Friday 19 December 2014

Walking With Each Other

Into The Arms Of  Safety: But what kind of safety? And what manner of arms? How shall this world be healed when the innocent run from the arms of one gunman
 into the arms of another? (AP Photo)
IT IS A PICTURE of grief and relief. The fleeing hostage’s pale hands clutch franticly at the arm of the man who is swinging her behind him. The inclination of her body and the agitation of her flailing tresses convey vividly the desperate momentum of her flight. Eyes squeezed shut against the horrors at her back; the first of many gut-wrenching sobs escaping from her mouth, the young woman collapses, weeping, into the arms of safety.
But what kind of safety? And what manner of arms? Because the hostage’s rescuer is barely recognisable as a human being. Like the distraught waitress from the besieged Lindt Chocolat Café, he, too, is clad in black. But there the similarities end. The entity into whose arms the fleeing hostage has fallen might best be described as a weaponised biped.
If the young woman is the symbol of unprotected vulnerability, her rescuer represents the exact opposite. Every inch of him bristles with armour, weaponry and communications gear. And when he lowers the visor of his helmet what little remains of this two-legged tank’s humanity disappears altogether behind tinted Perspex.
Is this what the State has become? A blank and pitiless cyborg bulked up with Kevlar, strapped tight with Velcro and armed to the teeth? Is this really what we, as citizens, have demanded from those set in authority over us? Presented with a threat like the armed hostage-taker, Haron Monis, would we be outraged if the State defended us with anything less?
But if these weaponised human beings are indeed our representatives, then shouldn’t we give some thought to how the rest of the world might interpret what they – and we – truly stand for?
When we allow our politicians to pass laws that tightly circumscribe the limits of dissent and restrict people’s right to cross borders to uphold what they believe to be freedom and justice (as thousands of men did in the late-1930s to defend the Spanish Republic against its fascist enemies) what kind of values are we proclaiming?
And when even more fearsome variants of the weaponised men we send into our streets are deployed abroad to unleash fire and death upon people who have never lifted a hand against them, what should we expect from their families, friends and co-religionists in return?
History suggests that human beings generally respond as they are responded to.
Monday, 15 December 2014 will long be remembered in Australia for the crimes of Haron Monis. But among Australia’s Muslim community it will be remembered for something else. Hashtag I’ll Ride With you.
The Twitter account arose from an incident on a train where a young Muslim woman was observed removing her head-scarf in fear of retaliation for what was unfolding in Martin Place. A non-Muslim Australian citizen, seeing this, followed the young woman and implored her to replace her headscarf. “Don’t worry”, she said, “I’ll walk with you.” This extraordinary display of human solidarity, relayed through social media, saw the creation of #Illridewithyou and very soon tens of thousands of Australians were offering to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Muslim fellow citizens.
Which was the better emblem of Australia? The Kevlar-encased, heavily-armed policemen who thrust a terrified young waitress behind him to safety? Or, the citizen upon whose shoulder a young Muslim woman sobbed her gratitude? Which message offers the better hope of peace and goodwill? The Australian fighter-bombers unleashing fire and death upon the battered remains of Iraq and Syria? Or, #Illridewithyou?
In just six days’ time we celebrate the birth of a Middle-Eastern prophet who instructed his followers to do more than repay like with like.
On a hillside in Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth told them:
You have heard it said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
For how shall this world be healed when the innocent run from the arms of one gunman into the arms of another? If we would be truly safe, then we must all learn to say: “Don’t worry, I’ll walk with you.”
This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and the Greymouth Star of Friday, 19 December 2014.


Brewer said...

Another beautiful piece Chris.

One of the disturbing aspects of this affair is the spin emanating from National as if it somehow justifies their "Deep State" initiatives. If the SIS has a modicum of expertise, they would know that Iran requested the extradition of Man Haron Monis back in 1999. The Howard government refused. If the SIS knew, Key knew.

