Tag Archive: War On Terrorism


I’m Sorry But . . .

Today I feel emotionally sick and out of step with everyone, even with my own sense of decency.

Is there a time I should just shut up and let people get on with it?  Just for a day maybe, or a week, or maybe I should cut my tongue out and never be able to speak for the rest of my life!  Now there’s a thought.

As much as I truly admire the people who work so hard for our security and am very touched by the happiness and satisfaction some of them I have heard speaking today are expressing, I still find it repulsive that anyone can be happy about and rejoice over someone else’s death.  No matter how much they or others close to them have suffered.

As I said, I feel emotionally sick.  I still can’t have a thought or emotion begin to materialise without the people upstairs start their stuff.  The uncanniness of it is doing a number on me, along with some of its deliberate and markedly repetitive illegality when they bang just after the boundary line every day.  I wondered after I typed those last paragraphs and thought maybe I’m being a bit too squeaky liberal to be real.  Perhaps I should join the celebration, for reasons of my own it feels like a bit of a weight off of my shoulders as well.  Maybe all decent people are glad, and I just don’t have that level of freedom to be able to enjoy it with everyone else who is also decent.

But I remember stories of days when missionaries went among cannibal tribes, eyes wide open, taking the risks.  And dying.  No political pull outs.  Died for their peaceful, loving, non-violent beliefs, killed by the enemies, in lifestyle, that they had gone to live among and convert/evangelise/win for Jesus.

Jesus said, so the Bible tells us, if we choose to believe it (or it might have been Paul), ‘render to no man evil for evil, but overcome evil with good’.  Armies and governments and terrorist groups are made of many people who, individually, would be identified as ‘a man’.  I’ve heard it preached and taught that war is a different kind of situation to which that does not apply.  That sometimes peace has to be fought for, and that that is the justification for war.  But how can you fight for peace with weapons of war?  If you do the same you become the same.  The act of war causes and deepens wounds in the psyche, personally and nationally, which make it more likely for physical warfare to continue to be embraced as an option.  People don’t repent, they go into denial and justification, and that isn’t something which makes for a future where this is less likely to happen.

We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12), and that means to establish new habits of acting and thinking. I’ve noticed that when I take a step to do what is right, I understand how wrong the former thing was and how wrong its support structures and rationalisations.  Especially if I thought before that the right thing was the wrong thing.  In my early days as a Christian I was taught that pragmatism and compromise over the truth were not acceptable approaches to living the Christian life.  That belief has not abandoned me, even though these days the church is more at ease with ideas of necessity and pragmatism.  I’m not sure why that is.  Maybe I just haven’t moved on as I should have done.

However, I believe that the spread of peace depends on abandoning war as an acceptable way of ‘maintaining’ ‘peace’.  If war is not an option, we have to go further in building international relationships.  Not ‘so far and no further’.  So far then ‘how very dare you, sir?’  Peace is not compromise.  Peace is Shalom, whole and vibrant.  Peace is love, not polite, formalised, ritualistic functionality.

If war is not an option, outraged people with hurt egos can’t issue a call to arms, pumping out buzz words ten to the dozen that make you feel ashamed and embarrassed to disagree with them.  People who do not embrace armed conflict as an option must surely be easier people to approach.

If we want to talk about the brave people who die in the pursuit of peace, and lay down their lives, I think there is more chance of healing for the world and of leading by example if those people lay down their lives in refusing to kill, rather than in trying to maintain peace and security for their own group by killing people and groups who are seen to threaten it or who strike at it.  If we lay down our lives for peace, sacrifice our lives in being actively peaceful and refusing to engage in war.  Let our own lives be taken rather than kill an aggressor.  Rather than a few being brave for many, I believe we all need to face it and trust for ourselves.  That way we relate with love for all, even for our enemies.  That is how peace is built.  We are governed by peace because we are founded on peace.  It isn’t the result, but the whole structure.  As long as we need to protect our lives, we live with fear.

