Western tolerance a red rag to the ISIL bull?

On a day like today our thoughts and potential prayers go to the British people, in the aftermath of last night’s terrible attack – the third within just as many months, leaving us blindsided and appalled, while ISIL calls for an «all-out war» during Ramadan.

You have to admire the Brits’ phlegmatic approach, as illustrated by the iconic WW2 poster:

Keep calm and carry on

Admirable as the attitude may be, it would appear that it has done little to prevent terrorist attacks. Judging by the increase in incidents, on the contrary.

My deepest fear has been that it would some day come to this, as mentioned in a June 2016 blog post; Clash of civilisations in full bloom? The problem, of course, is as follows:

ISIL’s declared intention is to create a divide, a state of war between the Muslim world and the west, a strategy which has failed completely, due to our continued tolerance of Islam and the Arab world, seriously pissing ISIL off, and motivating an increase in the terrorist organisation’s attacks, of course.

Finding myself the uncle of two adorable Muslim kids, mobilising hate against the Muslim community is, of course, an impossibility. Would be, even if it wasn’t for my sweet Muslim nephew and niece.

Having said that, I remain fearful that our failure to consider the outcome of ISIL’s war declaration a western war on Islam, rather than a war on ISIL itself, will only serve to intensify the terrorists’ efforts.

If we’re to preserve our last remnants of human decency, though, it all boils down to a damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Human decency, however, has my vote – even if it will inevitably lead to more terrorist attacks.

Luckily that is a decision I make on my own behalf only.

Top illustration: Islam critic and muslim. Blogger’s drawing.

Top six global threats

The world’s top six global threats, in no particular order.

We do of course have candidates of our own in these parts. Fortunately we are, contrary to own belief, utterly irrelevant.

Brainers og no-brainers

TV 2-korrespondent Fredrik Græsvik er angivelig beskutt i Mosul:

Personlig tar man seg imidlertid i å spørre hvordan man, som eventuell Midtøsten-korrespondent, hadde forholdt seg til saken:

  • Drar til Mosul mens det skytes intenst fra adskillige hold, forventer beskytning, blir beskutt: Ikke-nyhet
  • Drar til Mosul, aner fred og ingen fare, blir likevel beskutt: Nyhet

Ville jeg kanskje ha sagt.

Hvor ble det dessforuten av Sigurd Falkenberg Midtøsten?

Oi. Han skulle vel aldri …

Today’s terror attack yet to be seen?

We see terrorist attacks occurring more or less on a daily basis, to such a degree that this blogger honestly is about to lose track. Certainly there’s the Istanbul airport attack on … Wednesday, was it? Followed by the attack on Afghan police troops in Kabul on Thursday. Friday saw the grisly attack on foreigners in a Dhaka restaurant, while hundreds were killed in a Baghdad bombing in the early hours of yesterday.

Honestly, I had to concentrate in order to get the chronology right, but in truth I’ve really given up on keeping tabs.

The attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk international airport wasn’t even possible, judging by the boundless security measures in place, so you can’t help wondering, can you, if the French Police Nationale (formerly know as the Sûreté) – and what ever law enforcement agencies are involved – are equally prepared ahead of the upcoming Sunday’s Euro 2016 finale, to take place in Paris’s Stade de France, no more than seven months after the failed 13 November 2015 attempt, which, as we all remember, succeeded on numerous other Paris addresses on that fatal day.

Because if they are, the outcome may be just as bad.

Certainly there’s the metal detectors, the body searches and the trained eyes of countless police officers, but explosive devices come in a wide array of shapes, colours and materials, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that potential assailants aren’t very likely to resemble the fellow I drew in the above cartoon, even if a bomb disguised as a football certainly is a thought.

There’s one more thing that we know; that the so-called Islamic State certainly hasn’t ignored the opportunity to make plans for an attack of such freakish dimensions, especially considering that its last attempt failed so disastrously (depending on point of view), at least when it comes to the Stade de France, at the time harbouring France’s president François Hollande, who, along with his co-visitors, escaped without a scratch.

