Brains Beat Brawn ...
Barely had This Old Brit begun battering his keyboard for today's blog entry, when the BBC broke the news.
** Bombings in London - Brit bobbies make arrests **
It seems that vital evidence, so intelligently, expertly and painstakingly searched for in the remains of the bombed-out London bus, had set off a certain chain of events. Apparently, a suicide bomber had indeed been to blame for blasting his evil self [and innocent others] to bits. Said evidence, whatever it may eventually be revealed to be, swiftly sent posses of police to several different addresses.
Proof again, as if it were still needed, that when it comes to fighting terrorism, brains are better than brawn. No bones about it. Always, in the long run, minds beat muscle - hands down.
Of course, the old Catch 22 situation still remains. How the hell can one educate or even enlighten a little, those who - though already more than old enough to know better - haven't yet figured this out for themselves?
But onward, ever onward.
How coincidental then, that I'd originally planned on opening today's Old Brit blog with a paragraph mentioning small boys. Particularly, certain stupid white boys [ with apologies to Michael Moore] who have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to do the serious and demanding work of grown men. Mature men, that is, with fully developed adult sized brains as opposed to merely bulging biceps and the like -- as incorrectly imagined by so many macho-wanabes, to be some sort of proof of personal prowness.
By now, regular readers will have guessed that Bush and/or Blair are/is about to be appear in this text. Guessed, correctly, of course.
Here's the start of the piece I'd just read and gained inspiration from for today's Old Brit blog, when news of 'the arrests' came through.
Boy president in a failed world?
By Tom Engelhardt
On Thursday morning, with the London bombings monopolizing the TV set, I watched our president take that long, outdoor, photo-of walk from the Group of Eight (G8) summit meeting to the microphones to make a statement to reporters. Exploding subways, a blistered bus, the dead, wounded, dazed and distraught just then staggering through our on-screen morning, and there he was. He had his normal, slightly bowlegged walk, his arms held just out from his side in a fashion that brings the otherwise unusable word "akimbo" to mind. It's a walk - the walk to the podium at the White House press conference, to the presidential helicopter, to the Rose Garden microphone - that is now his well-practiced signature move.
Getting the gist yet? You soon will.
... he spoke of defending Americans against heightened dangers ("I have been in
contact with our Homeland Security folks. I instructed them to be in touch with
local and state officials about the facts of what took place here and in London, and to be extra vigilant, as our folks start heading to work."); he extolled the strength of resolve of the other G8 leaders by comparing it to his own ("I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve."); and he presented for the umpteenth time his Manichaean vision of a world of good and evil in which he and his administration are unhesitatingly the representatives of all goodness. ("The contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill - those who have got such evil in their heart that they will take the lives of innocent folks.")
Umm ... er ... huh?
Don't worry, I know the feeling. But don't give up - just read on.
There's something so confoundedly dream-like about all this, so fantastic, even absurd, especially set against the background of the murder of random people taking public transportation in one of the globe's great cities. As reality grows ever darker, our president never ventures far from his scripted version of a fictional world that is nowhere to be seen.
Incidentally, the piece I'm quoting from is by American, Tom Englhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of American triumphalism in the Cold War. He runs a pretty good website/blog too. Here's some more from him.
They believe no less than our president in their fictional version of reality and are no less eager to impose it on the rest of us. They, too, given half a chance, would create their own failed states in a failed-state world. It is perhaps an insult to children to compare the Bush administration to them, but I'm at a loss for images. I'm a deeply civil person. If I had my choice, like so many people in this world of ours, I would simply wash my hands of their apocalypts and ours. Unfortunately, that's not possible. Theirs, at least, are someone else's responsibility, but Bush and his malign fictional worlds are, it seems, mine.
Now, here's today's last cut & pasted teaser.
... there's something so painfully childlike in the spectacle of him. Here, after all, is a 59-year-old who loves to appear in front of massed troops, saying gloriously encouraging and pugnacious things while being hoo-ah-ed - and almost invariably he makes such appearances dressed in some custom-made military jacket with "commander in chief" specially stitched across his heart, just as he landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln back in May 2003 in a navy pilot's outfit. Who could imagine Abraham Lincoln himself, that most civilian of wartime presidents, or Franklin D Roosevelt, or Dwight D Eisenhower, a real general, wearing such GI Joe-style play outfits?
If you like what you've seen so far, you can read all of Engelhardt's excellent article by following the link below.
Stop Press: Update on bombers. Now seems likely at least three suicide bombers dead.