Thursday, 25 June 2009

Tit for Tat for Tatty Tirades (Don't you just love alliterations?)

In the past week or so, I have been clearing out my collection of newspaper cuttings from 1988 to 2004. Unlike Ann Widdecombe MP, who spent £900 of taxpayer money on her own personal newspaper cuttings service, I did mine all on my own. During my rummaging, I came across this article in the Sunday Telegraph of Oct 19 2003.
See this

This chastisement of Dr Mahathir Mohamad was written by John Simpson CBE (Commander of the British Empire), the BBC's well-known World Affairs Editor. His resume is formidable. Read this report by Jessica Hodgson of MediaGuardian, Tuesday 13 November 2001.

"The BBC's John Simpson claimed the glory for the Northern Alliance's rout of the Taliban today in Kabul when he joined other BBC staff in the Afghan capital.
Simpson told Sue MacGregor on the BBC's Today programme: 'It was only BBC people who liberated this city. We got in ahead of Northern Alliance troops. I can't tell you what a joy it was. I felt very proud indeed to be part of an organisation that could push forward ahead of the rest.'
Simpson, the BBC's World Affairs editor and a veteran journalist who has covered most of the most significant world conflicts of the last 20 years, has a reputation for tenaciousness and bravery."

Firstly a caveat before I proceed. I am not writing this to champion and defend Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a former PM of Malaysia. The article by JS was written 6 years ago on the retirement of Dr Mahathir as PM of Malaysia. I am more interested in looking at the modus operandi of journalists and writers as they diminish and demolish someone's achievement and character, especially someone who does not sing from their hymn book.

To be accused of anti-Semitism or of saying anything critical about Jews and Israel is like being given the kiss of death. There are no holds barred on writing anything derogatory about any other nation, or people or their beliefs. No one says it is anti-Muslim to criticise, mock and denigrate Islam, its institutions and its followers. Of course there are strict rules too about comments on race, gender and sexual orientation. But in the eyes of the world, anti-Semitism - in whatever shape or form it is devised by the 'victims' and their adherents - is the most vile transgression, totally unacceptable.

But there is, to me, another great misdemeanour - that of ignoring the old proverb: "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones". When it comes to anti-Semitism no one can hold a candle to JS's Motherland's hero : Sir Winston Churchill. Like JS he was also a journalist writing about wars in foreign fields. Ex-PMs of Britain like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair look on him as their mentor, their political idol. The neo-cons regard him in the highest esteem and the Washington Post in November 2001 said : "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to the words of Winston Churchill."

HERE ARE SOME OF HIS WORDS.

1. Francis Fukuyama was not the first voice to talk about the clash of civilization i.e. the clash between the progressive West and decadent Islam. In his book "The River War" Churchill wrote:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits,slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohamedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa; raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
John Simpson, Anthony Burgess, Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis and even our coloured brother V.S. Naipaul were all suckled on this Churchillian milk. We are the 'retrograde force' that sticks in their throats.
2. On Eugenics: WC told Lord Asquith in 1910, "The unnatural and increasing rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled.......with a steady restriction among the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks constitutes a national and race danger." It's hard to see any difference between this and Hitler's 'racial hygiene'.
3. To quote Michael Lind: Churchill, a lifelong supporter of Zionism, was a social Darwinist who preferred Jews to Arabs..........he wrote of the legitimacy of displacing 'the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. . I do not admit that a wrong has been done....... a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly-wise race, has come in and taken their place.'
4. As regards that mother of all tyrants, Saddam Hussein, and his use of poison gas against the Kurds, perhaps he learned from the precedent set by WC when he was Colonial Secretary in 1919 - WC wanted to use gas against the stubborn Arabs and added 'I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas against uncivilized tribes.'
5. Here comes the piece de resistance - the mother and father of The Great Thoughts of Winston Churchill. In the Illustrated Sunday Herald in 1920 he wrote that 'Jews were behind world revolutions everywhere.' He added:
This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (the United States) ..... this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality has been steadily growing.
If Jews who are the denizens of the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America could have their homeland , perhaps they would not conspire for the overthrow of civilization.
Dr Mahathir, President Mugabe, President Ahmedinejad - eat your heart out. In the accusations made against you for rabid anti-Semitism you have been outclassed by Sir Winston Churchill.
Thank you to Michael Lind for most of the details on the thoughts of Sir Winston Churchill
Mr John Simpson, do your homework.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are making one big ommission in your comparison between mahathir and churchill - the 100 years of evolution mankind has undergone. effectively, you are saying that mahathir's views is not so bad compared to that of a person who lived 100 years ago - yes indeed, mahathir's brain is only evolved to the point of churchill's 100 years ago, he has missed out 100 years of evolution.