We can only hope that this Sunday’s attempts fail, too, but I think it’s safe to say that they will be made. However I will say this:

Terrorism is nothing to do with the damages caused by terrorist acts, but the terror (i.e. the fear) and destabilisation they instill, as any philologist might have told you. Viewed in that perspective it would be safe to say that the terrorists have indeed achieved what they set out to do. But can they be defeated?

Absolutely, but we will be advised to remember that, so long as there are causes worth fighting for (or maybe not), they will be succeeded by others. We may like it or not, but the war on terror is everlasting.

Today’s terror attack remains to be seen, though. Perhaps today will be one of those rare, terror-free occasions? Let’s hope so.

In conclusion it boils down to whether or not we are willing to let fear prevent us from leading our lives by our own choice.

Hell no.

Please note: The above drawing portrays a terrorist impersonating a Muslim, with all the ISIL trimmings. It is my firm belief that Muslims aren’t in the habit of killing innocents, but we need to appreciate that terrorists would have us believe otherwise.

Top illustration: An ISIL terrorist in front of the Stade de France. Bloggers own drawing, superimposed on stolen photograph (the football is stolen, too, except for the burning fuse).


Late edit: Of course it had to happen. Today’s terror attack took place in the Saudi city of Medina, not long ago.


Not changing my profile pic for Erdoğan

Over the last year or so I have made a habit of changing my social media profile pictures in response to various terrorist attacks. In the wake of yesterday’s most likely Daesh attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk international airport, however, I am not about to, even if I indeed made one, for illustrative purposes:

Jarle Petterson and Turkish flag.
Yours truly clad in Turkish black and white «colours».

Which is not to say that I do not condemn the atrocity and don’t feel sympathy for the Turkish people (and the scores of foreign tourists affected), I most certainly do, but find myself utterly unable to endow my profile picture with the flag of the rogue regime I’m equally unable to endorse.

If there’d been another way, I’d probably take it.

With that matter out of the way, I do sympathise with the Turks, and consider last night’s massacre an attack on us all, which I condemn strongly, albeit without making use of the Turkish authorities’ flag – except, of course, in this blog post.

In spite of last night’s events I take solace in the so-called Islamic State’s continued retreat on all fronts, which is, of course, going to inspire one spontaneous and uncontrolled counterpunch after the other, resulting in the organisation’s ultimate and swift demise.

Mens vi venter på The Blame Game

Jeg vil anta at de fleste vil si seg enig i at tirsdagens tragiske angrep på Atatürk bærer Isils kjennetegn hele veien, men jeg klarer ikke å fri meg for mistanken om at denne tegningen, av i fjor, igjen blir aktuell:

PKK, IS, Tyrkia og Nato
Det er alltid PKK som står bak. Bloggers tegning.

Fy skam, om det skulle skje, tross all medfølelse en ellers måtte ha med president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan og hans land i denne situasjonen. La oss håpe sannheten uansett kommer for en dag, for dette har Isil skrevet over hele stedet (om De tilgir anglisismen).

*Skjønt det må medgis at medfølelse med Erdoğan-regimet kan ha sine utfordringer.

Leave Isis be, please

At some point the media and politicians alike agreed that ISIS serves as a suitable name for the so-called Islamic State (of Iraq and Syria), even though the terrorist organisation spans more than just Iraq and Syria, rendering even ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) an inaccurate designation.

Others, like the BBC, for instance, are content with «the so-called Islamic State», or Daesh, even, an acronym for «al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām».

Whatever their reasons, the latter two appear a lot more precise, if not exactly to-the-point.

The thing is, of course, that the name of ancient Egypt’s goddess of health, marriage and wisdom, Isis, is dragged through the mud, which really doesn’t bother me too much, even though I think it is a shame. However, organisations and businesses all over the world use her name (although often by accident, as acronyms holding an altogether different meaning), such as:

I really don’t know what to say, except that ignorance, apparently, knows no limits.

Add to that, of course, that Daesh activities aren’t restricted to Iraq and Syria (IS), as we have later come to learn, and you have to admit that «ISIS» is an incorrect designation, at best.

If you’re confident with «al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām» you could insist on «Daesh». I know I am not.

«The so-called Islamic state» it is, then, BBC. After all, if they’re anything at all, it certainly isn’t Islamic.

At any rate, please leave Isis be.

Top photograph: Isis depicted with outstretched wings (wall painting, c. 1360 BCE). Source: Wikipedia.

Springer Anonymous Isil og Trumps ærend?

Ryktene svirrer igjen, om at hackerkollektivet Anonymous nok en gang akter å ramme terrorgruppen Isil. Det forrige forsøket gjorde ikke rare forskjellen, selv om de utvilsomt fikk stengt utallige Twitter-konti – og mere til. Men et banesår var det vel knappest.

Hin uke ble det også fremmet trusler om aksjoner rettet mot Donald Trump og hans kampanjeapparat. Jeg er redd aksjonene, om truslene nå var mer enn tomme, blir bensin på bålet. Enten fordi amerikanske velgere vil ha seg frabedt innblanding i indre forhold, eller fordi det opphøyer Trump til martyrrollen. I begge tilfeller en seier for fascisten (for jo, det er det han er).

Anonymous består tilsynelatende av en uformalisert sammenslutning umodne bråkmakere, som rett nok har reagert prisverdig på urett av forskjellig slag, men som, til syvende og sist, er mer til skade enn til gavn.

Edward Snowden
Den amerikanskfødte avhopperen Edward Snowden. Bloggerens egen illustrasjon.

I denne sammenhengen kan det være nyttig å huske at de, tillikemed den amerikanske FSB-spionen Edward Snowden (t.h.) og WikiLeaks-grunnlegger Julian Paul Assange, også er instrumentelle i Kina og Russlands propagandakrig – og elektroniske krigføring – mot Vesten.

Det er en ikke fullt så prisverdig rolle, og en vi burde betakke oss for, heller enn å kjøpe Robin Hood-statusen de gir seg selv, og som kritikkløst fremholdes av deres vestlige støttespillere.

Men for all del: Tilhører de i realiteten Isil og Trumps støtteapparat, fortjener de honnør for den geniale tilnærmingen.

Toppillustrasjon: En Guy Fawkes-maske, den uformelle hacker-sammenslutningen Anonymous’ bumerke. Tegnet av bloggeren.

Velkommen til virkeligheten

Fredag den 22. juli 2011 var jeg dypt rystet, som resten av Europa, får vi tro. Bedre var det ikke fredag den 13. november 2015.

Det samme må jeg kunne hevde om nyheten og bomben som sprang i dag tidlig, men det er en forskjell, for denne gangen var det ventet. Sjokkeffekten uteble, med skam å melde. For skal sant først sies, er det vanskelig ikke å anse situasjonen, slik den i dag arter seg, som vår nye normaltilstand (skjønt 22. juli selvfølgelig ikke hadde det bøss med islamisme å bestille).

Akkurat det tror jeg også vi må belage oss på, med mindre verden snart tar trusselen fra Isil på det alvor den faktisk innbyr til. Kampen mot terrororganisasjonen begrenses til tiltak som skal beskytte oss mot dens eksistens, men later i liten grad til å handle om å eliminere den samme eksistensen. For la oss fjese det: Inntil så skjer, er det dette som er normaltilstanden. En skulle tro det er slik vi vil ha det.

Men hey:

Keep calm and carry on

Seriøst, dog: Burde det overraske oss, om vi ser flere terrorangrep på europeisk jord i løpet av vårmånedene?

Foto: EU-flagg på halv stang foran Berlaymont-bygningen i Brussel, 22. mars 2016. Foto fra EU-kommisjonen

C’est suffit maintenant

Je suis fatigue