September 11th.

September 11, 2013

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA (9/11 Memorial  Uploaded by russavia).

Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Author: InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA (9/11 Memorial Uploaded by russavia).

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
– Robert Kennedy.

Last year I stood at the memorial fountains at the World Trade Center site in New York City. It is a truly humbling experience that I recommend everyone undertake. The feeling of horror, and anger, and great sadness are all intensely overwhelming as the spray from the fountains blows into your face and the solemn calmness conflicts with the enormity of the ideology-driven terror that struck in 2001.

Twelve years later, and reflection is still difficult. It is difficult to imagine what it must have been like to be a passenger on one of the planes, without pulling your mind away because it becomes just too much for any human being to deal with. We try to imagine what it must have felt like for those incredible firefighters running into the debris and the screams, and the nightmare, and we cannot bring ourselves to do so for long before it becomes beyond our capacity. We cannot imagine the pain so many families have been through, through no fault of their own and so many lives broken. Fathers who never saw their children grow up, mothers missing from family christmases. Equally we cannot imagine, and we find it difficult to place ourselves in a position to even try to imagine how peaceful and respectful Muslims felt in the days and weeks, and years following 9/11. It was a day that broke the hearts of every decent person on the planet. There cannot be a legitimate excuse.

There is no excuse. There is no justification. The attack that occurred on that blue skied morning in 2001, was carried out by a multinational crime family, with designs on empire and a deep seated hatred not just for Americans, but for any group that isn’t exactly like them. It is entirely unreasonable to argue “Well Americans killed Muslims, so we killed Americans” as is often the repeated argument, and still used to this day, with varieties employed by Western apologists in the Galloway mold. Indeed, if for example a Brit is murdered in Spain by a Spanish person, I have no right or moral justification whatsoever as a Brit to murder a random innocent Spaniard in retaliation. This isn’t reasonable. It is murder, and it is evil. An outdated, violent, power-hungry, callous political ideology based not on reason but on dogma, that considers the human being to be expendable in the pursuit of the goal of a resurrected Theocracy, cannot be rationalised in an age of enlightenment, human rights, and reason. Responsibility for violence based on that ideology, should not be shifted away from those committing the act, to anyone else. The ideology – with violence and force at its core – is autonomous; it doesn’t require aggressive Western foreign policy to exist, it exists with or without it. We must not excuse it as simply a reaction. For the adherents to such an ideology, human beings are merely another tool to be used as a means to an end, and it is this callousness, and indifference toward the sanctity of life, that we saw materialise on September 11th 2001.

Ideologies based on dogma are defeated by empowering people. They are defeated by gender equality, and human rights. They are defeated by religious moderates rejecting a religious stranglehold of the state. They are defeated when Nations with power stop aiding their fight. They are defeated by equal treatment under the law, and the distinct separation of religion from state with no single myth placed in control of the lives of anyone else. They are therefore defeated by the enduring human desire to be free.

Humanity has a long way to go before we treat each other as sacred, as anything but the narrow band that extremists of every stripe insist we must be identified as. However, violently enforced regression and weak attempts to rationalise or justify violently enforced regression as a product of anything but itself, is not a step along that path. It is a step backward. It deserves neither respect nor consideration.

The only people who deserve our consideration, are those who lost their lives, and their families and friends. Those people who simply went into work that day. Whether through pure chance they happen to be Americans, or non-Americans (12% of those who died, were not American), Christians, or Muslims, Gay, or Straight, Men, or Women, young or old; Human beings – people who were loved, and cherished, and had hurt not a soul – were savagely slaughtered that day in September. This one fact must never be forgotten, nor excused.


The time I almost had a fight with a ghost in a tent in the woods in Michigan.

