Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kris Hopkins MP: "It is more convenient for the infidel to kill their Muslim brothers and gesture disapproval than it is to stand up to a tyrant"

Fast-forward to 17:28:22 to hear a quite remarkable speech by Conservative MP, Kris Hopkins (Duke of Wellington's Regiment, ret'd). Quentin Letts noted that the House listened in silence, and also that the Prime Minister remained in the Chamber to hear the whole debate (which Tony Blair rarely did). The speech is reproduced below (blessings to ConservativeHome). The last paragraph - on the indifference of most Muslim countries to the tyrants among them - is quite the most powerful utterance on the conflict so far:
"During my basic training in the Army, I realised that a sergeant shouting at me to stab and scream and stab again a bale of hay with a fixed bayonet was teaching me how to rip somebody apart. A few years later, I saw the remains of an IRA terrorist unit that had been ambushed by a Special Air Service unit. The remains had been shredded by the hundred of bullets that had gone through their bodies.

"Following the first Gulf war, a friend of mine showed me some pictures that he had taken of the convoy attempting to escape back up to Iraq. One of the pictures was of the charred, black head and a desperate hand-black and maimed-of someone trying to leave their vehicle. There is nothing glorious or romantic about war. To those in the media who have portrayed what is happening now-or what has happened in previous wars-as some form of entertainment, I say that that is just not right. I am afraid that human beings need to commit brutal, savage attacks on each other to win wars.

"I have spoken in the House before about our lack of political capital following the illegal war in Iraq and what I believe is a folly in Afghanistan. There may be moral reasons to fight again, but I will be honest: we are struggling to find the moral high ground from which to project that morality. As people have said, Gaddafi is the man who brought down the Pan Am plane over Lockerbie, the man who shipped the weapons that killed some of my colleagues and the man who killed WPC Fletcher. However, I feel uncomfortable about going to war. It is not a simple choice; it is a really difficult choice to contemplate.

"This morning when I was coming to work, I listened to a phone-in from BBC television about whether we should kill Gaddafi. It was almost gladiatorial, as though people were phoning in so that we could see whether the populace was giving a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. I have to say that I was fairly disgusted that the killing of another human being, however disgusting he is, could become a form of entertainment.

"While we pontificate about morality and our obligations, brave men and women are putting their lives at risk at our request. This is not a debate about student fees, the Scotland Bill or the double summer time Bill; this is about the business of war. We do not take this decision lightly. While we wage war on our enemy, Muslim brothers and Arab leaders-with a few exceptions-remain silent. It is more convenient for the infidel to kill their Muslim brothers and gesture disapproval than it is to stand up to a tyrant. To the new leaders of the emerging democracies out there in the middle east, I say this: 'The next time a murderer comes to the end of his reign, you gather in your House, like we are today, and think about how you're going to take your share of the responsibility and what you're going to contribute'."
There is so much that is praiseworthy in this speech, not least of which is the observation of the propensity of some sections of the media to reduce military action to another round of The Weakest Link. War is not entertainment: it is, as Mr Hopkins reminds us, bloody, horrific and traumatic. And while the Kuffar are nobly sacrificing themselves, perhaps the Ummah might indeed consider what they may better contribute to the peace and security of their divided nations. Inshallah.


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Why oh why are we engaged in yet another war that has nothing to do with us? Can anyone tell me what "victory" or "success" will look like? And why can't the Arab League - who called for "a no fly zone" - enforce it themselves. No, that must be left to the kuffar.

Why did only 13 MP's vote against this march into madness? Have they really got such short memories? Sometimes it seems the satirists are more astute than our politicians.

What is it that singles Libya out over Yemen, or Bahrain, or the Ivory Coast, or Zimbabwe? Oh, yeh. Let's hope the poor people of Zimbabwe strike oil soon.

22 March 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger Span Ows said...

they're all sat on their hands and soiling their undergarments hoping the 'revolution' doesn't come their way.

22 March 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger prziloczek said...


22 March 2011 at 20:38  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I respect Kris Hopkins, he has seen war , fought war , it is somthing beyond sat on benches making political points. It is of little use trying to say you know , when you have never had to face it.
Perhaps there is a begining and end to the hand wringing of just wars . We could of course do nothing whilst evil is doing somthing , parlez with tyrants until we no longer ourselves can distinguish good from bad.

Should we have saved Kuwait? from militarised baathest rule .I was astonished to hear that a baathest HQ in libya had been attacked by the freelibyans . A Benghazian turned on the arab leagues leader wavering, "he should be here , he should see with his own eyes what gaddafi is doing".

We are hoping the arab world can see it must reform , but we do not understand why they do not want to change to modern institutions , why they are happy to see there impoversihed and oppresed arab brother die via the infidels , weapons , rather than have the will to get there brother to change or relenquish his rule .

If Mr hopkins is asking the question "where is the Arab political will to make better countries" it is valid , they cannot continue in the dirty work of endless terrorism , arms and oil cash if they consider themselves a wise nation standing before humanity.

When the taliban ruled Afghanistan we were shocked , we did not understand why having seen the war with soviet russian , they reverted into despotic gun toting theocracy, ending education , destroying healthcare .Where was the islamic will to change this ? .Why even now do taliban destroy aid convoys of food and medicene , what is it that is stopping these countries from seeing the limits of terrorism ?.

I appreciate Mr hopkins frustration at the lack of good instituions /governance , but Gaddafi funded terrorism , we hope that there is the potential within the arab world to see the failure of baathest beliefs and to have a different approach.

We are perhaps bound in a gospel that proposes evil has armed intent founded in the fall , but we should not forget we call our ministerial department "defence" and not attack . Even then what is it we are defending is a troubling question when the reciever of our help cannot speak of its quality or necessity.

22 March 2011 at 20:40  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"Why we wage war on our enemy"

Lets face it, the whole thing began as a war on terror, with no defined enemy and emergency measures that stripped us of our rights and left us all feeling like the enemy.

Thats the politics of war, or to use his words the "business" of war, even politicians and military figures are coming to loggerheads over exactly what the politicians game is.

22 March 2011 at 20:42  
Blogger Goodnight Vienna said...

The Arab League should take more of a role but they won't. Many ME counries are undemocratic by nature; they fear that if they actually do supply armed forces for the no-fly zone, it could be something heading their way in the future.

We're on a very sticky wicket here.

22 March 2011 at 20:44  
Blogger gildas said...

Superb post

22 March 2011 at 20:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man is a soft headed fool and lacks the intelligence and vicious awareness of the world to be anything else but bullet fodder.

He should be obeying orders not commenting on them.

22 March 2011 at 20:45  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

And while the Kuffar are nobly sacrificing themselves, perhaps the Ummah might indeed consider what they may better contribute to the peace and security of their divided nations.

At the time of writing, ‘nobly sacrificing themselves’ is a touch hyperbolic, Your Grace; firing missiles from a submarine is hardly the Somme. As for the ummah, Muslim countries do have a tried and tested method of imposing peace and security on their people: the police state with added fear of Allah. It isn’t pretty, it isn’t democracy and it isn’t freedom as we know it but if it works for them, we should leave well alone. And we would, too, if it were not for the oil.

22 March 2011 at 20:46  
Anonymous not a machine said...

quick , secrets of the bible is on bbc2 at 9 , in which we find god had competion , i think he still does .

22 March 2011 at 20:55  
Blogger OldSouth said...

...and Mr. Hopkins is not Prime Minister because...?

22 March 2011 at 21:03  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Lets face it, the whole thing began as a war on terror, with no defined enemy

Actually it didn't. The "war on terror" was another slogan like "war on drugs" because politicians have no grasp that the public is more intelligent than they are.

The current situation began with countries like Britain pulling out of the Middle East in 1957 when Macmillan cut back MI6 activities in the region. As a consequence Britain became dependent on CIA feed and snippets from Mossad.

From being very deeply entwined with the region Britain became isolated after closing down MI6 ops and then withdrawal from East of Suez after 1966.

Coupled with politicians with no historical grasp we stumbled like teenagers into areas requiring great understanding because the nation states are fake and brittle. Our politicians do not understand tribal politics and use crude Marxism and sociological twaddle to interpret what people are supposed to want and need

22 March 2011 at 22:02  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Painful and pertinent observations about modern media. It is embarassing to witness the 'modern' reporter parading about in flack jackets with obvioue excitement in their voices aboput war. Sadly, the same applies to natural disasters such as Japan and Haiti.

Human suffering becomes 'good copy'. A reflection on our culture where empathy becomes secondary to entertainment.

So far as the swipe at Islam popualtions is concerned, I disagree. What is being overlooked is the part played by the West since WW1 in fostering dictatorships suited to our interests. The 'nations' of the middle east were constructed by the West from the remnants of past Empires. Tribal peoples used to a nomadic way of life are ill equiped to demand democracy. Add Islam with its deference to religious leaders, and it's obvious the path to full democracy and citizenship will be a long, slow one.

We've encouraged this state of affairs. Initially to protect the Suez Canal - remember that? - and now oil.

The West will be the ultimate losers of a democratic Arabia. It is our moral duty to assist now and to do so without an agenda. Let the people decide their owm futures.

22 March 2011 at 22:30  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager, 22 March 22:02_"The current situation began with countries like Britain pulling out of the Middle East in 1957 when Macmillan cut back MI6 activities in the region.....Britain became isolated after closing down MI6 ops and then withdrawal from East of Suez after 1966...Coupled with politicians with no historical grasp... "

Lack of historical grasp is a fault of many including politicos, but not, perhaps of Anthony Eden or Harold Macmillan, whose experience in office may have led them to become aware of the inexorable force of "events, dear boy, events".

What may be lacking on the part of decision-making politicians is a phenomenal lack of actual political nous and skill for the job (and the naivety of youth or weariness of age).

btw, would Kim Philby have had any connection with those MI6 activities?

22 March 2011 at 22:55  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I don't give a galloping fart for most of the Middle East. Whatever we do will be wrong, so it's best to save our lives, and save our money, until we KNOW what, if anything, needs to be done.

