Paradox of War Against Terrorism

I’ve tried to keep Psybertron away from global politics subjects, despite noting the subconscious kick in the pants 9/11 gave to its motivation (see footnote on every page), mainly I guess not to overstate any impression of self-importance and to keep in perspective of what I might aim to achieve in my world of business, rather than the world.

If the professional philosophers out there will overlook my mis-use of the word paradox yet again, and permit me to draw attention to another awful irony in the War Against Terrorism – We really must recognise and address the Catch-22 in which we find ourselves (see the manifesto in my header on every page, and remove the word business if it helps).

Many commentators yesterday and today (including good old BBC Radio 4 Today) reporting with outrage the 100,000 protesting in London against the Bush / Blair policies (and actions ?) the same day as 27 die in a terrorist attack against Brirish targets in Istanbul.

“They’re protesting against the wrong thing, etc ….” Well, perhaps not so,
They are warring wrongly against this thing.
With me so far ? No I thought not.

Remember any one of my many dozen re-statements of the Catch-22 (Northrop this time) [Quote] The basic paradox of our time [is that]

“sound” theory tends to destroy the state of affairs it aims to achieve

[Unquote] (His 1944 scare quotes, not mine). When will the world wake-up ? 1944 ? Well I could find you quotes from 3500 years ago if you’d prefer, this “problem” is as old as the hills metaphorically if not literally – as old as historical time. Catch-22 is the paradox of all time. Older than the post-Socratic blind-turn. It was ever thus.

We could look at the choice of Istanbul – ancient Constantinople – the historical cross-roads of East-West civilisation (and conflict). We could speculate at the irony – the coincidence or synchronicity, or perhaps the pre-meditated point in the heads of the terrorist. Whichever of these extreme cock-up or conspiracy views you prefer, it’s hard to ignore the significance.

Anyway back to the immediate – the palace security breaches – whilst London is at a state of maximum security for the visit of Dubya ? The (do-gooder, woolly, week-minded, liberal, but inescapable) point is that the way to fight against terrorism is not with security, backed by super-power might alone. It’s a battle for hearts and minds too. The causes of terrorism. It always was and it always will be.

Is it the direct – actions speak louder than words,
or is it the ironic – sticks and stones … ?

And I say this not with some high-minded aims, but with simple personal motivation – everyone today is speculating about the next British / London target – I’m flying BA through Heathrow tomorrow, thank you.

You’ve got my point now, right, anyone, anyone who matters, Bush, Blair, anyone ?

To finish, a couple of personal ironies (I could do hundreds, but I wouldn’t want you to think I was some kind of mystic)

Also on Today this morning, Peter Gabriel being grilled over his efforts to create a live 7-piece band performance as a contribution to the BBC’s Children-in-Need charity night, and the suggestion he’s just a cynical old rocker looking to get his face back on the telly. To his credit, whilst being affronted at the suggestion, he actually said “well of course there may be some of that, but …”. Anyway my irony is (see that footnote again, that’s at the bottom of the page peeps) that it was Peter Gabriel’s words that came to mind when I saw those images of 9/11 and cried.

Also, on the doormat this morning, an invitation from my alma mater business school, to a celebration of entrepreneurship, featuring the upcoming success of a winning brand of Vodka called ….. Kalashnikov.

Don’t ask me to spell that one out please.

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