June 27, 2012

To fall in love with the tip of the pinky finger on the Michigan hand
is to look out across the lake at sunset and view complete perfection as it glows red and sinks into a seemingly unbreakable horizon. How lucky we are to be able to perceive this.
She is my favourite of all the Americans.
There was New York and then there was Michigan. Michigan is stunning. I could sit for hours and just watch. The sound of running water is as mellifluous as any other to me.
I wore a cowboy hat. Well you just have to. Don’t judge me. Howdy!
The lady in the bar in New York told me she had just moved to Manhattan and had already been arrested for trespassing. We drank beer and talked about the Constitution. She was obsessed with the Constitution. I wanted to watch the football game on TV. I missed the goal, because I was being told about her rights. It is at that point that I decided my favourite Founding Father; Thomas Jefferson was no longer my favourite. He had pushed for the First Amendment – the right to free speech – and I would have given anything to be able to put gaffer tape over her face at that very moment. Go to hell Jefferson. You ruined the match for me.
New York is oddly captivating.
It is one long, unending car horn. It is the reason behind the one long, unending car horn. The fragrance of Central Park breaks the mold. I loved Central Park.
What a wonderful view it is from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. And how much I felt like I had been transported back to the height of Art Deco when walking through that triumph of 1930s architecture with the elevator doors as criss-crossed steal that a bellman pulls across. This building has existed, and been seen by Roosevelt, by Kennedy, by Truman and Nixon and Carter. Standing at the top of history.
Manhattan is a forest of concrete.
What a dull sentence. But the reality is that it makes you marvel of what humankind is capable of producing. We have came such a long way in such a short space of time. We are impressive. In less than 200,000 years we have gone from communicating via gestures, to developing languages, concepts borne out of ideas, systems based on survival instincts. Humanity is intensely brilliant. We do not need Gods. But we are dangerous and destructive also. Our excellence breeds our ignorance. I stood at Ground Zero. The fountains. They epitomise humanity. Their design came from the beautiful mind of an artist. A mind. A piece of matter that has become self aware. A piece of matter, like a stone. How did it become self aware? Self aware, and capable of dreaming. Dreaming is art. This is what sets us apart. How can this development in human evolution not over awe you? And then the juxtaposition. The fountains reason for being is the horrifyingly destructive nature of humanity and what it is capable of doing to its own species. It is a harrowing place. I used to
Can somebody please tell Mitt Romney to stop telling everyone how much he doesn’t want to become like Europe. The reason the US isn’t like Europe, is because it has rejected the idea of austerity. Stick with Obama, he’s doing it right.
I was stopped at Heathrow by a security official with a drastically over inflated sense of his own importance. This is a man who had contempt on his face for anyone who isn’t him. A man who only smiles, cries with awe, and manages to achieve a sexually aroused state whilst looking in the mirror. At no other time is it possible for him. He stopped me and said “What’s in your bag?” So I told him. He knew anyway, having been watching the xray machine. He said “Anything else you want to tell me about?” Patronising question. I had two books, my glasses, my sunglasses, and my wallet in that bag. Nothing else. So I said “no”. He then said “What do you do for a living?” I told him that was none of his business, and then asked him what he had for dinner last night. He told me not to get cocky with him. He then got a lady to go through my bag in private, wearing rubber gloves. She treated me like a criminal. She then got to the end of the bag, and said “Okay, there’s nothing concerning in here, I apologise for the inconvenience”. I didn’t want her to apologise. I wanted the man who stopped me in the first place, who for some reasons needs to know my main source of income, to come and profoundly apologise. He didn’t. He walked away. I was held back for 35 minutes for that.
The Statue of Liberty is the face of freedom. Though it also makes me reflect on America over time. Emma Lazarus wrote the ‘New Colossus’ poem that sits at the entrance to the Statue. It reads:

