jeudi, juillet 07, 2005

Personal Terrorism

Wounded at the Hotel Hilton Metropole near Edgware Road

On 11th September 2001 and 11th March 2003 two cities were hit by terrorist attacks. I had never been to any of the two cities and therefore no matter how much grief and solidarity I felt with what was happening I could not feel as involved as today. Today, London, that great metropolis which for so long in my childhood was the symbol of non-socialist freedom, has been hit. My first holidays abroad were to London. I remember my childhood fascination with anything from Nelson on his column to the Gypsy Moth in Greenwich. Russel Square is where I used to stay on recent visits and where I researched my LL.D thesis. The tangibility of the place where the attack took place makes the terrorist attack more personal.

There are only two countries for which I would feel such affinity. One is the UK (and particularly London) and the other is Italy. Due to my upbringing it is as though the terrorist bombs were unleashed on a Maltese yellow bus and not on a double decker. The shock and outrage is much greater than any I felt before.

Words can only say so much. This dreadful day for the great metropolis comes a day after the scenes of joy for the success of the Olympic bid. It comes while the great leaders are assembled for the G8 summit (and might shock them into some sense for the need of unity).

We may have had some hesitations about the project of European (Ed. added later) unity but now, more than before, it is clear that the time for delaying is over.

Hatred will not wait for anyone before it rears its ugly head again. The distance and misunderstanding between civilisations could be growing.

13 commentaires:

Fausto Majistral a dit…

Unity? What do you mean?

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

united europe

Antoine Cassar a dit…

Prosit Gakbu. I enjoyed reading this post and express my deepest solidarity. Pity about the choice of song though, Rule Britannia aqqanna!

I have a post coming up about this later tonight. Stay tuned (but be patient... although I'll try to be short this time).

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

you are right about the song. it was the only british song in my repertoire at the office! I would have prefered to have immanuel's archive to be able to play Britten's War Requiem!

Anonyme a dit…

Indeed this is horrible. I know what you mean about feeling "more involved" in what happened in London.

Troilus a dit…

Your heart is certainly in the right place, but I'd be interested in seeing you explain how a more united Europe would prevent massacres such as the ones that have occurred in Madrid and London.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Your cynicism is justified. On the other hand I could be even more cynical and ask Why Not? It is evident, even in this handicapped Europe, that cooperation on security has inmproved affairs. Policing and collaboration on policing have moved much farther than ever.

Even this subject can force you to pause for thought. Take the common agreement on extradition, opposed by anti-unionists. Those same anti-unionists who would say that a united europe does not mean a safer europe would oppose measures that would help it to be so.

It baffles me how one can imagine that a Europe without collaboration and common lines could not be seen as better than one where every country is left to its own devices.

(I know we asked you before but does Troilus the name have anything to do with Shakespeare?)

Troilus a dit…

It has more to do with Chaucer :)

As for your points, they are all well-taken. I can't help but wonder, however, whether it wouldn't be possible to have higher levels of collaboration in matters of law enforcement on a European level without needing to resort to a United Europe? In fact, it sometimes seems to me that a United Europe which is elite-driven (that word rears its ugly head again!) might create more problems than it solves - if only because the popular resentment that would result from such an arrangement might serve to excite...precisely the individuals whom one would wish to sedate.

Of course, it is entirely possible that a United Europe, when it does arrive, will be one which has derived its legitimacy from a popular desire for an economic, political and military power that is capable of giving Europe a meaningful presence in a world dominated by the United States [representing North America, South America and Australia] and China (which is slowly, but surely, usurping the role that the US has played in Asia for the last sixty years.

I don't think one could realistically predict the incipience of such a mindset at the current historical-political moment, though. As an "outsider" living in Malta, and observing European affairs, it seems to me that the one thing most Europeans agree on is that they wish to be left alone. Maybe it's this fact, more than any other, that - for other minds, not including my own - obviates the need for a United Europe.

(sorry about the length of this post)

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Hey... we do not pay for post size... so post away and be merry!
As for the specialised unity versus generalised unity... definitely an area of discussion (and disagreement). The Brits have long insisted on the first and nayed the second. The French would insist on the second because they believed they could lead it... whether they would now is another question.

I do not know which blueprint to favour. What I do advocate for primarily is that a blueprint must exist... and as I will blog in my next is all about "building common grounds, not winning arguments".

`Lo! is this nought wysly spoken?'

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Just found this on Beppe Grillo's blog (always interesting)....

"E poi l�integrazione, chi viene in Europa dovrebbe rispettarne le leggi o andarsene. Voglio un�Europa sorridente, multietnica, unita dagli stessi valori, in cui lo Stato viene sempre prima delle dottrine religiose e dei fanatici."

Explains the kind of Unity I want.

Antoine Cassar a dit…

Bravu, Beppe Grillo. I'm with you all the way.

Anonyme a dit…

I think one should now ask what the US (and the rest of the world) is doing to find Bin Laden and bring him to justice. It is only after removing the trunk of Al-Qaida, that the branches can begin to die.

Kenneth a dit…

I'm not an expert on the matter, but it seems that "removing the trunk of Al-Qaeda" will not necessarily mean that "the branches can begin to die." In fact, that's very unlikely to happen.

Al-Qaeda is not simply one hierarchical terrorist organisation, but rather a number of quasi-autonomous cells scattered around the globe. That's the whole problem, because cracking down on one cell will not immobilise the others.