Cyprus Mail
CM Regular Columnist

Christmas wishes seem hollow in the face of global butchery

File photo: Idlib Syria

By Hermes Solomon

WISHING mankind health and happiness this Christmas sounds somewhat hollow given the year’s worldwide unpardonable butchery, leaving a record breaking number of displaced persons in refugee camps/ tents, shacks, under trees or lost in the Deep Blue.

But I’m alright Jack, and who cares about what’s really going on next door, so long as it’s not in my backyard. But Syria and Turkey, Israel and Palestine are in my backyard!

The teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam have served mankind miserably. Or as Karl Marx said, ‘Religion is the opium of the people’ – addictive.

Many take his statement to be a condemnation of religion, but its meaning is somewhat more subtle: Religious suffering is the expression of real suffering and a protest against that suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions.

We hide our misdeeds behind religion – at church or synagogue praying, the mosque prostrating piously or at the confessional – homes bedecked with icons, the Qu’ran, oil lamps, candlesticks and crosses.  We pray to excuse our culpability in the treachery we serve upon those less powerful or vociferous than ourselves.

Terrorism is the outcome – ours and theirs. The rat-a-tat of automatic weapons heard across a dust filled desert or chic Paris nightspots in response to illicit foreign occupation, a terrorist’s only voice as we bomb their homelands.

We patronisingly publicise the drowning of children and not their parents, as if parents were responsible for overloading boats with those fleeing Assad, ISIS and allied bombs.

Turkey is on the frontline and therefore primarily accountable for the drowning. Turkey admits refugees, permits them access to Turkey’s western seaboard and sells ‘doubtful dinghies’ that transport many of those suffering souls to their deaths.

Turkey has been isolated by allied powers after downing a Russian jet. Turkey has problems that EU money will not resolve. The Kurds are and have been on the warpath this past two years. They are financed by the US, who sees Kurdish control of parts of northern Syria, Iraq, eastern Turkey and Kurdistan as a game winner. Why pay billions in ‘protection money’ to Turkey when the U.S. could use a ‘new’ Kurdish state as a geopolitically closer frontline against her supposed enemies; Russia, Iran and ISIS?

Turkey sits on her throne in contempt of her western allies, which have grown her economy exponentially, equipped her military and built palaces fit for kings. But Turkey has cocked a snoot at the 30 million Kurds that permeate her eastern borders. She proudly announces their annihilation. Turkey’s state controlled media ‘bragged’ at the killing of 110 Kurdish ‘militants’ this week. Is Turkey about to repeat the Armenian genocide?

The Sunni Muslim Turkish administration is secular (supposedly) – the Kurds are Sunni Muslims and one of the world’s largest peoples without a sovereign state. Kurds have a long history of marginalization and persecution, and, particularly in Iraq and Turkey, have repeatedly risen up to seek greater autonomy or complete independence.

Kurdish suffering is the expression of real suffering and their fight for an independent state is a protest against that suffering.

The Kurds have not used religion to justify terrorist acts against Turkey. They are crying for ‘a beloved country’ – recognition – and Turkey hates them with pseudo religious venom.

The struggle against religion is indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Criticism of religion disillusions man so that he will think, act and fashion his reality like someone who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, thus he will move around himself as his own true Sun.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is his own true Sun. He is now regarded by all with caution. Who will he kill next? The US is courting another ‘ally’ (the Kurds). Erdogan knows this and finds himself between a rock (Russia) and hard place (the U.S.).

Iraqi Kurds were an important partner for the U.S.-led coalition which ousted Saddam Hussein from power in 2003.

Former Prime Minister, Adnan Menderes was hanged by the Turkish/US military junta after the 1960 coup d’état, along with two other cabinet members, Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan. They were charged with violating the constitution, ordering the Istanbul Pogrom in which 57 Greeks were killed, and embezzling money from state funds.

Be careful Recep; what goes around comes around…

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