anak si-hamid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anak si-hamid said...

There was a typographical error on the 11.22 pm comment. This is the repaired piece.


Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for the comment.
I'm afraid you have totally missed the point of my posting. By the look of your logic, you've also missed rather more years of evolution than Sir Winston Churchill and Dr Mahathir combined.

Here are two proverbs to simplify my contention.
1. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
2. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Anonymous said...

Errrr, Ma'am, respectfully I ask what IS the point of your post? That some people (leaders especially who) are bigger bigots AND are smarter and have finesse at spinning so that they get way with it? I am a Muslim (not that it should make any difference) and I do sincerely 'minta ma'af' but I find your 'tirade' just as naively irritating as a msg my husband forwarded me on how Muslims should not 'Facebook' because it helps a Zuckerman (Jewish)-owned company to make money. And then we talk about how Twitter is helping Iran... But i read your earlier posting on the 'Paki' jokes incident and believe your 're-living' of it indicates to a certain extent where you are coming from? Please again, I have no wish to offend you (I probably can't I know)... I do like your talent in writing; I just wish you were slightly happier.

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Anonymous,
Again you have failed to see the point of not one, but two postings. I cannot help you if you can't catch the drift of how our perceptions and norms are manufactured and manipulated by wilful powers (from both the West and the Middle East)- and perpetuated by our own ignorance and mental lethargy.

You sound like a thinking person -especially in your exasperation over your husband's text messages. I would be livid if my spouse utters such ignorance and naivety.

I would suggest you start your own blog to air your angst and grievances. It will help you to polish up your thoughts, your perception and narration.

But that is not my reason for blogging. I was encouraged to do so by the younger members of my family who, rightly or wrongly, believe I have something worthwhile to share with them. I write about a very happy childhood and schooldays, of meaningful and touching teaching days, of living and learning in the "belly of the whale". Every day of life, past and present , is a learning experience no matter how old you get.

That's where I come from. But more important than that - where are you going to?

By the way, writing is not a talent - it's a chore, a lot of hard work.

And finally, if you start a blog, do let me know.

Anonymous said...

anon
June 27, 2009 7:24 AM

' I just wish you were slightly happier.'

Just what do you mean happier ? How DO you gauge 'happier' ? --
Must everybody's 'happier' be according to your definition ?

I don't understand that . What is the basis of your statement ?

For all you know she's far far happier happier than you , leading a more fulfilling life and able to express her opinion, feeling and perception freely and openly--and not just reading about others .

As the blogger mentioned --do start a blog ? That way we can learn much mor about or from you .


I wait eagerly.

darjal.

amir said...

I am sorry, but I do not agree with the proverbs presented by Anak Si Hamid.

No no no no no.

There is only one slogan for all of us:

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

Or, to put it simply:

FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ma'am,
Re your "..how our perceptions and norms are manufactured and manipulated by wilful powers (from both the West and the Middle East)- and perpetuated by our own ignorance and mental lethargy."
Absolutely, agreed, ma'am. That is why I sincerely thank you for sharing your well-researched and extrapolated thoughts. The kids often receive the ad-libbed Voltaire line "I may not agree with what you have to say but will defend to the death your right to say it... no matter how 'stupid'." Or maybe the more appropriate term would be how 'uncomfortable' it makes me.
At any point in time, we ONLY know what we know (product of our environment, input, capacity etc).
And Amir, bless his snappy 1984 As I Please Orwellian wisdom, has it spot on. (Are you on Twitter?)

