Thrashing Not Swimming 254

David Cameron relies on the complicity of mainstream media and the gullibility and disinterest of the British public to get away with an extraordinary switch. Two years ago he was strongly urging military action in Syria against the forces of President Assad. Now he urges military action against the enemies of President Assad. That includes against groups and individuals who were initially armed and financed by western intelligence agencies, and are still being financed by our Saudi “allies”.

Indeed one of the many extraordinary features of this fervid political period is that the neo-cons (be they Tory or Blairite) who are so actively beating the drum for war, are the ones who absolutely refuse to acknowledge that the source of the poison is Saudi Arabia. Cameron today told Westminster that the head of the snake is in Raqqa. That is plainly untrue. The head of the snake is in Riyadh. But if your God is Mammon, that is blasphemy.

It is also fascinating that the same people who triumphantly warned Putin he would get blowback from bombing the Islamists in Syria, deny that our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing of Libya have any blowback effect or in any way cause terrorism in the West. The hypocrisy would be hilarious were it not so serious.

The French are pounding the city of Raqqa as I write and the truth is, whatever the propaganda, that they have already killed more entirely innocent civilians in their bombing than were killed in the horrible atrocity in Paris. The killing on both sides is mindless. The majority of those the French are bombing into oblivion in Raqqa are people horrified at being occupied by ISIL, just as the people killed by ISIL in Paris were ordinary people as powerless as the rest of us to affect the way the elite run our foreign policy. Those who believe that the random killing of bombing is the solution to random killing are crazy.

I was terribly, terribly sad for the victims of Paris and their loved ones. But I could not help but note that we did not fly flags at half mast or illuminate buildings in the rather lighter tones of red white and blue that could have marked Russia losing nearly twice as many dead in a related terrorist atrocity just a few weeks before.

For the terrorists themselves, I have no sympathy. To kill entirely innocent people is indefensible in any circumstances. To believe that religious kudos can be gained from killing the innocent is incredibly sick.

I have often argued that it is actually not difficult to commit a terrorist attack. If I wanted to kill people next week, did not care who I killed, and was prepared to die myself, I could most certainly do so successfully. The key point is of course that in reality there are very, very few people deranged enough to carry out such atrocious acts. Any rational analysis shows this is not an existential threat. Terrible as these attacks were, they killed 0.01% – that’s one in ten thousand – of the population of Paris. They increased the tiny chance of being murdered in France by only 20%. There are over 600 murders a year in France. Many more people die every year in traffic accidents in Paris than were killed in this atrocity.

I am not trying to mitigate the evil or atrocity, I am trying to put it in context. The drama of the incident is used vastly to exaggerate its impact and to justify those moves which the Establishment had up their sleeve anyway as the vast and growing disparity between rich and poor calls for more weapons of social control. These include massive surveillance of the population, larger and more intrusive security services, aggressive policing, an institutional system of informers in education, a new crime of “non-violent extremism”, and of course yet more wars in the Middle East –

The sad thing is of course that the terrorists are so stupid as to increase the powers of the very forces in society whose policies they purport to be fighting, while the only people they kill are also those getting the short straw of society’s gross inequality. I suspect the leadership knows this. Of course, if you are a Saudi prince, then right wing, highly authoritarian western governments hostile to economic equality are exactly what you want too. It makes your lifestyle in London, Paris and Monte Carlo so much easier.

Meanwhile David Cameron thrashes about. The only way he can see to look credible is to go and bomb someone, even if it is the opposite side he wanted to bomb last time. It won’t stop terrorism, but it will be good for the arms manufacturers and security industry. It will help stoke the jingoism that is so useful in enabling the wealthy to maintain their firm grip on political power.

Actually stopping terrorism would of course do none of those useful things for the Establishment. I do not claim that the Establishment deliberately employs a Middle Eastern policy that promotes and exacerbates terrorism. But their policy has that effect, and they use its consequence in their own interest in retaining a firm grip on political power. It helps further ensure that political power will not be employed to reorder society upon more egalitarian lines.

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254 thoughts on “Thrashing Not Swimming

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  • Daniel

    Hollande said that the terrorist attacks were “orchestrated from abroad”. But so too have been the attacks on Syria by NATO over the last four and a half years. The leaders of the great imperial powers whose whirlwind of destruction throughout the middle east has resulted in the debris blowing back into the symbolic and literal foundations of Parisian culture have, in so doing, struck at the heart of enlightened modernity and bohemian excess.

