Sunday, July 04, 2004

Not Random

This article by Matthew d'Ancona is getting a lot of play in the blogsphere. Certainly it makes some good points:

Moore uses all the techniques of modern mass entertainment with supreme skill: comic intercutting, brilliantly-selected music, shocking images of civilian casualties, a laconic voiceover interspersed with scenes of untrammelled emotion. I confess that I found it gripping.

Unlike Moore, I supported the destruction of the Taliban regime and the liberation of Iraq. But I also have to acknowledge the aplomb of his campaign, and the cunning of his strategy. He has not only touched a nerve; he has filled a vacuum. He has identified the feebleness of the campaign to persuade the public that the war on terror is necessary and exploited that weakness to the hilt.

Yet, even in doing so, it commits the self-same errors. Take the war seriously say these people. Yet, even then shy away from a clear statement of what the war is about. Ironically enough, in the self-same edition a far more clear sighted article is present. Try this:

The Crusades - for which the Pope has apologised to Islam (he did so again last week), rather as an old lady might apologise to a mugger for trying to retrieve her purse - were simply an attempt by medieval Christians to get their homelands back. Spain, Sicily, and parts of the Balkans were recovered. Palestine wasn't, though the Muslim colonisers there - who are no more "native" to the Holy Land than the European Jews who removed them - were largely ejected in 1948. It goes without saying that today's Muslims - who, unlike today's Westerners, are very proud of their history of imperialism - are highly indignant at being parted from this stolen property.

Indeed. Remember 'Nightmare On Elm Street' - the films where a murdered serial killer stalks kids in their dreams and kills them ? In one scene a young girl is confronted by Freddie and tells him 'I don't believe in you' to which he replies 'I believe in you' while killing her. The agonised, introspective psychobabbling of the chattering classes is irrelevant, the Jihadis believe they're at war with us and that's all that matters. There may be no easy route to victory, but admitting the enemy may not be a random collection of folks who just happen to be disproportionately called Mohammed may be a start.

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