English Peace Frog

A political and personal blog in English and (a little) Japanese.

Location: Japan

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I have some questions for my visitors (I myself don't feel strongly confident about answers for any of them, but they are important--even critical--questions, I believe, if people truly want to stop terrorism). Please feel free to share your answers:

1. If the U.S. hadn't attacked Iraq, would this attack in London have been less or more likely to occur?

2. If Al Qaeda is behind these attacks (at this moment, three hours after they commenced, Tony Blair just made a statement calling them terrorist attacks, so I guess it's safe to call them that), did it commit the attacks motivated by

A) a twisted idealogy that "hates freedom" and wants to impose an Islamic regime in England or

B) vengeance

3. George Bush's popularity is at an all-time low. What do you think will happen to his approval ratings in the coming days?

4. Is it possible that this string of bombs in the country of the chief ally to the U.S. will give rise to increased and serious discussion in Washington about invading Iran and / or starting the draft again?

**updates unfolding in the comments.


Blogger dax said...

Your questions are foolish.
1. Was the US in Iraq prior to 9-11?
2. This London attack is caused by desperation, a lack of value for human life, and total hate for modern civil cultures.
3. Who cares about Bush's approval rating? Most polls are designed to place Bush in a negative light.
Polls are for dummies.
4. HA HA HA! That's too funny!
What's your next question?
If the US had closed Gitmo, would the London attack have occured?
Have a nice day!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Saije said...

This has just happened and I'm still absorbing the events. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured and killed and their families. It is most likely that citizens of several nations have been killed or hurt.

As to your questions:

1. 9/11 happened before Iraq. Khobar Towers, USS Cole, embassy bombings in Africa, first World Trade Center bombings all happened before Iraq. Clearly anyone who intends to fight the terrorists, as opposed to appeasing them, is going to be attacked. It is also helpful to the terrorists for people to conclude that any friend of the US is a target, a divide and conquer strategy. Why? Because without us, there is no one to stop them. Will it work? I don't know. Brits are a very different sort of people than say, Spaniards. The socialist Mayor of London just came out with a very strong statement against the terrorists and vowing that their cowardice and mass murder will fail...he has in the past been very critical of Bush and the Iraq War.

2. See my answer to 1 above. Al Quaeda terrorists were killing BEFORE the Iraq war. How can it be vengeance for that? Vengeance for what? Because we breathe? I think we will find that the terrorists today were NOT Iraqi or Afghan. So for whose benefit are they imposing vengeance? Arabs? Wouldn't apply to British involvement in Afghanistan (Afghans are not Arabs). Muslims? Then what about Tony Blair's strong support for intervention in the Balkans which saved many Muslims?

3. I think concerns about Bush's popularity is irrelevant to the dead and dying in London today.

4. I don't see how the draft (which will not happen because neither the general population nor the military wants it) or Iran's nuclear ambitions have any connection to killing people on their way to work in the British subways this morning.

Again, my heart goes out to the British people and the victims. Killing working class people who are just trying to support their families and live their lives will not succeed as a "hearts and minds" strategy. And given everything the British people have been through, from the Blitzkrieg to the IRA bombings, I doubt they will suddenly become weakminded cowards now.

10:07 PM  
Blogger hokkaidoabbey said...

I wish I had more time to respond now, but I don't. I can note that both of you were very willing to jump to conclusions about what my intentions were in putting forth these questions, and to insult me once you decided what I was thinking (and you didn't even need to ask!). In doing so, you also skirted neatly actually ANSWERING at least the first question.

As I said, I wish I had more time.


For the record, my sympathy and prayers also go out of the victims of these cowardly and horrible attacks. I hope we all start working to find the most productive, reasonable way to stop this kind of threat in the future, and that in doing so we abide by the rule of law set forth in our own bill of rights / constitution, and in international laws we've agreed with other nations to follow.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Saije said...

How did I insult you? I answered your questions. You seem determined to see the USA as the cause and the terrorist attacks as the effect. Perhaps it is the other way around?

11:40 PM  
Blogger Adriana Bliss said...

God bless you for questioning, hokkaidoabbey. I don't do it anymore. I'm too in tune with keeping my head down to avoid the bullets. I'm horrified about what's happened in London, as I'm horrified by sexual predators and the consumerism I find myself entrenched in day-by-day. Ever since Iraq, I've decided that my questions will never be answered truthfully by either side. As a plain old citizen I'm out of the loop and it's not possible for me to be in the loop. The only people in the loop are at the G8 Summit (other than Blair) and in the terrorist camps.

