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We Are Civilians
The First World War was not known, at the time, as the First World War, of course; it came to be known as the “Great War” – a description as peculiarly paradoxical as “perfect storm” – because H.G. Wells declared it would be “The War That Will End War” (the title of his book of collected articles from the time). Alas, he was overly optimistic.
War is a very lucrative business and integrity holds little value on the balance sheet. History has shown that some corporations are willing to profiteer indiscriminately, happily making deals with both sides, calling themselves “neutral” rather than “unscrupulous”. Nation states can be equally duplicitous. During the American Civil War, despite Queen Victoria giving an official “Proclamation of Neutrality” in 1861, the British government endorsed Liverpool shipbuilders supplying the Confederate states with battleships.
War is also cruel and merciless as it destroys innocent lives. The first two British civilians killed by aerial bombardment when the German Zeppelin airships attacked Great Yarmouth on 19th January 1915, were reported to be 53-year-old shoemaker Samuel Smith and 72-year-old widow Martha Taylor. Many more civilians would subsequently lose their lives as a result of air raids over Britain during the First and Second World Wars. The sight and sound of bombs dropping from the skies onto our towns and cities is, thankfully, an experience that is barely still in living memory in the UK, although we now live under the threat of terrorist attacks that periodically maim and kill civilians. Acts of “terror” is how we have come to define acts of war committed by self-appointed leaders and proponents of extreme ideologies that we oppose.
The Council of Europe’s “Manual for Human Rights Education With Young People” poses complex and ethical questions about what constitutes an act of war and what constitutes an act of terrorism. ‘Both involve acts of extreme violence, both are motivated by political, ideological or strategic ends, and both are inflicted by one group of individuals against another. The consequences of each are terrible for members of the population – whether intended or not.’ In other words, both objectively violate human rights. ‘Wars and national emergencies,’ the manual explains, ‘allow for states to "derogate" from – or temporarily put aside – some of their human rights commitments. However, certain human rights, such as the right to life or the right to be free from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment can never be put aside. These are regarded as so important and so fundamental that they should be observed even when a state's security is at risk.’
We will return to what constitutes “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment” another day.
War is justified, by those who wage it, as being necessary in the pursuit of protecting the land, people and status quo of their nation or society. So in the absence of worldwide universal agreement on how land, people and status quo should be structured and run, war is always inevitable. And in the pursuit of what the instigators of war seek to achieve, there will always be civilian casualties. But what differentiates the British civilians killed by a suicide bomber on the London Underground from the Iraqi civilians or Syrian civilians killed by airstrikes performed by HM Armed Forces, other than the chance location of their birth? Amnesty International estimates over 1,600 civilians in Raqqa, Syria, lost their lives in air strikes by the British, US and French coalition in 2017. The civilian death toll from the various wars waged in Iraq is well documented. The killing of any civilian in any war is the most atrocious waste of life.
“Civilian” apparently comes from old French, the word “civilien”, meaning to being ruled by “civil law”. What underpins civil law is “natural law”, which states that all persons are born free and have the right to live without fear of unjust oppression. Natural law also states that killing a person is always wrong, and that punishing someone who kills another person with intent is always right.
We come up against a stark oxymoron in the term “civil war”. We agree that “war” refers to an attack by one side upon another, but civilians, by definition, are persons not engaged in combat, so how can they fight to defend their civilian rights without employing actions that would deem them combatants and not civilians? The only true way for civilians to “fight” in a civil war is to do so without engaging in any direct combat, by mounting a peaceful resistance to the war waged on them. If they maintain their civilian status they will be protected under the “Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”, which states that all persons “in enemy hands” not covered by the conventions on – for example – prisoners of war (captured and imprisoned combatants) and medical personnel, must have a specific status: civilian status. No one can be unprotected by the law or fall outside of the categories of the conventions.
Civilians are also protected under the International Humanitarian Law, which is particularly applicable in the case of so-called “civil war” because it sets out what a regime can and cannot do to its own people if it is attempting to assert power in an oppressive and unethical manner.
The flaw in the ointment, with regard to our current global situation, is that these conventions are predicated on the assumption that war, by definition, is waged by physical force, that you can only attack people with physical weapons (such as guns and bombs) and physical acts (such as rape and torture). For a long time, we assumed that domestic abuse could only be classified as such if it involved physical abuse. It took years to establish, by law, that pure psychological abuse is abuse. Any physical abuse is also, by its very nature, psychologically abusive, but the added cruelty of pure psychological abuse is that the victim has no scars to show as evidence. The most cunning abusers know this, and take great pains to cover their tracks and ensure there is no direct proof of their crimes.
