Sunday, 12 September 2021
And Look At Us
Peter Hitchens writes:
Here we are 20 years after the terrible mass murder in New York City in 2001. And do we ever consider who won? Terrorism goes by that name because it paralyses and maddens its victims with fear. It makes them do things they otherwise wouldn’t and shouldn’t.
And look at us, long after we took sensible precautions to make a similar attack on Manhattan or anywhere else much less likely, such as keeping a closer eye on students at flying schools and never, ever unlocking the door to the flight deck of an airborne passenger jet.
Even before the Covid panic shut down the world, we were still shuffling like convicts through irrational ‘security’ procedures, just to fly away on holiday; dismantling laws that keep us free and engaging in wild hunts for ‘extremists’, most of whom turn out to be lunatics who have fried their brains with drugs.
Perhaps, most bananas of all, our various ‘wars on terror’ and ‘wars for democracy’ (all failed) have brought about an alliance between the West, Saudi Arabia and an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. Yes, our allies in our inexplicable, horrible, failed Syrian intervention were for a considerable time the Nusra Front, itself an Al Qaeda franchise.
We are still pretty thoroughly terrorised. It makes me laugh when I hear politicians congratulating themselves for ‘standing up to terror’ when it is normal human beings – firefighters, soldiers and police – who do the standing up. Because the politicians are so keen to do what the terrorists want, they have made our societies less free and open and made us live in an irreversible constant state of fear.
I have no doubt there will be more terror outrages. By their nature they are surprise attacks and we cannot foresee them all, let alone stop them. But we can stop wrecking our own society in response to such murders.
And we can also stop lashing out by starting foolish wars and invasions, often with dubious allies. These conflicts cause the great waves of migration which are now transforming Europe, and to which we have no civilised response.
Last Monday, a warm September day, Britain’s power grid asked one of our few remaining coal-fired power stations, West Burton ‘A’ in Lincolnshire, to fire up and provide electricity. There wasn’t enough wind, and gas has become incredibly expensive.
A year from now, West Burton ‘A’ will be shut. Soon afterwards, like so many other coal stations, it will be demolished in an act of dogmatic self-harm. So what will happen after that if we run into trouble? Meanwhile China builds new coal-fired power stations all the time. So what good does this do?
After the double killer Colin Pitchfork was allowed by the ‘Ministry of Justice’ to wander the streets, I asked Stella Moris, fiancee of the brave journalist Julian Assange, to describe the conditions in which the wholly non-violent father of her children is being held, while he awaits yet another US demand for his extradition.
She replied: ‘Belmarsh is the harshest prison in England. Julian wasn’t able to hold his children for over a year.
‘Since June, he has been able to see his children. Since August, Julian is also able to hug immediate family who have taken the antigen test before entering the prison.
‘The prison is harsh but it gets harsher for every day that passes. He has been there since he was arrested on a US warrant on April 11, 2019.
‘Julian is surrounded by violent criminals, and 30 per cent of the people on his wing are convicted for murder. It is a harsh environment.
‘On September 22, it will be two years since he finished serving his sentence over the bail violation, so it will be two years of being held solely on remand.’