This looks like a case where Bush’s deputy allowed the “Axis of Evil” propaganda to persuade him that, if the “Mad Mullahs” wanted him, Monis must be OK. The guy ran up an impressive rap sheet in Australia including murder and a raft of mental health issues. In short, War on Terror "blowback".

This must have been known to Key yet he still spun it to boost his sinister agenda. In short, propaganda.

Pity to see this sort of thing in Aoteoroa New Zealand but never mind, you won’t see mention of it in the press.

jh said...

"Monday, 15 December 2014 will long be remembered in Australia for the crimes of Haron Monis. But among Australia’s Muslim community it will be remembered for something else. Hashtag I’ll Ride With you."
What about the back story. Even before the hero rushed the gunman attention was diverted (Green Candidate Rachael Jacobs) and then there was Tesa Kum:

I’m learning about hate because I am coming to hate you, white person. You have all the control, all the power, all the privilege, and there is nothing holding you accountable. I hate the double standards and hypocrisy you display, the rank dishonesty of your conduct. I hate that you can harm us, when we cannot harm you. I hate that you have actually impacted on careers, multiple and not even directly, with your hypocrisy. I hate that you’re so dominant in the publishing industry there’s very few venues I’d consider safe to even submit to now. I hate what you have done to PoC I don’t know. I hate what you have done to PoC I do know. I hate what you have done to me, and I was not involved. .

One suspects the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

jh said...

The Original story covers pages and pages on the internet. The second story is... well reporters appear to have lost interest...?

jh said...

I heard it mentioned on The Farming Show (100.1 fM) "and of course you've had the Sydney siege haven't you?" "Yes and it turns out he was just a madman, he wasn't linked to Isil" "And when it happened there a great story. There was a house wife on a train and she saw a muslim woman crying as she took off her veil and [Jesus saw the woman and was moved] sat with her and comforted her" "and this story inspired someone to start a tweet site and it was attracting a thousand hits a minute"
Except it didn't happen

When Radio NZ discussed Lee Rigby's funeral the U.K correspondent seemed obssessed with the idea that the far- right may have made it an issue (made it about them).
The issue here is that when multiculturalism turns to crap the left are left are threatened; they who see over and above the masses risk becoming losers (aloof and out of touch).
Without pursuing the argument too far, the notion that he was a "mad man" (end of story) is moot.

Jamie said...

I hate to burst your bubble Trotter but the whole hashtag I'll-ride-with-you story the lamestream media was pushing was based on lies...

Dammit man the world stands on a knife edge and you want to write about a few peoples perceived hurt feelings

What about the fact that one EMP and all the Aussies are dead, including your peaceful muslims

Or the fact that these heavily armed men are necessary because it is illegal for the people to carry a means of self-defence

"It would have been illegal for them to have had a knife, a stick, a
pepper spray, a personal taser, mace, anything like that for self-defence.
I regard that [as] an absolute travesty. To turn an entire population
into a nation of victims is just unforgiveable in my estimation."

- Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm,

Or the fact a crazed loon was granted bail for murder/47 rape sexual assault chatges/ sending disgusting letters to grieving soldiers families.

And if what Brewer says is correct then this sounds like a deliberate FALSE-FLAG type operation - Look it up if you don't know what that is


How about writing about the connection between Obama releasing the Pakistan Taliban 2IC then 8 days latter a whole bunch or innocent kiddies at school get killed, their teachers burnt alive...

Makes me furious!!!

jh said...

Frank Salter
"A striking feature of the siege in Sydney is the emphasis given by the political establishment to controlling public response to the attack.
and if the media don't tell the whole story shouldn't we be worried? Has journalism been cleansed of dissent?

