When London was bombed on 7th July last year, the former Green Party candidate, Iraqi human shield, and most recently the man whose punch put Les Incompetants singer Billy Leeson into a coma, Christiaan Briggs wrote on his blog, in a post entitled “The chickens come home to roost”, that “you can enjoy your pint of beer in the sun and ignore the murderous actions of your so-called democratic government in faraway lands, but don’t go complaining when someone comes looking for some justice in the form of a bomb under your ass”. More (in)famously, John Pilger, in an article originally published in the New Statesman, wrote “The bombs of 7 July were Blair’s bombs”.
No-one, so far as I know, has yet plumbed these depths of moral and logical idiocy with regard to the bombings in Mumbai, but one of the great things – and I do mean that – about the Guardian’s Comment Is Free section is that you can always rely on someone to give it a go. Today Roger Howard suggests that, because “it seems just possible that British extremists may have had a hand in them somewhere”, we should imagine how Indian politicians might be justified in reacting:
Unless there is more democracy in Britain, these imaginary voices in India might demand, and unless minorities are given more voice, better job prospects and a higher standard of living, then India will be at risk of further attack from disgruntled and disaffected British citizens. It is therefore in India’s national interest to change the way of life in this country, or even invade us if its armed forces only had the capability.
What’s lovely there of course is the imagined rationale for the murder of more than 200 people. It was, as ever, a protest from the disgruntled and disaffected, who are angry at their lack of voice. It may, at this point, be appropriate to mention an article in yesterday’s Times, published hours before the bombs, in which it was reported that British Hindus also “feel neglected, marginalised and misunderstood”. It seems there’s more than one way to protest at this.
While Roger Howard acknowledges that calls to invade Britain because of the bombs in India sound “ludicrous”, he suggests this is little different to the “wholly discredited doctrine” of neocons to “seek and support democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world”. I would suggest that while there are ways and means to go about this, and that military intervention should probably be a last resort, the end product seems ok to me, but according to Roger it’s “alarming” that “this neoconservative premise remains undefeated”.
To me it’s alarming that the support of “democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world” should be seen as neoconservative, or that someone writing for a national newspaper could suggest that the possibility that some of the Mumbai bombers had British citizenship makes the British government as culpable in the Mumbai bombs as the Taliban were in 9/11. Fortunately at least some of the Comment Is Free commenters seem to agree.