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by Danny Evans


September 11th 2001.  A date that will live in infamy.  When nihilism donned a bhurka and hate grew a beard.  When already self-important writers became giant ego-monsters, defending ‘civilisation’ with their one word sentences.  I remember thinking: everything has changed.  Irreversibly.  Forever.  And ever. 


But first I remember thinking of the Simpsons, and that bit when a helicopter crashes into a school that Homer and the Stonecutters had painted blue.  So when my mate Charlie shouted into the kitchen from his front room that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre I said ‘Oh I knew they shouldn’t have painted it a lovely sky blue!’  And then it sank in: my way of life had been attacked.  A hole had been blown in the values I held dear.  Everything had changed.  Forever.  Oh no wait, first I remember thinking ‘Ha!  Take that you Yanqui bastards!  Good.  How do you like them apples?  Super-caliphates-are-fantastic-Exxon-are-atrocious!’


And then it really did start to sink in.  Mainly through the telly.  Those flying bankers weren’t as funny as the phrase ‘flying bankers’ suggests.  This was shocking, horrible.  And now when I hear of a terrible tragedy I establish whether this event happened in a country full of English speaking people or not before I crack wise.


5 years into the war on terror and the anniversary commentators are wondering whether ‘we’ are winning or not.  The attack on the twin towers was declared an act of war by the Crusaders in the White House, and the only apparent war aim declared by those presumed responsible, al Qaeda, was that American soldiers remove themselves from the sacred land in Saudi Arabia.  In fact, their presence there was what caused al Qaeda to split from their previous benefactors in America at the end of the first Gulf War.  The BBC reported the withdrawal of US troops from Saudi Arabia, as announced by Donald Rumsfeld, on April 29th 2003.  So the war against al Qaeda is not just ‘being lost’.  It was lost, over two years ago. 


The focus has shifted from terrorism per se (the angle that ‘we will not bow to terrorism’ loses something when you’ve acceded to their ONLY SODDING DEMAND) to ‘Islamic fundamentalism’, whether in Iran, southern Lebanon, Trumpton, or in the resistance to occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Al Qaeda only register these days in their promo vids and when one of them gets shot, but they’ve become a convenient touchstone for hysterics here as an example of what Muslims are capable of.  Muslims have consequently been dehumanized by the propaganda of the war-machine. 


The perplexing double-think has it that western troops invading Muslim countries, provoking Muslim anger, reveals a problem with Muslims.  Although all westerners are not required to examine their consciences and grass on their neighbours in an effort to root out the violent western tendency, ‘we’ expect this of ‘them.’  So we have the grotesque spectacle of the ludicrously overrated Martin Amis declaring in the Observer’s anniversary edition that the ‘civil war’ in Islam has been won by the Islamists.  With this kind of loaded thinking it gets increasingly difficult to remember that we’re being talked to about millions of different people rather than a monolithic army of believers. 


Amis relates a story of getting blocked at the door of a mosque in Jerusalem and being told that he can’t go in on account of entry being restricted on that particular (holy) day.  He tries to have an exception made on his behalf.  When this too is refused he looks at the door-man and, rather than seeing the impassive glare of the bouncer, the dull shrug of the wage slave, Amis sees, instead, the burning murderous hate in his eyes, that told him, more clearly than words or evidence ever could, that he would kill Amis and his wife and his beautiful enlightened rational kids, if only given the chance.  What with all these murderous Islamics about, quite capable of slaughtering the family of even the most celebrated of pushy novelists, it’s a wonder that any of us are still alive. 


That such puffed up self-righteous bullshit gets given the time of day reveals Amis as the 21st century middle class equivalent of some Soviet-era ‘socialist-realist’ hack, turning the dominant ideology into a pornographic melodrama for Observer readers too vain to buy the Daily Mail. It’s becoming increasingly obvious after 5 years of bombs and bollocks that the war of civilizations has got to be overcome by the war against civilizations and the overflowing of all these daft categories like religion and rationality, west and east.  Probably a good starting point would be to unify Marx, Mohammed and magic mushrooms with a mass psychotropic communist rally in Istanbul next September 11th when all the tall buildings will be painted blue.  It is your duty to spread this message to your communities.  Peace.   








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