Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.
That’s a phrase easily applied to the War on Terror. Some say it’s a vicious circle; others have called it a paradox. But the word I prefer is: Oxymoron. An oxymoron is a totally contradictory statement. And that – aside from packaged and publicized propaganda – is what the War on Terror truly is.
Sorry, but I had to help the establishment media here and stop you from fearlessly going about your daily life seeing the good in people, by talking about the War on Terror! It’s been five years since the New York attacks, and one year since the London attacks. And now once again we have more in-your-face TV coverage of the latest threat. It’s time I got this off my chest…
Keep in mind for a moment that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden always hated each other. Saddam was a dictator over a people Osama believed always deserved a better deal, whether it be there, or in Lebanon or Palestine (where we’ve funded, aided and abetted the Israeli army as they’ve torn the land apart like they’ve had some kind of God-given right to do so).
George Bush Sr was the one who attacked Iraq to defend those cute little Kuwaitis, but left in place that dictator; the very same Saddam Hussein he had funded, aided and abetted as Iraq warred with Iran. After America and Britain removed Saddam Hussein’s troops from Kuwait, they helped to impose sanctions on Iraq. These sanctions, whilst crippling the people and helping the dictators rule over them, claimed the lives of half a million Iraqi children.
Osama bin Laden was by this time leader of Al Qaeda, which had formed from the Taliban that the CIA had funded, aided and abetted for the very important task of killing pinko-commie Soviets in the area. And by this time, Al Qaeda had become angered by the treatment of their fellow Arabs. The result? 9/11.
Well, with an administration determined to drill for oil anywhere from off the coast of Florida to Alaska, the biggest oxymoron of them all, George W Bush Jr, had oil as his number one priority. Which is probably why, in spite of the majority of the hijackers on 9/11 being from Saudi Arabia (whose regime were friends of the Bush family), he had U.S. forces invade Afghanistan and Iraq – where he avenged his dad’s previous difficulties there.
Of course, invading Afghanistan, already one of the world’s poorest countries, and killing 3,000 of their people, helped them control more oil, while Osama bin Laden got away. And invading Iraq, after years of weakening its people to prevent them from creating their own democracy, and killing 100,000 of them, also helped them gain more oil, in the process angering so many of their people that many joined insurgencies. Both lands have become breeding grounds for Al Qaeda. Yep, Osama bin Laden sure hasn’t had much difficulty finding new blood; there have been plenty of pissed off people in the Middle East wanting to avenge their torture or poverty created by the Americans and British, giving their worthless, miserable lives some sense of purpose. Even Western Muslims subjected to suspicion and racism joined the cause, too. The result of this? More suicide bombers and terrorist attacks.
Osama bin Laden’s nuttier than squirrel turds, there’s no doubt about that. Anyone who orchestrates such acts of terror that kill so many innocent people has to be one sick bastard. But the irony of it is, when he kills tens, hundreds, or thousands, we call it terrorism. When Bush and Blair orchestrate the killings of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we call it “foreign policy.”
We used to be told to fear the Soviets, and in the end we realized there was nothing to fear at all, especially as Bush and Blair’s precious globalization has done more harm, leaving almost all towns looking the same, full of people dressed the same. But at the time, the destruction of the Soviet ideology was so crucial that, with the help of mainstream media propaganda, we paid our taxes to fund nuclear arms programs in a Cold War designed to starve the Soviets to prove their ideology “didn’t work.” More importantly, it became crucial that we paid our taxes to fund the Taliban, and, as a result, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, initially to kill atheist Soviets, but later to kill whoever else opposed their Islamic fundamentalism.
History has been re-written by the press and their conferences at the White House and 10 Downing Street. They’ve had us believe that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda are just part of an “axis of evil,” antichrists that do what they do for laughs because “they hate freedom.” Well, exactly how have we shown we love freedom? Our governments have installed oppressive regimes, funded dictators, blocked revolutions, starved their children to death, killed their newlyweds, bombed their homes, closed their factories, and taken their oil, leaving them with little more than a few fields of poppies to try and make a living from. And I have no idea what they’d do with poppies!
Where is the media on this? Instead of being reminded of these facts, we’re instead told to believe that these are just random acts of “evildoers” who eventually, with time and patience from we the people can and will be found and punished as part of a long, laborious War on Terror. As Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and many more members of the Bush Administration have said, this will be a seemingly endless conflict, but one we’ll have to sit down, shut up, and agree to. The Spanish didn’t sit down or shut up, and after the terrorist attack in Madrid, they put in a socialist government who immediately set about withdrawing their troops from Iraq, and haven’t had an attack on their land since. Funny, eh?
Britain hasn’t been so lucky. With Blair standing by Bush, and refusing to resign in spite of taking a severe bruising at the general election, British troops remained in Iraq, and London was attacked on July 7th, during Edinburgh’s G8 Summit. The War on Poverty in Africa was shoved aside in favour of the newly boosted War on Terror. More money, more weapons, more wars. An Anti-Terror Bill, ID cards, and tighter border controls were also pushed further by Blair, as meanwhile mosques were attacked and racist violence doubled. But few bothered to mention that these terrorists were enraged Asians from the often highly-racist city of Leeds who had traveled south to London to use bombs made primarily from household products. Those in power were too busy getting innocent people shot. Britain has long prided itself on being relatively gun-free. But after the terrorist attacks in London, suddenly the police were armed and dangerous…
Jean Charles de Menezes was working in Britain as an electrician to save money for a return to his native Brazil, where he hoped to use his hard-earned savings to start his own farm. On July 22nd, de Menezes became the latest casualty of the War on Terror. But unlike many other such victims, he wasn’t deported, he didn’t have his rights removed, and wasn’t violated. Instead, police wrongly suspected him of being a terrorist because the Brazilian had dark skin, and we were at first told de Menezes ran away from them because his visa had expired in a country currently obsessed with deporting people. In fact, what has emerged (and what the media has largely failed to highlight since) is the fact he didn’t even run away, yet plain-clothes police pumped him full of bullets, shooting him no less than seven times in the head and chest. Brazilian officials demanded an explanation, but when Tony Blair apologized, they said it wasn’t enough. And can we blame them? The War on Terror he had for so long promoted created the whole situation. But oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.
Terrorists are warped, there’s no doubt about it. You might say that they’re like serial killers and paedophiles. And they’ve certainly joined them on the List of Things to be Afraid Of as told to us by our tabloids and TV sets. Like serial killers and paedos, terrorists are sick. But unlike them, terrorists aren’t uncontrollably inclined to do what they do for no reason. I don’t know if peace can be achieved; we’ve yet to spend as much money on it as we have on war. I don’t know if terrorism can be avoided; we have never had a chance to find out, and Bush and Blair don’t want such an opportunity. We have learned only one thing: Terrorism can be exacerbated; terrorism can be provoked. The War on Terror itself is that provocation; whether through race relations or religious extremism, if we bomb “their” people, they will invariably bomb “ours,” one way or another. The Americans fingerprinting and photographing all visiting foreigners at airports as though they’re suspects isn’t going to stop it. And it’s understandable that the Brazilians have started fingerprinting and photographing visitors too as a result – Americans only, that is.
As men in suits create and essentially encourage another invisible enemy, elusive and unbeatable, they will also use that specter as excuse to invade countries to further their own vested interests. As we pay the price for their actions in ignorance to our own true wishes, through hijacked planes, collapsing skyscrapers, exploding tube trains, or burning buses, the flames of racial hatred are fanned, and our own societies are torn apart. But that is not of concern to the politicians. All that matters – all that must remain – is the War on Terror and our unquestioning, unfaltering faith in it and support of it, even in sacrifice of our civil liberties in its name. Ultimately, this is a game in which the only losers can be us, the only winners being those leaders in the War on Terror – on both sides. As the Spanish showed, we do not have to be part of that game, and another, better world, is possible.
I’m filming some of the first major scenes for my documentary Escape from Doncatraz in Mallorca, Spain, in just over a week. I was today told I may not be able to get my camera through airport security, as a result of today’s latest “terror scare.” How ironic that a state accused by my film of eroding civil liberties now makes it indirectly difficult for that very film to be made. But don’t worry, I’ll get my equipment into the country somehow. And when I’m there, I’ll show how you’re supposed to shoot people: with a camera, not a gun. Given the media’s current comatose state on all of these issues, I suspect I may indeed be suddenly seen as just as much a threat as any terrorist.