2015 – The Year of Terror

As this year draws to a close, I look back and remember all the things that happened in a last 12 months. Unfortunately, the memories that come to the front are far from being pleasant.

I remember about thousands of people being murdered in terrorist attacks. I remember that over half of the population of the Earth live in countries exposed to terror. Countries where murder committed by terrorists is a daily occurrence. We tend to ignore the terror when it happens in “one of those places”. Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, or anywhere in Africa are of little consequence to the rest of us in a Western world and barely score a mention somewhere on page 9 of a daily newspaper.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

But this year it’s not just the “usual suspects”. This year we have seen terrorists blowing a Russian passenger jet out of the sky.We’ve seen terrorists killing a police employee on a streets of Sydney in Australia. We have seen them spilling blood in Ukraine. Exploding bombs in Paris. We’ve seen an ISIS-inspired execution in Japan. We’ve seen car bombs exploding in Aussies’ favorite holiday destination – Thailand. We have seen shootings in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve seen people being murdered on streets of United States.

They say numbers don’t lie. Well, here are the numbers. As at the time of writing this blog, we experienced 338 terrorist attacks. That’s 1 attack every day. No longer it’s something that only happens sometimes, a couple of times a year or maybe once a month. Terror is a daily occurrence in our lives.  Terrorists performed their heinous acts in 35 countries. Combined population of these countries is 4.2 billion people. That’s 59% of an entire world’s population living their lives exposed to terrorism.

Drug Cartels

Drug Cartels

 

On a side note, the only continent that didn’t really get affected by terrorism this past year was South America. Coincidently, we all know about how strong the drug cartels are in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Bolivia. I guess cartels are scarier than American Navy Seals, Australian SAS or French Foreign Legion? Maybe instead of spending millions of dollars by sending our troops in Syria or Iran, we can just ask Cartels to “take care of business”?

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What is the cost of a human life?

What is the cost of a human life?

On a surface, it’s a simple enough question. After all, a human life is all we have, is the only thing we care about. I mean really care about. Human life is priceless, right?

Well, it depends. Depends on whose life it is. Over the past 5 years the world has seen lots and lots of people die. In Syria alone, 250,000 people died. What did the world do about it? Nothing.

Syrian  conflict - 250,000 people dead

Syrian conflict – 250,000 people dead

Sure, we sent some troops in, we dropped few bombs, we ran few news reports, but largely, this remained something that was happening to some random people in a part of the world where someone is always fighting someone else. So we really didn’t give a shit.

Not until terrorists killed 224 people on board of a Russian plane and 130 people in Paris attacks.

Suddenly, the whole world is outraged. Russia, France and the USA talk about tough measures to stop terror. They talk about retaliation. They talk about being at war. Things just got real.

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

And so now, we can try to answer our question about the cost of a human life.

One Russian life cost about 1,116 Syrian lives. One French life cost about 1,923 Syrian lives.

The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless if it happens in Middle East, Europe, Bali, or anywhere else in a world. The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless of a weapon being used. It can be a nervous gas, or a Kalashnikov, or a bomb, or a knife, or a rock. The victims of terrorist acts don’t care how they got killed.

The families of victims don’t care how their loved once got murdered. What they want, what they really care about is for us to get real and to stop the terror.

Who is providing support to ISIS terrorists?

Isn’t is ironic, that USA and UK are in top 10 countries from where the ISIS supporters are tweeting from?Infographic: Where are ISIS supporters tweeting from? | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Perharps America, England and all the other Western democracies should get real serious about cleaning up their own backyard?

Greste and his al-Jazeera colleagues are criminals who potentially endangered the lives of people of Egypt

Once again, I couldn’t help but laugh at the hypocrisy of the left-wing media.

Peter Greste in a nutshell- embarrassed to say "thanks" to his government

Peter Greste in a nutshell embarrassed to say “thanks” to his government

The same people who jump up and down at every opportunity – and often without one – to scream at us about the importance of free choice, democracy and the right to decide without undue interference, the same people are now shaking their fists at big bad wolf who almost swallowed poor innocent Little Red. I’m referring of course to the news of Peter Greste being sentenced by Egyptian authorities to 3 years in prison on terrorism charges.

It’s the Bali saga all over again. Australian citizens go to an independent sovereign country, break that country’s laws, get convicted, and this creates an absolute cacophony of voices trying to convince us that our fellow Aussies are just innocent victims of hostile foreign powers.

Am I missing something here? Greste decided to make a career as a journalist. Instead of doing something safe, like reportage from a chess championship, or from Melbourne Spring Festival, he chosen to travel to the country known for its instability. Regardless of what we might think of that country, it is a free, sovereign state with its own set of laws and its own judicial system.

Do the crime, do the time

Do the crime, do the time

Greste wasn’t triad by a kangaroo court. He went through the comprehensive investigation, discovery process and a trail.

It is a common knowledge, that not knowing the law does not free you from being accountable under that law.

Greste and his left wing cronies might think that he is an angel dragged down by the evil power, but in the eyes of the host country he and his two al-Jazeera colleagues are criminals who endangered the lives of people of that country.

Egypt is doing its hardest to combat the terrorist group known as Muslim Brotherhood, and arrogance and ignorance of media “professionals” like Greste doing a lot of damage to the long and hard process that the people of Egypt are currently undertaking.

People Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones, or Is This The End of English Monarchy?

‘The Sun has sunk to a new low’, ‘British public reacts with fury after tabloid publishes 80-year-old pictures of the seven-year-old Queen and the Queen Mother being taught a Nazi salute’ – these are just some of the headlines following publication of the current Queen of England performing Nazi salute 80 years ago.

There is a lot of talk about banishing The Sun, and about restricting Murdock’s rights of entering the UK. While I understand the sentiment behind it, I disagree with the idea. UK is a free, democratic country. The Sun, while being an absolute rat rag, published a factually correct story.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Instead of calling for heads to roll and for banishing people and businesses, the English establishment should stop and think about what this really means to them.

The way I see it, a 7 years old girl had been brainwashed to become a Nazi sympathiser. Instead, she grew up to be a woman of good stature and a reasonable Queen. She had shown the strength of character befitting of a monarch. If anything, the English should see it as a feel-good story.

On another side of the divide, there are loud voices calling for the end of monarchy and for introduction of a republic.

This just makes me cringe. I wonder if these same individual protest all and any political and/or economic dealings with the US government, which was quiet happy to acknowledge the French Vichy government as the official government of France. The fact that it was Hitler’s little puppet didn’t seem to bother anyone in Washington.

In all fairness, France  and USA weren’t the only ones who openly (or secretly) embraced the Nazi regime. Russia had signed a Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, aimed at carving up bits of Europe.

It Is also a well-known fact that Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Hassan al-Banna, was an ardent supporter of Nazi Germany, as was a Grand Mufti of Jerusalaem.

It wasn’t just the political and religious leaders who willingly cooperated with Nazis.

There was a lot of money to be made, and some big businesses couldn’t contain their greed.

Nazi Concentration Camp Tattoo

Nazi Concentration Camp Tattoo

That’s why I wonder how many of these same republicans that call to abandon the monarchy, simply because a 7 year old girl gave Nazi salute, are driving Fords? Henry Ford was Hitler’s close friend and the only American who received Nazi Germany’s highest honour – the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. Or how many of them use IBM equipment? Remember those infamous tattoos that Nazi victims were given upon entering concentration camps? They are the serial numbers that were fed into IBM’s accounting systems to insure efficiency.

The list of the companies who made their fortunes by cooperating with Nazis is quite long. Some of them made (or at least attempted to) make amends for their dark past, some are completely happy and comfortable with their history.

I guess what I’m saying is that before calling for the heads to roll, and for monarchs to be toppled, the instigators should have a good look at themselves and make sure they are not tainted.

Destroying Our History…. and Confederate Flags

For the past week America has been busy. Busy burning flags, editing them out of movies, removing references to Confederate flags, getting ready to demolish statues and rename the streets named after the Confederate leaders.

Why? It follows the tragedy of the shooting at Charleston church. The shooting suspect has been seen in a photo holding the Confederate flag.

Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism

Confederate battle flag

Is the Confederate flag a symbol of racism? Maybe. Does is have anything to do with the church shooting, or the murder of blacks in America that seems to be an everyday occurrence?  I doubt it.

In fact, of all blacks murdered in USA in 2013, over 90% were killed by other blacks. So we are not looking at wide-spread, racially motivated phenomenon here.

My first thought when I’ve heard about this idea of editing the flag out of history – “It’s just like Orwell’s 1984!” Not really surprising, considering the current political climate in America.

My second thought was – why is it, that displaying an ISIS flag, or a Hezbollah flag is perfectly fine, and Amazon selling ISIS flag, but removing Confederate flag is also fine with everyone – apparently it’s all about the “freedom of speech” and “freedom of expression”, but displaying a Confederate flag is suddenly an act of evil?

On emotional level I can understand the reaction. Innocent people dying is an ugly, horrifying event. An event that is sure to affect people’s ability to think rationally. However it should never result in us erasing our collective history. It’s amazing though, how often we engage in this kind of destruction of our history.

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

From the Tatars burning orthodox churches of Russia and Ukraine to the Communists destroying everything related to the Tsar family, to the current Ukrainian government destroying statues of Lenin and all things Commy, to the ISIS destroying mosques in Syria, to the Americans destroying their history of slavery, the story is always the same. Regardless of who’s holding the torch (or controls the demolition ball), from Golden Horde to the Communists, from Nazis to terrorists, from Whites to Blacks to Yellow, we are all engaged in one common action – destruction of the history of the humanity.

So maybe next time we stumble across something “offensive” or “undesirable” from our past, before we start looking for matches, I suggest we stop for a minute and think not about “here” and “now”, but about how erasing this particular part of our past will affect our future.

Our history, good or bad is what brought us here. Just like a tree cannot grow without its roots, the humanity cannot move forward without knowing its history.

Australian Greens Enter New Era Under New Leadership

And so it happened. After just two years at the helm of the most useless (or is it the least useful?) party in Australia, Christine Milne has announced her resignation as the leader of the Greens Party of Australia.

The media is abuzz with speculations as to why she decided to resign so unexpectedly – the official version is to be with her family, and who the man who became a successor really is– apart from having an uncommon name of Di Natale, and what’s he really about.

The question is – do we really care? I mean it’s not like we are talking about a party of substance, a party of progress. Greens have always been an “I Object” Party, making it their goal to create as much noise and enter into as many political speculations as possible.

Encourage people-smugglers to bring more illegal immigrants into Australia? Greens vote YES! So what if a couple of thousand of them get drowned on a way? There’s plenty more where they came from, and it makes for a great news story.

Australian Parliament

Australian Parliament

Protest back-burning of bushland in ACT? Greens vote YES! So what if houses get destroyed by raging fire and people die? We have lots of people in Canberra, and it makes for a great news story.

Sending a Sea Shepherd to board a sea vessel flying a flag of an independent country in international waters? Greens vote YES!  So what that by doing so the lives of people put in mortal danger? There is plenty more people on high seas, and it makes for a great news story.

If the Greens are to be taken seriously, they should take a good hard look at themselves and decide if it’s time to leave behind its questionable past and move into the future where most of us reside already. Not that I’ll be holding my breath waiting to see the Greens turning into political party of the 21st century, but it is encouraging to see that they started with one thing that made sense.

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

The fact that Adam Bandt, the only Lower House MP got effectively dumped, is an indication that Greens leadership is taking the right approach and moving away (at least on a surface) from being an openly Socialist Party (Adam Bandt) to being a quasi-progressive party (Richard Di Natale).

 

 

From now on, only time will tell. We would have to make ourselves comfortable, get some pop-corns and get ready to watch the never-ending tragicomedy that is Australian Politics.