kiss Quran

ISIS and Grooming gangs: Don’t blame Islam

The UK is in the grip of an appalling scandal involving tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of vast-majority white girls – teen girls and child girls – abused by gangs of Pakistani Muslim men. The abuse is nationwide through the Midlands to the North, almost always in Labour controlled areas, and often involving criminal conspiracy to cover it up by corrupt and colluding police officers, council workers, care system workers, and elected councillors.

In rare cases parts of the establishment, rather than criminally conspiring – and here I name the Guardian newspaper – simply colluded in the abuse by refusing to comment on the race and religion of the perpetrators and victims. They would seize on the small, but significant number of P-M victims too or the occasional white male friend who joined the P-M gang and say “Look! See! It’s not about race or religious hate!’

But for these men it was, and by refusing to acknowledge that we turn away from a pattern of abuse and abusers that can help us catch more offenders. You might as well say that the Catholic priest scandal had nothing to do with the Catholic community because most child rapists are not Catholic priests. The latter is true but it is also irrelevant.

Equally, #ISIS is burying children alive, forcing other children to become soldier killers, raping and enslaving Yazidi women and children, and cutting the heads off journalists, including pro-Arab world journalists like Steven Sotloff. And all of this is done in the name of Islam.

It comes after many other horrors done in the same name. Our “ally” Saudi Arabia just beheaded 19 men and flogs women for driving, for example. 

Yet when I go on Twitter and both insist on addressing the crucial fact that the organized gang-rape gangs of Labour towns are Pakistani Muslim males, and at the same time defend Islam, the faith, and the vastly peaceable and law-abiding Muslim majority, people often accuse me of being inconsistent or not being plain-spoken enough. ‘The Religion of Peace’ said sarcastically is the contemptuous thing many tweeters say. Then they insist that #SCIS (So-Called Islamic State) are “ordinary Muslims” because the Quran says (cite controversial verse that read out of context looks hate-mongering). “Say what you like, Christianity doesn’t do that.” “Judaism doesn’t do that.” 

But the fact is, this is not true. Both our faiths DID do that. ALL major faiths have self-identifying adherents who justify torture and death in the name of their religion. I am a Catholic. In the 1400s-1600s, my church’s hierarchy was a morass of vile sin as well as housing saints and good people beyond telling. We tortured Jews in the Inquisition. We tied Protestants to the stake and burned them alive as they did to us. The tortures and deaths we meted out were as bad or worse as anything ISIS is doing now, in the name of Allah (SWT) the Compassionate, the Merciful – only we meted them out in the name of Christ Jesus, who told us “Love one another, as I have loved you.”

This Catholicism was not a different faith to the one practiced by Pope Francis or Pope St. John Paul II. It was the same faith, interpreted badly to the point of being totally the opposite to what God intended, to enable the work of the devil. It is #SCIS and rape gangs twisted view of Islam that has led them to see other faiths and races as less than themselves; to rape women and children, when the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said “Women and men are like the teeth of a comb” and orders that men be kind to women, and have sex only with their wives. All the negative traits ascribed to Islam can be found to exactly the same degree in the Holy Bible. 

And if you be apprehensive that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans, you may marry two or three or four women whom you choose. But if you apprehend that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or marry those who have fallen in your possession. Surah 4:3

Now, you can say this allows polygamy if you like. But a liberal interpretation of the verse would be that it forbids polygamy since no man can do justice to two wives at once. Compare to Judeo-Xtn Deuteronomy, 21:15-16

If a man has two wives-one beloved and the other despised-and they bear him sons, the beloved one and the despised one, and the firstborn son is from the despised one. Then it will be, on the day he [the husband] bequeaths his property to his sons, that he will not be able to give the son of the beloved [wife] birthright precedence over the son of the despised [wife]-the [real] firstborn son.

Again, this shows only the protection, or advancement, of human rights from the status quo at the time. The Islamophobes like to quote Quran verses about beating wives, or stoning to death, or attacking Jews. But let us compare: as #SCIS buries children alive, let me quote the Holy Bible, 1 Samuel 15:3

“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

Indeed, read the whole of 1 Samuel 15 if you want to see why I could never be a born-again Christian, who takes each verse in the Bible literally. It is impossible to take the Bible literally as it contradicts itself, often. 1 Samuel 15 is not compatible with a loving God, who does not desire the slaughter of infants, and who punishes Saul because he did not destroy everything but left a few cattle alive. 

And as to the verses regularly trotted out as to the inferior status of women in Islam, there are just as many in my Catholic Bible. Yet although I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God it does not mean that I need regard it all as literally true. One has to do a lot of dancing around to make 1:Samuel 15 fit with the vision of a loving God. This blog does a nice job of that

(in sum, he argues that the human author mistakenly makes the point ‘man must obey God’ by using a wrong story where Amalek is not not real, historical people, but  symbol of whatever might stand in the way of the people of God.)

To take one small example of how interpretation of holy texts is needed to get to the truth: St. John Paul II revolutionized millennia of Catholic teaching on the role of wives in marriage “Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord” – like in the Quran, a verse than puts women beneath men – not by overturning Catholic teaching (which can never happen) but by adding to the context so that the meaning is completely reversed. This verse can only be understood, he said, in light of the preceding one “Be subject to another out of reverence for Christ.” And thus, taught the Holy Father to the whole Church from the Throne of Peter (technical language meaning this is binding) YES, a wife must submit to her husband but a husband must also submit to his wife. And so they are equal.