Yes, blogging just might help in my 'anger-management'(my words :) but I confess to being faint-hearted without the acumen to put up with 'lack of social graces'. (Ah, another topic - Man behaving badly).
Happy, Dirjal -- there are statistical indexes by WHO and others, (just google) some based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs etc. Happiness, apparently, can be 'calculated' -- and in a way measured by the positive vibes passed on. (Lifestyle gurus make money out of this!)
Sorry, Ma'am, for using your blog space. I genuinely appreciate your sharing and in my books (despite my being a stranger), you arrived a long time ago. Merci.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Darjal,
This is one problem you get in blogging and comments. The actual issues get muddied and you can't see the wood for the trees.

Also thank you Emir. I too have doubts whether the messages of the proverbs will carry any weight -but we live and hope - especially since the goose and gander are two-legged.

And to bring back the concept of evolution :

When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
In the Palaeozoic time.
And side by side in the ebbing tide,
We sprawled through ooze and slime.
(Langdon Smith)

The trouble is humankind is still stuck in the mud, though some are oozing with more power and self-righteousness - and more slimy - than others

anak si-hamid said...

Hello Amir,
I apologise for mis-spelling your name. We have a great nephew with your name but spelt with an E and his name was on my tongue.
Still, a rose by any other spelling smells just as sweet.

Anonymous said...

H'appy, Dirjal -- there are statistical indexes by WHO and others, (just google) some based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs etc. Happiness, apparently, can be 'calculated' -- and in a way measured by the positive vibes passed on. (Lifestyle gurus make money out of this!)'

You cut up human feeling any way you like it but how can you quantify it !

What I'm saying in my earlier comment , how DO you know the blogger is less happy ? - do you quantify it as well ? I wouldn't know and would even guess whether you are happy or not --why, you might even be very miserable . But there is no way I can ever 'calculate' your 'status' just by looking at your writing..,,,beacuse that what you are doing . Judging someones's emotion condition by her writing !

I do not care about what the gurus are selling. I mean we are not talking about chemical reaction, engineering solution or mathematical formulae.

Maybe if you know the person personally, and even then after a long period of time, would you be even slightly qualified to say
'' I just wish you were slightly happier.''


darjal the cat

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

Going back to the main topic. I am not too surprised with Churchill's rather racist attitude, his own justification for opposing Britain's entry into WWI was that it was not justified to go to war for the sake of Serbs, whom he pretty much considers a race of scum!

At the same time, it is not surprising for him to be anti-Arab/Islam and pro-Jew, Churchill's mother was not just famously American, she was also Jewish, though I have not found any reference of Churchill being either Jewish or a practicing Christian... he is likely agnostic.

The above gives me pause, for whilst it does not necessarily make me admire Churchill less, it does help put his beliefs and actions into greater context. E.g. his battle against Hitler was personal... Hitler was persecuting his mother's, hence his own people. The genocide would have been excruciating when discovered...

In all the above, I do indeed take Anak Si-Hamid's point. It is unfortunate also then that the young seem to be swayed more by the likes of Simpson than Kadir Jasin these days. The fear I have is that contextually, they are more 'at home' with Simpson and the like. I do not call this progress, I call it tragic.

And this is perhaps why some choose to not take your point maam, but rather pursue their incessant 'hobby-of-hate' towards our former PM, Tun Dr M...

kamal said...

saya tak pandai tulih orang puteh, tapi syiok baca 'game' kepala otak ni.....

blog ni baguih dari semua paper artikel di malaya.

Ahirudin Attan said...

kamal,

cakap baik2 sikit. kau ada baca The Malay Mail baru, ke?

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah,

Thank you for your comment.
It's heartening for a 65 year old ex-teacher to read your statement - there is hope after all.

