Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Reasons to be Anxious

To be honest, it is hard to remain chipper around here at the moment. It isn't easy to revel in the various private good fortunes that befall us when the Western world seems so grotesquely threatened, and I find it impossible not to worry for family and friends in London. My nephews are tiny and extraordinary and right in the hub of this horrible situation.

Then there is the deeply depressing and worrying evidence that we not only have to live with this new threat, but that we also have to put up with the moral confusion of the Left, who rather than condemn the London bombers, prefer instead to save their rage either for the British police, for their recent terrible mistakes, or for the British Government, who are seen as in some way complicit in the bombing, or otherwise actually responsible for it, with the bombs in this argument being the direct result of the war in Iraq or any other Western misdemeanour you happen to think of.

You can see how this goes. Many of those of left wing persuasion, with their vivid hatred of GWB and with an anti-capitalist, anti-American, antiwar bias, suddenly find themselves in the position of understanding, and if not explicitly but nearly so, condoning the bombings. Home educators too, with their dislike of government interference and sense of victimhood, can find themselves in a similar position. Both these groups find it very easy to think the enemy's enemy their friend, somehow forgetting that this new-found pal is a murderous, irrational nut-case.

So the fight for moral sense to be made of this situation goes on not just in the Muslim community but in the indigenous British population, a fight which is so important because it is necessary to stifle the myths that perpetuate terrorism.

Whether of left or right persuasion, we do not need to swallow the bombers versions of events, which consist of half-truths and evasions. We need to realise, for example, that there need be no sense of injustice about the current Afghan government. President Hamid Karzai is no puppet of US imperialism. He was voted in in an election that had an 80% turnout and which produced a decisive victory for this man and for democracy. Most Iraqis yearn for a stable and democratic future, without the idiotic machinations of suicide bombers. US interventions in Kosovo and Bosnia happened entirely to protect Muslim populations from genocide.

And to quote John Rentoul from the Independent on Sunday:

"The worst succour that the antiwar left in Britain can give to the terrorist, however, is to entertain the idea that there is a moral equivalence between the deliberate killing of civilians and the casualties of military action in Iraq. ...The purpose of the invasion of Iraq, whatever you think of George Bush's motives, was not to kill civilians. Even on the strongest antiwar reading, there is a vast moral gulf between the actions of the coalition and those of suicide bombers, whether in London, Iraq or Israel."

It is essential at the very least to get this barest minimum of an idea very, very straight so that we may stifle false theories of the apparent permissibility of suicide bombing and in doing so, limit the perpetuation of such dangerous ideas.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well put. It seems that some people think that if they don't condemn the bombers they somehow have less reason to be scared of them. Not realising, as you point out, there is an enormous gulf between random terrorising action and military action intended to liberate a trapped, tortured nation.

I have heard many *normal* British people claim that Saddam might be evil but so is Blair, therefore it is his fault that we are at risk. It seems that fear for their lives makes most people irrational and cowardly. Would you not agree that the right moral attitude is to carry on as normal and refuse to give into the pleas of the terrorists, or do you think we should allow them to warp our judgment and cause us to live in fear?

Parton Words said...
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Parton Words said...

You make a lot of sense Carlotta. All of us here in Australia are thinking of you. Thinking of you, but knowing that we could be next. Knowing that we could be next, but not for a moment even thinking about changing our position for safety's sake. This is a global village and we must do what we think is right. We're all in this together....us, you and them. May you continue to be safe. May the free continue to be free and may those who are jailed behind the bars of ignorance and bigotry, may they one day find the key and experience freedom as we do.

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