Violence – Futility – Violence – Futility . . .

Bushfire Bill gets it:

When I was watching 60s war movies with my Dad as a little’n, I used to ask him why the Germans bothered with armies and stuff, when they could just blow up bombs in London and terrify the populace that way.

He talked to me about “rules”.

Later on, after I grew up a little, I thought that if The State (l’Etat?) guarantees more or less 100% security, then anyone who took even 1% off that, was defying the State’s authority and was thus undermining the other 99% of the State.

In my mature(r) years, I have thought that if WE bomb THEM, then why can’t THEY bomb US?

The product sold to us in the West of highly trained fighter jocks, 30,000 feet above the fray, dropping laser guided bombs on hapless and defenceless targets, who then die terrible deaths with their bloody, eviscerated intestines wrapped around the severed, eyeless, lipless heads of their children, was always false advertising.

We sit in our fighter jets playing win-win video games.

They arm themselves with Kalashnikovs and retaliate against our homeland.

Yet the former is moral and surgical. The latter excites worldwide horror and revulsion.

It’s not win-win anymore. The targets have learned how to be the aggressors.

Can we really blame them for retaliating in the best way they know how?Can we condemn them for bringing home to us, in our supposedly secure cities, just what it is like to have random murder perpetrated on our citizens and loved ones?

I’m as horrified as the next person by what happened today. I’m revolted and disgusted about Paris.

But can I blame “the enemy” for giving back to “us” some of what we have done to “them”?

In my heart of hearts, I can’t.

I hate it, but you can’t say we weren’t warned of the consequences of our actions.

Can someone tell me I’m wrong? And if I am, where I’m wrong?

As does Leone (not to mention every Pubster who has been commenting since earlier today):

You are right, and I agree with everything you say.

Tonight New Matilda gave us this –
(IMAGE: Moyan Brenn, Flickr) Paris Attacks Highlight Western Vulnerability, And Our Selective Grief And Outrage

It has attracted quite a bit of ‘how dare you say this right now’ comment. But it is absolutely right, and there is no ‘good’ time to point out how hypocritical we are, weeping over one outrage and ignoring another, just as horrifying, because those killed or injured are not white, or European, or Australian.

And Kaye Lee from AIMM:

Does anyone truly believe that violence can lead the world to a better place?

There can be only one reason for the attacks in Paris and that is to draw the West into increased military action in the Middle East, and from the sounds of it, that has been the call from many people today.

To those whose answer to the bombs and bullets is bigger bombs and more bullets, I would say you are being manipulated in the same way as the ignorant deluded handful of people who carried out these attacks.

How can you claim to be on the side of right when you use the same methods – go to a foreign country and kill innocent people?

How can you speak of national security and protecting your borders as you invade other countries?

How can you claim to be protecting human rights as you bomb hospitals?

How can you claim to be fighting for freedom as you lock up the people fleeing from oppression?

We have removed countless despots and dictators but rarely has it gone well. We install corrupt governments or leave when it becomes politically inconvenient to stay and leave people to cope with the mess we leave behind. We train and arm paramilitary groups and then abandon them and show surprise when they team up with others we don’t care for.

The armaments industry is a huge global business with no ethics. Defence forces are empire builders who demand hundreds of billions to ‘keep us safe’ as they spark aggression around the world.

If you kill people, others will want revenge. Where does it stop?

Is humanity capable of civilisation? Capable of tolerance? Capable of accepting the responsibility of caring for and nurturing all children, educating them, and protecting the environment so they can have a future?

Billy Connelly used to do a skit about his mother belting him for hitting his sister. Are we to respond to violence with violence and see ourselves as saviours?

Until we learn to respect each other and the planet we share, we are doomed to let those who would use us for their own power and profit pull the strings.


Somehow, we – the beneficiaries of the West’s crusading, colonising, exploiting activities for so many centuries – have to resolve this hellish brew. As far as I’m concerned, however, Kaye Lee has nailed it:

Until we learn to respect each other and the planet we share, we are doomed to let those who would use us for their own power and profit pull the strings.

525 thoughts on “Violence – Futility – Violence – Futility . . .

  1. Fiona, 2gravel

    It will be a couple of weeks before I get cuddles. I’m letting the proud parents have some time with the bub before I turn up. I have been told I am going down to stay for a few days. Orders are orders.

