Tony Greenstein | 14 November 2015 | Post Views:

The bombings and
shootings in Paris last night should be condemned unreservedly.  There isn’t a shred of justification for the
murder of over 120 innocent people by the fascists of ISIS. 
However, as the
article from New Matilda in Australia makes clear, our grief should not be
selective.  47 people died in twin
suicide bombings in Beirut this week and there was no outpouring of grief.  Likewise over 100 people died in Ankara last
month at a Kurdish peace rally.  Again
there was little reaction.
Two  explosions outside football match

The first two bombings
were carried out by ISIS, the latter bombing was very likely to have been
carried out by the Turkish state which had deliberately been operating a
strategy of tension in order to secure a victory for Erdogan’s AKP in the
general election last weekend.

Demonstration in Turkish Kurdish areas against the Ankara bombings are tear gassed
But it goes further
than that.  The West has condoned, if not
supported, the maintenance of a rear base in Turkey by Isis.  The Turkish state, for whom the Kurdish PKK
and PYD are the main enemy, has deliberately supported Isis, allowed its
fighters and supporters to cross the border, allowed its trade in oil and other
materials from Turkey to Syria whilst doing its best to prevent support for the
Kurds in Syria to reach its intended target.
The aftermath of the Ankara bombing by the Turkish state and ISIS
NATO has specifically
supported the Turkish attack on the Kurds, even though the Kurds are the only
effective ground fighters against Isis, as even the United States has had to
accept.  Even worse, the USA has
supported, via its Saudi and Gulf clients, the supply of weaponry to a variety
of Jihadist groups in Lebanon, including the al-Qaeda group Al Nusra and
similar groups.
Erdogan’s Ankara bombings
Our own BBC is, not
unnaturally, party to this cover-up.  In How the BBC Erased All Trace of Saudi Support for Al Qaeda in Syria  I cited Glenn Greenwald as showing that the Saudi claim that it was not
supplying al-Nusra (al Qaeda) but only Jaish al-Fatah (Army of
was a complete lie since al-Nusra is the main
component of the Army of Conquest.  When
this was  pointed out to the BBC, since
it is common knowledge,  (even The
, in an early October article complaining that Russia was bombing
non-ISIL rebels,” noted that the Army of Conquest “includes a number of
Islamist groups, most powerful among them Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra”

and even the CIA station Voice of America noted that “Russia’s main target has been
the Army of Conquest, an alliance of insurgent groups that includes the
al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, and the hard-line Islamist group
Ahrar al-Sham, as well as some less extreme Islamist groups.”
trio embrace after Bataclan concert hall bombing in Paris
What did the BBC do?  It simply edited out all mention of The Army of Conquest  Gulf Arabs ‘stepping up’ arms supplies to Syrian rebels  stating that ‘The well-placed official, who asked not to be named, said (that)
… those groups being supplied did not include either Islamic State (IS) or
al-Nusra Front, both of which are proscribed terrorist organisations. Instead,
he said the weapons would go to the Free Syrian Army and other small rebel
If you look at the small
correction at the bottom of the article it says ‘Correction 23
October 2015: A reference in an earlier version of this story had wrongly
indicated Jaish al-Fatah did not include the Nusra Front and has been amended.’ 
However this would be meaningless, since there is no other reference to
Jaish al-Fatah in the article.
Beirut bombing
Isis did not come out of nowhere. 
It was formerly Al Qaeda in Iraq.  
It is the nakedly sectarian stance of the US imposed Maliki government in
Iraq which drove Sunni Iraqis into its hands. 
Supplied by the Saudis, whose Wahhabism is similar to it, and staffed by
senior military ex-Baathists, Isis has grown in strength in Iraq over the last
year, despite US bombings, having taken Ramadi and Fallujah following their
capture of Iraq’s second city, Mosul.  The
only force that has been able to successfully fight them is the Kurdish
Aftermath of Ankara bombings
The only victory for the Iraq forces is in Tiqrit, Saddam Hussein’s old
town.  However its former Sunni
inhabitants are too afraid to return because of the reputation of the Shi’ite
militia who captured it. Isis in Iraq: Why Tikrit remains a ghost town two months after its liberation from militant fighters 
Beirut bombing
It is the West’s ‘peace
keeping’ starting with the invasion of Iraq that caused the situation
whereby  Isis have grown in strength and
now been able to mount a co-ordinated attack in the heart of  Paris. 
Those who, like Britain’s moronic Defence Minister, Michael Fallon, believe
it is ‘Morally indefensible’ not to bomb IS in Syria’
need their heads examined. 
Police clash with protestors over Ankara bombing 
West has been complicit in supporting the ‘moderate’ Islamists of al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham in Syria.   That is why the ‘moderates’ of the Free
Syrian Army were resurrected when Russia started bombing the Jihadists.  Regardless of whether one supports Russia’s
intervention, the fact is that Russia has had more success in one month than
the US has had in over a year of bombing, breaking the year long siege on
Kweyris airbase near Aleppo last week. 
That is what has caused the panic in the West, not least in Turkey and
with Erdogan, whose plans to invade Syria and attack the Kurds have had to be shelved.
Beirut bombings
The fruit of the West’s duplicity was
played out last night in Paris and in Beirut last week and in Ankara last
Tony Greenstein

