There are a lot of tired-out old phrases which have become meaningless, (through being over and mis-used) for example; massacre, siege, ethnic cleansing, militant and so on.
The one that puts Craig off, he’s obviously very squeamish, is “useful idiots”. For his sake let’s just call them Unwitting Simpletons Exploited For Use, Largely In Defending Islamists Openly Terrorising Society, or for short the handy acronym “useful idiots”.
I’m sure someone could come up with a neater alternative version, but I’m putting that on the back burner for now.
Did you hear Sarah Montague’s interview with Lord Alderdice? His unique insights into the peace process? (Is it me, or does he look like George Best?) (after TFTD 01:51:40)
I had to transcribe it because, in my best Victor Meldrew voice I couldn’t believe it.
Sarah:When you see Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and hear the way Hamas speaks of Israel it is hard to imagine there could ever be peace between the two sides.But people used to say that about N I, that hatreds were so entrenched they could never make peace. Lord Alderdice used to lead NI’s alliance party, he’s now ‘Director for the center for the resolution of intractable conflict at Oxford University” He has spoken many times to the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, and I asked about those conversations.
Lord A:“Because of my experience in Ni where we came reluctantly after a long time to the conclusion that we had to engage with militaries and particularly with the leadership of the Republican movement the IRA, when I started to work 15 years ago in the M E and other places I realised the ‘read-across’ was to talk to people in the Jewish settler community, in the official Israeli government, but also in organisations like Hamas as well as Fatah.”
Sarah:This is at your initiative, rather than...
Lord A;“Yes, oh yes, I’m not acting for government or organisations or anything like that...
Sarah:“But I’m more curious about how Hamas are viewing you, as somebody who might have a solution?
Lord A:Well right from the very beginning they were saying, "look, how do you construct a peace process, particularly when you don’t feel you’ve got anybody that wants to engage with you”
Sarah:“Hamas is asking that question?
Lord A:Yes, oh yes this is ten, fifteen years ago they were asking this question, and we started to talk about it, and explore different kinds of ways in which they might find a road into engagement and negotiation because I said from the beginning "is engaging in violence the way forward for you?" and they said ‘we don’t want to do this. We can’t see any other way, people will not engage and talk with us, that’s why we find ourselves in this situation", of course I was very familiar with that because the only way you could get the republican movement in Ireland to engage was to say ‘there is another way of proceeding with your vision’ and so similarly I was trying to do that. One of the difficulties over the years is that it’s been really difficult to persuade people either on the Israeli government side, although many Israelis including in the security services think differently, but particularly Western governments, to take seriously that there has to be some kind of engagement ultimately”
Sarah:Okay, so people in Israel and elsewhere would say, look, since you’re talking about fifteen years ago and they’re asking that question, Hamas has done everything to make it harder, whether it’s via rocket attacks or any number of activities, which is why they are a banned organisation, described as a terrorist organisation?
Lord A:I understand the perspective that Israelis have. I would also of course say, well there’s not much evidence that the Israeli government’s way of working has actually helped. And from a very early stage one of the things that was part of the discussions was that Hamas is saying ‘look, we’re prepared to engage, we’re prepared to engage in the kind of Western democratic style of things, with free and fair elections and forming governments, coalitions and all these kinds of things. If however this becomes impossible we will not change our commitment to that, but we can let you know that there are people in our wider community who in any case want to burn the system not work the system, and so in the same kind of was as not engaging with Fatah for many years led to the rise of Hamas, trying to destroy Hamas will simply create something else and we’re seeing it develop with ISIS.
Sarah:Okay, given your experience in NI you look at what is going on in Gaza there at the moment, can you imagine a situation where ultimately there could be peace between these two peoples?
Ultimately all of these wars come to ends. They may not be satisfactory ends, and what’s particularly disturbing to me and I’ve spoken about this in the Lords and elsewhere over the last three or four years, is that I see that whole region descending into increasing chaos and violence. I don’t think you can understand what’s happening between Israelis and Palestinians at the moment without understanding it to be part of a regional problem that’s developing and one of the problems about Mr. Kerry’s initiative was that he did not, in my view, and I said this at the time and i sent the messages to his people, pay proper attention to the regional issues I mean the saudis have been for years describing an Arab Peace Initiative, it really wasn’t given proper attention either in Tel Aviv or even indeed Washington so I
Sarah:“So when you think about what brought change in NI, what would your advice be, whether it is to israel and palestinians or to the international community as to what should be happening now?
