Tag Archives: war atrocities

The Pink Supremacists

Christchurch is my old hometown;  long before the earthquakes that shattered the city, long before multiculturalism  thankfully arrived ,   and long long  before Mr Tarrant decided it was his mission to  save the ‘white”  world  from  those “others” by murdering 50  people in two  mosques in March  2019. Certainly there has always been  racism  in little old  New Zealand-  but  in my experience a greater  tolerance of diversity  than in  many countries. Our  current Prime Minister Jacinda Adern  is thankfully a symbol  of that  tolerance and compassion.

Mr Tarrant is however not a symbol  of white supremacy  ( he is ,  as the headline of this post  suggests ,  in  reality   pink skinned;  not ‘white’;  a fact  which  rather  detracts from  the white power rhetoric) but he is rather;  a symbol  of  grief, fear and  loss. Like so many  angry  men  across the world, he found a rationale for the expression of that  anger and violence. In Mr Tarrant’s case, it was ‘white’  supremacism;   but for others  it might be  Salafist    murderous  jihadi fundamentalism, or Hindu  or Buddhist ‘righteous’  anger. In fact  anything to  avoid the real  grief and loss gnawing at  their psyche . In  Mr Tarrant’s case it was ,  almost indisputably the suicide of his father in 2010 when he was 18 , and more explicitly his discovery of the body  after his father shot himself  after he was diagnosed with cancer as a result of asbestos exposure. In the case of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian  who  killed 77 Muslim children in an attack  – it was perhaps the  separation of his parents at  an early age and the subsequent  split from  his father at  15.

What  might we be able to  say  about Osama bin Laden  and his childhood, or even  Genghis Khan?

Please note ,  none of this   rationale in  any way  condones or excuses the violence of such individuals,  but it can  give a rationale for their actions,  and hence an opportunity to  remove and reduce such  risks in  others .

And it is important  also  to  note that  by  far the greatest  violence by  such  angry  men is not committed  by  their own  hand,  but via the hands of others. Those men  ( and some women) who  manipulate others into  carrying out  their acts of violence  against  those ‘others”. In recent times those mass murderers have been  politicians and military  men and specifically those in  the Western ‘democratic’   nations. One can  only speculate on  the childhoods of sociopaths like John Bolton, the US advisor who  advocates the  killing of so  many Arab people,  but more importantly the Iranian people,  in the supposed belief that  this will  protect  the apartheid state of Israel,  or U.S.  Secretary  of State Mike Pompeo  who  apparently sincerely believes that  war against  Iran  will  hasten the Second Coming and the Rapture . Or we could list  a few women like  Gina Haspell  CIA director who is  clearly able to  internally rationalise her brutish  actions in  torturing people in a systematic manner,  or note the psychopathic glee of Hilary  Clinton when she learns of  Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal  death.

Such  people  use their  concoctions of beliefs to  rationalise their  brutal  and violent actions…when in  fact  they  are  simply  frightened little people who  need our compassion – and to  be taken  away  from  any capacity to  control  other’s lives.

 

The Essential Alternative to Animal Slaughter

Freezing works” (ie slaughter house ) in New Zealand; from Teara.govt.nz

A recent front page article in  my local New Zealand newspaper disparaging   the future on  non meat based proteins, prompted  me to  respond.

In  2016 New Zealand mercilessly slaughtered 28,387,595 lambs,  adult sheep,  calves,  adult steers and cows,  pigs,  and goats; with young lambs totalling over  18 million of those deaths. Two of the major “meat companies’  in  New Zealand respectively  had an income from  those deaths of  just over $10 million  and $17 million. Animals  are indoctrinated to  become used to being shifted from  pasture to  pasture with  dogs and men on  farm  bikes;  and then , when  the  killing season  starts, are herded into  tightly packed   fenced areas and  forced onto   truck  and trailer units  for the long tortuous drive to  the ‘meatworks’.

Teara.govt.nz notes that  ‘in 2009 there were about 80 meat-processing plants in New Zealand, employing about 26,500 people and exporting to about 150 countries.’

