By: Kian Mokhtari
Stoic is according to the Oxford Dictionary: "A person who is able to suffer pain or trouble without complaining or showing what they are feeling."
But stoicism is a far cry from pacifism. Stoicism is most subtly witnessed in the very British game of Croquet. The gentle game of knocking a ball through some hoops on the grass is as a matter of fact one of the most vicious games ever invented. The unrecorded toll of psychological damage wrought by players on one another would make the Crimean War look like a tea party.
And strangely enough afternoon tea and scones are often served to the players during the game. Croquet captures and encapsulates the highly charged human instinct for aggression within the principles of 'white torture'.
Human psyche is mercilessly assaulted in the most pleasant surroundings one could ever imagine. A village green in Britain's Cotswolds with smartly dressed, well-spoken locals is hardly anyone's picture of open warfare.
But in little Britain where winning the annual best homemade jam prize at the village green fair can become a bone of contention over many generations, attrition on an unimaginable scale takes on a facet of its own, presented with a most respectable façade of lightheartedly taking part in a not too serious pastime.
Stoicism is therefore not about nonviolence, it is about simmering aggression relieved through infliction of psychological torture over long periods of time. Stoicism is about afflicting your opponent so that their defeat is absolute, unquestionable and final. To win at the stoic battle front information about your opponent and every aspect of his or her state of mind and details of life is vital.
A funny little difference pointed out in the book "The Moon's a Balloon" by the late British actor David Niven most eloquently confirms the point made above through looking at differences between British and American architectural styles. Niven says that the British houses barely have a front yard, however most have ample backyards often fashioned into twee little gardens with high hedges on either side so British neighbors learn as little as possible about each other's habits. While in the US the front yards are immense and not much attention is spared for the backyard.
The less one's opponent knows about your home life the better you are likely to do in a game of Croquet against him; oh yes the game is that vicious. Little wonder then, that on the international scene Britain is continuously busy presenting a united front; a facade of a kind of British society that has never truly existed.
Little Britain has become a multi trillion-dollar tourism industry built on extraordinary fairy tales, flights of fancy and imaginative calculation by authors and scientists. Regardless of the monarch in power, the people of Britain have done little other than contribute to a fragmented national identity whose cracks have been carefully covered over and this effort for a country that has been less than kind on many occasions. Even in the case of King George III, whose weak planning and leadership lost the British Empire a colony we have come to know as the USA, and who suffered from madness for much of his advanced years, was served dutifully by his subjects as a Monarch.
The stoic warfare strategy paid off right up until Tony Blair went and spoilt it all by opting for the decidedly different American political architecture of wide open front gardens without that crucial spinal cord of Britishness; that mighty centre of world operations: the humble but secretive British back garden.
Politics and political ideologies do not make Britain, although the British brand of diplomacy was until recently an unrivaled art. The British take pride in their ranks because of the sheer limits they have set for enduring hardship and pain, all within a struggle to break free of the fiscal confines forced upon their Island by its lack of resources and "splendid" isolation.
The strategy of stoicism is about viewing domestic impediments as advantages in the field of battle. The fight for "the blighty" rages still from a twee village green in Worcestershire or Surrey in Britain, all the way to Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada.
Reactionaries, better known as rebels are mere victims whose bitterness of defeat has rendered blind to all advantages even if they are surrounded with heavenly gifts and temperate geographic location. A stagnated sate of philosophical defeatism begins where patience for the game begins to end.
By: Kian Mokhtari
A flustered looking pet dog runs to its “bestest friend in the whole wide world,” as she, emerges from Sainsbury's super market. Outside Maple tree tops catch the sunlight and sway gently in the breeze. The weather is so pleasant for the time of year in England and at around 24 degrees centigrade shiny new cars are out with their owners visibly cherishing the chance to wear their latest style sunglasses. The convertibles have their tops down as the occupants let their hair down. London's red buses run as they always have through the garden suburbs and there are no hints of anything unusual going on in Britain's capital.
Even the annoying world recession does not appear -on the face of it- to have done much lasting damage. People are out eating in the restaurants and soaking in the precious sunlight. There is peace all around.
The Brits are known for sweeping all unpleasantness under the carpet and possess a pedigree called the stiff upper lip. However something is on the British public's mind and it preoccupies the people as they grin and bear it. You'd have had to have been brought up in Britain to sense and understand it.
All is not what it seems in London.
