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Comparative Terrorism

pic Gaza street bombed 2023
pic Gaza street bombed 2023

Israeli bombs seek terrorists in Gaza. When the war is over the displaced Palestinians will be able to return to their homes.

30 October 2023

Terrorism – dictionary definition “Systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.” – Collins English Dictionary.

I condemn all terrorism  –  that means terrorist groups and terrorist states.

Tribe One

Brutally killed 1400 people

Holds 220 hostages captive.  

Tribe Two

Brutally killed over 8000 people

Holds 2.2 million hostages captive, tormenting and killing large numbers daily. Very few of these hostages will ever be released

Holds 6000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons (1)

Since 7 October has arrested thousands of licensed workers from Gaza who were working in Israel (2)

Has cut off supplies of food, water and fuel to these people in the besieged territory

Has ordered a million people out of their homes.

Daily bombs homes and infrastructure.

International Committee of the Red Cross
Shocked by the intolerable level of human suffering’: ICRC

Mirjana Spoljaric, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, says the “tragic loss of so many civilian lives is deplorable”.
It is unacceptable that civilians have no safe place to go in Gaza amid the massive bombardments, and with a military siege in place there is also no adequate humanitarian response currently possible,” Spoljaric said in a statement.
This is a catastrophic failing that the world must not tolerate.”  –  Al Jazeera.

My personal view  –  The British government should not support barbaric behaviour

I am shocked and amazed that the British government can’t even bring itself to call for a ceasefire. And more than that, I think it is disgraceful that the British government should state its full support for the perpetrators of inhuman behaviour which defies description. It should condemn the action and state that it cannot support such action, however it may be described.

Photo Al Jazeera.

(1) BBC Radio 4 Six O’clock news 30 October 2023
(2) From Al-Jazeera
Thousands of Gaza workers go ‘missing’ in Israel amid wartime mass arrests
Palestinians whose permits to work in Israel were revoked are believed to be held in detention camps, but Israel has so far refused to release information about them, human rights groups say.
Human rights groups are concerned about further arrests amid continuing raids in the occupied West Bank [File: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]
By Federica Marsi and Ylenia Gostoli
Published On 28 Oct 2023

Thousands of workers from Gaza, who were employed in Israel when the war started, have gone missing since then amid a campaign of mass arrests.
Human rights groups and trade unions believe some of the workers have been illegally detained in military facilities in the occupied West Bank, following the revocation of their permits to work in Israel. Authorities in Israel have so far refused to release the names of those they are holding.
end of list
When the Palestinian armed group, Hamas, launched an unprecedented assault on the south of Israel on October 7, about 18,500 residents of Gaza held permits to work outside the besieged strip. The exact number of workers present in Israel as hostilities began remains unknown, but thousands are thought to have been rounded up by the Israeli army and transferred to undisclosed locations.

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A truthful politician

David Roberts picture
David Roberts picture

It isn’t often I lie awake at night thinking about troubles in foreign countries but that is happening now.

Partly what’s disturbing me is the scale and absolute horror of the cruelty of what is being done and partly it is our country’s standing staunchly in support of the perpetrators of the horror.

Calling for politicians with courage

I’d like to hear a politician speak the truth and call things what they are and recognise and condemn all terrorism. Dictionary definition “Systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.” – Collins English Dictionary.

What sort of state holds over two million people hostage blockading them in a small territory, cuts off water, food and fuel to the territory, orders a million people to leave their homes and stay out of them indefinitely, bombs more of their homes every day – so far indiscriminately killing over 5000 people, seems intent on genocide, doesn’t recognise international law? If there is such a state surely it should be described as a terrorist state. I’d like to hear condemnation of such action. I’d like to hear that we do not regard such a state as a friend, and that we do not support such action. I’d like to hear the perpetrators called on to stop this horrendous behaviour. Extermination cannot be accepted as a legitimate policy of any state.

Achieving effective defence 

Defence against “an enemy” – the British solution. We have had wars and deadly enemies and great suffering in the past. How do we defend ourselves against these enemies today? We have treated each other as human beings, become friends and trading partners and both sides feel safe.

Today’s violence is delaying the time of security for both sides.

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Afghanistan, 20-years of disaster created by America and Britain

Afghanistan, 20-years of disaster created by America and Britain

Taking on Afghanistan in 2001 was an unnecessary and calamitous war on one of the poorest, most dysfunctional  countries in the world. It was started, we were told, to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and thus prevent terrorism. 

After 20 years of occupation by mainly American and British forces and 20 years of killing, peace prosperity and harmony are desperately absent so that the stream of refugees from Afghanistan continues. We are back where we started: with the Taliban in power. Now it seems we will negotiate with the Taliban, an idea that might have been tried instead of bombing.

Tony Blair and his colleagues, and British politicians who supported the war, should be held to account for the shame they have brought to this country, and the thousands killed and injured as a result of their decisions, crimes against humanity.

Was it terrorism?

America, Britain, and the others presented the war against the Taliban as a war against  terrorism. Terrorism may be defined as the use of violence for political ends. On this definition the terrorism delivered by Britain, America, and others far exceeds any terrorist suffering we may have  endured before or since this war.

Self-inflicted injury

Much of our own suffering has come to us as a direct result of our own actions in Afghanistan. Over 450 British soldiers were killed in this war and approximately another thousand seriously injured. These facts alone show that this military fantasy operation has made things worse for ourselves even on that small measure of achievement.

160,000 Afghans killed

Of course,  the general picture is far worse than this. Although we are constantly told of the benefits brought to Afghanistan by Western involvement in the last 20-years certain facts are mostly quietly overlooked. For example, over 160,000 Afghans were killed during the last 20-years,  many by direct US bombing, but others in the ongoing conflict which the Western presence promoted in the country, taking sides but never bringing peace, far from it. Our use of violence against Afghans must have brought about suffering on a wide scale, and anger against the west, a stimulus to retaliation. More details below.

Afghan Refugee Crisis reveals despair felt during the occupation by US and UK

This is what an Amnesty web report said on 20 June 2019:
“There are currently more than 2.6 million registered refugees in the world from Afghanistan.
There are more than 2 million people who have been internally displaced by the ongoing conflict. . .
In a report published in June 2019, the Institute for Peace and Economics said that Afghanistan is the world’s “least peaceful” country, replacing Syria.”

Cost to UK taxpayer

The cost of the UK taxpayer is in the region of £40 billion. 

The figure put out by the government is about half this but its figures overlook a number of factors.  For an analysis of the costs see the Fact Check web page by Channel 4..

The death toll in Afghanistan    –    Associated Press and BBC statistics

Associated Press

American service members killed in Afghanistan through April [2021]: 2,448.

U.S. Contractors: 3,846. [employed to do military tasks or support the US military operation]

Afghan national military and police: 66,000.

Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states: 1,144.

Afghan civilians: 47,245.

Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191.

Aid workers: 444.

Journalists: 72.

[Total number of Afghans killed: 164,436. The number of Americans killed was more than twice the number that died in the 9/11 twin towers atrocity]

Evidence from the BBC  –  Frank Gardner BBC Correspondent, BBC web 17 April 2021

“The cost of this 20-year military and security engagement has been astronomically high – in lives, in livelihoods and in money. 

Over 2,300 US servicemen and women have been killed and more than 20,000 injured, along with more than 450 Britons and hundreds more from other nationalities.

But it is the Afghans themselves who have borne the brunt of the casualties, with over 60,000 members of the security forces killed and nearly twice that many civilians.

The estimated financial cost to the US taxpayer is close to a staggering US$1 trillion.”

My conclusion

Wars such as the one against Afghanistan are an affront to intelligence and affront to morality. They are unnecessary and counterproductive. Few countries in the world today involve themselves in such primitive military adventures and it is a matter of shame that the UK is one of the few countries that believes in violence as an acceptable mode of international relations.

David Roberts, 14 September 2021

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