Robert Fisk: This crime proves none of us are safe - and Britons may well be the next targetsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
[Fisk is the journalist who was severely beaten by Pakistanis about the time that Daniel Pearl went missing. After the experience, he was even more of an apologist for Islamic extremists. Note the subtle "blame te US" thread that runs through this article. However, there is also a note of fear, I think. If Fisk is worried, then we should be doubly worried. OG]
14 October 2002 01:10 BDST
Robert Fisk: This crime proves none of us are safe - and Britons may well be the next targets
Why? Yesterday's crime against humanity in Bali provoked an almost identical reaction to the atrocities of 11 September 2001. Everyone wanted to know who had planted the bombs – almost certainly a satellite of al-Qa'ida – and everyone wanted to know how the killers planned their massacre.
But no one – neither the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, nor Tony Blair nor Jack Straw – wanted to talk about motives. "Terrorism" was the all-important word (an accurate one too), which was used to smother any discussion about what lay behind the crime.
Australians were the principal victims and their murderers must have known they would be. So why were they targeted? John Howard has been among President Bush's toughest supporters. Australia lined up to join the "war on terror" within 24 hours of the attacks on New York and Washington last year. Australian special forces have been operating with American troops in the Afghan mountains against al-Qa'ida. It's a fair bet that yesterday's savagery was al-Qa'ida hitting back.
The French have already paid a price for their initial support for Mr Bush. The killing of 11 French submarine technicians in Karachi has been followed by the suicide attack on the French oil tanker Limburg off the coast of Yemen. Now, it seems, it is the turn of Australia.
If the group which set off the three bombs in Bali is one of the "Islamist" movements on the edge of al-Qa'ida, the choice of target was familiar: a nightclub, a place associated in the mind of Islamists with sex, alcohol and immorality – the same type of target Palestinian suicide bombers have struck in Israel.
If millions of Muslims are revolted at the Bali massacre, few will approve of nightclubs. The usual moral slippage can be employed; the bombing was terrible, but ... Or so the murderers will hope.
The victims were largely young civilians, just as innocent as the thousands who died in the World Trade Centre. Civilians get no quarter in this war, whether they are investment brokers in New York, Afghan families or Australian honeymooners.
So who is next? When is Britain's turn? Where are Britons most at risk? Alas, they are scattered across the globe in embassies, on holidays, on every airline of the world. Our support for the United States – an infinitely closer alliance than any support from France – makes Britain the most likely candidate for attack after the US. Then there are the small, more vulnerable nations that give quiet assistance to the American military; Belgium, which hosts Nato HQ; Canada, whose special forces have also been operating in Afghanistan; Ireland, which allows US military aircraft to refuel at Shannon.
Bali only emphasises what the last year should have taught us: that individual innocence no longer protects us, that we are living – whether we know it or not – in a terrifying new age.
-- Anonymous, October 13, 2002