Friday, July 08, 2005

As usual, Gwynne Dyer gets it right...

Rather than respond to the London attack by triumphalist name-calling, Dyer, who unlike the 101st keyboarders actually lives in London, knows what's really going on:

During the whole of World War II, about 30,000 Londoners were killed by German bombs and three-quarters of a million lost their homes. Then, between 1971 and 2001, London was the target of 116 bombs set by various factions of the Irish Republican Army, although they only killed 50 people and injured around 1,000. And not once during all those bombs did people in London think that they were being attacked because of their values and their way of life.

It was clear to them that they were being attacked because of British policies abroad, or the policies of Britain's friends and allies. The people who organized the bombs wanted Britain out of World War II, or British troops out of Northern Ireland, or the British Army out of the Middle East (or maybe the whole G-8 to leave the rest of the world alone). Nasty things, bombs, but those who send them your way are usually rational people with rational goals, and they almost never care about your values or your way of life.

Londoners understand that, and it has a calming effect, because once you have grasped that basic fact you are no longer dealing with some faceless, formless, terrifying unknown, but just a bunch of people who are willing to kill at random in order to get your government to change its policies. We don't even know for certain which bunch yet. It could've been Islamist terrorists, or some breakaway IRA faction, or even some anarchist group trying to make a point about the G-8. But that doesn't matter, really...

I do recall thinking, however, that it was a good thing the bombs had gone off here, not in some American city. Even in London, terrorist bombs will be used by the Bush administration as an argument for locking people up, taking away civil liberties, even for invading some other country. One bomb in an American city, and it would have a free run down to 2008.

Whereas in London, it doesn't work like that.

So true. And, the political manipulativeness of 9/11 by the Bush regime is exhibit number 1 that we're a whole lot less safe with George W. Bush as president (although the raw statistics on terrorist attacks are equally compelling evidence).

Thanks righties.

He's right about something else, too: knowing why your enemy opposes you and their rationale for doing so and their approach gives you information that you need to prevail against them; whereas irrational and mindless name calling doesn't do anything.

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