaganda interests. The article jolted my memory of Pinochet’s 1995 TV quote “The only way to solve problems is olvido (oblivion). If day after day we are always returning to the same point, we will continue fighting. Forget it, do not talk more about the issue, then you will forget and I will forget.”

This “forgeting” suited the Pinochet dictatorship by allowing them to continue to present themselves as saviours of Chile from Allende’s Marxist hell. Those who lived the struggle and were so close they could smell the dictator’s weapons of treachery and death like so many of the Chilean people who chose NOT to forget the torture, murder and disappearances remember them in terms of the struggle for justice. http://truth-out.org/news/item/24401-chilean-australians-clamor-for-the-extradition-to-chile-of-former-dina-agent-adriana-rivas

It is said that the victors write history.

This is now being challenged and our capacity for understanding can be matched by the plethora of information available to us but we have to choose this more difficult way. There is opportunity to choose conscious reflection over Pinochet’s ‘oblivion’ and government aided ‘forgetting’ to secure the survival of social truths in history. We are being challenged by very powerful propaganda machinery and can choose to dig deeper, to ignore or to question and challenge the information we are fed.

This does not mean ‘unfriending’ people who think differently or sticking with those who think like we do. It doesn’t mean blindly accepting the pap we are served. It means talking to the wise, the elders, those who were there, those who have something to offer, listening to our children and our grandparents and listening across cultures and time.

Communities that are fair, alive and creative are those that are conscious and aware, not insular communities that actively pursue ‘forgetting’ or deliberately ignore complex problems and ‘the bad stuff’ on their way to oblivion.

Muerte al olvidola verdad abraza la Conciencia (Death to Oblivion- Truth Embraces Consciousness)

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Israel: We’re the moderates, We’re the Victims, We show restraint

http://972mag.com/the-kidnapping-and-the-israeli-military-operation-in-numbers/92332/

|Published June 20, 2014

The kidnapping and the Israeli military operation – in numbers

Since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers from a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank on June 12, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces has been operating all over the Palestinian territories, in Areas A, B and C. The following list attempts to provide some basic statistics on the toll it has been exacting. While Israeli media is portraying the operation as highly restrained, these numbers show the deep effect it has on the Palestinian population as of June 20, 2014. *Some numbers provided are estimates due to the difficulty in confirming exact numbers.

Number of kidnapped Israeli teenagers: 3

Number of days since operation began: 7

Number of Palestinians arrested: 388

Of them, number associated with Hamas: 240

Of them, the number released in 2011 Gilad Shalit exchange: 55

Number of indictments filed against them thus far: 0

Number of Palestinians killed: 2

Number of Palestinians wounded: Dozens

In critical condition: 1

Number of Israeli soldiers wounded: 1

Number of troops deployed to Hebron: At least 2,000

Number of residents of the city of Hebron under total lockdown:  200,000

Number of Israelis living in Hebron: 800

Number of houses raided throughout West Bank: Thousands

Number of locations/institutions raided: 1,150

Number of rockets fired from Gaza: 16

Number of Israelis wounded: 0

Structures damaged: 1

Number of Israeli air strikes on Gaza: At least 15

Number of Palestinians wounded: At least 7

Sources: IDF Spokesperson, Palestinian Prisoners Club, Haaretz, Walla, Ma’an News Agency, Associated Press, New York Times, International Middle East Media Center

Also see; http://972mag.com/when-israeli-soldiers-provoke-and-react-palestinians-die/92419/

Omar

This movie is brilliant.

It manages to paint the pains of occupation and the complexities of human relationships in a setting hardly anyone can really imagine. Occupied Palestine.

The lives of the young characters who can see a life and a future despite their imposed prisons are portrayed in all their facets- friendships, young love, trust, jealousy, betrayal, courage, fear, loss, it is a story worthy of Shakespeare.

The Director,  Hany Abu Assad should be proud of this achievement.

If you get a chance GO SEE!

You will be enthralled, it has everything.

The lead, Omar is played by Adam Bakri he is fabulous and truly enigmatic. The movie has it all, his Juliet, Nadia (Leem Lubany), the apartheid West Bank Wall (played by itself except for shots of Omar scrambling over the top as Israel permitted the Palestinian filmmakers to shoot the wall, but not the top -a fake wall had to be built for those scenes) the Israeli agent Rami (Waleed Zuaiter) – an all Palestinian cast and crew. The talent is there.

