I was shocked when I heard what happened because I never thought he could do such a thing.
Said a taxi driver who lived next door in the Luton terrace where unfortunate Stockholm solo bomber, Iraqi-born Swede Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly leaves wife and kids. See today’s Guardian article.
Al-Abdaly blew himself up in a busy Stockholm shopping area on Saturday night. Only one bomb of the several strapped to his body went off, and his bomb-rigged car caught fire but did not explode. Nobody else was injured. Emails sent to Swedish press stated that his actions were a response to cartoons circulated some years previously in the Swedish press depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, and to the presence of 500 Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan.
One is reminded, more than anything, of Chris Morris’s Four Lions.
But, interesting isn’t it, that the eye of the world has swung suddenly to Sweden?
Latest manoeuvre in the ironic pitching of Feminist Cause against World Threat – liberating Afghan women from the Taliban, bringing Wikileak’s founder to task for alleged sexual misdemeanors. Was Sweden not once synonymous with sex?
We might also view this sudden attention on the famously neutral/equanimous Scandinavian country as effort to involve it (viz hard cash contribution) in the all-important current manoeuvrings of NATO, vis a vis missile command stations in Turkey, which enjoys good relations with Iran, at whom the missiles are to be pointed. One imagines that US strategy, at its basic reptilian level, is for the Israeli-End-Timer-Rapture to come about through a significant nuclear exchange to take place entirely in Europe, with all of the colateral damage occuring only in Europe. The Hawks and other Sky People in the States probably envisage such a scenario, in which troublesome Old Worlders duff each other up, while American territory is left unscathed. While certainly and obviously and utterly (read any of the hundreds of Wikileaked cables concerning UK-US cables) the UK is sacrificial pawn in any button-pushing rapture, quite possibly the whole of Europe is so envisaged.
And to that end, a certain calculated vagueness mystifies the undulating virtual terrain of the War on Terror.
We can’t defeat Taliban.
To the discerning British public – two thirds of which, according to a Newsnight poll – believe that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable – this sounds like sense. It is.
It is, in fact, true. It is precisely the truth seized upon by US strategists in their choice of war in Afghanistan in the first place. High mountains to be flown over, deep valleys, rivers, forests, cave systems (Wait, is this War on Terror or Terra?) to be zinged with the latest alpha-release military ordnance, with, here and there, rocket-launching villagers providing a little flak. Just enough to carry the whole infernal illusion in the pages of our comic-strip, Strictly Whose Bum Is That? UK newspapers.
It is Pratt and Whitney and so on, causes celebres of Mainstream Maintenance Men like Senator Joe Lieberman, who prop the US economy, and therefore the Global Status Quo. An unwinnable war in a far-off place – hell, we don’t even know if they really are dropping the bombs, if the airplanes are actually flying, the troops actually there – this is pushing ironic thinking probably a little too far into the paranoid, but you get the point. We don’t know. We only know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the US will stop at nothing in order to push this agenda through, all made all the easier by the co-opted positions of e.g. the UK Government, who will let cluster bombs be stored and carted off from the UK, despite the international-save-the-US ban against cluster bombs. They have a nasty habit of lying around unexploded, waiting for bright-eyed village children.
Secreting War Effort in places like Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq means maximum effectiveness of Truth Manufacture. What You Say Goes. If you want to perpetuate population-fooling and daylight removal of national/state/public monies to private pockets, you need an Afghanistan, an Iraq, an unwinnable war. It is then entirely strategically positive to have the chief of forces say stuff like Carleton Smith has been saying. In case anyone thinks too hard or too far back, it’s best to remind people that
The war began in 2001 in response to attacks against the US on 11 September. [BBC]
A statement which exemplifies another fundamental of Double Speak – Keep Repeating.
We then have:
- A Just Cause
- A Justly Caused, safely distant, but sadly, unwinnable war
And, in case anyone might think, being distant, this War does not effect them,
- Random, unpredictable and constant Threat.
Which is what our opening quote – I never thought he could do such a thing – is telling us. Here, we approach a masterstroke of Double Think assimilation. We stand on the shoulders of all the work that has been done de-demonising Men with Beards and simply say, That’s right, it could be Anyone.
It’s all rather impressive, in a way. If you can remain entirely away from your (warm, soft, wet) heart and entirely with your (cold, hard, dry) reptilian mind. If you can think “Pratt and Whitney and Palin’s Alaska” rather than “flattened villages with child amputees” you’re heading in the right direction.