If one were to make a rough guess about it he would have to say perhaps the war Afghanistan is beginning to bear down on the British public's conscience.
This isn't because Afghans are getting killed or because Afghanistan is in a total new mess created by the US-led coalition's occupation of the country. There has never been any sense of guilt about empire-building in Britain.
In the last few sunny days of August 2009, the British public goes about its business with a sense of collective guilt about the British troops dying in a far flung region of the world in which the enterprise of “great pitch and moment” of war against terrorism has lost the name of action.
So how does the Gordon Brown government justify it all?
The publicity undercurrent to keep the British taxpayer at bay, something that is ever so delicately transferred through the media -and yet the method in it reeks of vulgarity- is to portray all the rest of the world as a whirlpool of uncertainty, chaos and disorder.
Britain's state controlled TV, the BBC, and the so-called privately owned channels' reports from even the most peaceful places in the world quickly rush to find faults with them and magnify their shortcomings.
Good old England can never sink as low as that horrid Godforsaken geographic mishap the programs shout out. The reports communicate the message to the people of Britain that they are indeed blessed by God to be living in the tranquility of a lone Island that is too full of “goodness gracious me” to even consider itself part of Europe.
So the message is, in order to preserve the status quo sacrifices have to be made; and the young gentlemen in England who have grown up to love their land, history and heritage are most often the lot who feel obliged to pay the price with their lives; if they must!
The British public is so skillfully detached from it all with an instilled sense of social superiority over the rest of the world that it will never sway from the path set out for it by a few devil's advocates with unlimited tools of control within -funnily enough- a Democracy.
The war in Afghanistan will most likely be lost, but will be declared a victory in line with the age old habit of the Western world in such situations. However this time, the stigma attached to such senseless loss of lives all-round is showing signs of remaining to impede Britain in the future. It appears to be chipping away at the very core of the British society's cohesion: that artificially generated sense of moral ascent that has kept the scam running for centuries.
For Oil, BP and St George
By: Kian Mokhtari
Ossetia, according to Wikipedia is “an ethno-linguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians, an Iranian people who speak the Ossetic language (an Eastern Iranian language, Indo-European group of languages). The Ossetic-speaking area is divided by the main Caucasus ridge.”
An instinctively independent people, having distinguished themselves during WWII against the Nazis and later, against the communist rule, South Ossetians do not number much more than one hundred thousands -for all their fierce reputation.
Their main income is through taxation on goods passing through a long tunnel between North and South Ossetia.
South Ossetians are hardly a threat to anyone living their lives out in a somewhat forgotten corner of the world among themselves.
That is until the neo-Cross of St George freak show entered Tbilisi to accommodate the movement of oil and gas to the West via British Petroleum pipelines and machinery. Mikhail Sakhashvili was placed on the “throne” after a cotton revolution –or was it velvet revolution; some rags to riches Western cooked scheme anyway.
And what son of St George would hesitate to attack Indo-Europeans.
At university, a friend once asked an English student to elaborate on British hostility toward Iranians. He was told in no uncertain terms that Iranians were an Indo-European (Aryan) tribe who carried the “Empire building gene” and the world could only contain one such entity. The English person in question is now a top executive with British Petroleum Company.
So a forgotten bit of territory that until the recent attack by Georgia could not even be located on a map by most people is being beaten on because of oil, Sakhashvili brand of hot headed Georgian nationalism and speaking an Eastern Iranian tongue.
South Ossetians do not want to carry Georgian passports in their homeland and it is as simple as that. Abkhazians next door feel the same way but they have not been singled out for annihilation; presumably because they do not speak an Indo-European language and thus do not possess Empire-building genes!!!
The proponents of the tired old legend of St George should really attack California, USA. It has the highest concentration of Iranians speaking an ancient Indo-European language called Farsi. But sadly there is no oil there and its governor is currently struggling to pay the state’s municipal bills.
Mr Sakhashvili has lost the plot it seems, trying to take on Russia and its mighty armed forces. Did the Georgian President expect his British allies to rush to his side and attack Russia?
Russian abstinence from eating Georgia whole is admirable to say the least. Russia sent a single brigade -76th airborne- to repel Georgian military attacks against its peacekeepers, thereby containing to the region the conflict ignited by Georgia.
Even the US President Bush told Georgia to sling its hook elsewhere.
Just what was Mr Sakhashvili trying to achieve? Initiating Large-scale military action in the Caucasus region is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts that any world leader could possibly attempt in today’s world.