Sunday, July 10, 2005

Louder than Bombs

Events like the London bombings bring out the best and worst in people.
The best - people like the bus driver who stayed to help his injured passengers.
Then there's the worst of people - obviously those who committed the crime are just that, but a special mention needs to be made of those far removed who pass judgement on a situation they know little about. Whether it's equating terrorist attacks with Civil Union legislation or Fox News reporting an already discredited story that Israel had prior knowlege of the attacks.
Our own NZ Blog Clique is symptomatic of this - personal ancedotes of the event aside, blogs are nothing, if not totally redundant immediately following an event like this - whether it's using the attacks as "evidence" that the West is winning/losing the War on Terror™ or to justify your vile bigotry.
Ignoring the known crazies, the stupidest idea I've heard is that "they had it coming" because of the Iraq invasion.
Did they really?
Yes, we put a higher value on the lives of Westerners than other human beings and that is sickening.
Yes, when we aren't ignoring their deaths, we trivialise them, reduce human tragedy to a single sentence on a news broadcast, sometimes even calling incidents killing dozens of human beings "fantastic stuff".
This is all very wrong, but that is no justification to say the London bombing victims "deserved it". For better or worse, Tony Blair and Bush II are accountable for their actions. The London bombers whoever they are, are not. They are an anathema to humanity. The rule of the thug.

Further more, if the British and other Western nations "had it coming" over the Iraq invasion, where does that rationalisation end?
The Iraq clusterfuck didn't exist at the time of the 2001 WTC attacks, so maybe they "deserved" it because of the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East? If not that, maybe Western involvment in the Iranian coup of 1953? Centuries of British colonialism perhaps? How about the defeat of the Moors in 15th century Europe? The Crusades? Roman Emperor Theodosius making Christianity the official religion of the roman empire?
So to completely satisfy the Islamist radicals said to have carried out these attacks all we have to do is reverse 2000 years of Western civilisation. Sounds pretty rational to me.

5 comments:

Simon Pound said...

bravo.

No wonder DPF has to keep shifting you around the Left, Centre, Right classifications, you obviously have a little thing called nuance to your thinking.

Nick Eynon said...

I didn't realise we were back among the the liberal elite. I'm so proud.
Must have been that Eric Cartman comment...

Sock Thief said...

The had it coming argument is a strange one. I would have thought that if the US had it coming it would be primarily over what they did in Vietnam but we don't have Vietnamese terrorism. Or Nicaraguan for that matter. And certainly Germany had it coming from the Jews over the concentration camps but, again no Jewish suicide bombers in Berlin.

Christiaan said...

"the stupidest idea I've heard is that "they had it coming" because of the Iraq invasion. Did they really?"

This is a straw man. The rational argument that many are making, including myself, is that the cowardly invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq increased the likelyhood that these attacks would take place. This is not an argument that "they deserved it." It's an argument that if you keep sticking your limp dick in other people deserts you're gonna piss a few people off. But even so, you could go pretty close to making such an argument, considering the fact the British electorate knowingly reelected as Prime Minister a man who is arguably a war criminal, and considering the fact that in doing so they condoned the use of illegal preemptive military force, including the predictable death of civilians in the tens of thousands (collateral damage is what the terrorists call it), and all on an equally known pack of lies.

The stupidest idea that I keep hearing is that these attacks are an "attack on our freedoms and our way of life." As long as this sort of delusion is allowed to breed we can be sure the terrorists on boths sides will continue to get their war. They're not trying to attack our way of life, they're trying to stop us from interferring in theirs.

Terorist incidents have increased year on year since Bush took power. Before that they were decreasing year on year. I'm tired of those who supported these invasions and the so-called "War on Terror". They need to stand the fuck down because I'm damned if I'm going to let them continue to ruin my nieces future and the future of millions of other children in this world. And I have to say I'm tired of the "moderates" who keep tolerating these war-mongers because they're piqued that the bombs are pointing the other way for once.

Here're a couple of my recent posts:
The chickens come home to roost
So what came before September 11?

Christiaan said...

Further more, you concluded, "So to completely satisfy the Islamist radicals said to have carried out these attacks all we have to do is reverse 2000 years of Western civilisation. Sounds pretty rational to me."

Another straw man, which assumes this is nothing but history. This is the kind of argument we hear from the Bush gang, who tell us they want to focus on the future every time inconvenient evidence comes to light that make them out to be the war-mongering pack of liars they are.

No, we need to stop believing that we own everything on this planet. We need to stop invading other countries and murderously bombing them in aggression. We need to stop supporting Israeli apartheid oppression and tyranny. We need to stop supporting, and selling weapons to, dictators throughout the world. And we need to stop thinking that we're gods gift to this planet when we produce this sort of thing:

In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the U.S. secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US-led economic sanctions. She replied that it was ‘a very hard choice,’ but that, all things considered, ‘we think the price is worth it.’