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This beautiful sentiment epitomises how it must have felt for those immigrants coming on the boats into New York harbour, to have seen the Statue with the promise of a liberty that had been kept from them for so long. Whether it still applies now (considering the Arizona border dispute, it’s hard to say) is debatable. But the original sentiment is one that makes me smile.
We do not go into BOBs in Grand Rapids. Only douches go into BOBs.
I went into BOBs.
Ssshhh.
I hate flight.
Whenever the plane experiences turbulence, I presume we’re going to crash.
I don’t understand how such a big tin can is able to stay afloat. It seems unnatural. And yet it is wonderful.
Over the skies of the United States on my way to Michigan, I looked out of the window. It struck me; I am only one of a very few number of people in the World over its history to have seen the planet from this perspective. Great people have come before me and never experienced this. How lucky it is to be me. Our ancestors looked into the heavens and wondered. I was now in the place that drove such profoundly wonderful men and women to meditate on what the sky had to offer. Da Vinci was desperate to invent a machine that could take humanity into the sky. Newton was fascinated by it. The Aztecs would pray every night to the Gods in the hope that it would ensure that the sun would rise the next day. Galileo was imprisoned for his fascination with that which existed above the surface of the Earth. Religions were invented to try to make sense of the unknown. Plato was a part of a society that believed the Gods dwelled in the clouds. And here I am. Sat above them, in a machine that man built; essentially the culmination of great thinking up until this moment. All of those names; Newton, Galileo, Plato, Da Vinci had some influence on the reason that I was sat in the air that day. I love humanity. But humanity is a product of natural selection. This is the reason that I have a love affair with nature. Its possibilities are endless and we should be constantly amazed by this.
We went to a vin yard to try to some local wines.
We then went to another vin yard to try some local wines.
We then went to another vin yard to try some local wines.
Sometimes people take your breath away.
Their quality is ineffable.
But they just glow, and you can’t explain why.
New York is full of these people.
I could live in Michigan. Happily.
We see a plane, and our eyes are used to it. We know how it works, we are not surprised, it is a fact of our lives. Sometimes I wonder if wonderment is the essence of life. Do we lose a certain degree of beauty, when we understand? I choose not to understand how a plane works. I don’t want to understand. This makes it far more bewildering and ultimately astonishing for me. Yet, conversely, not understanding is part of the reason that I hate flying.
Free front row ticket to Jersey Boys on Broadway. I had no idea Frankie Valli had sang so many great songs. ‘My Eyes Adored You’…. I forgot about that one. ‘Begging’… Had no idea he’d sung that. Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man. The entire show was fantastic. Oh what a night.
The woods are wonderful. She said that these places go on without humanity, that regardless of our worries and our problems, this beauty still exists. She’s right. That is what makes them beautiful. We stood on the rocks after sunset and talked about people and about nature. Everything that had happened before us, and before our mums and dads, and before our grandparents, and before nations, religions, empires, before language and before art and before….everything, had led up to the point where we could be stood on rocks after sunset talking about people and about nature.
Apparently Americans are quite the fan of Brits reading Harry Potter whilst holding a box of Hobnobs. There is no need to explain the context here. It is EXACTLY as you just read it. So I made them say the pledge of allegiance. Fair trade I feel. If you are English, take the opportunity to have your American friends speak in a British accent. It is much fun!
kbye….
We sat in rubber tubes, with cold beers and floated down the river into Lake Michigan in the sun. I couldn’t help but note that ten years ago I was in a shitty school, expecting to spend my life on a rough council estate with multiple children and a dead end job by the time I was 20, holidaying in Skegness. I am proud of me. A lot has happened in ten years and even the bad, I am in a strange way grateful. I am grateful for Mrs English the day she told me that I would never be smart enough to read a book cover to cover, or ever be eloquent enough to write anything of any significance. I hope the phrase “Fuck you, you incompetent bitch” is eloquent enough for her. I am grateful for everything. But not so much for Reese’s. I hope they go away.
Take chances, and be happy. Lose sometimes. Smile. Do it all again. Life.
There were footsteps outside the tent. Then they stopped. Right outside the door. I sat up, ready for a struggle.
There were no more footsteps retreating or pressing forward.
they just stopped outside of the tent.
But, no one there.
I was preparing for a fight still.
Apparently with a ghost.
This was the thoughts and the events and the people that led up to the time I almost had a fight with a ghost in a tent in the woods in Michigan.

— Click on the picture to enlarge —


America’s tortured brow

September 13, 2010


– Reagan meets the Taliban and refers to them as Afghanistan’s founding fathers, despite their remarkable ability to deny even the most fundamental of human rights.

Prior to 1986 the UN’s judicial wing, the International Court of Justice was supported by the United States. However, all that changed in 1986. In that year, that fantastic year (my birth), Nicaragua became indescribably pissed off with the US’s involvement in supporting Right Winged terrorists in their country, that they bought a case against the US, to the Court of Justice. The charge was, that:

(a) That the United States, in recruiting, training, arming, equipping, financing, supplying and otherwise encouraging, supporting, aiding, and directing military and paramilitary actions in and against Nicaragua, had violated its treaty obligations to Nicaragua under:
Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter;
Articles 18 and 20 of the Charter of the Organization of American States;
Article 8 of the Convention on Rights and Duties of States;
Article I, Third, of the Convention concerning the Duties and Rights of States in the Event of Civil Strife.
(b) That the United States had breached international law by
1. violating the sovereignty of Nicaragua by:
armed attacks against Nicaragua by air, land and sea;
incursions into Nicaraguan territorial waters;
aerial trespass into Nicaraguan airspace;
efforts by direct and indirect means to coerce and intimidate the Government of Nicaragua.
2. using force and the threat of force against Nicaragua.
3. intervening in the internal affairs of Nicaragua.
4. infringing upon the freedom of the high seas and interrupting peaceful maritime commerce.
5. killing, wounding and kidnapping citizens of Nicaragua.

