CBS News | Protecting Islam | July 14, 2005�23:00:18
Well, I'm back. Not only with the blog but in London town too. It hardly seems like only a week since the bombings but I was more acutely aware of security concerns coming into London by train than ever before and even lugged my bag home across the park rather than face public transport. The park itself was full of collapsed Londoners seemingly withering in an oppressive heat and it's just as hot today. Not the best weather for concentration I'm afraid.
Last week's assault on the Capital City remains in the news headlines, today with the arrest of an Egyptian chemist reputed to be involved. Unlike 911, the conspiracy theorists don't seem to be gathering on this one and it is remarkable just how quickly the anti-terrorist agencies have got to grips with the apparant plot. It seems almost laughable that the investigation took off so quickly becuase one of the bombers forgot to tell his parents he'd be going away, but it is this simple fact that reveals the hardest truth of all - that these kids willing to commit suicide for their cause are just that - kids.
Islamic youth living in 21st century western-dominated society are restless. Unlike Christianity-brainwashed offspring who usually rebel against regressive fundamentalism, rebels from the muslim tradition are reacting to the ineffectual representation of Islam in the greater society by retreating into the extremes of religion and distorting its values. The ready-made option is the Al Quada movement whose argument, at its simplest, seems to be that only the destruction of the oppressive superpowers will bring about their kind of justice. As I have recalled before, Bin Laden actually "declared" war on the west way back in the last century - it was reported in the mainstream media and considered by all and sundry to be something of a joke. Certainly, the threat wasn't taken seriously, which coupled with the rise of the Taliban and increased despair in the Palestinian hub, led to an uncontested rise in his movement with plenty of time for training guerrilla forces and embedding "sleeper" cells in target nations.
You cannot have a war against "terrorism" because terrorism is merely a method of warfare. The French resistance of WW2 were "terrorists" as are almost all participants in insurgancies. The British and the USA have employed more than their own fair share of terror tactics to serve their military ends. That a new kind of global war is already in motion can no longer be denied, but it is ill-defined. As with all wars, the foot-soldiers are the young and fit - too innocent to fully know why they follow a cause and frequently too ignorant to question it. The London bombers, like the Japanese suicide bombers of WW2, are simply soldiers in a war being played out and engineered by others who manipulate the field of play far from the frontlines.
Today's link addresses the issue of persuading moderate Islam to actively tackle the extremists within its midst. It is a worthy call, but I fear it is far too late - the rebel powerbase already exists and has no real affinity with traditional Islam. Some of the foot-soldiers may hide there, but they almost certainly hide in other walks of life too - probably with no obvious religious connection at all.
Extremists also exist on the opposing side. Behind the well-spun disguises, the fundamentist drive behind the Bush and Blair crusades cannot be ignored. Both seek a world dominated by the archaic Christian mindset that would claim to "tolerate" other faiths rather than "accept" them. Faiths can only co-exist when they are relegated to matters of personal belief and their ideaology open to discussion and debate. Worship of any absolute and employing methods of mass-indoctrination simply sows the seeds of conflict.
The generation that stood up to Amerika's manufactured war in Vietnam brought that conflict to a halt. In the media-driven social machine of the 21st century a new generation of young rebels is less obvious. Yet something seems to be emerging - it can be sensed in online blogs and cyberspace in general. It also seems the vote of intellectually-starved, consumer-blinded, middle Amerika that brought the current administration to power may itself be less-than-willing to offer up it's own young as foot-soldiers to be sacrificed at PNAC's whim. Military job-hunters just can't be found and attempts to turn Amerika's educational establishments into recruitment centres has backfired by upsetting the parents nationwide. If as it seems, Amerika re-introduces the draft, the social backlash could be the trigger for major change.
The pacifist that I am, this should be cause for optimism. From a commentator's point of view I'm more cautious. The G8 summit was a communications failure that now seems almost forgotten as the mainstream media have fed us with stories about the London attack to the point of obsession. Moves to curb the western lifestyle that is raping the planet to death have been largely ignored. Moves to give "aid" to people living in poverty had already been announced and the summit only produced a few modifications which are conditional on subscription to the western notion of trade hierarchy. No surprise either, that aid is concentrated on the only continent where Christianity is still in ascendency and the populations ripe for manipulation. Exactly how the plans will bear fruit in lands that are now under threat of desertification too is anyone's guess. Aid will almost certainly be a temporary cosmetic cure that does nothing to give the recipients a chance to build their own sustainable infrastructure. Rather, it will further enslave them to the foreign multi-national complex.
Only when a sense of fairness and equality streaches around our entire planet will these new conflicts end. Instantaneous communication and digital decadence will mean nothing if the earth isn't a viable eco-system and whilst we continue to forge a path of destruction we are doing nothing to placate the danger both within our midst and elsewhere.