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War is not the solution to the problems we are already facing and as scientist, academics and the great minds of our modern world agree, our future is not sustainable if and when the polar caps vanish, global populations continue to grow and we allow our governments to declare that any modern war can be justified. That is simply not true as the G.W.Bush administration has proved.

The human suffering is already upon us with refugees flooding into wealthier countries for survival. It can be described as if the world was like a sinking ship with few life rafts and people are clambering to jump on the over populated fertile lands without any understanding of the tsunami that is heading our way... and our captains who have gained that educational edge are silenced by a few megalomaniacs who tell us we need guns and weapons rather than to inflate the spare rafts that could save everyone.  

 
Terrorists may believe they have a justifiable reason to defend their families from hostile invasions of their lands. In particular if the only option available to them is die from hunger, deceases or foreign military grade bombs or fight back with your lives like the noble Kamikaze pilots and other martyrs who dies with honor... This may not be what some call honor like the jet fighters who drop missiles on suburban neighbor hoods and cheer their successful missions or the gunners who fire at will without understanding the destruction of their actions.  

Truth truly is the first casualty of war. Perhaps we can learn to deal with the facts that propaganda has two sides and the side we chose should always be that which is just, noble, honorable and above all, humane.


Perhaps we may learn to restore our world rather than justify the trillions of dollars and infinite human suffering that is the result of war... Or at best the irreparable damage to children's lives or our environment.

We are the people and perhaps we truly do need third world warriors and listen to how terrorists talk.


Did David teach us anything when he downed Goliath?



 This true story is of the journey one needs to take to understand the terrorists... we need to understand our enemies if we want peace and prosperity for all.

                        Third World Warriors

By

 

A.J. Toro


Terrorist’s talk


Understanding why we have Terrorist.

And why we need Third World Warriors

may be the road map of our future...


 

I’m dedicating this book to those that cannot or will not read this book.


In particular the victims of war, domestic violence, legal injustices, terminal illness and the ignorant: The men, women and children condemned in the third world without an education…


 God forbid they should ever know,

the true nature of our creed.



Cover photo was taken by the journalist Mr. Musa Al- Shaer


CONTENTS   [


Chapter


 


Foreword                                             3


1          The need to know                                4


2          Our Warrior instincts                          19


3          The will to fight                                  29


4          Yin Yang – a universal law                44


5          The Third World                                 59


6          Family Traditions                                72


7          The cradle of civilization                     84


8          NASYO                                               102


9          Saddam’s children’s hospital               115


10        The Australian spirit                            124


11        Eleventh commandment                      136


12        Gods will                                             152


13        Democracy with prejudice                   164


14        Anything but the truth                          176


15        Angels to Bagdad                                 189


16        Human shields                                     202


17        Israeli justice                                        224


18        Talking terrorists                                  238


19        Jerusalem                                             260


20        Third world war-riors                           273


21        The Balance of power                         290


22        Military diplomacy                              310


23        Economic hit man                                328


24        Man made hell                                     338


25        Saddam’s message                               349


26        Natural laws                                         357


27        David and Goliath                               366


Supporting evidence                                        378                 


Foreword

It’s not until we finish a journey, a job or complete a mission that we realize, we could never have done it alone. Our parents are always the first we thank and I was fortunate to thank them for the love, the unconditional support and the courage they showed me before they departed our Earth to be united in the Kingdom of Heaven with God.


But then we remember the many people that contributed directly and indirectly to make the impossible become a reality. These are the family and friends and the many people we crossed paths along the way; Too many to thank as individuals.


However, there are some distinguished and remarkable people that we may never see again and it is they who contributed the most with selfless contributions to ensure our work is completed to the very best standard with the very least mistakes;


Rema Albess, a Palestinian writer/journalist from Amman, Jordan

Ghasan Khalid Ali English/French graduate, Bagdad University

Yakiko Muragishi, Inunkamigun Shinga, Japan

Dr.Houda Salih Mahdi Ammash, BATHE party deputy, Bagdad Iraq

Prof. Jose Bell and Dr. Luisa Lopez from Havana University, Cuba

Judith Karpova, Human rights and environmental activist USA

Steven Hawke, Don Hawkins and Darrell Runyan USA

Rosemary, “Waratah” Gillespie Human rights lawyer, Australia

George Gittoes, Australian Artist

Usma Bashir, Humanitarian activist, United Kingdom

Ken O’Keefe, founder of the Human Shields

Tom Hardnel's Family UK

Rachel Corey's Family USA 


All whom inspired me with their contributions, discussions, suggestions and corrections.


And then there are those who motivate us to write so that we may correct their mistakes or prejudices, such as The United  Nations, Australian Federal Police, FBI, MOSSAD, CNI, ASIO, CIA, MI5 and all the Western intelligence gathering agencies who failed to act without prejudice against the starving needs of the third world when the clarity and transparencies between right and wrong begs us to belief that these agencies represent us, the people who work to pay their salaries.


Perhaps the world may reclaim Jerusalem as our global Capital city for the much needed peace to prevail so the we can declare war on the environment not on each other. 


 

Chapter 1


The need to know


“G.W.Bush threatens to use nuclear against Iraq.“


Sydney Morning Herald December 11, 2002


         

 “I hate the truth!” My mate Greg screamed across the roof of a sports car.  “You know why?” He asked screaming before answering his own revelation. “Because it’s true…. the truth hurts!”


He paused momentarily to gasp in some polluted air from a passing car that left a trail of white smoke lingering in its wake; a white cloud like a smoke signal of the looming natural and man made catastrophes to come. However, everyone was asleep, drunk or sedated with meaningless entertainment and exhausted from the life time sentence to hard labor:  all oblivious of the truths that unraveled around their lives.


Whilst the smoke signal faded Greg coughed as if clearing his throat from some internal pain causing phlegm: Perhaps the first symptom of cancer caused by his habitués smoking. Or perhaps it was the realization that I would not change my mind as he hoped about going to Iraq and face the evil regime of Saddam Hussein.


Greg was among my most trusted friends.  He stood tall at over six feet in height and had developed a broad rock solid muscular frame from surfing at South Sydney’s Maroubra Beach ever since his infancy. He was also a history teacher at Pendle Hill High School in Sydney’s Western suburbs which was perhaps the most disadvantaged school he could work in. It had been his choice to teach those kids that needed the education the most. “They are the most disadvantaged kids in Sydney with many parents having grown up in the cycle of ignorance that was to be passed down to their own children…” Greg had once said! “Education can help them break that cycle”. Was one of many things he taught me.


 


That night, we were arguing my decision to go to Baghdad before the 2003 war. This was the premise of our violent argument and Greg’s midnight lecture parroted what our Western media alleged as a crime for the Iraqi people to posses Weapons of Mass Destruction (WOMD). He echoed our Western party line about the need to rid the terrorist who now threatened life on Earth like a plague far worse than the burning oils of our industries or the cancer caused by smoking.


 


He knew too well the evil nature of Saddam’s regime in contrast to the goodness of the G.W.Bush policy to make the world a better place. Irrespective of the fact that Saddam Hussein was never given a chance to speak on Western televisions while the big brother image of a well spoken gentle man  and leader of the most powerful nation on Earth repeatedly argued for the need to depose this axis of evil dictator.