This is what I should do, not what I do.  I am protecting too much, things and goals which wanting to achieve make me careful for my life.  Crazy things, like seeing the end of coercive medicine in the mental health system, a change in understanding and an end to labelling.  Even more, I don’t want to die on my own, maybe never to be discovered and with my life seen as worthless and full of failure, and something to be despised and not missed.  That is my craziness, wanting to hold on to my life until I feel it is worth something, not so guilt-ridden and not so isolated.  That is how I feel under the present abuse.  Too guilty to die, and guilty for hanging on.  Sorry for coming back to myself, but on the other hand, I think facing and coming to terms with yourself is a necessary part of being able to embrace this lifestyle choice anyway.  So no, I’m not sorry, really.  You have to come back to yourself to lay your life down by deliberately committing to non-violence.  I know so.  I’m only sorry I can’t express it better because of what is going on in my life at the moment.  I could possibly express it if I chose my own advocated actions, but under the abuse I can’t do it in words.  The option for me seems to be to surrender to and make myself vulnerable to my abusers (who might only be abusers in my mind anyway), or not to be able to express it in words.  But I do have a problem with my abusers if that is the point they are trying to make  by their abuse.  ‘Join us, we’ll teach you the way of peace and non-violence by making you pass through the fire of our violence’.  Jesus didn’t use violence.  The Bible says the devil can appear as an angel of light, and that means his presentation is appealing and persuasive.  But trust goes to the cross.  They present as Christians, and everything I try to say is aurally countered, either actively or with silence.  Or is it all a product of my own fear and darkness?  The Bible says in Christ there is no darkness, it also says the darkness becomes light.  To me that doesn’t just mean that a light shines removing the darkness but that, where Christ is, the darkness itself, even the darkness of violence, is light.  That is the conviction of my heart and soul.  Love, my love for those who do me violence, makes even the violence a source of light and something into which I should walk.  And these words are darlings I refuse to kill by putting them into action.  The violence and exclusion/silence, because of the ‘hallelujahs’, feel like a call, a ‘trial by fire’.  But also, post-communism, it feels somehow inappropriate.  So why am I arguing so much?  Have we talked our way out of needing to pay the price, by invalidating the price asked and demanded as torture?

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353989/WikiLeaks-Police-sex-files-Julian-Assange-leaked-online.html?ITO=1490

I don’t feel able to comment on my feelings about these revelations, if they are true.

However, this is obviously a tit for tat move by whoever it was that made it.  I am supposing that the leaks, authorised or not,  must have come from someone inside the police force.

The obvious problem with this, it seems to me, is that this is an official body leaking details of allegations against an individual, before they have even been proved or the man found guilty.

I watched a video clip on Saturday of Mr Assange speaking via video link to a conference in Australia, and he said that ‘we believe in transparent power, not transparent individuals’.

I don’t like that either/or approach these days.  It’s what is known as a false dichotomy, I think, or is at least along the same lines.  It’s the ‘you have a choice between 2 options’ line, and it is always used to force a decision, I think, and closes down a person’s thinking. A little bit of wry, naughty humour coming in while I am writing, I think the best way to deal with this if you are faced with it might sometimes be to choose the option you know the person presenting the choice doesn’t want you to choose, if they are not open to reason.  Then they have to deal with it, not you.   If they are not open to reason, why would you want to go with them anyway?  It’s manipulative and coercive, although the person presenting the option doesn’t always realise that, they think it is the way to do it, sometimes.  It’s main concern, I think, is the maintenance of a method or way of doing things, or power of some description.

But there are three alleged offenses here, two of them obvious and one of them not.  The two obvious ones are the leaks from both Wikileaks and the police.  the one which isn’t obvious because not provable is the sexual offenses allegations.

Out of these three, if all of them are true, how many of them actually stand as crimes right now without further investigation?

If interception of communications and computer hacking are held to be crimes, Wikileaks has obviously committed a crime right there.  But possibly the government can’t afford to be too strong on that one, because the government has a policy to use that.  I think they have used it with me, a private individual,  without my knowledge.  Because they suspected me of something or thought I might be some sort of a threat?  I don’t know.  They have never told me and have refused to talk about it, referring me to mental health agencies whenever I have asked how I can find out if it is happening (Joan Ruddock’s senior case worker).  I repeat, for saying I thought it might be happening and asking how I could find out, I was referred to mental health agencies and told they did not know how I could find out.  If the government wants to continue to hide this kind of thing, it isn’t going to major on the hacking itself as being a crime.  It will major on the security risks of the actual information leaked (which apparently, according to a news programme I watched yesterday, Mr Assange first presented to the government, who refused to talk to him, before he actually leaked the information.  I suppose they knew he was a computer hacker at that point, and they made no effort to have him arrested for that, so I suppose they do not see that as a crime or, if they do, it is one they are also committing and it would therefore be too embarrassing for them to have him accused of the same thing.  The leaks talk about Hillary Clinton, for example, getting passwords to the accounts of people in the UN).