The US defended itself, not by denying any of the above, but by suggesting that everything it had done in the region, all the terrorist activity and the dead civilians and the economic warfare, and the torturing, was justified because it was preemptively “exercising a right of collective self-defense” for the benefit of other Latin American countries.

As proceedings were clearly going against the US, the lawyers for this new Roman Empire, who answer to no one but themselves, decided to throw their toys out of the pram, by suggesting (and being the only Country to ever suggest) that the International Court of Justice is “semi-legal, semi-juridical, semi-political body, which nations sometimes accept and sometimes don’t.” This obviously setting themselves up to say that when the court inevitably finds in favour of Nicaragua, the US wont listen. And so that is exactly what happened.

The Court found that the US was guilty of attacking key infrastructure in Nicaragua, and arming, training and financing Right Winged terrorists in the Country, although admits that the US probably wasn’t directing the operations of the terrorists. They simply picked them, funded them, armed them, and then said “okay….GO!“. The court also found that the Nicaraguan government had absolutely no part in any arms flow between Nicaragua and insurgents in other Latin American Countries. It found that no Latin American Country had asked for US support in these matters.

The judgement reads:

“Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State;”

Decides that, by laying mines in the internal or territorial waters of the Republic of Nicaragua during the first months of 1984, the United States of America has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State, not to intervene in its affairs, not to violate its sovereignty and not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce;

Finds that the United States of America, by producing in 1983 a manual entitled “Operaciones sicológicas en guerra de guerrillas”, and disseminating it to contra forces, has encouraged the commission by them of acts contrary to general principles of humanitarian law; but does not find a basis for concluding that any such acts which may have been committed are imputable to the United States of America as acts of the United States of America;

Decides that the United States of America, by the attacks on Nicaraguan territory referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, and by declaring a general embargo on trade with Nicaragua on 1 May 1985, has committed acts calculated to deprive of its object and purpose the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956;

The list goes on.

America of course disagreed and ignored the verdict. Nicaragua took it to the UN Security Council, asking for all members to respect international law. The US Vetoed it. Because the US don’t like being told what to do. It is the equivalent of a murderer being found guilty, but then walking out of the court because he doesn’t like the verdict and saying “Yeah, I don’t really take it seriously now, i’m going home” and being allowed to.

Nicaragua then took it to the General Assembly, who passed the Resolution by 94 votes to 3. The 3 anti votes, being obviously the US…….. of course you can guess the second….. Israel, and the third being El Salvador, who at the time were the recipient of huge US aid, to fight the Left Wing uprisings in the Country. The US then tried its hardest since the decision, to discredit the ICJ for being a “hostile forum”, simply because the decision went against the US. I wonder if they’d have followed the same path of trying to discredit the ICJ, if the decision went their way. Something tells me they wouldn’t. And so Nicaraguans had to deal with even further American involvement in their Country. Reagan imposed tougher economic sanctions, and denounced the elections in Nicaragua as suspicious, despite the fact that Canada, Ireland, the European Economic Community and religious groups sent to oversee the elections all said that they were perfectly fair and free.

The US Congress then banned all funding to the Right Winged terrorists in Nicaragua, the Reagan administration carried on covertly. They did this by selling arms to Iran and sending the money gained, to the terrorists in Nicaragua. In 1996 it was revealed that the Reagan administration used money raised through drug trafficking to support the terrorists in Nicaragua. And today, those very same conservative Americans who masturbate furiously over the mere mention of Reagan, are claiming Obama is the one pissing on the Constitution, by trying to improve the Healthcare system. Fickle, despicable, moronic; the American Right Wing.

This is why it amazes me, that it was the Middle East that lost it’s mind first, and began fighting America. Muslim Extremists are the equivalent of the barbarians that sacked Rome. Pissed off at their treatment by this wretched superpower, but just as pathetic, barbaric, and evil as the bastards they are fighting.

Two days ago, marked 9 years since the September 11th 2001 terrorist atrocity in New York City. It was unquestionably one of the most vile and senseless attacks the World has witnessed. The inhumanity was beyond comprehension and it strikes me as utterly counter to human compassion and decency, to assume such an attack is justifiable. That being said, I cant help but wonder why we in the Western World are only ever exposed to this one side of the story.