There remain important exceptions to this shift towards a broadly sympathetic representation of immigrants by the media; there is evidence of ongoing racist ‘Othering’ in news reporting and by
particular journalists.
* This paper argues that there is evidence of a recent and partial transformation in the nature of media discourses concerning immigrants and immigration in New Zealand.
After 1997, and certainly since 2000, opinion and feature writers
adopted a very different approach, prompted in part by a major downturn in Asian
immigration and a greater appreciation of at least the economic benefits of
immigration but also as a result of a growing awareness amongst journalists that
they had a role to play in explaining (positively) the complex issues of immigration.

Reporting Superdiversity. The
Mass Media and Immigration
in New Zealand

Are Spoonley and Butcher saying there aren't two sides to the story? Is there a veiled threat there (Clydesdale)?

Brewer said...

"the whole hashtag I'll-ride-with-you story the lamestream media was pushing was based on lies..."

From your link:

"However Rachael Jacobs has admitted that she “editorialised’’ parts of her story.

“Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn’t sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage,” she wrote.

Detailing her thought process, Ms Jacobs now says she wondered if she even needed to help.“She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm!,” she wrote."

So the incident did happen. Jacobs editorialised two facts completely immaterial to the narrative - her relative position in the train and her own musing ex post facto.

"based on lies" is cheap embroidery. Could you do me a tablecloth and doily set? I'll go to a dollar seventy-five.

Davo Stevens said...

Monis was a nutter. How he got out on bail is a bit odd but then none of us were in the Court at the Bail Hearing, so we can't comment. The Judge sums up the evidence put before the Court and makes a ruling accordingly. If one wants to lay the blame then criticise the Prosecutor for not doing their job properly.

The sad attack on the school had to happen. The Taleban are no match for the Army and each time they get into a firefight with them they lose many men. So they will go for soft targets like that school. The Paki Army should have been expecting such an attack and been prepared for it.

The release by the Taleban states that the attack was in response to the Paki Airforce bombing and the Drone strikes that kill many more than just a few millitants. Most of those who die in those attacks are ordinary civilians not combatants.

Nothing happens in isolation and there is a Cause and Effect.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Funny how no matter what the story, JH always seems to be able to turn it towards the subject of multiculturalism and immigration. With this one there is of course a tenuous connection, the guy was a migrant, but what if he'd been an English migrant? Do they not commit crimes? Would that then a strike against monoculturalism? Were not the first English migrants almost all criminals anyway? :-) In fact, the research suggests that migrants have a lower level of criminal offending than native Australians on the whole. And the ethnic groups with the biggest criminal involvement are from New Zealand, Lebanon, Vietnam, Turkey and Romania. In that order I believe. And of course there are huge differences between Australian and New Zealand cultures – multiculturalism is a menace :-).

jh said...

Nothing happens in isolation and there is a Cause and Effect.
It isn't events that effect us it is how we choose to react to them (that's modern healthy psychology as opposed to Marxism).

Jamie said...

What else did that girl 'editorialise'???

Call me a racist but I was never consulted about mass immigration
I just had it forced upon me by my moral superiors, who always know what's best,
Call it government by some of the people if you like...

"The release by the Taleban states that the attack was in response to the Paki Airforce bombing and the Drone strikes that kill many more than just a few millitants" Combat Vietnam Veteran Davo Stevens

Says who???
The Taliban
They were school children not militants and it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it

"Nothing happens in isolation and there is a Cause and Effect" Combat Vietnam Veteran Davo Stevens

Yeah Obama releases Pakistan's Taliban 2IC and 8 days later a whole bunch of innocents get deliberately butchered in some of the most heinous ways imaginable

For the record I do not doubt for a second that many civilians are being killed [possibly even deliberately targeted] by drone strikes.

Meanwhile the lamestream media and the world looks the other way - just as well NZ got that seat on the Security Council aye (sarcasm)

It is a dirty dirty war that has dragged on for soooo long that few of the people would even know why we are fighting anymore - I sure don't

Davo Stevens as a former combat Vietnam veteran you should understand the situation better than most???