5:00 AM  
Blogger hokkaidoabbey said...

Jumping to the conclusion that I think the U.S. is the cause and terrorism is the effect is insulting. It's as insulting as thinking that the U.S. is angelically pure and innocent in world affairs and "terrorists" (or "communists" or "anarchists"), in the manner of comic villains and medieval morality tales, are "evil". It's too simplistic a reckoning of anything as intrinsically complicated as the violence going on now.

But that's neither here nor there. I was really asking some serious questions (which I myself pointed out I didn't have clear answers to) to find out what peoples' answers would be. I want information. And I want to see if a suspicion I have about people having fundamentally different worldviews doesn't extend between the "The West / The Terrorists" dichotomy. Thanks Saije, for the well-considered answers.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Saije said...

It certainly wasn't meant to be insulting to ask you a question in turn. At least it shouldn't seem as it was. It is really driven by something I've been considering for some time, which is: I think that we Americans, and perhaps I should expand that to the "west" have a tendency to view the world through the lens of our actions and intentions. I'm going to write about this on my blog at some point but my point really has to do with the conclusion that the terrorists' actions are always a reaction to something we've done. And I'm turning that question around in my own mind. Maybe we're the ones reacting to their actions and intentions.

I see nothing wrong with the questions you're posing. I don't think it is wrong to consider all angles and that is what I thought you were doing.

9:09 AM  
Blogger hokkaidoabbey said...

Thanks, Adriana, for the good energy. I hope that during the time you are "out of the loop", you find a clean, friendly, peaceful space for yourself and your loved ones. Maybe that's the best we can do these days.

8:07 PM  
Blogger hokkaidoabbey said...


The issue was not insulting me so much as jumping to conclusions as to my intentions and thoughts. As a teacher, I get insulted far more ferociously by my students. I have a thick skin. Thanks, though, for the clarification.

I agree that "we Americans" do see things through the lens of our "actions and intentions"; we don't seem to think much about the consequences of those actions and intentions, however. We also aren't winning any awards for taxing ourselves with understanding the mentalities of people with different cultural, religious and philosophical backgrounds than our own. We're insular, and like it that way, as you pointed out, but recognize that we've no choice but to deal with foreigners from time to time.

Our choices for dealing with foreigners who've attacked us has been seriously polluted by our unwillingness to comprehend the intentions of those who've done the attacking. We take the road most comfortable, and least taxing on the synapses--they are "evil"; they are "barbarians"; at the same moment, we swaddle ourselves--abetted substantially by presidential speech-writers--with comforting encomia (we send cash and aircraft carriers to tsunami victims; we "free" the Iraqi people) and rename our territory to enhance its aura of family and hearth ("Homeland"--a name used also, I believe, by the Nazis, incidentally, to shore up loyalty to Hitler), and it's no problem therefore ignoring the fact that never has anyone in the U.S. government given a plausible reason for WHY terrorists inflict terror. It's always that they're monsters, depraved, evil, etc. This works for me (albeit only to an extent) when you're talking about that sociopathic prick in the news recently who sexually abused and killed that boy from Idaho; it does not work when you're talking about an entire ideology with a sizeable and passionate group of followers willing to give their lives to injure westerners*.

I'm not arguing in their favor. I'm saying that our unwillingness to explore the underpinnings of their contempt for us is the perfect step for encouraging them to attack us more. Simply attacking them is like pouring gasoline on fire. To claim the only alternative is "appeasement" is, while understandable, insufficiently creative. If you trim down your alternatives to simply two--attack or appease--then I would suggest merely that the former alternative is, as evidenced by the latest string of terror attacks, not doing much to stop terror.

As for them reacting to us and us reacting to them, it seems to be both. A give and take. The Hatfields and McCoys, with demolished high-rises and enhanced uranium weapons.


*lest you leap toward pointing out that the Nazis were a sizable group of people with an "evil" agenda, there are too many exceptional qualities that gave rise to the Nazis, and made them historically freakish, to redeem that comparison.

9:05 PM  
Blogger rokkgod said...

I was surfing around and found another George Bush site.George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People This place has a ton of funny videos and mp3s.

12:57 AM  

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