So – like the Saint, Pope John Paul II, I honour Islam, and the Quran, and the Hadiths. I see all the references to stoning to death, offering daughters for rape, and the like, within my own Bible. It is understanding and context, and interpretation, that takes us to a place where we can see more clearly what God intended for us. 

 

On marriage:

Be subject to one another, out of reverence for Christ – Ephesians 5:21

They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them. – Quran 2:187

 

On the equal creation of men and women

 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

 

“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from this pair scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and reverence the wombs (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you.” – Quran 4:1

 

And on the true teaching of Islam on women, against which all other verses must be interpreted:

And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. – Quran 2:228

 

Finally, if #SCIS and the rape gangs truly followed Islam – and if the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish killers of centuries past had truly followed our own faiths, we would have been bound by this one, overarching truth, repeated throughout every major faith’s scriptures:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; – Lamentations 3:22

In the name of Allah, the entirely merciful, the especially merciful. – Quran 1:1

 

Amen and Ameen, and so God have mercy on us all.  

 

 

 

Cars

Could Douglas Carswell Oust Nigel Farage?

Until the polls came out, I thought Carswell would lose in Clacton. Then I saw the lead; it was a seat Roger Lord would have taken anyway for their party. While I desperately hope the Conservative candidate wins in Clacton, it looks very unlikely.

Carswell is a man I heartily despise, and I told him so, to his face, in No. 10 Downing Street, when he was organizing the People’s Pledge Referendum Campaign away from his safe seat targeting Tories who had slaved to win their marginal seats. Douglas said “I stab people in the front, not the back.” That’s not true, of course; he immediately abandoned years of Open Primary lauding and central-party-imposed candidate fighting when he, Douglas Carswell, would benefit from being a Centrally Imposed candidate (sorry Roger Lord). But I would claim that it is true of me. I told him he was a wretched bully to target Jackie Doyle-Price in Thurrock – not only did he help Labour – as on the face of it he is doing in Clacton too – but he was, from his safe southern seat, an upper-class Conservative, destroying her years of campaigning as a working-class Tory in a wafer thin  marginal. It was cruel, it was anti-team, it was selfish and vainglorious and it was bullying. I take a grim satisfaction in seeing Douglas dishonour himself so publicly by becoming a centrally-imposed candidate over the will of the local party and give the lie to everything he has pretended to stand for.  The fact that he will win in Clacton and even the theory I am about to expound do not change my view of how he behaved to a real striver who actually fought FOR the Tory cause, not against it, like Carswell.

That said; Douglas Carswell has a first class brain. And for two people who have no regard for each other we share a close friend in Dan Hannan MEP. Dan co-wrote ‘The Plan’ with Carswell (the two argued elegantly against centrally-imposed candidates). The book contained some great ideas, and some that are far too right-wing for UK voters.

We also share a strong view that Britain would be better off out of the EU. I have resented EU interference all my political life, first becoming friends with Hannan when we were both part of the Campaign for an Independent Britain at Oxford. I do believe that with total reform (and it would need to be total) the UK might stay in the EU to share simple free trade. My version of “total reform” is as follows: No free movement to Britain, out of the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, no financial rules other than free trade imposed on the UK, we could pool some international police resources for investigations, no extra-national sovereignty or judicial restraint of any kind. I do not believe in “international law”. I grate my teeth when anyone refers to an “illegal war” in Iraq, the premise being the UN needs to pass a resolution in order for the UK to go to war. That would be the UN that currently has Saudi Arabia sitting on its human rights committee.

I am for nation states and there is no doubt in my mind that we give to the EU immensely more than we get back from it.

That is why politics 101 resonates so strongly with me. You don’t split the vote of the right in a tight election and let Miliiband in. Nobody can fault Mil. He’s been honest. More immigration and no referendum. A UKIP fringe in Labour-Tory marginals equals one thing – Labour MPs. “So what, Cameron is so left they’re all the same” some UKIP supporters will tell you on Twitter. Well – and Douglas Carswell knows this – they aren’t at all the same. With Cameron as PM we get an EU referendum. With Miliband as PM we don’t. The end.

Even Nigel Farage, who is a true moron, knows that, too. But Farage hates the Tories, who kicked him out, and he doesn’t actually care in the least about an EU referendum or leaving the EU. He just wants to get on the telly, claim large expenses, etc. If he wanted an EU referendum as opposed to personal PR he would help Cameron win. UKIP, under Farage, have become a joke party. In the Newark by-election, where they were supposed to win, Farage sodded off to sunny Malta the day and night beforehand and stayed up drinking until 3 am, coming late to a count he lost handily. He’s allowed racists and sexists to stay in the party and every other week a UKIP councillor turns up saying something anti-semitic, racist or misogynist. Like a couple of weeks ago when Janice Atkinson MEP referred to a long-time UKIP activist (a Briton of Thai) origin as “some Ting-Tong or other”. Farage did nothing; Atkinson still has the whip.

This saddens me. Since UKIP voters exist – mostly but not exclusively Tories protesting that we are still in the EU – I would, like my several other Conservative MP friends – like to form a pact with them. They stay out of any tight marginal seats and we offer the party a share of peerages, or even stand back in seats like Clacton, which will have a much stronger Tory vote at the GE than a by-election and might let Labour in through the middle. We could work with their MEPs and form a block. Many things would be possible – if they weren’t a bunch of racist, sexist pigs under Farage.