Zuaiter and Abu-Assad want to create a Palestinian studio system—recruit and train actors, directors, writers—and finance more features.  Zuaiter and his brothers recently formed Z Bros, a production company to fund Palestinian cinema, he believes ‘Palestinian stories must engage non-Palestinians. The theme has to be more important than the background.’ This film IS engaging and the background compelling.

GO SEE………………………………..

 

QUIZ: WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?

V8's   F18  Tank and V8 Driver

What do the above photo’s have in common with these below?

15        220px-Prince_Mohammed_bin_Naif_bin_Abdulaziz_2013-01-16_(2)        Al-NousRats

Answer at end of  post

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Yesterday I went to the V8 Supercars race in Darwin…………….

I know I don’t have to justify my actions to anyone but myself so this is how I did that –

  1. It was free.
  2. I was happy to experience the ‘show’.
  3. I can get a mild thrill from the roar of the engines and the smell of high octane.
  4. I am still intrigued by people and the shit that goes down in the name of entertainment.

It was windy, it was dusty it was fun to be doing something different –

People everywhere sported newly purchased ‘merchandise’, mostly t-shirts with corporate logo’s and flags.

Food and drink were, as expected extortionately priced but hey……we get that. There seemed to be more overweight people in one place than I had seen for a while and they all wanted to stand in front of us with the excuse of holding a camera with a large lens.

The media play throughout was enlightening, an attractive young female presenter played on the age old ‘I’m just a gorgeous dumb chick with no understanding about cars’ trick and won first prize for when she asked a male driver…. “There’s a girl driving isn’t there? How do you think the girl driver will go driving in this ….there is one driving I hear?”

The woman driving was I believe Danica Patrick and worse has been said about her this year in her chosen sport …..And Richard Petty did not back away from his controversial comment a few days earlier that Patrick would only win a Sprint Cup race “if everybody else stayed home”.
Petty said his remark had not been sexist but that “if her name had been Danny nobody would have said anything”.
“I’m not sexist. I love women,” Petty said.
“I believe in not being particularly political correct. To be political correct I’d have to lie to myself, and I’m not going to do it… What I said is what I said, and that is what I believe.” http://www.motoring.com.au/news/motorsport-a-clearer-picture-on-v8-supercar-tv-future-41721

……(and if it wasn’t Danica it says more that I could not find out who it was after a good time searching). But what do I say when my gender is being trashed by its own? Sexism is very alive.

Next of course we have the fly-over, the boys and bigger toys – The F18. It is incredible. It is no doubt clever to manoeuvre in that way and we all know the enticement associated with ‘top gun’ – Power and sex again go together the noise is deafening the story of the refuelling mid-air fascinating and the amount of fuel for today’s event $ ?

Then I remember my relatives……..refugees…………bombed out of their homes, the sound of that plane overhead must be the sound of death for so many. Meanwhile in Australia we laugh, we are in awe, we are so far away from this pain and yet we forget we are the US best friend? Holding hands with NATO in Benghaz, prepared to go back to Iraq and the there’s Afghanistan.

Then I remember the tanks in the entry area, why were they there?  No idea.

The commentator had a brief interlude with one of the army guys, back from Afghanistan………something about girls get down there and being like Cher across the tank gun, the innuendo’s about size of the large shells parked beside the tank, their capability and what fun it must be on practice runs in outback NT…………….I am getting more ill by the minute.

Next year………….. drones?

We can laugh about how they can take people out without even getting out of your chair, that will be hilarious. We can have them pepper spray drunk aboriginals who get aggressive when in town. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/20/pepper-spray-drone-offered-south-african-mines-strike-control

Perhaps I am droll, no fun and a downer for others who just want to enjoy without feeling responsibility, and who just want to ignore the awful shit about our complicity in wars far from home and in deaths of towel-heads in foreign lands. Who don’t see themselves as tacit supporters and silent collaborators of corporate greed and stealth across the nations of the Middle East.

We all play with their oil and their proximity to ports and pipelines, we love the big engines. We blame the people we bomb and kill for their Islamic difference their support for dictators, their ‘civil’ wars, we call them on their attitudes to women and ignorance of democratic ways. We value our freedom…………………….to be sexist, (in our own way), extravagant (with knowledge our resources are limited), vote (for people who will all back the corporates over us), open our doors to the US (military and spy networks) and all without question or reflection…….

