The Weight of a Death 156


At least 28 people have been killed in US drone strikes in Afghanistan in November so far. Several of those were involved in tribal fighting against the Afghan government, but at least five were small children and total non-combatants were probably in double figures. These deaths do not go reported at all in western media. Cameron and Miliband both started at Prime Minister’s Questions today by condemning the killings in Jerusalem. No chance they will ever mention the ongoing US murders in Afghanistan, let alone the three Palestinians killed by Israelis lately, including a taxi driver lynched by Israeli illegal settlers.

No amount of “what-aboutery” can distract from the horror of the attacks in the Jerusalem synagogue, and I have no difficulty in condemning those killings unequivocally, too. But the hypocrisy of the Western media and political establishment, in terms of which deaths are important, is breath-taking. The truth is that the causes of these deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and across a swathe of other countries cannot be disentangled from the history of violent western aggression into those countries. But we are urged to forget context, forget cause and indulge in highly selective emotional outrage and indignation.

Some deaths count an awful lot. Some should not be noticed. It is a strange way of looking at the world.


156 thoughts on “The Weight of a Death

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  • Macky

    Ba’al; “You were disagreeing with me agreeing with you at one point”

    Don’t flatter yourself, you’re not that smart ! 😀

    BTW Why so coy about clarifying your opinion on the British Empire ?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Macky: “On what basis do you think that ?”

    On the basis that a couple of months ago, someone, Dreolin I think, mentioned Villager and he/she/they replied within minutes. No-one had posted under that name for months previously.

    That’s either an incredible coincidence, or he/she/they are here ….

    (a) reading but not posting – unbelievable given the previous persona of Villager
    (b) posting under a different name

    We’ve all got our own ideas about who’s what kind of a troll, but Villager is the only one that I was moderately sure was a paid one, probably more than one person sharing the identity. Either that or schizophrenic. Went from being Habbakuk’s worst enemy (establishing blog credibility) to his best friend (encourage dissent). He was barely comprehensible some times and extremely eloquent others. Eventually the Villager identity became so ridiculed that it became useless. Solution: reincarnation.

  • Mary

    The hospital was still heaving when I went again earlier.

    Macky Appreciate your intervention but I am not responding to the unprovoked smearing.

    ‘Unimpeachable’ eh? I have only ever heard the word ‘impeach’ used in the context of wanting a president or state leader removed from office.

    …US charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.
    …British charge with treason or another crime against the state
    …call into question the integrity or validity of (a practice).

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Macky seems to be rather active again.

    Is that the same “Macky” who, angered by being told off by Craig, flounced off in a tiny rage, swearing he would never return?

    Just askin’!

  • Macky

    @Node, yes I recall that, so I’m guessing he still reading here, but maybe just occasionally; my hunch/impression was that he was/is a US based youngster, still trying to make sense of the World, hence his obsession with Krishnamurti; being young he was easily impressionable, hence easy target for the Habbu-Clown; his wildly contrasting posting styles, frequent emotionally charged outbursts, and as you say sometimes barely comprehensible posts, in my opinion were due to substance abuse. Don’t think he was an actual paid shill.

  • Macky

    @Node, maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but maybe he eventually realised what a fool he had been to fall under the Clown’s spell, and has been to embarrassed to reveal is here !

    What do you think Habbu-Clown Troll, why did your little disciple abandon you ? 😀

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Terror alert. Israel this time.

    Israel ‘foils plot to kill minister’
    Israel says it has arrested four Palestinian Hamas members who were planning to kill FM Avigdor Lieberman during the recent Gaza conflict.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30141658

    Why the arrests now, four months on? Upping the tensions? Provocation?”
    _________________

    Or perhaps the result of patient and thorough investigations designed to establish a solid case as opposed to knee-jerk action?

  • Sofia

    Dad.

    “…the result of patient and thorough investigations designed to establish a solid case…”

    Ah yes of course, the world famous “Israeli Patient and Thorough Investigations”!
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/11606-rachel-corrie-responsible-for-own-death-israeli-court-rules

    Can you entertain us with your take on Craig’s observation that, in the case of the synagogue killings “…the hypocrisy of the Western media and political establishment, in terms of which deaths are important, is breath-taking.”?

  • doug scorgie

    Mary, it is illegal under UK law for private British nationals to go abroad to fight against a sovereign state.

    That includes against Syria’s Assad.

    It is not illegal for such individuals to go and fight against Palestinians for the simple reason that Palestine is not recognised as a sovereign state.

    If Palestine was recognised as a sovereign state British Jews traveling to Israel to fight against Palestine would be committing an offence.

    Mad isn’t it?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Celtic Poetaster pretending to be a girl:

    “Can you entertain us with your take on Craig’s observation that, in the case of the synagogue killings “…the hypocrisy of the Western media and political establishment, in terms of which deaths are important, is breath-taking.”?”
    ________________

    Since it’s you who’s asking – no.

  • Mary

    Palestinian Pathologist Summoned for Questioning by Israel

    Friday November 21, 2014 05:59

    Israeli police issued a summons order, Thursday, to a Palestinian pathologist who attended the autopsy of a bus driver found dead earlier this week.

    Dr. Saber al-Aloul received an order to report to the Russian Compound detention center for questioning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, he told Ma’an News Agency.

    The pathologist said that the order was illegal, and that only a court or general prosecutor could issue this type of demand for a court session, and not a closed interrogation.

    Al-Aloul attended the autopsy of Yousuf Hasan al-Ramouni, 32, who was found hanged inside his bus at the Har Hotzvim terminal near Jerusalem.

    See: 11/18/14 Palestinian Bus Driver Was Murdered, Forensic Expert Says for background info.
    http://www.imemc.org/article/69750

    Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Yoav Mordechai, said on Tuesday that an autopsy report on the death proves it was a suicide and that there was “no suspicion of criminal activity.”

    The victim’s brother, Osama al-Ramouni, said the family did not accept a verdict of suicide, saying his body “had bruises on it,” suggesting he had been “tortured” before his death.

    “My brother had children and was a happy man. It is impossible that he killed himself,” he told AFP.

    /http://www.imemc.org/article/69789..

  • glenn_uk

    Hang on… weren’t we supposed to understand that habbabkuk was unable to reply to any thread that related to Israel?

    Would those proposing that theory like to either (a) refine it a bit, or (b) admit they were wrong?

    Naah. Course they won’t. That would require a scrap of intellectual honesty.

  • Mary

    Massive combined NATO exercises are being held in Poland, including British tanks.

    21 November 2014 Last updated at 17:24
    British army in Nato Black Eagle exercise
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30142764

    The British army is taking part in its largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe in six years, in a show of support, the Ministry of Defence says.

    More than 1,000 military personnel and 100 armoured vehicles have joined Nato’s Black Eagle exercise in Poland.

    The MoD said it showed the British army’s ability to deploy “at short notice anywhere in the world” in support of its allies.

    The exercise comes amid tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

    The British army’s “lead armoured battle group” of 1,350 troops and 100 armoured vehicles from the 3rd UK Division are taking part – making it the UK’s largest commitment to the region since 2008.

    War, War ???

  • Mary

    I am hoping that James Petras is wrong.

    All-Out War in Ukraine
    NATO’s “Final Offensive”

    by James Petras / November 21st, 2014

    There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine: A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia). The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine-Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and engaging in ethnic cleansing of millions of bilingual Ukraino-Russian citizens. NATO’s forthcoming military seizure of the Donbas region is a continuation and extension of its original violent putsch in Kiev, which overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in February 2014.

    The Kiev junta and its newly ‘elected’ client rulers, and its NATO sponsors are intent on a major purge to consolidate the puppet Poroshenko’s dictatorial rule. The recent NATO-sponsored elections excluded several major political parties that had traditionally supported the country’s large ethnic minority populations, and was boycotted in the Donbas region.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/11/all-out-war-in-ukraine/

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Massive combined NATO exercises are being held in Poland, including British tanks..
    War, War ???”
    __________________

    No. As you said, exercises. All armies do them.

  • Mary

    Yeah right!

    ‘The British army is taking part in its largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe in six years, in a show of support, the Ministry of Defence says.

    More than 1,000 military personnel and 100 armoured vehicles have joined Nato’s Black Eagle exercise in Poland.

    The MoD said it showed the British army’s ability to deploy “at short notice anywhere in the world” in support of its allies.

    The exercise comes amid tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

    The British army’s “lead armoured battle group” of 1,350 troops and 100 armoured vehicles from the 3rd UK Division are taking part – making it the UK’s largest commitment to the region since 2008.