 


“That’s why nobody likes to know the truth! And that’s why we are happy! Because we don’t know the bloody truth! Most people don’t want to know the truth...” Greg paused again to catch his breath and it seemed like the prophecy of George Orwell continued to whisper the wisdom that only a few would understand. “ignorance is strength!”


 


Sadly, my mate Greg O’Shea and George Orwell were right. The truth does hurt and ignorance really is blissful to us; the modern day slaves to ignorance.


“Ok” I agreed with him. However, my addiction for knowledge would not allow me to sit idle or remain apathetic. “But we are not ignorant” I assured him. “We have gone to university and we are blessed to have an education so don’t we have an obligation to continue learning so that we may reveal truths that can make our world a better place for all life”? I asked him desperately as he walked around the sports car with his fists clenched and ready to hurt me.


 


“So how are you going to make this world a better place by getting killed in Iraq?” He asked yelling across the roof of the car.


 


He was determined to stop me from going to Iraq knowing the war was inevitable. History had taught Greg that control of the Middle East oil fields was the essence of world domination. The British had relinquished that power in 1949 to the Americans who in turn used the Israelis to keep the Islamic world divided, impoverished and ready to be conquered. While the British took a back seat pulling the strings of Saudi Sultans, the North American Presidents and the Jewish governments for the benefit of the ruling class kingdom rather than the people they needed to defend their luxurious lifestyles.


 


“I’m not going to get killed” I yelled back at Greg. “I’m going there to learn!” I assured him.


 


My parents had planted the seed for knowledge in my mind since I could remember. They were both well educated and understood why knowledge empowers us as individuals to accomplish great things with our lives. This concept that knowledge is power did not become clear to me until much later when as an adult I was promptly promoted to supervise over fifty hard men working in London’s West Ferry News Paper printers. It was there as I read The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Star every night whilst the United Kingdom slept that I developed a deeper understanding of the forces that govern and decide how we live in this brave new world.


 


“You don’t have to go to Iraq to learn how to die…” Greg advised me almost whimpering. Then suddenly, he jumped on the bonnet of the car and chased me down the road screaming. “I can show you that right here right now.” He yelled in rage behind me until I found refuge behind another parked car where he couldn’t reach me.


 


As we both paused to catch our breath, I recalled reading how George W. Bush had used his father’s name to boost his own position of power. This was a common practice among those who used their parent’s names to elevate their own social or political positions. It was called Nepotism and history had taught us the deficiencies of this unjust phenomenon. This was one of my reasons for wanting to go to Iraq, where I knew Saddam Hussein’s son’s were abusing that power they inherited rather than earned.


 


“So what do you know about the Iraqis?” I asked Greg between hard filled breaths of air that tasted of burnt diesel oil.


 


“I know they’ve got stock piles of chemical weapons and they are hiding them from the inspectors“.  He paused to catch his breath. “besides I don’t have to know anything about them to know that they are terrorists”. Greg Shouted back angrily. “Just like Al Quaida and all those bloody Muslims”. He echoed the same concerns of the main stream Western beliefs about the terrorist Muslim world that we had all heard again and again.


 


This naïve understanding of Muslims surprised me from Greg who as a history teacher should have known better. I had already learned that the first act of terrorism was committed by a Jewish-Zionist group called “The Stern Gang” on the 27 February, 1939.[1] Killing thirty-eight innocent Muslims as several explosions were detonated across Palestine. This terrorist group were responsible for other crimes like the murder of Lord Moyne, The English Minister for the Middle East based in Cairo, 1949; Prompting Winston Churchill to acknowledge in the British House of Commons the similarity between the Zionist Jew with that of a Nazi German[2].


 


So at that moment I realized how little we in the Western world actually knew about both Terrorism and Islam. How we are lead to believe with prejudice that Muslims are our greatest enemies. Or that all terrorists are Muslims. Even though Greg was a well educated high school history teacher and now he too shared the same belief that Iraqis and Al Quaida were going to kill me, invade the western world and become the greatest threat to world peace. But now was not the time to lecture Greg.


 


“Well that’s your opinion” I puffed out at him. “But I need to go to see for myself to understand how we can justify another war when we already know that modern warfare is futile” I said between heavy breaths “Only a handful of weapon dealers and criminal megalomaniacs win!” I justified my decision to go to Iraq before what I already knew was an inevitable war.


 


“You don’t have to go there to know that Al!” He screamed back at me biting his lower lip as he said it.


 


“No, Maybe not, but there is a piece of the puzzle that I just don’t get” I replied trying to explain why I had this innate feeling to go.


 


“So who do you think you are? Do you think you going there will make any difference to the war? Do you think anyone will care when you go missing?” He asked with seeming certainty about my imminent death. “That’s not your job! It’s not up to you it is up to our leaders and they know what is best because they already have intelligence and great minds advising them on what to do”. Greg shouted his information at me.


 


“Do you think any great mind would declare a modern war?” I challenged him only to aggravate him further as he leapt forward and chased me around the parked car: First to the right and then to the left until we stood facing each other from polar perspectives over the roof of a BMW.


 


When I looked at his enraged face sucking in deep breaths of air, it dawned on me that perhaps that is what a megalomaniac looks like if they don’t get things their way. A megalomaniac is a person obsessed with his or her own power to dominate others. Having defined it as such, a megalomaniac does not care for the good will of others as much as they care to satisfy their own whims. A megalomaniac will not go to fight in the front lines or work laboriously as most of us have to do. Megalomaniacs believe they have been chosen by God to rule, to dictate and in some cases to invent new laws that suit their regimes. The fact is that megalomaniacs belong to an exclusive club that any logical thinking person would label as the true terrorists! Yet our media seemed to praise such megalomaniacs if they favored the Western ideologies.          


 


“So what or who are these terrorists?” I asked Greg as he leaned on the bonnet of the car that divided us. He was catching his breath and continued threatening to hurt me if he caught me so that I would remain in Australia rather than to go and be killed in Iraq.


 


 “Terrorists are crazy mad people that don’t care about anyone!” Greg answered my question; Drawing the same conclusion that a terrorist was a megalomaniac.


 


“But I want to know the truth” I said to Greg whose face now shined on the polished roof of the expensive parked car. As he sucked hard for breath I recalled the extent of Greg’s academic training and realized that if he, with all of his education, was unable to comprehend the origins of terrorism, then how could the rest of us understand or accept the nature of a Zionist terrorist. Did anyone even know what a Zionist was?


 


Fortunately, one thing we learn at University is that the truth is relative. However, justice must always prevail. Many great men and women had risked their lives and in most cases died so that we could live in a free and prosperous world. So to risk my life by going to Iraq seemed justified in my mind.  


 


Even when I had explained to Greg my need to go and see for myself what we were not shown in our western media. But Greg categorically disagreed and now our friendship was tested. “Can’t you see Al? People are happy to live like stupid ignorant… pathetic slaves.” He confessed. “we are powerless to do anything we just have to do what we are told to do or we can be jailed for breaking the law.” He concluded.


