When Killing Kids is Just A-OK….

The murder of children is quite rightly seen as one of the most heinous crimes imaginable.  There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth this week over the abduction of the five-year-old April Jones, and the subsequent arrest and charging of Mark Bridger with her murder.  I guess I speak for many when I say I would happily take five minutes alone in a room with this alleged child murderer.  Nothing exercises the moral indignation of the British people more than those who set out to harm kids.  Unless, of course, those children happen to live in the Middle East.  In which case, we appear, at best, to be a bit ambiguous about the whole thing.

Just this week, far down the newsworthiness pecking order, was a report on the effect of sanctions on Iran.  It makes horrifying reading.  Not content with the reported 500,00 dead children as a result of sanctions on Iraq in the 1990’s, it would appear we are about to repeat the process in Iran.  The consequences of enforcing food and medicine shortages on a civilian population are predictable, and morally indefensible.  Yet there is no outpouring of grief or righteous fury over the fact that our government is embarking on a child killing spree abroad.

In an article in the Guardian, Philip Hammond, the UK Defence Secretary was reported to have said there would be “more pain on the streets“, and that –

There is further tightening (of sanctions) we can do.”  He added: “We can definitely make the pain much greaterNobody wants to cause the Iranian people to suffer unnecessarily but this mad scheme to build a bomb has to be brought to an end.”

Read that again.  “Nobody wants the Iranian people to suffer unnecessarily but..”
But, we are going to do just that nonetheless, make the Iranian people suffer “unnecessarily”.  This is Philip Hammond advocating a policy that will result in the deaths of untold numbers of children, from hunger and lack of basic medicine.  And he is justifying this on the LIE that Iran is building a nuclear bomb.  Maybe he should speak to his intelligence officials.  The only “mad scheme” here is that advanced by Hammond and his ilk, the one that thinks killing kids is ever a legitimate thing to do.  If “terrorism” means the use of violence aimed at civilians in order to force change from a government, what is it called when intense suffering is imposed on a  population in order to force change from their government?  It is also called terrorism, pure and simple.

American Democratic Representative Brad Sherman also justified the sanctions on Iran this way – “Critics of sanctions argue that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that.

These people disgust me.

Where is the outrage?  Where is the anger?  Is it cos they are brown that no-one turns a hair?  Is it because, as the barbarous Joseph Stalin once said, that the death of one person is a tragedy, but the deaths of a million is just a statistic?

Mark Bridger is not the only child killer needing brought to justice.

Further reading –

Iran Sanctions Now Causing Food Insecurity, Mass Suffering.

UK Warns Iran of More Sanctions Pain.

Iran Uranium Used For Exclusively Peaceful Means, Despite Propaganda of War-Mongers.

Effect of Sanctions on Iraq.

Don’t Believe The Hype

In 2003 we were told about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and that a war was needed to stop it.  About a million people died, with many more injured or displaced, in order to pacify this danger which turned out to be non-existent.  In fact it was based on lies, as the Downing Street Memo  made clear.  To justify the invasion of Iraq  “the intelligence and facts were… fixed around the policy“.

Now, ten years on from this horrific act of international barbarity, are we seeing the same process at work over Syria, and it’s chemical weapons?  The cynic in me says yes, absolutely.  Syria was named by arch-hawk John Bolton as a nation to be added to George Bush’s “axis of evil“.  (As was Libya and Cuba, incidentally)  I think it is also fair to note that the pacification of Syria is pretty much a prerequisite for those who have long been advocating an attack on Iran.  There are many who have argued that ‘the road to Tehran runs through Damascus.’

A striking echo from 2003 is how those of us suspicious of Western motives in Syria are being accused of being ‘pro-Assad’, or some kind of Assad apologists.  This is exactly the same rhetoric that was used by those of us who, rightly, opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Indeed, Tony Blair infamously, and quite incredibly  claimed that the peace movement would have “blood on it’s hands” for it’s opposition to the Iraq war.

Let us also recall that it was not only the politicians that lied to us in 2003, it was also the media.  And it is quite clear they are doing so again.  The spin, lies, and distortion put on the UN report into the massacres at Houla is a good example.  The UN in it’s report outlined different possible explanations for the massacre.  It did so because it could find no definitive evidence to identify the perpetrators.  To my knowledge the only mainstream reporter to acknowledge this was Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.  Everywhere else it was reported that the UN had found Assad’s forces responsible.  This may or may not be the case, who knows?  I don’t.  The UN claimed not to.  But that is not what the overwhelming majority of our media outlets reported.  Forgive me for smelling a rat, and feeling a distinct sense of deja vu.  I don’t like being lied to.

I will not be joining this cheer-leading for some kind of military intervention in Syria.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.