As I walked through the picturesque setting of Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham (not the American one), exhausted from the fatiguing task of doing nothing all day other than watching ‘Breaking Bad’ my mind turned to my birthday. 21 on Thursday. Not that there’ll much to the celebrations, or even much of an expectancy to how it will turn out. As far as I’m concerned, I turn 21. That’s the end of it. I don’t really have very good birthday parties; I sort of want to have a decent one; but then again I’ve come to expect very little. The reality is the last few months have engulfed me in a semi-nihilism where I’m guided more by my desire to escape from the clutches of the usual monotony of family politics and routines, thanks to my recent, thankfully temporary return back home from university, than anything else. But, whilst I feebly lugged myself around the park, my thoughts turned to my future; in the emotional sense - yes, but more towards my ambitions and the way I wish to lay my mark on this remarkable planet of ours. I do not want to be remembered for being a ‘snollygoster’: noun (slang) One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than being consistent, respectable principles.
What a remarkable word. I’m surprised I heard of it in my lifetime if I’m honest. It seems almost too perfect to be true. Guided by personal advantage. If, I ever do go on to achieve the political aims and goals I maintain that I will one day achieve, “personal advantage” is certainly a principle that I hope is not my guiding policy. As ambiguous as the term is in understanding our political sphere today the truth of the matter is that I want to be ethical, respectful, tempered, shrewd, relatable, and above all, successful in delivering a better life to citizens both domestically and internationally. But I will never manage this feat on my own. I won’t be able to pass the first barrier on my own. If I was a certain Al-Assad however, I would wield a certain level of power that would not require that I satisfy the needs of my people at all. I could do as I pleased, when I pleased. Good or bad. Whatever I chose, it would be so provided I had the resources. Though I say what you see you already: such is the nature of a dictatorship.
And here in England, we certainly do not live in a dictatorship, or at least not in the inextricably obvious sense of the Mubarak’s and Assad’s of this world. Here, in the tiny islands of the British Isles we carved up the world that we know of today and once upon a time impinged a degree of authoritarianism on the people we crossed and made it known what the Great British Empire was (please bellow the term ‘Great British Empire’, in a deep, momentous voice). And what has this Great British Empire climaxed up to? Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Clegg. Oh dear. Well…something went wrong along the way.
Snollygosters in Government. My inescapable determination to be a force of positivity and progress in the UK’s polity. Assad’s dictatorship in Syria. What’s the link? Well, here I imagine you expect some intellectual and concise amalgamation of my ramblings to tie up what has been a fairly enigmatic piece so far. So here it is: you are politics. You, the very person reading this are the literal definition of politics. Notice the italics on literal. You, with all your breathing, your eating, your sleeping and drinking and blogging. You are politics. It is you that is the subject of some form of article. It is you that will wake up in the morning to read the detestable excuses for truth in the media. It is you that will hold Governments to account. It is I who will strive to educate myself and drive a change in this country. It is the Egyptians who will return to the streets when Morsi is either bringing about undesirable change or is being hindered by the military sharply taking their last breaths. And it will be the Syrians who decide the fate of their country and they are nothing more than a collection of individuals. Collections of people just like you.
The news of Syria’s attempts to down another of Turkey’s planes, was I must admit, surprising. I did wonder how stupid they had to be. But I was suddenly filled with a fear that the inevitable drew closer. That those who held significant power would intervene over those who did not. And it wasn’t that I was frightened at the prospect of hundreds and thousands of lives potentially being saved. It wasn’t even that I was frightened the West would attempt to instil their own MNC’s and agents in Syria to make sure that it genuflected to their demands. My fear was that, we the people, would be silenced. That our whispers would be pulled from our larynxes and contained in the box which the snollygosters empty after their customary, mundane, rehashed, bureaucratic, robotised media responses to their seemingly dictator-esque choices. It’s not a case of whether it’s right or wrong to intervene in Syria. It’s a case of whether you the individual, you the literal definition of politics will make your voice heard or whether you’ll allow it to be lost in the inextricable darkness of the box of the snollygosters.