Lord A:“One, that people on both sides, republicans, british army, british government realised that there was no solution in violence. that’s not the position in the Middle East at the moment. The second thing that happened was that the British and Irish governments and indeed the Americans and Europeans realised that they had a role to play to engage with everybody that was involved, and I think that’s the situation now. i think that unless there’s a realisation that we have to engage with all of those who are participants to it, and who, by the way are prepared to engage as long as there’s a level playing field for that engagement, and that’s an important point, but if we don’t engage the result will be a greater rise of ISIS and greater chaos in the region.
Sarah:And very briefly, in your very recent conversations with Khaled Meshaal and I know you have had very recent discussions, what is he saying, ‘yes we want peace and we can do a deal with Israel?”
Lord A:On that particular point he was very enthusiastic over the unity government that had been formed with Fatah and was looking forward to the possibilities of a positive way forward. the situation, tragically, has gone the opposite direction.
Sarah:Lord Alderdice thank you very much.
Okay I know you’ll skip most of that, so I’ll just have to pick out some of the more bizarre omissions, elephants and staggering useful idiocies in that room.
DirectorForTheCentreForTheResolutionOfIntractableConflict i.e. non governmental organisation for meddling in complex affairs, having mistaken fanatical savages for principled peacemakers and airing specious unsound comparisons on the radio.
His partner for peace is Khaled Meshaal, Hamas head of the Hamas “political bureau” residing in luxury in Qatar, wallowing in corruption. Money smuggler, real estate owner and all round fat controller.
This man is Lord Alderdice’s friend, the person whose pleas for ‘engagement’ the good lord is promoting. He appears to believe Meshaal’s pretend-reasonable message, which Meshaal very well knows can never be tested because he will make sure it cannot be. Ever.
‘look, we’re prepared to engage, we’re prepared to engage in the kind of Western democratic style of things, with free and fair elections and forming governments, coalitions and all these kinds of things.”
Plainly untrue, or does western style democracy now include throwing your opponents of roofs? He then goes on to threaten that if Hamas is defeated, we’ll get ISIS. Is the danger of that a good enough reason to engage with Hamas?
Sarah Montague has always pushed for ‘talking to Hamas”
(You can still search Biased-BBC for several posts addressing that in the 2009 - 2012 archives)
“I said from the beginning is engaging in violence the way forward for you, and they said ‘we don’t want to do this, we can’t see any other way,” says Lord A, sympathetically recounting his conversation with the Hamas leader.
“The way forward for you?” ‘Forward’ for Meshaal is backward for Israel. Right back before 1948. It’s in the Hamas charter, or doesn’t Lord A know this?
“We can’t see any other way,” says Meshaal. Of course there’s no other way to achieve the aspirations of Hamas. Does Lord A really think the Israelis will negotiate their own extermination without a spot of violence? Come on.
“Ultimately all of these wars come to ends. They may not be satisfactory ends, and what’s particularly disturbing to me, and I’ve spoken about this in the Lords and elsewhere over the last three or four years, is that I see that whole region descending into increasing chaos and violence. “
So now it seems that he has noticed that there’s something uncivilised, fanatical and pretty savage going on in the region, yet he doesn’t seem to think his friend Meshaal’s fanaticism is part of the ‘intractable’ problem.
“I don’t think you can understand what’s happening between Israelis and Palestinians at the moment without understanding it to be part of a regional problem that’s developing and one of the problems about Mr. Kerry’s initiative was that he did not, in my view, and I said this at the time and I sent the messages to his people, pay proper attention to the regional issues, I mean the Saudis have been for years describing an Arab Peace Initiative, it really wasn’t given proper attention either in Tel Aviv or even indeed Washington”
The Saudis and their the Arab Peace Initiative, that’ll fix it.
Update The article I linked to above has been taken down. It was about a rift in the Saudi hierarchy. Here's another one instead.
It’s an article in the Independent revealing the duplicitousness of Israeli spin. “A must-read 4 any journos interviewing Israeli spokes.” Tweets Donnison.
Journos beware. You might be Unwitting Simpletons Exploited For Use, Largely In Defending Islamists Openly Terrorising Society