  • Mary

    UK troops conduct joint exercise in Poland

    From:Ministry of DefenceFirst published:21 November 2014
    Part of:Defence and armed forces, National security, Promoting security and stability: NATO operations and Poland …

    Around 1,300 UK soldiers have been honing their skills in the largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe for 6 years.

    Soldiers from Kings Royal Hussars are shown around the turret of the Polish Leopard 2 main battle tank [Picture: Staff Sergeant Mark Nesbit RLC Crown copyright]

    Soldiers from King’s Royal Hussars are shown around the Polish Leopard 2 tank

    The King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup is taking part in Exercise Black Eagle in the Zagan Training area in south-west Poland. The exercise is under the command of the 10th Polish Armoured Cavalry Brigade and UK troops are working alongside the 1st Polish Tank Battalion.

    The exercise, which will include live-firing, is designed to help the two Armed Forces operate more effectively with each other.

    Exercise Black Eagle is a also a demonstration of the UK’s support to NATO reassurance measures, which includes:

    •deployment of RAF Typhoon aircraft to the Baltic air policing mission
    •deployment of HMS Montrose off the Danish coast for the multi-national Baltic operations exercise in June.

    Further NATO deployments are expected to take place over the next 2 years.

    A column of Warrior Armoured fighting vehicles move through an autumnal forest track in Poland [Picture: Staff Sergeant Mark Nesbit RLC Crown copyright]

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
    “Exercise Black Eagle has been a great success on several fronts. It has proved that the Army has the agility needed to cope with the demands of the 21st century.

    “It clearly demonstrates the strength of our relationship with the Polish Armed Forces. And it is a clear signal to our allies in NATO that we stand up to our obligations and will continue to do so.”

    Exercise Black Eagle is an example of the new configuration of the Army after Army 2020. While Defence Engagement, capacity building with partners and the provision of resilience within the UK are important aspects of the Army’s role, war-fighting capability will continue to be the Army’s core-business.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-troops-conduct-joint-exercise-in-poland

  • Mary

    Operation Enduring Freedom seems to be enduring.

    Barack Obama broadens US Afghanistan mission

    US officials confirm that troops will be authorised to target Taliban and provide air support for Afghan operations

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    Associated Press in Washington

    theguardian.com, Saturday 22 November 2014 07.34 GMT

    Jump to comments (20)

    US troops and Afghan police officers at the site of a suicide attack on the outskirts of Jalalabad on 13 November 2014.
    US troops and Afghan police officers at the site of a suicide attack on the outskirts of Jalalabad on 13 November 2014. Photograph: PARWIZ/REUTERS

    Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, US officials said.

    The president’s decisions also allow the military to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed, the officials said late on Friday. Obama issued the guidelines in recent weeks, as the American combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home, and the military prepares for narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.

    /..
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/22/barack-obama-broadens-us-afghanistan-missipn

    ‘After 13 years Britain and the United States officially ended their combat operation in Afghanistan on October 26, 2014. On that day Britain handed over its last base in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion, while the United States handed over its last base, Camp Leatherneck, both based in the southern province of Helmand, to Afghan forces.

    Post-2014 presence plans for NATO and the United States

    Further information: Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

    As early as November 2012, the U.S. and NATO were considering the precise configuration of their post-2014 presence in Afghanistan. On 27 May 2014, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end in December 2014. A residual force of 9,800 troops would remain in the country, training Afghan security forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against remnants of al-Qaeda. This force would be halved by the end of 2015, and consolidated at Bagram Air Base and in Kabul. Obama also announced that all U.S. forces, with the exception of a “normal embassy presence,” would be removed from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. These plans were confirmed with the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan on 30 September 2014.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001%E2%80%93present)

  • Sofia

    Glenn_uk. 1 00 am

    “Hang on… weren’t we supposed to understand that habbabkuk was unable to reply to any thread that related to Israel?

    Would those proposing that theory like to either (a) refine it a bit, or (b) admit they were wrong?

    Naah. Course they won’t. That would require a scrap of intellectual honesty.”

    Well blow me down, you’re right!

    In fact I think the whole tag team should step up to the stage with Tony to receive the prestigious and covetted “Global Public Diplomacy Award” for their stellar performance in demolishing Uncle Craig’s scurrillous accusations of disproportionate weight being given to Israeli casualties.

    What a brilliant and surgically focused campaign it was too!

