L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

14 August 2006 Blog Home : August 2006 : Permalink

Fisking al-Fisk

Thanks to Scott of the Daily Ablution, who wades through this stuff day after day, we have a masterpiece of leftist thought from the gentleman who has given us a verb - Mr Fisk. Scott gives the piece a vigorous going over but I feel there is still more moonbattery worthy of public ridicule so I propose to fisk Mr Fisk.

If You Want the Roots of Terror, Try Here

Robert Fisk

The Indepedent
August 12, 2006

I would love to have the Met in Beirut to counter terror in my part of the world

It is good to know from the title that the root of all terrorism is Beirut. I imagine that most sane people stopped reading at approximately this point since, unless Mr Fisk is demonstrating in some hitherto unknown penchant for self-deprecating satire, this title suggests that the article will contain one duckbilled platitude and hoary cliche after another.

When my electricity returned at around 3am yesterday, I turned on the BBC World Service television. There were a series of powerful explosions which shook the house - just as they vibrated across all of Beirut - as the latest Israeli air raids blasted over the city. And then up came the World Service headline: "Terror Plot". Terror what, I asked myself? And there was my favorite cop, Paul Stephenson, explaining how my favorite police force - the ones who bravely executed an innocent young Brazilian on the Tube, taking 30 seconds to fire six bullets into him - had saved the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians from suicide bombers on airliners.

The sneering disrespect for the police inherent in this paragraph makes me feel that his "I would love" in article header is indeed sarcastic. It would seem that for Mr Fisk if a police force ever makes any mistake ever then henceforth anything it does is be examined for malicious motives. Now I like to start off agreeing with my fiskee, to lull them into a false sense of security as it were, and I have to say that I am almost as unimpresed with the Met's handling of the De Menezes shooting as Mr Fisk, but that is about as far as my agreement goes. I find myself looking at the chain of logic in Mr Fisk's claim and I find it wanting. Jst because one part of the Met turned out to have excreble judgement and an inability to coordinate does not mean that the entire organization is broken. It would be like saying that just because one journalist in unable to make a logical argument, none of them can.

I'm sure Independent readers will join me in watching how many of the suspects - or "British-born Muslims" as the BBC defined them in its special form of "soft" racism (they are surely Muslim Britons or British Muslims, are they not?) - are still in custody in a couple of weeks' time.

Ooh another point of agreement. I thought "British-born Muslims" to be a bit odd too. But then I wonder whether Mr Fisk really wants to encourage the Met to keep people in custody after they are determiend not to have evidence linking them to crimes. It seems to me that Mr Fisk is claiming that this is precisly what they should do in order to lessen criticism, a point where he seems to be in agreement with Blair, Reid and past home secretaries who want the power to keep mistakes swept under the carpet for 90 days.

And I'm sure it's quite by chance that the lads in blue chose yesterday - with anger at Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara's shameful failure over Lebanon at its peak - to save the world. After all, it's scarcely three years since the other great Terror Plot had British armoured vehicles surrounding Heathrow on the very day - again quite by chance, of course - that hundreds of thousands of Britons were demonstrating against Lord Blair's intended invasion of Iraq.

Of course in the US the assumption is that the story broke when it did to bury the story of the Connecticut senatorial primary. Well surely it can't be both can it? Two different bits of bad news to be swept under the same carpet? Those neocons and their Zionist sponsors are so devious.

So I sat on the carpet in my living room and watched all these heavily armed chaps at Heathrow protecting the British people from annihilation and then on came President George Bush to tell us that we were all fighting "Islamic fascism". There were more thumps in the darkness across Beirut where an awful lot of people are suffering from terror - although I can assure George W that while the pilots of the aircraft dropping bombs across the city in which I have lived for 30 years may or may not be fascists, they are definitely not Islamic.

Why not sit on a chair? Does the Independant not pay you enough to afford basic furniture from Ikea or it's Lebanese equivalent? Perhaps President Bush is wrong, but I think that Hezbollah counts as an Islamic Fascist organization. Somehow Mr Fisk seems unwilling to note all the ways that his neighbours in Beirut appear to be both deeply Islamic and extremely fascist. Just a quick list of signs:
On the other hand the people dropping the bombs on Beirut are not only not Islamic as Fisk notes but also citizens of a democracy with freedome of the press, a flourishing private sector and a complete lack goose-stepping saluting military shouting out slogans in support of their leader.

