Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blair Gets His Iraq Reward!

A succession of explosions has occurred at Underground stations in central London. The entire system has been shut down. A bus is reported to have blown up in Russell Square. The British Transport Police originally gave out that the Tube bangs were due to a "power surge".

Presumably, then, the bus was one of the many electric buses on the capital's streets. London is famed for its highly efficient trolleybus system. Not. No, the government is lying to us. The total and utter cunts! Power surge, my arse!

From my office window, for what it's worth, I can see blue flashers, stalled traffic (well, that's hardly unusual) and an editorial floor emptying with eerie rapidity. And - for a couple of seconds - they just sounded the fire alarm. How stupid can you possibly get? Naturally, we'd be far safer in the streets - with the terrorists. I, personally, intend to stay until they shoot my desk out from underneath.

The day after the Olympic announcement. Whilst Bush is in the country, and half the police force humping the sodden hills of Perthshire for his protection. Manoeuvre warfare? They've got all you need.

UPDATE, 1046: The National Grid is now quoted as follows by BBC News:
"The National Grid, which supplies power to the Underground, said there had been no problems with its system which could have contributed to the incidents."
Link. Fuck'em.

UPDATE, 1133, the BBC is now speaking of "multiple explosions". No. 10 Downing Street, for its part, says it doesn't know if it's a terrorist attack. Really, these people are like a cult without its guru when Blair's away. Here, the stayers-on are reacting rather well; I just finished an interview with a chap from the Open Base Station Initiative, my colleague Sean is getting on with some work, Nicky is answering the phones of the fled to reassure their friends. And - shock - my editor, who was coming from Clapham by tube, has just arrived this moment, reporting troops in the streets. By his description they are infantry or medics, no repeat no NBC kit or signals vehicles, which is all good.


Mr Miggins said...

Nicely cuntish headline there, prick.

Nosemonkey said...

Mr Miggins - you're a twat. Piss off and see how you feel when you've got terrorist cunts running around in your back yard. We've put up with it from the IRA for decades - but now we've got a new bunch who never caused us any trouble until we started fucking around the place and pissing them off. It's a fair assumption and accusation to make, and you know it.

Soul said...

They will go away once you leave iraq also..................

Soul said...

You have my condolences. These people are sick animals. A bus of innocents.... They make my stomach turn.

Alex said...

Thanks. I don't think they'll go away once we leave Iraq: we've got this mess for keeps.

The Antagonist said...

Liveblogging without the hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're right. We shouldn't have fought Germany in WW2 either, should we? I mean, look, Britain got bombed because we were meddling in Germany's private affairs. We should have done nothing, then we would have been safe!


Josh said...

Fuck you.

Alex said...

Good to know the great anonymous trolling tradition is standing up to terrorism well.

bedblogger said...

Why is it the people who object to laying blame for today's horror at Blair's feet always remain anonymous, while those of us who feel that Blair's illegal pre-emptive actions meant that an attack on Britain was inevitable put our names to it?

And stop this appeasement shit, with WW2 and Pearl Harbour being dredged up, Christ, get real at least. Didn't Eisenhower know Pearl Harbour was going to be attacked but did not pass that knowledge on to the base as he'd correctly worked out an attack on USA was the only way he could get the American people to agree to enter a war that America would be drawn into anyway? As for Hitler, he was explicit about his aims for destroying the Jewish race from early on, yet we chose to ignore it when we could have done something in early 1930s; or when we chose not to bomb the concentration camps, knowing full well they were extermination camps. I could go on but can't be arsed in the face of this bloodshed.

We can agree or disagree on whether Blair's decision made us more or less safe, whatever, London streets are red with the spilled blood of innocents today. As are Baghdad's. But to keep parroting this appeasement or the even worse "we need to kill all muslims before they kill us" shit being spouted on blogs across the land ATM, is pointless.

If you want to disagree, have the courtesy to put your name to it. Then we can take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

i served in iraq for uk forces trying to help people but only got spat and shot at.all this crap about muslims being peacefull people is crap.kick them all out of uk.they want to live like animals let them do it somewhere else.

Ben said...

The one city in the world that can rightfully be called a “Sister City” to New York City is London. New York is closer in spirit and style to London than it is to Chicago, and Los Angeles isn’t even on the same planet. It’s clear to any New Yorker whose ever been there. Times Square and Leicester Square are really part of the same place, just separated by an inconveniently placed ocean. To paraphrase some French guy who spoke after 9-11, we are all British today; but if you’ve ever swiped a Metrocard it goes deeper, and speaking for this subset we are all Londoners today.

We therefore have an even greater burden to understand what has happened, what is going on, and what may occur in the future. It is our culture- Western Cosmopolitan Urban Culture- that is the object of the enemy’s hatred.

There are a lot of armchair explanations as to why- “they hate our freedoms”, “they want revenge for our support of Israel/ Invasion of Iraq/ Support of corrupt middle eastern monarchies/ support of rights for women and homosexuals/ whatever”. They have a new excuse every week. But it’s an answer that begs a further question. Why? Why are they in such need of a cause to kill for? And to answer that, we need to know them, and know their own goals.

Killing is not their end goal. Power is. The enemy is a theocracy. Currently, a theocracy with limited political capability and control, but a theocracy none the less. This Theocracy wants power.

Like all Theocracies, it faces some fundamental problems. Any ruling system either allows itself to be open to change, consensus, and instability, and allows for these things- note well that there are no limits at all placed on the contents of an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States - or it does not. Reality has a very bad habit of being an unruly, chaotic think lacking in clear boundaries and definitions. It shifts.

When a ruling system chooses to pin itself to a fixed and immutable Truth, it runs into trouble when Truth collides with Reality. Monarchies began to crumble when people let ideas run loose, and the Truth of “Noble Blood is Better than Common Blood” collided with the Reality of “No it’s Not”.

A Theocracy needs its Truths, because without them it has no reason to exist. A priest, rabbi, or imam won’t get very far adding “or maybe not” at the end of a line- the “amen” is there just to make sure no one slips in the “or maybe not”. Any social order needs its Truths or it will risk a Hobbesian struggle of all against all, but a Democracy can get along just fine with just a few basic, friendly ones putting no burdens on people: the Truths we hold self evident. But a democracy allows society to change, Tomorrow’s general consensus may be different. Different values may exist. Okay, we’ll deal with it.

A Theocracy can’t allow that. Theocracy is founded on a set of complete, self consistent, Truths revealed to and interpreted by the self appointed Holy.

Today, the enemy’s Theocracy has certain key Truths, and one of them is “God has promised us wealth, power, pride and glory in return for obedience.” And it doesn’t deliver this in Reality, which turns things around and hands wealth, power, pride and glory to a bunch of undisciplined, unclean, wildly fornicating infidels. When Truth and Reality collide, it’s a problem.

Most of the big time religions have to deal with the fact that people really, really want wealth, power, pride and glory. Religions can’t deliver this, and Theocrats know it. So each learns to deal with the demand. Christianity: You’ll get it after you die. Judaism: It will happen, someday, really, trust us. Buddhism: Stop asking, your desire for wealth, power, pride and glory is the cause of your pain. There are branches of Islam that adopted all three of these, but Fundamentalist Islam never came up with a good answer to the problem. All it could ever come up with was “Let’s take it!”- and from the launch of the Jihad in the 7th century, to the Barbary pirates in the 18th and 19th, to today, there have been plenty of believers trying to do just that.

Because, the other inevitable question a Theocracy has to answer about wealth, power, pride and glory is: “Why did God allow the unbelievers to have so much more of it”? Again, there are different answers, but fewer this time. In most cases, the answer is “Who cares, Earthly wealth, power, pride and glory are Not important.”

