I saw yet another politician in the past week state that attacks on the West are because Daesh/Al-Qaeda and other suchlike groups are deeply envious of Western ways of life.
I really roll my eyes when I see this sort of smug, self-satisfied, superficial and silly comment which is trying to pander to a domestic audience with superficial platitudes.
Because in essence it’s dangerous and misleading.
It totally ignores the real reasons behind terrorist attacks in Britain, the US and Europe which is that people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and so on are fed up to the back teeth with getting the shit bombed out them and, when ordinary people get blown apart or their homes destroyed, hearing that they are “collateral damage”.
When that happens, is it any wonder that people get radicalised and want to retaliate? Don’t we in the West start spouting “search and destroy” when atrocities happen?
And no, I’m not condoning mass murders wherever they occur. I am suggesting that, until we start to try to understand the roots of the massacres which are happening so often in so many European cities, those bombings and shootings will continue.
Look at the situation last week. In Munich, nine people were shot to death. The papers are full of outrage about these murders.
Yes, they are terrible. But what we are suffering in the West is nothing like the slaughter happening in other countries.
At the same time as the mainstream media in the West were filling page upon page with photos and comment about the Munich deaths, 80 Shia Muslims were killed by a Daesh suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan. Muslim deaths merited small mention in the media, perhaps the odd paragraph in the international news section, reinforcing to those alienated by Western interference in their countries that Western lives matter a whole lot more than those who are dying in far great numbers due to the catastrophe unleashed by the illegal invasion of Iraq.
I know it’s hard to know what to do when the world looks in chaos. But it does seem to me that we ordinary folk, people on the street, can take small steps to build solidarity with our friends in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia by posting our sympathy and regrets on social media when atrocities happen in their nation to let them know that we stand in solidarity with them, they are not forgotten.
We need to stop automatically rushing to judgement and blaming Muslims for attacks by organisations like Daesh because they don’t represent Islam. In much the same way as we don’t blame all Christians for the actions of Blair and Bush who claim to be Christians and whose actions have led to the deaths of tens of thousands. We can support organisations which are helping shattered communities rebuild their lives. Or give a helping hand to refugees and asylum seekers – make sure your know the facts and stand up to those who try to spread ignorance, racism and hatred towards people driven out of their homeland by war, poverty, drought, repression, and so on.
And of course, we need to oppose war and fight for peace at every opportunity. Each of us, as individuals, needs to step up to the plate to take responsibility for what happens in our world. You can join organisations like AVAAZ, SumOfUs, Amnesty International, make donations to help causes which offer support for refugees and asylum seekers, support anti-war organisations, let politicians know what you feel and ensure they in turn know their actions are being monitored out in the community.
When we stand silent, we support the status quo and that status quo is in the process of falling apart.
When we speak up, we can make a difference to that status quo and contribute to a world where every life matters.
As you can see, I’ve been fiddling with the site name again, basically because the one I used previously was really long and over the top. I decided to shorten it to “Warrior Woman” because someone commented on a post in Facebook and said they didn’t know my politics but liked my descriptive passion. This is what I said:
“Having seen the new ad by Nigel Farage, all I can say is that the man is a disgusting racist, using fear to promote his Brexit campaign, amid echos of Nazi propaganda about Jews, gypsies, the handicapped, trade union leaders. Farage is unfit for purpose and time those who oppose his disgusting policies stood up to oppose this smirking ratbag. Having seen those lined up for Brexit, I’m for Europe and staying in the EU. Playing little is no solution to problems with the EU, staying in, uniting with Greece, Portugal and Ireland to fight class war is far better than living on our knees under the disgraceful Farage and his cohorts.”
I sometimes dither about what I write but now I’ve decided I have to be and if I do rant on or preach, well, that’s who I am. I can’t be different to fit into someone’s mould of what a woman should be or write about or act. So I did decide, after reading the comment, that I like the idea of Warrior Woman, because I am passionate and militant and I don’t want to be associated with “ism’s” because they’re so limiting. And “politics” is just so divisive and creaking of old age. Surely we can do better!
Just to divert slightly, on July 2nd it will be the 20th anniversary since I broke my leg and ankle when I was living halfway up a mountain in south-east Queensland. I know the date as it was my father’s birthday. That date marked a complete break with my previous life where I’d been a member of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) for 18 years as well as being Vice-Chair for quite a few years. I was immobilised and I knew I could no longer look backwards, I had to look forward to a completely new approach to how I live. Now more than half my life has been spent as an artist, crystal worker, Tarot reader, lover of nature and photographer. Quite a turn around, which is probably a bit of an understatement!
Since then I’ve been involved in metaphysical areas because, over the years, I’ve had more examples of life after death than you can poke a stick at and there’s no way I could ever be an atheist. Nor, to return to the “ism” comment, do I ever want to be tied down again to a particular ideology which labels me as being of a particular political persuasion, bowing to majority opinion, because political structures these days are a hangover of patriarchal society. Politics seems to depend on who can debate best, who’s got the best charisma, who shouts loudest, how much money can be raised to buy elections, and how do you lie most efficiently to win an election which changes sod all basically.Oh, and don’t forget flogging armaments left, right and centre around the world regardless of the poor buggers getting blown to bits by those armaments.
But in this day and age, I don’t deny either that class war still exists – foisting the economic crisis of 2008 onto the backs of ordinary people under the guise of “austerity” while the billionaire bludgers get even more obscenely wealthy and the banks behind the crisis got off scot-free PLUS they were handed out billions in so-called “rescue” money.
We need to think of ways to organise against this horrible, horrible turning of the screws on so many sections of society to undermine the Establishment and set up alternative ways of running a compassionate, not a dog-eat-dog, society.
So I choose to be a freewheeling, feminist, independent, bugger-toeing-the-line warrior woman. My vision happens to be that I’m passionate about social justice and putting people before profits, building a society which is creative, encourages innovation, looks after people’s health and offers an education which encourages young people to be visionaries thinking outside the square.
That doesn’t mean I hate profits – it simply means that I happen to believe that people count and I think it’s bloody awful when shares go up after hundreds or thousands of people are sacked because the less money spent on providing people with a decent, living wage the more profits are made.
But I also happen to think that being in the Communist Party has some meaning in my life. Why was I there? What did I learn? How does it colour what I am today? Coupled with this is an involvement in the New Age movement, in fighting for peace, so how do the two mesh? Because I happen to believe they do mesh. Everything we do in life has some meaning and it’s up to us to sort it out and learn lessons from our experiences.
I don’t want to continue banging on today in this post, I’ll explain in more detail in my next post. But I do want to say that, coming to live in North Cyprus, where armed conflict waged until 1974, I’ve been forced to consider what peace, conflict and self-defence actually mean in practice, not just on paper And that’s it until my next post!