Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Group-mentality point of reference: anniversaire.

And yet...mostly quiet on that front. I am still here, you are still there. "Maddy" is still missing. And the site of the twin towers will continue to be "Ground Zero". Until we deal with and move on. Probably not by leaving Basra and pretending everything is OK. Nor by ignoring the death of Jean Charles de Menezes - the most potent symptom of any threat to our 'way of life'.

If the last six years haven't been the not-the-end-of-history (and about this I am almost sure), they may yet have been an ideological trough in England.

[Picture: twin towers as smoking guns]

NB: The west is not a hell of hedonistic excess.



At 12:39 PM, Blogger UK plc said...

Winehouse: well here we get to a problem about how you could define hedonism. Consuming dangerous amounts of cocaine and heroin might be some kind of 'pleasure' even if it's ultimately very bad for you in the end. But I don't think hedonism and losing dangerous amounts of weight and ending up looking like death are necessarily mutually exclusive. It was undoubtedly 'excess'.

Leaving Basra? I think withdrawal offers more likelihood of the least-worst outcomes than continuing with the programme of the last 4 years. Simply, there are no good outcomes, as I think is clear to everyone. The best thing might be a UN force, but the contempt shown for that organization and indeed anyone who dares to disagree with the Master and its pathetic 'junior partner' in the last few years means there's not likely to be much 'will' on that front. As usual, the wider situation and our policy towards it (Iran, Israel...) is a good portion of the problem. You are right to doubt those who claim "it can't get any worse than this" - it surely can. But on the other hand, can we let what has been happening for the last four years continue any longer? What Britain does must depend on what the US is likely to do. As the Bush admin seems set on maintaining the occupation for as long as they can (which is at least another 18 months), and the only reduction they are considering is ending the 'surge', I think isolating them further by withdrawing might be the best thing the British government could do - if it does it quickly and decisively, which is unlikely.

About Menezes, of course you are right, and the other side of it is that in the last couple of weeks we have seen yet again that the only genuine progress being made with anti-terrorism is good police work (the Germans once again), not 'special powers' (not even for surveillance), not 'extraordinary rendition' and not shooting people by mistake and then gagging witnesses and lying to try to cover yourself.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I had meant to suggest that leaving Basra and pretending everything was ok was the red herring, not that leaving Basra was of itself a bad thing. It is sadly amusing that the US have discovered that a major practical problem with 'reconstruction' is that police incompetence and corruption is only ok if they are serving the intersts of 'Us the Masters'. Perhaps Lenin could have taught Uncle Sam something after all.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Chandra said...

Thanks for writing this.


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