Yesterday British MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of the third war on Iraq, in my lifetime. In doing so they further endanger the people of Iraq, Syria and Britain, and simultaneously strengthen the white supremacy that they are groomed and encultured to service. It feels like a horrible rerun of 2003, with no lessons learnt and a weaker, wearier opposition.
ISIS do seem to go out of their way to conveniently stamp bastard on everything that they touch, so you really need a decolonial humanic backbone to see through the smoke and mirrors here. The whiteous;y indignant, yet hypnotic 'So what's your solution' disqualification of dissent sung with the war drum creates a false urgency (like the 45 minute Weapons of Mass Distraction lie). Beneath this, the general shallowness of MPs, who are consumers like the rest of us, can be relied upon to deliver the most foolish verdict on the most dubious information. (Remember Jeremy Bowen and The BBC are embedded with Assad The Dog.)
Like in 2003, the anti war opposition is pushed will be marginalised by the masters of this war as they make a dog's dinner out the dogs dinner they co-produced since 2003 out of the dog's dinner they co-produced since 1991.
Beneath There Is No Alternative, lies White Supremacy
Of course there are always a myriad of alternative options to the violence on the table, the thing is that they wont make white structures of power feel like they are saving the world, and that is how they want to feel. Nevertheless, yesterday Caroline Lucas of the Green Party articulated a decent alternative vision of the issue here, while the Stop the War Coalition protests unfolded in multiple locations. The gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, another Green, proposed that the secular liberal-left PKK be armed up for the occasion.
White supremacy is at the heart of this matter, as evidenced by the comparative value accorded to human life. Non white life is waste, trash, unless an agenda can be wrapped around it. It is also a crying shame that we in parts deploy such devaluation of life. Apologies for the commodification-thinking that using such quantities, devoid of soul as we enumerate.
According to Iraq Body Count, since 2003 invasion of Iraq 195 000 humans have been killed. An academic, cluster -sample based effort put the 2003-11 war caused figure of death at 500 000. It is thought that another 500 000, mainly children were killed due to the US imposed sanctions.
Who can forget former US secretary of State Madeline Albright's words that this 'difficult price' was 'worth it'? What, in her mind, was the prize for such a price.
The acts of Saddam remain inscribed on the Iraqi power elite and population. If we attributes all the deaths of the Iran-Iraq war to him, as well has his internal 'contributions' , of Anfal in 1988 against Shia Kurds who sided with Iran, the chemical gas attack on Halabja in 1988 and attacks to suppress uprising Kurds and Shia after the 1991 Gulf War the figure of death may well rise to the million scale.
For reference, 1988 Iraq's official population was 17 million, 1991 18 million and 2013 33 million.
..and its Death Sciences
Technologies of death, domination and transfer develop. From chemical war of the 80s, and stealth 'precision' bombing in the 90s, to daisy cutters and drones more recently. During the Iran-Iraq war George W Bush's Secretary of Attack Donald Rumsfeld met in secret with Saddam to assist him fight Iran, linking him to US suppliers of anthrax and bubonic plague.
During the post 2003 occupation;s disbanding of Iraq's defeated army and debaathification of the civil services armed and empowered inept, corrupt and largely sectarian elites, who couldn't in the end fight for shit and ran away from ISIS leaving their American supplied weapons for free.
This is important to recall the moral high ground that the protagonists of this war assemblage leverage off ISIS, having just recently helped Israel get away with mass murder.
This foolishness is a multi-agent plaza, and I feel awful that my taxes are funding this Coalition government's hi-tech savagery. The deadly hypocrisy of it all is not lost on the Mirror, who provide the following contextualising cost loss estimates (which do not of course account for the damage done to Iraqi life and property by said munitions).
Every £33,000 hour a Tornado flies is equivalent to hiring a nurse for a year.
Fire a £1m Tomahawk missile and it takes out a school full of teachers.
Drop a £2m Storm Shadow guided bomb and bang goes the annual bedroom tax of 2,750 households.I can't help but feel that there would have need no macho posturing if the Scottish referendum had resulted in a successful Yes. But the malaise that makes the Iraqis so vulnerable is refracted within our own communities nearer to home.
I am a long way from figuring out the internal dynamics of this but Muslim narratives on Iraq vary enormously if you pay attention and don't zone out when the other sect is talking. Fundamentally, I believe our problem is with Ridiculisation and not the War on Terror industry's framing of Radicalisation, and that we must be creative, ecological and decolonial in thought, partnership and political practice.
My focus in recent years has not been on Syria, but Bangladesh, but some things are pretty obvious. It is the self-immolatingly anti-shia scaredy pants of the Arab petroSunnis who seem to have done most to sectarianise the battle for justice in Syria, and the idea that one can overthrow a professionally trained army state with some AKs, has weakened the Palestinian cause. The Arab Sting has really hurt and its beneficiaries are laughing.
Back to Iraq, and we know that a section of Iraqi Shia ex-exiles and kids have always been pro US invasion since before 2003, for valid practical reasons like not wanting their heads kicked in by Saddam any longer. This year especially, the broader Shia part of us, better articulated by young up and coming middle class friendly journalists in the MSM, and not dulled by fucking lobotomising impacts of salaphication has participated, along with Iranian religious authorities in helping to put ISIS at center stage, and backgrounding the legitimate resistance to the Syrian regime.
Social media, though not influential as it thinks itself, is an important space for self affirmation and a kind of forumulaic and visual political dhikr. In many ways the UKbased #No2ISIS campaign resembled the 2013 #SaveBangladesh one, however it was shitter and its alignment with establishment agenda gave it an additionally naff character.
In the field, several brave young Muslim and non Syrian medics like Shaheed Isa Abdur Rahman have been martyred assisting people's humanitarian needs. Our community is open handed, alhamdulillah, and Aid convoys have come and gone (some more clueless than others). Many young people, sociopaths included, now find themselves in the theater of war.
Qualitatively and quantitatively, it feels insufficient, and much of the Ummah probably feels this way. Perhaps only Turkey has done the M word justice as a whole, and it is outfits like their IHH that we could support rather than DIY approaches that will be surveilled and disrupted the shit out of. There are long term resettlement issues in Turkey, and they will be challenged for years to come.
How do we know?
A much loved Shayk was speaking to a gathering of educators recently, he warned people not to meddle on the internet in things they knew nothing about. Perhaps he meant trying to find out whats going on in a non consumptive way, which carries the hazard of being state recrimination.
Unlike during the Chechen wars, the post 9/11 clampdown on physical vitality on the internet makes it harder for systematic alternative and fact based news services to establish themselves. It is a pity that this conflagration has rendered the otherwise great Robert Fisk absolutely useless. Instead we have been 'treated' to all manner of narcissistic and bloody minded rudeboy warriors trying insane methods to redeem their pasts as well as the much discussed ISIS antiporn.
Its not impossible to find out some things though, even officially. An Essex born ambulance driver told Channel 4 earlier this week that a Brit, not fighting for ISIS, had been killed in US airstrikes and the American Muslim journalist, Bilal Abdul Raheem (blog) remains an unusually awesome and reflectful source on these matters. VICE, that annoying, lewd hipster outfit has really raised its reporting game. Its recent feature, The Ghosts of Aleppo gives us an insight into the day to day life of the resistance of the Islamic front in one of humankind's oldest continuously occupied cities.
There are probably British Muslims fighting on all three (basic) sides of the Syria conflict with all manner of different ethical commitments, capabilities and motivations. However, they are, as they were in Bosnia, a minor part of the battlefield theater, despite the hulabaloo. One of Bilal Abdur Raheem's recent reports suggested that Western fighters may be trapped in ISIS, a friend of mine who went on a convoy or two said that Syrians were so happy to see Muslims from the West, since most of them would get taken away by ISIS as soon as they arrived. Gatekeepers wherever you turn ey?
Like I said earlier, Iraq features very differently in the Shia sacred and civilisational geographies than it does in the world of the Arab Sunni. The prevailing view is that Maliki wasn't so bad, and that Syria was a case of external destabilisation in Israel's favour. At the Gaza protests, letterers dotted Hyde Park building equivalences between the ISIS and Israeli agendas. After all, ISIS did sweet fuck all to counter Israeli aggression.
Many of the more excitable Sunnis, were initially pro turning the tables on Assad The Dog, in those heady days of the Arab Sting, we were stung hard with a non critical spirit and unhelpful emotional stoking from certain saudi 'scholars' inexplicably allowed into the UK to bait people. (Duas to all the real scholars in Saudi who have lost position and social mobility for their commitments to truth.) Not to mention the deranged Shia Kuwaiti whose bumsexology pushes the envelope in human worm relations ( erm courtesy of MEMRI).
The lazy days of illusions of a Muslim bloc thinking need to be put back in the draw and the practical politics of transnational heart to heart decolonial alliance building embarked upon. I think most people, save those vying for attention would be inclined to agree.
Labour Efnic Politricks?
Unusually, the Labour member for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, well known as a thoroughly compromised person of colour, abstained from the vote yesterday and resigned her position in the shadow cabinet. An admirable looking position to take on the face of it.
I must confess that I normally love Mulberries ( ITs a school in the ganj) because these begums are so awesome and are a vital part of the future. But perhaps this one got lobotomised at Oxford during her enwhitening PPE there and reprogrammed into an anodyne new Labour vessel. The investigation continues.
I remember the Altab Ali park protest rally at the beating of Rizwan Hussain at Dhaka Airport in 2008, a noble venture which was in the process of being coopted by the sheer numbers of loser unclejis. Ms Ali was very interested to know which of us were local residents she could 'enrol', and we thought she was a tactless schmoozer. However, she made an interesting attempt to hash out and dignified diasporic position on what the Bangladesh government had effectively and violently told the younger generation of Brilhetis ( British-Sylhetis).
Later in 2010, Rushanara Ali was voted into power as part of joint British Labour Party - Bangladesh Awami League's power games, and her silence on that government's massacre, and the British government's silence about the massacre, in Dhaka last May is despicable. Until she addresses this as she should I do not believe that her self interested gesture politics should be taken at face value.
There are plenty of manageable persons of colour on the conveyor belt.
For more on this unsavoury episode of Bangladesh's recent history here is an article and survivor interview one year on.
|It would be a pity were the rest of the world to take David Cameron at face value.|
Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our world. And it is not just a threat to the environment. It is also a threat to our national security [because the securitisation my primary lens, forget the huskies, check out my resilience speak], to global security, to poverty eradication and to economic prosperity.
And we must agree a global deal in Paris next year [Weaker countries must submit to the neoliberal order] . We simply cannot put this off any longer [I probably wont be in power then so you can switch off now. Hey! where is everybody? ] .
And I pay tribute to Secretary General Ban for bringing everyone together here today and for putting real focus on this issue [And my respect for parroting Israeli talking points during their attack on Gaza last month] .
Now my country, the United Kingdom [ just about, pending investigations of referendum rigging] , is playing its part [yet as a key industrial originator of petro urban industrialisation] .
In fact, it was Margaret Thatcher who was one of the first world leaders to demand action on climate change, right here at the United Nations 25 years ago [That great environmentalist! of course that was why she closed the coal pits!].
Now since then, the UK has cut greenhouse gas emissions by one quarter [not when you consider indirect carbon emissions] . We have created the world’s first Climate Change Act [That was Labour] . And as Prime Minister, I pledged that the government I lead would be the greenest government ever [ah the huskies, nobody believed you by the way] . And I believe we’ve kept that promise [Liar, your cuts and policies have moved us backwards is that was even possible. Local authorities have slashed their climate work, the green deal retrofit scheme was intentionally stupid and failed, cutting the feed in tariff by half for renewables effectively killed that scheme, your approval of fracking is disgusting and your first environmental minister Caroline Spellman was a lobbyist for the flippin GMO industry]
We’ve more than doubled our capacity in renewable electricity in the last 4 years alone. We now have enough solar to power almost a million UK homes [no thanks to you. if you want to shift to renewables try Good Energy and Ecotricity] . We have the world’s leading financial centre in carbon trading [which is a failed idea, like raping your way to chastity] . And we have established the world’s first green investment bank. We’ve invested £1 billion in Carbon Capture and Storage. And we’ve said no to any new coal without Carbon Capture and Storage [wow did you just offset your last sentence?] . We are investing in all forms of lower carbon energy including shale gas [Fracking, which we will resist] and nuclear, with the first new nuclear plant coming on stream for a generation [in our great post Fukishima wisdom] .
Now, as a result of all that we are doing, we are on track to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 [no we are not, even excluding indirect emissions from consumption] . And we are playing our role internationally as well [Climate Change is UK PR, especially after we helped to destroy Iraq], providing nearly £4 billion of climate finance over 5 years as part of our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income on aid [which invariably goes to subsidies the lifestyles and brainwashing of sections of the overseas upper middle classes]. And we are one of the only countries in the advanced world to do that and to meet our promises.
We now need the whole world though to step up to deliver a new, ambitious, global deal which keeps the 2 degree goal within reach [We certainly wont be investing much political capital in it] . I’ll be pushing European Union leaders to come to Paris with an offer to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030.
We know from Copenhagen that we are not just going to turn up in Paris and reach a deal. We need to work hard now to raise the level of ambition and to work through the difficult issues. To achieve a deal we need all countries, all countries to make commitments to reduce emissions. Our agreement has to be legally binding, with proper rules and targets to hold each other to account [How do we hold you and those you serve to account?].
We must provide support to those who need it, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable [That's why you've cut welfare, housing provisions and poverty and foodbanks are rampant in the UK]. It is completely unrealistic to expect developing countries to forgo the high carbon route to growth that so many Western countries enjoyed, unless we support them to achieve green growth [ sounds ominous] . Now, if we get this right there need not be a trade-off between economic growth and reducing carbon emissions [false notion to support status quo, with a few solar panels and double glazing, nice one dave].
We need to give business [riight....because the only solution is a market solution] the certainty it needs to invest in low carbon. That means fighting against the economically and environmentally perverse fossil fuel subsidies which distort free markets and rip off taxpayers [ Why does fracking remain subsidised in the UK?]. It means championing green free trade [preventing indigenous technological development in the decolonising world yipee!], slashing tariffs on things like solar panels [and feed in tariffs you berk]. And it means giving business the flexibility to pick the right technologies for their needs.
In short we need a framework built on green growth not green tape [ false god of growth].
As political leaders we have a duty to think long-term. When offered clear scientific advice, we should listen to it. When faced with risks, we should insure against them [so why are you foot dragging on flood insurance?]. And when presented with an opportunity to safeguard the long-term future of our planet and our people [ Who are your people really?] , we should seize it.
So I would implore everyone to seize this opportunity over the coming year. Countries like the United Kingdom have taken the steps necessary. We’ve legislated. We’ve [play]acted. We’ve [dis]invested. And I urge other countries to take the steps that they need to as well so we can reach this historic deal.
"Continue to fund my government, and your clients that comprise 'civil society'".
Nice little earner.
Its what we call Developmentshire As Usual, and developmentshire is illustrated below. It is a nest of subordinating and privileging relationships that grow whenever the 'd' word is invoked.
|Climate Adaptation Hush Money negotiated at the Climate Circus, strengthens the ties of developmentshire, |
but also makes them more stark and ridiculous for all to see.
It beggars belief that Sheikh Hasinahas any moral authority, or legitimacy, to speak on behalf of Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. She and her party, the Awami League have spent the last few years annihilating the opposition though use of armed cadres, government machinery and security services, not to mention rigging her re-election last January. For many people for who Bangladesh provides a home, it is the government's massacre of innocent and unarmed protesters in the early hours of 6th May 2013 in central Dhaka, and the subsequent international hush up and purdah of fear that enveloped the state crime, that revealed the true nature of Bangladesh ( See: Ceasefire article).
So how one can in good conscience talk Climate Adaptation without addressing whats really wrong here is beyond me. But hey, (educated) man's gotta eat!
NGO folks might be tempted to applaud the Prime Minister's resilience, a value that is very much part of the neoliberal state repertoire of laughing 'I'm not going anywhere woohoo!' It is self-evident that the effect of climate adaptation financing in desh is largely to depoliticise the issue, pay off the lifestyles of the upper middle classes and provide a fig leaf of reassurance to polluting developmentors that resistance will indeed not be fertile.
.... In the slipstream we feel alternatively about transformation, imagining and preparing for what could be. We watch them waste resources, not least time and talents, running like hamsters in someones else's wheel, with the wigs of colonised judiciary, the kilts and bagpipes of the Scottish marauders and the gatekeeping greed to dominate and effectively delegitimise the space for public challenge.
A common political hue found particularly amongst the well heeled in decolonialistan. Here, protecting one's own personal fourth order freedoms and privileges trumps the basic dignity and justice due to others, to societally dimming affect.
My libergressive sisters and brothers looked the other way when the Dhaka police and the Awami League, with outside support, slaughtered scores,if not hundreds, of Hefazat protesters in Dhaka on 6 May 2013 as they slept and prayed.
Note the same from 'selective human rights' yaarriors as a not too dissimilar violence and disinformation campaign visited PTI and PAT protesters in Islamabad last month.
Libergression is a transgression of dignity and a step away from decolonial futuremaking. It is an easy listening commonsense to consume and reproduce over-represented in the academy, development, publishing, press and clerk class.
Alas Macaulay's bumprint looms large, which is not altogether a bad thing when one is in the mood for kicking.
A pathetic condition that has become more pronounced of late, whereby one group of jokers busy themselves in the quest of gaining house Muslim status in order to build neoliberalistan, another adopts a degenerating view (and perhaps practice) of jihad , while another section comprising oppressors and native misinformants exploits the conditions of ignocracy to earn a living playing the others against eachother with silly notions of copywhited Radicalisation.
Radicalisation is a great virtue to be nurtured and mobilised. It is not a maladic discourse to internalise, inform and cash in on.
Ridiculisation is the issue at hand, in our consumption and reproduction of movements, organisations and discourses. Malek Bennabi's ideas on retardation, takhaluf may be worth revisiting.