< < <
Date Index
> > >
[Robert Fisk]
by Saima Alvi
15 October 2002 18:24 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >

Robert Fisk: This crime proves none of us are safe - and Britons
may well be the next targets 

14 October 2002

Why? Yesterday's crime against humanity in Bali provoked an
almost identical reaction to the atrocities of 11 September
2001. Everyone wanted to know who had planted the bombs  almost
certainly a satellite of al-Qa'ida  and everyone wanted to know
how the killers planned their massacre.

But no one  neither the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard,
nor Tony Blair nor Jack Straw  wanted to talk about motives.
"Terrorism" was the all-important word (an accurate one too),
which was used to smother any discussion about what lay behind
the crime.

Australians were the principal victims and their murderers must
have known they would be. So why were they targeted? John Howard
has been among President Bush's toughest supporters. Australia
lined up to join the "war on terror" within 24 hours of the
attacks on New York and Washington last year. Australian special
forces have been operating with American troops in the Afghan
mountains against al-Qa'ida. It's a fair bet that yesterday's
savagery was al-Qa'ida hitting back.

The French have already paid a price for their initial support
for Mr Bush. The killing of 11 French submarine technicians in
Karachi has been followed by the suicide attack on the French
oil tanker Limburg off the coast of Yemen. Now, it seems, it is
the turn of Australia.

If the group which set off the three bombs in Bali is one of the
"Islamist" movements on the edge of al-Qa'ida, the choice of
target was familiar: a nightclub, a place associated in the mind
of Islamists with sex, alcohol and immorality  the same type of
target Palestinian suicide bombers have struck in Israel.

If millions of Muslims are revolted at the Bali massacre, few
will approve of nightclubs. The usual moral slippage can be
employed; the bombing was terrible, but ... Or so the murderers
will hope.

The victims were largely young civilians, just as innocent as
the thousands who died in the World Trade Centre. Civilians get
no quarter in this war, whether they are investment brokers in
New York, Afghan families or Australian honeymooners.

So who is next? When is Britain's turn? Where are Britons most
at risk? Alas, they are scattered across the globe in embassies,
on holidays, on every airline of the world. Our support for the
United States  an infinitely closer alliance than any support
from France  makes Britain the most likely candidate for attack
after the US. Then there are the small, more vulnerable nations
that give quiet assistance to the American military; Belgium,
which hosts Nato HQ; Canada, whose special forces have also been
operating in Afghanistan; Ireland, which allows US military
aircraft to refuel at Shannon.

Bali only emphasises what the last year should have taught us:
that individual innocence no longer protects us, that we are
living  whether we know it or not  in a terrifying new age.

Do you Yahoo!?
Faith Hill - Exclusive Performances, Videos & More

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >