Friday, October 21, 2005

Kosovo fieldwork: War on Terror

Kosova/Kosovo fieldwork notes extracts

Still on the train from Rome to Bari, at 9.15pm on the 7th of July 2005, I wrote:
I keep looking at the report [on the terrorist attacks on London] reading it, re-reading it, staring at it. Dozens of my friends were at risk, some nearly family; if I'd been in Britain, I could've been, if I'd gone to London to work or see friends... Thankfully, we're all safe, though God knows how many have been injured or killed, or how many will be.

Spain was a truly reluctant partner in this ill-fated enterprise [the Iraq War] even, really, at government level, as it couldn't not support the US (though actually I can't see why not, as it's not dependent on US aid, alliances, etc. like some places); but Britain, Britain's government was an equal partner, even if its citizens were not. Still, it was the worst thought-out attack for a long time - since 9/11 maybe. The public supported the war as soon as we sent troops in; there'll be no dignified response in London as there was in Madrid.
Thankfully, I was wrong about this; there was a dignified response. Sadly, racist violence, which has increased massively since the 11th of September 2001, has increased further. Religious and other hate crimes have soared since the bombings - six-fold in the three weeks immediately after.
Not only will the public support the war more, it will be more Islamophobic, more racist, bigoted and sectarian deliberately and incidentally (targeting Muslims and Arabs but also Sikhs and South Asians, et al, because it's too ignorant to distinguish them) as well. The government will get its way with ID cards - and anything and everything else it wants too. [Hopefully, I will be wrong about this too.]

The terrorists won't make Britain stop the war [the War on Terror] but they will make it prosecute it more fiercely, less discriminately, more widely - maybe looking to Iran or Syria now - and they will make Britain curtail freedom of expression, of movement, etc. and thereby make it resemble the intolerant, undemocratic regimes that take Islam as their banner and as their shield.

Things are going to get much worse.
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