Monday, July 31, 2006

Israel and the Jewish psychosis of victimisation

As Israel continues to commit war crime atrocities in the Lebanon, it also justifies those as legitimate defence as well as blaming the other side for making them do it, like the claim that Hizbollah was purposefully using civilians as a human shield, leaving Israel no other choice but to bomb civilians. Seeing that the Israeli attack against Lebanon started with bombing Beirut airport, we should maybe suppose that runways are a preferred location for strategically placing human shields.

What is more outrageous than Israel's aggressive disregard for international law and human rights is that the rest of the world, or at least those holding the reigns of power, the so-called international community, acquiesce to the crimes committed. One of the reasons is that in the Western psyche, greatly assisted by Hollywood reminders, the Jews are the victims of the greatest crime in history, the Holocaust (albeit committed by Europeans, not Arabs), and Israel, their state, must hence be protected from any further abuse by its vicious and violent neighbours.

Since psychoanalysis and psychotherapy are sciences with Jewish roots, it would not be inappropriate to apply them in this instance by looking at the psychology of victimhood. If we put Israel and its leaders on the shrink's couch we will soon find that the state of Israel is condemned to permanent psychosis unless it stops claiming victim status in everything it does, and Israel's alleged friend, like the US and UK, better provide some useful counselling instead of encouraging its path to self-destruction.

A good summary of the victimhood syndrome can be found in Psychology of Victimhood by Dr Ofer Zur:

"In claiming the status of victim and by assigning all blame to others, a person can achieve moral superiority while simultaneously disowning any responsibility for one's behavior and its outcome. The victims 'merely' seek justice and fairness. If they become violent, it is only as a last resort, in self-defense. The victim stance is a powerful one. The victim is always morally right, neither responsible nor accountable, and forever entitled to sympathy."


"The victim's basic stance is that he or she:
  1. Is not responsible for what happened.

  2. Is always morally right.

  3. Is not accountable.

  4. Is forever entitled to sympathy.

  5. Is justified in feeling moral indignation for being wronged."
What we essentially have in Israel then, is an unbalanced state of mind justifying regular outbursts of uncontrolled anger and violence with the claim to being the eternal victim and therefore never responsible for the consequences of its actions. It is frightening to think what the future holds for the world when such a state is in possession of most advanced weaponry, including a nuclear arsenal, with the tacit approval of those running the asylum, who think that feeding the patient's delusions is more convenient than having to put up with the tantrums induced by the initial withdrawal syndromes of any meaningful treatment programme.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Israel starts disintegrating

I think we are seeing the beginning of the end even for this little hostile rogue apartheid state called Israel: the signs are clearly there in the commemorative plaque recently placed where once stood the King David hotel. With this plaque Israel is commemorating the fact that its state was built on terrorising others and that terror pays. From the bombing of the King David hotel, the first letter bomb posted in England by the Irgun gang in 1948, the first hijacking of an airliner in 1954, the massacre of Sabra and Sahtila in the Lebanon under the watchful eye of Ariel Sharon, the shooting down of a civilian airliner in 1973 to today's brutal onslaught on the Lebanon – Israel's history is one of terror and political blackmail. And its Western sponsors are cowed into submission as easily as the politician who fears for his reputation when the prostitute he used to visit starts making demands.

There was a bit of diplomatic disagreement between the Israelis and the British on the wording of the plaque, and the wording was eventually changed to reflect the British contention that they had not evacuated the hotel because they had not received a prior warning. Leaving such niceties aside, the plaque celebrates the fact that Israel's independence was won by killing 92 innocent people in a terrorist attack, followed by a relentless campaign to drive the indigenous population out by force.

Since it is in English, not Hebrew, the plaque is clearly aimed at the international visitor. It consists only of two paragraphs, but the diligence of British diplomats concerned about the first draft did not go as far as spotting that the Israelis can't spell English words. Within the first two sentences we find "Headquaters" and "fightres". It may well be the language skills and orthography of British officials is no longer up to scratch either, but there is a sure sign that these days things are cooked up and put together hastily and without much checking or quality control, to use the more fashionable management term.

The plaque thus stands as a witness to the inaptitude and incompetence of a state that was once considered invincible. Israel still plans its expansionist strategy, like the tactical withdrawal from the Lebanon a few years ago, followed by the assassination of Hariri, followed by the international pressure for Syria to withdraw, followed by the renewed invasion of the Lebanon without much resistance allegedly planned over a year ago. But cracks are appearing in the edifice and they are beginning to make avoidable and stupid mistakes. The big bully (or mafia boss) is losing his grip, and nobody is going to pity him when he falls; in fact they will all kick him when he's down together with his gang of supporters. Iran's president Ahmedinejad is spot on with his comment: "I advise them to pack up and move out of the region before being caught in the fire they have started in Lebanon".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Unless stopped, Israel will carry on regardless

The leopard did not change its spots. Those who are shocked at what they perceive as an Israeli over-reaction to the capture of three of her soldiers are as naïve as somebody rearing a leopard as a pet and then being surprised that it ate a toddler for supper. Unless stopped, Israel will not only wreak havoc in Gaza and Lebanon but draw the whole world into an all-out war.

