Posts tagged terrorism

“Incendiary” by Chris Cleave

A well-written, poignant look at terrorism, both cause and effect. [Warning: spoilers further down, don’t read on if you don’t want to know the ending] The effect comes first – a British woman suffers the loss of her husband and son when a suicide bomber kills a thousand people by detonating a bomb in the middle of the crowd at an Arsenal game. She writes a letter to Osama bin Laden, and this book is the result. It’s calm, moving, never melodramatic. The woman’s loss is tempered by guilt –… Read More

Shorthand thinking

Shorthand language results in shorthand thinking. Ideas are abbreviated to fit into a small space, not nurtured and allowed to breathe and grow.

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Fear-based foreign policy

I’m not a very quick thinker. That’s why I don’t post every day, several times a day, responding to the latest news as it’s breaking. I prefer to let stuff percolate for a little while before forming an opinion. Here’s an example. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about white supremacists in the US, and someone left a comment asking why I was scared of them and not scared of Al Qaeda. Now, I was irritated at the snarky tone of the commenter and at a few stupid… Read More

Taking Liberties

First of all, here are possibly the most chilling words to come from the mouth of a British Prime Minister since… well, probably something else Tony Blair said a few weeks ago. It’s lucky we’re getting rid of this fool before he buys a brand new set of jackboots. We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong. Yep, you read it right. Putting civil liberties first is misguided and… Read More

Terrorists I am scared of

I lived in New York through 9/11, orange alerts, red alerts, purple alerts and all the rest, and never really felt a visceral fear of Al Qaeda, any more than I felt afraid of the IRA living in London during the bombing campaign. The danger was real, of course, but perhaps because of the way the governments in both countries manipulated and amplified the threat to suit their own purposes, I soon became quite blase. The kindly-looking old guy mentioned in this article, however, scares the living shit out of… Read More