Why did a man kill people in Westminster the other day and what can the world to prevent similar acts of violence? ROB WEDGE gives his view.
There is a particular kind of debate you’ve almost certainly heard in the media recently.
It goes something like this…
“Now we’re going to talk about the latest vile and cowardly terrorist attack on our democracy which killed and injured so many innocent people.
“With us in the studio – Mrs X who is going to say we mustn’t let the terrorists disrupt our way of life, Mr Z who is going to say we must use culturally sensitive techniques to stop folk being radicalised in the community and Ms Z who’s going to say we should get let the royal guards hide sub machine guns under their bearskins so they can mow down anyone who looks a bit foreign on sight.”
If you’re an avid media consumer, you may also hear the occasional riff on the pros and cons of Islam as one pundit points out the religion’s terrible social attitudes to women and gay people, while another points out this a fundamental distortion of a peace loving faith.
Another commentator may ruminate on the attacker’s life story, how being born to a single mum may have played in causing his disaffection from society.
What almost no one in the mainstream media will ever seriously ask is WHY the attack happened?
What’s the root cause of this and other similar, horrific incidents across Europe?
It isn’t a very hard question and the answer is, at bottom, pretty simple.
Anger over the historic injustice of Israel’s treatment of the people of Palestine.
Anger with the western powers ongoing intervention in the Middle East.
But, above all, the anger over the atrocities the US and Britain carried out in Iraq as they rained bombs down on Baghdad in 2003.
Okay, ISIS may be the most ruthless and murderous and cruel demons our collective imagination can conjure up.
They undoubtedly have the most monstrous attitudes to women and gay people.
They have certainly committed terrible unjustifiable crimes on ordinary people.
But nothing they’ve done can reverse what George Bush and Tony Blair did to innocent Iraqis in 2003, on the totally fraudulent pretext that their leader was a threat to their realms.
And the war Bush and Blair still isn’t over.
14 years after George Bush declared mission accomplished, innocent people are still dying in Iraq at the hands of the characters who brought you this diabolical invasion.
It’s estimated that at least 100 guiltless civilians died recently in an attack by US-backed Iraqi troops in Mosul.
You may have missed it at the time. News about it was squeezed to the bottom of the headlines by the attack on the British parliament which claimed far fewer lives.
But please don’t dismiss this as a tired old argument about violence BY the west justifying violence ON the west.
This is about understanding WHY the violence is happening – the minimum requirement (you’d think) for trying to stop it.
Of course in their hearts our ruling masters do understand – they just don’t want to admit it.
And even if they did, there’s very little this country, acting alone, could do about it
There’s another land, of course, which could: America.
By withdrawing its forces from countries where they don’t belong, by putting its vast resources into trying to repair the damage it’s already caused and ceasing to support countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia which are at the heart of the problem.
Unfortunately, of course, the last thing Donald Trump, chief exec of USA inc, wants to do is to understand the causes of this problem let alone take concerted action to solve it.
On the contrary, Trump’s brand of nationalism positively thrives on a continuing stream of apparently mindlessly angry enemies
He uses this wonderful pretext to justify
- stigmatising and scapegoating Moslems for all the world’s ills,
- trying to stop them entering his country,
- and drastically upping US spending on arms.
All this, of course, will only continue to feed the anger of already angry people all over the world.
The same anger which spawns acts of violence like the one we saw in London – and will undoubtedly spawn more in the future.
Things, to misquote an overused anthem, can only get worse.