Don’t we?

 

Oh yes, the Answer:

So what do the photos  have in common?

They are all less than two steps from  war.

 

Thoughts and comment on Tony Blairs ‘Future Peace Piece’

??????????

Photo: From a satirical anti-war photomontage artwork created by KennardPhillipps titled “Photo Op

“We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ caused this crisis. We haven’t” – Tony Blair

Tony Blair believes the war in Syria is the real cause of the current Iraq situation and threatens all the Middle East. He is a deluded meglomaniac

“The civil war in Syria with its attendant disintegration is having its predictable and malign effect. Iraq is now in mortal danger. The whole of the Middle East is under threat.”………
……….We will have to re-think our strategy towards Syria; support the Iraqi Government in beating back the insurgency; whilst making it clear that Iraq’s politics will have to change for any resolution of the current crisis to be sustained. Then we need a comprehensive plan for the Middle East that correctly learns the lessons of the past decade.”

He suggests “root causes of this extremism which goes far beyond the crisis in Iraq or Syria”, challenges with vigour claims that he and George’s decision to invade Iraq influenced the current Iraq situation or peace in the Middle East”because;
‘Terrorism’ was and remains a very real challenge
Three or four years ago al-Qa’ida in Iraq was a beaten force.
Despite massive challenges Iraq had a prospect of overcoming them.
Iraq posed no threat to its neighbours.
Any bloody instability in Iraq was ‘contained mostly within its own borders’.

Blair does recognise two contributing factors that could have been influenced by the west- the US withdrawel of forces was too soon and the Maliki Government’s sectarianism has ‘snuffed out a genuine opportunity to build a cohesive Iraq’, ‘failed to use the oil money to re-build the country’ and ‘led inadequate Iraqi forces that alienated Sunni’s’.

But he sticks with the Syrian war as the root cause.
“…no doubt that a major proximate cause of the takeover of Mosul by Isis is the situation in Syria. To argue otherwise is wilful. The operation in Mosul was planned and organised from Raqqa across the Syria border. The fighters were trained and battle-hardened in the Syrian war. It is true that they originate in Iraq and have shifted focus to Iraq over the past months. But, Islamist extremism in all its different manifestations as a group, rebuilt refinanced and re-armed mainly as a result of its ability to grow and gain experience through the war in Syria.”

This comment shows extreme arrogance and psychopathology. Blair fails to take any responsibility for the negative consequences of the actions he initiated and supported in response to his Carlyle Group buddy George http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/31/september11.usa4
He deliberately fails to join the US, NATO corporate political hegemonic dots.

Whats more the man’s logic is completely flawed. He proposes what he calls “the counterfactual” to show how his interventions and righteous warmongering are not related to the current Iraqi situation… an example being that if in 2003 ‘Saddam had been left running Iraq’.
ON WMD’s………..
1. We now know Assad ‘was manufacturing chemical weapons’.
2. We only discovered this when he used them.
3. We also know despite Saddam getting rid of the physical weapons he retained the expertise and capability to manufacture them.

Ergo………………Is it likely that, knowing what we now know about Assad, Saddam, who had used chemical weapons against both the Iranians in the 1980s war ……………would have gone back to them(chemical weapons).
Sorry Tony that logic is severely flawed to the point of being an absurdity.

The second counterfactual is against the belief that Iraq would have been stable now had he and George not invaded–
1. Saddam and his two sons would be running Iraq in 2011 when the “Arab Spring” uprisings began.
2. The revolution has been sweeping the Arab world -Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria.

Ergo…………….. “Iraq would have been engulfed by precisely the same convulsion” and “the most likely response of Saddam would have been to fight to stay in power. Here we would have a Sunni leader trying to retain power in the face of a Shia revolt. Imagine the consequences. Next door in Syria a Shia backed minority would be clinging to power trying to stop a Sunni majority insurgency. In Iraq the opposite would be the case. The risk would have been of a full blown sectarian war across the region, with States not fighting by proxy, but with national armies.”

Blair is unable to see how simplistic his argument is and dares to call any reading of his efforts of 2003-2006 as having causal repercussions “bizarre…. in the cauldron that is the Middle East today”
Now the diatribe…………….
“The reality is that the whole of the Middle East and beyond is going through a huge, agonising and protracted transition. We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven’t. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not; and whether action or inaction is the best policy and there is a lot to be said on both sides. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it.”
and it gets worse……its almost a treatise!
“The problems of the Middle East are the product of bad systems of politics mixed with a bad abuse of religion going back over a long time. Poor governance, weak institutions, oppressive rule and a failure within parts of Islam to work out a sensible relationship between religion and Government have combined to create countries which are simply unprepared for the modern world. Put into that mix, young populations with no effective job opportunities and education systems that do not correspond to the requirements of the future economy, and you have a toxic, inherently unstable matrix of factors that was always – repeat always – going to lead to a revolution…………….……………The fact is that as a result of the way these societies have developed and because Islamism of various descriptions became the focal point of opposition to oppression, the removal of the dictatorship is only the beginning not the end of the challenge. Once the regime changes, then out come pouring all the tensions – tribal, ethnic and of course above all religious; and the rebuilding of the country, with functioning institutions and systems of Government, becomes incredibly hard. The extremism de-stabilises the country, hinders the attempts at development, the sectarian divisions become even more acute and the result is the mess we see all over the region. And beyond it. Look at Pakistan or Afghanistan and the same elements are present.”

His call on his policies towards specific countries….clearly with the belief that he had rights to orchestrate regime change in the region.
IRAQ: We called for the regime to change, removed it and put in troops to try to rebuild the country. But intervention proved very tough and today the country is at risk again.

LIBYA: Gaddafi, who in 2003 had given up his WMD and cooperated with us in the fight against terrorism, is removed by us on the basis he threatens to kill his people………. We called for the regime to change, we removed it by airpower, but refused to put in troops and now Libya is racked by instability, violence and has exported vast amounts of trouble and weapons across North Africa and down into sub- Saharan Africa.

SYRIA: we called for the regime to change, took no action and it is in the worst state of all. Assad, who actually kills his people on a vast scale including with chemical weapons, is left in power.

Blair dares to suggest the post 9/11 world has made him humble! Then in arrogance “since leaving office, (I have) spent a great deal of time in the region and have studied its dynamics carefully.” What Tony? no time in the thick of riteous determination to democratise the Arab you only now “appreciate that resolving this situation is immensely complex. This is a generation long struggle. It is not a ‘war’ which you win or lose in some clear and clean-cut way. There is no easy or painless solution. Intervention is hard. Partial intervention is hard. Non-intervention is hard.”

He then asks himself the obvious!
“Ok, so if it is that hard, why not stay out of it all, the current default position of the West? …”

His answer?
…Jihadist groups are never going to leave us alone. 9/11 happened for a reason. That reason and the ideology behind it have not disappeared.”

He goes on………….
“…… in this struggle will be decided many things: the fate of individual countries, the future of the Middle East, and the direction of the relationship between politics and the religion of Islam. This last point will affect us in a large number of ways. It will affect the radicalism within our own societies which now have significant Muslim populations. And it will affect how Islam develops across the world. If the extremism is defeated in the Middle East it will eventually be defeated the world over, because this region is its spiritual home and from this region has been spread the extremist message”. (my emphasis)

Mr Christian do-gooder missionary in another skin what do you fear the most?
“our biggest future threat will come from returning fighters from Syria… a real risk that Syria becomes a haven for terrorism worse than Afghanistan in the 1990s… the effect that Syria is having on the Lebanon and Jordan. ..”
A view he says is supported by the “security agencies of Europe” Who are they Tony?

So now to what to do?
“The moderate and sensible elements of the Syria Opposition should be given the support they need; Assad should know he cannot win an outright victory; and the extremist groups, whether in Syria or Iraq, should be targeted, in coordination and with the agreement of the Arab countries. However unpalatable this may seem, the alternative is worse……”

Perhaps Mastery of the Universe? I spoke too soon…….
“But acting in Syria alone or Iraq, will not solve the challenge across the region or the wider world. We need a plan for the Middle East and for dealing with the extremism world-wide that comes out of it.
The starting point is to identify the nature of the battle. It is against Islamist extremism. That is the fight.
So King Richard 1……….
People shy away from the starkness of that statement. But it is because we are constantly looking for ways of avoiding facing up to this issue, that we can’t make progress in the battle.
Of course in every case, there are reasons of history and tribe and territory which add layers of complexity. Of course, too, as I said at the outset, bad governance has played a baleful role in exacerbating the challenges. But all those problems become infinitely tougher to resolve, when religious extremism overlays everything. Then unity in a nation is impossible. Stability is impossible. Therefore progress is impossible. Government ceases to build for the future and manages each day as it can. Division tears apart cohesion. Hatred replaces hope……” yawn.

Oh no, we are really moderates and we now have identified “friends” in the Middle East (we educated them, we gave them weapons, we planted them back on Arab soil)
“…..We have to unite with those in the Muslim world, who agree with this analysis to fight the extremism. Parts of the Western media are missing a critical new element in the Middle East today. There are people – many of them – in the region who now understand this is the battle and are prepared to wage it. We have to stand with them…..”

Shoui shoui (Arabic: slowly slowly)
..”Repressive systems of Government have played their part in the breeding of the extremism. (but not mine of course) A return to the past for the Middle East is neither right nor feasible. On the contrary there has to be change and there will be. However, we have to have a more graduated approach, which tries to help change happen without the chaos.
We were naïve about the Arab uprisings ………….. Evolution is preferable to revolution. …………..Sometimes evolution is not possible. But where we can, we should be helping countries make steady progress towards change. We should be actively trying to encourage and help the reform process and using the full weight of the international community to do so.
Where there has been revolution, we have to be clear we will not support systems or Governments based on sectarian religious politics……………” Blah blah Blair

And now my nice Christian neo lib way of imparting hegemony………..(and keeping corporate security firms, and war based money makers happy)
…..”Longer term, we have to make a concerted effort to reform the education systems, formal and informal which are giving rise to the extremism. It should be part of our dialogue and partnership with all nations that we expect education to be open-minded and respectful of difference whether of faith culture or race. ..”
Do you think he’ll weigh in next with that other Tony who runs our sunburnt country and call for school chaplains? But I digress………..
…….”We should make sure our systems reflect these values; they should do the same.

And now the FOUNDATION!
This is the very reason why, after I left office I established a Foundation now active in the education systems of over 20 different countries, including in the Middle East, promoting a programme of religious and cultural co-existence.

Going Global…(to fight extremism)
…”We should make this a focal point of cooperation between East and West. China, Russia, Europe and the USA all have the same challenge of extremism. For the avoidance of doubt, I am neither minimising our differences especially over issues like Ukraine, nor suggesting a weakening of our position there; simply that on this issue of extremism, we can and should work together.
We should acknowledge that the challenge goes far further afield than the Middle East. Africa faces it as the ghastly events in Nigeria show. The Far East faces it. Central Asia too.

And your point is?
…”The point is that we won’t win the fight until we accept the nature of it.”

Finally Iraq back to Syria………….
Iraq is part of a much bigger picture. By all means argue about the wisdom of earlier decisions. But it is the decisions now that will matter. The choices are all pretty ugly, it is true. But for 3 years we have watched Syria descend into the abyss and as it is going down, it is slowly but surely wrapping its cords around us pulling us down with it. We have to put aside the differences of the past and act now to save the future.

I am tired, Blair has no analysis….his recent piece is the ravings of a meglomaniac.
No mention of the secular nature of Syrian politics (Despite other concerns Iraq and Syria under the Baath Party were secular)
No mention of the fact that many Syrians before the explosion of external warmongering paid no attention to if they were Sunni or Shia
No mention of warmongering in Syria supported by the US, NATO and the Qatar and Saudi funds
No mention of recent Bashar Syrian elections win or any changes to Syrian political landscape under Bashar Al Assad (relevant in light of Blairs call for “Evolution over Revolution”)
No mention of CIA and MI6 or the debacle that was and is Libya http://www.globalresearch.ca/libya-coming-full-circle-when-a-deemed-conspiracy-theory-becomes-reality/5387468
No mention of Israeli weapon smuggling to Syria via Kurdistan and Turkey
NO MENTION OF THE ORCHESTRATED WAR IN SYRIA BY THE WEST http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/06/10/cia-mi6-orchestrating-massacres-in-syria-analysis/

Links:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-al-qaeda-insurgency-in-syria-recruiting-jihadists-to-wage-nato-s-humanitarian-wars/26351?print=1
More to be added….

How a Bankrupt Egypt buys Israel Peace

I get Jonathon’s blog posts.. always a good read but this is really worth a read I believe we are all in danger of being exploited by the ‘power’ gangsters but this is really disgusting. I am sure he will be happy to share this with you…

How a bankrupt Egypt buys Israel peace

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-06-14/how-a-bankrupt-egypt-buys-israel-peace/

Jonathon wrote…”I can’t remember watching a documentary that, using a single case study, so
effectively strips away the political theatre we see in the mainstream media to reveal the horrifying exploits of the gangsters who run our energy corporations and political systems.

In Egypt’s Lost Power, Al-Jazeera have produced an absorbing 45-min film that, on one level, shows how a couple of corrupt businessmen – one Egyptian, one Israeli – with strong connections to their respective security services persuaded their governments to sign a deal for Egypt to supply Israel with natural gas at bargain-basement prices, a deal that now risks bankrupting the Egyptian economy.

But peeping out from the shadows are the real gangsters: US officials, members of the Middle East peace process industry, who are normally presented as the ‘good guys’………..”.
_______________

Jonathan Cook -independent journalist based in Nazareth

Winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism.

Read all Jonathan’s recent reports and commentaries on his website, the View from Nazareth: http://www.Jonathan-Cook.net  and on his blog: http://www.Jonathan-Cook.net/blog/

When you are freed from your controllers.

If I denied there was anything that controlled me, I would be a liar. I don’t want to be a liar.

‘Liars’ are ubiquitous in Australia. Its a qualification as the pop-media confirms, an ‘essential criteria’ for a career as politician (particularly party leaders), a cop before a royal commission,  a lawyer anywhere but the bar (the one with alcohol)  and a shock jock radio host (at any time).

But this is definitely not me today! I am not lying, I AM controlled.

I would love so much to say I am my own person and that NOTHING controls what I say or do… but ME. But I can’t.

Recently I had an epiphany about this.

I concluded my every move was being CONTROLLED including even my thoughts.

When I ate, where I ate, who I had coffee with, what I carried with me, how long I could concentrate, if I drove my own car. I couldn’t walk down the street without the control entering my mind.

I have recently  regained control over what activities I engage in and in particular how my body is invaded.

Writing about it is strangely dangerous. My writing is the one thing that is genuinely assisted by me kowtowing to my controller. Research has proved me right about this. (For a fantastic read on this see the link after you have read to the end of this post). I knew being controlled in this way was almost necessary if I wanted to write any sustained, reasonable and informed piece.  Writing about my controller draws me closer to him, (I give that gender in the same way they assign to ships, apologies to any offended males at the end of reading this piece by my gender allocation to my controller but there is no way they are female for me and they can certainly not be called an IT, we are too intimate).

That last paragraph complete, my psychological sweating is over, the danger is passed and my hankering to be ‘managed’ while continuing to think myself free has dissipated.

My controller is banished…………………….He has been gone for 7 weeks.

My son told me I sounded like I had Stockholm Syndrome as I relayed how, despite recognising I had been under supreme control, I had shaken him and now felt I had lost a true friend……………. I really missed my controlling captor.

It IS Stockholm Syndrome…..

Check this

In order for Stockholm syndrome to occur, at least three traits must be present:

  • A severely uneven power relationship where the captor dictates what the prisoner can and cannot do…….TICK
  • The threat of death or physical injury to the prisoner at the hands of the captor………………TICK
  • A self-preservation instinct on the part of the prisoner………..TICK

­­Included in these traits are:

  • The prisoner’s belief (correct or incorrect, it doesn’t matter) that he or she cannot escape………TICK
  • Survival occurs within the rules set by the all-powerful captor………..TICK
  • The prisoner’s isolation from people not being held by the captors…TICK
  • Outside views of the captor fail to infringe on the psychological processes leading to Stockholm syndrome….TICK

I have now determined (in conjunction with my clever friend who pointed the  similarities of my situation to those of SS) that a new therapy for NICOTINE addicts should mirror that used to cure Stockholm Syndrome! I am still in love with my captor.

Image

http://therumpus.net/2010/04/nicotine-chic-writers-as-smokers/