Indeed you have put your finger on the button - it is 'tragic' - what's happened to the well-educated young (or younger than me)who have spent years overseas at the rakyat's expense and come back with a Bounty Bar chocolate mentality i.e brown on the outside and white on the inside.
I find it ironic that a generation brought up on post-Merdeka Malay language system of education has turned out almost deracinated. I thought that was the job of the imperial powers. But who says we have been de-imperialised?
Only the methods have changed - the objectives are still there. They cosy up to us with their culture, their political theology and it is such an easy option not to question or criticise - it's too much hard thinking. I saw this when I was teaching at USM in the early 90s. We have a lot of people with titles before and after their names but nothing much in between - ti is tragic.


Dear Kamal, terima kasih.
Kakak (?),/ma'ngah (?) minta maaf kerana tidak mempunyai kebolehan untuk menulis dalam bahasa ibunda, bukan kerana 'sombong' tetapi dari umur 7 tahun bahasa penulisan saya adalah hanya dalam bahasa Inggeris. Tetapi saya tetap bertutur dalam bahasa ibunda - kalau dah belacan, mana boleh berubah?
I take off my hat to you, for making the effort to read this blog. You are a source of hope.

Adoi! Din,
Jangan marah lah. When we get back, we shall certainly read The Malay Mail but make sure it's easily available like at our favourite Tosay Restaurant at Shah Jahan. See you soon - we want a free dinner.

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

Thank you for your kind words maam. Perhaps to give you more hope, I will relate to you what I am doing and am noticing is being taken up by a tiny nucleus of other individuals. A nucleus which we hope to be a seed.

A tiny morsel of former MRSM students are doing their rounds again talking to MRSM students. We are hoping the tradition is being resumed if not unbroken also in SBPs and perhaps even day schools. The tiny morsel of us are a tad different to others doing their rounds as we are trying to challenge conventions.

E.g., in my latest speech to kids at a Science camp at MRSM Taiping, I opened the discussion by identifying a "Brilliant Mind" not by the quality of Answers but the quality of Questions - and by implication also, the quality and velocity of follow-up to response. This is one seed, among others.

We need to get a snowball going, and in time, momentum perhaps will build. The young do not need facts alone I think now, but ideas. But the window of introduction is very small and has to be able to overcome a mass of common blockers to critical thought that is both cultural and unfortunately structural in our current education system.

I see your writing contributing in the same way, and perhaps encouraging your former anak buah / bright sparks now all grown up to join activities such as mine will be a good way to spend your time when you come back?

A humble view ma'am...

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Akhramsyah,

Hurray to you and your mates for what you're doing. Plant more seeds that will grow into trees like you.
As for more branches, the best way is to get to the teachers. I believe that the teaching of English language in the upper schools should branch out into some basic exercises in critical reading and thinking, not just more and more barking at print.

hariz hussin said...

bro there is nothing to compare...

there is nothing to champion about...

it is just the matter of bring up the facts...

the truth that people need to know..

pity of you...

the world in chaos of Israel cruelty..

and you still talking about nonsense..

whats your benefit actually...

i am sure mahathir doesn't intention to become champion or sort of any...

he just highlighting the misdeed by the Zionist...

and how the world is unfairly approach toward the muslim world because some of them have the power...

come on bro...

clear your mind...

no need to waste your time by comparing anything that will make you look a little bit stupid or naive...

just think about it bro...

think...

Anonymous said...

hariz hussin ,July 2, 2009 12:34 PM

No disrespect intended, but really bro, I do not understand what you are 'trying' to say ?

It would be wrong of me to second guess even the gist of your writing.

Based on your name, it would be far more beneficial if you write in Malay so that you can get your message across.

At first I thought it was a poem of some sort and I tried to look for the usual 'hidden message', mataphors, cynicism, sarcasm and all that . But I still coukldn't find any.

Would really love to know just what you are trying to say dude !

Again--no disrespect intended bro !

mus