The coming war

I’ll try to talk less about politics on the blog in the future (that is, let’s be real, if I get around to writing much at all), but what I am about talk about is of perennial importance.

This week, it was announced that in light of a chemical attack in Syria, and the unverified accusation that it was caused by Bashar al-Assad, America looks set to engage a military campaign in Syria to “punish” Assad for allegedly killing civilians in Douma. Basically, Trump has gone from punitively striking Syria once and saying America won’t invade Syria again, to sending military forces to attack Syria in spite of this position, to openly suggesting a military response to Assad. Remember when people like me supported him instead of Hillary Clinton partly on the grounds that her proposal for a no-fly zone would lead to war with Russia because Russia’s interests are aligned with Syria’s? Well now it appears we’re likely to be involved in conflict with Russia anyway. Thanks a lot Trump.

And it looks like my country, the UK, is going to be in on it as well, as the Prime Minister Theresa May joined Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron in calling for military intervention, without a vote from the House of Commons. Because of that, I’ve officially gone from hating Jeremy Corbyn (even as a recently converted socialist) to supporting him just because he might be the only viable alternative to the decidedly pro-startting World War 3 agenda of the Conservatives. Of course, Theresa May did say on Wednesday that she would be making our participation in the Syrian war conditional depending on if we have more evidence of Assad’s role in the chemcial attack in Douma. Only for her to send submarines to Syria anyway.

So why am I so appalled by this development, you might ask? After all, muh North Korea! Kim Jong-un is a mad man, right? Well, considering that denuclearization is actually on the table with North Korea, and the North Korean state is shedding is Songun (military first) policy, you would frankly have to be a sheep if you still believe by this point that North Korea is the biggest threat to world peace. Not to mention, even I didn’t believe that North Korea was even capable of blowing everyone up. With Syria, however, if NATO presses against Syria long enough, if they depose Bashar al-Assad, and if they consequently encroach upon Russia for long enough, they will not be able to defeat NATO in a straight fight, and so the only option left for Russia will be to use its nuclear weapons against the West. The difference in the level of threat involved is quite clear. We knew this when the American people were making their choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but for some Trump himself isn’t aware of this and even many of his supporters seem to be lining up like dogs to support his actions, although some of them are outright condemning him (of all people, Alex Jones has outright said “fuck Trump” on the issue).

We are on our way to World War 3 any moment now, and it could well end with nuclear fire, and I wish I were being hyperbolic, and I don’t even know how many people care because people still think North Korea is the one that will destroy us all, even as all pretense of that idea fades slowly and Syria and Russia (and Turkey to some extent) become much more relevant. Just goes to show you that despite all insistence from conservatives that the media is left-wing, they still want you to be threatened by the more communist nations out there (despite the fact that the North Korean state technically no longer positions itself as communist).

I, for one, will oppose my country’s involvement in Syria to the last. I do not want to have any part in this carnival of greed, unjust violence and needless human suffering just so the congloms can make money off of developing missiles to lob at Syria and so that the political establishment can take out anyone who poses a threat to their global economic interests. Even if the Douma attack was Assad’s fault, for which there hasn’t been any investigation, it is not our business to oust him from power in Syria – America already tried that bullshit in Iraq and Libya in recent memory, and it ended up getting taken over by Islamist regimes who proved to be even worse than the dictators that were removed by military intervention. When the time comes, I will do what is necessary to avoid participating in the abomination of a war that is to come, perhaps agitate against it.

If it comes to war and either I drafted (which I hope can be avoided somehow) or bombs drop where I live before I have the chance to get a bunker then, well, it was nice knowing you guys.

(PS: Don’t take the last comment to hard, I do still intend to write some posts, though the pace will likely be as slow as it’s been recently; at any rate, I’ll try not to let my readers think that the worst has happened)

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On the Netherlands

In just three days the Netherlands will have a general election, which may prove to be a highlight of this year’s European elections and another portent of doom for the European Union’s project of “ever closer union”.

The main candidates for the upcoming election are Geert Wilders, the leader of Party for Freedom, Mark Rutte, the current Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Lodewijk Asscher, leader of the Dutch Labour Party, and Emile Roemer, the leader of the Socialist Party, among quite a few other candidates, though I assume much of the election coverage will focus on Wilders and Rutte. The election is being treated by the media as a bellwether for the growth of populism in Europe, and perhaps not for an entirely invalid reason. Europe’s last shake-up was the Italian referendum, when the people voted against the government of the then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi when it proposed its changes to the constitution. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders is getting a lot of attention due primarily due to his strong stance against Islamization and Islam in general,  as well as his platform of limiting immigration and exiting the European Union. The fact he is running against the current Prime Minister kind of shows that he is going against what is currently the established order in the Netherlands.

