Blaming those who can’t blame the bombers
Three, no four, cheers for ‘Brownie’ of the illustrious ‘Harry’s Place’ blog for his rousing attack on the bien-pensants on a recent Question-Time Special programme who sought to blame just about everyone except the bombers for the London bombings. A specimen quotation:
“….one could have been forgiven for thinking that everybody, but everybody was responsible for the 7/7 atrocity, apart from the fanatics who actually carried bombs onto trains. “We need to understand why these young men felt so detached, blah, blah…” Self-hating Brits, I’d call them. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m just your ordinary Joe: wife and kids, mortgaged up to the hilt, unfulfilling job, not enough money, etc., etc.. It’s a hard enough slog as it is without some one-step-removed apologist insisting that I take partial responsibility for the irrational actions of people I’ve never met, never hurt, but who would, given half the chance, slaughter me and everyone else I love. Its not my fault, see, and I resent being asked to contemplate the possibility it might be. In fact, it makes me quite angry… when I hear people whose most important decisions each day are what to play on the iPod lecturing the country’s most senior policeman about the rules of engagement for suicide bombers, telling him how his men are “executioners” (these being the officers who ran towards, not away from, a man they suspected of being half a second from committing mass-murder), I want to be sick, have a shower, scream……do anything in fact, but speak. ”
There was an excellent article in the Guardian by Professor Norman Geras on 21 July that made much the same points. Needless to say, he subsequently got stick for his views from the usual suspects among Guardian readers (of whom I’m one, though not one who belaboured the Professor for his gutsy views). I have made some similar comments, also attracting some heavy gunfire in response, on this blog.
Unlike some of the contributors to the Harry’s Place blog post, I’m a committed opponent of the war in Iraq, a historic blunder that will tarnish Tony Blair’s place in history almost as much as Suez has wrecked Eden’s. But to say that Blair is responsible for the bombings because he refused to re-order major foreign policy decisions (however misguided on other grounds), purely in order to appease blackmailing terrorists, is grotesque.