It is often said that our great cities are humanity's greatest achievement. I can warm to that concept. Teeming with a multitude of cultural wonders and, in any single day, billions upon billions of everyday interactions, our cities truly are a wonder to behold. Sure, they have their downsides; vast inequalities, polluted and congested streets, some unsavoury anti-social and outright criminal behaviour and a seemingly ever present shortage of affordable housing. But the fact that millions of citizens, increasingly from very diverse backgrounds, rub along together with a minimum of fuss and bother, gives one a little hope for our collective future. And then comes along a bunch of hot-wired jihadists and everything we take for granted is in ruins. But our western cities are not the only marvels of mankind. Baghdad, Tripoli and Damascus are also, in their own distinctive way, great cities and today, they too lay in ruins.



Amidst the outpouring of grief and anger that is the legitimate response to the latest wave of terror in Paris we would be well advised to see the whole picture. After five hundred years of brutal European colonial rule, the West still takes it upon itself to declare regime change whenever it suits its geo-political ambitions. First it puts a hard man into office to counteract some perceived threat, and when that hard man becomes too independent or too popular they are then duly dispatched and replaced by someone more compliant. And when the whole process starts to unravel amidst warring factions, western governments throw up their hands in despair and send in the drones. Some half a million Iraqis were killed as a result of the wholly illegal war launched by Britain and the US against Iraq, yet nobody has been held to account. And in all the hand-wringing and soul-searching that will inevitably follow the Paris terror, too few media voices will be focused on where this terror emanated from. But terror inevitably begets terror. Barbarism begets barbarism. Yet our governments never seem to heed this lesson.

For nearly seventy years, dispossessed Palestinian families have been left to rot in refugee camps as Israel, with the full blessing from western governments, grab an ever bigger slice of Palestinian land. This colonial land grab has been declared illegal by the UN but still no sanctions are applied to Israel and still the land grab goes on. And when the Palestinians have the temerity to periodically rise up against this injustice, they are slaughtered by the Israeli military in their thousands. A little bit more hand wringing by the West and then the status quo is allowed to continue. No regime change is ever imposed on Israel. Is it any wonder that the Muslim world, even the so called moderate millions, harbour a festering resentment towards the West? And when ISIS inevitably carry out a wave of terror in Israel itself, as they surely will, the western media will again come out with the usual platitudes about the terrorist threat.

So it's unilaterally imposed regime change for those Arabic nations that don't fall into line with Western diktat, and vast economic aid and lucrative arms deals for the Israelis. And for the Saudis and the Gulf States that do tow the Western line, little or no mention is made of their grotesquely undemocratic societies or their complicity in funding the ISIS terror machine. Ah, what a wonderful world of duplicity that we live in.

The West, with Britain as the expert player, has always been the master of divide and rule. Hindu against Muslim. Jew against Palestinian, English against the Irish. The list is endless. And they are still at it, only it is the US that now plays the leading hand. And the key divide that the US is now seeking to exploit is the Sunni-Shia schism. First Saddam was armed to the teeth by the West in order to counteract a perceived threat from Shia Iran. Now the West in in bed with the Iranian Shias in the wake of a militant Sunni backlash. Ironically, it is the Shia Mullahs who now have control over Iraq. If it wasn't so damn lethal it would be funny. What we witnessed in Paris yesterday is no more than the blowback from all this neo-colonial manoeuvring. And there will be more to come. A lot more. Yes, we should mourn for the dead in Paris, but mourn too for the dead in Baghdad, in Tripoli, in Damascus and in a thousand other cities, towns and villages across the Arab and Palestinian world. And when we take a pause in our mourning, we should take time to hold the perpetrators of this neo-colonialism and its criminality to justice. Blair and Bush take note.

End JPK Copyright 14/11/15

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 May 2018 17:06 )