Sunday, 21 August 2016

Be Careful What You Gloat Over, Be Careful Who You Blame

Channelling his inner Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway, Peter Hitchens writes:

Who can fail to be moved and grieved by the sight of a small child in distress? But please do not let your emotions stop you thinking.

The picture of the shocked Aleppo survivor, Omran Daqneesh, like that of the drowned child Alan Kurdi last year, should not be allowed to enforce a conformist opinion on the world.

The death of Alan Kurdi did not mean that it was wise to fling wide the borders of Europe (as Germany’s Angela Merkel now well knows). 

The rescue of Omran Daqneesh should not make us side with the bloody and merciless Syrian rebels.

Why is Aleppo a war zone in the first place? Do you know? I will tell you.

Syria was a peaceful country until it was deliberately destabilised by Saudi Arabia and its fanatical, sectarian Gulf allies, consumed with hatred for the Assad government and, above all, its ally Iran.

Worse, this monstrous intervention was supported by the USA, Britain and France, all sucking up to the Saudis for oil, money and arms contracts.

In the hope of bringing down Assad, we made a devil’s bargain with some of the worst fanatics in the Middle East, people who make Anjem Choudary look like the Vicar of Dibley.

We know of Britain’s role for certain because of the very strange case of Bherlin Gildo, a Swedish man accused by British authorities of attending a terror training camp in Syria.

His trial collapsed in June 2015 because his defence lawyers argued that the terror groups he was accused of supporting had been helped by British intelligence.

The Assad state, as you might expect, defended itself against its attackers, helped in the end by Iran and Russia.

And the war which followed was the ruin of Syria, whose innocent people found their peaceful cities and landscape turned into a screaming battlefield, as it still is.

If you are truly grieved by the picture of poor little Omran, just be careful who you blame.

And:

Anjem Choudary, broadcasting’s favourite Islamist loudmouth, was and is a vain, bloviating, blowhard fraud, another boozy drug-taking low-life posing as a serious person.

He found a role and fools to indulge him, many in the same media who now queue up to rejoice at his imprisonment.

But I do not feel safer from terror now that he is locked up.

Worse, I feel less safe from Chairman May’s sour-faced surveillance state, which takes a dim and narrow view of free speech and liberty.

Choudary has been locked up not for what he did but for what he said. Claims he influenced anyone into crime are thin.

Even the sneaky wording of the Terrorism Act, in which he was charged with ‘inviting’ support for IS, is suspicious.

It sounds like ‘inciting’, and is meant to, for incitement to terror and murder is a real crime, even in free countries.

But it isn’t the same as ‘inviting’, a much weaker word.

You may gloat that Choudary is eating Islamic porridge. But be careful what you gloat over.

A law as loose as this could easily be used against anyone the state doesn’t like. I predict that it will be, too.

By the way, I spent several hours last week circling Government offices trying to find out how many such charges there have been – the CPS sent me to the Justice Ministry, they told me to call the Home Office, who sent me back to the CPS.

This pathetic pass-the-parcel evasion suggests they don’t care much.

This stuff is propaganda, not genuine security.

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