Archive for the Conflicts Category

Stop the fear!

Posted in Conflicts, Fundamentalism, Justice, Philosophy, rant, Terrorism with tags , , on September 16, 2011 by SatanicBunny

The summer is all but gone and that means I have time to again sit in front of my computer and ponder about the peculiarities of this planet. So to both of my readers I say: do not despair, for I have not abandoned you.

A lot has happened in these past couple months during which this blog has remained in hibernation. One of the most tragic and horrifying events was the car bombing and  Utoya massacre committed by Anders Brevik on 22nd of July. This act of lunacy and sheer violence eventually led to the deaths of 77 people on top of that 96 were injured. However, unlike most madmen that do this sort of stuff, Brevik did not commit suicide and he is not imprisoned and awaiting trial.

The upcoming trial (which likely will take place sometime next year) has caused much discussion in the media. Brevik himself has said he wishes the trial to be open to the public, but the norwegian police asked for it to be held with closed doors, citing fear of possible attacks inspired by Brevik’s possible public appearance as one of the reasons. At first the court decided to keep the trial public, but after a recent appeal the decision was overturned and now it seems the trial will be behind closed doors.

Are we (and by “we” I mean, people in general) really this afraid of one man? The way I see it, the courts played directly into Brevik’s hand by denying him publicity. Now he can appear as the silenced “hero”, “the victim” of censorship to those who adore him. And that, in my opinion, is far worse than anything that would’ve been caused if he was allowed to appear in public.

There are those who agree with the stance of the police, saying this had to be done to minimize the threat of new attacks. But Brevik himself is evidence of the fact that especially on this day and age where vast mountains of up to date information are available to those with a computer and an internet connection lunatics don’t need to rely on press and tv to seek inspiration. It goes even further than that; this case has demonstrated that these people don’t rely on information and facts. They live in a distorted reality where killing innocent civilians who happen to have “wrong” political or ethnic backgrounds is commendable and acceptable, and I think I’m not alone in thinking that one cannot obtain such a deluded picture of the surrounding world simply by watching the news.

Moreover, even if one would agree that publicizing the motives of Brevik was potentially harmful, it’s way too late. His nonsensical, apparently very badly written and largely copy-pasted “manifesto” has been online ever since the attacks, and has spread throughout the internet. Therefore anyone who wants to idolize and praise him already has all the material to do that and claiming that keeping the trial closed will somehow prevent or undo this is nothing but crying over spilt milk.

“Oh but the families of the victims need to be respected”, is the last defense of those who praise this as the right choice. To which I can only reply: the purpose of the justice system is not – and has never been – to cater to the personal feelings or need for revenge of the victims and relatives of the victims. The purpose of the justice system is to make sure that justice is served, and transparency of the legal process is an important part of that mission.

Of course there are occasions on which trials need to be closed to protect the private lives of ordinary people caught up in tragedies like brutal murder. But what Brevik did was not just 77 counts and 97 attempts of murder. It was mass murder. Genocide. An attack on not only the people of Norway, but on the whole of humanity. That has invoked fear in people and it is more than understandable in this situation but people should not succumb to it. The first reaction to fear is always running and that’s what this decision is all about. Running and hiding. The courts seemed to think that ignoring the harsh realities will somehow change them and that by silencing the idiot behind all this people will forget him and his deeds.
That is a short-term solution. The only way to get rid of fear is through facing and then conquering it.

That’s what the social democratic youth organisation in Norway is doing by holding their summer camp at the same location next year, that’s what we have done in the past with people like Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring and Saddam Hussein – whose acts are several orders of magnitude more systematic and devastating than Brevik’s – and that’s what the Norwegian courts should do in this situation. We must not cower in fear like children after dark on their beds. We must hit the lights, knock the bed over and let the whole world see that there is no boogeyman. That despite all of our emotional responses, Anders Brevik is not the incarnation of the forces of darkness. To show that  beneath all the hatred and anger he is still just a man, a weak, sick, deluded man who needs to be locked away. We need put an end to fear.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain

-Frank Herbert

Delivering justice – the right way

Posted in Conflicts, Ethnic purges, Human rights with tags on May 26, 2011 by SatanicBunny

Today the Serbian officials informed that the suspected war criminal, former General Ratko Mladic has been arrested and that the process to extradite him to the war crimes tribunal in the Hague is underway. Mladic is suspected of being in charge of the massacres of at least 7500 people in 1995 – that’s over twice the amount of casualties than in the September the 11th attacks. But did they send a SEAL team to shoot him in the head? No, three Serbian special forces units descended upon the village and they fucking arrested him.

