Everyone Is Crazy Afraid

It’s amazing what fear can do.

It’s amazing what people will do when they are fearful. They go crazy. Man, do they go crazy.

If you don’t believe me, then consider this: A nutcase with a gun goes into an elementary school in the United States and kills teachers and little children. Normally you might expect a thunderous crescendo of noise calling for a ban on the proliferation of guns.

But exactly the opposite happened. People went out and bought more guns. There was a significant spike in the sale of guns after the Sandy Hook massacre.

Crazy.

But you need not be a rocket scientist to come up with the reason. People are afraid. Americans went out and bought more guns through fear. Yes fear. And fear becomes self-perpetuating. If more people have guns, it makes massacres of innocent people more likely, not less. In other words fear breeds more fear and stupidity. But I don’t want to talk about guns. I want to talk about fear. The more fearful we become, the greater the ignorance, the irrationality and stupidity of our actions.

Here’s another example: Brexit. I used to think the Poms were a bit measured and considered and less hair brained than their American cousins. But their decision to leave Europe was completely insane. Seriously, what were you thinking, English people? Has anyone in the UK looked at an Atlas lately? Geographically, you are part of Europe. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change that.

But I know why you did it. You were afraid. You were afraid of all those Syrian refugees somehow finding their way to the UK. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones fleeing war and oppression and ignorance and bigotry and zealotry. The ones who need someone to show them a bit of compassion. And if you stayed as a part of Europe, you were going to have to accept your share and do your bit. Anti immigration is fear. Xenophobia is fear. You don’t need to be afraid.

Fear has become our mantra especially when we are confronted with lone wolf terrorist attacks that inflict mass casualties. What happened in France, Germany and Turkey is appalling, unacceptable and outrageous. And when Governments are powerless to protect their citizens from these attacks, as they seemingly are, everyone becomes fearful and irrational. If Donald Trump becomes the next President of the United States, God forbid, it will be because Americans are afraid. They want a leader who they think will protect them. Who will talk and act tough and build walls to keep people out and ban people on the basis of their race or religion.

Little do they realize this only makes a bad situation much worse. Banning all Muslims or attacking all Muslims or excluding all Muslims because we are afraid of them only creates more fear. It makes Muslims fearful of us and the whole cycle self perpetuates. We need to break the cycle. Instead of fear, we need to show love and compassion and understanding and tolerance and be inclusive. As people, we are all in this together, irrespective of whether we are Muslim or Christian or any other religion you care to name. What happened in Nice and elsewhere was an attack on humanity. And as human beings we need to stand together and embrace one another. We need to reassure Muslims we don’t fear them nor should they fear us. The vast majority of Muslims don’t want to kill us nor do we want to kill them. There will always be individuals who are fanatics. Muslim and Christian alike.But these fanatics don’t speak for anyone except themselves. And when these fanatics attack some of us randomly, they are attacking all of us.

They are attacking humanity and it is humanity as a whole that needs to respond. Let me say it again. That means all of us in this together. Xenophobia was never a chapter in the guide book for being human.

We have to stop being afraid and start being inclusive.

We Are All Paris

The world is a different place today. France is a different place. Paris is a place I barely recognise and I don’t know what will become of it.

The Paris I know is a city of romance. A city of light. A city of cafes and restaurants and history. Of baguettes and croissants and cars with yellow headlights and fantastic public transport. Of iconic monuments and buildings which made it so easily recognisable. A city of art, culture and life. Wonderful life. Now it’s a city splashed with the blood of hundreds of its innocent citizens. Slaughtered randomly, brutally by a small group of depraved fanatics.

Paris will never be the same. It can never be the same. Its citizens aren’t safe. Unfortunately making them safe means making big life changes. It may mean they must live in a constant state of martial law. Police and the army, heavily armed, patrolling the streets, to deter and intimidate. In all likelihood, a permanent presence. It is a tragedy. Absolutely contrary to a country built on liberty, equality and fraternity. France fought a revolution for freedom and democratic principles. And now its citizens, in its capital, can no longer trust anyone or anything. They will always be looking over their shoulders. Looking at each other with fear and doubt. They won’t be able to travel freely and easily. Everywhere they gather in numbers must now involve being searched and delays and difficulties and inconvenience. It’s the price they will have to pay to feel and be safe. It is sad and horrible. Many tears have been shed and will be shed over the coming days, weeks and months. Not just tears for the dead, or the injured or for the survivors. The traumatized survivors who will be forever haunted by what they saw and heard. They will never forget. They can’t forget. There will be tears for what Paris has now become. For the world we now live in.

