Friday, July 08, 2005

Peace in Our Time

The expected response from Robert Fisk today (subscription or access to a university library system required), convinced that if we just give Osama what he wants he'll go away. This totally always works! Britain will leave the Muslim world alone and Osama's followers will stop bombing England.

To go on pretending that Britain's enemies want to destroy 'what we hold dear' encourages racism; what we are confronting here is a specific, direct, centralised attack on London as a result of a 'war on terror' which Lord Blair of Kut al- Amara has locked us into. Just before the US presidential elections, Bin Laden asked: 'Why do we not attack Sweden?'

Lucky Sweden. No Osama bin Laden there. And no Tony Blair.

Yeah, you know who else Sweden didn't take sides against? Hitler. Which was great for Sweden who were free to direct their energies toward finding practical solutions to the world's furniture assembly problems, but if England and the U.S. had had that attitude there'd be no Jews left. And though Osama wouldn't have a problem with that, I have a sense that Adolf would have turned his attentions to the Muslim hordes eventually.

What Robert Fisk fails to explain is what business Iraq is of Osama's. Mecca and Medina I might grant you for the sake of the argument (although not the modern political state of Saudi Arabia). But from what I recall, despite some attempts on Saddam's part to buddy up to the Islamists after the Gulf War, Iraq was a secular state. And it has to be about Iraq, because if this is about Afghanistan then Sweden's in trouble too, because they have forces there as peacekeepers. And I tend to feel that Osama might frown upon that, because helping turn theocracies into democracies would seem to work counter to his goals.

If we're talking not just about Muslim holy sites, but countries with lots of Muslims, how many do you need for Osama to make you his business? With Muslim immigration to Europe growing, and a higher birth rate among Muslims, eventually they could reach a critical mass so that Osama gets to decide what is right for those countries too. Will he or his designates then get to be represented in the European Union and in various European governments? Surely they should (one suspects that these representative bodies wouldn't last very long if they did). Although the vast majority of the world's Muslims have never claimed to be represented by this man, he is willing to kill lots of innocent people, so his aims must be valid.

It is not encouraging racism to say that Osama and those who agree with him seek to destroy our way of life, unless you group all Muslims in with Osama (and even then it wouldn't really be racist, as last time I checked Muslims can be any race). What is racist is to assume that the people of the Middle East want to live the way that Osama bin Laden thinks that they should, as though people with darker skin are somehow less democratic by nature.

It's all very well for people like Robert Fisk to demand that we appease Osama, because they are going to get to continue to lead their well off Western lives. No one is ever going to force Robert into a burka or stone him to death for showing a little too much ankle. Just as no one was ever going to force King Gustav into a gas chamber. Pity that.

1 comment:

rogerio said...

There are so many holes in your logic, as to not even be worth trying to explain how wrong you are. Both sides in this current crusade are wrong and evil. 85% of the people on both "sides" couldn't care less about what the other side does. There are a few small-penised, power-hungry men on the top who have naught better to do than kill for their "god". Join reality, think for yourself (unless the words in your post are the outcome of your thoughts, in which case, listen to me: be against the leaders of both sides- or rot in hell).