|7 year old Ahed Bakr killed on 16 July 2014 by an Israeli shell.|
Many years ago I was probably one of the first people to view a beheading execution by a terrorist on the internet. I don't even recall when it was exactly but it was certainly prior to 2004. I wondered at the time if I could bear to watch it. I wondered if it would traumatise me in some adverse way. I wondered if I could cope. But in summary I recognised that I am alive and I have a choice to look at the reality of humanity or look away. I considered that there was a human being who had lived and was murdered and I had a choice to honour his life by acknowledging and witnessing his suffering. It could not be worse for me than it was for him. So I watched the video. It was disturbing and haunting but it also allows me to absorb some of the more disturbing aspects of humanity.
It is reasonable that it is not acceptable to go to someone's wedding party and to display hundreds of maimed and murdered children to force people to confront the horrors that are currently happening in other parts of the world whilst the guests indulge in good food, music and celebration. There is, as they say, a time and a place for everything. So when is the time and where is the place to face the extreme horrors of human behaviour? It is right that people enjoy the good things in life. But it is not right to maintain a disproportionate level of luxury facilitated at the expense of other people's suffering. It is particularly disturbing when people actively ignore what is being done in their name to sustain their pleasure. And it is sinister in the extreme to deliberately hide evidence of crimes to keep people in ignorance.
One of the iconic images of the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014 is that of 7 year old Ahed Bakr who was killed on 16 July by an Israeli shell and his body was cast by the explosion like a discarded broken doll on the beach. Israel claims they were firing at terrorists but the fact that at least 70% of the thousands they killed were civilians invalidates that defence.
On 19 August 2014 James Foley was the first victim of the iconic ISIL execution videos of Western hostages. The video was clearly a fake. It was only days before the authorities removed the video and claimed that it may have been faked but that James Foley had certainly been executed by ISIL soon afterwards. So why would ISIL, a truly barbarous outfit, display a studio like simulation of an execution? The most likely explanation is that they wouldn't. They would show the execution, as they have done on many occasions before, in its raw horror. If they are to be called terrorists it is because they intend to terrorise not sanitise. The fact that this video was clearly fake did not stop the authorities using the memory of it to continue to incite fear and moral indignation in their own population to justify their intention to bomb the Middle East. There was then a conveniently timed sequence of these almost identical videos of executions with the barren unidentifiable background and the victim on his knees in an orange jump suit with the executioner dressed in black like some evil figure from an Ali Baba pantomime on the right. The latest being the 'fake' execution of Alan Henning on 3 October 2014. Within 10 hours of its apparent release all traces of the video had been censored from the internet.
It is understandable that the authorities do not show the full horror on the main stream media whilst middle class people are enjoying their evening meal. What is not acceptable or reasonable is that they remove all evidence from the internet. If you want to prove to people that an execution has taken place it is ridiculous to hide the evidence. The evidence of the atrocities in Gaza are available on the internet. It may seem paradoxical but that is because the authorities cannot control the plethora of information and disturbing images from thousands of sources to thousands of destinations - yet. Finding the more disturbing images is, however, becoming harder. Searches done on Google recently are not finding the wealth of images and articles relating to Gaza that they did 2 months ago. It is clear that someone is working hard to curtail, if not entirely control, the free flow of information. But the ISIL executions are well and truly erased. The most likely explanation is that the authorities have control of the source and destination of these videos and want to prevent them being studied and used as evidence that something is amiss with the official story.
The tragedy is that in both cases - Gaza and ISIL - there are innocent lives being destroyed. It seems likely that the Western hostages portrayed in the execution videos are dead. It does not make sense that an organisation like ISIL (especially if we are to believe the story the authorities require us to believe that they are savage and heinous) would construct fake videos to hide the true horror of someone having their head ruthlessly hacked off. They are clearly not in the business of sanitising executions for Western consumers. If the Western powers wanted to present execution videos as propaganda they would not film themselves executing these people and then publicise the incriminating evidence on the internet. In fact they would likely 'stage' the videos and later kill the individuals off camera because they are surplus artefacts more dangerous alive than dead.
It is clearly evident that the collective group embodied largely by the US, the UK and Israeli governments are content to use sophisticated and dreadful illegal weapons to slaughter thousands of civilians deliberately trapped in Gaza. Israel blockaded the sea, had already walled in the population and conspired with Egypt, a US backed military dictatorship, to lock the back door. There was no escape for the population. Israel then used terrible weapons including the most disgusting flechette missiles (sophisticated nail bombs) to intentionally target children in schools and hospitals. The US supported and rearmed them and the UK actively defended them with propaganda and suppression of the real story. I wrote to David Cameron and the best his office could offer was that David was concerned and the UK government had sent money for humanitarian aid.
