Blog /the london bombings

July 08, 2005 05:57 +0200  |  Society & Culture 8

"whatever you do, how many you kill, you will fail." he said

of all the voices i heard on the national tonight, ken livingstone, the mayor of london was the most inspiring. i am in awe tonight of that iron will britain has acquired over its centuries-old history. we joke about "stiff upper lip" and all that, but to hear that man talk right to the cowards that did this and say something like that... the guy didn't even blink. if something like this happened in the streets of toronto, i don't think anyone here could speak with that kind of resolve. instead, there would be crying, screaming and the anger that comes with it all. but on the streets of london today, the people appear shaken but unmoved. one man even claimed that the terrorists could do it again tomorrow... everything would be the same. he'd go have a pint and walk home.

events like this are tough for me because i always try to see things from all sides. on the one hand, britain has been a key player in so many deaths around the world. from economic bullying to all-out war, england is almost as bad as the United states in terms of stewardship of the world community. a small part of me is really not surprised by all of this and sees it as a sort of karmic return on investment.

but on the other hand these weren't politicians who were killed. they were working class folk that are making just enough money to feed their kids and put a roof over their heads. how is it that they somehow "deserve" this? while it's true that "every nation has the government it deserves", does that really extend to the flower lady who just orphaned her children?

it's days like these that i seriously entertain the notion of supporting the crazier solutions to terrorism... like bombing to dust the buildings and streets of every nation that would harbour them. screw this occupation shit, just kill everyone and everything until there's no one left to fight anymore. it's stupid, it's irrational, and it's the result of this kind of cowardice.

i know that we made them, our foreign policy supports them, and in some cases, we've even trained them to do this sort of thing. but how do we stop it all? why can't all the politicians, priests and clerics just march themselves off a cliff somewhere and let the rest of us just "be"? no one (well almost no one) in the west really wants this to continue. we just want to grow up to see our kids have children of their own, and i'm sure, absolutely sure that behind their own politics, the real people in the middle east want the same thing too.

so why was london burning today?

Comments

Ted
8 Jul 2005, 9:47 a.m.  | 

Dan prattled:

"it's days like these that i seriously entertain the notion of supporting the crazier solutions to terrorism... like bombing to dust the buildings and streets of every nation that would harbour them. screw this occupation shit, just kill everyone and everything until there's no one left to fight anymore."

Ted babbled:

This "solution" acutually came up in conversation a couple of times today; it's an rational response when dealing with an implacable enemy. As far as I'm concerned, if a nation is harbouring terrorists and this can be proven - lay it waste.

Eventually the terrorists will either run out of places to run and nations considering giving them aid and comfort will think twice before letting them cross their borders. Where's a Star Destoyer when you need one? [Palpatine imitation] "Admiral - target the beligerents. Execute standing order Base Delta Zero.". :-)

The only way that you're going to stop these bastards is to stop pussyfooting around, band together and eviscerate their organizations and sponsors. Go for their thoats - no prisioners, no questions, no fsking around. These terrorists foreited their membership in the human race the moment they chose their path and as such they deserve no quarter. Period.

Dan prattled:

"i am in awe tonight of that iron will britain has acquired over its centuries-old history. we joke about "stiff upper lip" and all that, but to hear that man talk right to the cowards that did this and say something like that... the guy didn't even blink."

Ted babbled:

Should you ever get over to the Auld Sod, you'll notice the difference in British culture vis a vis ours straight away - and you'll find out (though I'm loathe to admit it) that our culture has much more in common with the Yanks than the Mother Country. Sad, but true.

Dan prattled:

"britain has been a key player in so many deaths around the world. from economic bullying to all-out war, england is almost as bad as the United states in terms of stewardship of the world community. a small part of me is really not surprised by all of this and sees it as a sort of karmic return on investment."

Ted babbled:

I concur.

Dan prattled:

"but on the other hand these weren't politicians who were killed. they were working class folk that are making just enough money to feed their kids and put a roof over their heads. how is it that they somehow "deserve" this?"

Ted babbled:

No, they do not. My great grandfather was a Captain in the Irish Volunteers and it's descendant organization, so he was guilty of his share of "patriotic actions". Commenting on Zionist terrorists of the late forties, he thought they were cowards as they were targetting everyone they viewed to be a threat, even if they were innocent citizens.

In his eyes, your organization's goals lost all merit if you acted in such a cowardly fashion - the means do not justify the end. You target government assets and belligerents, not civilans, "soft" assets and non-combatants.

There's a fine line between idealism (or patriotism) and cowardice these cultists (I call them that 'cause they sure as hell aren't Muslims) are not only criminals, they're dishonorable cowards - and I don't think Allah would be very cool with what they're doing in his name.

Dan prattled:

"we just want to grow up to see our kids have children of their own, and i'm sure, absolutely sure that behind their own politics, the real people in the middle east want the same thing too."

Ted babbled:

You know it. I've lived, worked and mingled with Muslims a total of 18 months all together, Arabs in the Middle East, Bosniacs in BiH and Albanian refugees (Kosovars, actually) in Kingston - you couldn't a better, more decent people. The Palestinians can be a touch pushy - but that's just a facet ofIsraeli society than a reflection on their true nature.

I'll leave you with what Silver Mike, a shopkeeper in the Damascus Souk, told me, "99.9% of us are just like you - just trying to raise our families and make ends meet - it's they crazies that make up the other .1% that give us the bad name.".

Angela
8 Jul 2005, 2:05 p.m.  | 

Ted babbled:

This "solution" acutually came up in conversation a couple of times today; it's an rational response when dealing with an implacable enemy. As far as I'm concerned, if a nation is harbouring terrorists and this can be proven - lay it waste.

Angela retorted:

So when the U.S. "proves" there are terrorists living in Canada (just as I think many countries have terrorists living in them) it's okay for them to lay waste to us? No, I don't think Canada is harbouring terrorists, but we do house them, just as the U.S., the U.K., and any country of any size probably does. Where do we draw the line? I realize this could be seen as a slippery slope argrument (and I wouldn't disagree with you), but just because a government is harbouring terrorists doesn't mean that all of that country's innocent civilians should be taken out as well.

I don't have any suggestions for other solutions. I wish I did.

Andrea
8 Jul 2005, 2:57 p.m.  | 

It's interesting though - When 9/11 hit most people in the West were "shocked, horrified ect." that someone would even think about attacking the States; the ocean kinda gives us a false sense of security. When a bomb hits London; people first think about Olympics revenge or IRA bombings, then its because of possible terrorists attacks.

This actually points to some solutions - Ireland. Not too long ago, it was seen as an embarrasement even to have Irish ancestry, Ireland being the poor, over-breeding Catholic drunks. London was constantly under threat from IRA bombings, murders or kidnappings. What changed this dynamic wasn't because of irrational retaliation attacks from England, it's because the Irish Gov't finally got their act together and went aggressively after forign businesses. IRELAND now MAKES money!!! When people aren't poor, worried about how they're to feed their family, or pay for their hospital (they have a great Universal healthcare system), there seems to be no one who wants to risk loosing this.

I think that the poor muslim countries would agree that they would rather make a good living working, then have to resort to suicide bombings to feed their families.

Just my $.02

daniel
8 Jul 2005, 3:11 p.m.  | 

ted said:

This "solution" acutually came up in conversation a couple of times today; it's an rational response when dealing with an implacable enemy. As far as I'm concerned, if a nation is harbouring terrorists and this can be proven - lay it waste.
you know, i like this "solution"... the only problem is that it conflicts with your other line of thinking:
In his eyes, your organization's goals lost all merit if you acted in such a cowardly fashion - the means do not justify the end. You target government assets and belligerents, not civilans, "soft" assets and non-combatants.
now i've never been a fan of "pussyfooting" as you call it, but the alternative does little else than turn us into that which we intend to fight. i think if i had to choose any particular course of action, i'd extrapolate from what andrea said just now. people who are healthy and happy aren't interested in supporting terrorism.

in the case of the middle east, you've got millions of people crushed economically and socially by our shitty behaviour. that breeds bitterness, contempt and a dependency on religious fanaticism over rational government. terrorism will thrive in that kind of environment and bombing them will only make things worse. i like the "bush doctrine" or "glass parking lot" scenario too, but there's a reason it seems too simple... i think it is.

Ted
8 Jul 2005, 5:27 p.m.  | 

Dan prattled:

"you know, i like this "solution"... the only problem is that it conflicts with your other line of thinking:

In his eyes, your organization's goals lost all merit if you acted in such a cowardly fashion - the means do not justify the end. You target government assets and belligerents, not civilans, "soft" assets and non-combatants."

The difference, whether the public at large wish to admit it or not, is that this is a war. And if an entity (government, people, whatever) is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, that entity becomes a combatant and is therefore a valid target.

So sayeth the "rules of war" and believe me, I know that rules - it's my job. :-)

Ted
8 Jul 2005, 5:45 p.m.  | 

Angela did spake:

"So when the U.S. "proves" there are terrorists living in Canada (just as I think many countries have terrorists living in them) it's okay for them to lay waste to us? No, I don't think Canada is harbouring terrorists, but we do house them, just as the U.S., the U.K., and any country of any size probably does."

Ted jabbered:

"Harbouring" implies knowingly giving aid and comfort to the enemy, therefore passing the test of mens rea. Canada and other western nations may have terrorists living here, just as we had operatives living here during the Cold War.

The powers that be wouldn't allow this to happen if they knew who they were, as exhibited by the historical responses demonstrated when "sleepers" have been discovered. Canada would fail the test of mens rea, therefore we are not harbouring them.

Angela did spake:

"Where do we draw the line? I realize this could be seen as a slippery slope argrument (and I wouldn't disagree with you), but just because a government is harbouring terrorists doesn't mean that all of that country's innocent civilians should be taken out as well."

Ted jabbered:

International law TECHNICALLY could consider this a legal, measured repsonse under some interpretations and there is, believe it or not, precedent to support such a response - it's called the concept of "total war", and the precedent is WWII (and pretty much every other modern conflict thereafter).

As mentioned below, this is a war whether John Q. Public wishes to admit it or not. And again, if an entity (government, people, whatever) is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, that entity becomes a combatant and is therefore a valid target.

daniel
8 Jul 2005, 6:16 p.m.  | 

the same, i suppose can be said of the terrorist position. how sad it is that we've come to this place.

noreen
8 Jul 2005, 10:48 p.m.  | 

geez you guys... (i don't know enough to join into your conversation)

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