Posts categorized “Third World War”.

Don’t Bomb Syria

Don't Bomb Syria

Tonight, I suffered the curious and rare sensation of simultaneously feeling both immense pride and overwhelming shame, as thousands of us stood in the cold outside the UK House Of Parliament to make our protest against the government’s insane plan to join in yet another war. We stood and chanted, with our mothers and oldest friends beside us, we sat and “died”, we listened to impassioned speeches, we cheered and we jeered, we lost our voices and found other new ones, and in the end, as we heard the disastrous but almost inevitable result of the vote, we sat in grave silence for a minute – right there in the street facing Big Ben which we had taken over – in respect for the innocent people who will inevitably die as a direct result of British bombs. People who are breathing like you and me right now, but as early as Friday could be dead. Men. Women. Children. Breathless. Extinguished. The ‘terrorists’ themselves will be safe in their bunkers. And we will not be safer.

As I stood there in this emotional, passionate rally, as I did on Saturday, and have done many times before, two things occurred to me. The first was that it was suddenly graphically, emphatically clear how different the stakes were for us – the ordinary citizens – and for the MPs a few hundred metres away from us on the other side. They were inside a building behind bomb barriers, walls, fences, more walls, more barriers, and at least two rows of armed police. We were out there in the cold in Parliament Square. It was painfully clear that the police were there to protect THEM from US, their supposed employers, people whom they are supposed to represent (yes, it’s genuinely hard not to laugh/cry). Some of them had even had the gall to complain on social media at being “harrassed” by their constituents. As if we’d acted out of place, expecting our MPs to give a fuck about our views. And it dawned on me; of course they don’t care about the consequences; because they will never, ever have to deal with them. More terror for them just means an excuse for more power and more war and more surveillance and makes them feel even more important, whereas for us it means the genuine increased possibility of being blown to pieces or otherwise killed in our cities and streets by psycopathic killers, while we go to concerts or eat in restaurants or party with friends. They laugh at us; Tony Blair launched a war which killed hundreds of thousands on false pretenses, and was rewarded with the title of “Middle East Peace Envoy” and now commands a fee of £330,000 to give speeches. They laugh at us.

The second thing was how remarkably easy it always seems to be to generate support for bombing brown people, even with the poorest, most illogical of arguments. It was remarkable to see the distance between the corporate media – obsessed with beating the drums of war and disgustingly one-sided (especially in their attempted character-assassination of Jeremy Corbyn, for example) – and the fears and rationale of these ordinary, informed people. Here at the protest there was a really remarkable mix of Britons from all walks of life who cared intensely about the consequences of yet another war, both here and abroad. They somehow seemed to have digested the sad, sad lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, all countries that we’ve seen obliterated within the last 14 years with the help of British bombs and are now still in perpetual states of war and chaos. While of course not everyone will agree with our arguments, it really was astonsihing that David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, could get away with writing off this whole section of the public as “terrorist sympathisers”. Let’s review: his plan to eliminate terrorism is to bomb a completely destabilised foreign, Muslim country from the sky and then hope a force of “70,000″ moderate fighters takes over and installs democracy. Moderate fighters which may include… er… up to 40,000 members of Al Qaeda. And they voted for this. Wow. And lest we forget, two years ago the government wanted to go to war in Syria ON THE OTHER SIDE – in other words, had they got their way ISIS would definitely be EVEN STRONGER THAN IT IS NOW. Now, of course I don’t believe for a second that the politicians actually believe any of the nonsensical reasons and lies they tell us, but there must be many ordinary people who do actually believe the official line in good faith. They must believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary and the ongoing increasing chaos in EVERY SINGLE OTHER COUNTRY WE’VE GOT INVOLVED IN IN THE MIDDLE-EAST, we will somehow be better off if British bombs start raining down in Raqqa. Since I don’t meet many of these people in real life, I was trying to imagine what a “DO BOMB SYRIA!” march/protest would look like, what kind of people would make it up. I very much doubt that most of them would be interested in – for example – spending even a fraction of the cost of the bombing on helping some of the refugees this action would inevitably generate. And I would love to know if, in their hearts of hearts, they really genuinely believe that the danger from terrorism in UK/Europe will actually decrease as a result of this military action. It’ll literally be a first.

My final words are for the poor ordinary, long-suffering people of Syria. The doctors, the teachers, the students, the mothers, the brothers, the train drivers. The forgotten people. I genuinely grieve. Having suffered under Assad, then the disintegration of civil war, then ISIS… they now have nine different foreign countries bombing them. What utter, utter insanity. Not for the first time, I’m genuinely ashamed of and completely disown the behaviour of our government. Dear Syrians, I want you to know that they definitely do NOT represent all of the people on this island; thousands, in fact millions, of us oppose them. We did everything we could (legally) do to try to stop them. I’m devastated that it was not enough, and as a result many of you have been guaranteed yet more suffering and impoverishment. I genuinely, deeply hope that the next few years prove us all wrong. That by some miracle, thousands of innocent civilians are not slaughtered by UK bombs, that “70,000 moderate troops” swoosh in and restore a wonderful flowering democracy, that all the Islamist groups are vanquished and nothing even worse than ISIS replaces it, that we won’t be standing outside parliament shouting “DON’T BOMB [NEXT COUNTRY ON LIST]” in a couple of years time, and that in five or ten years we’re all sitting in cafés in Paris laughing and saying “Ah, do you remember when there was that thing called terrorism?”. I’m being honest here – I genuinely, genuinely hope we are WRONG. PLEASE LET US BE WRONG. If, very unfortunately, this is not the result, then all I can offer is that I let them know – these warmongers – as strongly and as loudly as I could that all this violence is NOT IN MY NAME.

Peace to you, brothers and sisters in Syria, and know that we will not forget you, we will not give up the fight and we will not stay silent.

As-Salaam-Alaikum

Anté
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Fight Hate With Love

We had just finished playing a show in The Netherlands when we heard about Paris.  I cannot really put into words how it felt; innocent people who had just gone out to celebrate and share live music, just like us, mowed down and killed by vicious psychopathic murderers.  We were having a fantastic night with wonderful people; where we even allowed to be happy anymore?  By now, you have all read more than you ever need of commentary and opinions.  We are just a punk rock band.  All I wish to say is that we stand together with the ordinary people, in Paris, in Beirut, in Baghdad, in New York, in Cairo, in Mombassa, all over the world – OUR world – in sympathy with the victims and in utter and complete rejection of the ideologies of hate that prey upon us – whether they come from Islamist lunatics as here, or from fascist monsters like Anders Breivik in Norway, whether they come from men in uniform who launch coups to destroy civic revolutions and kill hundreds as in Egypt, or men in other uniforms who kill un-armed black people with impunity as in America, or whether they claim to head “democratic” governments, wear suits and smile while they launch illegal wars in search of fatuous ‘weapons of mass destruction’,  killing literally thousands of times the number of people as died in Paris .  And they are not unconnected; never forget: no Blair/Bush War, no ISIS.  Yeah, we see it now as we’ve seen it before.  And we will continue to fight hate… with love.  This is not some “hippy bullshit”; it’s recognition that the only way that we can move forward in a positive direction is with compassion and recognising our common humanity.  The alternative is something more like what we saw at the beginning of the last century.  Not somewhere we want to go.
SO.
Let us begin our healing now.  We shall sing.  We shall shout. We shall dance.  We shall cry.  Oh yes, we shall cry.  But most of all…
We shall live.
Peace to you all.
Anté / Djevara
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n REPRIEVE Report : US drone strikes kill 28 unknown people for every intended target

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2014_11_25_US_drone_strikes_kill_28_each_target/

Disappeared without a face, and without a name. Somehow this absolute disgrace has escaped the front pages of every major paper. Leaving aside for a moment the ethics of wantonly bombing some of the poorest nations on earth to carry out summary assassinations – without trial or publicly scrutinizable evidence – when one is not even officially at war with them, this astonishing report means that OVER 96% of the victims are not even the intended targets. OVER 96%!!! I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s a pretty sure-fire to lose the support and goodwill of ANY people, radical or not. Some may even say that’s a pretty good recruiting campaign for certain unsavoury groups, in this “comical-if-it-wasn’t-so-tragic” race to see which side can be more brutal and barbaric or have less concern for innocent human life than the other.  “The War On Terror”  may well go down in history as one of the most ironically named and counter-productive mis-adventures in human history.  But then, wars on nouns rarely end well.  In fact, they rarely end…
^A

London (and the world) stands up for Gaza

Gaza protests London 26/07/14

London stands up for Gaza

Proud of London today: Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, “black” people, “white” people, young people, old people – there were thousands of us there united in and by a common humanity and demanding the end to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people and the destruction of thousands of their homes, an illegal occupation, siege and inhumane blockade, and demanding the UK government *immediately* change it’s shameful policy of supporting and justifying it, even as we went over the 1000 mark of people killed in this latest wave of aggression. We marched, we talked, we listened, we debated, we sang, we danced… and we demanded change. This was and is being replicated in cities across the globe. The campaign against Isreali-style Apartheid, and it’s accompanying racist, brutal militarism, is here to stay… and it’s only going to get louder.

Anté

ps if you’re wondering what you can do, or what difference you/we can make, recall the original anti-Apartheid movement which eventually helped to make what seemed like impossible changes in South Africa (shamefully, UK government was on the wrong side of history once more).  This time round, one place you may start is by supporting the boycott and divestment campaigns: http://www.bdsmovement.net/
pps I was talking to a guy the other day who pointed out that my band may lose fans if I made some overt “political statements”.  I realized that he had absolutely no understanding of why some of us make music.  I don’t WANT or NEED any racist fans who think the obliteration of hundreds of children is acceptable, no matter what the (perceived) provocation.  I’m simply not going to shut my mouth about some of the most important events in the world simply to safeguard the number of “LIKE”s on a web-page.  So: don’t be afraid to be unpopular.  Stand up for what you believe in.  Shout it from the stage, from the rooftops, from the mountains.  Even if you’re the only one.

Jon Snow, returning from Gaza (July 2014)

THE TORT OF FALSE LIGHT

We’re releasing our new video to show solidarity with ONE BILLION RISING (www.onebillionrising.org), a world-wide movement on 14th February to make a stand against violence against women. Dance and be counted.

^Anté

(lyrics: http://bit.ly/1nwvmY6 )

THE DAY WE FIGHT BACK

http://thedaywefightback.org/

Don’t go down quietly.

^A

I Am Bradley Manning

The following is a transcript of the statement made by Pfc. Bradley Manning as read by David Coombs at a press conference on Wednesday after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”

None of the perpetrators, accomplices or co-conspirators in any of the war crimes his releases revealed, including the infamous apache gunship murders, have thus far been charged let alone successfully prosecuted.

The fight for justice goes on.

A Message From Guantanamo

Message from Guantanamo:
“My name is Shaker. I am also known as Sawad Al-Madany because I was born in the Holy City of Medina. Please can you remember these names for me, because I hardly can anymore.

Here, they call me 239. In fact, I call myself 239. It feels so strange to witness my name slipping away from me. I can’t do anything about it.

I wonder how long it is going to take for all of us here in Guantánamo to slip away from the world’s memory?

I have not lost hope. No, I have not! Or have I? I am not sure. But I am still writing: is this not a sign of hope?

Yes, we have lost years of our lives here – and some (three times as many as have been convicted) have actually died.

We have lost our sanity, our health, our humanity and our dignity. Yes, we seem to have lost everything.

But I believe we are gradually rediscovering hope and, with hope, we will relocate our lives and everything else that is meaningful.

Meanwhile our tormentors are losing everything and, the more they lose, the more they torment us. I can’t describe what they are doing. The world must hasten to compel the US government to solve this dilemma before it is too late. Candles cannot burn forever.”

Shaker relayed this blog post to his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith in an unclassified phone call.

Enjoy the circus (UK’s relentless march towards full police statehood)

Check out this blogpost about the sweeping new powers the authorities want to take on, following the dissolution of the widely abused “ASBO” laws.  Truly disturbing to anybody who believes in limits to state power in a free society:

http://scriptonitedaily.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-birth-of-a-police-state-uk-police-to-be-granted-sweeping-new-powers/

Justice…

It’s official: in USA it’s acceptable to pursue, shoot & kill unarmed black children. Of course, to some of us the blatant racism from the authorities of most Western countries is more than academic (I myself have been stopped and ‘searched’ by police more times than I can count all over the EU, including having guns turned on me). But the fact I’m not surprised doesn’t make me any less disgusted and enraged by this outrageous latest evidence of the racial corruption of the judicial system in the USA.  The inescapable conclusion: if you’re a whistleblower like Bradley Manning and you reveal to the world the deadly misbehaviour and hypocrisy of our governments, you’ll be imprisoned, tortured and destroyed.  Shoot a young black youth to death and, if they eventually arrest you (it took 44 days and huge political pressure from protesters across the US), you’ll still go free.  After the verdict on the slaying of Trayvon Martin, the emperor is naked.  To be clear: I certainly don’t believe in ‘mob rule’ and it’s true that in a perfect system one should feel able to trust a jury of peers who sees all the evidence.  But the fact that it took so long and a political campaign even to get this, the killing of a teenage boy, taken seriously enough to come to trial really begs a lot of questions and unfortunately there is definitely an unmistakable pattern that emerges when one looks at justice in the United States.  Ask yourself this: if the roles were reversed, can you honestly conceive of Trayvon Martin walking away from this a free man?  As Younge says in his article ( http://bit.ly/1bdpFfR ), the irony that Zimmerman said to a police dispatcher “Fucking punks…These assholes. They always get away” is actually just too much to bare on this occasion.

The good side of this may be that there may finally open a long overdue conversation not just about racial stereotyping across America, but also the literally deadly serious corrupt justice system and it’s top-to-bottom institutional and practical racism which ensures 1 in 3 African American males will pass through the system in their lifetimes.  I urge everyone to check out “The House I Live In”, an excellent film on the racially motivated and pointless “War On Drugs”, and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.  Join the dots.  Get angry.  Change the world.
^A