    The political consequences that will almost certainly arise from the terrorism witnessed on the streets of Paris will be a further crackdown on civil liberties, growing suspicion of the “other”, a rising tide of chauvinist nationalism, the implementation of a strategy of divide and rule and the whipping up of fear by the media and politicians’ which, as Gearoid O’Colmain has pointed out, will involve the sidelining of dissidents who publicly question the established order.

  • Tony M

    Cast what passes for minds back to that time when the screams of bleeding Iraq and then Libya were still echoing and the CIA/MI6/Al-Quaeda/ISIS/Blackwater/Jihadist human refuse and their baggage had moved on to their next holocaust, their mission to extinguish the government of Syria and failing that nevertheless to kill as many as possible and destroy Syria in trying.

    It’s strange form of democracy – but aren’t they all – where an ugly mob of hired guns wade through a bloodbath they’ve created, carrying aloft the holy quisling and place the vile creature on the throne. Obama, Hollande, Cameron, Euro-fascists like Tusk, the neo-cons of the west all gushed and mouthed how wonderful it would be if these nicey-nice ISIS folks should take over the hell that they all conspired to turn Syria into.

    Then the planting of bombs in public places, the firing of automatic weapons into large crowds of people, in Syria, by we’re told the same group as in Paris, was hailed by our puppet politicians as the work of stout fellows, brave, heroic anti-Assad dissenters, they were given instant legitimacy, they were heroes, icons, no longer, in fact not ever extremists, nor even the least immoderate, it was a glorious flowering of democracy they said with tears brimming and bid us rejoice too. In haughty France, delusions of empire whetted, the applause was amongst the loudest. The rows and stacks of rotting dead, ‘alien’ Syrians, were not so much overlooked but simply of no account, for they weren’t Israeli, English, nor Yanks, French or whatever, in that order.

    War criminal individuals such as Prime Ministers and Members of Parliament, have had sufficient time to prepare a defence, we really now need to start processing the backlog.

  • Pan

    18 Nov, 2015 – 9:01 pm

    “Sadly for those innocent women and children, and families that have decided to remain in Syria, some due to illness, others old age. They are about to try and weather a firestorm, of Western wrath, that no one should have to endure.”

    Well said.

    Thankyou for your thoughtful and humane contribution.

  • Pan

    Mark Golding
    18 Nov, 2015 – 9:53 pm


    18 Nov, 2015 – 10:08 pm

    Re: youtube/RT link to “Interesting long view from Gearoid O’colemain.”

    Impressive speaker. Very incisive, with an impressive ability to say a great deal in a few short minutes.

    It’s so good that RT interviewers grant their guests the necessary uninterrupted space to expound their ideas fully (as long as they are coherent and sufficiently fluent by virtue of well-preparedness!).

    Lots to be gleaned;

    “Intellectual terrorism” – interesting framing (apparently his own).

    “Coercive engineered migration” – a concept for which he credits a book by Kelly Greenhill (which would appear to be the rather pricey “Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)” ISBN 9780801448713 )

    Sir Halford John Mackinder’s “Intermarium”; found initial further reading here: (search keyword “Intermarium”)

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for Gearoid O’Colemain in future.

    Thanks for the link, guys.

  • Pan

    18 Nov, 2015 – 11:10 pm

    “Craig, can we please have some kind of referencing system? I’ve read through the whole post and comments, and forgotten what I wanted to respond to.”

    What I do is always have a Microsoft Notepad window open for taking notes (usually by copying and pasting, starting with the commenter’s name and comment timestamp – see above).

    I copy and paste the comments/passages I find interesting/noteworthy and enclose them in quotation marks.

    It is then a simple process to organise one’s reponse (and at the same time, enable subsequent readers to find the original comment to refer back to, if they so desire).

  • Pan

    The notepad approach also encourages one to proof-read what one has written, before submission.

    That way I usually catch things like “reponse” that should be “response”, for example!

  • Pan

    19 Nov, 2015 – 12:44 am

    Interesting local report. Always encouraging to be reminded there are outposts of sanity, here and there. Guess the trick is to find one if you can.