A recent article in  the New York Times noted a research study  where sheep  were able to  distinguish  between the faces of different humans;-  hardly a surprise to most of us who  have emotional  connections to  our pets, but obviously so  to the scientists. (https://nypost.com/2017/11/08/sheep-learn-to-recognize-emma-watsons-face )
What it therefore correspondingly tells us  is that  those millions of  sheep   and other animals  we kill for fun  and profit every year  in New Zealand  who  are  transported to  the killing fields of the abattoirs around New Zealand and then  savagely killed and cut up; are very well  aware of the  pure terror they  and their  fellow beings  have to  endure before they die and are consumed for pleasure by  humans..

There is  undeniable scientific evidence that  humankind’s reliance on meat  production has  contributed significantly to the  vast loss of species habitat  across the world ( and particularly so in New Zealand ) ,which will  if not checked in  the near future, along with its impact  on  climate change,  lead to  the destruction of all  life on this planet.

The other ‘unfortunate truth’  is that  there is irrefutable evidence that  every  new element of human ‘progress’  results in  the destruction of more and more species on this planet-  species which  which  humans are in direct  connection for our mutual  survivability.

Look  around,  almost every  aspect of what  we call  ‘progress’  is  our relentless transfer of the living and vibrant to  the inanimate-  the concrete, the tar,   the electronics, the cut down  trees…….we are inexorably deadening the planet  with our ‘progress”.

In addition recent studies of insect  populations  in Europe reveal  rapid declines in  flying insects likely due to  monoculture, deforestation and  insecticides. Without insects,  we all  die ;  rapidly

Consequently we have no  choice as a species than  to give up  killing our fellow species for protein and profit   and begin  to  live a more sustainable and humane  life-  and we have to make that change very  soon!

Links

The Nonhuman Rights Project https://www.nonhumanrights.org/

Kill Anything That Moves: Vietnam and beyond

Peter van Buren of the Huffington  Post  reviews Nick Turse’s latest book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

Sadly, van  Buren’s parting lines are not about the  millions of tortured, raped,  and murdered civilians of that trail of “dark skinned’ countries the US has invaded over the past 50 years; it is commiseration for those few hundred thousand US soldiers who have been put  in “impossible”  environments  by those in the “highest seats of power”.

As van Buren notes: The issue is not so much how/when/should we assign blame and punishment to an individual soldier, but to raise the stakes and ask: why have we not assigned blame and demanded punishment for the leaders who put those 19-year-old soldiers into the impossible situations they faced? Before we throw away the life of a kid who shot when he should not have done so, why don’t we demand justice for those in the highest seats of power for creating wars that create such fertile ground for atrocity? The chain of responsibility for the legacy left behind in our wars runs high.

Every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to refuse to fight; every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to  refuse to commit atrocities- but failed to do so. The responsibilities for murder and massacre run at all levels of our white-skinned colonial  societies. The assumptions of superiority, of “rightness” and ultimately simply pure racism, are endemic at every level of  Western society.  They  are our sins which  cannot be absolved, and  for which we are likely to pay dearly once the tables are turned in  another decade or two, when  western economies will no longer rule the world and determine the ‘game’.

Even now, almost forty years after the end of the Vietnam war, the US government and most of  it’s  citizens,  refuse to  acknowledge the massive war crimes of at  least  a million Vietnamese deaths carried out by  the US in the name of rolling back  a fictional  red tide of asian dominos, through carpet bombing, chemical  warfare and systemic atrocity after atrocity.

It is time for all  countries to acknowledge that  for us all to live peaceful fulfilled  lives on  a sustainable  planet, that  we have no rights to control other human beings to behave in the way  we think they  “should” behave through force-nor indeed any  rights of force over any  other species on this planet.

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Postscript:

40 years on, Laotians tell of US war legacy  By MATTHEW PENNINGTON | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty years after the secret U.S. bombing that devastated Laos, heirs to the war’s deadly legacy of undetonated explosives are touring America to prod the conscience of the world’s most powerful nation for more help to clear up the mess.

Note the casual throwaway  line ” The U.S. dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos over a nine-year period up to 1973 — more than on Germany and Japan during World War II.”

World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government- Alternet by  Fred Branfman

http://www.alternet.org/investigations/executive-branch-evil-and-lawless

Executive Branch leaders have killed, wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians.

June 26, 2013  |

America has a secret. It is not discussed in polite company or at the dinner tables of the powerful, rich and famous.