Because wanting to leave the EU, lose foreign judges, control our own immigration policy, none of that is racist or barking. That’s sensible. That’s what I want and 75-80% of Tory activists want.

I would SO much rather have UKIP as a Coalition partner than the feckless “we love jihadis” LibDems.

What’s the barrier? Nigel Farage and his personally selected candidates. UKIP voters and activists are not the problem.

UKIPPers ask me why UKIP are seen as bigots. Here’s a random sample:

““no employer with a brain in the right place would employ a young, single, free woman” – Godfrey Bloom MEP

“Dear old Godders! Godfrey’s comment [as above] has been proved so right.” – Nigel Farage, asked to comment

“Why shouldn’t the Holcaust be questioned? Jewish race endemically racist.” – Grant French, UKIP PPC

“Hang em up first and ask questions later” – on Muslim women “repatriate six million immigrants” “Rothschilds controlled Hitler” “Let’s ally with Nick Griffin” (picture of Muslims burnt on a spit over a flaming Koran) – UKIP county councillor Eric Kitson

“Some Ting-Tong or other” – Janice Atkinson MEP on her Thai-British activist

““I just wish they would keep their ­homosexual nature and practices to ­themselves and stop trying to ram it down my throat telling me they are ‘normal’ when they are not.” Douglas Dennie, UKIP Bognor Regis, on gays

“Some gays prefer sex with animals” Head of Oxford UKIP Dr. Julia Gasper

“The evidence is quite clear that the percentage of homosexuals who molest children is very high and cannot be dismissed.” UKIP member Jan Zolniyac
“shop owners should be able to refuse services to gays, blacks and women” UKIP councillor Donna Edmunds

“pay your taxes to die of cancer if you want” UKIP ccllr and MEP candidate Donna Edmunds to a woman supporting the NHS

“God sent the floods for because the Tories agreed to gay marriage” – UKIP councillor

“Poofs.. dykes… perverts… Pakis…” UKIP cllr Dave Smalls, Redditch

In some cases the Kippers were sacked, in others they weren’t. In all cases, they hadn’t been vetted, and often had been saying these things publicly, for years, in their local papers, and on UKIP party member forums,  The “Hang em up first” Councillr was suspended right after  he had been elected to his County Council – meaning UKIP foisted a racist on those people for a full term.

Now no right-thinking Conservative can ally with these hate-mongers. Farage is also just a self-obsessed tosser, not interested in anything but Nigel. As well as his drunken stupor in Malta for the Newark election, Farage failed to field a UKIP candidate for the Mayor of London in 2012 because he couldn’t be arsed to put the party name on the nomination papers. In my own seat of Corby Farage promised to target me in 2010 saying “she’s definitely not our kind of people.” (Thank you Nigel, much appreciated). However in the end, his candidate, who had campaigned for years in the seat, didn’t stand, because he didn’t have the money for his deposit and the central party would not lend him the last £100.

Farage doesn’t care about getting out of the EU – or he’d help us get that referendum – or UKIP as a party – or he’d have helped out in Newark instead of getting shit-faced like a spotty teenager til 3am in a holiday resort. He cares about Nigel.

Finally then, there is – there must be – an opportunity for a UKIP-Tory alliance, if the racism and sexism are ditched. Farage is part and parcel of that racism and sexism by his inaction and slovenly “leadership” picking candidates. For UKIP to grow, Farage has to go. On the face of it, UKIP and the Tories share one giant common goal. An EU referendum. They should work together to achieve it.

As much as I don’t like Carswell, he is no racist and no sexist. He said ‘early days’ right next to Farage when asked if he’d be loyal. And today he has given an interview to Cathy Newman in which he repudiates Farage’s sexist crap:

Interesting that, because Farage has talked about not wanting to bequeath a country made “unrecognisable” by mass immigration to his children and grandchildren. Whoever you talk to in Ukip, there’s a strong sense of discomfort with 21st century Britain.

Carswell on the other hand waxed lyrical about the multi-cultural, equal-opportunity Britain displayed in the Olympics opening ceremony two years ago.

“I like the country the way it is: I like the greater equality and I feel very strongly about this. And I will have those arguments with people wherever I find it,” he promised.

Including with his leader, who’s said a woman in the City who takes time off to have children is “worth far less to the employer when she comes back than when she went away”?

It seems so.

Because Carswell couldn’t disagree more with Farage, going out of his way to make clear he “would never characterise the argument about maternity leave in those ways…I think one of the great things about this country that is so much better and has got so much better is the fact that women and men have greater equality and it’s improved the life chances of men as well as women. If I come across attitudes that are out of date and that jar with my understanding of how modern Britain should be I will always tackle that.”

Farage should take note.

Newman thinks this means that Carswell will just leave UKIP and be independent. I hope that’s not so. I hope instead he will do what I once suggested Dan Hannan do – if and only if Tory HQ approved of it – and fight Farage for the leadership of UKIP. I believe that sensible UKIPPers like Patrick O’Flynn MEP despair of Farage. They would like a real Eurosceptic party without all the rants and hate that come with Farage’s version.

Carswell already ditched his principles by becoming a centrally-imposed candidate over the will of a local party. If, however, he is elected and then thrusts Farage aside, to make UKIP electable, to form a Tory-UKIP marginals pact in order to gain what Carswell has forever sworn is his great aim in politics – an EU referendum – then while I will never like the guy, it won’t matter; he would have realigned British politics for the good and helped achieve something I have wanted since those CIB days.

If he gets elected and helps Farage, he helps Miliband, and he destroys that referendum chance. Douglas fancies himself as a modern-day Leveller. I guess we are about to find out what he’s made of.

 

Margot

Dear Prime Minister, please promote Margot James

There was only one true mystery after David Cameron’s pitch-perfect reshuffle last week.

Where was Margot James?

I realise the risk in publishing a ‘please promote my mate’ blog about any MP, not least to the MP themselves, but that is not what I am doing here. Firstly, I know and like just about every Tory MP in the 2010 intake, and I understand there isn’t room in government for all of them, especially when LibDem obstructionists have a third of government seats (notice all those female and BME LibDem ministers by the way? Oh. Me neither). Secondly. Margot James had absolutely nothing to do with this blog and would never have approved of my writing it. And I know those that feed back to the PM will understand that.

Now that my interest has been properly declared, it is worth saying that the entire political lobby in the UK agrees with me on the merit of Stourbridge’s finest. “What, pray, has Margot James done wrong?” tweeted Tim Shipman of the Times, formerly the Mail, a grande dame of Fleet Street himself, being then retweeted by Jane Merrick, Political Editor of the Independent on Sunday. Prior to the reshuffle, Margot James was being tipped everywhere from the Guardian to the Belfast Telegraph – her name was on nearly every list.

And this is because, inexplicably, Margot James has not been promoted before. Every Parliament-watcher was expecting her elevation long before now. She is a hard worker, above average in both speaking and voting. She is loyal: “Hardly ever rebels against their party”. She is extremely nice, and has no enemies that I know of on either side of the house. She is well-regarded locally, and her local paper were none too pleased to find their favorite daughter overlooked yet again. 

James is that rare breed, a person who has truly succeeded before entering politics. One of Britain’s most successful female entrepreneurs, she worked as a corporate leader in PR, winning “communicator of the year” in 1997 and selling the company she founded for millions not long after that. She resigned from the Tory party after Maggie was ousted, but rejoined, and fought the safe Labour seat of St. Pancras before taking Stourbridge from Labour in the last election.  Her service to the Conservative party is not four solid Parliamentary years, it is in fact a lifetime of work.

And James, who had a life and a business before getting elected, is not as young as she looks. She is 56 with a lifetime of achievement few MPs can ever hope to match. I say this with hesitation, but somebody has to, so it may as well be me; not promoting Margot James in this Parliament is more than a mistake, it is an insult.

The PM has made Nicky Morgan Education Secretary, but also Minister for Women. Because Nicky voted against equal marriage, he has given implementation of that law to the promoted Nick Boles MP, now an education minister. This is a mistake. I have long argued in public and in private that the women and equality brief should not be an afterthought shunted as a secondary responsibility to this ministry or that ministry, distracting a SecState from her more important job (previously Maria Miller, as SoS for Culture, was also Minister for Women). Margot James would be the perfect person to be Women and Equalities Minister. She is gay, and she is a feminist, previously Vice-Chairman of the Party for Women. But more than that, she brings a Conservative, libertarian, business-minded feminism to the brief. Women and Equalities should be a Minister of State position inside the Cabinet Office, and the holder should have the right to attend Cabinet.

Margot James would do things with this brief. She would end the scandal of OFSTED guidance on Muslim schools that breaches the Equality Act (forced wearing of the veil, even for non-Muslim girls, forced segregation). She would get rid of the anomalies that favor men throughout the system. She would stand up for equality of opportunity – that was at the heart of Thatcherism.

Failing this, the PM should correct his mistake. It would be a sign of his strength and flexibility. He should either make her a senior whip or make her co-Chairman of the Party (I don’t care if there are three) and a Cabinet Minister right away. She is able, loyal, experienced, hard-working, 56, charming, and has proven ability to run a whelk stall.

Come on David – make us all happy.

David Cameron has had a lot of work and loyalty from Margot James, who because she was an entrepreneur, gay, telegenic and full of substance, was asked by CCHQ to do much extra work in 2010 on the media to win our party the election. She took on those duties unstintingly, as well as ousting a Labour MP from her marginal seat. The Prime Minister owes Margot James a debt. He too is hardworking and loyal. It is time for him to pay his debt. Margot was chosen to represent the ‘new face’ of the modern Tory party and she surely does. It’s time to show that this was not just a PR stunt, and that we believe that impressive entrepreneurs like her are exactly what the Party offers the voters to run the nation.

To my knowledge, Margot, though undoubtedly disappointed at not having been promoted up until now, has always bitten her tongue. This time, though, it clearly bothered her. To Shipman’s tweet, she replied “I don’t know Tim, but if you ever find out, let me know!”

If Margot James is lost to the party it will be a massive embarrassment. It should not happen. She should be promoted now, to give her a year in place before the election. Cameron can make it happen. We need Women to Win, is a great Conservative slogan. We also need women WHO win. And that’s Margot James, Conservative MP for Stourbridge.

Gilad3

Compassion Fatigue – Why The West Is Washing Its Hands

 

The night before the three Israeli teens were found dead, I had a particularly vivid nightmare. I have no doubt it was caused by seeing too many shots and videos of Isis barbarity; crucifixions, amputations, Muslim men lined up like cattle to be shot in a ditch by other Muslims.

I do not remember most of the dream, apart from the sequence that woke me up. Two children, around seven, were blindfolded and an ISIS terrorist was preparing to kill them. In my dream I screamed out for mercy, saying they were just children, and flung myself towards them and then I woke up, heart pounding, drenched in sweat.

Later in the same day, on Twitter, the UN posted a picture of a Syrian child reaching up for a hug. Assad and Putin are starving these children to death, operating mass torture factories. We didn’t act and now it’s too late. ISIS filled the gap left by Obama. And they spread. Evil against evil.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram kidnapped 90 more girls. These are Christian women who will be forced at gunpoint to pretend to convert to Islam, then raped for the rest of their lives to men to whom they are sold.

In the Sudan, Meriam Ibrahim, Christian, wife of one American and mother of two more, was released from Sudanese custody after the US embassy apologised – yes, apologised – for issuing her a visa. The Sudan is currently detaining her two American children and Obama is doing nothing.

When later that same day I heard the teenagers were found dead, I could not imagine the horror of their mothers, or fathom that Hamas – who at one stage wanted to be thought legitimate – would blatantly say nothing to admit guilt in kidnapping them and shooting them. How scared they must have been.

And my dream came back to me very vividly. How I had screamed out to the man begging him for mercy. I wanted to beg a sorrowing and vengeful Israel for mercy. Please, go after the killers but only them. Please, do not storm into the West Bank and engage in collective punishment. Because then somebody else’s boys might die. I said as much on Twitter and was immediately accused of being anti-Israeli, a typical European and an Arabist.

Israel went in and blew up the houses of the suspected kidnappers. These kidnappers have not been caught or tried, but their house was blown up. A child was injured. Another teen, Yusuf was his name – Joseph, in Western parlance, a Hebrew name – aged 18 was shot in the chest in a refugee camp in Jenin. IDF forces say he threw a grenade at them. Palestinians claim he was a passer by. One thing is for sure, neither the injured child nor the dead teen played any role in murdering the three Israeli boys. But they were the ones who were hurt. If Israel invades Gaza, civiliians, probably young children too, will die. That is a fact.

But to say as much is to be anti-Israeli? No; no. And to say to the Muslim world, your silence is disgusting on ISIS, your funding of Syrian terror is disgusting; you fat bastards in your radical mosques in Bradford and elsewhere, radicalising English boys and sending them off to die while you sit at home doing sod all but get fat. Fatness is a part of it. Fatness, slovenliness, warmongering from teststerone free fuckers who would no more endanger themselves than go for a jog in the morning or get a real job. Is that Islamophobia? God no, no it is not. Who is killing more Muslims than anybody else? Is it Obama’s drones or Israeli rockets? No, it’s OTHER BLOODY MUSLIMS – ISIS are the biggest Islamophobes in the whole world.

And so when I say to Israel for the love of G-d, go after those who took your boys and no more, and am greeted by a cry of traitor, I feel like putting my head in my hands.

I think it’s time for some straight talk.

Israel, I don’t care if you are tired of the word ‘restraint’. You need to show some. Because you are losing the West. You have no idea how badly you are losing the west. Yes, Hamas are terrorists. Yes, subhuman pigs slaughtered the Fogel children, and Palestinians just as subhuman celebrated that. By all means, go after them. But if you cannot go in precisely, do not go in at all. When the IRA bombed London we did not strike Dublin. We went after individuals. Israel, I say to you with my hand on my heart; the Gaza rocket strikes have killed NO ISRAELIS. They don’t WORK. They are the weak efforts of losers. you need to understand that the West does not think it is proportionate to reply to NO DEATH with DEATH. Would I stand for rockets, would I stand for my children with PTSD because of constant rocket fire, no I would not. But my answer would be just as the earlier operations in #BringBackOurBoys – go in and capture Hamas leaders and politicians. Take the individuals. Jail them. They are terrorists. Try them. In a court. Do not reply to NO DEATH with DEATH. Hamas strikes do not kill Israelis but Israeli strikes do kill Palestinian civilians. And the rest of the world believes this imbalance is wrong.

‘Screw you, why the hell should you care what we think?” Well, you should care because with every settlement you build you are losing American public opinion. And that means that American Jews VOTE DEMOCRAT. And that means you get Barack Obama as your President and John Kerry as Secretary of State. That means you get Syria. And ISIS. That means you weaken Israel. Materially. In terms.

Israel is the victim of amazing hatred, the hatred that posts swastikas on Facebook pages to celebrate the death of those three kidnapped boys. And Israel was right – absolutely right – to build that giant wall. No Israeli buses or cafés have blown up since. The rockets do nor work. Israelis are safe.

But dearest Israel, you have no right to be in the settlements. Nobody thinks you have a right to be in the settlements. The 2012 film the Gatekeepers, featuring the last six heads of the Shin Bet, showed Israeli intelligence forces did not want the settlements. There will be no peace and no security until the settlements come down. You must dismantle the settlements unless you wish to live in this sick and deadly farce until the end of time.

And Palestine. You must stop your vicious attacks, your celebration of dead Israeli babies taken from their cots and decapitated, of the four year old Fogel boy who was reading his book in his bed when they slit his throat. You come across as inhuman, subhuman hatemongers when you do that. You MUST RECOGNISE THE STATE OF ISRAEL and give up this right to return crap. The land belonged to the Jews before it belonged to you. It is theirs. They are not going anywhere. You should take the occupied territories and build on them and live in a two-state solution with peace.

And Muslims need to stop looking at Israel whose crimes are so few in comparison to those of Assad, of Putin, of ISIS, of Saddam – of the Saudi secret police who burned those girls alive for being improperly veiled. Jerusalem is the least of the enemies of the Ummah. The sick Iraqi cycle of Sunni in power, oppress Shia, Shia in power, oppress Sunni – Islam now is fighting as Christianity did in the 1500s, with all the accompanying tortures and burnings at the stake. They are crucifying other Muslims in Iraq. They are gassing Muslim children in Syria. They are stoning Muslim rape victims and lashing them. They are stoning mothers for adultery. They are hanging Iranian gay Muslim men. I know one thing, I know that Allah – that HaShem, that God – is fucking pissed off with the lot of us.

And here’s the thing. Feel free to ignore all this and write comments saying how awful I am and have no idea. But I will tell you something. The appetite of the ordinary Western voter to lift a finger – even to help in Syria as Muslim children starve – it has totally evaporated. The thought of Israel invading Gaza in some sick act of collective punishment leaves American and British voters cold. Nobody gives a flying fuck anymore. The average Westerner is saying to themselves “these are a bunch of savages and who cares if they kill each other.” Iraq will get no help. Afghans will get none. Syrians will get none. We hear no cries of outrage from the Muslim world. We see no moves from Israel to move to a just peace and get out of territory that does not belong to Israel, the settlements. We see no willingness to compromise and nothing more than a bloody merry go round of torture and death by asshole adults who will throw children and families to the wind because they will never, ever back down.

And so we just don’t care.

And by “we” I mean almost all voters. Not me – I care, I care incredibly. I wanted targeted air strikes against Assad. Now instead we have ISIS crucifying Muslims and Syrian kids starving.

The Torah says, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” – that means, it is mine to take; it is not yours to take. Te Qu’ran begins “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” Say it and believe it. What is He? What is He? Is Allah the Merciful pleased as you shoot teenage boys in the head for being Jews, or Muslims in a ditch because they follow a different sect to you?

The Middle East is the cradle of civilization. If it carries on like this, it will also be its grave.

And you will all – Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs and Persians – you will all be on your own.

UPDATE: HAS Rusbridger exposed thousands of GCHQ personnel?

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UPDATE: Scroll down to see video of Rusbridger admitting that he gave the GCHQ files, unredacted, to Glenn Greenwald, files Glenn Greenwald did not already have. So that his claim to Parliament to have control of the files is false.

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It seems apparent that the information exchange wiki betrayed by the Guardian did not just include the odd name – the Guardian’s own descriptions imply that it included entire staff directories; which is logical as after all, this is exactly the sort of information GCWIKI would have been set up to share. We might be talking about many thousands of names. This could be a security disaster of unparalleled proportions.

Journalists have asked me on Twitter if I really want to see Alan Rusbridger arrested. Yes, I do; and here’s why.

It was always incredibly bad that he had exposed British intelligence agents to foreigners, willfully, having admitted that doing so would expose them. My prior blog below shows how he redacted all their names from the files he FedExed to ProPublica but then decided he couldn’t be arsed on the 25,000 files he sent unredacted to the NYT and Glenn Greenwald.

A comment was left on that last blog that I have to reproduce. It shows that every agent exposed by Rusbridger has had their career ruined for the duration of it; none of them can ever work in the field again. Furthermore, the writer makes the compelling case that the NSA-GCHQ wiki, which the New York Times published extracts from, and the directories of staff interests like gay and lesbian clubs, ghost hunting clubs etc, mean that Rusbridger has actually sent abroad not just a handful of names, as he claimed to Parliament “there were names on power points” but actually thousands of GCHQ names.

It is possible he has exposed the names of every person working at the agency. I checked this comment with Prof John Schindler, @20Committee on Twitter. Schindler is former NSA Top Secret plus cleared, a senior NSA officer, and currently a Professor at the Naval War college in Boston.

He says that my commenter is “very probably” right on the wiki and its directories. Here’s the comment:

As a total security imbecile, Rusbridger fails (or refuses) to grasp this basic concept: Any intelligence operative whose name is exposed to journalists, or put in a position where the likelihood of their identities being publically exposed is at greater risk, CAN NEVER BE DEPLOYED COVERTLY.
The issue here is not that ‘no names have been published’, it is that a) copying and trafficking them in a way that gives poor assurance over their long-term control and b) allowing such vast visibility of their names to unvetted journalists has had significant implications for those staff safety, deployability and careers. This also puts the Agencies operational effectiveness in peril – operational staff are difficult to recruit, train, retain and protect. To have even tens of staff blown could cause entire business areas to grind to a halt and lead to further attrocities on the streets of the UK.

Let’s take an example: we necessarily have a sizeable security presence in Northern Ireland. Therefore there were almost certainly named staff within those files who work in Northern Ireland or would have been required to do so at some point in their careers. If names were to hit wikileaks then there is a real and tangible prospect of those staff in such high risk environments being hunted down and killed. In this situation they would have to leave their homes within minutes of publication. With documents shipped extensively internationally, with hundreds of journalists given access does Rusbridger seriously think it would now be viable for such staff to remain in environments like Northern Ireland, does he think such staff who were already deployed there could remain regardless of whether the Guardian actually published the names? Is this a risk HMG can take? Of course not. This is why it is a criminal offence to communicate names and this is why HE HAS CAUSED GREAT DAMAGE.

Those staff may have been employed for another 40 years, can Rusbridger give any long-term assurances over control of those documents he shipped? Of course not.

It seems apparent that the information exchange wiki betrayed by the Guardian did not just include the odd name – the Guardian’s own descriptions imply that it included entire staff directories; which is logical as after all, this is exactly the sort of information GCWIKI would have been set up to share. We might be talking about many thousands of names. This could be a security disaster of unparalleled proportions.

In his Witness statement, Oliver Robbins stated that:

‘I am advised that information already obtained has had a direct impact on decisions taken in regards to staff deployments and is therefore impacting operational effectiveness’

So it sounds like this damage is already happening.

Lives and careers put at risk and families uprooted for Mr Rusbridger’s convenience? It is difficult to conceive of a more treacherous, reckless act.

Do I think that Rusbridger would have sent the files over if he had realised the wikis contained directories with thousands of names? No – I don’t think him as bad as that. Or that he deliberately scorched the careers of every intel officer named in the files? Again, no. I can’t think so ill of the man as that. But it’s the smugness of thinking he knows better, that he is, as he has said many times, above the law – didn’t want “judges” getting hold of the story – and the determination to secure for his financially failing paper some online traffic that led him to do this wicked thing. Time and again Rusbridger has been shown not to understand the basics of intel. He kept the files in a “secure room” with floor to ceiling windows covered with blinds, ideal for laser mikes. They could pick up any detail of conversations about those files in that room. This had to be pointed out to him by civil servants and was one reason he agreed to destroy his hard copy of the files (and this is by his own account).

He has cited this wholly false, fake figure of 850k people having access to the GCHQ documents – which is the total number of US personnel cleared Top Secret. Intelligence doesn’t work like that, there is compartmentalisation, it’s on a need to know basis only. As Prof Schindler has said he was given the topmost NSA security clearance and he did not see, have access to or know about these files.

Rusbridger is a journalist; he doesn’t know what’s safe and what’s not, or how intel works. As my commenter says (and my commenter is not using his real name) this is precisely why it is a criminal offence to communicate names. I will be writing today to Commander Cressida Dick at the Metropolitan Police to put in a complaint of a criminal offence based on this, as she has said anyone can do yesterday in Parliament. It is to be hoped that other journalists will hold Rusbridger to account on what he has done, but there is a massive amount of establishment clubbery going on. We must rely on the police not to be intimidated by a very powerful press axis. A free press under the law means just that, and it’s why hacking trials are now proceeding.

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UPDATE: I had not seen the video of the brilliant Mark Reckless MP, a barrister, questioning Rusbridger. He forced him to admit that he communicated names, and that was the headline on Twitter, but I was struck by something further. In this video, Reckless gets Rusbridger to admit that he handed the GCHQ files unredacted to Greenwald (he flew them via James Ball to Rio after Ball couried the files to the NYT).

Greenwald is an insane lunatic, and has provided all kinds of GCHQ stories that even the NYT would not touch to outlets around the world. Rusbridger likely misled Parliament when he said he had not lost control of the files, as in no way whatever can he vouch for Glenn Greenwald, who played him for a total fool by dumping him and the Guardian for a $250m “new media” outlet as soon as he got the GCHQ files. Greenwald did not originally have the GCHQ files from Snowden – that is why Poitras was trying to courier them to him using Miranda at the Guardian’s expense – but Alan Rusbridger handed them to him. It is impossible to imagine anything more reckless and disgusting.

Remember, Greenwald tweeted that he didn’t have all the files, and that only the Guardian had the GCHQ files. Now he does have all the files. Because the genius of “kept control” Rusbridger handed them over.

Why did Rusbridger do it? Well, we know from Miranda’s Buzzfeed story that the Guardian published a story on command, by 5pm, when Greenwald threatened to resign. Most likely Greenwald, who was unhappy that Rusbridger sent files to the times, threatened again to resign if Rusbridger didn’t hand him the files via James Ball. Rusbridger didn’t have NSA files – only GCHQ ones. So he did the deal with Greenwald in order to have access to Greenwald’s NSA data.

Shoddy. Appalling. Something else for the police to consider. That Espresso Italy story on  the GCHQ base? Rusbridger’s responsibilty, for shipping these files to the maniac Greenwald. What a craven coward, bowing to Greenwald’s blackmail in that way. I cannot help but have a slight tinge of admiration in Greenwald’s hoodwinking him so easily and taking his GCHQ files straight to a for-profit French billionaire.

http://markreckless.com/2013/12/04/video-mark-reckless-mp-quizzes-the-guardians-alan-rusbridger/

Rusbridger admits shipping agents’ names – what now?

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MPs today got Alan Rusbridger to admit a number of things he, and his paper had previously denied.

Firstly, that he shipped the names of GCHQ agents abroad to newspapers and bloggers. Mr. Rusbridger was reminded that this was a criminal offence, and said he had a public interest defence. He also, however, kept arguing that he hadn’t published any names, which rather blows up his public interest defence – it’s self-evident that you don’t need the names of intelligence agents to report on GCHQ spying, so why not redact them?

The fact is, Rusbridger did acknowledge that it put GCHQ agents at risk when he first shipped files to ProPublica. He redacted the names of GCHQ agents from those files, and he promised the government he had done so, so when he claims nobody from the government asked him about shipping names, it’s possibly because they made the mistake of believing him.

Rusbridger replied that the files contained information that citizens in a democracy deserved to know, and he assured Heywood that he had scrubbed the documents so that no undercover officials were identified or put at risk.

If British papers had the guts to question members of their own club, they would ask Rusbridger why he scrubbed these documents – his answers to Parliament have said that only publication would be risky – and why he admitted to Heywood that undercover officials would be put at risk if he identified them.

