In aftermath of Christchurch mosque massacre:Trump downplays White ‘terror’ | Sunday Observer

In aftermath of Christchurch mosque massacre:Trump downplays White ‘terror’

A middle class White man who could afford to regularly fly between Australia and New Zealand, buy up to two semi-automatic assault rifles and had enough knowledge to convert them into fully automatic weapons and use them military-style, slaughtered 49 people in two mosques while live-streaming the massacre on the internet, but US President Donald Trump does not regard Right-wing White supremacism a serious ‘threat’ to society.

The American leader, who had earlier responded to the Charlottesville, USA, White supremacist mob violence by saying that there were ‘good people’ among the neo-Nazis who wreaked that violence, last Friday told news media that White supremacists were “a small group of people” and not an emerging threat to the world. He ignored the fact that the Australian mass murderer who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, had published on the Web a ‘manifesto’ that attributed his racist inspiration partly to Trump.

The American ‘leader of the free world’ who actively deprioritises White supremacism as a social threat, seems to knowingly disregard the fact that such public refusal to recognise White ‘terrorism’ only serves to embolden those White supremacists to carry out such violence. Such a posture could easily be interpreted as actually an encouragement of White violence.

Meanwhile, in Palestine, Israel responded to the firing of just two home-made rockets that did little damage to a suburb of Tel Aviv by launching air raids that targeted no less than one hundred locations in the tiny, embattled Gaza Strip. Although many Palestinian homes and buildings were damaged by the Israeli air raids, there were no casualties other than injury to a few civilians.

Israeli defence authorities would have been surprised by the ability of the Palestinians to launch rockets and penetrate the much-vaunted (and American subsidized) ‘Iron Dome’ air defence shield to reach as far as Tel Aviv city.

The Hamas-led government of the Gaza Strip denied responsibility and condemned the rocket attack but Tel Aviv routinely uses such minor and ineffective hostile firing as excuses to further bombard Gaza, thereby undermining Hamas military infra-structure and terrorising the already besieged Palestinians of Gaza.

It is likely that Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu, facing general elections shortly and also facing criminal indictments for fraud and bribery, used the opportunity to boost his political credentials by the harsh response against Gaza.

In New Zealand, however, the Government did not use the massacre in Christchurch to gain political kudos. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, quite unlike Trump, did not hesitate to describe the mosque attacks as “terrorism” and, also unlike Trump and his Republican Party, promised to act to drastically limit gun ownership and technology.

New Zealand’s 5 million population owns some 1.5 million firearms. Despite such proliferation of firearms, there were only eight gun-related homicides in New Zealand in 2015 and the annual rate remains among the lowest in the world. Following Friday’s massacre, the New Zealand government is expected to legislate further controls on firearms. Semi-automatic rifles are likely to be banned, according to reports.

Although Premier Ardern did not hesitate to label the massacre of Muslims attending Friday prayers as an act of ‘terrorism’, it was interesting to note the number of Western ‘liberal’ news channels that dithered over describing this White mass murderer’s actions as “terrorism”. If it had been a massacre perpetrated by Muslims, all the Western news channels would have automatically rushed to label the perpetrators as ‘terrorist’.

In that sense, Western cultural ambiguity about the sins of Westerners remains strong, whether articulated by America’s President or the so-called liberal news media.

At the same time, the deliberate video telecasting of the massacre ‘live’ by the killer himself has prompted the Web media to act to restrict the circulation of the massacre video. Facebook, Google and Twitter reportedly took the video clip down but some users reported access to the video by means of hacking. Internet managers worried that the free circulation of the massacre video and Nazi emblems on the Web would serve to glamorize the mass murder resulting in future copying actions.

News channels across the world appealed to viewers not to access or disseminate the Christchurch murderer’s video clip and ‘manifesto’ in order to limit their impact. It seems that the world is at last waking up to the negative possibilities of the Web and is beginning to acknowledge the need for regulation of social media.

Meanwhile, after a second, severe, defeat for her Brexit package in the British Parliament last week, Prime Minister Theresa May is stubbornly holding out for a third House vote on the same package. EU member states (and the rest of the world except, perhaps, Trump) are scoffing at the clumsiness of the UK political elite in handling Brexit. Donald Trump claimed last week that he had advised Premier May on how to negotiate Brexit but that negotiations had failed because she had not followed his advice!

May is hoping for a delay in the Brexit start by three months, but European leaders may refuse any postponement. An automatic withdrawal from the EU as invoked by May’s government is only weeks away and most analysts warn that an unplanned withdrawal (i.e. a ‘no-deal’ Brexit) would cause havoc to the UK economy, currently one of the world’s strongest.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, the US-supported Afghan government is expressing dissatisfaction with on-going peace talks between the Afghan Taleban insurgent leadership and the US government on the ground that Kabul is not represented in the talks. The Taleban leadership reportedly agreed to the talks, now running into its fourth month of regular meetings, only on the basis of excluding the Kabul regime. They regard the government in Kabul as a mere puppet of the Washington.

After several rounds of talks and with both sides claiming some limited ‘success’, the Kabul government is reportedly worried that Washington may barter away Afghanistan’s currently elected government in exchange for Taleban’s commitment to a political stability that would enable an American military withdrawal.