 


“Yes, we may be slaves but we are not all totally stupid and ignorant” I said in defense of my pride.


 


“That’s because we were lucky to have free education here” he acknowledged the greatest achievement of Gough Whitlam, a previous Australian prime minister that stood up against his peers but gave the Australian youth an equal chance to be educated without the prejudices or barriers that wealth can create. “That’s what is so good about living in Australia. We have freedom to study and learn and say whatever we want. But to go to Iraq and get killed just because you want to know the truth, that’s suicidal madness and selfish Al, don’t you understand? It’s going against popular belief”.


 


Popular belief is to not attack Iraq” I attempted to justify my decision yet again.


 


“No that’s not right! Saddam Hussein is killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, he has weapons of mass destruction, he is a ruthless dictator and they will kill you after they torture you there because those people are primitive! They are not civilized. What do you think a totalitarian dictatorship is?” He shouted an echo of the popular news stories covered in our main stream media in the early hours of the morning and waking up some neighbors as I saw lights being turned on from a near-by house.


 


“Don’t scream! Or we will get arrested and charged for disturbing the peace.” I said to him in a contained scream realizing that our freedom came at a price policed by the state and paid by our taxes.


“I’ll scream and I’ll shout if I bloody well want to!” He screamed and shouted in a brave act of rebellion against the English man made laws created to keep the peace and quiet from drunken communications. “Because I’m FREE!” He yelled defying our Australian made laws seeking a fight.


 


“Not if the police arrest you for disorderly behavior”. I assured him with the reminder that the free world slaves like us are chained to the laws of our lords and their law makers.


 


Regrettably, we were drunk from drinking the cheap alcohol on offer at our local club. It was little wonder that the Muslim’s had learned a long time ago to accept that alcohol makes a demon from a saint. On that night, alcohol had made a demon from Greg who now terrorized me. While a hand full of dynasties made colossal profits from this legalized drug. In fact, Western law administrators like lawyers, judges and corrupt police made grand incomes from the stupid acts perpetrated by drunks; hence the legalization of alcohol. In particular as modern slaves were easier to chain with alcohol and entertainment than steel cuffs. And there was money to be made from administering the laws.


 


Fortunately, I had begun to learn about Islam and the Muslim perspective on alcohol during a personal pilgrimage many years before. What I learned is that the Prophet Muhammad had freed the Muslims from the slavery of addiction through education and self discipline. Muslims were not a crazy people obsessed with Allah and ready to terrorize the non Muslims. At times, I was embarrassed to not be a Muslim.


 


There were so many brilliant scruples, values and ethical moralistic compasses offered to the Muslims that we in the materialistic obsessed West are ignorant about. In fact, the English translation of “Islam” is “knowledge”. Thus began the desire to learn by repeating my failed schooling and later attending University and the never ending quest to learn what I could to compensate for the ignorant fool I had become.


 


It was well know that domestic violence, pub brawls and brutal street fights were often the byproduct of drunken stupor. Throughout the Western world it was this drunken stupidity that our police, lawyers and political law makers needed to justify their existence. With this knowledge, I knew how much damage Greg would do to me if he caught me. And above all the reasons I worked hard to stay on the right side of the law rather than give my money to the legal industry.


 


“Come here so I can break your legs” He threatened again. “You’re not going to Iraq!” He yelled and ran around the car.


 


Physically, Greg was like a giant with a rock solid body. He was also a state kick boxing champion and as a resident of Sydney’s South Maroubra beach, there was no one in the infamous BRA boys gang that he feared.  Greg was the most realistic embodiment of a modern warrior I knew, as he feared no one. Yet, he understood the need for ethical reasons to fight or go to war. In fact, Greg O’Shea was perhaps the best read person I knew. His idea of a good time was to read a good book in a single sitting. While his warrior instinct as a man was unquestionable.


 


“I have to go!” I screamed back my arrogant desire to go and see for myself what the media wasn’t telling us.


 


Greg could have been easily mistaken for a neo Nazi skin head as he had a short number one spiked hair cut and Celtic tattoos banding his large biceps. His hard face seemed chiseled from stone only his piercing blue eyes reminded anyone that he was human. Perhaps his Saxon and Celtic parents knew what Greg would become.


 


When he was drunk, he became a menacing monster that threatened anyone in his path. I had seen him fight men larger than him both in the boxing ring and on the street. He was truly capable of killing or maiming me with his hands and I knew I had to run away from this crazed terrorists whose threats were real.


 


“I have to go my tickets are already paid for.” I reasoned knowing that Greg could be reasonable.


 


“You’re not going anywhere!” He said charging at me again. As he charged I ran away thinking why Greg with his profound knowledge of history and awareness of his Celtic roots. Why couldn’t he understand my determination to go and see for myself what our media were not telling us?


 


As an Irish descendent, he understood the process of colonization and believed that Iraq would simply become the next nation to be colonized by the Anglo-Saxon war mongers who thrived on absolute power and possession of lands and its minerals by force. He seemed the ideal candidate to teach the strife hardened kids from the working class suburbs of Sydney or anywhere in the world for that matter, the values of culture and the needs for education to resolve any problem under the sun. 


 


“Mate, if I don’t break your legs now the terrorists will kill you after they torture you! Is that what you want?” he asked me between breaths.


 


He was certain that I was going to be killed by the Iraqis. But now I felt death at the hand of the Iraqis would be more merciful than death by Greg. I was truly scared for my life in the southern suburbs of Sydney and fearful of the Grim Reaper in the shape of a charging Celtic warrior, nay a Demonic mad man, thus I bravely ran for my life petrified with genuine fear.


 


“Does anyone know what terrorists are fighting for?” I asked him from behind the safety of another parked car. “Because I don’t have a clue why we have terrorists in the first place…” I admitted my total ignorance about the murderous cold-blooded killers. “If not, then why are we discriminating and spending so much money attacking them? Surely they must have some explanation or a reason to commit suicide and kill innocent men, women and children?” I screamed my questions at him between breaths. But he didn’t want to hear me. He wanted to maim, cripple or hospitalize me to ensure I didn’t get on the plane.


 


Like so many others I had spoken to, Greg simply did not want to know the painful truth that terrorists had their own reasons to kill and destroy. But none of us knew those reasons only they knew is that Allah would ensure their safe passage to heaven, as martyrs.


 


“Who cares?” He asked. “It’s not your problem.” He screamed back at me.


 


“But what is the reason?” I asked him again.


 


“Because they’re all mad,” He shouted back at me. “Just like you!”


 


“Perhaps I am mad, but I have to know for myself what the media is not telling me” I replied again getting ready to run. But I could sense he was tired.


 


“You’re not going mate”. He said with an effort and I noticed for the first time that he was biting back his tears. 


 


“But I have to know the truth!” I said like the fool that learns from his own mistakes rather than from the mistakes of others.


 


“The truth! I’ll show you how much the truth hurts”. He said running around the parked car as I ran in the opposite direction circling it a number of times first to the right and then to the left. It was strange to see him almost in tears as he slowed to a halt.


 


“But why are we going against the United Nations? I need to know that”. I spurred him on.


 


At this point he leaned on the car with both hands as if waiting to be searched by a schizophrenic police man and to catch his breath. Then after a short pause he gathered himself and concluded between his heavy gasping breaths. “Obviously… it is in the interest… of any biased intelligence… that any logical reasons… remain in secret prejudice…”. He paused to catch his breath. “Or simply censored...” He said accepting that I was much faster than he was and he would never catch me. “We may never know the truth…”. He said surrendering… “Truth is always the first casualty of a war..” He concluded with a time old phrase.


 


He was drunk and tired and I knew it, my saving grace was that I was fitter and had higher stamina. So I bravely sucked in my breath and puffed out my chest in a victorious stance and asked, “Have you had enough?”


 


He looked at me sympathetically, nodding his head in disbelief and began to weep. His love for me was without doubt. This was the first and only time I had ever seen tears running down my mate’s cheeks. “OK. Go! You selfish bastard... But think about the anxiety and grief you’re going to cause your family when you go missing… Think of your mum and think about your father when they get told you’ve gone missing…”


 


He knew exactly what to say and rub acidic vinegar into my raw opened nerves. That hurt more than a blow to my nose or a kick in the guts. I swallowed hard knowing he was right. Yes, the truth hurt me more than a physical blow. I breathed out deflating my puffed-up lungs and whimpered again. He was right, yet again. I hated him more than before for telling me the truth. He knew it. So he calmly gathered himself and staggered away into the night in search for a taxi.


 


The fact is, there comes a time when we all need to know the truths to our lives. A time when we need to know that we work to feed, clothe and care for our families for a good and meaningful reason other than instinct. We watch televisions to learn or be entertained not to be misled and hoodwinked. We pay education fees to teach our children how to survive in the world we leave behind not to fantasize about having material possessions that offer short term joy. We need to know that our taxes are paying for innovative ideas that can benefit all of us, not to pay taxes on over paid and underperforming politicians or bureaucrats. Or worse, to destroy our environment or people’s lives with bombs and modern warfare.


 


We need to know how we are going to survive in a world with limited and diminishing food producing land with increasing populations demanding more food and the limited natural resources. We need to know how the global warming, melting ice caps, extinct animals or our shrinking oxygen levels will affect all of us… There is simply so much more we need to know than to waste our resources on modern warfare that I simply had to go to Iraq to learn why we were going to start another war.


 


Chapter 2


Our Warrior instinct

“Iraq is free of these weapons of mass destruction”


Saddam Hussein


Daily Telegraph 6th February 2003


 

When I awoke the following day, I begun to pack my bags and prepare for the long road to Baghdad. It seemed surreal that I would be going to see Saddam Hussein’s evil regime and the nerves begun to grow like a hunger. However, I found courage by recalling my mentors and those experiences that teach us to stand firm and fight.


 


One of these mentors was a family friend from South America called Frank Claick. Frank was a Peruvian Indian with a spiritual outlook to life and death that was unknown to me in my young childhood as I was only nine years old when I met him.


 


He was a tall dark skinned man and his dark brown almond shaped eyes allowed him to pass as an Indonesian or a Persian, Chinese or even an African Arab. He described himself as an “international man” and claimed to not have a nationality other than being an Earthly man. However, to everyone else, he was a South American or a Peruvian or an Inca Indian.


 


Frank was softly spoken, mild and always calm. One day shortly after turning ten, I told him about my weakness in school as other kids mocked me and laughed at my inability to speak English as an immigrant to Australia. He calmly suggested I join him to train at a local YMCA gym where I could develop my warrior spirit. Frank was a body builder and health was an integral part to his daily life. As we trained we talked and he was always attentive explaining correct procedures, techniques and the use of each muscle that we trained.


 


“Your body is the vehicle that your spirit and soul use to travel on this earth” He once said to me as we trained. By then, I was eleven years old and we had already covered some ground as my young body begun to take a more solid frame. “Always remember, that you need to look after your body as best as you can, don’t drink or smoke or take drugs, that way your soul can exist in peace in this life that you have and your spirit may never be broken…” He advised between repetitions in the gym.


 


As a Quantas airline flight attendant, Frank had visited just about every country in the world. He spoke Spanish, English, French, German and was now learning Mandarin Chinese to match his basic grasp of the Japanese and Arabic languages. To me, he was a giant and having won prizes for body building, he was an inspiration and somewhat of an idol; or better said a true mentor.


 


After all, as a truly international man, Frank was also a spiritual master in his own right. He was a dear friend of my parents and whenever he visited Sydney he would stay in our house as a guest. When I told him how I was constantly picked on at school by kids that were bigger than me he invited me to learn the martial arts of Karate, Judo and Kun Fu but he called them self defense. And he prohibited me from hitting anyone unless they hit me first.


 


“If you learn these skills you will become a true warrior”. He spurred me on when I was too tired to continue one of his strenuous exercise sessions.


 


I also recalled the many times he spoke to me about the South American Inca Indians and the nature of their fighting spirit. He once explained how the Spanish conquistadores were the equivalent of the European crusaders that were sent in to destroy the rising Islamic world. According to Frank, these were the fighters whom justified the rape, pillage and plundering of non Christians and were sponsored by Royal monarchs and blessed by the Christian church to destroy the Inca people and culture.


 


“These were the mad men that almost annihilated my people”. Frank said with a hint of sorrow in his eyes.  


 


“But they were warriors”. I said to him hopping he would understand my childish understanding of the Anglo-Saxon definition of a warrior.


 


“No they were not warriors, they were terrorists”. He said adamantly.


 


“But terrorists kill innocent people” I said to him with my media influenced young mind.


 


“Yes, that is true.” He agreed making me feel smart and then added “But an army that kills and maims civilians like the Inca Indians or the Aboriginal or the Vietnamese or any innocent people are also terrorists.” He answered with aggravated sarcasm.


 


“O- um I suppose” I stuttered a reply and thus began to understand why as a South American Indian, Frank should be so angry with the Spanish Christian crusaders that invaded, colonized and imposed their way of life upon his people. It was then, as a young boy that I first begun to understand the concept of a warrior. And to me, Frank was undoubtedly, a warrior.


 


One day after training we walked for almost an hour to our house. My young legs pained from the long walk after training them but he was convinced that I would learn to push myself and not to quit.


 


It was along that walk that Frank discussed the concept of a warrior as opposed to a terrorist. It seemed that Frank was well aware of the man I was to become as he had nurtured and trained me for several years and knew perfectly well my inner feelings and thoughts as a child.


 


By this stage the television, the cinemas and the newspapers were making me more interested in the warrior spirit than the madness of terrorists. After all, I was a white skinned Jewish descendent Spaniard that had migrated against my will to this foreign land called Australia.


 


My initiation to manhood was a series of events that my father deemed necessary as the eldest son of the family to care and protect my siblings and our way of life. Shortly after turning nine years of age I was taken hunting by my father and his mates and left alone on the top of a hill to guard the dead rabbits as the hunters went to kill some more.


