Monday, July 11, 2005

BBC NEWS Magazine's " A Point of View"

"I've never seen so profound a swing in the mood of the British people as happened in less than 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday." So begins Brian Walden's column. He discussed the sudden transformation from joy to sorrow that the London people experienced. One day, they celebrated their city's selection as host of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The next day, they grieved for their dead. He also traces the evolution of the terrorists' use of bombs and their insidious and insane moral reasoning. In particular, he notes the difficulty a rational people have in fully grasping just what they're about:
The foremost belief of nearly all terrorists is that they are fighting bravely on behalf of the victims of history. If they are killing dozens of us, that's nothing compared with the thousands of their people who've been slaughtered mercilessly by our wicked fathers and brothers.

If we point out that they have no knowledge of who they are killing, they reply that we have no knowledge of which of their people were killed. If we say that we don't see the point of killing children as if they were responsible, their rejoinder is that countless numbers of their children were starved, beaten and killed by us.

It's useless to press for the details of what we are supposed to have done and where we did it. In their view our past and present guilt is obvious to the world.

If one makes a final plea to apparent self-interest, that doesn't work either. In a cosmopolitan city surely their bombs could just as easily kill someone of their nation and religion as anybody else. They nod, then shrug. The war must be fought.
He moves on to discussing what they want to accomplish:
Let's move on from what terrorists think, to what they hope to achieve. Put simply, they want to make the situation worse. This can take paradoxical forms. For instance, al-Qaeda and its associates believe in Islam. But nothing would please them more than that the non-Muslim population of Britain should turn on the Muslim minority. Of course all the many Muslim countries with whom we have friendly relations would be horrified if their fellow Muslims in Britain came to believe they weren't safe. But they want to improve things, whereas al-Qaeda doesn't.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Britain don't support terrorism. Which is why al-Qaeda would welcome some riots in which Muslims were killed. It wants more recruits, not social peace in Britain.
Finally, he addresses how to confront them. What do we do with these fanatics? Observe:
We have some difficult tasks ahead. One is to accept that modern terrorist groups aren't irrational. They know what they're doing and why they're doing it. We shall help our cause best by seeing them as cunning adversaries, not lunatics...Yet I don't have the slightest doubt that this test of character will be passed with flying colours. Winston Churchill responded to all the compliments paid to him at the end of the war by offering the British a tribute. He said: "It was the nation that had the lion heart. I only did the roaring."

To reach its present state British society has evolved over many centuries. It's learned some new tricks, but it hasn't lost all its old habits. It's regularly been despaired of and its present is nearly always compared unfavourably with its past. But I remember what J B Priestley said: "The British have been and always will be a very calm and resilient people."
Understand that terrorists confront civilization with grievances. They want to make matters worse in order to compel civilization to satisfy these grievances. Therefore, Civilization must stand firm and resist. They must not allow the fanatics to in any way achieve their goals. They must not bow to terrorists.

How does one satisfy the ultimate demand of an agent of Evil? There's only one way: exterminate the good. Osama Bin Laden demands the removal of the US troops from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all other Muslim lands. He demands the return of the Antiduluvian plains from the "crusaders." A pity their dead, or we'd get right on it. He wants to united the Muslim world under a new Caliphate, and he himself will sit on that throne. Then the followers of Allah, Mohammad his prophet, will march upon the world in Jihad, so that by tongue or sword all convert or die. These are not demands that any sane society can meet. They are not the demands that even the West's rather insanse societies would even consider. Think NARAL is furious now? Just try telling them that beheading awaits any that have an abortion. Or provide one. Think NOW has a problem with the West? I doubt they'll volunteer to wear the Burka. Think the ACLU has a problem with Christianity in the Public Square? I wonder how they'll handle the crescent.

Where Western Civilization has failed the Muslim world in international solidarity and compassion, it should make ammends. No dictatorship that abuses the human rights of his own people should ever be tolerated. The West should not appear to care only for the elites of Gulf States that determine the international oil supply. Muslims that experience legitimate land disputes with non-muslims should have their grievances met justly. In other words, if the West has been unfair, then the West should be fair.

It's not unfairness of the West that led the Muslim world to retreat from it's own civilization's high achievements into Islamic fundamentalism. It's not the West's unfairness that left the Muslim world woefully unprepared to face an industrialize Europe in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries. It's not the capriciousness of the West that compels many in the Arab world and beyond to live in conspiracies and celebrate anti-semitism, all while their own governments oppress them. Where the West is not to blame, then the West must not accept the responsibility.

Regardless of the legitimate grievances of ordinary muslims, no terrorist has the right to negotiate through the indiscriminate use of murder. No delusional genius should aspire to found long-lost Caliphates upon the blood of the innocent. No purveyers of death should determine the destiny of nations. They must face our resolute "No!" Then they must face justice.

Otherwise, civilization is a worthless charade. The flags of free nations are never worth the price young men pay to keep them flying. Culture becomes a ridiculous illusion that isn't worth our time.

They must fail. They will fail. Evil has already been defeated. These agents will so discover this to their sorrow. Let's all make sure they discover it soon!