Posts Tagged ‘ISRAEL’

Terrorism & War – Looking Good says Colonel Steve

February 26, 2016


Christopher Lee

27 February 2016. London.

The colonel from the Pentagon looked the part.  Cleaner cut than a saint, with more medal ribbons than a pantomime hero.  He landed in the UK this past week with a word perfect mission.

He had come to to every newspaper and broadcaster that the war on IS (he uses Daesh) is right on schedule and IS/Daesh is taking a beating. He says the US-led coalition is killing terrorists leaders most days. Their bases are taking big hits, the armoured vehicles are been wasted.

Colonel Steve Warren was here to tell us that Daesh was beginning to lose. “We see them in a defensive crouch” he told us. No journalist mentioned that a panther springs from a crouch.

The fact that IS is on a killing high hit and having nauseating fun using beheaded cadavers as road blocks is a side issue for the colonel with a message.  He says we’ve got it wrong.

Who sent the colonel?  Answer: the people who believe that too many media reports from Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Libya are telling a different story.  They are undermining the reports, especially those relayed in Washington, that it is not long now before IS collapses.

About five or six months ago the same US sources were briefing British and French TV and newspaper hacks that ISIS was a second rate bunch of no-hopers that given political guts could be wiped out inside the Christian winter holiday.  The message is dulled. Hence the colonel’s visit. A regional scan shows why. From the Bosphorus to Tripoli via the Gulf there is a tragedy that just a few years back would not have got off the staring block.

The Turks are hitting the Kurds, the Kurds are hitting the Turks.  Sunni and Shia states and peoples are at war face to face or by proxy. The coalition is hymning the Syria ceasefire but the two main teams – IS and Bashar al-Assad are not signatories. IS does not care about a ceasefire.  Assad is bombing rebel backyards and is ready to go the extra 100 meters with I Told You So banners when the ceasefire crumbles. The Russians are happy to help them out.

Across the almost non-existent border in Iraq on Friday about 20 people were killed in a bombing of a Shia mosque (the government is Shia seeking revenge).  Who did it? Surely not IS who is on the run according to the colonel.  Yup.  The very same IS.  Ask the mourners at the Rasul al-Zam mosque.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah are training Houthi rebels to fight in Yemen and the Saudi are looking at target planning into Hezbollah.  Imagine the death toll.  Imagine the knock-on.  Meanwhile the Saudi bombing in Yemen appears as casual as cruelty can be in warfare.   Hitting civilian targets is good terrorist bombing.  It causes confusion and terror.

Before we leave that bit of the dusty world, two pipe bombs were found in Jerusalem at Herod’s Gate. Lots of shooting.  Lots of dying. Also Friday, a prediction that Gaza will be a death bed scene by 2020.  Next door in Egypt, President Sisi is telling his people, do not listen to others.  Just do as I say.

And in Libya, there is a meeting Monday to see if Libya may be split into three. The West recognises one group, detests and will fight the other while everyone will be hit by the third. It is a simple example of bloodbath created when the British, the French and the colonel’s employers go into something blazing saddles without guaranteeing the result they claim to be promising. Other examples? Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan with the dankness of Syrian dead joining the tragic tapestry of failure.

So best the colonel goes home. Best someone who writes the propaganda tours gets to understand that what we call the Middle East is seeking a new identity that is different from the one the West created for it in the 1920s. IS emerged because the Western-led coalition got it wrong.

And, let us hope and those who do these things, let them pray that the crouching IS not about to leap with another Paris.  When a well turned out colonel tells them they are losing, they may just have to prove they are not in the crudest manner.




Christopher Lee

November 20, 2012


Gaza – It’s NOT anti-Semitic to criticize Israel

20th November 2012

This morning, the dead numbered 100 plus. Some 100 in Gaza from Israeli night bombings. Four (we think) in Israel from rocket attacks from Gaza.

The figures are unreliable and do not include the wounded at the start of another week of remote warfare where the attacker does not come face to face with the ‘enemy’ – although how women and children and babies could be called ‘enemy’ is difficult to take in.

The rocket attacks from Gaza are now sporadic. They have been all-but silenced since the Israeli’s Operation Pillar of Defence started on 14 November and in under a week have taken out 1350 targets in Gaza.

Some 546 rockets have been fired from Gaza and more than 300 of them have been intercepted by Israel’s anti-missile defences. True, it could have been worse, but these are the best figures we have and those in Gaza who fire into Israel have been quelled if not defeated – for the moment.