 


Later, before turning thirteen I was given a baby pig and told to nurse him and make sure he was always fed and well cared for. A task any child would embrace given the joy one gets from a defenseless animal that is happy every time it sees you with bread, water and other food scraps or the occasional hidden bowl of fresh milk. And then, the first Christmas  after turning thirteen when my little pig had grown to become a larger friend I was given a heavy mallet and had to prove my manhood by killing him using my hands and the mallet as the men only gathering cheered against the back drop of the squealing pig.


 


The first blow was the softest as I tried in vain to not hurt him too much, but that made it worse as he squealed and struggled to break free from the hands that held him down. The second was hammered down harder and it silenced the squeals but his struggles continued until the third and final blow was struck with all my might to ensure any suffering was minimized.


 


It took three blows and all the cold blood I could muster to comply with the peer pressure and kill my first pet. And in the following silence one feels that senseless emotion of perpetual loss and a void in which to step forward and accept that we live to survive the brutal reality that at times we must kill to stay alive.


 


“Now you’re a man”. I was told by one of my father’s bearded Swedish friends as the pig lay dying from the crushed skull and I held back the tears that were bursting to explode.


 


***


 


Frank was more refined and as an educated man, he would speak to me always like a teacher keen to see his student progress and develop his intellectual or physical skills.


 


“Warriors fight only when they need to defend themselves”. The Inca Indian taught me. “Terrorists are those that attack, invade and occupy lands against the will of the local inhabitants like the Spanish conquistadores were terrorists to the South American Indians, or the English that terrorized our brothers in the North; The red Indians; or the European colonizing armies that terrorized the African people. You see Al… you cannot label a warrior a terrorist if the warrior is acting in self defense”. He said as we walked. 


 


To me, Frank Claic was not an ordinary person and in some ways he was more of a Guru than a mentor. He was the first man I knew that practiced complete control of his body and mind in a bizarre practice he called Yoga. He liked to pray or “meditate” as he called it. One time I walked in his room and saw him seated like a Buddha meditating so intensely that he didn’t recognize I was in the room. I just looked at him deeply engrossed in meditation wondering where his mind was or if he even knew I was in the room. If it wasn’t for the haunting silence in the room as I stared at him I would have stayed longer but I was more frustrated by the fact that he didn’t answer my nagging questions and remained in the trance like state until I left the room.


 


Sometimes when he visited our home he would spend hours talking about the human spirit, South American magic, the Inca Indians, the Peruvian Highlanders the metaphysical spirit and the physical world of our body. The magic of fire, the mystery of wind molecules or the life contained in the sun’s rays: In particular he prophesized how the tropical rainforest were the lungs of our planet and our industry were the cancer that would eventually kill us all. As far back as the 1970’s Frank was what today we call greenies or environmentalists. I remember throwing a chocolate plastic wrapper in the ground and Frank made me chase it and pick it up as it floated with the wind.


 


“If you pollute our world you are guilty of a crime”. He accused.


 


Sometimes he would return from an Asian country like Indonesia or Malaysia inspired by a new ideology or a story that he would share with us. It was Frank who taught me to control and regulate my heart beats by controlling my breathing. To this date I practice the breathing exercises Frank taught me to do and regulate my beating heart and credit Frank as one of my most important teachers other than my parents.


 


“Breathe in slowly and count to four…One…two…three… and four…Now hold your breath for ten seconds…. And slowly count to four as you release the toxins in your blood”. He instructed me. “Now repeat that two more times and do that every day that you feel stressed or ill.” He concluded.


 


Later, in 1985 when I was shot in the chest and the bullet punctured my lungs, it was the breathing exercises that Frank taught me that saved my life as I had learned to sink into my thoughts and remain calm to avoid the state of shock which is often the cause of death to those in an accident.


 


It was Frank who made me understand that a warrior is not just a soldier. “Any criminal could become a soldier. But to be a warrior, you need to learn and understand the reason of your war.” He told me.


 


†††


 


As fate and destiny are the paths that God opens for us in the journey of our lives, it was shortly before my twelfth birthday when I saw my two elder sisters in a street fight outside the local high school and the time I would learn the importance to fighting with physical agression.


 


J.J.Cahill High School was in that time an infamous school, renown for drugs, ethnic gangs and violent fighting. The fights were mostly between the Wogs, Ozzies, Abbos, Chings, Poofs, Lebs, Nerds, Pakis, Indians, Gooks, chooks, rag heads, niggers or sluts and make up any name you wanted for anyone you didn’t like: Hatred was encouraged and sides had to be taken to blend among the television brainwashed youth.


 


Marilyn, my elder middle sister was a strikingly beautiful Spanish girl with long dark hair, olive skin, Persian green eyes and a petite ballerina’s body. So when she arrived at the new high school, it didn’t take long for her to become the most admired girl in the school by her male companions.


 


Unfortunately for Marilyn, the other girls felt threatened as their boyfriends also started to talk about the new beauty queen of the school. This was enough reason for two bigger girls to gang up and start the hurling abuse at my frightened little big sister.


 


“Go back home to Wog land!” I heard a girl’s voice scream at my sister. When I turned to look, I thought a man wearing a dress was screaming like a girl at my sister. So I just stood and stared like a frightened child.


 


“Fuck you!” My sister screamed back.


 


Was she mad? “Shut up Marilyn”. I thought to my self-thinking that this she-male was going to stomp and trample my sister to death.


 


“You’re a dirty Wog! You don’t belong here.” Shouted the other girl with a face covered in pimples and acne.


 


By this time a crowd was gathering and everyone seemed to know what was going to happen. I looked around but as the new kids in the block, we were out numbered. I looked for my brothers and other sisters but couldn’t see them. Maybe they were already running for their lives, I thought getting ready to run and join them.


 


BLONCH. I heard a glass bottle break as the pimply girl cracked a near empty green glass coke bottle on the ground and now threatened to cut my sister open.


 


“I’m going to kill you slut” She warned Marilyn who now took refuge behind another of Marilyn’s teenage boy admirers.


 


I stood and stared looking for my escape route, getting ready to run home crying to my mom and screaming that a man dressed like a woman had killed my sister.


 


Unexpectedly, I saw the man wearing a skirt throw a round house swing at my little big sister who ducked gingerly and cracked back with a beautiful upper cut that I was certain would knock that she devil out. But her head sprang back as if spring loaded and the two entangled each other in a hair pulling, eye scratching clothes tearing spectacle whilst the pimples stood out ready to finish with open heart surgery.


 


I was about ready to run home crying and turned to run, when all of a sudden, I saw a flock of blond hair from the corner of my eye in the distance. I looked again and it was my youngest sister Nenni.


 


Nenni had two older sisters to compete against and three younger brothers to use as sparing partners or whimpering punching bags. She was only thirteen at the time but had developed a strong athletic body that made her Captain of her soft ball team and a state sporting champion. But more importantly she had a stubborn approach to life that made all of us run from her when she was in a foul mood. Indeed, when she was in a rage, she was a menacing figure that was clearly worth running away from.