Mladic faces charges consisting of 15 counts of crimes against humanity, more specifically: genocide, complicity in genocide, persecutions, extermination and murder, unlawfully inflicting terror upon civilians, cruel treatment, inhumane acts, attacks on civilians and taking of hostages.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

-United States Declaration of Independence (emphasis mine)

Dear Americans: your “superior” sense of justice has just been thoroughly owned by the Serbs.

“Behead all those who insult our values” – The double-standard of American morality

Posted in Al-qaeda, Fundamentalism, Human rights, Philosophy, Terrorism with tags , , on May 12, 2011 by SatanicBunny

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Now that some time has passed from the news of Osama’s death and everybody (including yours truly) has had time to think and reflect upon the death of Osama bin Laden it’s time to lay out some of my thoughts about the issue. After a lengthy and a rewarding discussion with one of my most insightful friends regarding the ethical nature of the killing I have two important points regarding his death that I want to make absolutely clear:

1. I am not sad that Osama bin Laden is dead. As I said in my previous post I despised him as human being and I genuinely think the world is a slightly better place without him.

2. If it is true that this was a so-called “kill operation” and that the Americans went in with the intention of killing bin Laden then it is nothing short of murder and I condemn the act.

I think most people will agree with me on the first point, but the 2nd one will surely cause a lot of disagreement. I am an avid supporter of human rights and I agree with the immortal words of George Carlin: “If your rights can be taken away they are not rights they are privileges.” Thus even terrorist leaders have certain basic fundamental rights that should be respected – including the right to live and the right to be trialed for their crimes instead of a summary execution.

I know that Americans have a different approach to human rights since they don’t often see death penalty as a problematic issue. I vehemently oppose the death penalty because I believe that nobody – whether it be a person, a government, a jury or a judge – should have the power to take anyone’s life and that the acceptance of the death penalty undermines the base of all human rights. After all, the right to live is the most fundamental of all human rights and if one believes that it can be taken away by a court then the rest become utterly meaningless.

Fundamentalist islamists

Is this what we're about to become?

But even if we acknowledge the fact that the American approach to death penalty can create a mindset where Osama’s assassination is an acceptable tactic it still remains problematic. Osama was seen by many as the Hitler of the 21st century. He was the personification of evil, the incarnation of anti-western values. One of those anti-western values was disregard for human life, especially the lives of those who did not agree with him. We loathed him for that and now it seems we have dropped down to the level of the man we so hated and we are cheering his death with no interest in how it occurred.

Obama said recently that “Osama got what he deserved – anyone who questions the fact that a mass murderer got what he deserved should get his head checked.” This illustrates perfectly the flaws in American moral landscape and especially in their public ethical discourse. Obama’s statement indicates that Osama “deserved” death.  This has a lot to do with their approach to capital punishment that I talked about before but it also brings up a more important and much more horrific fact that apparently there is a limit on which a human being deserves death without a trial.

The somewhat famous secular Youtuber Pat Condell recently stated that killing Osama wasn’t a crime or unethical because he was “a field commander” of a terrorist group. His stance – and the stance of many others – is the US was effectively in war with Osama/al-Qaeda and thus killing him is just a part of warfare. But that approach also has several problems, the two most important being:

1) In order for the United States to be in war, the constitution requires the congress to officially declare war upon the opposing party. This has not been done (in fact, the US has not conducted a legitimate war since the Second World War).

2) Even if America could be seen as being in war with al-Qaeda, it still does not mean that the troops are authorized to kill unarmed personnel. Willfully depriving a surrendering enemy combatant of a fair trial is a grave breach of the Geneva convention.

