So I rely upon finer brains. Brains that are used to plots and alibis, motives and machinations. Someone who has sat on the bench and at the legal Bar rather than the thirst quenching one. And one who has a wife that keeps his puns in check.
So it was that Bill and Sharon put me aright on some matters of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys. These two are - in their own words...
We are The Deadly Duo,
a/k/a Bill Hopkins and Sharon Woods Hopkins.
In our real lives, Bill is a retired Judge and Sharon will never retire.
We kill people, and make heroes and heroines out of ordinary folks like us. In fact, some people think we are writing about ourselves.
Personally, we would never do what these characters do. They take on a life of their own. We only report on what they are up to.So I asked Bill to 'explain' some things to me. Over a few pints, of course, in the US Room, where he and Sharon are World Famous. Syria, for example, and as a start. Well, it is topical. And on the proviso that once he had told all the secrets, he would not have to kill us.
Syria, Explained.President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty his people rebelled and the Rebels (who are good) started winning (Hurrah!).But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad!) and some continued to support democracy (who are still good).So the Americans (who are good) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad) and giving arms to the Syrian Rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad) which was good.
|Its all Bill's fault, M'Lud.|
By the way, there is a breakaway state in the north run by the Kurds who want to fight IS (which is a good thing) but the Turkish authorities think they are bad, so we have to say they are bad whilst secretly thinking they're good and giving them guns to fight IS (which is good) but that is another matter.Getting back to Syria.So President Putin (who is bad, cos he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London with polonium poisoned sushi) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking IS (who are also bad) which is sort of a good thing?But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian Rebels (who are good) are also bad, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.
I mulled over that for a while. No wonder his books sell. I urge you all to buy Bill and Sharon's books. He urged me to urge you.So a Coalition of Assad (still bad), Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.Now the British (obviously good, except that nice Mr Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is probably bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good / bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (who are super bad).So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS (but let’s face it, drinking your own wee is better than IS so no real choice there) and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS that may now make them good. America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good) and so they may be forced to say that the Rebels are now bad, or at the very least abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only constantly bad group).To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War, and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as Good (Doh!.)Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (mmm...might have a point) and hence we will be seen as Bad.So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad) many of whom are looking to IS (good / bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, good) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started?I hope that clears all this up for you.
But, no, it did not clear things up. Not enough, anyway.
I did not press him on the facts of the matter, nor on my suspicion that he had plagiarised it all from some unknown person. You can cross-examine him yourselves. With that sword dangled over him, I am hopeful he will not have me up before his bench for plagiarising his account.
I wondered if Google, the font of all knowldege, could shed light on a part missing from Bill's account. Palestine.
You know, that UN and Western taxpayer sinkhole wherin vast amounts of our dollars go, and right next door to Israel, which gets the rockets and bullets and knives that those dollars fund. It seems to be involved.
Jean Patrick Grumberg is a journalist for the French-language news site Dreuz, so of course must be one of those we must trust. Hmmmm. He explained too:
When Was the "Palestinian People" Created?
Google Has the Answer.All people born in British Mandatory Palestine between 1923-1948 (today's Israel) had "Palestine" stamped on their passports at the time.
But when they were called Palestinians, the Arabs were offended.
They complained: "We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews".
After invading Arab armies were routed and the Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, they were considered a fifth column and not invited back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one fifth of the population. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Christians and Jews, except they are not required to serve in the army unless they wish to."The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese." – PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen, interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, March 1977.In an op-ed in the Guardian on November 1, 2017, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called on the UK to "atone" for the century of "suffering" that the document allegedly wrought on the "Palestinian people."
Abbas reiterated the claims he has been making since 2016, to justify a surreal lawsuit he has threatened to bring against Britain for supporting the "creation of a homeland for one people [Jews], which, he asserted, "resulted in the dispossession and continuing persecution of another.""Palestinians" were the Jews who lived, along with Muslims and Christians on land called Palestine, which was under British administration from 1917 to 1948.All people born there during the time of the British Mandate had "Palestine" stamped on their passports. But the Arabs were offended when they were called Palestinians. They complained: "We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews".Bernard Lewis explains:"With the rise and spread of pan-Arab ideologies it was as Arabs, not as south Syrians, that the Palestinians began to assert themselves. For the rest of the period of the British Mandate, and for many years after that, their organizations described themselves as Arab and expressed their national identity in Arab rather than in Palestinian or even in Syrian terms."
When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies joined up to try to kill the infant nation in its crib. After they were routed, some of the local Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, but they were considered a fifth column and most were not allowed back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one-fifth of Israel's population today. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Jews, except they are not legally required to serve in the army. They may volunteer if they wish to.Israeli Arabs have their own political parties. They serve as members of Knesset and are employed in all professions. The moral is, or should be: Do not start a war unless you are prepared to lose it -- as the Arabs in and around Israel have done repeatedly, in 1947-48, 1967 and 1973.Incidentally, the land that was being held in trust for the Jews in the British Mandate for Palestine initially included all of what is now the Kingdom of Jordan, which was granted its independence in 1946 as the Kingdom of Transjordan.Less than a week after the article in the Guardian, Omar Barghouti, the instigator of today's attempts to destroy Israel by suffocating it economically, echoed Abbas in a Newsweekpiece, calling the Balfour Declaration "a tragedy for the Palestinian people."The same sentiment was expressed at the end of September in a lecture delivered by Rashid Khalidi -- the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University -- at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies in New York City: that the Balfour Declaration "launched a century-long assault on the Palestinians aimed at implanting and fostering this national homeland, later the state of Israel, at their expense..."Khalidi's claims, like those of Abbas and Barghouti, are false.
Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there were no "Palestinians." As the prominent Lebanese-American historian and Mideast expert Philip Hitti stated in his testimony before the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry: "There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not."Authors Guy Millière and David Horowitz elaborate on this in their 2015 book, Comment le peuple palestinien fut inventé ("How the Palestinian People Were Invented"), illustrating that the purpose of the fabrication was "to transform a population into a weapon of mass destruction against Israel and the Jewish people, to demonize Israel, and to give totalitarianism and anti-Semitism renewed means of action."The ploy for a while worked beyond expectations. The term "Palestinians" was used across the world -- including in Israel -- to define the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza; it is often employed also to describe Arabs with Israeli citizenship.
The narrative that the Jews displaced them by establishing a state completely contradicts the facts.What are these facts? When was the "Palestinian people" actually created?
Simply using the Google Ngram Viewer provides the answer.Ngram is a database that charts the frequency that a given phrase appears in books published between the years 1500 to 2008. When a user enters the word phrases "Palestinian people" and "Palestinian state" into the Ngram search bar, he discovers that they began appearing only in 1960.
So, there are some other views, from horses mouths, to ponder.In his November 2, 1917 letter to Walter Rothschild, the leader of Britain's Jewish community, Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour wrote:"His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine [emphasis added], or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."Finally, apart from Ngram, there are the words of the PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen, who, in a March 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, stated:"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism."For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
M'self, being one blessed with an English birth and Oz nationality, can make little effective comment. I pull pints: I pray to my Supplier.
I very much doubt anyone has a full hand of reins on the issue of the Middle East.
Have a long, cool drink.
I do wish all sides would sit and do that.