The Plastic Hippo

September 11, 2015

Extraordinary compassion

Filed under: Law,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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James Freeman Clarke, a now obscure and long dead American theologian and campaigner for the abolition of slavery, came up with perhaps the perfect distinction between a politician and a statesman. In a short and accurate aphorism he stated: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation”. Quite what he would think of David Cameron is anybody`s guess as the old boy has been dead for well over a century.

It is left to us to judge a Prime Minister that is happy to conflate a humanitarian disaster with the rhetoric and action of death by execution without due legal process. We do not require a talking hat to decide when a government has lost any pretence of credibility and any shred of morality or to sort out the distinction between empathy and vindictive self-interest.

To announce that he approved the extra-judicial execution of two UK citizens on foreign soil to create a massive diversion away from an inadequate token gesture regarding the Syrian refugee crisis is a new low in mendacity even for an odious reptile like David Cameron. It is a measure of this man`s morality that he is already talking of his “extraordinary compassion” in shifting the problem to anybody else and stating that the decision to deploy drones was taken by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State for Defence. He tells us that he will not release the intelligence evidence to justify air strikes against the will of parliament because it is not in national interest or in the interests of national security. He has yet to explain how the UK press reported the attack and deaths a month before they took place or explain the deliberate misinterpretation of Article 51 of the UN Charter regarding self-defence. If you are waiting for Chilcot, you will wait a lot longer for anything resembling truth from this wretched government.

It is obvious that that the depraved fanatics of ISIS have to be confronted and neutralised and although we might not lose much sleep over the death of a British citizen prepared commit summary executions by beheading, we instead need to lose sleep over a British government prepared to commit summary executions by drone. This is not about “their” state of mind and lack of morality but is about “our” willingness to join them in descending into barbarism. Imagine the outrage and sabre rattling if Saudi Arabia flew a British made drone up Knightsbridge to neutralise a couple of Saudi dissidents and in the process cremate most of the customers at Harvey Nichols. Impoverished Saudi is spending what little money it has on buying British weaponry to bomb the blazes out of civilians in Yemen and simply cannot afford to take in a single Muslim refugee. It`s probably best not to delve too deeply into Russia poisoning a critic with polonium at a London hotel.

A disturbing precedent has been set both legally and ethically and already Cameron`s government and a febrile media are marching onto war which, like before, will not be a war that can be won. The policy to bomb everything to blazes will not solve the refugee crisis and Osborne`s “long-term economic plan” has failed to realise that a machete is much cheaper to produce than drones or high explosives. The argument for acting outside of international law in the name of “self defence” is not just dubious but it also irrational. Corbyn and the SNP wish to rid this nation of Trident which, according to retired generals and armchair warriors in the commons, would be a threat to “national security”. Perhaps Cameron, in the interests of self defence of course, will order drone missions over the streets of Islington North and Edinburgh.

Cameron`s compassionate “pledge” to take in “up to” 20,000 Syrian refugees over a five year period is as disingenuous as everything else that comes out of his slippery gob. He claims that he will offer sanctuary and refugee status to poor little orphans but does not explain that they will be deported once they reach the age of 18. Given that he has spent the last 10 years making a living by telling lies, he now says that “the assumption” is that children will be allowed to apply for British citizenship and that it is “assumed” that they will be granted leave to remain. Look, his lips are moving so he is obviously lying.

Apart from the obvious question of morality, this makes no economic or even political sense. A knee-jerk token reaction of the “something must be done” variety will actually make the situation worse. Having chosen 4,000 of the more photogenic little orphans per year to place in the care and budgets of local authorities and having diverted money away from vital overseas development projects which will make matters worse; the little darlings will receive a birthday card and a one-way ticket back to Syria which might or might not even exist by then.

Then there are those left behind to grow up in squalid, overcrowded conditions in refugee camps sensing the animosity and rejection from the wealthier nations to stupid to realise the benefits of diversity. Without education or hope, helplessness will turn into simmering hatred. For their 18th birthdays, they will receive an AK-47 or a vest full of something nasty together with a London A to Z. Talk of self-defence and counter-terrorism will not change their understanding of what is offensive and what is terror. Bombing the blazes out of them to appease the arms industry and Rupert Murdoch will make matters worse. As the Hispanic-American philosopher George Santayana so elegantly observed:
“To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.”
Cameron will wriggle away from this damning indictment using misinterpretation and subterfuge and when the day of reckoning arrives he, like Tony Blair, will insists that he is obviously not a statesman so it does not apply to him. The evidence for this is based on credible intelligence which, for obvious reasons of national security, cannot and never will be revealed until just after they pop their clogs after long and lucrative retirements.

As we commemorate the terrible events of exactly 14 years ago, it is worth stepping back to consider the successes of the “war on terror”. Iraq is still a volatile shambles, an ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan after a long and futile war leaves the place worse than it was; a “liberated” Libya is a lawless basket case, aid workers are beheaded in the desert and tourists are gunned down on beaches. Syria`s Assad, who we wanted to bomb to blazes two years ago now needs our support and Iran is our new ally. ISIS prospers and kills civilians with mustard gas and Saudi Arabia continues to operate outside international law. Cameron seems to think it would be a jolly good idea to get involved in another war.

With millions of people fleeing for their lives attempting to escape this earthly hell, wealthy people safe in Northern Europe describe those wishing to avoid a violent and gruesome death as “greedy economic migrants wanting something for nothing”. For these unspeakably inhumane and ignorant xenophobes, a child wanting a life is a child wanting something for nothing. We are all part of the human race but sometime in the near future we have to confront the possibility of a sub-species that are not yet quite human. This genus definitely does not include those risking everything in leaking boats or walking along railway tracks or clinging to trucks leaving Calais looking to the next generation. This genus includes politicians looking to the next election and the descendants of migrants who delude themselves into believing that the words “white”, “English” and “pure” all have the same definition.

When Cameron talks of “extraordinary compassion” he means extraordinary rendition and when British citizens are executed without charge, trial or conviction against the will of parliament and the cessation of capital punishment under British law, no amount of erroneous references to Article 51 can cover up his malignant incompetence. It is horrific to realise that a British Prime Minister and an American President should mimic the actions of ISIS.

After 14 years, the “war on terror” has only just got started and although it will never end, it has well and truly been lost.

1 Comment »

  1. The Plastic Hippo gives me thought for how we look at Problems

    Does friendship take a second step to restore stability, has democracy gone with the wind, are we in a state of damaging the planet beyond the extremes of what could ever be imagined.
    It is time to look at the Magna Carta, why was it introduced and how important is it, power is not set out for greed, power is there to overlook and make sure that everyone has stability within the country they live, is power for you as a person, or for the people you represent.

    Take away democracy, take away the right to vote, take away friendship, are you are left with empty dreams.

    Economics is based on figures, read them, do they reveal the truth, friendship is based on trust, lose trust and you lose the friendship, justice is based on factual evidence, lose this, then we have nothing.

    When someone speaks are they speaking for themselves or the people they represent,

    All to often we see problems which can be sorted at the grass roots move into something that is moved onto someone else, rather than dealing with the source at hand.

    Have we as all the capabilities of dealing with these injustices without causing further economic problems?

    It is not difficult, we should be able to sort out the problems at source, what do you think?

    Comment by L Smith — September 11, 2015 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

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