Skip to main content

Zarqawi death has 'little impact'

"The US ambassador to Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last month has had no impact on the violence."

Yesterday's Urgent Question:
John Hemming: In many conflict situations, people start to want revenge more than they want peace. In the battle for hearts and minds, the danger is of creating vast resentment. Would it not be sensible for the Government to revisit their strategy from the perspective of how we can persuade people, instead of increasing the use of force?

Tom Watson: Our commanders on the ground understand the need for civic engagement. They are responsible for security building in Afghanistan and they understand that if ordinary Afghans do not buy in to what they are doing, our security objectives will not be met.


With asymmetric conflicts frequently those involved fail to understand the emotions of terrorists. Often the sort of acts that result in bombings such as the IRA in Warrington are driven more by a need for revenge than a rational consideration of what the most effective response is.

The same applies, of course, with governments. There is a perception that a strong response is all that is needed. Sometimes strength is needed. I am a fan of talking quietly and keeping a big stick. We do, however, need to make sure that we don't overuse the big stick.

Any consideration of conflict situations such as Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland (although things are much better there), East Timor should take into account the way human beings behave. Acts which are perceived as unjust (such as the US Actions in Fallujah, or bombings that kill mainly civilians) do create an emotional desire for revenge. Taking such situations and creating a peaceful environment is much harder than being careful not to get there in the first instance.

There is getting to be a perception as reported by the British Ambassador to the US recently that Peak Oil is much closer than was previously thought (he said between 2010 and 2020). One would hope that the world would handle this situation calmly and rationally, but it does not look that likely.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re False Allegations Campaign

Many people will know that my family and I have been subject to a campaign of false allegations by Esther Baker for the past 4 1/2 years. Yesterday there was a court judgment Baker v Hemming [2019] EWHC 2950 (QB) which formally confirmed that the allegations were false. Esther Baker, who had brought a libel claim against me, dropped her defence of Truth to my counter-claim and was taken by the judge as no longer trying to prove her allegations. Due to Baker's various breaches of court rules and orders, she has been barred from further repeating her allegations even in the court proceedings. Further claim of mine in libel against Baker are ongoing. There is a good summary in the Daily Mail here.

This demonstrates the challenge in fighting false allegations in today's Britain. A substantial campaign was built up to promote allegations which had no substance to them. Various Labour MPs and in pa…

Service launched to reduce the pain of calling a call centre.

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service"John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres.   The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "Many people find phoning call centres a real pain.  Our service is aiming to make things a lot easier.   One click on alink or the bookmarks list and our server will phone up the call centre and get through all the menus.  This is a lot faster than when people have to phone up and is less irritating." "Additionally the system uses WebRtc and the internet to make the call. This means that people don't find their normal phone system being blocked whilst they hang on the line waiting to speak to a human being." Marketing Manager from Soho66, David McManus, said: &q…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…