errorism is all about savage attacks against defenceless people with the sole intention of spreading fear and terror among its victims. In today’s world the media largely associate terror with either people of colour or Islamic extremists.
World leaders like US President Donald Trump have gone on record blaming terrorism as emanating from the Middle East, from Latin America or from Asia. Without giving a thought to what these leaders say, many people tend to accept, without batting an eye lid, the pronouncements of these men as Gospel truths.
In February 2015, a video showing the burning alive of a captive Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh by the ISIS prompted revulsion around the world. On April 21 this year, as Sri Lankans assembled in churches for Easter Sunday Mass, and in tourist hotels for Easter breakfast, the ISIS-influenced suicide bombers who blew themselves up killing over 250 innocent men, women and children. These have been, but two incidents in the ISIS campaign to establish an ‘Islamic caliphate’ worldwide.
On September 11 or more commonly known today as 9/11, terrorists from Al-Queda, led by Osama bin Laden, flew two planes into America’s Twin tower buildings killing around 3,000 Americans. But justice awaited bin-Laden, and on May 1, 2011, US Navy Seals executed him at his hideout at Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Bin-Laden’s execution, even without trial, was widely acclaimed and rightly so. Sadly weaker nations executing war criminals as in the case of Sri Lanka’s execution of LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabakaran was condemned.
What is even more sad, however, is the double standards powerful nations display regarding savagery and terrorism. For instance Britain’s former Premier Winston Churchill was decorated with a knighthood for his services to Britain. But John McDonnell, deputy leader of Britain’s Labour Party labelled Churchill a “criminal.” This followed soon after a Green Party member of the Scottish Parliament Ross Greer described Churchill as a “mass murderer” and a “white supremacist.” The BBC reported on January 26, 2015, Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons - primarily against Kurds and Afghans.
“I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas,” he wrote in a memo during his role as minister for war and air in 1919. “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes,” he continued.
Churchill had also been accused of being a racist. In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission: “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
In 1943, India, then still a British possession, experienced a disastrous famine in the north-eastern region of Bengal, where at least three million people were believed to have been perished. A very few know about the genocide in Bengal (now Kolkata) and how Churchill engineered it. Bengal had a better than normal harvest.
The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people to ship to the Middle East – where it wasn’t even needed. When the starving people of Bengal asked for food, Churchill said the ‘famine’ was their own fault “for breeding like rabbits”.
Leo Amery who was the British Secretary of State in India said he “didn’t see much difference between his [Churchill] outlook and Hitler’s”. Churchill refused all of the offers to send aid to Bengal, Canada offered 10,000 tons of rice, the US 100,000, but he just point blankly refused to allow them.
After his appointment as Secretary of State for the Colonies’ in 1921, in Iraq, Churchill advocated a strategy of bombing any resistance to British rule. The Air Force then indiscriminately bombed civilian areas to subdue the population.
Churchill’s bombing of Kurdistan and Iraq - then Mesopotamia - was described by bomber Arthur Harris: The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means. Within 45 minutes, a full-sized village could be practically wiped out, and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.
Yet, Sri Lanka is still being charged at the UN for war crimes... While Winston Churchill has been knighted and the UN has never given thought to the crimes committed under his orders.
White is might, rules are made by the victors and crimes against humanity fall by the wayside.