Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Materialism

flagsMake no mistake about it, President Biden’s humiliating Afghanistan scramble is one of the defining moments of the 21st century. The ramifications of this inevitable yet disastrously mismanaged climbdown will ripple across the globe for decades to come, reshaping the international order and ushering in as yet unknown alliances and rivalries.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the much-lauded War on Terror has been an ignominious failure for the West.

What has all this squandered blood and treasure really taught us?

For one, we really should have seen the warning signs long before now. The failures in Iraq, Syria and Libya were hardly subtle hints as to how this would all end, yet still the Western liberal democracies persisted. Just a little more money, just a little more freedom, just a few more rights enshrined in law and all would be well. Just one last push…

The sudden outpouring of introspection within our political class confirms that the jig is up and we can’t just return to business as usual. Even Tony Blair has been forced to admit that nation building with a bomb in one hand and a pallet of cash in the other has been an abject disaster. Such a naively reductionist view of our human world has left us poorer, at greater risk and more insecure than we were on that bright September morning two decades ago.

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Thought Crimes have Real Consequences

The Bible

The internet is like many other developments in human history; it’s changed all our lives for the better, but it’s also left some unforeseen consequences in its wake. One of these more pernicious side effects has been to witness our society drowning in hyperbole. Now everyone’s a Nazi and every piece of legislation is proof positive of Orwell’s dystopian nightmare. Vaccine passports, environmentalism and international trade have morphed into the horsemen of the apocalypse and the mark of the beast, rather than issues for serious discussion by thoughtful people.

This constant ratcheting up of attention-seeking outrage has an anaesthetic effect on our collective consciousness, rendering us less able to recognise a real danger when it appears. Rather than comprehending a genuine existential threat, we find ourselves merely tut-tutting as knife violence soars and our once respected police keep files on everyday citizens who’ve broken no laws.

It’s disappointing that the Daily Mail should be the paper to highlight such an issue of genuine concern, but the truth is the truth, no matter from whence it comes. The arrest of an elderly Christian preacher for the crime of quoting the Bible in public should send shivers down the spine of every free citizen anywhere in the world.

The fact that the 71-year-old was later released without charge is no comfort, because although he has not been charged, the encounter will still be recorded as a non-crime hate incident by the police. That’s right, in our topsy-turvy authoritarian world, not breaking the law is now sufficient reason for the police to keep a file on you. The fact that quoting one of the three Abrahamic texts verbatim is now grounds for arrest and state sponsored harassment is nothing short of terrifying. It’s my sincere hope that Mr Sherwood has a Muslim friend who’s willing to stand in the same spot and quote the Koran on the same subject. It would be fun to watch the Met’s mental gymnastics team spring into action!

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Razor Wire

Damn! Now I Must Defend Piers Morgan

Razor WireI’m not really a fan of Piers Morgan.

Having watched his performances for many years now, I’ve concluded that, much like Tony Blair, the only guiding principle he really adheres to is that of self-promotion. No doubt his dramatic departure from ITV has cleared the way for his transition to yet-to-be-launched GB News. Fortuitous timing or what!

I don’t think there are many people in the English-speaking world who haven’t figured out that Piers Morgan is a self-aggrandising loudmouth, who takes every opportunity to elbow his way into the news he’s supposed to be reporting. Still, the man’s been a linchpin of the infotainment industry for a long time now and we can’t really condemn him for doing his job enthusiastically.

Being outspoken and controversial has been a solid gold career choice for Piers Morgan, so I have no doubt the show will go on. And on. And on.

Having said all that, nothing I’ve written even comes close to justifying his de facto dismissal from ITV, and for what? Well, the unconscionable crime of voicing an opinion shared by countless millions throughout the world.

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Matches burning

America’s Maastricht Moment

Matches burningSo, it looks like Joe Biden’s Democratic Party have won everything. Despite innumerable questions over the integrity of the US election, he’s safely been confirmed as the 46th President of the United States. There are also the Georgia runoff elections where the Democrats seem to have squeaked by.

What a difference four years of populism makes. Back in 2016, the last vote had barely been counted before the steady media drumbeat of Russian collusion began rumbling across the airwaves. The whispering campaign eventually bore fruit in the form of not one, but four investigations to confirm whether the duly elected President of the United States was in fact beholden to a foreign and possibly hostile power.

The Mueller Report, the House Intelligence Committee, The Senate Intelligence Committee and the FBI all concluded there was no evidence supporting the claim that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians or anyone else. We’ll leave Biden’s well documented links to Beijing for another time.

The scenes in Washington yesterday were not dissimilar to the outpouring of anger and disbelief that accompanied the 2016 result, except that the establishment is foursquare behind the successful candidate this time round. Therefore, it follows that anyone questioning sleepy Joe’s fitness for office has suddenly become a dangerous conspiracy theorist. Does anyone remember Gorilla TV from the Trump days? That was totally believable, apparently.

At the moment there are tens of millions of Americans who are extremely suspicious about the results of the 2020 election, and with the huge number of unanswered questions around electronic tallying, executive overreach and late night ballot dumps, we can hardly blame them.

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TV Interference

America’s Media Massacre

TV InterferenceThis is my first blog post in quite a while, for two main reasons. Firstly, because I’ve had some personal stuff to deal with; and secondly, because I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle around the US presidential election.

Despite what CNN or Fox News might say, it’s not at all clear who the rightful victor in the 2020 presidential election actually is. One thing we do know for sure is that anyone who still advocates voting by mail and electronic counting after this embarrassing goat rodeo is not to be trusted. With anything. Ever.

This situation is disturbing and depressing enough by itself, but the corporate media’s rigid denials that anything could possibly be amiss is nothing less than establishment propaganda. I wish I could say I was surprised about this startling lack of journalistic curiosity, but I’m not. Is anyone?

Despite the agreed media mantra of “no evidence”, the list of sworn affidavits, video footage, statistical anomalies and their resulting investigations is growing by the day. Something’s rotten in swing-state America and we all know it.

Corporate media’s refusal to even ask about this growing litany of electoral strangeness will not help it repair its already shredded reputation. I’m not sure if anything can do that now, but a good place to start would surely be debunking the outlandish conspiracy theories tweeted hourly by President Orange Man and his fascistic enablers. You’d think that CNN et al would be falling over themselves to make literally the worst person in the world look incredibly stupid, yet there is virtual silence from corporate America’s news rooms. Why is that, I wonder?

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