And there, of course, was the same old problem. To protect the British people - and the American people - from "Islamic terror", we must have lots and lots of heavily armed policemen and soldiers and plainclothes police and endless departments of anti-terrorism, homeland security and other more sordid folk like the American torturers - some of them sadistic women - at Abu Ghraib and Baghram and Guantanamo. Yet the only way to protect ourselves from the real violence which may - and probably will - be visited upon us, is to deal, morally, with courage and with justice, with the tragedy of Lebanon and "Palestine" and Iraq and Afghanistan. And this we will not do.

Again I am shocked to say that I agree. We do indeed need to "deal morally, with courage and with justice, with the tragedy of Lebanon and "Palestine" and Iraq and Afghanistan. And this we will not do." But the reason why we don't do it is because of people like Mr Fisk who seem to have never considered that a group of people who can't fight  conventional war successfully and seem to think that blowing themselves up instead is somehow praiseworthy. Courage and justice would seem to indicate that at this point the Arab/Muslim world gets a warning that the originators and promotors of their nihilistic philosphy will be executed anytime we locate them unless they do it themselves. And that sharia law is to be reinterpreted in ways that make it less of a threat to anyone not a devout muslim male.

I would, frankly, love to have Paul Stephenson out in Beirut to counter a little terror in my part of the world - Hizbollah terror and Israeli terror. But this, of course, is something that Paul and his lads don't have the spittle for. It's one thing to sound off about the alleged iniquities of alleged suspects of an alleged plot to create alleged terror - quite another to deal with the causes of that terror and to do so in the face of great danger.

It seems a little tough to expect the Met to deal with an armed militia like Hezbollah which has more missiles than the met has police officers (and, if you insist on it, even harder for them to deal with an army such as Israel's with tanks, planes, artillery etc.). Oh and the "alleged" plots; I know that Blair has been doing his best to remove basic English rights but even after all these years we have a presumption of innocence and don't convict people of such crimes except by a jury in a court of law, hence until a jury of their peers has found them guilty they remain merely "alleged". In Lebanon this is probably not the case because Fascist regimes tend to like show trials and the like, not to mention a corrupt judiciary which takes hints from the supreme ruler about verdicts.

I was amused to see that Bush - just before my electricity was cut off again - still mendaciously tells us that the "terrorists" hate us because of "our freedoms". Not because we support the Israelis who have massacred refugee columns, fired into Red Cross ambulances and slaughtered more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians - here indeed are crimes for Paul Stephenson to investigate - but because they hate our "freedoms".

I think it is clear that Bush is more right that Fisk. The statements of Nasrallah, Osama bin Laden and so on clearly indicate that the find our "freedoms" and lack of Islamic piety to be the root cause of their terrorism. Curiously their statements frequently fail to mention particular Israeli atrocities but instead talk about destroying all jews everywhere and complan about the immorality of the west, denounce the idea of freedom of choice, demand the return to Islam of Spain and so on.

And I notice with despair that our journalists again suck on the hind tit of authority, quoting endless (and anonymous) "security sources" without once challenging their information or the timing of Paul's "terror plot" discoveries or the nature of the details - somehow, "fizzy drinks bottles" doesn't quite work for me - nor the reasons why, if this whole panjandrum is correct, anyone would want to carry out such atrocities. We are told that the arrested men are Muslims. Now isn't that interesting? Muslims. This means that many of them - or their families - originally come from south-west Asia and the Middle East, from the area that encompasses Afghanistan, Iraq, "Palestine" and Lebanon.

Well actually they mostly seem to originate from Pakistan, particulalry from Kashmir, with a few converts. Oddly enough Britain has not invaded Pakistan for over 100 years.

In the old days, chaps like Paul used to pull out a map when faced with folk of different origins or religion or indeed different names. Indeed, if Paul Stephenson takes a school atlas, he'll notice that there are an awful lot of violent problems and injustice and suffering and - a speciality, it seems, of the Metropolitan Police - of death in the area from which the families of these "Muslims" come.

