Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

After the Bombing, What Then?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Planting Peace Project page.

     Is there a "Plan B" in Barack Obama's brain? Or in David Cameron's, for that matter? I mean, we're vaguely told that air strikes against the ferocious "Islamic State" may go on for "a long time". But how long is "long"? Are we just going to go on killing Arabs and bombing and bombing and bombing until, well, until we go on bombing? What happens if our Kurdish and non-existent "moderate" Syrian fighters - described by Vice-President Joe Biden last week as largely "shopkeepers" - don't overthrow the monstrous "Islamic State"? Then I suppose we are going to bomb and bomb and bomb again. As a Lebanese colleague of mine asked in an article last week, what is Obama going to do next? Has he thought of that?

After Alan Henning's beheading, the gorge rises at the thought of even discussing such things. But distance sometimes creates distorting mirrors, none so more than when it involves the distance between the Middle East and Washington, London, Paris and, I suppose, Canberra. In Beirut, I've been surveying the Arab television and press - and it's interesting to see the gulf that divides what the Arabs see and hear, and what the West sees and hears. The gruesome detail is essential here to understand how Arabs have already grown used to jihadi barbarity. They have seen full video clips of the execution of Iraqis - if shot in the back of the head, they have come to realize, a victim's blood pours from the front of his face - and they have seen video clips of Syrian soldiers not only beheaded but their heads then barbecued and carried through villages on sticks.

Understandably, Alan Henning's murder didn't get much coverage in the Middle East, although television did show his murder video - which Western television did not. But it didn't make many front pages. Mostly the fighting between jihadis and Kurds at Ein al-Arab (Kobane) and the festival for the Muslim Eid - and the Haj in Saudi Arabia - dominated news coverage. In general, the Arab world was as uninterested in Henning's murder as we have been, for example, in the car bomb that killed 50 Syrian children in Homs last week. Had they been British children, of course...

But I'm struck by friends who've asked me why we are really carrying out air strikes when we won't put soldiers on the ground. They have noted how the families of American hostages - fruitlessly seeking mercy for their loved ones - keep repeating that they cannot make Obama do what they want him to do. Yet, don't we claim that our democratic governments can be influenced by individuals, that they do what we want?   

Get Local

Find News and Action for your state:
Regeneration International

Cool the planet.
Feed the world.

www.regenerationinternational.org

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20% Off Mercola's Organic Collagen from Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth and 20% Goes to Organic Consumers Association.