"How he got out on bail is a bit odd" Vietnam Combat Veteran Davo Stevens

I call it deliberate Treason

What's a bloke got to do to get locked up or kicked out of the country these days???

My gut is telling me this whole operation was a set up

Meanwhile a few EMP's could still kill all the people of Australia including all the peaceful muslims

Maintain radio silence journos - OUT

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Believe it or not Jamie, psychology and Marxism are not opposites.

Jamie said...

No smoking gun yet but I've seen enough of these FALSE FLAG OPERATIONS in my lifetime to know when something is up

I'll be keeping my eyes on this

Davo Stevens said...

Yes, JH, everything has a cause and effect. Often with the Law of Unintended Consequences too. The Taleban sprung out of the Mujahadeen which the US financed and armed to the teeth to drive the Russians out of Afganistan. When the Russians left, so did the Yanks. Left the country with a power vacuum. The Taleban were the result.

Contrary to what is often spouted by right-wingers, the Taleban have a genuine cause to fight for. Every time a drone or a bomb kills civilians it drives moderate people over to their cause.

They simply don't have the fire power of the Paki Army or even the Yanks so they resort to "Soft Target" attacks. There is no difference between their attack on a school and a drone strike wiping out several complete families but we rarely hear about those families do we? That, my friend, is the Law of Unintended Consequences!

Jamie said...

Smoking gun Trotter

Crises actors [go look that up if you don't know what they are]

Min 8.20

Half the team make entry then the other half throw flash bangs

Anonymous said...

Constitutional democracy is not a universal value. However flawed our efforts may be, our way of life is ultimately underwritten by our ability to impose order on an otherwise fractious world.

I'm not sure that the Sydney hostage event is a good fit for the agenda you are advancing here.

Jigsaw said...

Yes its fairly obvious that you would have the police ask the man really nicely to surrender.
I'm sure that would have worked.
The hashtag thing was a fraud as I am sure you could have found out
but I guess you simply can't help looking at the whole incident through a socialist's eyes.
It's a pity you don't have a little more compassion for the hostages who spent 16 ghastly hours held at gunpoint.

Barry said...

Monis was a moslem - just more evidence that multiculti is bad for Western countries.

pat said...

Monis was a head case and had ,and would have done something incredibly anti social whether Muslim or not...he has simply latched on to the latest cause celebre.

jh said...

Predictably Mediawatch didn't mention "I'll ride with you". Why not Chris Trotter, Guerilla PC etc?

jh said...

Dave Stevens:

Contrary to what is often spouted by right-wingers, the Taleban have a genuine cause to fight for.
I think you mean that some aspects of their cause are genuine. That isn't justification for "what they fight for"

Anonymous said...

You seem to forget that turning the other cheek didn't resolve the standoff. Violence and the death of two of the hostages did.
Weakness is always irresistable to the truly evil..

Davo Stevens said...

Jigsaw my friend, you comment was unfortunate. The Police were dealing with a lone nutter who had some deep psychological issues. They had to tread carefully. But you comment about compassion for the hostages is just pure bullshit. Of course we did. It's sad that to died and some others were injured but the Cops handled it quite well in general. Had they just charged in as you suggest, the situation could have been much worse.

Barry; it's Muslim not 'Moslem' and you comment is a sweeping generalisation. There are many thousands of Muslims who have integrated into western societies and just go about their business without causing any problems.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

In what way does multiculturalism have any relevance on the fact that one very disturbed person had a certain religion? As I said, the people with the largest criminal element in Australia seem to be New Zealanders. That is a really, really poor and exceedingly lame argument.
I also think that whatever your opinion it is probably bad to second-guess the police. Particularly before they have had an investigation as to what went wrong. If asking the man really nicely to surrender results in no bullets flying, then maybe that's what should be done. If you can wait the man out and maybe talk him into surrendering, it's much better than going in there with guns blazing. Unlike the SAS, I doubt somehow if the New South Wales police – even their armed police, practice shooting people who are surrounded by hostages very often. You only have to look at America, where people are sometimes caught in the crossfire.

Lots of adrenaline fuelled men with weapons is sometimes a recipe for disaster.

Davo Stevens said...

JH, I never said that the Taleban were justified just that they had a cause.

Put it this way; how would you feel if you can home one day and found that some-one has whacked a missile into your house, killing you family and a few neighbours? I suppose that you would feel a little resentment to the those who did the deed but you would say oh dear,how sad never mind? Or would you look for revenge? Multiply that by some thousands and you got a real problem to deal with.

The Pakistanis and the Yanks can stand on their soap boxes and cry that they don't target children but their missiles are indiscriminate and do kill many children. That is why the taleban attacked the school. They saw the kids as legitimate targets.

jh said...

 Guerilla Surgeon said...

In what way does multiculturalism have any relevance on the fact that one very disturbed person had a certain religion? 
Because multiculturalism brings (and encourages) diversity of background, culture and ideas. So you welcome your enemy.
David H T Wong - Eminent Canadian Architect & Chinese Activist.
Oxytocin is the hormone of the clan.

It encourages seperatness:
"community languages" create barriers rather than breakdown walls.

Frank Salter: "Monis was a passionate Islamic activist recently converted from Shia to Sunni faith. Just three months ago Australian intelligence intercepted an ISIS directive to local supporters to behead a civilian in central Sydney and video the action for ISIS propaganda. The Federal Police broke up that conspiracy with a large scale operation. There are also a dozen Australian Arabs in jail for plotting terrorism in Australia. 

So this is not an isolated event, as the MSM claim. It fits a pattern of the Arabic-Islamic population showing a relatively very high rate of separateness, difference, and hostility".

jh said...

Terrorism experts say the lone wolf is the hardest to stop. It's ironic that the lone wolf is harder to link to the terrorist group he gifts his actions to.

jh said...

Chris tags this post with "Jesus of Nazareth". Since we know it was made up, what about the other stuff?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

jh you do realise he was severely disturbed right? You do realise that there are thousands maybe of Muslims in Australia who just get on with their lives and our patriotic Australians? (whatever that means.) You do realise that the biggest mass killing in Australia was done by a white person and presumably a Christian too right? JH – you are a one trick pony, with a bee in your bonnet :-).

Davo Stevens said...

As we are discussing ISIL in context here, this site describes how the nasty organisation came into being.

Whilst Alternet is a Yank left-wing magazine, it's report is fair and non partisan. I describes in 8 ways how the US and the Saudis in particular, are the reason that ISIL exists.

jh said...

Guerilla CM
And all those so called Islamic terrorists are extremist so they are insane too?
"He was obstinate and vocal, but always passive," says Conditsis, who represented Monis in the murder conspiracy case until January. That view is backed by at least two other Monis lawyers, one of whom chanced upon him at the Lindt cafe about 20 minutes before the siege began and found him calm, "as cool as a cucumber", according to one report.

Conditsis says: "There was nothing I observed, as criminal lawyer of 30-odd years, that would have given me concerns about his mental health [leading to violence]. The person I knew, or thought I knew, would not have done what he did. The man I knew, or thought I knew, would not have had an intent to kill a person."
Nevertheless, he says, Monis clearly became "unhinged at some point prior to taking hostages. I'm not sure when that was".

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well, I do happen to think that religious extremism is a form of insanity – so yes I guess those Muslim extremists are insane. As was Jim Jones and the unfortunate people that gathered around him. As was the Unabomber. As are the Christians who terrorise abortion clinics and kill abortion doctors in the US. I don't make some much of a distinction issue between the different types of religious insanity :-)

Guerilla Surgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guerilla Surgeon said...

Dammit I should have said I wouldn't mind the titles of those articles Robert. Old age and the approach of Christmas plays havoc with the memory. And the sanity for that matter.

Jamie said...

Here's another one for ya'll

Get it here before it's banned