We can do without Cameron's attempt at being a world-statesman.

nb. ''Infidel'' is not a muslim word; it is they who are 'infidels'.

22 March 2011 at 23:42  
Anonymous not a machine said...

The Last Dodo : I am perhaps no better at trying to understand history . The suez canal as the panama canal were major trade improvements for the steam powered boat. It also provided the middle east with ports and trade as well as improving european economies.
The tribal aspect is getting a lot of recognition which as you say may have caused some problems.
But again that is somthing for the arabs to deal with , which in my view is to do with urban populations needing to have markets in order to function , quite different from the tribal concept in some ways the size of populations forces this.
The problems in Tunisia started with expensive food and unemployment , which suggests that they have reached a point where there population can only function with markets and shared sufferage which also may be describing the need for more democracy.

I am not sure if we are interfering when some of these countries are failing due to the pressures of there failing institutions .These signs have perhaps been somthing the arab world has not done much about.
I mean do some of these countries honestly believe that increasing the secret police will decrease food prices ? that is entirely the mentality they have got into and the west its own rut.

I watched secrets of the bible , jumped around a little with tenous threads , but certainly having a good pop at the foundations.Was more baffled than convived .

23 March 2011 at 00:09  
Blogger Manfarang said...

" perhaps the Ummah might indeed consider what they may better contribute to the peace and security of their divided nations."
They have- set up an Islamic Republic.

23 March 2011 at 02:23  
Anonymous PaganPride said...

Anon @ 20.45 - not as much as you do my friend. And I don't miss at 50 metres.

23 March 2011 at 03:16  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What I would like to know is what deal the UN struck with the Arabs to get their consent to bomb Libya and what is it going to cost us when Gadaffi is finally ousted.

23 March 2011 at 07:16  
Anonymous srizals said...

No, the West or the Kuffar don't get to clean their hands that easily. It was them who shook and patted the backs of tyrants, sometimes almost kissing each other’s cheek.

I agree with Johnny on this one, it has nothing to do with morality, if it did; no one can steal someone else's country and put all the previous legal citizens in the biggest and the longest surviving concentration camp in the world, with interval bloody punishment from time to time. They would be long bombed. Out of the West humanistic concerns, of course.




Insya Allah we will, your grace. Insya Allah. When we can't get rid al wahn from our hearts, the love of this life and the fear of death.

On the authority of Thawbaan, the Prophet said:
“The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?” He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.” [An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

23 March 2011 at 07:20  
Anonymous MJ said...

There is at least one good hedgehog point in _not a machine 22March 23:42_ and _Gnostic 23 March 07:16_ may have another.

If "patriotism is not enough..." nor is history: "... I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."--St Martin's Place, Trafalgar Sq., Edith Cavell memorial.

23 March 2011 at 08:11  
Anonymous MrJ said...

above from MrJ

23 March 2011 at 08:12  
Blogger gyg3s said...

Two points, would it make a difference if Gadaffi was not responsible for the death of Yvonne Fletcher and the Lockerbie disaster?

And, it is disturbing to listen to colleagues of the late Jill Dando casually discussing murdering someone just as Dando was murdered.

23 March 2011 at 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The so-called “no fly zone” is looking very similar to the early days of the “air war” against Iraq. But then why wouldn’t it? Both countries have oil.

And strange how warmonger Cameron can blow another few million pounds at the drop of a hat to bomb the **** out of Libya but can’t find the necessary cash to equip an aircraft carrier that might actually be useful in defending real British interests one day.

23 March 2011 at 08:42  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I am glad that there are blogs like yours which report news like this; it certainly wouldn't appear on TV as it was criticising their "entertainment".
And in spite of my not wanting to believe that it is so, I find it difficult to ignore the claims that it is all to do with oil, as any arguments that it is on moral grounds to prevent a dictator killing his own citizens, are totally negated by our failure to have done anything in Zimbabwe over the years.

23 March 2011 at 09:46  
Anonymous Kiwi said...

This fiasco is beginning to feel a bit like Jimmy Carter’s 1979 failed Iran hostage rescue mission.

23 March 2011 at 10:00  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Why the hell are we so intent on riding to the rescue of people who are no friends of the west.
Where is 'democratic' Turkey in all of this? Where is the lilly-livered Arab League? - Standing well clear - as they know just how Arabs behave.
Are we to ignore the fact that hundreds of jihadist Libyans have been fighting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan all these years. Just who amongst the Libyans is going to sort out the tribalism which has underpinned Gahadafi in the past.
What we have here is failure to understand the political nature of the indigenous Arabs. Yet again our politicians are making the same mistake of thinking 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'.

The epicenter of Libyan jihadism is the city of Derna — the hometown of more than half of Libya's foreign fighters, according the West Point analysis. The city of 80,000 has a history of violent resistance to occupying powers — including Americans, who captured the city in the First Barbary War.

23 March 2011 at 10:52  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Dreadnaught: exactly so.

23 March 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger Geoff said...

Excellent speech and sobering to those that maybe get over excited in a vicarious way (like myself) at the sight of our jets bombing Libya.

23 March 2011 at 19:43  

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