What do you say to parents who’ve just experienced the horror of having to confirm that ‘yes’, that little girl lying on the slab, dead and cold and alone, is my child? For me, there is nothing you can say, the best you can do is to be there with them, and allow them to cry or to rage or to do whatever they need to do…in order to begin to cope with an experience that most of us will never have to go through, and unless you’ve lost a child, can’t possibly imagine.
How about the people associated with the person who did it - what do you say to them? Again – there is nothing that you could say to a mind that warped, which would penetrate the void that it has abandoned itself to.
I struggle, and I imagine you do too.
There are other ‘truths’ that we struggle with however, for which there are words - if we have the courage to speak them.
The last time that indiscriminate slaughter occurred in Britain was just under twelve years ago – 7/7: ‘The London Bombings’. On 21st July 2005, the Australian investigative journalist John Pilger, wrote an article called ‘Truth Struggling’, which originally appeared in ZMag:
‘In all the coverage of the bombing of London, a truth has struggled to be heard. With honourable exceptions, it has been said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the public has broken the silence, as an East Londoner did when he walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. "Iraq!" he said. "We invaded Iraq and what did we expect? Go on say it". - John Pilger
In 2005 such ‘truth’ was considered to be politically incorrect – the ‘agreement’ in the UK at that time, propagated by the Blair government and a slavish media, painted such sentiments as ‘excusing murder’, and ‘apologising for monsters’ – variations on the theme of ‘unpatriotic’. We’ve moved on from that. Twelve years, and several enquiries later, and the majority of people now know the truth…George Bush and Tony Blair wanted a ‘war on terror’…and they got one. There were no WMD in Iraq, there were no Al Qaeda cells in Iraq; they knew that, but they wanted to take down Iraq anyway. So they lied to the UN, to the US Congress, to the UK Parliament…and they did just that. Much as I would still like to see Bush and Blair on trial for treason against their own people, and war crimes against Iraq, that is not going to happen. And nor is it the point of this piece:
The truth still struggling:
Earlier this week President Donald Trump addressed the ‘Muslim world’ in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. He condemned terrorism, he condemned ISIS, and he called on the other leaders present to do the same. He said this:
“When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims - we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy. But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong - and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfils their part of the burden…
…Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory - piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.
And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don't kill innocents; they save them” - Donald Trump
Most sane people would agree with these sentiments, if not the melodramatic tone. But then he said this:
“But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbour, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.
From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.
It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.
Among Iran's most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime - launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.
Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime's longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders' reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.
Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve” - Donald Trump
To that, I say this:
There is no ISIS in Iran. There never has been. ISIS was and is, funded and ‘inspired’ from Saudi Arabia. Its ideology is ‘Wahhabism’ – the religion of the autocrats who run Saudi Arabia. There is no Al Qaeda in Iran. Al Qaeda sprouted from the Mujahedeen, who were funded and trained by the CIA to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. None of the 9/11 bombers were from Iran, the majority were from Saudi Arabia. Donald Trump knows this. Anyone who pays attention knows this. So why does this truth still struggle?
Because the narrative is controlled by political, financial and military interests in Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh: Hegemonic elites, who, despite their cultural, religious and political differences, share a common delusion about themselves: they believe that they are ‘the exceptional people’. This, of course, is exceptional bullshit.
The goal of the neoconservatives in Washington and their 'allies' in the middle east, is clearly to finish the job that they started in Iraq and continued in Libya: To complete the regime change in Syria, and to take down Iran.
My ‘truth’ is this:
The forces lining up against Iran are not “praying for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve”. Have we forgotten Libya already? Do we think that the slave markets operating in Libya are the kind of just and righteous conditions that young Iranians go to bed at night dreaming about?
Are we really that stupid? Maybe we are. But I'm not. You...must make up your own mind...or not.
If ‘we the people’ fall for this again, we will be complicit with the destruction of another country and another broken people. But next time it will be worse…far worse. An attack on Iran will escalate into a war with Russia…and quite possibly China. That means WW3. Nobody will win that.
1. On 19th May, Iran re-elected President Hassan Rouhani of the Moderation and Development Party with 57% of the vote, including a large number of the younger generation:
2. In 2015 President Rouhani negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) with the P5 + 1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France, Germany). This resulted in the monitoring of its nuclear programme by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in return for the partial removal of sanctions
3. On 11th May the Director General of the IAEA, Mr Yukiya Amano gave his reflections on the progress of the JCPA at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Including this:
“The first (lesson) is that even complex and challenging issues can be tackled effectively if all parties are committed to dialogue – not dialogue for its own sake, but dialogue aimed at achieving results. In this case, the Security Council, the P5+1 countries, the IAEA, and Iran itself all did what they needed to do. The result was an agreement which moved the Iran issue forward after an impasse of more than a decade”
4. President Trump describes the JCPA as a 'terrible deal'. During his visit to Riyadh he signed what he describes by contrast as a 'great deal' - a $110 billion agreement to supply arms to Saudi Arabia