Almost 3000 people died that day in 2001. Since then, and because of that act, 2071 soldiers have died in Afghanistan, 4736 soldiers have died in Iraq, 14,240 civilians have died in Afghanistan, and as many as 104,595 civilians have died in Iraq, with thousands upon thousands more displaced, starving, and living in poverty that they were not in prior to US led military action. One wonders what this has achieved? One also wonders why we never hear about those deaths? Why is a declaration of war considered a legitimate and almost entirely ethical justification for the deaths of almost 200,000 innocent people? Why are America not considered far far worse than the terrorists who attacked on 9/11? 3000 people is one building. 200,000 people, is an entire city. Imagine waking up, in your city, and finding everyone dead. Children included. How is that in any sense justifiable?

Does anyone in the West know the significance of the date April 28th 2003? I doubt it. It was the date that the Americans imposed a curfew on the people of Fallujah (if Iraqis invaded America and demanded people stay in their homes after a certain time, would Americans agree? No, of course not). The people defied the curfew, and the 82nd Airborne shot and killed 17, and injured over 70. Two days later, a protest in Fallujah against the shootings took place. The US shot two people dead. American terrorism and imperialism at its finest. The documentary ‘Fallujah: The hidden massacre’ gives compelling evidence of an even greater evil, committed by the US against ordinary civilians in Fallujah, including children. It shows footage of White phosphorus being used in residential areas, which breaches human rights conventions. It then shows us footage of children and other victims of the attacks, in the areas in which the White phosphorus was used. Ex soldier Jeff Englehart backs up the claims and the evidence by admitting the use of the banned substance. A Labour MP Alice Mahon pressured the British MOD to respond to the claims. The MOD then confirmed that US forces used MK77 during the invasion. The US defended its actions by saying they gave civilians enough time to evacuate. Overall, 39,000 homes were badly damaged and 10,000 destroyed, along with 60 schools, hospitals, and 65 mosques in Fallujah, by the US, in 2004. They have not been reconstructed. 32,000 compensation claims altogether. It is now 2010, and only 2,500 have received any form of compensation. Is America still convinced these people simply ‘hate our freedoms’?

We as a species seem to have instilled in us, a sense of revenge, as well as an impulse to assume we are the ones hard done by. American governments, including the Obama administration, play the innocent far too often. The usual story across the World, from Latin America, to Afghanistan, is America attempts to control a Country for resource purposes, the people fight back, America refers to them as evil, they refer to America as evil, America attacks and refer to themselves as freedom givers, the locals attack back and America refer to them as insurgents and terrorists, America attacks again, the locals attack again, and so on. All the time, Americans are shocked that anyone could dislike them for any reason, after all they assume quite amusingly that they are the beacon of hope and freedom. And so the cycle goes on. What does it achieve? Nothing.

Right now, the Muslim World assumes it is entirely innocent, and America assumes it is entirely innocent. Both are not innocent. Do I consider America to be terrorists? Damn right I do, quite horrific terrorists too. What is unnerving, and deeply regressive in terms of the history of humanity, is that both sides assume they are fighting a morally just war, for their own abstract concept; One side is fighting for their religion – a man made concept, something that doesn’t exist, a fairy tale. The other side is fighting for a Nation State – again, a man made concept that has no scientific or empirical worth, is not biological, is an archaic throw back to Colonialism, and is simply a social construct that certainly is not worth killing or dying for. It is unbelievably short sighted, because it will never end. America as a Nation are never likely to admit they have been utter bastards across the World for the past 50 years. Islam as a religion is never going to accept it has anger issues and takes its fairy man in the sky a little too seriously.

One problem, from a Western perspective, is that since 9/11 at least, we have had this us VS them mentality. We believe the West is right, and the Muslim World are evil bastards who we tried to help, but were beaten down for it. It emanates from America. We never hear stories of American terrorism; of which there are countless examples. We are made to believe the Office of President of the United States of America is an honourable office. It REALLY isn’t. It’s like the office of Roman Emperor. It means you have the power to impose your will on much of the World, through force if necessary and build a public reason for it, but keep the real reason private. It is an office of criminals. Very little more. The castle of the Presidency is built on pillars of sand, not rock. They will not talk about the fact that when Reagan was President, he helped to create the Mujahideen as an anti-communist force, despite the fact that they were also a very violent human rights abusers. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an ex Prime Minister of Afghanistan is currently on the run from America, who have him labelled as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’. This man is responsible for countless deaths. Yet, conversely. according to the book ‘Afghanistan, the bear trap: defeat of a superpower‘, Hekmatyar was the recipient of the most US covert funding (thought to be around half a billion dollars…….. apparently Tea Party activists didn’t really care about this) ever, and total immunity from the CIA for his role in the Drug trade.