So, despite of how satisfied many are to the death of Osama, I must concur that if he was unarmed at the time of the raid then his killing was unjustifiable and should be treated as a crime, because according to western values that the US is so keenly claiming to defend from people like Osama, even criminals and mass-murderers have rights. If we ignore this point the whole moral basis of the western civilization collapses, as rights become a thing that can be easily ignored when needed.

As many critics have pointed out, terrorism is not an enemy. It is a tactic. Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world. A prudent American president would end the present policy of “sustained hysteria” over potential terrorist attacks..treat terrorism as a serious but not a strategic problem, encourage Americans to regain their confidence, and refuse to let al Qaeda keep us in a state of fright.

-William Eldridge Odom, former 3 star general of the US army

…And justice for all?

Posted in Al-qaeda, Conflicts, Terrorism with tags on May 2, 2011 by SatanicBunny

After over ten years of trying it has finally happened: Osama bin Laden – the face of terror for many westerners and the undisputed hide & seek world champion – has been killed by US special forces. This of course is a major success for US military and intelligence because for long it looked as if Osama would stay hidden from the largest war machine in the world forever. The price for his death has been huge: Two wars, two wrecked countries and over 4000 dead coalition soldiers. Osama bin Laden and the “war on terror” he started has cost the US more in military spending than the Soviet Union.

And the fact is that this does not do  as much to stop terrorism as one might think. Bin laden has not been operationaly active for years. He hasn’t done anything except provide moral support and funding. Al-qaeda is a very loose organization, many of its branches being part of “Al-qaeda” in name only and there are many other terror organizations not connected to Al-qaeda. This is a major moral victory but they key word here is moral. The man has become a legend amongts jihadist and he has started a cult following which will not die with him for sure.

So, in light of that realization it is somewhat funny to hear the word “justice” being thrown around in almost every interview and speech in the news. Justice for whom? The friends and relatives of the victims of 9/11? Maybe but it is more just plain old revenge than justice because the problem that caused the 9/11 – fundementalist terrorists – is still there. I do have to congratulate president Obama though because he did in less than 4 years what his predecessor couldn’t do in 8 years.

All this being said the death of Bin Laden is undoubtedly a good thing despite of how much it will actually achieve in terms of defeating terrorism because the man stood against the values and ideals that all rational people hold dear. I am not sad to see him go, quite the contrary; the world is a better place without scumbags like him. Hasta la vista, baby!

Gaddafi jr. warns US of “another Iraq”

Posted in Civil war, Conflicts, International intervention, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , on March 29, 2011 by SatanicBunny

As the conflict in Libya between Libya’s national army and the coalition backed rebels continues the coalition countries are meeitng in a conference in London in which they attempted to discuss ways to resolve the situation. What’s interesting is that neither the official Libyan regime (ie. Gaddafi & sons) or any representatives of the rebels were invited to said conference (although apparently they have previously met with both US and UK representatives).

No clear solution has been presented so far but it would certainly seem that the stalemate will continue until the current regime steps down, however that might take a long time. If Gaddafi doesn’t go to exile there’s a chance that the country will remain split into two for a long time. The US apparently wants Gaddafi arrested and charged, either in Libya’s own court or perhaps in the international criminal court, which is slightly ironic taken as the US has not ratified its membership of the ICC – and neither is Libya.

However likely the most comedic and at the same time sad statement came from Gaddafi’s son, who in an interview to the BCC said something to the effect of “I don’t think the american people want yet another Iraq situation.” I find it hilarious because they have apparently stopped any attempts of defending their position and regime and instead are just trying to say: “you don’t want to eat us, we taste very bad.” Gaddafi himself has been pretty silent, acting like an angty teenager and complaning that  “you western countries just don’t understand me! Why does nobody understand me? Why do I have so so few friends and everybody keeps teasing me? :<”

Meanwhile apparently Gaddafi’s army has achieved some minor victories against the rebels whose “army” at the moment seems – based on the news footage – to consist primarily of groups of people driving around in white sedans with AK-47s – help is certainly needed*.