  2. Vale indeed to the great Warren Mitchell , a great actor and an engaging person. He fell in love with the Australia he observed in the 70s, so much so that he became a citizen. The greatest attraction was that it was irreverent and class-free, in so much contrast to the stifling English society he’d known. It was then, of course, a much kinder place after Gough’s rule.

    I was lucky enough to see him onstage as King Lear in a memorable performance. He had instant recognition here through his famed comic TV characterisation of Alf Garnett. He used that to do a series of hilarious TV commercials.

  3. gd

    The episode of Til death do us part in which the son-in-law draws a face on the back of Mitchells head with lipstick is unforgettable.

  4. Thank you for all the congratulations. I don’t think i’m the one who did well, though, all the credit has to go to my darling daughter.

  5. What a statesman!

    “The fact that the Darwin port was being privatised was not a secret. It was announced publicly early last year,” Turnbull said.

    It was “hardly a secret” that Chinese investors were on the hunt for Australian infrastructure, he said.

    “All I can say is that, when it was first raised with me not by President Obama but by other American officials some weeks ago, it was put to me that the first thing they had read about it was in the Wall Street Journal.

    “And my observation was only, of course, seeking to encourage the circulation of great Australian newspapers, I suggested they should invest in a subscription to the Northern Territory News because it was not a secret.”

  6. Of course she was too sick

    I’m sure there’s a his & hers oxygen bottle set waiting for them in Majorca.

  7. billie11

    Thank you.

    i have all the details and photos now. What can I say? She looks like a newborn baby, a bit red, a bit squashed, a little bit of dark hair. She weighed it at 3.17 kg (7lb in old money) and is 53 cm long.

    Most important – her name is Anneliese Diana. Pubsters who know the real me will understand why I’m very, very happy about that. It was a lovely surprise.

    Sorry, I can’t share photos, I’m not allowed. My family has this thing about not putting photos on public sites.

  8. I just heard Turnbull’s NT News comment. Totally & completely up himself tone of voice, so impressed by himself & his wit. Can’t see Uncle Sam being bowled over by it, though.

  9. BSA Bob,

    President Obama has more intelligence, humanity, wit, and sophistication in his smallest fingernail than waffles has in his entire body.

  10. Fiona
    ABC News time here now, & to their credit they they sound mystified by Turnbull’s jesting. Sort of “this is serious, why would he make light of it?”. Which is true.

  11. CK Watt,

    I have just added Mr John Clarke to the very select list of gentlemen I would like to marry when I grow up.

  12. Big mistake, Mr Turnbull. Brough should have stood aside, without being asked, because it’s the right thing to do. When he didn’t do the decent thing Turnbull should have ordered it.

    Turnbull backs Mal Brough after AFP search frontbencher’s home over Peter Slipper’s diary

    Brough has always been a liar.

    I’d forgotten about this old fraud – Brough’s adviser posing as a youth worker on Lateline and kicking off the whole NT intervention thing.

    The lie that built the NT intervention

  13. Leone,

    big mal brough would never voluntarily stand aside – he has too many tickets on himself.

    I know at least one of the people responsible for the Intervention. I must say I wasn’t impressed by their abilities 40 years ago, and have seen no reason since to change my opinion.


  15. Not only is Katharine gazing at her own navel: she’s also gazing at Waffles’.

    With all the adoration she is doing she should be one of the Magi.

  16. It’s not Muslims we should be worrying about, and you don’t have to be a Muslim to be radicalised.

    Man arrested over Reclaim Australia rally

    And then there’s this charming example of the good old Australian Fair Go.
    Racial hatred prompts withdrawal of help for refugees in Glen Innes

  17. I read a few lines of Ms Murphy’s hymn of praise to her hero, but I had to stop. All that syrup was pushing my blood sugar up to the danger zone.

  18. Leone, lovely given names!

    Very wise of family of forbid you sharing photos of the newborn as biometric scanning measures the dimensions between bridge of nose, pupils and height of ears, dimensions that don’t change as people grow

    A shame the babe doesn’t live in the same city as you, so your contact will have to be in concentrated bursts.

  19. billie11

    I like the names, one especially of course.

    They are at Gosford, not too far away, I’ll be a frequent visitor.

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