Tag Archives: Isil

Adam Hills explains how ordinary people can fight terrorism

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Thanks to Vox Political commenter Chris Kitcher for reminding me about this.

You’ll be aware that This Writer is a huge fan of Channel 4’s The Last Leg and its host, Adam Hills’, approach to issues like the current terrorist threat.

Today he posted a Facebook status that should be sent to representatives of all Western governments as an example of what they should be doing – and an alternative to what they are doing.

It is particularly pertinent to the UK, as Mr Hills makes it perfectly clear that British Government representatives advised him to take the course of action he has followed.

Why aren’t they taking their own advice?

I’ve been called a lot of things in the past few days, many of them deserved. “Leftie wanker”. “Islam apologist”. “Unfunny ****.” I’ve also been called a “traitor” and even worse, “un-Australian.”

Here’s why I don’t think those last two apply.

Earlier this year I was invited to an Australia Day drinks function at the Australian High Commission in London. As the beer flowed and the lamingtons were passed around I found myself in deep conversation with a variety of governmental experts on The Middle East and in particular, Syria.

As this was a few weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks I took the opportunity to find out all I could about this so-called Islamic State group.

I learned a lot of things that night, but the one that stood out was this: Islamic State need recruits and they have two steps to get them.

1) Create an uprising against Muslims in the West by carrying out attacks in the name of Allah.
2) Then when young Muslims feel rejected by Western society, make ISIS look like a cool alternative.

Please remember, this was all expressed to me by officials of both the Australian and British Governments.

It seemed to me that a good way of combatting this would be 1) be nice to non-ISIS related Muslims (ie the vast majority of Muslims) and 2) make ISIS look like idiots.

I ran this past my friends at the High Commission, who agreed that this was indeed a good thing to do.

Now there aren’t a lot of things a one-legged comedian can do to combat a bunch of pricks like ISIS, but when experts in the field from your own government tell you what you can do – you damn well do it.

The next week on the show I host – “The Last Leg” – we ran an on-air competition to rename ISIS. The winner was a lady who tweeted “Cyst-ISIS: cos they’re irritating twats”. From that day forth we only ever referred to them as Cystisis.

We then ran a weekly segment called “The G-Hadi Spot” in which we attempted to ridicule them whenever we could.

We played Cystisis training videos with the Benny Hill music over the top. We celebrated the young girls who defrauded them out of thousands of dollars. We made our own ads for the caliphate, in which we clearly mocked them.

We also increased security at the studios. A live TV show would be the perfect target for these arseholes, and to this day my Mum still pleads with me not to provoke them each week.

In amongst all this, I did my best to remind our viewers that Cystisis are interpreting the Islamic faith in a highly extreme, and self-serving way, and that the vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims – around 99.997 per cent – disapprove of them.

I did all this, not because I am a hippy dippy idealist who believes that fairy wings and puppy dog farts can change the world. I did this because I was advised by representatives of my government who are way smarter than I am, that it was the right thing to do.

I might be an unfunny leftie wanker, but I’m no traitor.

And the thing is – you can do it too. There are countless memes going around at the moment decrying Islam; there are people saying their businesses are closed to Muslims; there are jokes going around making Muslims the punchline.

All you have to do is use the word ISIS instead of Islam. Mock the arseholes who are really causing the damage. Cos they hate that. Call them Cystisis. Say your business is closed to any Cystisis member who wants your services. Make a meme about how deluded Cystisis are.

It’s what your government wants you to do.
And what could be more Australian than taking the piss out of those who deserve it, while giving a fair go to those who need it?

It’s a British attribute as well – although Conservatives may choose to forget that every now and then.

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Parliament recalled to debate air strikes on IS

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How do we all feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a Middle Eastern crusade?

He has always wanted one, and no doubt he wants to bury the spectre of last year’s aborted attempt to attack Syria – when Labour leader Ed Miliband did the impossible and, from opposition, stopped the government from having its way.

But exorcising that demon would require Miliband to oppose an attack on IS and this seems unlikely because the cause appears to be just.

Not only has Iraq appealed to the UK for help to contain the threat of Islamic State, but we have proof – from IS itself – that it is killing British citizens.

The Guardian has reported a cautious response from Miliband in line with the wishes of the Labour Party conference, which called for a UN security council resolution before the UK commits to any conflict. But the BBC is reporting that Miliband has confirmed his support for an alliance of nations – including Arab states – against IS, saying that the UK should not “opt out”.

Back in the Victorian era, when a British citizen was threatened in Greece, Lord Palmerston famously sent a gunboat and blockaded Athens. Cameron – who has been working hard to resurrect the 19th century – would be showing weakness if he did not seek similar retribution.

And the last thing he needs to show IS is weakness.

It would be seen as an invitation to launch further attacks against the UK – possibly even on our own soil.

Parliament will be recalled to discuss the matter at 10.30am tomorrow, with a vote at around 5.30pm. The result, it seems, is a foregone conclusion.

At the top of this article, readers are asked how they feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a crusade in the Middle East. Some readers might find that a churlish way of describing the matter, as the cause does seem just.

But Cameron’s motives are always questionable. He wants a war that will win an election for him, just as the Falklands War won a second term for Margaret Thatcher.

His problem is, he’s not as intelligent as Mrs T. She, it has been claimed, led Argentina to believe that the UK was weaker than was actually the case, in order to provoke that country into a fight it could not win. This narrative claims that she planned the whole thing.

Cameron has planned nothing. He is in the hands of circumstance and could just as easily become the victim as the victor.

And the British public is tired of endless foreign adventures that cost a fortune and bring no benefit back here.

Those are the facts of the matter – as far as it is possible to interpret them at this time.

What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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