I think computer hacking is a crime, whoever does it, and that both of these bodies, Wikileaks and the government, are guilty of the same crime, by their own admission and policy.  But they have ruled that out of the equation.  Instead, one could theorise, the pursuit of Mr Assange has been diverted to a pursuit over sexual allegations, in order to get him for everything else?  If there is a real security breach, why have they not acted sooner on that nderstanding, and if he has committed a crime over that, in any way, why have they not arrested him for that, and not just for the sex allegations?  Is it because English law does not consider he has committed a crime, and that is why extradition to Sweden, for questioning, in spite of his constant (so we are told) co-operation with the police over the sexual allegations, is being considered as a first step in enabling an illegal rendition to the USA where he might find himself either in Guantanamo or condemned to death?  This is what is being presented.  This whole process is being presented as illegal, by his lawyers.  If it is illegal the UK should not be supporting it, because in doing so we become an accessory to a crime.

The sex allegations, even if they are true, are complicated by some factors, and might not be able to be proved as rape.  If the accounts are true, it would appear there was obviously a relationship in the context of which it happened.  I think it is not possible to make an assessment and come to a conclusion about his motivation, if it happened.  It says she normally wanted him to wear a condom, and he didn’t, but when awake she allowed him to continue.  Not knowing myself how long it was after this that the allegation of rape was made, I can’t guess at why she made it.  But she allowed him to continue.  Maybe on hindsight she realised it had been rape and felt differently.  To my mind, if she was asleep when it happened, and it was in a way which she had made clear she didn’t want (unprotected) it seems obvious rape might be a reasonable thing to call it.  But at the moment, according to what I have read, that is under debate as the question of whether what happened while she was asleep counts as rape ‘has not been tested by the justice system’.  If it happened.  If it did I think possibly it should be judged as rape.  Swedish law says that sometimes it would be, but in this case it has been thrown out by judges and I don’t know why.  But personally (not with legal knowledge) I also think his intention and understanding of the relationship at the time should be taken into account.  But (if it happened) he knew she didn’t want unprotected sex (if I have read it right).  So he would have to be judged mentally incapable, it seems to me, if the allegations were upheld and they were not treated as rape.  I keep saying ‘if it happened’.  That is my personal point of ignorance. I don’t know if he has acknowledged anything.  Everything I am writing is based on an assumption that he has not agreed that any of this happened.  That might be where my argument falls completely to pieces, but it might not.

Out of the three things involved, the sexual allegations, the leaks made by Wikileaks and the leaks made by the police, if we dismiss the issue of computer hacking about which there appears to be no legal clarity acknowledged, it seems to me there is only one indisputable crime, the leaks made by the police about the allegations made against Mr Assange.  I find it so enormously monstrous I can hardly address it.  This has to be the dirty tricks department at its worst.

It seems to me it compromises the trial.  It seems to me it is a gross breach of Mr Assange’s human rights (and also those of the women who have brought the allegations), and it is gross professional misconduct.  I don’t have to like any of what I am saying or think that I personally have a right to say it for it to be true.  If it is true, whether or not I have a right to say it doesn’t alter that fact.  It is an attempt to short-circuit the process of law, and probably in this case something even worse.  Perhaps I can’t make a categorical statement because perhaps the law is not this clear.  Not being a lawyer I don’t know.  But I think this is a clear case of perverting the course of justice, from whoever was responsible within the Swedish police force for the decision to release this information.

