Imagine That

 

The current threat level is assessed as CRITICAL
(as of 10th August 2006).

This means that an attack is expected imminently and indicates an extremely high level of threat to the UK.

– From British intelligence service MI5’s website.

Note the typical British understatement regarding an apparent terrorist plot to “commit mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” I’d like to think that when the current horrifying headlines fade away this will turn out to have been amateur time – a bunch of Al Qaeda wanna-be’s fantasizing about blowing multiple planes out of the air over the Atlantic with liquid explosives. But Scotland Yard generally doesn’t cry terrorist wolf. Plus, if you regularly fly back and forth across the Atlantic and have a brother who may well have been blown to pieces last July had he taken a different subway route to work that day, it’s hard not to take these things at least somewhat seriously. The police and intelligence services believe the attack was going to happen today, 21 British citizens of Pakistani descent have been arrested, Al Qaeda is suspected.

For me, the dominant emotion isn’t fear so much as rage. I’m so tired of these self-aggrandizing psychopaths and their ideology of infinite umbrage. For the record – and it should go without saying but so often it doesn’t – there is and can be no justification, no rationalization and precious little understanding of this will to murder. I have no interest in searching my soul or picking up the flagellum. I only know that this is the world in which we now live. A certain resignation is required to understand this threat as something other than an aberration, as something that must be fought but cannot be extirpated and that falls well within the bounds of imagination.

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