Saturday 30th of May 2020

holy bullets...

holly bullets

Robert Fisk's World: The never-ending exodus of Christians from the Middle East
One of the oldest sects in the world is still fleeing sectarian violence for the West

Saturday, 23 January 2010

I have usually found that the closer a religious Christian, Jew or Muslim comes to the Middle East, the madder they become. The most avuncular Shropshire vicar, the kindest Jewish moderate, the most secular Muslim – dump them within a thousand miles of Jerusalem and they have the eyes of Lord Blair of Kut-al-Amara, that crazed, glazed, faith-based lunacy that must have inhabited the eyes of the Crusaders when they slaughtered their way across the Holy Land, dropping off near modern-day Homs in modern-day Syria to consume – literally – some of their Arab enemies. Orthodox priests fight each other over Christ's tomb; Israeli settlers claim that the Koran is not "a valid document" and local Muslims fully intend to "Islamicise" the world.

Was I the only one to react with a total lack of surprise to the news that Muslim Afghan soldiers are fighting Muslim Taliban fighters with a coded inscription on their rifle sights from the Bible's Book of John? Could Holman Hunt – who also went batty in the Middle East – have imagined that his Light of the World (Jesus, no less, painted in 1854) would be guiding the path of American as well as Afghan army bullets into the hearts of the Muslim Taliban? Possibly. So it turns out that another bunch of religious nutters, the makers of Trijicon rifle sights in the United States, believe the inscription is "part of our faith and our belief in service to our country".

Not since the Serbs and Lebanese Phalangists set off to massacre and rape their Muslim enemies over the past three decades with pictures of the Virgin Mary on their rifle butts has there been anything so preposterous. No doubt, our brave Dutch newspaper cartoonist – he of bomb-in-the-Prophet's-hat humour – will now sketch Jesus using a clip of 7.62 ammo to bang on the door of that wretched cottage in the Hunt portrait. Indeed, 'twas I who first spotted two American M(12A)1 Abrams tanks parked in central Baghdad in 2003 with "Crusader 1" and "Crusader 2" painted on their barrels. But since the man who sent them there – check out Bush's lunatic conversation with Chirac – believes in Gog and Magog, what's new? Don't tell me no one in the Pentagon (or the British Ministry of Defence, which has an order in for another 400 Trijicon sites) didn't query that weird "JN8:12" on the equipment.

No wonder then – and here's a real tragedy – that Christians are in a state of perpetual exodus from the Middle East. In Egypt, six Coptic Christians were killed at Christmas – along with a Muslim policeman – when local Muslims attacked them. The Copts are maybe 10 per cent of their country's 80 million people but they are heading in droves for America. One problem they have is seeking official permission to build churches in Egypt – and if they get this permission, sure enough, up will pop a mosque right next door.

Courtesy of that great Bible-reader George W Bush, the Christians of post-invasion Iraq – one of the oldest sects in the world – are still fleeing sectarian violence for the West.


Meanwhile at Crusade Central...:

Gunsights with biblical references inscribed on them are being used by Canadian special forces in Afghanistan, but the military plans to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Militaries around the world, including Canada's, were caught off guard by the news that U.S. manufacturer Trijicon of Wixom, Mich., had put biblical citations on many gunsights in use by forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

One type of Trijicon gunsight has raised markings saying simply JN8:12. That is a reference to the Book of John, Chapter 8, verse 12.

In the King James Version of the Bible, that citation reads: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' "

Another Trijicon sight has the inscription 2COR4:6, a reference to the passage from Corinthians Book 2, Chapter 4, verse 6: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Until recently, military leaders were unaware of the significance of the abbreviations.


Next, came the bullets with blessed explosive charges...

the mad crusades...

Biblical reference markings on US-made sights are to be removed from guns used by the New Zealand army in Afghanistan.

The markings, in the form of coded references, have been appearing on products made by US defence contractor Trijicon in Michigan for decades.

But US soldiers, who say the markings could be used against them if captured, have complained to an advocacy group.

A Muslim group in the US is also urging the government to remove any equipment with the markings from combat use.

The gun sights are widely used by the US and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a letter sent to US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) said: "Allowing religious references to be placed on US weaponry, which are bought and paid for by US taxpayers, is unacceptable.

"Such inscriptions not only run afoul of the constitution and US military rules, but they also feed into the violent extremists' narrative that the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a 'crusade against Islam'."


See bullet at top.

the tragic glory of war...


Perhaps only ancient Sparta claimed to support its military more than the United States. From the “soldiers get priority boarding” ritual that happens only in American airports, to elections where a decision not to serve is forever held against a candidate, there are daily reminders that “the troops” are a presence in our society like few others.

The desire to claim a piece of that presence leads to elaborate lies, known as “stolen valor.” People buy regulation uniforms and walk through society showing off medals, telling fake war stories, and accepting unearned thanks. They want the juice without having endured the squeeze. They are out there this Veteran’s Day, and they are to be loathed.

But while some fake service, in too many ways society fakes support.

  • We watch the troops die because of long waits for care at U.S. veterans’ hospitals.
  • We pass by 40,000 veterans homeless on any given night. More than half suffer from an untreated mental illness that helped put them on the streets.
  • We know some 460,000 vets from the Iraq and Afghan wars suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); another 260,000 have Traumatic Brain Injuries. Statistics are hard to come by from America’s other wars, but a working figure for PTSD out of Iraq and Afghanistan of about 20 percent means millions of Vietnam and Korea vets are suffering, too. But all to often, they suffer in silence because they are injuries we cannot readily see.
  • We read that military suicides increase among those who suffer brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.
  • We are silent in the face of 20 veteran/soldier suicides a day.

These are just numbers until you put a face on them. In my case, the face belonged to Brian Edward Hutson (name changed).

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