As a victim of computer hacking, I can’t condone the methods used by Wikileaks.  This may appear simplistic, who decides what the ‘right hands’ are and on what basis, and what can you do when those hands become the wrong hands?  But that does not mean that the course of justice should be perverted in the way the organisation or its founder is dealt with.  People speak against Anarchy.  But this is Anarchy from the top down, against the people they govern.  It is something I have experienced personally for over a decade, to my own knowledge.  I’m a Christian.  We need help.  We are in trouble, and maybe we always have been.  Maybe it only seems so bad to me, now, because this is when I am alive and experiencing it.

In the Book of Ezra, when the people are brought back to God, a call goes out, ‘to the word, and to the testimony’.  I’m not sure – I’ve just become sure.  I think this is applicable here because, however much the law is subject to change, what we do now needs to be based on the law as it is now, not as we would like it to be, and what happened in the past should be judged on the laws that were applicable then, not now, with regards to monitoring people’s communications.  That is the position of the European Court of Human Rights Act.  To me that seems just and the only way to maintain order and accountability in the way things are dealt with.  I love my leaders (at least, they make me feel that way.  They make me feel they love me too).  It is hard for me to say I think they have run riot, but I do.  The recovery we need is not only financial.  I believe that, as a society, we are in serious trouble.

Final note:  I realised while tagging this that I have forgotten to take the Freedom of Information Act into account.  Everyone is emoting over this, including Hillary Clinton (you can be an emotional woman for the war but not against it?), but it seems possible to me, not having kept up with any of this, that the information contained in the leaks should have been available anyway under the Freedom of Information Act introduced by Tony Blair, but it wasn’t.  I’m not sure how the Freedom of Information Act works in relation to the Official Secrets Act and whether some of the ‘spade a spade’ brigade would be right in calling the Freedom of Information Act a Mickey Mouse thing anyway.  But if the information contained in the leaks should have been available and wasn’t, and if the government turned Mr Assange away anyway when he went to them with it, it is dishonest that these people, who definitely would have known he knew this before the leaks were made, should now be presenting theselvesas so much ‘up in arms’ about it.  That is downright hypocrisy (sorry, I’m getting angry).

Tony Blair was quoted as saying he wishes he had never introduced the Freedom of Information Act and that it was one of the worst things he ever did.  He is entitled to feel that and entitled to his opinion.  But his feelings and opinion do not make the Wikileaks revelations wrong if, under that act, the information should have been available. We can’t say, “Tony wishes he had never done it, so we can call the Wikileaks leaks a risk to security and get cross about it”, if the informations should have been available anyway.  Maybe it shouldn’t have been, ma ybe there are exceptions under the Official Secrets Act to the Freedom of Information Act’s applicability to this kind of information, but I don’t know and I haven’t heard it discussed.  But if there is no exception there is no case against Wikileaks or Mr Assange for this unless it is computer hacking and invasion of privacy, and those are much lesser charges.  And to be extradited for questioning, at least in this case of sex allegations, is being presented as illegal, and he is supposed to have co-operated freely all along anyway, so excuse me, can someone please tell me what this is all about????  He’s not Jesus and he might be completely unsavoury in so many ways, but why is this being done to this man???? (I’ll keep my swearing to myself on this occasion).  And who else would they do it to if they got away with doing it to him?  It’s called setting a precedent.  We can’t let it happen.  Wake up, everyone.  Reality calls.  Possibly a man’s life is at stake, illegally.  Does anyone care?

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This matters to me so much partly because the last set of leaks from Wikileaks came at a time which felt personally significant for me, and so I feel implicated in whatever happens to Mr Assange.  In his communications he has used some references which are very easy for me to apply personally, including one about saving the whales not being the issue, but the freedom of information involved in making the decision.  For me that is very close to home, because one of Michael Mish’s musicals is called “The Boy Who Talked to Whales”, and for me the whale was, more than anything else, about the freedom of the human spirit.  That was how I understood it.  I am not saying that was Michael Mish’s intention.  Michael is, among other things, an environmentalist.  He could actually be offended (though I don’t think so) that what for him is a serious environmental issue is being reduced (or expanded) in that way, without regard for the issue itself.

There were other touch points in his address to the conference in Australia as well.  So whether or not I have been manipulated into this by a form of stalking, I do feel responsible for what happens to him, because I have believed that, if he released the leaks at the time he did in order to help me, he did so understanding the risks he might be taking.  Believing that to be a possibility I cannot be silent.  I know that someone handling his communication reads my blog and I hope they will contact me.

