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Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made: Mercenary Guidelines for a Better World

Guidelines for a Better World

Sausages

Sausages

Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.  Perhaps I should re-phrase this as:

The Rules of Law and International Diplomacy are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made

It’s a strange world out there.  Two recent political events have brought two previously unlinked ideas to my mind.  The events are:

Wikileaks disclosures
Innocents Killed In Iraq

Innocents Killed In Iraq by US gunship

For the Wikileaks disclosures, I see them as a highly embarrassing thing for those involved, but an empowering thing for us mere mortals who are divorced from the diplomatic process.  Normally, all the guts of the process are hidden.

In the case of the cover-up of the turkey shoot of unarmed civilians by US helicopter crews, it is something of which we should all be aware, no matter how discomforting for us.

In truth, we need better leaders in the West, people of real morals and guts so that we do not have to see the guts of innocents sprayed on the streets ever again to realise how crap the current bunch are.

Mercenary Forces

Mercenary forces I see as a fact of current and historical life, the old colonial powers especially – indeed, the UK has its own dirty hand in this.  For nigh-on 200 years the UK has even had its own full-time mercenaries, the Gurkhas, typically used in near-suicidal conflict situations.  Also, currently, from the standpoint of an Afghan tribesman, the British Army in Afghanistan could be seen as little more than mercenaries in the employ of a puppet king, Hamid Karzai.  For the tribesman, little has changed – there’s money about but he sees none of it whosoever is in charge.

Diplomacy

Click to see Sausage Making process from the inside.

Sausage Making

In the meantime, we have diplomacy.  For the West, this is a world of essentially astute well educated  folk, usually adept in law not technology, that seek to make deals with not-so-nice folk for our own country’s benefit.

 

Because these deals are done at the guttural level, like sausage-making, it’s an unpleasant process to stumble upon – which is exactly what we’ve seen with the Wikileaks Diplomatic Cable exposures.  Naturally we are aghast that such things go on in our name.  For me, it seems to be a wholly unpleasant process in our current world and something I’d wish to eliminate.

Earth in an oil drop

Taking the current crisis in Libya;  for the previous three years the Blair/Brown Labour Government has made overtures with Libya, sold arms and even SAS training, but all with the aim of ensuring Libya kept it’s hands off the nuclear button.  Seems good-ish.  Laudable aims, jaw-jaw nor war-war and all that.

This process, now revealed, is ugly – but no more so than our current Prime Minister Cameron sucking up to some Gulf Arabs who, like Libya, run a similar kind of oligarchic, autocratic, nepotistic state, full of outlandish greed and luxury with no voice for the inhabitants!  Seems pretty bad.  ………   It is bad.  Really bad.  It’s the same process as before, and we only do it because we need their oil.   Forget about Grand Prix cars and World Cup Football – it’s all about the O. I. L.  – OIL.

So What to Do?

Use Oil?  Sell Bullets.

Most of the recent interventions of the West’s (let’s call them wars should we – after all, thousands have died?), have been into countries that maintain a nice, steady flow of oil to us rich, lazy, westerners.  We think nothing of flying the globe or motoring to the shop for a cheap item that has most probably already crossed the globe once on its way from China, so yes, it’s important we can do this, right?…

On the other hand, our presence in places like Sudan, Rwanda or Congo has been notable by our absence.  Millions have brutally died.  (a.k.a. we don’t care as you’ve no oil.)

Meanwhile our presence in places like Nigeria or Bhopal, India has been notable for our poisoning of the local inhabitants without a trace of remorse or compensation by those involved.

Not Use Oil?  Don’t Sell Bullets.

  • Self-sufficient city planned near Seoul

    A Planned Self Sufficient Korean City

    Consider our own little part of the world.  It’s a place that many people in the world aspire to live because we are essentially free and most material things in our lives can be satisfied.

  • Consider how bright and technologically advanced we consider ourselves to be.

Now consider a world where we eliminated our dependency on chicken dictatorships – a world where we used our technological prowess to eliminate the consumption of oil and our addiction to the making and selling of arms, mostly to these self-same oil rich oligarchies. It’d be a world where we, the citizenry,  didn’t have to look on aghast as all our tax money was spent on bribing simple crooks to talk to us nicely.

Surely, like Egypt & Tunisia, those sort of oligarchies would collapse if we stopped buying their oil and stopped selling them our finest weaponry?

And if they didn’t, so what? There’d be no need for us as a nation to be thrown into hypocritical situations and taking ghastly actions for which we’d later be thoroughly ashamed.  Those areas of the world could take their own destinies into their own hands.