Three short points on Syria. This was originally intended for a friend, however I felt I could translate this from Facebook on to Tumblr as it might help a couple people in furthering their understanding of the Syrian situation by shedding some light on where we are now. This is not intended as any rigorous academic response, rather just a compilation of a few thoughts.Victims of war: The bodies of people whom anti-government protesters say were killed by security forces in Houla, near Homs, yesterday [Reuters]
1 - My original comment on this post [on my Facebook page following an article I posted] was to highlight that the Syrian diplomats should have been kicked out from their positions long ago. I would go as far as to say that they should have been kicked out even before the Arab Awakening for varying reasons, some of which include the Syrian involvement in the killing of the Lebanese PM Hariri in 2005, but I won’t go into this as it’s still very much a contentious issue. So that’s that. However, they have been now kicked out which is absolutely the correct thing to do. It does fairly little in terms of stopping the massacres but it’s a purpose of intent where states admit that they are actively seeking to punish to the Syrian Government for its atrocities.
2 - The next point is basically just addressing your remarks on where to point the finger in terms of blame [as it was suggested by my friend that the Syrian government is equally to blame as the Sunni rebels/FSA]. This, to be honest, is fairly straightforward. The Al-Assad family has been in power for over 40 years. It’s a dictatorship, and a brutal one at that. The uprising in Syria happened for various reasons; one of which being that it stemmed from the same discontent seen across the Middle East from lack of jobs, propaganda, brutal repression of dissent, unopposed elections, corruption, nepotism and so forth. The massacres of Homs and in recent days, Houla, are perfect examples of how this self-claimed leader is little more than flesh and bones. He’s a detestable animal who ought to be stuck into a jail to rot for the rest of his life for what he’s done to the Syrian people for the sake of his position in office. He is to blame. He is a war criminal, a murderer and about any other deplorable name you want pin to him.
3 - This is my most important point: Syria is not Libya. Syria is not Saudi. Syria is not Bahrain. Syria is Syria. Syria is not oil rich like Libya. Your remark about world powers acting out of their own benefit is an international relations theory called Realism and I completely agree that NATO especially have acted towards the Arab Awakening in a Realist fashion. There is next-to-no economic gain for invading Syria. So automatically, it becomes less important to give a shit about it. Look at what’s happening in the Congo. Genocide is practically being carried out as millions have died over the years and women continue to get raped on a daily basis (estimates say 48 every hour) but what does the international community do? Nothing. Why? Because it does not serve their best interest to intervene in Africa, where there is already anti-Western sentiment. Again there is no economic benefit in saving the Congolese people. Uganda on the other hand is becoming increasingly oil-rich so we may see at some point some bullshit story to send troops to Uganda.
Anyway back to my original point, the civil war you’re speaking of is as a result of the Alawi Shias of the region, who for the most part side with Assad, and the Sunnis who sit on the other side of the fence, clashing. So this isn’t a unified movement against the Government like we’ve seen everywhere else i.e. Bahrain, Egypt, Libya. This is a people, fighting with another people because of religious incongruence, which has stemmed from the same reasons as we’ve seen throughout the Arab Awakening. You have to remember that everyone has their own agenda in this battle. Russians and Iranians sell arms to the Syrian Government for profit (and Iran does so to uphold the fraction of Shias in the region). The rebels are armed from a whole host of Western states and Arab nations further extend ‘liberal democracy’ in that part of the world (for their own benefit) or to protect the Sunni element of Syria. The list just goes on and on and on but ultimately there are certain unavoidable truths:
- Assad must be put to trial for war crimes
- The massacre of little children, women and innocent civilians as a whole is deplorable and cannot continue
- The international arena acts out of a Realist foreign policy
- The real power lies in the hands of those who can intervene in Syria. If they intervene they will crush Assad. If they don’t, then the chances are we could have on our hands a very long and very bloody war.
Newt Gingrich - a name which sounds as though it would be far better placed in a child’s novel about a man, who takes the form of a slightly less-monstrous looking Grinch, attending his child’s Nativity play at school one evening and stands up in the middle of the play, to scream at his child playing Jesus, “You’re not real. You’re invented!” Bit of an odd child’s novel. Though of course, he would never do this, what with all being right-wing, religious et cetra, et cetra.
