Monday, 12 September 2011

The tragedy of our day

I wonder if the Labour party thought it a good day to bury stupid policy; they have form. I should thank them, and the TUC, for the light relief provides distraction from what might have been a grim day. Not so much the tragedy of what those zealous idiots started ten years ago, more the reaction of those who even now conflate Afghanistan and Iraq with alarming ease; or, for example, the Guardian’s intellectual vacuity in insisting it an act of terror, rather than one of war. Presumably without a formal declaration it isn’t such; and thus becomes the perfect excuse for any state harbouring an organisation wishing to slaughter the citizens of another. The US and its allies prosecuted a just war in Afghanistan, if there can be such a thing; to do otherwise would have been monumental folly, a signal to others that sheltering Al Qaeda carries no risk, no penalty, no matter what.

Yet I am disingenuous, for my daughter has left on a week-long activity holiday with her school. That grim feeling is better described as nervousness; it is her first time away. Much as I feel I ought to, I find I cannot concern myself with the murderous stupidity of others. At least not to the extent - I hope - of changing the way I think, the way I behave. I refuse. We've been through this before.
The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of anti-communism.
-- Adlai Stevenson

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