But not Fundamentalist Islam. Having already adopted “Let’s take it!” as an approach to the question of Wealth, “Not important” is not available as an answer.

Another unavailable answer is “because that society has some really good ideas pertinent to the generation of wealth”. Can’t happen. The one thing that is toxic to a Theocracy is the idea that another society generates good ideas that they don’t. That would be bad. That’s why Theocracies do the book burning thing. We can also eliminate “Dumb Luck”, because that really undermines the whole “God rewards the Faithful” message that Theocrats need to attract a flock. “God Rewards Whoever Rolls the Right Dice, Faithful or Not” is a crummy message to start a religion with.

So “God Rewards the Faithful” is Truth, even if “God Rewards the Clever, or the Lucky” might be Reality. Having eliminated “Not Important” and “Generated by Good Ideas” and “Luck” all we are left with is “Generated by Bad Ideas”.

Fundamentalist Islam is therefore forced by own premises and inflexible logic to assume that the western superiority in wealth is entirely based on Badthink. The thriving, vibrant, colorful, noisy life of New York and London with impressive buildings, expensive real estate, shops full of the world’s goods, and glorious expressions of every human art imaginable must be based on things like greed, theft, deception, wickedness, etc, etc, because we’ve eliminated all the other alternatives. It’s no coincidence that Prophets have been denouncing urban cultural and economic centers since the first prophet walked into the first marketplace. I don’t think there’s a single religious scripture on Earth where a Holy Man walks into a busy, prosperous center of culture, says “how wonderful, people are getting along so nicely!” and leaves. And not surprisingly, this dim view of Urban Cosmopolitanism dovetails nicely with the “Let’s take it!” philosophy. Easy to take something when you believe the guy who has it doesn’t deserve it.

It also dovetails well with the long discredited “zero sum” theory of economics, which holds that there is a fixed sum of wealth in the world and all we can hope to do is redistribute it. But that’s another story.

What we have is something now akin to Greek Tragedy: the accepted paradigms lock the characters into certain thought modes, and drive them inexorably towards tragic conclusions, and only a Deux ex Machina can set things right. They hate us because their philosophy demands that they do, there is no other logical choice. Not hating us would undermine the whole system. The moment a Jehadi looks at a place like New York or London, without hatred, he is lost to the Theocracy, for a fundament has failed in the structure of his belief. God promised the faithful wealth, power, pride and glory, infidel London has it, the faithful Islamic World doesn’t, and that, at the base of it, is the reason why London was attacked.

I think the reality of this is clear in the reaction of the Spanish government to the attack. Security has been stepped up across Spain, as it has in many Western nations. Why is this necessary, one would ask, when Spain did what was demanded of them the last time they were attacked? Isn’t Spain off the hook now? Not at all, and the actions of the Spanish government prove that they know it, or at least suspect it. Appease the enemy, and at best, you are safe only until a new excuse is dreamed up, because you have not dealt with his philosophical need to hate you.

Red said...

Bedblogger, it was FDR, not Eisenhower.

Alex, you have my most sincere and heartfelt condolences. I know that probably doesn't mean a lot, but I really, really hope your friends and family are safe.

WillS said...

Ranter, you're a complete arse if you think that opting out of Iraq would give the terrorists anything more than a 5 second pause whilst they thought up a different excuse for bombing London.

We are attacked because of who and what we are (free, liberal, democratic) and for no other reason.

Anonymous said...

Check your history books. Islam killed millions of Hindus in the 12th century. That's a long time before Iraq or Palestine or Isreal. They didn't need any excuse then and neither do they now. Killing people is one of the pillars of the religion.

Yorkshire Soul said...

Those sort of comments are always 'anonymous', and if you look far enough back into history, almost every religion, belief system, nation or group has an evil blot on their copybook.

Anonymous said...

The Neville Chamberlain Ranter. Do please keep your head in the sand. That way you'll keep it out of your ass.

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