In Parliament today when asked why he didn’t redact the names he said there were 58,000 documents – essentially, he could be bothered to go through the <100 files he FedExed to ProPublica, but could not be bothered to go through the entire batch he sent to the NYT.

Really? He couldn’t take a week, and black out agents’ names? There were copies of the docs in the Guardian offices in New York, so time was not an issue for Rusbridger – instead, he exposed the names.

Perhaps worst of all, Rusbridger confirmed my very worst suspicions, which were that he hadn’t even read through the top secret files before shipping them. He redacted no names; he redacted no operational details; he didn’t even read them. And by “he” I mean any employee of the Guardian. Nobody at that paper read the 58,000 documents through, not even once, before sharing them in bulk.

A solid British press would ask these questions – let’s hope I am pleasantly surprised.

Because no Guardian journalist even read the files, they do not know how many agents’ names are now out there. And I suspect that it is a lot worse than agents’ names. The Guardian’s August story about life inside GCHQ (gay and lesbian clubs, fundraisers, etc etc) revealed so much detail that it seems highly probable the 58,000 files contain the following: agents’ names, names of members of their families, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, Skype accounts and other contact details. The Guardian’s piece on sports days and teams, family days out etc implies that all this personal information is in those 58,000 files. Will any paper ask if it is in there?

Rusbridger also forced another paper, the Daily Mail, to run a “correction” of its story on names, denying that the Guardian had shipped the names, on Oct 9th:

An earlier version of this article indicated that the number of files the Guardian FedExed to America was tens of thousands; the Guardian has since indicated that it numbered less than 100.

The newspaper also said that the files it FedExed to America did not contain any names of British spies.

This was another attempt to hoodwink the British press, just like their fake reporting on the “Miranda innocent spouse” story. Today, Rusbridger admitted Miranda was paid to be a courier. He could hardly deny it, after Miranda threw him under the bus on Buzzfeed, stating that the Guardian originally wanted to use a staffer to fly the files to Brazil, had baulked at the illegality, then Rusbridger had suggested FedExing the lot, and finally chose to pay Miranda to do it.

But will other papers call them on their bullshit? It seems unlikely.

At least we now have the truth, something many of my followers on Twitter have been denying for months, ever since I first raised the spectre of the names of our agents being shipped abroad. Those names are completely unnecessary to the story, and to the reporting. With a modicum of patience Rusbridger could have followed the responsible course he took with the ProPublica scrubbing. But he chose not to bother.

Communicating, and not just publishing, the names is a clear offence under the Terrorism Act 2000. There’s a public interest defence. I would hope the police will interview Rusbridger and ask what public interest required him not to redact the names. I would hope the government, and GCHQ, ask him to tell them all the names of the agents they have shipped around the world, to more places than America – for example, they gave the GCHQ files to Glenn Greenwald, and they are responsible for whatever Greenwald publishes with them.

Lastly, what the Guardian should do is give GCHQ its own copy of the files, so they can take steps to protect national security. Thanks to the Guardian, hundreds of bloggers, journalists and all their friends and contacts have access to these files – what harm can it do to let GCHQ have them too? Of course, the exposed agents need to know. But all the security secrets need also to be known. Such a move wouldn’t prevent the NYT, or the Guardian or ProPublica from publishing, so there is no journalistic reason not to share the files. But it’s abundantly clear that the FSB control Edward Snowden and have access to all his files – and therefore the Guardian should let GCHQ know what is now in the Russians’ hands.

The government must not be afraid of the press, nor the press of the government. The Govt should seek an injunction for copies of the material to be provided to GCHQ. It could not stop the NYT publishing, and so there is no press freedom argument left; but there is a very clear national security argument. Moreover, of his own volition, Alan Rusbridger should tell GCHQ what names are out there – not just of our agents, but of their families, and if home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers or any other identifying material is in those documents. I bet that it is in there, that Alan Rusbridger knows so, and that he has failed to disclose this to the men and women in danger. And I remind readers that when it comes to what the Guardian has been covering up, I have, most unfortunately, been right every time.

P.S. – this will be the last of my blogs here. This was set up as a general holding blog after Jux shut down and before I set up a new themed site; I planned to blog on politics, but being the first person to call bullshit on the Guardian’s “Miranda wronged spouse” story I had to follow it where it led. Today’s admissions in Parliament by Rusbridger of everything I have been arguing seem like a natural place to close the account. I am grateful I have been able to expose that paper’s many lies, and the contempt they have for our agents at GCHQ. For all those of you men and women who work there, I hope you will remember that many more people are with you than against you, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for defending us, whatever millionaire editors and their media cronies are happy to expose you. Please remember that what you do is about our country, not some peacocking middle-class men from Hampstead. God bless all of you, who don’t get celebrated on Remembrance Day and who don’t wear uniforms, and who have nobody out there to speak for you. Julian Smith MP and his colleagues in Parliament, and Labour and Tory MPs on the Committee, have done their best for you today. Once again, thank you.

PPS – on that 850,000 figure, it is another lie by Alan Rusbridger. That is according to him the total number of people with Top Secret clearance in the US and UK – but as he knows, all intelligence agencies operate on a “Need to Know” basis only. Being cleared Top Secret doesn’t give you the right to view GCHQ materials or files unless you have a direct need to know about them. That is called “compartmentalization” and it is a basic principle of intelligence. Rusbridger knows this, but continues to lie and use this fake 850k figure. It fits perfectly with his paper’s pattern of lies and deceit as to their handling of this story.

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