 


Pimples was about to begin the open-heart surgery on my little big sister Marilyn when my big little sisters Nenni reached her with a perfectly executed and faultlessly timed full round house punch to the jaw. That was the end of a splattering pimple as she collapsed unconscious through the air, eyes facing the heavens and wandering where that truck came from.


 


Nenni then focused on her next victim the man dressed in a girl’s outfit that was now on top of Marilyn pulling her hair out for what I thought was to make more wigs for her she devil outfits. But Nenni grabbed her hair and proceeded to pump a relentless volley of face re-arranging punches.


 


By this time, the elder boys that goggled at my sisters fighting had seen enough and stepped in to stop the little blond surgeon from doing any more damage and pulled Nenni away screaming, biting, scratching and kicking anyone in her reach.


 


The fight was now over, so I bravely puffed in my chest and walked over to where my sisters now stood surrounded by drooling teenage boys. “Gee, I’m glad you girls didn’t need me”.


 


“Where were you!” Marilyn screamed at me.


 


“You’re going to cop it when we get home.” Nenni threatened. That’s when I knew I had done something wrong. I had stood and watched my sisters get attacked and rightfully defend themselves and I did nothing about it. I was the ultimate coward.


 


When we arrived home, my sisters, still charged with the adrenaline of their encounter retold the story to my parents in detail. My mother was sympathetic and looked at the scratches on Marylyn’s face and arms whilst Nenni polished her fingernails like a cunning feline leopard after a successful hunt. Everything was going well until my father asked the dreaded question.


 


“Where was your brother Al, when this was taking place?” He asked and all eyes turned to me. I could feel the sudden change in the weather as my face reddened and sweat glands opened to let out the steam.


 


“I don’t know”.  Marilyn said genuinely.


 


“He was just watching!” Nenni confessed.


 


“Um. But. I was busy”. I think I may have said.


 


Whatever I said, however, was not enough as my father again reached for his belt and kicked and belted me from one side of the house to the other and back strait to the safe refuge under my bed. Where he was able to sit on top and give me another one of those after beatings explanations.


 


“Consider yourself lucky that I can’t get you under there”. He warned sitting on the bed to catch his breath. I had already learned the first rule to fighting. Rule one; always be sure you can run faster than any enemy that wants to kill you: Rule two look for an alternative plan of escape in case rule one fails. So from under the bed, I could see the opened window inviting me to jump out to safety and never return.


 


“You know you’re going to be a man soon. And by God, I will teach you to be a man!” He said between breaths. “A man doesn’t sit and watch his brothers or sisters get hit or humiliated. A man doesn’t hide when he sees an injustice or a crime against an innocent person. In particular if he can do something about it…A real man will fight if he has to. In particular if he has to defend his family and honor or those that can’t fight back”. He said between hard filled breaths as I huddled under the bed whimpering and sniffing my tears whilst looking at the red welting marks on my legs and arms. “Next time I hear you stood by and did nothing to help your family, I will beat you twice as bad! Understand?”


 


“Yeh-s.” I managed to say between sobs.


 


In retrospect, this was among the more important lessons my father had taught me. As later in life I would learn that crime and violence is a way of life for many people in the world whom have little if anything to lose. While not fighting back could result in worse outcomes.


 


It was thus that I learned how the warrior instinct is both innate and learned. Perhaps we should understand the difference between an aggressive force and those who defend their families, lives or lands before invading in the misguided use of the term “defense”.


 

Chapter 3


 The will to fight


What you will see is an accumulation of facts and patterns of behavior … that Saddam Hussein made No effort, No Effort! To disarm as required by the international community… ”


Secretary of State Colin Powell


to the United Nations Security Council  5 February 2003



The following week, my sister Nenni was being harassed by Jim, a tall lanky Greek boy whom we all knew as a troublemaker. Nenni had already earned herself a reputation as the most feared and best fighter in the school after she took out the king pin single handedly with an all out assault after he naively mistook her for a typical girl that cowers and cries when humiliated.


 

Now, we were in the school bus and Jim wanted to claim the school title that Nenni rightfully had as the best fighter in the school. Jim was also among the most feared in the school because he always fought with his brother Angelo close by always ready to pounce on the unsuspecting victim. But I was well aware of their tactics and fearing my father’s wrath or the humiliation of hiding under the bed again, I went to her rescue.


 

“You’re a wog! Dirty Wog! Go home wog!” His schoolboy chant echoed over the constant murmur and humdrum of the school bus. Angelo, the executioner, waited ready to attack Nenni from behind.


 


“Why don’t you pick on a boy?”  I challenged the big mouth calling my sister names.


 


Jim stood up and I was instantly overshadowed by his size. I knew instantly that I had made a mistake. This was the first time in my life I faced the grim reaper and death was eminent.


 


“What did you say?” Big Jim challenged back.


 


“Agh. I… Um… I said, um”. I stuttered.


 


“Are you picking a fight?” I heard his brother Angelo courageously asking me.


 


“No I just said”- SMACK! SMACK! I was hit twice on the face before I could finish my answer. The blows sending me reeling back and collapsing on a cushioned bus seat. The stars in my watery eyes were still too distant to make out my navigational tracks back to reality. SMACK! WACK! The assault continued and instinctively I raised my hands to protect my already battered face. It seemed like I was doomed to die in the back of the school bus.


 


Unexpectedly, I heard a loud piercing scream that shook my yielding mind back to consciousness. I looked up from my grave and saw that Angelo was being pulled of me from the front of his hair back toward the unyielding grip of my little sisters direction.


 


THUMP! And Angelo was on his back next to the whimpering Big Jim who held his bloody nose crouched on the floor crying. It didn’t take long to analyze the situation as I saw Nenni, unfazed and standing over the two of them screaming at them.


 


“Next time you call me Wog! I kill you.” She threatened. But I don’t think they realized how lucky they were to still be alive. Once again, I puffed my chest and for the rest of the journey I stood victorious next to my secret biological weapon of mass destruction as my little big sister sat by my side and attended to her fingernails once more. She now seemed oblivious to the two brothers who started to abuse and blame each other for their wounds.


 


“You see. I told yah!”


 


“It’s your fault!”   


 


“No it’s your fault!”


 


“But you told me to do it”


 


“But I didn’t think you would”-


 


Their arguing continued until the bus pulled up at their stop and they both got out fighting each other. We were never picked on for the rest of the year by anyone else. But above all, I had learned from my sister the importance for a family to help and defend themselves from a terrorizing aggressors attack.


 


*


 


The following year, however, my sister Nenni would graduate and go to high school and I would be left alone to look after my two smaller brothers without my secret biological weapon. With this insight, I ventured to learn more about war, fighting and assault weapons. So I started from the top.


 


“Why are kids so aggressive?” I asked my peace-loving mother as she labored over the hot stove to feed the troops.


 


“Because some kids don’t learn to love or to talk and discuss differences like we do in our family”. She said stirring lentil stew.


 


“But I want to learn how to fight”. I confided.


 


“Well then, you better do what those stupid kids do to learn how to fight”. She said as a matter of fact.


 


“What?” I asked surprised that a peace activist and loving mother would have inside information of military tactics, war and fighting techniques.


 


“Go and watch the idiot box”. She said smartly. 