Now they fill the media with horror stories of staged ISIL executions. Four so far. David Cameron is quoted as saying of the latest one on 3 October 2014 "The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are." The obvious intention being to continue mustering support for the UK's unspecified and apparently endless military activities in the Middle East. The ironic tragedy is that ISIL, on all accounts, appear to be barbaric and repulsive terrorists. So why the fabricated and strangely invisible evidence. It hardly matters who has fabricated it or if the abhorrent murders have occurred - the seriously troubling issue is why the falsification. It is all the more disturbing that the official line from both the US and the UK is to emphasize the gross inhumanity of these unacceptable executions whilst remaining astoundingly silent on the bizarre genocidal butchery in Gaza. It is self evident that their moral outrage is contrived and not genuine. It is clear that their intentions are to persuade people to accept the need to exercise more violent intervention in the Middle East. They are, by definition, warmongers.
Of course, with reference to David Cameron's latest speech, on no less than the world stage, at the recent UN General Assembly on 25 September 2014, it now appears that I am not allowed to exercise this intellectual inquiry for fear of being categorised as a terrorist myself. The phrase "One might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb." comes to mind. On the subject of lies and deception Cameron did say one thing that has lingered tantalisingly for days in my mind. I eventually realised why it was provoking me.
With reference to the contradictory notion of 'war on terror' he named two specific events from many years ago and I quote "The peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or that the 7/7 London attacks were staged." He cited them (the peddling of such 'lies') as examples of what he has termed non-violent extremism and I quote again "We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism." When he says "deal with" he does not mean engage with, listen to, discuss or debate - he means shut them down whatever it takes. He is literally trying to terrify people by threatening extreme violence against anyone who voices an opinion that is not in line with the official story - in spite of the fact that the official story is based on evident falsification and misrepresentation of events. This is, by definition, an act of terrorism.
But what has struck me so profoundly is that like any criminal there is a strange Freudian need to reveal the crime. There was no need for Cameron to name those two events in a short 2,000 word speech at the UN over 10 years later. But he is not as ruthless, psychopathic, clinical or clever as his erstwhile partners in crime. He has, in the classic behaviour of a liar, let the cat out of the bag. Why, with the abundance of current issues that need dealing with, was he compelled to not only deny the falsehood of those two specific events but to threaten anyone who dare mention such 'lies'? I understand psychology well enough to know that if David Cameron seriously 'knew' in his own mind that those events were as officially described he would not be motivated to make such a strong denial of their possible falsehood so many years after the events. But the evidence suggests that he is actually afraid of the truth coming out. Now I don't know what the truth is but it seems Cameron knows more than me.
In summary there are a lot of tragic and dreadful events going on. There is a lot of information and disinformation. There are people vying for power and influence and there are people searching for an understanding and the truth. The important thing is to have those biblical "eyes to see and ears to hear". It may, hypothetically, be that the universe is ruthless and that Bush, Blair, Cameron, Obama, Netanyahu and a few others are perfectly right that people will kill people so it is better to kill them before they kill us. They may be right that if necessary one should employ lies and deception to achieve what you believe is right. They could, theoretically, be right that there are no higher values, no principles, no honour or truth. But I do not believe it. I believe that humanity is on the brink of its own destruction and the only way to successfully move forward and avoid that self-destruction is to deal with real reality and not the fictional reality of an idealised humanity which relies on hiding the unpalatable or terrifying reality in front of us. We need to have eyes to see and ears to hear. We need the truth and we need to confront it and deal with it. We need to be honest no matter how difficult it appears to be. We need the internet to be uncensored and information to flow freely. If we are not dealing with reality we can't be successful in reality. So come what may we need to understand what is going on. These people 'in power' are clearly not being honest, straight forward or kind. We have to get beyond that. We have to face the fact that we are all capable of mistakes and bad deeds. We are all capable of caving in and submitting. The Americans, the British the Israelis, the Egyptians, the Syrians the Russians are all capable of dreadful behaviour but there is no way to stop this permanent decline until we face up to reality. We have to stop demonising others with what we are terrified of in ourselves and start facing the truth regardless of what Cameron says.
We need to face the terror. We need to deal with it. We need to accept it and not try to rub it out by blaming others and destroying them. The terror is in each and every one of us. By trying to erase it from our experience we become the perpetrators of the very thing we fear most.
"We sacrifice real life by complying with social contracts of oppression for our own sense of security."