Paris Attacks Highlight Western Vulnerability, And Our Selective Grief And Outrage

By Chris
on November 14, 2015 International
Beirut bombings
France enters yet another period of mourning, Lebanon is just emerging from one.
Not that you probably heard anything about it. Chris Graham reports.
The Eiffel Tower
you didn’t know better, you could be excused for believing that the planning
behind the latest terrorist attack in Paris is about more than just causing
widespread death and fear in the West.
looks like it’s also designed to highlight our selective outrage.
France Paris Shooting
dozens of people have been confirmed dead in a series of coordinated attacks in
sites have fired up live blogs. Serious news Channels such as Sky are providing
blanket 24-hour coverage of the event, and, as with all things tragedy, media
are competing with each other for scoops and gory videos.
leaders are also out in force, condemning the attacks. Australian Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference in Berlin a short time ago,
after sending out this message of solidarity with the French people.
injured man carried by rescue workers Paris
thoughts, prayers & resolute solidarity with people of France as they
respond to brutal terrorist attacks in Paris tonight.

Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) November
14, 2015
was joined by his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
stand in solidarity with people of France in condemning horrific terrorist
attacks – my press conference:
— Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) November 14,
Tanya Plibersek also tweeted in support.
news coming out of Paris. My thoughts are with the people of France.

Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) November
13, 2015
president Francois Hollande has declared a national State of Emergency, and
closed its borders.
inside football stadium
in a brown part of the world, as the attacks began in Paris, Lebanon was just
emerging from a National Day of Mourning, after 43 people were killed and 200
more were injured during a series of coordinated suicide bombings in Beirut.
attacks – for which ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility – occurred in
the southern Beirut suburb of Burj al-Barajneh, a predominantly Shia community
which supports the Hezbollah movement. Not counting Israel’s assaults on
Lebanon, the slaughters represent the deadliest bombings in Beirut since the
Lebanese civil war ended more than two decades ago.
suspicions around the attacks in France, the bombings in Beirut are believed to
be in response to Hezbollah’s decision in recent weeks to send in troops to
support efforts in northern Syria against Islamic State.
Lebanese bombings
the bombings in Lebanon drew no tweet from Malcolm Turnbull, no social media
statement from Barack Obama, no live media blogs from Western media, no
wall-to-wall media coverage. And no twitter hashtags from Australians in
solidarity with the Lebanese.
People crowd onto football pitch
a curious state of affairs, when you consider that there are around three times
as many people of Lebanese descent living in Australian, compared to French
think if we were able to identify with anyone, it would be with Lebanese
Australians – after all, so many of them are among the most beloved in this
nation, and have contributed enormously to public life.
Bashir – perhaps the most admired Australian governor in history – is the child
of Lebanese immigrants. Her husband, Nick Shehadie is as well – he’s the former
Lord Mayor of Sydney, and a member of the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.
shooting Paris outside cafe
parliamentarian Bob Katter has Lebanese roots. Former premier of Victoria,
Steve Bracks does as well. One of the most loved rugby league stars of all time
is Hazem El Masri. Benny Elias’ parents come from Lebanon. So do Robbie
the AFL there’s Milham Hanna and Bachar Houli, and the current coach of the
Australian Wallabies, Michael Cheika, is of Lebanese descent.
site of twin suicide bombing in Burj al Barajneh, Beirut
Lebanese contribution to Australian business has also been immense – John
Symond, the founder of Aussie Home Loans has Lebanese heritage. Jacques Nasser
is the former CEO of Ford Motors in Australia. Ron Bakir of Crazy Ron’s mobile
phones was born in Lebanon, and migrated to Australia.
have, of course, been many great contributions by Australians with French
heritage – commentator Richie Benaud, actress Cate Blanchett, businessman
Robert Champion de Crespigny, politician Greg Combet, and the iconic AFL star
Ron Cazaly.
how do we explain our identification with French suffering and our apparent
indifference to Lebanese suffering? Or more to the point, how do we explain our
indifference to the suffering of people we perceive as different, Lebanese,
African, Hazara, Muslim…. Brown people.
sad reality is, Australia has been here before, and just 11 months ago. A few
days before the Charlie Hebdo massacre, terrorist organisation Boko Haram razed
the town of Baja in Nigeria, killing more than 2,000 people.
street in Beirut where bomb went off nr market
world’s media – and most of its politicians – were mostly silent. Last month, at
least another 30 people
were killed in another attack on Nigerian mosques
by Boko Haram.
followed 10 people killed in a coordinated attack near the Maiduguri Airport,
again by Boko Haram.
Islamabad Pakistan, at
least 20 people were killed
in a suicide attack on minority Shias. That
came a day after 12 were killed in an attack on another Shia shrine, this time
in the province of Balochistan.
is the Shia who were manning many of the boats that we turned away a few years
ago, as sectarian violence reached unspeakable levels in towns like Quetta in
Pakistan. When the Pakistani Taliban targeted the Hazara community in Quetta in
September 2010 at the Meezan Chowk (a market in the middle of the city), they
managed to kill at least 73 people and injure 160 more. In the background of
the bloody carnage is a billboard sponsored by the Australian Government,
warning Hazaras against the dangers of getting on a boat to come to Australia.
Meezan Chouk attack in Quetta, In September 2010. In the background is a
billboard sponsored by the Australian Government, warning locals of the danger
of getting on a boat to seek asylum.
September, at least 117 people were killed at a mosque in Nigeria, again at the
hands of Boko Haram. The simple fact is, Muslims are far more likely to die at
the hands of other Muslims – or more to the point, Islamic extremists who bear
no resemblance to average Muslims. They’re also more
likely to be killed by Westerners
, who are seeking to kill Islamic extremists.
The difference is, they’re unlikely to see an outpouring of grief in Australia,
or most of the rest of the world. But unlike Parisians, they already live in a
state of perpetual terror. That’s why many of them have fled the Middle East
for Europe, a reality which prompted this tweet this morning from American
movie star Rob Lowe, a man who adequately sums up the outrage and frustration
of white bigots everywhere.
NOW France closes its borders. #Hollande — Rob Lowe
(@RobLowe) November
13, 2015
sad reality is that these attacks will increase. You can’t stop five or eight
people with a gun and a twisted ideology, just as you can’t stop an American or
Australian military with a commercial, strategic and political interest in
are finally being given just a small taste of the constant fear that people
from other nations have endured for generations. So solidarity with, and
compassion for, the French is a good thing.
solidarity and compassion for the victims of terrorism everywhere is even
better, in particular those who’ve fallen victim to the terrorism sponsored in
all our names.

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Tony Greenstein

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