 


“What?”


 


“You’d better go watch Television.” I wasn’t sure if she was serious or telling me to get out of the kitchen. So I stared at her quizzed.


 


“Huh”. I grunted.


 


“You heard me. Go watch television”.


 


“Television?”


 


“Do those English have a different word than us Spaniards for a television?” My mom asked genuinely curious to learn more English.


 


“No.” I said realizing the universal power of having Telescopic Vision at the push of a button to learn how to fight. Wow, what a gift, I mused.


 


“Then go. I have things to do here”. She said dismissing me with the backhand wave like she would wave off a nagging Spanish fly.


 


I walked away philosophizing on the wisdom of a mothers maternal instinct to detect secret intelligence and strategic military planning which was so obvious that it would pass completely over the heads of the most astute modern day thinkers. Or so I thought.


 


I went to the television where my two younger brothers sat watching an American police drama called S.W.A.T. The first thing I saw was a brawl. So I stood transfixed as the handsome good guys beat the ugly bad guys to a pulp.


 


The program was followed by another show with handsome good guys and poor ugly bad men. Then, a war film showed the heroic American good guys fighting the ugly bad guys. Before the feature movie presentation which was screening The Dirty Dozen on one channel, Anything But Lose with Clint Eastwood on another channel or The Guns of Navarone. All movies seemed to show violence, fighting, war heroes and good looking good guys fighting and killing lots of ugly bad men.


 


Over the years, I would always watch Television wondering why there was such an obsession with war and violent films. In the first instance, I concluded that I was going to be a warrior like a man should be according to the television. An American Marine or a Green Beret or commando or a fearless war hero whose gun never runs out of bullets to kill as many bad people as possible: Then there was an abundance of police shows and I switched roles to want to become a policeman. When I saw the English produced James bond Movies I wanted to be a suave cool secret agent. But then, I saw Kung Fu and I wanted to be a martial artist fighting ugly men and gangs of criminals. By the time Rocky hit the screens I wanted to be a boxer. I saw a film called Cannon Ball Run and I wanted to be an idiot or a funny fellow. Bruce Lee films made me do karate on my two younger brothers and after watching the World Wrestling; I would throw them around wanting to hurt them for no apparent reason. So finally I wanted to be a heavy weight wrestler but I had to eat lots more to make my small fragile body take on those Hulks. So I would eat twice as much and asked Frank to train me to grow mussels. Such is the power of television over the influential developing mind of a young child.


 


The violent drama was appealing as candy is to any child. But then again, musicals, art house films and artistic performances were equally dramatic. It wouldn’t be until much later when I sat talking to American soldiers in Iraq, that I realized the political advantages of bombarding an influential youth with brave handsome heroic warriors and weak ugly violent criminals mostly in the shape of Middle Eastern men from either Arab or Persian origins.


 


The following year, my father managed to buy a working class terrace house in the South Sydney industrial ghetto of Zetland. It was here that I would learn the shame of poverty, the pains of hard labor and the brutal violence of street fighting.


 


One day, I met a Turkish Muslim boy whom I had seen walking the streets alone mostly dressed in dirty rag like clothes. His dark curly hair matted as if he had just woken up and food stains down the front of his holly T-shirt. He didn’t seem to have any friends and he looked to be a few years older than I was. Yet he was always friendly and respectful. As I didn’t know anyone in this small forgotten industrial suburb on the city fringe, I approached him and introduced myself. He replied but his name seemed strange and I never remembered it, so I called him Ticker. A name that made him smile as I called him: Ticker the great Turk.


 


One day, late that same year, Ticker and I talked in the back lane about boy things like our favorite war films, favorite wrestlers, action heroes and who was the greatest boxer in the world.


 


“Muhammad Ali” We both agreed simultaneously.


 


“He is a Muslim you know” Ticker said with a proud tone to his voice.


 


“A what?”


 


“A Muslim, just like me.” He said glowing with pride.


 


“So?” I asked not knowing what the big deal was as I had never even heard the word Muslim until this time nearing my thirteenth birthday.


 


“So that’s why he is the best boxer and street fighter in the world”. Ticker said sounding more proud than before.


 


“Street fighter?” I asked confused by another expression I had never heard before. I imagined that gangs were claiming streets and now the streets where owned by the local emerging gangs. Or was that just an American way of life that I had seen in movies? In any case, it made sense to me now why I was sometimes chased by gangs of kids on the streets as I collected precious aluminum cans to recycle for spare change. Often surrendering my hard earned bag of squashed cans to their demands or face the consequences of a thrashing.


 


“Yeah, fighting in the streets”. He said as if I was supposed to know all about street fighting at this stage of my life.


 


“Oh. I see”. But he obviously detected my ignorance on the subject as he continued to give me a lecture that was followed by a quick training session in his small garden shed make shift gym.


 


“The first thing you have to know is the golden rule.” He said pointing at my chest as he stopped me from walking along the back, garbage littered lane.


 


“What’s that?”


 


“You never, ever and I mean in no way do you ever start a fight”. He said almost threatening me. “Because street fighters know that we can kill a man with our hands”. He retrieved showing me his hands in the shape of menacing claws.


 


“Oh- Um, Ok”. I said starting to get a bit scared at this time.


 


“If you obey the street fighters golden rule, you will never lose”. He asserted confidently.


 


“Why not?” I suddenly wanted to know his secret.


 


“Because if you don’t start a war, then you have nothing to lose” He rationalized.


 


“But what if they’re picking on me?” I asked knowing that my bag of squashed aluminum cans was a bounty worth fighting for.


 


“Then, you must learn to be a fighter”. He added to my delight. I could sense that now, I was going to be the true tough guy: A real warrior! A street fighter…


 


“But how do you know I won’t lose?” I asked to make sure I heard him right.


 


“Because if you don’t start the fight, then it means that someone else has started the fight; Right?”


 


“Right.” I answered smartly.


 


“Then you have the right to finish it”. He said as we walked along the back alley to where he shared one of those run down workman’s terraces with his parent’s.


 


“But I like the idea of walking away from trouble”. I said remembering my mother’s advice and thinking maybe he was going to use me as a punching bag and searching for a reason to go home.


 


“Yeah, me to. But trust me, the future is going to get worse than the past and one day you may not be able to run away and you’re going to need to learn to fight back”. He corrected me.


 


“But I don’t know how to fight”. I said realizing that television only taught me how to become aggressive and mad with rage at the stupidity that kids were watching on the screen.


 


“I know”. He smiled. “But you will after today”.


 


“In one day, you’re going to teach me?” I asked thinking this guy was a wizard.


 


“If you listen to me carefully, I promise you will never lose a fight in your life”. He said confidently as we entered through an old termite eaten wooden gate hanging on one rusty hinge.


 


His gym was a marvel of ingenuity. He had a variety of steel cans that ranged in size from small 250g, baked bean cans to large five-liter cans of Dante olive oil. They were all filled with concrete and some where united with a matching can by a heavy metal pipe.


 


“These are weights,” he said pointing at cans on the mud-covered ground. “That’s the punching bag,” he said throwing a strait jab at a stuffed old green, army issued kit bag. “There is the shadow you must protect” He pointed at a body-sized mirror leaning on the fence. “And that’s the bench” he pointed a raw plank leaning on an angle against a plastic milk crate.


 


“But what do I need these things for?” I inquired.


 


“These are the only tools you need to sharpen your weapons”. He said clenching both fists and shaping up for the first time.


 


“But I get scared”. I admitted my cowardice.


 


“So do I”. He said. “But that’s Allah’s way of preparing men to defend the good from evil”.


 


“Allah?” I asked wondering what he was talking about.


 


“Yeah, Allah! God, Jehovah! Dios! The creator, anything you want to call Allah it’s all the same just different language”. He said.


 


“Oh, I see”. I said accepting his logical explanation.


 


“You see, good men don’t like evil. And evil men like evil that’s why they start fights and go to war. But now I have to teach you the silver rule of fighting”.


 


“Silver rule?”


 


“Yes, that is that you have a duty and responsibility to warn the other man that you will hurt him if he continues to threaten you”. He said as if I should have known that.


 


“Oh yeah.” I said as if I knew.


 


“So you always give them three warnings. First one you must be humble and polite so that he has a chance to correct him self.” He said unbuttoning his shirt.


 


“Second time you make it clear that you have the ability and faith in Allah oh in your case God, to kill him.” He threatened removing his shirt and tossing it aside and exposing his sculptured tanned body. “By the third time you can smile because Allah is with you and you make it perfectly clear that that is the third and final warning. After that:”


 


SNAP! BANG! KICK! CRACK! BOOT! SMASH WACK! And he continued to pulverize the unsuspecting green army issue kit bag for what seemed to be a fleeting eternity in the life of that punching bag. Then he grabbed a steel pipe from the ground and proceeded to strike the bag from the top, the bottom and all sides. The bag THUMPED every time he struck with a full swing from different angles. Finally he took two small cans filled with concrete and did a round of sit-ups whilst lying feet up and body down on the plank holding the cans on his chest. When he stopped to catch his breath, he was sweating and his knuckles were reddened with hints of blood.


 


“You see Al”. He said breathing heavily between sit ups. “On the streets… there is no law… no rules… no refs… and no second prizes… It’s just Allah and you… to fight the stupidity… the ignorance… and the ugly face… of evil”. He managed to say between sit ups before standing up.


 


I looked in horrific awe at the violent display I had just witnessed against the innocence of the docile army green punching bag as it swayed to and from in a dizzy circle.


 


“Now it’s your turn. Have a go.” He said inviting me to do the same as he had done. He stood away and his muscle ripped body shined in the midday sun.


 


“OK”. I said accepting the invitation. I stepped up to the docile army green victim and started my first assault against the evil of war. After about a minute, I was ready to collapse and so I skipped the steel pole and just sat on the sit-ups bench.


 


“That wasn’t bad for your first time”. He said looking at my bleeding knuckles. “But you could do with some training to toughen you up.”


 


During that Summer, after selling news papers around the neighborhood pulling at my cart as part of my training I would visit Tickers Gym and trained almost ritualistic. Here he showed me the basics like jabs, hooks, combinations, kicks, grabs, dumps, gouges, knifes, bottles, poles and the lawless nature of street fighting survival tactics. It was nearly the end of summer and the start of the school season when one of the local hoods and a confirmed troublemaker approached me as I rode my bike around the back lane.


 


As a local thug, Johnny was the equivalent of a local Ozzie terrorist. All the neighbors knew him as a hood. He was with another friend and his twin sister, Shirley. I feared Shirley even more than my little big sister Nenni, simply because she had broader shoulders and stood more like wrestler than a girl. Johnny was wielding a long branch that he used as a whip and as I passed him, he whipped me square across the face for no logical reason.


 


I considered that to be the first warning as I casually got of my bike and confronted him with my face still stinging as a welt flared up.


 


“If you do that again, I’m going to hurt you”. I warned him thinking about the golden and silver rules of street fighting and believing that my confronting him would be enough.


 


SWOOSH, “Agh!” I screamed feeling the sting across my face where he had just whipped me again. I immediately abandoned the rules of street fighting and instinctively swung and hit poor Johnny cleanly on the nose and relocating it from the center of his face to his right side. Naturally, this caused him to collapse in shock whilst reaching for his broken nose, blood instantly pouring out making him stand before running off crying. Shirley and the other boy looked at me horrified and ran after Johnny.


 


My immediate reaction was to gloat with pride. I had claimed my street and my first victory. I thought and continued to ride my bike. But shortly after, I saw the grossly overgrown figure of Big Brett who is Johnny’s big brother come marching down the street accompanied with Shirley and the other boy. I sensed trouble and didn’t expect Big Bret’s reaction as he simply asked in a hoarse angry manly voice.


 


“What did you do to my little brother?”


 


“I”- SMACK! I went down and stayed down crying with the hope that my streaming tears would save me from the next encounter with death.


 


“You ever do that to my little brother again, and I’ll kill you!” He shouted showing merci. Then he turned and left me to think if someone ever did that to a brother of mine, I’d have to do the same. Exactly what my father had taught me earlier! This seemed to be a natural law. Was Big Bret a terrorist also? Perhaps he too had learned the importance of defending his family.


 


When I conveyed to Ticker the Turk my first-street fight, he laughed and said that I partially deserved it but it was partly his fault for not having taught me last rules of street fighting.


 


“Bronze rule, you never invite your opposition to a fight or to hit you, that’s just playing dumb. And you don’t stay around waiting for others to glorify you, because there is no glory in street fighting. So you have to get away from the fight scene”.


 


“But above all” He said sternly. “You must have a heart and self discipline to know when to strike and when to stop”. He added between a deep breath; “Because if you don’t stop, then you become lower than a criminal: You become a murderer! a killer that is willing to take a life for no reason other than self interest.”


 


Although, I was forever grateful that my father, Ticker the Turk, Frank Claic and my sister Neni had taught me about the fighting spirit we all have within. It saddened me to know there was always going to be some fool that would want to show off his or her superior strength over a weaker person, nation or entity.


 


As I recalled those who inspired me to stand up and fight for what is right, I wondered if the son of a wealthy man like G.W.Bush or Uday Hussein or Omar Gadafy or Prince Charles, Jim Jon-ung from North Korea and those who inherit power would lead an army from the front or send others to kill on their behalf. Knowing nepotism was filled with flaws, prejudices and megalomaniac disorders.


 


We, the people of Earth should never forget the idiom that’s said to remind us of our united responsibility, “evil triumphs when good men do nothing”, and be ready and willing to fight against those who tell us to sacrifice our lives on their behalf: In particular, if we go to war to fight for those greedy people with more money than sense. With these thoughts and memories in mind I went to sleep most nights.


 




[1]  The Origins of the Arab Israeli Wars, 2nd edition by Ritchy Ovendale p.77

[2]  United Kingdom Parliamentary Debates House of Commons, 404, col. 2242 17 Nov.1944Cab 66,65, ff 272-3, wp (45)306 Memorandum by Stanley, 16 May 1945.




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