Friday, 1 September 2006

Xenophobia

I subscribe to a newsletter called Common Dreams. It is essentially very liberal-minded and contains links to news stories throughout the world, albeit with a heavy American bias. There was a very interesting story in yesterday's newsletter, for which they cite the BBC (but which I have since found on several sites). A link to the BBC's version appears below:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5297822.stm

Absolutely disgusting, this shows how xenophobic the US has become. Of course I know all Americans are not xenophobes but their administration is, and the fact that 60 million of them voted for it does raise eyebrows.

Of course, this all harps back to Bush's War on Terror. I don't support the use of terror in the slightest, but neither can I support the indiscriminate violence for which my own country, and the USA, are responsible. In fact it is both ironic and hugely concerning that I am just as likely - far morseo in all probability - to be the victim of an act of terror than one of the people who actually sanctioned this "war". We simply cannot justify the killing of thousands of people in Iraq, nor can we stand idly by watching Israel destroy the Lebanon.

Rather than taking sides in the middle east (and let's face it our government is squarely behind Israel in all of this), we need to exploit the fact that Britain is, by and large, a successful multicultural society and to work toward closing the distance between the parties. Plus, I really think our governments shoot themselves in the foot on these issues - if anything, it is likely that any reasonable person would end up empathising with Hezbollah or the Iranians, judging by what they see on tv.

The interesting thing is that Raed Jarrar maintains his own blog, so we can also read the story in his own words. In a perverse way I suppose it does highlight the real value of a "free" society - the fact that however much the state would *want* to oppress him, there is a limit to the extent to which they *can* oppress him (in the grand scheme of things changing a t-shirt is no great hardship, one can imagine societies where he'd probably just have been flung into gaol to rot). But this is exactly the principle which our executives seem to want to erode. I must read more of what Raed has to say when I have time.

But right now what I need to do is order the t-shirt...

On the subject of blogs, at the other extreme I found one yesterday (whose address I shall not divulge, since (a) it was apparently written in all seriousness, and (b) I can't remember it) where the author had put some home video footage of him riding a scooter, with camcorder strapped on his shoulder or something. Hilarious (and ever so slightly weird) - like something out of Jackass. Maybe I should read other peoples' blogs more often to keep my spirits up!

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