The thing is, I find that Wilders himself leaves a sour taste in my mind. While I sympathize with his desire to oppose Islamization in his country, I don’t like his solutions: mainly the fact that he wants to outright ban the Quran and mosques. Honestly I find it quizzical that Wilders is being treated as so analogous to Donald Trump because, say what you will about Trump, at least he never talked about actually banning the dissemination of the Quran or mosques. He talked quite a bit about the threat of *radical* Islam, and wanted to ban immigration from Middle Eastern countries (which is actually permissible according to US law by the way), but not a hell of a lot about Islam as a whole. Wilders, however, seems to view Islam as a doctrine as part and parcel with the threat of Islamic terrorism. To be fair on him, I’ve done a whole month’s series of posts back in August excoriating the teachings of Islam for, among other things, having Quranic verses and Hadiths that justify violence against the non-believers and “hypocrites” (in other words, Muslims who don’t fully or properly practice Islam). But I think that closing mosques and banning the Quran will just drive more Muslims into believing that they are persecuted by the West, which would likely cause them to gravitate towards Islamism, and the measure is simply a form of authoritarianism. For all the acrimony I espouse towards Islam, we already know that the Bible worships a God who talks about genocide on non-believers and at one point commanded murders, so as trite as it seems to my ears one must wonder if the Bible should be banned for being violent religious literature from savage times just as the Quran is if we go down the line of reasoning.

However, I support his desire to exit the European Union, and at the moment it looks like he is the most likely to pursue that exit. I also think he is probably going to take the stronger stance against Turkey. Why is that important? Recently Trukey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in the business of eroding the liberty and secularism of the Turkish state, had been doing some political campaigning among the Turkish diaspora within the Netherlands and he jailed a Dutch journalist who happened to be a critic of the Erdogan regime. Apparently Erdogan also has a “satellite party” in the Netherlands known as DENK, supposedly representing the Turkish diaspora. So it kind of looks, at least from the outside, as if Turkey is playing a role in influencing what goes on in the Netherlands, which I would describe as very much out of order. And recently, there have riots in the city of Rotterdam carried about by Turkish diaspora members who support Erdogan over the fact that the Netherlands has banned a Turkish foreign minister from visiting, apparently because he was planning to do some political campaigning on behalf of Turkey in the run up to the upcoming election. In response Erdogan, in what I can only assume is an example of a lacking in self-awareness on his part, actually accused the Netherlands of being a fascist country or something to that effect, a sentiment echoed by encephalopaths who actually supported the riots and condemned Turkey for actually blocking a foreign country from influencing its own elections! And Mark Rutte, though recognizing Erdogan’s judgement of the Netherlands as crazy, still wants to maintain relationships with Turkey. Wilders, on the other hand, has sent a video message out to pro-Turkish rioters, and his stance on Turkey is quite clear.

Honestly, this actually makes it harder for me to be totally against Wilders. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like Wilders, but I also detest Erdogan and the Turkish state and thus find the latter party to be worse. And not just for what they’ve been doing in the Netherlands either. Erdogan has gotten a German comedian in legal trouble for satirizing him, used last year’s military coup to, frankly, set Turkey on the road to totalitarianism, and he’s blackmailed the European Union into being friendly with Turkey and opening up negotiations for Turkish entry into the EU on pain of flooding migrants to the European continent. For that, I would likely vouch for anyone in the Netherlands who’s prepared to stand up to Turkey. And, unfortunately, it looks Wilders is the guy to do it.

It’s probably going to be a real shit show out there, and I’m not enthused about any of the candidates. All’s I can hope for is that something worthwhile comes out of all this.

Why can’t we just recognize the Armenian genocide for what it was?

This is a piece by the artist George Maciunas, it mentiones a few genocides, but not one mention of the Armenian genocide, for some reason.

Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman Turkish government killed 60,000-1.8 million of the Armenian population, mainly through massacre and forced deportation in death marches. And today, many nations, including Turkey, and even America (or at least Barack Obama), don’t recognize it as a genocide, though most historians and genocide scholars do. To be fair, twenty countries “offically” recognize the events as a genocide, but that’s what bugs me. Why do we need to recgonize the Armenian genocide “officially”, when we can just recognize it as a genocide?

When dealing with genocide, why do we need to recognize it “officially”? Is there a problem with simply recognizing a genocide for what it is. Though, in the case of nations, it might have something to with Turkish interests. Turkey tries to deny the events were anything other than a genocide. In fact, they tried to claim that “there was no will to exterminate a population”. They tried to claim it was the “consequences of war”.

What war!?

 Also, you know what’s strange? America’s position. Not only do only 43 out of 50 states recognize the genocide, but also, while Ronald Reagan, an overrated right-wing nut, recognizes the genocide for what it was, Barack Obama, the darling of the masses, has gone on record to try an avoid using the term (Note: I’m not defending anyone in this statement). The only way he came close was using the Armenian synonym, Meds Yeghern, which translates to “Great Crime”. However satisfying you think it might be, he still doesn’t recognize it as a genocide.

Look, what I’m trying say is that why debate over whether to “officially” recognize a genocide for what it is, when we can just recognize it? There’s no excuse to bullshit around, or just plain deny the facts.