And not just what Paris has become. This kind of attack can happen anywhere, anytime. In any capital city in any country that dares to take on IS. And it probably will. That is the frightening reality all of us must now face.

As long as the Islamic State exists, nowhere and nobody is safe. Governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe. And that will mean all of us making sacrifices, giving up hard won freedoms. It is the price we must pay.

And what will become of the people fleeing oppression who have landed in the thousands in Europe and elsewhere hoping for a new life? We have only just learned that one of the terrorists responsible for the Paris massacres gained entry to France by arriving in Greece pretending to be a Syrian refugee. Countries will begin to close their borders. These poor people will no longer be welcome, permanently displaced. They have run away from oppression only to suffer a form of oppression in some ways much worse than what they have left. It is so unfair and wrong.

There will be change. There has to be change. No doubt the events in Paris has awoken the sleeping giant. Retribution will be swift and, as the French President has already pointed out, merciless. This has galvanized the world and so it should. It will be the coalition of the willing and the unwilling all united with one stated purpose: the annihilation of the so-called caliphate.

The people responsible for the Paris massacres are cowards and bullies. They will pay a terrible price for what they have done. Already there is speculation of a political settlement in Syria, which would clear the decks for a united military approach to IS. A worldwide declaration of War already made in part by the French President.

All of us mourn with the people of Paris. We stand united with them. We share their grief but it must somehow ( and I don’t know how) result in a better world, a safer and kinder world. If it doesn’t, then what has happened will truly be for nothing. And that doesn’t bear thinking about.

My New Book ‘Cover Up’

My book is due to be published and available for sale from the 1st of October 2014. Here is the press release that is being sent to 300 journalists in the UK tomorrow:

PRESS RELEASE

Investigative journalist puts five major world incidents from the 20th century under the microscope to reveal glaring errors in the police inquiries in this fascinating and forensically researched real-life exposé.

“The only debt we owe the dead is the truth”

 

What really happened in the Alma Tunnel that caused the tragic death of Diana Princess of Wales? And was the reign of Pope John Paul I brought to a sudden end by murder? Cover Up shines the spotlight on the police investi- gations and subsequent court cases of five of the most famous unsolved cases that rocked the twentieth century: Princess Diana’s fatal car accident, the suspicious deaths of Pope John Paul I and US politician Ron Brown, the loss of the 101st Airborne and the assassination of Rwandan President Habyarimana. Cover Up is journalist Damian Comerford ’s compelling quest for the truth after decades of confusion and unanswered questions.

Cover Up deconstructs and reinvestigates each event in minute detail, looking for missed opportunities, lost leads and new clues. Through his extensive analysis of police reports, forensic records and media archives, Comerford uncovers fresh and often shocking information. Continued speculation over the death of Princess Diana immediately roused Comerford’s interest in the investigation and he immediately uncovered troubling facts. Not only had the original French investigation, comprising a dossier of six thousand pages, disappeared without trace but the ‘chauffeur’ Henri Paul, whose job description had never included driving, had the equivalent of almost £245,000 sitting in fifteen different bank accounts, with £74,000 deposited in the last eight months before the fatal accident. Subsequent red flags revealed themselves, leading Comerford to examine the credibility of forensic evidence in this case. His conclusions will shock and surprise. His book challenges police methods as well as the justice system’s scrutiny of this and four other mysterious cases. Cover Up leaves no stone unturned, exposing many high profile figures Comerford believes may be responsible in covering up the truth.

Fearless and uncompromising, investigative journalist Damien Comerford hopes that his important new revela- tions will finally give a voice to the victims of these five unsolved events that shaped 20th century society and reignite the investigations in search of conclusive justice. Fans of political conspiracy and real-life crime will be riv- eted by Comerford’s articulate inquiries, which prove once again that fact is much stranger than fiction.

About the author: Based in Sydney, Australia, Damien Comerford is an award-winning broadcast and investigative journalist with over thirty years experience. Director of Sharp Image TV, he won the Qantas Film and Television award for excellence in television journalism in 1999 and 2002. Cover Up by Damien Comerford (published by Cre- ate Space RRP £14.62 paperback, RRP £4.95 ebook) is available online at retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores. For more information please visit www.amazon.com/author/damiencomerford

For a review copy or interview request please contact:

Kate Appleton, Marketing & Publicity Executive at Authoright / 020 7407 0720 / kate@authoright.com