During the Afghan-Soviet war, America funding the creation of over 35,000 religious schools throughout Afghanistan, in order to help train people against Soviets by teaching an extreme form of Islam in the hope that what the crazed Muslim extremists are doing now to America, would be aimed entirely at the Soviet Union. When their anger was aimed at the Soviets, America referred to them as Freedom Fighters. The moment that anger spilled over in the direction of America, they suddenly became known as terrorists. But, the Americans created the problems. They didn’t care if terrorism that they funded was being aimed at Americas enemies. They didn’t care how many people would die, from funding the creation of the monster of Islamic Extremism. It suited their needs, so it was fine. Now it is going against them, and they suddenly find it to be an evil that needs to be defeated.

President Eisenhower famously used his farewell speech to warn the US that the ‘Military-industrial complex’, in other words, private military and arms manufacturers, as a concept, runs entirely at odds with the objection of peace. That when a situation arises in which certain people and groups have material interests in being continuously at war, there can never be peace. Eisenhower said:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Today, this is more crucial a point, than at any time during the past fifty years. A fifty years in which the US has never had a moment where it has not been involved in the affairs of other Nations. The vast economy of the military machine, is the very source of international terrorism, and it is based entirely in the US. Eisenhower recognised it. I think we are all beginning to recognise it. Especially after Iraq.

There will never be an end to terrorism. Because terrorism is not limited to extreme Muslims. Terrorism takes on many forms, and one of them includes direct funding from the very superpower that in public appears to be so anti-terrorism, it goes beyond the realm of hypocrisy and becomes laughable. Whilst money exists, whilst Nation States exist, whilst America exists, and whilst Religion exists – terrorism will also exist.


I support the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’.

August 23, 2010

“bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.”

– Cordoba Initiative Mission Statement.

America has an odd obsession with freedom. It usually involves freedom for White Christian Americans but no one else. It usually involves labeling any one who isn’t in tune to their massively hypocritical version of freedom, as freedom-haters. This week has been no difference.

You would have thought that with their obsession with free market enterprise and freedom, they would have welcomed the news that a Private firm have bought a plot of land two blocks from the World Trade Centre and plan to build on it. But no, the slightly vacant, miserable excuses for human beings; the American Right Wing is spending its time protesting against the building and suggesting that it pisses on the memory of those who died on 9/11, and that ground zero is a sacred site. They apparently have no problem with the strip bar that exists a stones throw away…… but then most Republican Americans spend their time in places like that, so it’s no surprise. And anyway, Masjid Manhattan, a Mosque in New York, is right next to the site, and has been since the 1970s. But then Fox News hasn’t built up hype around Masjid, so it’s nauseatingly stupid viewers have no reason to protest.

The ignorance is astounding. Their are countless facebook groups dedicated to being against building of what they call the “Ground Zero Mosque”. NO! They state quite viciously. Muslims are all evil radicals intent on killing Americans and raping their children. The Mosque would be their headquarters, at Ground Zero!!!! The only problem is……….. it isn’t a Mosque, and it isn’t at Ground Zero.

It is two blocks away from Ground Zero. I am curring in Australia, two blocks away from the nearest super market. I wouldn’t claim to currently be in the supermarket. It is therefore reasonable to say that the Ground Zero Mosque is not at Ground Zero. So, that leaves the word ‘Mosque’.

It is called the Cordoba Center. It will include a Theatre, a Performing Arts centre, a Basket Ball court, Bookstore, Child care, Prayer space, Restaurant, culinary school and fitness centre. It is already being used as a place of prayer for Muslims, and has been for quite some time. There is nothing that honours the victims of religious intolerance more, than a center dedicated to building relations, and showing that there does not have to be such separation, anger and fear. A symbol of the coming together of Islam and the West, and particularly Islam and America is a stage in contemporary times that we REALLY need to get to, and this Centre is an attempt to provide that link. We should be celebrating it. We should be celebrating that we are trying to move away from the past decade. We no longer want people like Palin and Bush and Cheney making sure fear is the order of the day. Innocent, decent Muslims are no different to innocent, decent Americans.

And yet a large number of Americans believe this to be an insult to them.

It defies logic.
America has sent thousands of troops to their deaths in wars built on the idea that oil revenue is worth far more than human life. They have seen a decade pass in which they were the most hated Nation on the planet, for the entire reign of George Bush. And they have the fucking nerve to suggest that it is a Mosque that pisses on the memory of 9/11 victims? No. Bush and the entire Republican faithful pissed on their memory years ago. One continuous piss, that continues to this day.

Over 300 Muslims died on 9/11. Not only that, but whilst the overweight American Right Wing sits basking in a sea of its own inherent racism, complaining and protesting against anything that isn’t White, Christian, and American; many more Muslims put their lives on the line fighting for America every single day. Mohammad Khaled, during 2006 endured heavy gone fire, fighting for a Country that now considers him insensitive if he wishes to practice his faith anywhere near the location of 9/11, committed by the very same terrorists he has vowed to fight against. Khaled left the U.S Armed Forces in 2006, because he was left stranded in Iraq whilst trying to protect three children from persistent gunfire. There are many more just like him. If I were Khaled, I would find it ridiculously difficult not to spit in the faces of every Right Winged American who puts me into the same category as a bunch of terrorists. Khaled, and others like him are better than that. They are better than Right Winged America. They deserve our respect above the Fox News brigade.

There can be no logical argument against the building. It is ludicrous to even try. It will always end up being a torrent of putrid racist anti-Islamic conjecture based on no logic or fact, and when you start to reason in that way, your argument becomes intensely invalid. The Economist magazine, a magazine I usually wouldn’t pay any attention to because we differ on our economic opinions, quite rightly said:

“Every single argument put forward for blocking this project leans in some way on the misconceived notion that all Muslims, and Islam itself, share the responsibility for, or are tainted by, the atrocities of 9/11.”

It is being built by the Cordoba Initiative. The initiative was set up, purely to help build stronger relations between the West and Islam. God knows, there needs to be some sort of relation healing between the West and Islam after Bush’s reign. However, it only works to help American’s innate fear of anything that isn’t American, grow larger. First it was the Communists. Anyone slightly Left of Reagan is accused of trying to bring Communism to America. And now it is Islam. Anyone who isn’t Christian is apparently attempting to ‘Islamify’ America. Which is ludicrous. When a Catholic Church is built, there is never any suggestion that there exists a Catholic conspiracy to pass all lawmaking of America to the Papacy in Rome. That is because it is ludicrous. But America always needs an enemy to fear, even if that enemy simply doesn’t exist. Today it is Islam. Tomorrow, it could be sweet old ladies.

There must be a distinction between law-abiding individuals who happen to have a personal belief in Islam, and the fundamental nature of Islam itself. Those who follow the fundamental doctrine of Islam, have failed to evolve with time, and have instead become what Christopher Hitchens so rightfully calls it ‘Islamofascist’. It is true, that these people are dangerous and that Islam has a lot of growing up to do. But individual Muslims, are not at fault.

Obama remains weak, and eerily silent. He is clearly worried about upsetting the anti-Islam right winged morons who inhabit his Country, given that this week a poll revealed that 18% of Americans believe Obama is a secret Muslim. Why aren’t Progressives everywhere standing up to these people. Islam is not the blame for the friction between themselves and the West. Fear across America is to blame. It is supplemented by Fox News and its associates in the Republican Party, because without fear and without someone to hate and invent bullshit about, the American Right Wing including Fox and the Republican Party, are nothing. A remnant of a past in which humanity is constantly fearing the ‘other’. An ‘other’ that simply doesn’t exist.

Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League quite pathetically and hypocritically (you’ll see why in a second) fanned the flames of bigotry with this:

“Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgement, building an Islamic centre in the shadow of the World Trade centre will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right?. If you want to heal us, don’t do it in our cemetery.”

Normally I’d respect his view, despite how pathetic it is. However I can’t bring myself to do that, given that Abe Foxman recently seemed more than happy about the proposal to build a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ by an Israeli group in Islamic Mamillah Cemetery in Jerusalem. Oh the hypocrisy.

Supporters of the project include families of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. Donna O’Connor, whose pregnant daughter died on 9/11 said:

“This building will serve as an emblem for the rest of the world that Americans … recognize that the evil acts of a few must never damn the innocent.”

Very wise lady.