*UPDATE: In the conference Hillary Clinton said that it is possible that coalition countries could transfer weapons to the rebels at some point, although no such decission has yet been made, she also stated that “it is clear for everyone that Gaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead.”

For whom the bell tolls – the stubborness of dictators

Posted in Civil war, Conflicts, Dictatorship, International intervention, Politics with tags , on March 20, 2011 by SatanicBunny

I’ve been following the ongoing situation / civil war in Libya for some time now and it seems that indeed, the old saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” still holds water. Muammar Gaddafi, the man who has ruled the country of Libya with what could be called an “iron fist” for 42 years now is not giving up. Here’s a quick summary of the events so far:

February 15th, 2011: Likely encouraged by the “revolution”* of Egypt, a group of Libyans decided they’ve had enough of Gaddafi’s stagnated rulership and demand him to step down and arrange democratic elections. Gaddafi responded as any dictator would by basically giving them the finger (he called them “rats” and cockroaches” among other things) thus escalating what began as protests into a full-scale armed conflict, a de facto civil war.

February 26th, 2011: The UN passes Resolution 1970, condemning the use of violence by the forces of Gaddafi and imposing several economic sanctions upon Gaddafi and his family.

March 17th, 2011: As the fighting continues despite international pressure UN urges Gaddafi to stop using the military and especially the air force to attack th

e rebels and called for a cease-fire. Gaddafi – being the egomaniac son of a bitch he is – didn’t listen to any of it. Thus, the UN passed Resolution 1973, creating a no fly zone over Libya, and authorizing the use of “all means necessary short of foreign invasion” to  protect civilians caught in the middle of the conflict. Essentially this means that Gaddafi’s forces have to be crippled, since he won’t listen to reason or even agree to negotiate.

March 19th, 2011: The French Air Force takes the initiative by sending 20 fighters to protect the rebel controlled city of Benghazi. The planes destroyed four Libyan tanks. By the evening of the 19th, 25 warships were standing by, including 3 submarines.  Altogether 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired with the intention of disabling the Libyan air-defence grid in case aerial bombardment and combat will be necessary to stop Gaddafi’s forces. So far, sources say at least 10 000 people have been estimated to have died in the entire conflict, starting from february 15th.

One of the 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles being fired by the american destroyer USS Barry.

Libyan foreign minister said on the 19th that they’ve decided to comply with the resolution 1973, agree to follow a cease-fire and stop military operations. However, at the same time Gaddafi briefly spoke in the radio, telling the people to arm themselves and calling the attacks to airfields  by US and British navies “crusader bombings”. According to BBC, tv channels in Libya also showed news footage of the US invasion of Iraq in an apparent attempt to throw dirt at the coalition campaign and their intentions.

What annoys me the most about this is that Gaddafi still seems to refuse to give up. He still thinks he can win this, although it’s obvious that it’s not going to happen. Libya is a small country, with less than 6 million inhabitants. The military is small, poorly equipped, and poorly trained (as proven by the fact that the Libyan trained rebel anti-aircraft crews didn’t know how to separate friend from foes and indeed shot down one of their own planes). Most of the equipment of the airforce consist of soviet era planes (mostly Mig-23s from the 70-80s). They’re facing the combined power of first world military mights under mandate from the UN.  They have a snowball’s change in hell of surviving 30 minutes in a direct confrontation with the coalition forces. And whilst a land occupation is not likely to happen, once the air-force of Gaddafi has been dealt with the strategic bombers can pretty much rain death from above and take care of whatever ground forces they have left.

So, dear mr. Muammar: you’ve had your run of 42 years. Time to let go. Swallow your pride and pull your head out your ass before your ego causes any more needless deaths and suffering to the people you claim to be leading. You have burned your bridges and exhausted your options, it’s high time to accept that and step down.

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Winston Churchill, 1937

*= the scenario that took place in Egypt does not (yet) constitute as a true revolution, because the military regime is still in power despite the fact that Mubarak has stepped down.