Israel's recent withdrawal from Gaza was not the responsible act of a mature government putting its violent past behind, as it was made out by commentators. It was a tactical move. The forceful removal of a handful of settlements bringing tears to the eyes of Jewish journalists from the major news syndicates only paved the way to the all-out assault we have seen last week. Those settlers are no longer in the way and need no longer be considered as a liability on the front line.

Israel's attack on power stations, government installations, civil infrastructure and innocent civilians in Gaza has nothing to do with attempts to return a captured soldier. It is about continuing on the path of expansion Israel followed all along since this apartheid state was founded in the Middle East once her European parents, who conceived this illegitimate child, did not longer want to take responsibility for her. Israel does not want respectability, Israel wants power and revenge.

Israel has flouted countless of UN security council resolutions, not to mention the many more which would have been passed had they not been vetoed by the United States, yet portrays herself as the upholder of international law and a model democracy. The truth is that Israel has persisted in illegal occupation of another country for over half a century and has consistently terrorised its people whilst publicly claiming that those demanding freedom for themselves are terrorists out to attack a harmless and peaceful nation. Israel only ever negotiated to win time and the praise of media commentators. Whatever Israel is and has was obtained by brute force.

The public have a short memory and politicians capitalise on it. Because the old massacres have been conveniently forgotten, new ones appear as if out of keeping. That Israel is restarting its military aggression against its neighbours at this moment in time is no surprise, however, for students of the history of the Middle East. Watch out for Syria and Iran being mentioned regularly as the sponsors of Hizbullah in Lebanon. Israel is growing weary that the US and her allies have run out of steam after the controlled explosions of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, in which she probably had a hand. After having misguidedly become embroiled in Iraq, the coalition of the willing and coerced has become decidedly unmotivated to repeat a similar fiasco in Iran. At a recent annual Bilderberger meeting those arguing for an attack on Iran stood isolated amongst more reasoned voices. The only way the war against Iran remains on the table is if Israel makes it happen and forces the hand of the US.

If the Israeli air force unilaterally dropped bombs on alleged nuclear facilities in Iran, as they previously did in Iraq, it wouldn't go down too well with public opinion. Iran poses no immediate threat to the Western world, and the lies which pulled Western governments into the illegal invasion of Iraq are still fresh on people's minds. The resumption of Israel's war against Lebanon is probably intended as a build-up to pave the way for making an attack against Iran palatable. Once Israel makes her move she hopes, and is pretty certain, that the US will have no choice but to take her side. Thus the world will have a major war for reshaping the Middle East after all, in spite of everybody's weariness. Unless, that is, we stop looking at the leopard as a cute pet and demand that it be locked up safely in a cage.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Free" internet calls as expensive as a satellite phone

There is no doubt that internet telephony – or Voice-over-IP – has revolutionised modern communications and forced fixed-line operators to lower their hitherto exorbitant charges and make special all-inclusive offers available. Since broadband has come of age and Skype perfected peer-to-peer voice calling, individuals are increasingly abandoning fixed line and mobile phones in favour of internet calls, especially when calling abroad. In Taipei experiments with mobile phones which can switch to using wireless networks are successfully being implemented and will pose a major challenge to, also overpriced, mobile phone operators, although not likely in the UK for some time, since the charges for logging into a WiFi connection are also outrageously high.

Skype was successful because the software was simple and easy to use and calls between Skype users were free. Then Skype-out, the option to call ordinary landlines and mobiles from a computer, was added as well as Skype-in, the option to have a "landline" number which would be diverted to the computer or an answer machine when the computer was switched off. As the VoIP technology developed, so did the competition, and proliferation of technology and lack of compatibility between different communication systems is as much a problem in this area as in any other computer application.

Amongst the Skype contenders were JahJah, which in the early stages was so underdeveloped and user-unfriendly that I uninstalled it as soon as I tried it. Besides, it's privacy policy, or lack of it, did not compete favourably with Skype's encryption of communications. More successful was Voip-Buster who offered free calls instead of low-cost calls like Skype. And this is where unsuspecting customers would end up spending more money than they might originally have done using their ancient fixed-line copper network: To qualify for free calls you had to buy at least a minimum amount of credit. A few months later the majority of calls became chargeable, even from one European country to another. It was still a cheap deal, provided you made lots of foreign calls. If you didn't, you would suddenly find out that your credit expired after a few months and with ten Euros disappearing all of a sudden during a time of little calling activity those few phone calls made via the software would have cost more than if they had been made by satellite phone.

This is what happened to me. Voip-Buster sent me a warning 6 days prior to my credit expiring, but I was too busy to deal with it. Then my credit was gone. At the time of buying the credit there was no warning that credit was time-limited, so to make it expire after the purchase is strictly speaking illegal in my opinion, but how do you pursue an internet company in another country when the sums involved are trivial and the company does not reply to messages. So they make their money. When enough people abandon them they move on and launch a new software.

This is exactly what Voip-Buster did. After some half year in operation they emailed their customers with a link to free internet calling software called imaginatively "internetcalls" and which turned out to be a carbon copy of the old software, down to the minutest detail, except that it sported an appalling all orange user interface and, more importantly, calls to some countries were still free. Having been bitten once, however, I shall not rush and buy credit.

Advances in technology, in particular the internet, have revolutionised communications. A lot of the potential benefits, however, are unfortunately rolled back due to individual companies' profiteering protectionism. Using a USB data stick, for example, you could carry your whole hard drive with you on a trip, without having to shoulder a heavy laptop, if only you could use it in any computer running the same operating system. Unfortunately, Microsoft, which still has the edge over open-source software, would not allow you to do so since they want to make money from licences and upgrades to licences. They have now perfected their controls to a degree that you cannot even change a major component on your own computer without the software complaining and requiring re-registration. Many software applications by other vendors also demand obtaining a new licence code after major system changes, which makes expensive software useless unless it continues to be supported by the manufacturer, and if they go out of business the expensive goods you've bought from them might go down the drain with them.

In order to benefit from progress in computing and communication technology, rather than be hampered by restrictive practices, the whole issue of licensing and charging would need to be looked at. There is no longer a justification for high landline and mobile telephone charges, nor for withholding ownership from software products once they have been bought. Commercial greed, unfortunately, is once more standing in the way of progress.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lack of intelligence: the pot calling the kettle black

When I read "Al-Qaeda sympathisers have been trying to infiltrate the British security service MI5, the BBC has learned" I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Or should this piece of "valuable" information from the mouthpiece of the establishment be taken as a first, veiled acknowledgement of the relationship between MI5 and "al-Qaeda"?

Oh, before you wonder about the liberal use of inverted commas, I am adapting to the style of the BBC. They use those mostly for ideological reasons, for example, after an Israeli raid on Gaza they would carry a headline: "One dead" in Gaza missile strike. I did write to them whether this indicated that they were not sure yet about the fatality or whether the poor Palestinian had maybe, mysteriously, been resurrected, but received no reply. Here is another example: "Two Palestinians killed" in Gaza. In the world of the BBC Palestinians only die a virtual death. Only Israeli deaths are real.

Back to MI5, however. According to the report mentioned at the outset, MI5 believes, from polls, that around 400,000 people in the UK are "sympathetic to violent jihad around the world". That's a lot of people. According to the government's latest census there are some 1.6 million Muslims living in the UK. This would mean that a whole quarter of them are suspected as potential terrorists by MI5. Given, however, that one third of those 1.6 million Muslims are children and probably excluded from the poll, and another quarter are old-age pensioners, almost every other Muslim becomes a suspect. This would explain why some of the Muslims MI5 have tried to busily recruiting during recent months must have been considered by them to be terrorist infiltrators.

Yes indeed, such claims are laughable, but to think that our security services actually believe such nonsense and want the public to believe it too, makes you cry. We must guard against blame, recrimination, speculation or myths taking the place of solid public information, says Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist branch, the same force responsible for shooting innocent people based on bogus intelligence.

Having said this, it would be folly to deny that there is cross-fertilisation between MI5 and al-Qaedah, but the relationship is more akin to the way the CIA infiltrated, and even set up, Communist cells during the dark days of McCarthyism where even Charlie Chaplin was suspected of being a red sympathiser. The enemy for to scare the public into submission with has changed, but the methods remain the same.

There has not been a proper public enquiry into the events of July 7 in London, and numerous inconsistencies have since emerged, from train cancellations to the contradictions about explosive grades and timers which I have previously referred to. Conveniently ALL the plentiful CCTV cameras anywhere near the events were broken or, at least, the images were said not to be available. At the same time the alleged "mastermind" of the bombings, Rashid Aswat, was quickly moved to safety and away from being apprehended by MI6, who are also looking for speakers of Muslim languages. If al-Qaeda was not the invention of the CIA, they certainly contributed greatly to make it the brand name success it is today. And, naturally, their British counterparts wouldn't want to be left out.

In trying to convince the rest of us that they are really on to something and spending our hard-earned tax contributions in order to protect us, they ought to try a little bit harder than blaming to be the victim of a concerted attempt by al-Qaeda to infiltrate them whilst at the same time declaring half the Muslim population to be enemy combatants.