There is so much happening in the world this week, most of it bad and Cassie and I were very tempted to comment about it here. We are both very political and opinionated but the problem is we could go on and on about the stories dominating the news at the moment and we’d be sure to offend some people’s sensitivities without doing anything positive about the situation.
Hold on, we are not going to worry about people’s sensitivities in this blog so just to get it off our chest here in short form is what we think.
The shooting down of the Malaysian Airliner over Ukraine. Everybody outside of Russia knows that it was Russian separatists with direct or indirect help from Russia itself that did it. It was an appalling and heinous crime and the perpetrators should be brought to justice. We’d have no objection if the guilty people were tortured to death. Slowly. But that won’t happen. What will happen is that Putin will do everything possible to stop the truth coming out. The western world will object and implement tougher sanctions against Russia which will achieve nothing meaningful and nothing fast. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the west in general will increase significantly making life for all of us a bit more tense. In the most extreme (and in our view unlikely scenario) there could be a new war. Meanwhile nothing will bring back the dead. Nothing will comfort the relatives of the 80 children and all the other people on that flight… Slowly their part in all of this and the permanent grief of those they leave behind will be forgotten…
Some idiots will take all of this as a signal that it is okay to be rascist against Russians. The same idiots will be the ones who don’t know the difference between words like soviets, communists, socialists and ruskies.
Actually it has virtually nothing to do with the ordinary Russian people whose main news channels are the voice pieces of Putin and whose take on recent events seems like something from another dimension in comparison to what western media is saying. Hopefully some of them will be going to the internet and new media to get some real news.
What we think should happen is this. As soon as it is clear that Russia isn’t cooperating properly, NATO should be tasked to secure the crash site and allow the investigation to proceed properly and the victims to be collected with some dignity. Then, ALL western nations should ask their citizens to leave Russia and then cut of all diplomatic and trade links completely. In other words sanctions that bite and bite fucking hard. All Russian airlines should be denied the right to fly or land anywhere outside of Russia. When Russia is brought to its knees, Putin should be forced to hand over the individuals who consigned the victims of this mass murder to their deaths to The Netherlands for trial. And then, NATO should be given a mandate to police the troubled regions of Ukraine and Putin should be forced to sign a treaty rescinding any claim on any territory outside its present boarders. And hopefully that would finish Putin in the eyes of his own people.
Of course, none of the above is likely to happen. Probably there will be a few meaningless sanctions against Russia and although we all know pretty much what happened there will be no meaningful closure for the victims of this tragedy .
The other big news story this week that has been making our blood boil is Israel’s incursion into Palestine and the tragedy of the Palestinian people which seems to be ignored by many Western politicians, especially in America. Probably most ordinary people in Europe (pretty much all the ones we know anyway) are constantly appalled by the amount of murder that Israel is allowed to get away with. Frankly speaking Israel seems embarked on a path of genocide against the Palestinian people.
We know some Americans reading this will be troubled. That is because the news you get is in many ways no less biased than the news the Russians get. Americans seem to be brought up to believe that Israel can do no wrong or perhaps perversely that they are allowed to be evil because a great evil was done to the Jewish people. Whatever the reason, American leaders and ordinary people seem blind to some basic facts that are not hard to find. For example, while it is clear it must be horrible for Israelis to live under constant fear of rocket attacks, during this latest round of aggression not one Israeli has been killed by a Hamas rocket, while over two hundred Palestinians (including many children, old people and residents of a home for handicapped people) have been killed, thousands have been injured and even more have been made homeless. Oh but the nice Israelis always give the nasty Palestinians warnings before their attacks, don’t they? Well what those warnings are in fact is messages saying, residents of this neighbourhood should vacate their homes because we are going to raise them to the ground. Take a look at the statistics for how many Palestinians are in fact refugees or homeless because their homes have been destroyed. As of this morning 40,000 Palestinians are seeking refuge in UN buildings. Forty Thousand! (That number has doubled in 24 hours). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28380923
Oh and this is by no means the first time something like this has happened. Every few years the Israelis find an excuse to grab more Palestinian land, kill anybody they don’t like and create hundreds more refugees. Jenin was one example;- http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jenin
Also, take a look at some maps showing how much land the Palestinians had when Israel was created, how much they were promised by various resolutions passed in the U.N., and how much land they are actually left with, where it is and how unviable it is as a state. http://fasttimesinpalestine.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/four-panel-map.jpg
It is funny how random American ideas about democracy are. For years they and Israel were insisting that the Palestinian authorities should be more democratic. So the Palestinians held an election. In Gasa Hammas won convincingly, but that is not who America or Israel wanted to win, so they ignored the result, marginalised Hammas and accused them of being terrorists so that they could not even be negotiated with. Yes Hammas do support and encourage what some would call terrorism. But I wonder if America would call it terrorism if capitalist Cubans took up arms against the communist regime of their country?
Also the two state solution everybody is talking about… Why not have a democratic One State solution? Why not let Palestine/Israel be governed democratically by the majority of people who live in that geographical area? Okay, despite importing people from all over the world, the Jewish people would be in a minority but what sense does it make that at the moment this minority is given the power to impose its will ruthlessly on the majority who live in Palestine?
What we think is that the Palestinians are never going to conveniently give up their aspirations to get their homeland back and that the ongoing troubles in the region are a gaping wound in the world which only convinces Muslims that the west hates them so they may as well be terrorists. What is needed is a fair solution which gives EQUAL priority to the needs and aspirations of the artificially created state of Israel and the historical homeland of the Palestinians. We think it is the Israelis who from the very beginning of their state have been the real terrorists in the region and no amount of Biblical fairy stories can justify that.
Well this isn’t really the post we wanted to start this blog with, but at least we have had the opportunity to get a few things off our chest. Perhaps in our next post we can do that in a more sexy way.