(Editorial Note:  Please read the updated and expanded version of this which is now on my front page.  I think it is more important than this one.  I wrote it because this one was not appearing in all the categories I assigned it to.)

And he and his lawyers fear extradition which may result in him being transferred to the US and possibly subjected to the death penalty or sent to Guantanamo.

I want him to be OK.  I don’t want any harm to come to him.  I don’t want him extradited.  Even if he has done something wrong, in Britain we don’t have the death penalty anymore, and our news agencies have publicly opposed and criticised Guantanamo for ages, though I haven’t taken much notice of the government’s position so I don’t know what it is. 

Maybe I am just a gullible, emotional woman who doesn’t understand what is involved in regaining/maintaining national and international security, but I think a lot of people would agree with me that, even if he has done something wrong, we would prefer for it to be dealt with differently.  I hope no one is thinking that if he is taken out of the picture that Wikileaks will fall apart, because I think that would be lazy and unjust.

If we have been told the truth, it wouldn’t be fair to extradite him on the basis of the charges which have been brought against him.  We have been told that he has co-operated in every way with the authorities over the sex accusations made against him, right from the beginning.  If that is true I can’t see how exradition over those charges could be justfified, and if extradition is a real threat and not just an exaggerated fear, I think the people thinking of resorting to this should stop the pretence that it is because of the sex allegations over which he has co-operated for months, from the beginning, and make their intentions and the reasons for them clear and open.  Then they would be challengeable, by everyone, including public opinion.  If they are not spoken no one can challenge them and that, in the darkest sense of the word, would be ghastly and say something really awful about us, I believe.

So without knowing anything that could justify it and not feeling able or being willing to turn and go with an inkling that I could be wrong at such short notice, I would like to say that if this is happening, it is not in my name.  And for that I feel I might burn in hell.

Wikileaks Stopped Me Screaming

Thank you, Wikileaks.

I suppose because I heard what the leaks were, when they were about the US spying on the United Nations, and let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.  I suppose because I assumed that UK leaders knew about that and that if we were supposed to value our membership of the United Nations, and we were party to spying on them, I thought that was really grubby and hypocritical.  I was really pleased that it came out.  I have every reason to be sympathetic towards the United Nations over this issue, and for me the war with Iraq and with Afghanistan was illegal because it went against United Nations ruling. I don’t understand any more than that.  I bought the angle that Iraq is a sovereign nation and that we have no right to interfere in how they run their affairs.  And also I don’t believe that the war on terrorism can be a literal war.  And what is shock and awe, if it isn’t an act of terrorism?  Inwardly I was screaming no since before it started and as soon as they started talking about considering it.  I saw angry, hate driven men sitting around the tables on the television talking about what to do.  I saw men driven by a really dark and life-denying spirit.  All retaliation does is perpetuate a thing.  It might quell it momentarily and take away its figureheads, but it comes back, goes underground – what’s this stuff about Jerry Adams?  We know this kind of thing happens, even if it hasn’t happened in this case, which I don’t know because I haven’t kept up with the news.

People have been anti war for centuries, even millenia.  But they put all these august men in suits on the TV saying how the war is right and that we should be behind our boys.  I wonder if these people have any space in their lives for someone like Leo Tolstoy, or if they would make out they have if asked, even if they haven’t?  Leo Tolstoy was a pacifist.  I think he was also a Christian Anarchist, but I can’t remember.  I began to read one of his books last year.  Unfortunately I left my books in London.  I bought a one way ticket.  I thought I would be back within a month, my purchase under my belt.

I was really upset when I heard they wanted to arrest Julian Assange.  It certainly looks as if it is politically motivated.  I felt I owed him, and I can’t remember why.  John Major on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday put it down to youthful folly.  They weren’t his exact words but they meant the same.  That is really demeaning.  You can’t say you are pro democracy and take up a position like that as a leader.  Why put it down to youthfulness?  I assume Wikileaks people will continue to act on the same convictions when they are the same age as John Major and beyond that.  He puts it down to youthfulness because the voice of the war machine is the dominant voice in society.  If it wasn’t someone would be putting down going to war as youthful foolishness, which I believe it is.

Julian Assange, I salute you.

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