Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Right to Rant?

This morning England's Prime Minister exploded when speaking about the recent spate of terrorism in London. On July 7th bomb blasts on two subway cars and and a historic Double-Decker bus killed 52 people. Two weeks later bombs malfunctioned and another tragic was averted.

As Londoners adjust to the threat of terrorism, they're government is preparing legislation to deal with the new menace. Parliament is set to debate new anti-terror legislation in the fall as a response to the recent bombings in London.

After meeting with opposition leaders about the legislation Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke to members of the press and addressed comments made in the UK press about why England has been targeted by the terrorists. The eloquent and passionate Prime Minister said the world has "turned over and went back to sleep" after 9/11 and said we need to "confront these people at every level. And not just their methods but their ideas."

"Their ideas," the "why do they hate us conversation?" and the "has our involvement in Iraq caused these attacks" questions have been rearing their stubborn heads in the UK press for the past couple of weeks. Paper after paper have raised the questions as part of their coverage of the Iraq war (where British soldiers were killed last week) and the London bombings. But the Prime Minister emotionally suggested we should not raise those questions, because "there is no justification for suicide bombers..." The Prime Minister is correct. There is no justification for these attacks, however, as part of the response to terror we need to have some understanding of what is causing these dastardly actions.

Ignoring that reason is typical of "western privilege" and may extend this period of terror since we won't know the level and or depth of what we are dealing with in the terrorists. But what was most compelling about Mr. Blair's rant is the sense of morality in his words.

"Obscenity," justification," "warped reasoning" and "warped logic" were just some of the words and phrases used by the Prime Minister in dealing with the questions of why. "Obscenity," "justification," "warped reasoning" and "warped logic" are some of the words and phrases that have, could and some have agree should be used when speaking about the war in Iraq. A war that has seen nearly 2,000 coalition soldiers killed and countless Iraqis. A war, according to a memo from the Prime Ministers house, was something short of justified. It is hard to speak about the lack of morals and values of terrorism when the reasons for your war in Iraq may have been built on shifting sands as well.

The Prime Minister was correct in his rant, the question is whether he was the right person to fume about the morals and values, or lack thereof, of our current situation.