Friday, July 08, 2005


what happened in London yesterday was appalling. what happened in New York on 9/11/01 was appalling. what happend in Bali on 10/12/02 was appalling. what happened in Madrid on 3/11/04 was appalling.
the evil citizens of Terror - that amorphous nation with which we are told we are at war - have struck again, and the rhetorical response has been a unilateral reinforcement of the wall of prejudice and fear and hatred that stands between us and them.
one of the most frequently used words in the headshaking lexicon is 'incomprehensible', as if there had never been a historical dialectic, as if there had never been any art, as if we had simply not evolved the capacity, through the intelligence and the imagination, to understand anything which didn't fit the familiar. this is not merely ignorant - it is lethal. just because you and I feel constrained by our upbringing, our education, our sense of morality, even our beliefs, not to retaliate when provoked, not to separate human lives by sect into those with and those without value, not to be willing to surrender our own lives to some greater perceived good, does not automatically bestow the right to ignore the possibility that, underlining these perceived 'evils', is a fundamental disturbance in the global body politic that must - and could - be addressed, providing the means of understanding - the sine qua non of diplomacy - is not continually hamstrung by this kind of semantic censorship. it is possible - nay, easy - to understand and deplore, but to deny understanding as if by so doing we were somehow tainting ourselves with evil is to back ourselves into the same cul de sac of superstition and stupidity that got us all into this mess in the first place.
what happened yesterday in London was appalling. what happened in New York on 9/11 was appalling. what happened in Fallujah in March was appalling.

No comments: