trust – tolerance – self-sufficiency
The handling of so-called ‘terrorism’ provides by far the most vivid example of the flaw at the heart of recent Governments and the dangers inherent in it. Ironically, pivotal in this subject, is something they are skilled at – propaganda – the use of words. Consider:
1. ‘Terrorist’ / ‘Terrorism’
‘Terror’ is a powerful and dramatic, clenched-fist word. It reads well, it rolls fiercely off newsreaders’ tongues. But terror is extreme fear; fear that paralyzes and unmans utterly. Are you truly terrified of these murderers? In reality do you give them any more thought than you do burglars, muggers, drunk drivers, bird flu, or freak weather, any of which are far more likely to kill you? Are you anything more than mildly concerned about them? Calling such people terrorists is to give them a special ‘dramatic’ status – great kudos amongst their own dismal peers – very important to them. Better by far to call them what they are – criminals – murderers.
2. The ‘War’ on ‘Terrorism’
War may well be Hell, but it is also hung about with myth and legend. Words like glory, self-sacrifice, bravery and heroism cling to it – often justifiably. So to call our efforts to deal with these murderers a ‘war’ is to give them the benefit of this mythology especially, again, amongst their own dismal peers. It also gives them the status of soldiers, which, unequivocally, they are not. Soldiering is an honourable profession – if countless young people through the years had not taken up arms to follow it we would have precious few of the freedoms we are so casually throwing away today. We are dealing with vicious and cowardly murderers, who hide amongst women and children and kill only the defenceless. They have nothing to contribute to any form of civilized society and bringing them to justice is not a war, it is simply a criminal investigation. By the same token, the World Trade Centre and the London Underground murders were not ‘attacks’, they were just crimes.
3. 9/11, 7/7
Neat, journalistically ‘cool’, these natty shorthands are so much easier to use than ‘the World Trade Centre murders’ or ‘the London Underground murders’. But such events should not come easily to the lips or the pen, they should be spelled out in full – always. Is your time so precious that you cannot afford a few extra seconds to remind yourself and others what really happened? This kind of glib, archly knowing usage is yet another victory for the murderers. It sanitizes the utterly senseless and wilful murder of over 3000 quietly useful people who, like you and me, woke on those mornings full only of the concerns of their day. It spits in their faces.
The fundamentals of all the great modern religions and humanist thought are rooted in the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These murderers are not fundamentalists, they are literalists. They have taken religious books from times and societies long gone and full of myth, metaphor and, not least, contradiction, and wilfully chosen to take parts of them as being literally true just to claim some kind of justification for their psychotic behaviour.
The use of words such as terrorism, war, 9/11, 7/7, fundamentalism, jihadists, islamists etc, is not a trivial matter. It presents these filthy and useless creatures as being far more significant than they actually are. It gives them exactly what they want. It glorifies them and all that they do and defiles the memory of their victims.
THE AIM OF THE MURDERERS
Hundreds of thousands of decent people across the world struggle daily and desperately against bitter poverty and oppression, yet never even consider resorting to the random murder of innocents as a means of improving their lot. The question thus arises, ‘what is the aim of these murderers?’ The answer is simple. Notwithstanding any florid rhetoric to the contrary, they have no aim. They have descended into bleak and vicious nihilism. And even that they get wrong, opting for murder and destruction rather than a quiet suicide. In a word, they are psychotic or, at best, weak and deluded. They merely want to kill people. The very fact that they are literalists shows they are incapable of logic and reason, and the sad reality is that the bad, the mad, and the dangerously gullible (‘useful idiots’ – despised by their employers and readily expendable) are always with us, as are feeble and craven politicians. Together they are the social equivalents of an unpleasant foot infection and a faulty immune system. Given this, what is the actual threat posed by these murderers?
During World War Two, German bombers, V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets dropped thousands of tons of high explosives and incendiaries on our major cities. They killed thousands of people and did immense damage to industry, commerce and property. They did not bring national terror however, they brought only anger and a deep resolve.
After World War Two came decades of the Cold War which put all of us at risk of nuclear destruction, either through deliberate action or by accident. ‘Acceptable’ casualties were measured not by deaths or even tens of deaths, but by the ‘megadeath’ – a million scorched and irradiated corpses – usually pluralized. This too did not bring terror.
Compare these fearsome assaults on our country and our way of life with what is offered by the current crop of murderers. When they bombed the London Underground, they murdered some 50 people. At a personal level this brought horror and tragedy to many families, and the perpetrators, their supporters and organizers should be hunted down relentlessly and brought to justice – not time, nor distance, nor the strength of powerful men should be allowed to protect them. At a national level however, the effect was minimal. More than thirty people die violent deaths every day, week in, week out, year in, year out, relentlessly – over 10,000 a year – but as these do not happen all at the same time or place, they do not make a ‘sexy’ enough story for the media and thus go unreported. Each of them, of course, is no less a tragedy for those involved than the deaths of the London Underground victims, but the economy, the State, society, are unaffected.
The reality is that these murderers cannot harm us militarily. Their technology is pathetic and their actions vicious and cowardly – hiding behind women and children and killing only the defenceless. What they can do – what they have done very successfully – is harm us greatly by panicking our craven and inept politicians into rash and inappropriate actions. (It is a particularly bleak irony that these same politicians, whose only skill is in using words to manipulate public opinion, have so spectacularly failed to notice that these murderers are doing the same, and doing it better).
During the Cold War the threat was massive and to us all and a collective response was needed to meet it. There was little that individuals could do and necessarily the influence of the State over our lives grew considerably. Now however, the threat, trivial though it is, is to each of us as individuals. None of us is safe, nor can we be kept safe by the State. When the murderers find that security around the House of Commons, 10 Downing Street etc, is too tight, they will simply set off a bomb or take hostages and murder them anywhere – cinema, shopping mall, supermarket, school, football ground, village fete – just to generate hysterical headlines and ‘tough’ political rhetoric.
So how can we defend ourselves against such assaults?
1. The State - For many years, successive Governments have wilfully cultivated a victim mentality in us, by fostering the myth that they can protect us and by actively prohibiting self-help. Now we scarcely have the mindset to resist their folly and oppression let alone aggression from anyone else. This is no Great Conspiracy however, it is simply the politics of apathy and convenience – all bureaucracies become self-serving and lose their original purpose, and State bureaucracies naturally tend towards fascism – the fundamental supremacy of the State over the individual. This must end right now. The Government’s job is to work diplomatically, financially, politically, and militarily to destroy support for these murderers internationally and bring them to justice. At the same time it must also defend what makes us strong – what others in the past have fought and died for – our freedoms – not cede them in panic.
2. The media – are vitally important to the murderers and need to review their conduct radically. For example, following the London Underground murders, one broadsheet gave 20 full pages to the news. A full page advertisement in that paper cost then about £45,000. Thus they gave the murderers £900,000 of free publicity. Other papers did similarly, as did radio and TV stations, all at peak time, the whole amounting to millions of pounds worth of free publicity – day after day – precisely what the murderers wanted. There is no simple solution to this. The media cannot and should not be radically constrained in a free society and such incidents must be reported and discussed. However it has to be accepted that this kind of disproportionate coverage makes the media active allies to the murderers. It is a serious problem for all of us, and one that needs the equally serious and widespread discussion, but ultimately, only the media themselves can properly resolve it.
3. Individuals – We can, if we wish, continue to cower like sheep behind the ludicrous myth that the State can protect us, or we can accept personal responsibility and remind these murderers that we are ‘an old and haughty nation proud in arms’. Politicians have to accept fully that all they can do is as outlined in (1) above and that they cannot protect us as individuals from random attacks. Our only defence against these is our personal preparedness helped by a police force that is truly part of the community, with police officers of all ranks knowing their areas and the people in it so that they can pick up and co-ordinate the small threads of gossip and information that alone will expose the murderers. Unfortunately, the present Police Service will have to be radically re-organized if this is to become a reality.
4. Muslims – Despite constant media references to it, there is no Muslim ‘community’ in this country, nor are there ‘spokepersons’ for it, any more than there are Christian, Jewish or atheist communities etc. There are only individual Muslims, Christians, Jews etc. Grouping people together in ‘communities’ carries grim risks. It reduces individuals to faceless, and thus inhuman, components of a group, the more easily to be condemned without consideration of their individual humanity when the group itself is condemned – it is one of the steps towards extermination camps. Be yourself, speak for yourself.
The murderers have nothing to do with the fundamentals of Islam but as they have chosen to distort parts of the Koran as a fig-leaf of justification for their psychotic behaviour, a particular onus rests on individual moderate Muslims to speak out against them, and to help expose them and bring them to justice.
HELP AND INFORMATION WANTED
- I propose to call these so-called ‘fundamentalists’, ‘literalists’, and so-called ‘terrorists (or jihadists or islamists)’, ‘murderers’. This admittedly lacks the rhetorical force of ‘terrorist’, beloved by jourmalists, but then it is meant to and it says exactly who and what they are. Anyone got a better idea?