Peter Cresswell : 'We Are All Londoners Today'
We Are All Londoners Today
Opinion-piece by Peter Cresswell from his Blog Not PC
"We are all Londoners today." Doesn't that describe the way all people with a soul feel this morning. The vibrant, tolerant city of London is today's front line in the battle for those western values that makes cities across the west the great places they are. The smiling, celebrating faces that were in evidence in London yesterday celebrating their Olympic victory will be back, and when they are it will be a victory for all of us.
Another phrase that resonates this morning is "business as usual." Business as usual was the policy adopted in the London Blitz, and the resilience of Londoners then is being seen again today. 'Business as usual' is the quiet bravery of offering two fingers to aggressors who simply do not understand what makes human life sacred, and human effort valuable.
We should be clear that we are at war against such agressors; a war against civilisation declared on September 11, 2001 in an act of piracy by everything that slithers against everything that stands - or then stood - erect; by the very lowest, against the very highest that civilisation has to offer. It is not a war against terrorism per se, it is a war declared on us by Islamic jihadists. It is a war of self-defence against a culture that reviles the wealth and freedom of the west because neither are possible in a culture that values neither. In many ways it is the last hurrah of fundamentalist losers who know their cultural values have brought them nothing but poverty, dictatorship and death, and have nothing more to offer. It's easy to kill; harder to offer the values that sustain life.
The Islamic terrorists who commit these atrocities are not the poor or downtrodden of the Muslim world, they are its best and brightest. What sort of culture has its best and brightest commit multiple murder, while its poor and downtrodden flee (when they can) to find a better life.
Freedom's enemies have many faces, but one fundamental evil: hatred of the good for being the good. As one commentator has argued, the lietmotif of nihilist hatred is a "radical rejection of the good, absolutely and in principle; rejection of what is good by any standard and by all standards, rejection of good as such. The emotional expression of nihilism is 'hatred of the good for being the good.' Good guys can't believe nihilism. They can't imagine that anyone could accept nihilism, let alone try to practice nihilism, let alone cultivate in himself a hatred of the good. The good guys' naivete on this point is their main strategic weakness: how do you fight enemies you can't even believe exist?"
The lesson here is that you cannot kill terrorism, you can only choke off its means of supply by hunting down those who support them and give them succour. At times such as these it becomes even more important that those who value human life and the ideas that support life do make a stand for the values of liberty and freedom. Those people that commit these atrocities and those who support them have exactly nothing to offer us except bloodshed , tears and death. Nothing. We must take them at their word.
I look forward to a combined declaration from the exended G8 this afternoon. Call it the 'London Declaration,' (as Adam Reed did when he wrote it):
From this point on, terrorists and their "political" and "spiritual" leaders shall have no sanctuary anywhere on Earth. Not in Saudi Arabia, not in Iran, not anywhere. Justice on Earth, and the survival of human civilization, demand no less. And we humans must demand nothing less from our leaders.
We're all Londoners today. Are you?