    Let’s review it in it’s splendid entirity:

    Craig posted his disgraceful piece on November 19 at 8:16 pm

    The Hasbaritos waited while comments flew around the pitch, occasionally straying off-side into religion and off-camera josling.

    Then at 7 22am the following morning, after the home team had hogged play for eleven hours and 31 comments, Kempe stunned the watching fans with a dazzling feint, kicking the ball all the way to…Afghanistan!

    Fifty two comments later on 21st Nov at 12 45 am, when the fans were half asleep, you struck with a well aimed curver from way behind the religion line and reminded readers that Chuches have lightning conductors.

    You followed this a mere 14 minutes later with a personal attack on Mary who was skulking in A & E.

    Another hour and a half passed then at 2 28am you returned with a kick that caused millions to curse you for waking them up and demolishing their faith in their gods.

    You were back again at 12 39pm dribbling past Mary to luanch an attack on Mackey while he was distracted by the large lizard that had wondered onto the pitch and attached itself to his leg.

    Four hours and ten more comments later the moment everyone had waited for for so long arrived. Dad lumbered out of the tunnel where he was rumoured to be in hiding and without warning launched a quick attack on Mackey, who was still distracted with the lizard.

    At this point the rest of the Hasbaritos wandered off the field, confident that their hero would win the day with godlike play. They were not to be disappointed.

    Dad surprised the crowd with his masterful “on topic” reminder of the quality of Israeli Justice.

    Another two hours of nial-biting tension and Dad stunned his fans with,

    “Celtic Poetaster pretending to be a girl:

    “Can you entertain us with your take on Craig’s observation that, in the case of the synagogue killings “…the hypocrisy of the Western media and political establishment, in terms of which deaths are important, is breath-taking.”?”

    Since it’s you who’s asking – no.”

    At this point the Murrayistas just had to concede defeat and slink off, abandoning their old mascot Craig to a sad and lonely fate, despised and discredited, taken seriously only the the maddest and tin-hattedest.

    Let this result be a lesson to all who dare to criticise plucky little Israel or the heroic media which tries so hard to bring you The Truth!

  • glenn_uk

    That was pretty funny, Sofia – you do satire quite well.

    However, there is far too much of a team mentality here – seeing it like that, in a purely “us = Good Guys,, them = the Enemy” is a good alternative to actually thinking about what the other has said. At least, thinking any further than how to make a stinging or witty rebuttal.

    My team is right on nearly all the issues. Your lot is always wrong. If you start disagreeing (as I have had the audacity to do), or fail to uphold the necessary reverence, then you’ll find yourself concluded as being a Bad Person.

    Back-slapping the Good Guys is just fine. When the other does it, they are sucking up to one another. And it is just amazing how fast these camps set up, at every opportunity.

  • Macky

    Looks like the “Other Team’s” Mods are on duty this morning ! 😉

    What the point of deleteing comments that point out the nonsense, hypocrisy & double standards that some like to post here ? None of my posts are baseless insults, as each made a point, without resorting to the offensive language often tolerated here, for example like “lickspittle”, which is seemingly allowed to remain !

    [craigmurray.org.uk – Macky is temporarily banned for arguing with moderation.
    Also, two trivial swipes by Anon sent to Trash]

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    EU Delegation: Israel has committed genocide

    “These members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to break diplomatic ties with Israel and implement sanctions against the country because of the war crimes it has committed against the people of Palestine.
    The delegation of 13 MEPs has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East and played a video to journalists showing a Palestinian child dying in the back of an ambulance. The delegation describes what Israel has done to the people of Gaza as genocide. The 50-day Israeli war on Gaza left thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded. The delegation of MEPs is accusing the West of turning its back on the Palestinian people by not taking action against Israel. The politicians accuse Tel Aviv of continuing to break international laws by engaging in land grabs to build settlements in Palestine. The United Nations aid organisation, UNRWA, estimates that it will cost 800 million euro to reconstruct the buildings and infrastructure in Palestine that were recently destroyed by Israel during its 50-day bombardment of Gaza. In the meantime hundreds of thousands of people will effectively remain homeless. The agency says 90% of the water in Gaza is now undrinkable, disease is spreading and it predicts that the area will be uninhabitable by the year 2020 unless the international community gets behind the citizens of Palestine.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/10/378256/eu-delegation-israel-has-committed-genocide/

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