So he will. Very astute of you to notice Mr Fisk. A good detective would perhaps note that, with the notable exception of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, just about every single would be suicide terrorist is a Muslim, that most of the worlds guerrillas and insurgents are Muslim and that just about every western Muslim terrorist or terrorist inciter has generally come from a comparatively well off nackground and has usually been involved in drugs and other excesses before finding Allah. Curiously the youths from similar backgrounds who find Jesus do not exhibit such destructive tendencies

Could there be a connection, I wonder? Dare we look for a motive for the crime, or rather the "alleged crime"? The Met used to be pretty good at looking for motives. But not, of course, in the "war on terror", where - if he really searched for real motives - my favourite policeman would swiftly be back on the beat as Constable Paul Stephenson.

So he would. This would be because mentioning such politically incorrect facts such as those I have above, would get him hauled up before some anti-racist disciplinary committee before he could finish his sentence.

Take yesterday morning. On day 31of the Israeli version of the "war on terror" - a conflict to which Paul and the lads in blue apparently subscribe by proxy - an Israeli aircraft blew up the only remaining bridge to the Syrian frontier in northern Lebanon, in the mountainous and beautiful Akka district above the Mediterranean. With their usual sensitivity, the pilots who bombed the bridge - no terrorists they, mark you - chose to destroy the bridge when ordinary cars were crossing. So they massacred the 12 civilians who happened to be on the bridge. In the real world, we call that a war crime. Indeed, it's a crime worthy of the attention of Paul and his lads. But alas, Stephenson's job is to frighten the British people, not to stop the crimes that are the real reason for the British to be frightened.

Curiously there is no mention of the totally indiscriminate Hezbollah bombardment of N Israel. Unlike Hezbollah, who count it lucky if their rocket hits Israel, the Israelis are able to aim very accurately. If the people on the bridge were indeed civilians then their deaths are regrettable, unfortunately though Hezbollah seems unwilling to mark its vehicles in a distinctive manner which makes it hard for the Israelis to tell whether they are attacking a Hezbollah vehicle or not. Of course such concealment is in fact a war crime because it leads to precisely the result that Fisk is complaining about. So yes a war crime occured but Israel was not the criminal. On the other hand, unlike the UN, the Met's remit does not in fact run to global war crimes so asking the Met to investigate the war is a bit rich. What the Met is expected to do is stop British residents from killing, injuring or otherwise harming other British residents. Since the link between events in Lebanon and those in Britain is rather tenuous - assuming the Met & co are correct, this plot was hatched a year or more ago when the major evet in Lebanon was the death of Rafik Harriri in what was probably a Syrian inspired bomb.

Personally, I'm all for arresting criminals, be they of the "Islamic fascist" variety or the Bin Laden variety or the Israeli variety - their warriors of the air really should be arrested next time they drop into Heathrow - or the American variety (Abu Ghraib cum laude) and indeed of the kind that blow out the brains of Tube train passengers. But I don't think Paul Stephenson is. I think he huffs and he puffs but I do not think he stands for law and order. He works for the Ministry of Fear which, by its very nature, is not interested in motives or injustice. And I have to say, watching his performance before the next power cut last night, I thought he was doing a pretty good job for his masters.

Funnily enough, except in fairly rare circumstances, the British police are not expected to arrest people who have not committed a crime in the UK unless there is some sort of international arrest warrent and an extradition treaty. If the UK and other nations were allowed to arrest anyone they felt like then a large number of diplomats and government ministers would be in the poky. Again there are times when I have a certain sympathy with Mr Fisk, I'd like to see any number of mass murdering dictators and the like arrested as they show up to international conferences, the UN, holidays on the Riviera and so on. Unfortunately arresting these people and then putting them in front of a firing squad would probably not solve much, neither would killing Mr Fisk, although I don't see that he adds any value to the debate on appropriate middle east policies. The fact that we don't arrest and execute people with whom we disagree is, in fact, a sign of Western liberal democracy and differs from Middle Eastern dictatorship. I fear that Mr Fisk needs to return to the UK for a bit so that he can relearn the difference.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin