tag : bright yellow-green apples: Sequel, defused

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Friday, July 22, 2005

Sequel, defused

figure 12.4. see them off

The attempted second round of bombings in London today may well teach us all a lot of things, in due course. For now, we can be thankful that it was apparently unsuccessful, and that nobody was hurt this time. One of the most imaginative responses to the first bombings, we'renotafraid.com, is continuing anew now. I recommend you take a look, if only for the admirable spirit of the entries - which will hopefully inspire many.


Blogger ash said...

I personally think the attacks will keep coming until Mr. Blair wakes up and admits the real cause is his invading Iraq and Afghanistan and the "war on terror" and the hundreds of years of west-induced poverty in the rest of the world.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

And the award for astonishing oversimplification of a very complicated problem goes to...

7:51 PM  
Blogger hatchris said...

I couldn't possibly guess. I also can't be bothered to grace it with a response, because I could write about four pages and it would still be over simplified. Its one heck of a problem!
a) Osama Bin Laden is not poor
b) he attacked a lot of people before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
c) The same terrorist organisations are causing much of the violence in Iraq right now and preventing it from being safe and peaceful! Hypocrits?

Thats my six pennorth anyway.

10:26 PM  
Blogger ash said...

and there was me thining it was blatently obvious to everyone with intelligence. Apparently not all intelligent people see it.

If I lived in those countries I'd probably feel like bombing London was justice. Think of all the crap Britain and the West has done to the rest of the world. Is it really likely to mean much when we ask them to forgive and forget?

And how do we proceed from this? we deny any part in it and demonise Islam.

"just a little case of history repeating".

1:28 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

As I see it, it's blatantly obvious to anyone with intelligence that it really isn't as simple as that, that's what I meant.

Who is demonising Islam, apart from the far right?

9:57 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Ash –

It is important to bear in mind the historical and social context that might play a part in ‘creating’ someone willing to kill others, in an apparently senseless manner. But we also need to acknowledge that the mindset which might allow someone to do such a thing is not going to be clearly tied up with certain actions. It’s irrational in the very worst sense of the word; the kind of view that says “they’re all the same”/”they’re all out to get us”/”we must fight them off” come what may. It’s a violently reactive antipathy, and a total instinctive renunciation of a perceived group of people. In this case anyone who happens to live in the west is an oppressive person, who’s complicit in evil, and therefore no longer innocent.

You can take away such causes as unfortunate wars, but for some people the rasion d’etre will remain. They’ve already fashioned their response to ‘the west’ now – if they won’t allow some people to be innocent of their perceived injustice, how are they going to allow a change in international relations dull their violence?

We should renounce the terrible things our country is involved in, and we should try our best not to repeat the many mistakes of the past that have done so much to ferment some of the troubles we now see. The very best chance of ensuring against such dysfunction in the future is to be as scrupulous as possible, even if the events that cause a bad reaction in people cannot always be predicted (eg some thought a rushed secularism was the best thing for some middle eastern countries, but it just made things worse). BUT we cannot kid ourselves, like George Galloway, that if ‘we’ (the bad guys) stop killing ‘them’ (all the poor innocents across Iraq), then ‘they’ (somehow conflating mindless killers with the poor ordinary people of Iraq) will leave ‘us’ alone. It doesn’t work like that.

12:12 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Martin -

Perhaps he’s referring to the way that a lot of public discussion seems to be working, I think which you picked up on a while back, that seems to easily conflate Islam with terrorism. Insofar as people talk about ‘Islamic terrorists’ where, I think I recall, you would prefer them to be classed simply as criminals. Personally, I think there needs to be a due acknowledgement of the place of ideology and the (mis)use of faith in the enactment of some violence – such as ‘Al Quida’ bombings. But I would be very worried if this gave people the space to see all Muslims as potential killers, as some commentary has done. Though the far right is certainly the main systematic proponent of such tosh.

12:17 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Chris -

Pretty much anything we say about this kinda thing is a simplification, and is really only treated with some justice by a few well thought through books. And I would certainly think it likely they could show a lot more complexity in the whole span of what Bush would call ‘terrorism’ than their being a single swath of world organisation. The violence in Lebanon is likely to be different to that in Iraq and that in Bali. Motives and context are so varied – for example, I heard on the radio recently that, by all accounts, Hamas regards Al Quida as beyond the pale. Strange in some ways, but perhaps useful in appreciating how to deal with them. And it does make sense in a way, when the former is contemplating getting involved in politics a la Sin Fein, whilst the latter denies any involvement in ‘corruption’. Anyways, that’s just one specific example in these muddy waters...

12:24 PM  
Blogger hatchris said...

"If I lived in those countries I'd probably feel like bombing London was justice. Think of all the crap Britain and the West has done to the rest of the world. Is it really likely to mean much when we ask them to forgive and forget? "

Does that mean if Britain became poor, and abused by rich foreigh countries, you would happily bomb innocent citizens of say...Australia, to pick a country totally at random*? Coz thats a mite worrying. The world has a long history, and sadly every human being has gone a long way towards doing 'a whole load of crap' towards just about every human being. We're all in this together.

*has absolutely nothing to do with the ashes**

**no pun intended

11:58 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Hattio Chrissio, I must take issue with you on the whole Osama Bin Laden not being poor thing...

For one, not everyone who gets involved in this kind of activity has the same motivation as Bin Laden. You can convince others of a response to their poverty without being in poverty yourself.

Secondly, every rebellious type acting in the name of the poor that I can think of wasn't poor: to start with, we'll name Che Guevara, Lenin and Ghandhi (I would certainly not strictly analogise any of these to Bin Laden!)

And I suspect that it is not the same organisations who caused the bombs in London who are involved in the insurgency in Iraq.

Your hypothetical question is a bit impossible really!

12:05 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

There are indeed a lot of people with a gripe in this world. If everyone threw a fit because of it, there wouldn't be much left to 'save' by whatever ideology you were trying to promote in the end.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Barnabas said...

I've bloged on this a couple of times on my site.

I guess we just need to pray and trust God.

8:58 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Thanks for popping by, duck, I hope to see you around from time to time.

12:02 AM  

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