Green Shoot Of Peace

Green Shoot Of Peace

And Diplomacy? For us, we should see more not less of the words and processes done in our name.  We are not children and sooner or later, if the diplomats have fucked it up, we’re going to find out anyway, much as we did after WW1, WW2 and anywhere else our sons and brothers get killed in someone else’s war.

  • We need a proper, ethical, foreign policy.
  • We need diplomats of guile and courage, just like now,  to promote it.
  • And really, we really, really, need to be self-sufficient for all our needs and not rely on corrupt tin-pot states that have not left the Middle Ages in outlook.  This single thing is the most important thing for us and the peaceful futures of our immediate descendants.
  • We need a bit of courage to do this – to wean ourselves off this drug-like dependency on crooks of no substance who happen to sit on stuff we just happen to need, now.  Lets use our technological nous and make the current now a thing of the past – like stone axes and bronze swords, historical curiosities.
  • Mercenaries have courage – after all, if caught they’re usually the first one’s strung up.  See Dead Mercenary Taken to Tripoli Morgue, Libia Protests 2011.   But if the mercenaries have a proper home – what then?  There’d just be the few psychos like there’s always been, because you know, most people, even young hotheads, don’t want to wind up in an early grave.

Remember;

Courage is Contagious.

Get the t-shirt!

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Long Live Wikileaks!

Long Live Wikileaks!

Wikileaks at 213.251.145.96 Wikileaks at 213.251.145.96

These images will take you to the current IP addresses of Wikileaks. It follows on from my earlier help to the organisation here when a bunch of Swiss bankers mysteriously managed to influence “independent” judicial decisions in America.

The fact that I even have to do this is an abomination on the face of our so-called freedoms.

Governments: Unfit for purpose.

The Wikileaks “Cablegate” revelations have ensured that the vested interests of non-elected mad Arabs (UAE, Saudis) insisting that the US should bomb an elected group of mad Arabs (Iran) are plain for all to see.

They’ve also have ensured that a whole raft of dirty tricks are now afoot. Coincidentally (not), as soon as Wikileaks released all the”Cablegate” stuff into a full download, the US Gov could then see what was coming and the dirty tricks have become even deadlier, nastier, and even less freedom-loving. It obviously proves that worse revelations are to come.

The Obamas/Clinton democrats are now joined in unison with the US republicans bellowing for instant executions without trial, Israelis, Arabs, Chinese and a host of other countries in an amazingly eclectic unholy alliance that proves that the whole diplomatic world is a very unhealthy cabal of back-scratching plebian egoists with the safety and reputation of their own peoples far below that of the maintenance of their own expanding clique of free-loading arse-lickers.

The fact that they can get the tiny oligarchy of the DNS servers to pull the website index globally on whistle-blowers says it all about internet freedom and even the Internet’s resilience to nuclear attack (yes – its first purpose was to ensure that all nukes got released and that there would be some vestige of command and control, when invented by DARPA).

The fact that normal journalism is now so economically cow-towed that they are for the most part meekishly submissive to the authoritarian demands of various states and multi-national corporations, also says it all.

The fact that sexual allegations against Wikileaks founder coincided with the start of the leak about helicopter gunships mowing down unarmed civilians in broad daylight and have since been expanded to continue with the recent shut-down of the site following an unprecedented DDoS website attack says it all.

The fact that Wikileaks has upset all sides of all governments says it all and reveals them all to be unfit for purpose.

It makes me wonder if my father should’ve bothered turning up at D-Day or Okinawa. What was he fighting for, or against?

Buddhism, Ikeda, Mandela and Education

Today (coincidentally!), Daisaku Ikeda in his Daily Encouragement address to the world, said;

Monday, December 6th, 2010

—- DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT —-

“It has been more than 20 years since I first had the privilege of meeting with Nelson Mandela, the lionlike champion of human rights. Recently, former President Mandela, who had just turned 92, sent me an inscribed copy of his latest book. …I wish to share these words…as an expression of my deepest respect: ‘To the youth of today I also have a wish to make: ‘Be the script writers of your destiny and feature yourselves as the stars that show the way towards a brighter future–for our country, our continent and the world.’ ‘Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.‘”

What we see with the attacks upon Wikileaks, is an attack on freedom as it attacks the open knowledge base with which people need to be informed and thus educated. Without knowledge we are nothing.

We are like the women of Afghanistan, shackled by their surroundings of a male hierarchy and ignorant of everything except that which they’re told – except in our case, it’s our elected representatives who choose to hide the truth from us. And in the USA, with over 850,000 people now holding “top secret” status, (which is 1.5 times the population of Washington), we see that the weight of state machinery now devoted to hiding the truth, is immense.

What must be remembered, is that in nearly every single prominent Wikileak, the government has been found out to be doing bad things in our name. It’s nothing to do with national security as they claim, and everything to do with protecting those with comfy state jobs and a falsely clean reputation, no matter what they do.

Further Reading:

This is a copy of the main page entry.

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The Real Troubles are not in Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE DERRY 8The Saville Report, probably the longest and certainly the most expensive enquiry in the UK ever, is now out.  The ramifications are continuing, despite the Prime Minister trying to draw a line under everything.  See Bloody Sunday report published

History

On that day in 1972, 13 folks were killed, and overall, in what are called “The Troubles”, over 3,500 people were killed in Northern Ireland in the 30 years between 1968 and 1998.  (see ref.)  This is about 130 a year, or about 11 a month. ( Also, during the 30 years, >47,000 were injured!)

Bloody Philadelphia

But let’s stick with the dead for now.

I’ve been following the local 6ABC News in Philadelphia for a bit.  It’s not happy reading.  Most of the news headlines are murder related.

For Instance

Last year there was a ‘random’ shooting at a funeral.  Afterwards, Taaqi Brown was caught and charged with killing Aaron Kearney, although apparently he was after one of Kearney’s friends, ( – so that makes it alright, then?)

These are black guys, and drugs and guns come into the story a lot.  See storyline links below:

Disturbing Philadelphia

Recently, Taaqi had been let out of custody accidentally, which is pretty bad for the law enforcement agencies.  He later turned himself in.  What is horrifically disturbing though, is the interactive map from the Philadelphia Police Department.

http://citymaps.phila.gov/CrimeMap/map….from=5%2f17%2f2010&to=6%2f16%2f2010

Click on it and you’ll see all the homicides in the city for the past one month.  This is only one month, not a year or a decade….

27 people killed!

Most of these are from gunshot.  Mostly, people have been murdered outside in the street.  These are the cold statistics.

Crime Category Location Date/Time Premise Code
114 – Homicide: Knife 6100 BLOCK COTTAGE ST 6/13/2010 8:58 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 500 BLOCK E ASHMEAD ST 6/13/2010 0:23 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 6900 BLOCK N 19TH ST 6/12/2010 2:36 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S COLORADO ST & WOLF ST 6/10/2010 6:04 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N HOWARD ST & W HUNTINGDON ST 6/9/2010 17:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun CHEW AV & E WOODLAWN ST 6/6/2010 6:50 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1100 BLOCK S 6TH ST 6/5/2010 0:52 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK E SHARPNACK ST 6/4/2010 5:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
112 – Homicide: Rifle 1200 BLOCK S 21ST ST 6/3/2010 8:18 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1600 BLOCK W YORK ST 6/3/2010 3:07 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
115 – Homicide: Beating 1200 BLOCK N 4TH ST 6/2/2010 14:54 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
114 – Homicide: Knife 2600 BLOCK COLLINS ST 6/2/2010 12:49 70. Private Residence
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3000 BLOCK W DAKOTA ST 6/1/2010 8:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S 60TH ST & KINGSESSING 5/31/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 2100 BLOCK E CLEARFIELD 5/31/2010 4:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
121 – Homicide: Auto W LEHIGH AV & MASCHER ST 5/30/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK W INDIANA AV 5/30/2010 2:37 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 4800 BLOCK DEVEREAUX AV 5/29/2010 3:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 5400 BLOCK BALTIMORE AV 5/29/2010 2:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3300 BLOCK W WESTMORELAND ST 5/28/2010 4:21 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1200 BLOCK RHAWN ST 5/26/2010 13:43 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1200 BLOCK S BUCKNELL ST 5/25/2010 3:30 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/22/2010 4:01 66. Apartment House/Condominium
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/21/2010 23:21 66. Apartment House/Condominium
111 – Homicide: Handgun 900 BLOCK FILBERT ST 5/21/2010 7:29 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic N 2ND ST & W OLNEY AV 5/18/2010 20:32 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N 59TH ST & LANSDOWNE AV 5/17/2010 6:20 53. Highway (Outside Structure)

But remember, Northern Ireland, for the whole of The Troubles, averaged out at 11 murders per month…..  This is just one month in Philadelphia!