If pure psychological abuse absent physical assault on an individual can legally constitute domestic abuse, then it follows that pure psychological abuse absent physical attack on entire societies constitutes an act of war. Just because you can’t see bruises doesn’t mean someone hasn’t been abused. Just because you can’t see bomb wreckage, doesn’t mean civilians haven’t been attacked. If a hostile entity attacks the minds of huge swathes of the civilian population, turning them into self-harming, propaganda-spouting ideologues, who will even go to unimaginable lengths to defend the harms they perpetrate on themselves, it is clear that a war has been waged, that we are witnessing psychological warfare. Any techniques used to psychologically abuse civilians should be classified as weapons; these can be just as deadly as physical and biological weapons. In fact, perhaps more so, since the victim will often remain oblivious to the fact that they have been attacked, making them increasingly vulnerable to further abuse down the line.
Cunning psychopaths don’t throw punches; they lie, they manipulate, they gaslight, they deceive, they falsify, and they play psychological games with their victims. One of the most egregious tactics of all is to frame the “good guys” as the “bad guys” and vice versa. Causing confusion is a particularly effective method of psychological control. Everything is perception, and distortion is a powerful and manipulative tool.
That we are living through World War Three is indisputable, even if the true face of our “enemy” is not entirely evident yet. Efforts to unmask the identities of those who constructed and coordinated the attacks on us will presumably continue far into the future. No doubt a hugely complex picture will eventually emerge. Heavy is the pathogen that wears the false crown.
But when human beings assume authority over others, and grab power by force and stealth, they become weak and trapped by their own machinations of mendacity. Every tyrant eventually discovers this. Succession without authenticity is destined to fail. To be truly powerful you must humbly offer yourself as a sacrificial lamb to your disciples. You must sit so squarely in your purity and unshakeable integrity that the brave and broken flock to you, seeking out your light in the darkness. Only then will you freely, almost accidentally, attract the respect of those you lead. This is why the story of Jesus of Nazareth has endured for so many years. Gandhi had this inherent power, as did Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Which leader, today, could hold a candle to any of these people? Perhaps, when the leaders become pathologically weak, the flock have to become lions.
The final civilian death count from World War Three is likely to exceed, by far, all civilian deaths ever recorded in all the wars that human beings have ever waged combined. This is because the definition will come to include any death that can be traced back to the harm caused by any measure deliberately imposed upon the civilian population in the name of “controlling” a virus. The argument will be made that those imposing such measures knew that viruses cannot be “controlled”. Even if they could be, all control measures would have to have passed strict safety standards and a cost-benefit analysis proving they did not do more harm than good; you can’t just experiment on people with measures that have never been tried and tested before. None of this happened, of course. So we will be looking at deaths due to the withdrawal of health services, deaths due to fear-induced stress causing heart disease, deaths due to social neglect, deaths due to fear of contacting emergency services, deaths due to fear of leaving the home, deaths due to stress-induced domestic abuse, deaths due to increased drug and alcohol abuse, deaths due to malnutrition from loss of livelihood, deaths due to compromised human immune systems, deaths due to medical malpractice, deaths due to the politicisation of medical interventions and the hasty authorisation of novel drugs, deaths due to ADE, deaths due to failed medical experimentation, deaths due to lung disease caused by mask wearing, and deaths due to suicide as a direct result of isolation and the loss of hope. Deaths that will not be recorded as civilian deaths during World War Three will be those triggered by an upper respiratory virus. You cannot hold a virus responsible for intentionally inflicting harm on people.
That the UK government, with full knowledge of how many actual deaths are caused by these life-threatening measures, is still attempting to impose them, still justifying them using flawed models of predicted deaths from covid, is unconscionable. The use of an unknowable counter-factual in their argument is deceitful and cruel. To say, “this person would definitely have died of covid if this child had been allowed to attend school, therefore denying children education is justified and in future all children must not attend school,” is like saying, “this particular person would definitely have died of covid if they hadn’t had this vaccine, therefore the vaccine saved their life, therefore everyone must take this vaccine,” or, “We’ve vaccinated all these people and fewer people are getting infected therefore it must be the vaccine, it cannot possibly be seasonality or natural herd immunity,” or, “The rains came today because I finally sacrificed my sheep this morning; if I hadn’t sacrificed my sheep there would have been no rain.”. These are arguments built on sand, which simply have no meaningful validity, and it is blatantly clear that those in positions of power are cognisant of this nonsense.
