21 July 2005

How do they know this, these clever people?

Norman Geras in The Guardian:

Ever on the lookout for damning causes, the root-causers never go for the most obvious of these. This is the cause, indeed, which shows, by its absence, why most critics of the Iraq war or of anything else don't murder people when they are angry. It is the fanatical, fundamentalist belief system which teaches hatred and justifies these acts of murder.

That cause somehow gets a free pass from the hunters-out of causes. There are apologists among us, and they have to be fought intellectually and politically. They do not help to strengthen the democratic culture and institutions whose benefits we all share. Because we believe in and value these, we have to contend with what such people say. But contend with is precisely it. We have to challenge their excuses without let-up.

As I write this, there are London train stations being evacuated, the windows of a bus have been blow out, and BBC's Five Live just had word that aremed police have made arrestes in Whitehall near #10 Downing Street. London police are rarely packing. Something's afoot, and it doesn't look good.

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