“Political correctness gone mad”.
A favourite right-wing cliché, usually used by some empty-headed columnist or snivelling little Tory arse-wipe to describe the actions of someone who was probably just trying to make someone else’s life a little more bearable. The “do-gooders” (as we are obliged to call them) who want to run everyone else’s life (allegedly) are often charged with being “politically correct” when they ask that someone stop using racist language, or perhaps wonder aloud why women continue to be paid less than men. Forget it. The most insidious, malevolent, damaging and downright cancerous form of “political correctness” we have is the result of the media and politicians agreeing about the things that you just can’t say about “terrorism” or the “War on Terror”. And the Boston bombing on 15 April proved it yet again.
But let’s get one thing sorted: killing and maiming your fellow homo-sapiens is wrong. I don’t care what your cause is, or what your “God” has told you is permissible. Ending the life, or significantly diminishing the quality of life, of another human being is not acceptable except in the most extreme cases, such as self-defence. Remember that if you get the urge to accuse me of “sympathising with terrorists”, a favourite mumble of those in the upper echelons of politics and the media whose real problem is actually people who they think are sympathising with the wrong kind of terrorists.
Irrespective of the wrongs of the Boston bombers, there remains an obligation to analyse the repetitive, asinine and frankly nonsensical comments in respect of the bombing from those in positions of power. Many believe that when they comment on an act that is undeniably wrong that they themselves receive a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card, allowing them to remain free from negative comment, because everyone is “united in grief” and “determined that justice be served”. These are the banalities behind which they hide, with further security provided by the certainty that anyone not toeing the line must be a “terrorist sympathiser” or someone who has chosen the wrong side in the war of “with us or against us”. A flag always helps with the credibility too, and they’ll wrap themselves in one as soon as they can.
That “they must not be allowed to win” will be trotted-out by someone or other within minutes of the latest outrage. Often this will be a politician who travels around in a limousine akin to a tank, yet whose own personal security detachment is being “beefed-up” as he speaks. Joe Public enjoys no such privileges, yet it is Joe Public who must be urged to not let “them” win. How would Joe Public do that anyway? Buy some armour-plated limousines? Make speeches behind bullet-proof glass? Allow himself to be unduly concerned by the fact that he just watched his eight-year-old son bleed to death? One thing is for sure, the price of denying “them” their victory is only ever paid for by good old Joe Public. Thanks Joe. I would shake your hand, but I’m safe in my bunker right now.
For the politicians themselves, have they ever actually defined what this “victory” for terrorism would look like? If not, then they haven’t thought enough about the trite nonsense that they burble almost as a reflex action. If they have, then I wish they’d share it with us.To force the population of one of the major conurbations of the world’s most powerful nation into a 24 hour “lockdown” when you’re armed with a rucksack, a pressure cooker and some nuts and bolts strikes me as a kind of victory, though of course to say so is heresy.
The real political correctness that pervades modern Western society (forget not being allowed to sing “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and other such myths concocted by conservative nitwits) is that which denies people the right to question exactly who is winning the “War on Terror”. It’s a political correctness rooted in right-wing orthodoxies: that terrorists never win (even when they do), that terrorists “hate our freedoms” (uttered by a President whose own coup in 2000 was as significant a strike against American democratic values as there has been in decades), that democracy, or their version of it, cures all ills. This is real political correctness and we seek, cowards that we are, not to challenge it. Not when we could be getting all worked-up about kids wearing goggles whilst playing conkers.
Automatically, when a bomb goes off or people are shot and killed, the leader of the wronged nation will describe the latest act as “cowardly”. Often it is, but not always. Were kamikaze pilots cowardly? Are suicide bombers cowardly by definition? If so, where does that leave bomber pilots 30,000 feet above Iraq who press the “X” button and are on their way home before the family of shepherds below are fully incinerated? Are they heroic because they used their video game technology to a high standard? Blowing yourself to bits in pursuit of a cause is undoubtedly extreme and in most cases an act of evil, but is it any worse than lining-up the cross-hairs in your state-of-the-art tank and watching the enemy, in their three-decade-old version of the same vehicle, morph into well done steaks in the blink of an eye? Sorry, but I’m not going to allow lying, dishonest politicians and their compliant media friends to define “cowardice” and “bravery” for me. But thanks all the same.
The Boston bombers succeeded. Sorry, they did. A nation that fell for Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” bullshit on the USS Abraham Lincoln a decade ago (yes, a decade ago) might not want to admit the unpalatable truth, but what’s new? The bombers were not planning the end of Western civilisation, so that fact that that particular edifice remains intact does not necessarily mean they failed. The 9/11 hijackers succeeded too. Again, it hurts to say so, but let’s not be so “PC” that we try to pretend that they didn’t. 7/7/05 in London? Victory for the bombers, and to deny it is to exhibit a level of delusion that would probably see you elected onto the executive board of either NewsCorp or Al-Qaeda, depending on your personal preference.
The empty rhetoric of Western leaders no longer strikes a chord (if it ever did) with people who are fed-up with being told that black is actually white. If I was laying in a Boston hospital right now, perhaps with a limb or two missing, perhaps minus a son, I reckon that I’d be feeling like “they” won. Any politician who tried to tell me anything different could go and fu… er, perform an act that is physically impossible for the overwhelming majority of men. But he should try it anyway.
If obliterating Iraqi villages with a cruise missile is “victory”, then I’m afraid that the carnage in Boston is a “victory” for the terrorists. But they’ll never say so, our proud champions of political correctness. They’ll keep on peddling their lies.
In the wake of the explosions in Boston, the Fox News website carried a news article by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. In the article he stated:
“Yet, our obsession with political correctness, with a strong desire not to offend our enemies makes our self-defense immeasurably more difficult”.
You see? It’s the strong desire not to offend its enemies that leads to bombs going off in American cities. If only they had offended more of their enemies, killed a few hundred thousand more innocents, devastated a few more Third World cities, toppled a few more dictators who they’d previously funded for their own ends, insisted on a few more World Bank doctrines being foisted on poverty-stricken peoples around the globe and not been so damn wishy-washy about the whole thing.
Obvious really, isn’t it?