Just in case anyone thinks that’s it then, we might ask why the Israelis have mobilised up to 75,000 reservists.

The answer is two-fold: firstly, Israeli has 75,000 troops to mobilise and secondly let no one doubt that Israel is saying that unless Hamas et al surrenders to undoubted military superiority then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will order his army to switch off its safety catch.

We should not misjudge or number the degrees of human misery of the past week. Just one life lost on whichever side of the line and the wailing is as heart-breakingly traumatic as the hundreds on the other. Moreover, the memory is not stilled by a ceasefire. Each deadly missile creates unforgiving instincts for revenge.

The terrible truth is that both sides and their individuals – from politicians to individual terrorists – are responsible for what we have seen.

So it has been since the war started, not last Wednesday, but in 1948. We should not be surprised. There are other horrendous conflicts on such small scales as this that remain unresolved. The consequences of Britain’s ludicrous decision not to resolve the Kashmiri crisis in 1947 and the subsequent war is an obvious example.

Standing watch over all such conflicts are the sharply suited and laundered politicians and officials of the United Nations, national governments and blocs, such as the Arab League. They are incapable of resolving terrible differences and we should all accept that irony and failure in the authority of the organisations and individuals.

When the Egyptian President, Mohamed Mursi warns of terrible consequences he is rightly forewarning of a wider war. When British Foreign Secretary William Hague says it was basically Hamas’s fault that is also understandable because Hague, while not a fool, behaves like one and his officials should never have allowed him to make such a foolish statement.

When the mostly Western media refer to Hamas, they hang on the title ‘terrorist group” or something very similar. When that same media talks about the Israeli attacks, they use some sort of description meaning specific target acquisition – although how a direct hit on a private house instead of that of Yehiya Rabiah, the head of Hamas’s rocket unit, is not explored.

For here is a phenomenon of Middle East war reporting by the Western media. Since the June War of 1967, the Israelis have been seen as heroic. The Arabs have been seen as villainous.

In 1967 that soubriquet was understandable. The British media, as an example, were the leading moral supporters of Israel and anyway, loved sporting metaphors. Plucky Israel against the combined Arab might was easy to understand.

It was a giant killing moment and even had a charismatic general in a black eye patch to complete the picture story. (The British have never had the intelligence to get further than a fourth paragraph in a newspaper and so the startling picture has always been a vital part of British journalism even if it obscures the bigger picture, the real story).

But behind all this political posturing and very real shrouds, there is another issue: the comfortable and so often believable Western media and, maybe the public perception, there is a sense that writers and reporters and smart dinner party-goers have two unspoken rules: like Hague and his kind, the whole fault lies with the terrorist antics of Hamas.

Understandably, there are so many examples of wretched attacks by Hamas and the other extremists groups within the Gaza Strip that no one argues against that perception.

The second rule is sinister: increasingly, to deliver uncompromising criticism of Israeli actions is not considered to be a political and military judgement or opinion, but something much worse. It is considered to be anti-Semitism.

In smart London, Washington and Parisian circles, opinion formers talk and write of growing anti-Semitism. Little wonder that when those who try to be constructive and even question the increased number of settlements on the West Bank, the security line between Gaza and Israel, the cruel consequences of the land attack on Gaza just four years ago etc. etc. without perhaps trying to resolve the inside mind-set of a nation at war since its modern inception, then anti-Semitism is a charge levied.

We have reached a point where it is impossible to publicly criticise Israel without Israelis believing that we are criticising Judaism.

Anti-Semitism causes cold shudders in Western Europe especially. Memories may fade but terrible legend does not. We can see why Israelis would believe or exploit the belief that to be against what will be the legacy of Sharon and Netanyahu is to be against Jews whereas the real criticism is aimed at actions of the Israeli leadership.

But the media, governments and personalities like Hague are wary of offering up the truth. Hamas has carried out despicable actions, but nothing compared in numbers of deaths as Israel. Yet since World War II politicians have feared the branding: anti-Semitic as well of course, the Jewish vote at general election time.

We should be sympathetic towards peoples living beneath the darkest clouds of warfare for their whole lives with few if any signs of anything changing in their time or even that of their children. When we say peoples, we are speaking of Palestinians as well as Israelis.

‘Are you for us or against us?’, Israeli officials ask. Today, there is no Yes or No answer. But let’s ponder this: when the attack against Iran comes, the question will be even harder to answer.