Friday, 14 September 2012

A burning desire to do something stupid

A burning desire to do something stupid
When they burn books… they eventually burn people. This quote has stuck forever in my mind as a reminder to remain alert about events taking place at this very minute. The brief moment of goodwill towards the USA after the attacks of September 2001 was just that. A burning American flag next to the American Embassy in London merely show that there are people out there wanting to burn the United States of America and that even in London of all places American citizens are no longer safe.
The death of four American citizens in Libya – one of them Ambassador Chris Stevens – was followed by riots in countries like Yemen. I don’t think the announcement that the American government is sending Marines to Libya to try and catch those who killed Ambassador Stevens will improve America’s image abroad. Such measure might be popular in the USA as the country of gung-ho diplomacy, but it shows others that the USA believes that other countries are merely colonies and that US forces can go in and out as they please.
Sending Marines to independent countries is also extraordinary because it challenges the official line about not sending ground troops. I say challenges because in reality troops are sent officially and unofficially.
A famous movie now in circulation is said to have been the cause of recent troubles even when the identity of the producer is in doubt. Some say that the producer is Jewish and others say that the producer is an Egyptian outlaw. The movie indicates that a man called Mohammed had sexual intercourse with women and this seems to be extremely offensive to the point that there are riots across the Muslim World and beyond.
The headline ‘Western Embassies under attack in the Arab World’ is not reassuring. All the talk about invading the Ecuadorian Embassy in London should teach a few people a lesson. We can only complain when we don’t engage or talk about engaging in certain acts of pure irrationality.
When it comes to displays of irrationality, North Korea and the USA are basically identical. The ‘mine is bigger than yours’ attitude is still very much an essential element of international relations.
At this very minute there is a huge military deployment in the Persian Gulf used as a show-de-force to tell Iran that America has the military muscle. If anything, such bully tactics can only reinforce Iran’s efforts to get nuclear weapons to deter the USA government from engaging in any kind of military adventure.

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