His comments, however, in an interview less than a week ago, about the so-called invention of the Palestinian people struck a particular chord, which resonated with Palestinian activists, academics and so forth. Of course it did.
Was it down to the double standard? Perhaps - the ignorance of the indigenous American Indian that he overlooked may have played it’s part the hurtfulness of his remarks. Was it merely a nuzzle at the bottoms of the US Zionist lobby in a bid to project himself closer to the backside of Israel? Perhaps. We can all pry and query into the comments with little real meat to gnaw to back at, but there is a prominent (albeit slightly laughable) question that needs settling - Are the Palestinians really an invented people?
I am unable to either fathom or recollect the amount of occasions in which I have argued (and I use the term ‘argued’ very purposefully as 90% of Zionists do not comprehend the concept of calm, constructive debate) that Palestine has existed, historically. Its foundations exist in the libraries of our planet, the hearts of its people and the souls of those long gone; and that will never be erased by the lunacy of a few. Tales of Roman referral to the area as “Palestine”; Mamluk rule in areas called “Gaza”; even Byzantine-dubbed Palestine do little to instil and compound the belief (supported by fact) that Palestine existed and still exists. Palestinians existed and still exist. The human beings who lived in these areas were referred to as the native Palestinian people (though of course consult the growing library of Zionist edited books and this will almost always be left out/altered in a Ministry of Truth, Orwellian fashion).
So then that nugget of hope trickles slowly down stream and as you run after it, it runs away faster and faster. Until there is calm in the water and the hope is restored as you realise that all you needed was to look at the narrative a little differently.
In 1897 as the Zionist movement grew, and funding pushed the movement towards a heightened level of success the ‘First Zionist Congress’ was held. These were the people who are today responsible (alongside the likes of Balfour, Rothschild et al.) for the creation of the state of Israel. As that chap Herzl sat and nattered in Basle, Switzerland with his cronies, the ‘Basle Program’ came to being. And you know what was in this program? Herzl and his Zionist chums referred to the people of the land by a name, though I dare not utter it again, or I might be shot down by the rumble of outraged Zionists blind to the truth.
It emphatically stated,
Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:
1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine….
Fret not! The plot thickens and this is where it all becomes that little bit more juicy. The Jewish Virtual Library’s recollection, however, simply doesn’t align.
Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz-Israel secured under public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:
1) The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz-Israel of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.
So where then does that cliché called ‘truth’ stand? Did the original document forged in the fires of First Zionist Congress refer to the native peoples as the people of Palestine or Eretz-Israel?
I, have sadly, some terrible news.
Lo and behold, the original document (it doesn’t take a genius to decipher the references to Palestine).
And this is of mass significance. It’s a clear indication of both the recognition of the area called Palestine and its native Palestinian people by none other than the founders of the Zionist ideology, that today that is being perpetuated in every nook and cranny of society in Israel; however arguably yet more significantly - it highlights the lengths to which this information is being veiled and misconstrued from the public and being presented through spectacles one might have called “degradation of historical truths”. And these spectacles reach far and beyond this one article.
One of the issues surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict is that many are unaware of is the idea of the degradation of both culture and identity of the native palestinian peoples.
One of the things that is often swept under the carpet is the systematic humiliation of the Palestinians. Both government policy makers and Zionists/Zionist propagators (use those phrases interchangeably at your own peril) systematically seek to degrade the culture of the peoples land they occupy. The evidence to support these claims is hidden in nooks and crannies but once pieced together create an eye-opening chain. The food, the music, the clothing and various other cultural norms are taken and are driven through israeli society to dilute how strongly these items resonate globally and represent the Palestinian people.
When IDF soldiers kick down the doors of families of Gaza and spray the houses with racist remarks and laugh as the house is bulldozed - it serves a purpose. Through humiliation and dilution of culture, Zionists (moreover, all those that seek to not only physically, but historically, wipe out Palestinians) move towards an ultimate goal - the full establishment of their ideological might.
So next time you think about downplaying zionists absorbing these things into their culture, in the words of Orwell himself, ‘doublethink’.