Terry Rockefeller whose sister died on 9/11 said:

“This doesn’t insult her at all. This celebrates the city she loved living in. It is what makes America what we are.

Sue Rosenblum whose sister died on 9/11 said:

“What are we teaching if we say you can’t build here? That it’s OK to hate? This is a country based on freedom of religion.”

Daisy Khan, who is working on the project quite rightly said:

“The presence of … mosques like the one planned near Ground Zero, which will be an educational center as well as a place of prayer, is one good way of transcending … ignorance.”

She is correct. The only way to defeat the ignorance of people like the American Right Wing, and Islamic Extremists, is to join the moderates on both sides together. Projects like this, acts to knock down the barriers that the Bush Administration thrived on, and what Sarah Palin continues to need in order to survive politically because without fear and hate the American Right Wing really is nothing.

Cordoba is run by Feisal Abdul Rauf, who spent weeks after 9/11 reaching out to the West and condemning all extremists. He is known for spending his life trying to build bridges between Islamic World and America. He has written countless books, and appealed to the U.S Government to fight Islamic terrorism by changing its foreign policy. He is a good person. The Centre, two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Centre has absolutely nothing to do with extremism or terrorism. The Centre is going to include a restaurant Americans seem unable to distinguish between Islam and terrorism. Yet, they seem perfectly able to distinguish between Christianity and Terrorism.

Army Of God, Christian Patriot Movement and Christian Identity are all terrorist Christian organisations operating around America. I presume I can count on the support of Sarah Palin, and the Fox News worshiping lunatics who are protesting against this Islamic Centre in New York, whenever Christians wish to build a Christian Church, or school, or centre, anywhere near the spot in which an abortion clinic was targeted by Christian terrorists?
1984 – Abortion Clinic in Pensacola, on Christmas Day bombed by Christian fundamentalists who called the attack a gift to Jesus on his birthday.
1993 – Shelley Shannon convicted of shooting Dr George Tiller, and later convicted of bombings and arson against Abortion Clinics. Three more people shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists. Dr David Gunn and Dr George Patterson shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists.
1994 – Two receptionists at Clinics in Massachusetts killed by Christian Fundamentalist. Five others wounded in attack.
1997 – Dr Gandell of New York is badly injured by glass when his home in New York is fired upon by Christian Fundamentalists.
1998 – Bomb in clinic in Alabama kills Security guard Robert Sanderson and blasts one eye out of a nurse named Emily Lyons…… by Christian Fundamentalists. Three people badly injured when acid was poured into the entrance of a Clinic in Miami. Dr. Barnett Slepian shot to death at his home, by Christian Fundamentalist.
2000 – Clinic in New Hampshire set on fire, causes $20,000 worth of damage. Thankfully no one injured.
2001 – Planned Parenthood Clinic in South Dakota set fire to by Christian Fundamentalist. The Clinic also received a letter with white powder in it, with the message “You have been exposed to anthrax. … We are going to kill all of you.”
2005 – Molotov Cocktail thrown at Clinic, everyone managed to escape unharmed. Christian Fundamentalists to blame.
2006 – David McMenemy drives his car into Edgerton Women’s Care Center, which he wrongly believed was performing abortions; he then takes hostages and douses the lobby in gasoline, setting it on fire.
2007 – A huge bomb is placed in a clinic in Austen, Texas. A Bomb disposal team manage to secure it, and no one is injured. Christian Fundamentalist to blame.
Since 1977, Christian Terrorism has claimed seven lives, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation. Where is the outrage? Why aren’t Americans worried about this? Because they’re fickle, hypocritcal, fear mongering imbeciles. That’s why.

Given that Republicans voted down a bill that would provide funding to help 9/11 first responders who now suffer from respiratory health problems and cancer because they are, well, I don’t know why they did it. I presume it’s because they are scum; it is highly rich of them to now pretend they care about 9/11 victims. The entitlement was designed to help those who now have severe health issues because they were quick to respond to help during 9/11. The Republicans say it will kill jobs because it is being paid for by closing a tax loophole for the rich. So, to sum up, being able to avoid tax is far more important than helping those who now suffer from cancer. Why do these people have any say over the way the most powerful country in the World is run? It is so dangerously unnerving.

Perhaps they should honour Ground Zero in real American fashion. Erect a statue of Rupert Murdoch, under a big McDonalds M and then a Temple dedicated to the worship of Ronald Reagan, whilst sacrificing a Latin American person in his honour. The land of the free.