Murderous, Troubled, Philadelphia

It means ol’ Philly is 3 times as bad as Northern Ireland.

  • What can they do?
  • Has it always been like this?
  • Do they want it to change?

Q. So which makes the best holiday destination?  N. Ireland or Philadelphia?

Q. Are they very similar?

Well, both Philadelphia and N.I. have similar populations of between 1.5 and 2 million souls.   But there, I’m afraid the similarity ends.

My own internal image I have of Northern Ireland is of it’s troubled times, but in all likelihood I could walk the streets yet not feel very “brotherly” towards the place because I’d be haunted by it’s past.  But I’d most likely be “safe”.

My image of Philadelphia is of the home of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell.  It means “The City of Brotherly Love” from it’s Greek meaning. I also have a vision of a  ‘tough’ place because of Will Smith’s signature tune from the Fresh Price of Bel Air.

But my new image is that it’s not somewhere that’s safe to walk the streets, or even drive.  27 murders a month is nearly one a day.

Northern Ireland was never, ever, as bad as Philadelphia now.

War On ??

The continuing “War on Terror” looks to be a misguided distraction from these figures.  The true war should be being fought on the streets of cities like Philadelphia and in the minds of it’s inhabitants.

Because, you see, what happens is that if these same “poor kids” involved in a society like this, decide that the only way out of their mess of a life, is to join the Army in it’s war on terror, then their poor grasp of right and wrong leads to the continuing atrocities that we see in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  Things like the gunship turkey shoot below where American heroes heroically shoot unarmed civilians on the ground from afar… (We only know of this because of the great Wikileaks.  As usual, the government tried to cover it up.)

This action and the continuing slaughter on America’s own streets by Americans is inexcusable.

  • Why is America like this?
  • Why do they put up with such shit?

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Russia dips it’s Toes in Venezuelan Waters, soon!

nuclear-powered Kirov-class battlecruiser Pyotr Veliky Following on from the two bombers landing in Venezuela only 11 days ago (which I reported here when talking about the decreasing effectualness of Bush and USA power in the world), they will shortly be joined by a mean and capable looking ship called Peter the Great as well as a few others. They are going to do joint manoeuvres.

It’s interesting to compare the different news reports of this event, which, after all, is only the departure – not the arrival!

The BBC is the least inflammatory with the “facts”, reporting it as a rebuff to the “United States”, but not elaborating any further on anything.

AFP seems to be a bit paranoid with their description of International and Venezuelan waters as defined by International Treaties, as “near US waters”.  And while pointing out that the US, before any of the recent Georgian crisis had started, had already activated it’s Fourth Fleet before the summer, AFP felt disinclined to wonder why even Kennedy didn’t need it during the Cuban Missile Crisis nor anyone else since 1950!

The Times, whilst being over the top in the headline, at least points out that the US sent it’s flagship on a “mercy” mission to deliver “aid” to Georgia.

No-one pointed out like I did, that a real mercy mission wouldn’t send a military flagship, but a cargo ship or two!  And thus no-one has pointed out the hypocrisy in our Western Leaders’ actions. All these ramping upwards gestures of military posturing are just that!  Posturing without a plan – it’s pathetic.

Am I scared?  Of course I am – a bit!

But the real way forward in all this is not boorish posturing.  All of the USA actions could have been done better without loss of face or esteem.

  • They could have sent a real aid ship to Georgia instead of a gunship loaded with toilet rolls and elastoplast.
  • They could have declined the actions to site missiles on foreign soils as a “shield” (for whom?)
  • They could drop the whole concept of a nuclear shield – it won’t ever work any better than having nothing as I said recently.  Now it just makes people believe a nuclear war will be limited and survivable.
  • These actions would have kept the now-defunct nuclear reprocessing treaty with Russia which would have exposed them to better energy markets
  • They could have left Chavez in Venezuela alone instead of trying to topple him like they did Allende in Chile etc – now they have a permanent enemy on their doorstep.

Dialogue and understanding is the way forward; “jaw,jaw not war,war” as Churchill said.

A serious exchange of ideas and intent is needed at this very dangerous time.

We and they know we can really destroy each other completely.   With that thought, there is obviously no need for posturing.  It serves only to bolster the self-image of the main protagonists for their people at home… Bush, Putin, Chavez etc.

Once this is understood, military actions will be seen as worthless and the preliminary posturing as even less so.  The value of the word worth has become even more important now that the world has woken up from it’s betting craze with crashed banks and financial institutions.

What is money worth?

What is war worth?

What is life worth?

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