  • BrianFujisan

    Republicofscotland And Pan –

    “Sadly for those innocent women and children, and families that have decided to remain in Syria, some due to illness, others old age. They are about to try and weather a firestorm, of Western wrath, that no one should have to endure.”

    Well said indeed ros

    a video capture of of what those who couldn’t get out have to endure –

  • Silvio

    This seems to be rather clear evidence of photoshoping in the dramatic “Psenny” video purporting to be a live shot of alleged victims escaping from a rear exit of the Bataclan theater during the terror attack.

    Paris Hoax Smoking Gun? Magic Door Behind Bataclan

    What you are looking at in the following photo are police going through the scene behind the Bataclan theater, where the bizarre theater escape and the Spider-Woman hanging act took place. Notice the doorway to the left in the tweeted post-attack photo.

    (image goes here)

    Now compare the scene with the grainy “Dealey Plaza 1963” digital animation that was spoon feed to the public. There’s Spider-Woman hanging off the window ledge. But the doorway is missing, somebody screwed up on the job. Look at contrasting floor pad at the escape door. In addition, compare the window sizes and positions with the rather cartoonish-shaped and sized version in the Psenny images.

    (image goes here)

  • Silvio


    My appologies re. my last post above. Some commenters on the thread about the missing door at the original site are saying that the door is there, but due to the poor lighting and picture quality it does not show up clearly in the video, but under enhancement it can be seen.

  • Mary

    There’s the ‘royal flight’. Now there is the ‘Tory flight’ in the shape of an A330 for Agent Cameron’s globe trotting. I can see a flight with him being offered for auction at the next fundraiser Black and White Ball.

    PM to get own plane for official trips

    Prime Minister David Cameron and senior ministers are to get their own plane for official trips.

    An RAF Voyager A330 air-to-air refuelling aircraft will be refitted at a cost of about £10m.

    The government says the move will save about £775,000 a year as the plane will be cheaper than chartering flights.

    The BBC’s Ross Hawkins said despite the predicted savings, the announcement was likely to prove controversial ahead of next week’s Spending Review.

    Royal family

    Most government departments are facing budget cuts of at least 25% over the next four years.

    A source said the PM’s flights, using either Royal Squadron planes or long haul charter, cost on average £6,700 per flying hour and the RAF aircraft would cost £2,000. It would be available for refuelling when it wasn’t in use.

    The flight would also be available to the Royal family.


  • Mary

    5,000 bullets and still they didn’t ‘get’ their man. Quel dommage.

    Paris attacks: ‘5,000 bullets fired’ during Saint-Denis raid

    18 November 2015

    Around 5,000 bullets were fired during the raid on a flat in Saint-Denis on Wednesday morning, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

    He told a news conference that the armed police squads sent in, faced an hour of gunfire from those inside.

  • Salford Lad

    @Pan 4.41am.
    Furher reading re. Sir Halford Mackinder and his Heartlands Theory
    Zbigniew Brezinki based his book ‘The Grand Chessboard’ on this theory of conquering the resources of the Asian centre, The US grab for Imperial domination is based on this theory.The wars in Ukraine and Syria are its consequence.

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    Pulcinella (19h29)

    The perils of the link, episode 359:


    “massive reserve”…….”meet domestic {ie, Israeli} demand”

    How big is Israeli domestic demand (population a few millions) compared to, say, UK, French or German domestic demand (population many tens of millions)?

    Must try harder, Pulcinella.

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)


    “Just the usual crap by Habby about the importance of when exactly the 9/!! attacks occurred for it to have possibly been a conspiracy…”


    I think you’ll find that it was Lysias who raised the question of when the attack took place.

    But thank you for (not) answering on his behalf.

    PS – glad to see you’re progressing (..”possibly” been a conspiracy..). Anyone else?

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)


    18 Nov, 2015 – 2:06 pm

    “Let all the [people] here who are claiming … that the attacks in Paris were NOT the work of Islamic terrorists tell us what they believe those attacks really were.”

    Perhaps the important question is not “Who are the foot soldiers?” but “Who are the generals and the financiers?”.”

    That sounds a little evasive to me but never mind, tell us who the generals and the financiers are as well.

    Off ye go, laddie!

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)


    “7.11pm – 7.14pm Three totally pointless comments plus some unpleasant vocabulary.”

    Never mind, Mary, just press on.

    Please let us have a list of the latest Israeli “atrocities” and while you’re at it don’t forget to tell us who’s on Question Time this evening. Thanks;

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    “Andrew Morton”

    “They then bombed the City of London and business forced Westminster to the negotiating table.

    The fact is that terrorist killings of ordinary people are good for business.”


    Isn’t there a contradiction there?

    If terrorist killings are good for business, why did business force Westminster to the negotiating table?

    According to your logic, it should have done the opposite, shouldn’t it?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    [ Mod: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]

    Robert Crawford
    Anyone else I’ve haven’t seen who has wished me well

    Good morning. Thank you very much for your kind comments. I am deeply touched by these (far too generous, I think) assessments. I’m a bit taken aback that my contributions have been so well thought of. Much appreciated.

    I am still reading and my health is much better. I saw a consultant yesterday who is sending me for X-ray but thinks the stone that has been causing the trouble is probably gone. (Not sure myself. I think I can still feel it sometimes.)

    I got out of the habit of commenting when I was unwell and have been pursuing other pressing matters. I have been unsure if it is a good idea to come back, as most people who have had a pause will probably recognise. I also have not felt that I have much to say. I don’t know if this latest atrocity was a false flag or not. Personally, I do not think that it was, but I think government and media have only themselves to blame if people do not believe a word that they say any more.

    I am desperately sorry for the people in France who have been murdered and their families. I am also desperately sorry, for example, for the people in Lebanon who have been murdered and their families, but nobody in the media seems to give two hoots about them. I am deeply angry about the obvious fact that the media clearly only cares about people who are murdered in elite Western countries. A Lebanese life is worth exactly the same as a French life to me. I also find it grotesque that the instant response to this latest atrocity is more bombing and threats of bombing, legal or not. But I’m not going to pretend I have any solutions. I really don’t know enough.

    Going to step out now – I only came back to say thanks.

    Take care,


  • YouKnowMyName

    An extremely well put together contextual graphic analysis of Dae’sh ISxx etc attacks over the last year is given by the Washington Post

    context is the enemy of trolls! ( WP further claim that the tragic Paris attack is NOT ISxx, just ‘inspired by’ )

    note: nearly the whole of Saudi Arabia is indicated as ISxx territory,
    Jordan, Israel & Turkey seem hardly troubled by this geo-politic action, almost on a different planet?

  • Rob Royston

    Mark Golding 19 Nov, 2015 – 9:43 am

    I can remember when the old star wars machines started appearing in bars, must have been in the seventies, and later on the original home computers. I used to think that they were preparing us to fight back against the aliens from space.
    We’ve travelled a long way since then but training to kill is still pushed as entertainment.

  • Fredi

    Even if it’s a tenth of 1 %, that’s a lot of battle hardened nut jobs for Europe to try to deal with.

    SYRIAN AMBASSADOR says: “MORE THAN 20% of ‘refugees’ pouring into the EU likely have ties to ISIS”

    In early September, an unnamed ISIS operative confirmed that an estimated 4,000 covert ISIS terrorists had arrived in Europe disguised as refugees.
    “Among the refugees, who went to Europe, maybe more than 20 percent belong to ISIS groups. Now Europeans (and other Western nations) have invited this threat into their homelands. It will only get much worse in the future,” Riad Abbas said, commenting on recent deadly terrorist acts in Paris on November 13.


  • Alcyone

    Rob, we are medieval man living in Type Zero Global Civilisation.

    If we could indeed see how backward we are, and that humanity has taken a wrong-turn, we might find ourselves in a better pychological space.

    Also, there is no Heaven ‘out there’. We need to make our paradise here, but to repeat we have taken a wrong turn. If we carry on like this, we are indeed doomed as a civilisation. Just to put the current clash of civilisations taking place, with the deep State involvement of the ‘Kingdom’ of Saudi Arabia into context.

    Presently, if you stand back and look at all the conflicts in the World and then see through what Saudi Arabia is orchestrating and instigating, one can very easily see them for the Fountain of Evil that they are.

    Have a good day, All!

  • Alcyone

    In other words friends, its not all about Israel as The Eminences and The Old Trolls of this blog breathe in and out every day, as oxygen for their sustenance.

  • nevermind

    Thanks Mark G., have send him another letter, he’s getting so much post from me recently, he must think I want to join the Tory’s…;)

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