Meditations (Politics): War on the Human Spirit
The War on the Human Spirit
“The purpose of terrorism,” intoned Tony Blair without a scintilla of self-awareness the day after the bombings in London, is to put despair and anger and hatred in people’s hearts.” That’s also your metaphysical mission Mr. Blair, and surely there's a special corner of hell waiting for you because of it.
Yesterday 30 children were blown to bits in the war Blair and his friend-in- darkness George Bush started in Iraq. A car drove into a throng of kids that residents said were receiving candy from US troops, though the military denies that's what they were doing. (They want to distance themselves as much as possible from any culpability for not providing security for the slaughtered children.)
The more people echo the party line, “they won’t change us; they won’t affect our values and the way we live,” the more you can be certain that they are being changed for the worse, and that our core values are being eroded.
The most chilling comment on London’s day of despair came from George Bush, who said of the virus he’s done so much to spread: “The war on terror goes on.” The note of ‘I told you so’ implicit in Bush’s words and tone was repugnant beyond description. So much for “we are fighting them there [Iraq] so we don’t have to fight them here.” Does he hope Americans will take the attitude, ‘better the UK than here; better your train than mine?’
It is in the interest of amoral politicians like Bush and Blair that their citizens continue to believe that terrorism is an illogical and incomprehensible act. “There will never be any logic to any of this,” declared the mayor of London, Ken Livingston, adding, for good measure, “There will never be any country that is safe.”
Terrorism can, however, be understood at every level, though one has to be willing to face painful truths that involve all of us in this psychological war on the spirit being waged by both sides as proxies of hell.
On the political level, the US and its lackey the UK have incalculable military power. Their enemies, which Bush and Blair don’t want the media to even define or name (except as “Islamic extremists” and “barbarians”) have very little military power. To redress the imbalance, and give themselves some chance of winning the “global war on terror” (which Bush declared), Al Qaeda is employing the age-old tactic of striking terror into the hearts of the population.
That puts pressure on governments to change their policies —though of course terrorism can backfire and induce a population to be even more supportive, as it has in America and Britain so far. Their strategy worked in Spain however. As an Al Qaeda planning document said, “We think the Spanish government could not tolerate more than two, maximum three, blows, after which it will have to withdraw [from Iraq] as a result of popular pressure.”
Therefore it’s absurd to say there is no logic--just mass murdering mayhem--to Al Qaeda’s campaign of suicide bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bali, Britain, etc. They have a cold strategic logic, though their metaphysical partners, Bush and Blair, want people to believe there is nothing but indiscriminate hatred to blowing up buses, trains, and children.
Even this obvious political explanation, which is undoubtedly an integral part of the daily calculus in the White House and Downing Street, is called justifying terrorism. Bush and Blair want to stay above it all, and remain on their mythical moral high ground. But the only way they can do that is to keep the fog of war thick through pontifical pronouncements such as “terrorists have no values at all.”
These scoundrels continually proclaim how “we will win the war on terror;” but in the next breath they say we must be perpetually vigilant, that we’ll have to learn to live with terrorism “and not let it change our lives and values.” So far, the vast majority of people in the US and UK are going along with this drivel.
Of course, a side benefit of “the global war on terrorism” is that it provides a perfect excuse to vastly increase military and intelligence spending. No wonder so many of a conspiratorial bent believes the entire thing, including the 9.11 attacks, was cooked up deep in the bowels of the CIA.
There is no front in this war, which is really a worldwide, militarized police operation. At bottom, “global war on terror” is a psychological war, waged by both sides against the psyches and spirits of people everywhere.
The way to prevail in this struggle is to quit calling it a war, which gives Al Qaeda equal status with the US and UK. But that can’t happen while Bush and Blair are in power. They’re in too deep, as the moral equivalents of mass-slaughtering Islamic extremists.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.