Tuesday 17 November 2015

That tweet, that Stop the War, those wars, those bombs, us

Oviously the media will keep going on and on for months about the Stop the War 'reaping the whirlwind' tweet. Anyone, all of us, apart from the terrorist groups involved, worry, care and mourn for the people killed. Of course we do. They're us. These bombs and guns are directed against the likes of us, going to footy matches, sitting in cafes and going to concerts. In one terrible ironic aspect of this episode, the people doing this stuff must know that the people who they regard as the enemy (the politicians and generals) won't even be in the places where they've bombed and shot. It'll be us. You can bet that some of the people they kill, are even people who've said that they're against our rulers sending troops to the middle east. We really don't need lectures about how it's us who are disrespectful to the dead. The dead are us. As are the dead of Ankara, or in all the other places that have been targeted by these bombs. What is going on is that our politicians aren't protecting us. The bombs hardly ever reach the politicians and generals. Perhaps they're not targeted. Perhaps they've protected themselves much better than they've protected us. So don't tell us when we start to make connections between what politicians do and what bombers do that we aren't regretful enough or sad enough, or bitter enough. It's us, not you who are getting it.

In fact, when historians come to write up this period of history, (long after rows about the tweet), giving readers a picture of what Britain, France and the US were doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria...when they go back to the 'great ideas' earlier of how to 'solve' the 'problem' of Iran, how they happily allied with Saudi Arabia, how they pumped billions into Israel which never took seriously any 'peace process', how the western powers regard the middle east as some kind of fiefdom that should be run for our benefit....and when these historians look at the growth of groups that at one moment appeared to oppose the despotic powers of the middle east, and the next bombed 'soft' targets all over the world, when they look at how wars provide the context for paranoid, vindictive, vengeful, indiscriminate murderous ideologies (why wouldn't wars offer this kind of fertile environment? men sit for hours and hours in terrible conditions trying to kill each other, trying to kill anything or anybody they have been told is their enemy, whilst being in a permanent state of fear that they themselves are going to be killed...) when all this is put together by historians, will they say the converse of that whirlwind tweet? Will they say there was no connection whatsoever, not even the tiniest connection? Will they say that these terrorist groups had no connection whatsoever to the wars and interventions of the last 50 years or so? Will the historians say that the only way to understand these terror groups is to examine the sacred texts of Islam? The answer to it all lies in the books? Will they say that the big mistake the western powers made was to not bomb and kill more and more and more?

Maybe when the last drop of oil has been wrung out of the soil all across the territory, the oil-wealthy dictators and kings will have emigrated to New York and London, leaving millions in destitution, utterly un-enriched by the spent oil wealth, one lone historian will ask, 'What was that all about then?'