Thursday, August 10, 2006

Today's terror alert likely more serious than the last few...

It is highly likely that the plot interrupted by the British today is more serious than the handful of entrapment related arrests and prosecutions the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and Department of Justice have made public announcements about. Nevertheless, Wonkette makes it seem just as funny as the last one.

Why do they hate our freedom? Why are the British, with their cute accents, always a target? My guess it is the freedom to tell people in Asia which forms of their religion are acceptable to us in the West is one of the big freedoms we think we have, and the one they hate the most. Tony Blair recently put his cute accent to work in a speech called "An Alliance of Moderation" defending the war on terror, and enjoining American's once again to "Take up the White Man's Burden" (not a direct quote, but the essence of his argument, which was about encouraging moderate Islam, which probably means that kind of Islam where they don't pray quite so often, accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and make regular financial contributions to evangelical churches that spread politicized Christianity instead of politicized Islam). Bush and Blair are not going to be credible imams to even the most easily influenced Muslims until they start to really demonstrate concern for innocent life, real Christian charity, etc. Then a few years in a madrasah, bent over the Qoran, memorizing and contemplating every word would help.

Blair's stupid speech was really just designed to buttress the Bush Administration's policies with a cute accent and with credibility about the world that an American ear assumes a foreigner would have.

As long as British and American bombs are falling on Muslim lands, as long as our tanks and soldiers patrol their streets and reinforce checkpoints on borders that are the invention of Western colonial rulers, I think they will keep coming at us. In the event they stopped, as long as there was money in maintaining our paranoid posture, we would keep the fear alive to prime the taxdollar pump that keeps so many defense contractors profitably engaged.

Blair and Bush were wrong or lying about WMDs in Iraq. How could they possibly be right all of the sudden about how things might work in Islamic Asia?

Even if they can't be sent out with carry-on bags full of liquids or gels, we, in the West, should invest in sending more smart young people out into that world to explore and report back their findings. Not just scholars from Ivy League schools, but street musicians and poets, carnies and computer geeks. We need a thousand new Marco Polos, and we need less pontificating from isolated neo-cons and evangelicals from within 10 Downing Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


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