Friday, September 17, 2010

Here, there be monsters...

I was led to this article written by Robert Fisk, The Independent's venerable middle-east correspondent, by James Walcott's blog (always an entertaining read).

Fisk asks:

"Did 9/11 make us all go mad? How fitting, in a weird, crazed way, that the apotheosis of that firestorm nine years ago should turn out to be a crackpot preacher threatening another firestorm with a Nazi-style book burning of the Koran. Or a would-be mosque two blocks from "ground zero" – as if 9/11 was an onslaught on Jesus-worshipping Christians, rather than on the atheist West.

But why should we be surprised? Just look at all the other crackpots spawned in the aftermath of those international crimes against humanity: the half-crazed Ahmadinejad, the smarmy post-nuclear Gaddafi, Blair with his crazed right eye and George W Bush with his black prisons and torture and lunatic "war on terror". And that wretched man who lived – or lives still – in an Afghan cave and the hundreds of al-Qa'idas whom he created, and the one-eyed mullah – not to mention all the lunatic cops and intelligence agencies and CIA thugs who failed us all – utterly – on 9/11 because they were too idle or too stupid to identify 19 men who were going to attack the United States. And remember one thing: even if the Rev Terry Jones sticks with his decision to back down, another of our cranks will be ready to take his place.

Indeed, on this grim ninth anniversary – and heaven spare us next year from the 10th – 9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they – the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa'idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters – have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago..."

Fisk is among a dwindling number of journalists with gravitas, making these comments seem even more chilling to our (my) frayed sensibilities. The Savage and the Stupid among us are empowered by their savageness and stupidity as never before in our lifetimes, and are forsaking the sanctuary of reason-obstructing rocks for the light of day (and the Lincoln Memorial) in ever-increasing numbers.

As referenced in this article, during the last of Fisk's several interviews with Osama Bin Laden, the world's most sought-after Caveman told him: "Mr Robert, I pray that God permits us to turn America into a shadow of itself." It seems evident that we've been doing a pretty good job of accomplishing just that, ever since.

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