Reading this report published in July 2020 in which the government tries to balance the death and devastation caused by lockdowns with upsides such as cleaner air, is mentally excruciating. As is trying to follow public addresses made by England’s Chief Medical Officer. His crowning moment, though, was this Royal Society of Medicine interview with Professor Simon Wessely, in which he repeatedly contradicts himself and seems to lose track of where he is in the false narrative. Ultimately they are all trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes – in other words trying to justify killing and harming a lot of young and healthy people who had their whole lives ahead of them in order to save a small number of very old, poorly people who have led full and interesting lives but are close to death. Are we saying that it is acceptable to let people die of anything but covid? That cancer deaths are acceptable, fatal heart attacks are acceptable and suicides are acceptable, but covid deaths are unacceptable deaths? That covid must be contained at any and all cost because it would be a crime to “allow” anyone to Die of Covid. This is an unacceptable, deadly doctrine.
World War Three will come to be known as the War on Humanity. In the name of covid, an unmitigated attack on everything that makes us human was launched. We can see now that this was never about a virus; it was only ever about control. Specifically, there appears to be a sinister attempt to strip us of our individual human idiosyncrasies and natural rights. We have systematically and cruelly been denied the most fundamental aspects of human life: the sight of human faces, the tenderness of human touch, the joy of social interaction, in-person healthcare, sunlight on our skin, the freedom to breathe unimpeded, the freedom to speak uncensored, the ability to earn a living, the right to protest, and – by the far the cruellest infringement of our natural human rights – the right to hold the hand of a loved one as they take their last breath, and the right to witness our precious offspring take their first.
The wheels are slowly coming off the “war on covid” as the “R” of truth overtakes the “R” of lies. This is because lies will always eat themselves and end up diminishing into a sticky black hole that is both easy to recognise and to avoid. Truth, conversely, is a self-regenerating light that burns with the same eternal and omnipotent power as the life-giving sun itself. A tsunami of truth is about to come crashing down on the heads of all those who have followed the flawed playbook of other despots (specifically “if you get caught lying, keep lying, only ever lie, and make the lies so big no one will dare question you.”). Anyone who imposes and upholds restrictions, who administers various measures, who participates in the “control covid” culture – as we have seen many people do with disturbing levels of fanaticism in some cases, are the henchmen of this war. History will not look kindly upon them; at best they will be pitied because – after all – they were subjected to unprecedented and unimaginable levels of propaganda. In that respect, perhaps we may come to view them as indirect casualties of war, attacked by the very psychological weapons they, in turn, used against others.
So now what to do? Well, it doesn’t seem as though anyone is coming to save us. And perhaps that is how it has to be. Survivors of physical and psychological abuse know that opportunity follows crisis, and that there is a transition period during which you must transform from victim to survivor. This journey involves taking back your individual power, coming to terms with your own role in the situation, forgiving yourself for being deceived, soothing your fears and tending your reopened wounds. The experience is life changing, and allows you to move forward, fearlessly, with a sense of peace; it is nothing short of an enlightened spiritual awakening.
An oppressive and deliberately discriminatory regime will only ever create the means to destroy itself. The one thing that machines – and the madmen governed by machines – will never understand is that the individual human mind, truly liberated and free from fear, is the most powerful force on earth. So-called “slaves” who have refused to kneel down at the feet of their oppressors, who have died on their feet, fearless and free in their minds, have always understood this.
If we are to survive this psychological war, this war on humanity, we must not focus on who or what is driving it. We must band together, globally, as peaceful civilians. We must – in our hearts – pledge our allegiance to a Global Civilian Movement and become engaged in nothing more and nothing less than protecting the basic and natural human rights of all people, through the promotion of nonviolent resistance to regimes intent on suspending them.
Your duty, as a civilian, is to stop engaging with the psychological manipulation machine. You must recognise that every aspect of it is part of the whole; you must comply with none of it, ever again. You must refuse to be tortured by it. Your enduring purpose now, as a civilian, is to educate others. Tell people about their rights and status as a civilian during a time of war. Teach them how to protect themselves. Remember that great Charles MacKay quote, “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” Be patient as, one by one, your fellow civilians recover. Identify yourself to others as a civilian, through your online personal profile, your business and to your authorities. Engage with other civilians. There is strength and sanity in numbers.
It would be fitting to declare Monday 21st June 2021, the day when the British government will break their agreement with the British people by continuing to impose unreasonable restrictive measures on them, as the first and annual Global Civilian Day.
There is no telling how long this war will last, but global civil resistance starts now and will last forever. Because we, the people, are free, will always be free, and will uphold the natural rights of all civilians of all nations for all of time.
We will not participate in this war.
I am a civilian.
You are a civilian.
We are civilians.
By Anna Wright. Anna is a regular columnist for TNE.