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Hacktreks 2

First Chapters

James Skinner on the origins of the current conflict

George ‘Bush is about to press the trigger on Iraq. Half of the European governments, following in the steps of Wyatt Earp and Doc Haliday are behind him. The others are scared stiff. The United Nations club has got its members twirling around in circles hoping that their team of detectives headed by ‘Poirot’ Blix will come up with something. Nobody knows what! Meanwhile masses of citizens from every corner of the earth are asking the same question over and over again. What the hell is this all about anyway? Who started the western world on yet another path of destruction in the name of freedom, justice and democracy? Or is it perhaps an awakening to a threat that has been brewing and growing for decades?

The recent imperialistic conflict was based on a ‘freezing’ war between creeping communism headed by Russia and democratic freedom championed by the USA. Armed forces on either side of the confronted ideologies took to the trenches in the most disparate areas of the world. Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Angola and a slither of smallies to name but a few were the scenario of the most brutal conflicts since WWII. Yet the super powers never confronted each other direct. It was like playing a football game between Manchester United and Real Madrid, except one team was dribbling in Paris and the other in Rome. The managers however were happily pulling the strings from their plush bulletproof offices far away. Millions were dying around the world. Then along came a guy called Gorbachov and introduced a new word into the international vocabulary, ‘Glasnost’. He spoiled the match and the Cold War was over. Meanwhile, back at the ranch a more sinister evil was raising its ugly head, terrorism in the name of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Since then, the world scenario has changed. As we enter the twenty-first century a different kind of clash of ‘Titans’ is taking place; it’s between the expansion of Islam and the western world’s ‘daily bread’ known as consumerism. The latter is interpreted as an individual’s choice of almost anything within the law that a free society has on offer. The former, as any foreigner who has lived in a dominant Muslim country knows is completely the opposite. Islam and the worshipping of God are above all else. The Koran is embedded from birth in all good Muslims and whatever earthly goods are achieved or enjoyed during life are in tune to a strict code of religious ethics. However, this does not explain nor justify terrorism. On the contrary, the mere longevity and consistency of Islamic preaching speaks for itself as a peaceful interpretation of the word of God.
Or does it? Has something changed? Every journalist, politician, theologian and high school student worth his salt has known about these simple statements for years. Yet how has everything now got out of hand and the madness that is going on is about to explode in our faces?

Enter anti-Americanism! The USA, the surviving super power, is the emblem of the free world. It stands as an example of every conceivable post-WWII achievement the human brain has exploited. Every section of the ‘Yellow Pages’ of advancement, be it financial, technological, medical, sport you name it and they’ve perfected it. The USA is the model of the modern way of life, as we know it today. As a democracy and promoter of free trade, it has never hesitated in opening its doors and heart to all and sundry to participate in the building of a better world. Every citizen of the United States of America is at liberty within the law, to chose and pursue his own religion, habits, political beliefs and any other objectives needed to achieve his goals. So why does the world hate America?

Envy, for one thing. The majority of the world’s populous lives in poverty and can’t stand the US’ opulence. Another is the smashing of regional traditions and way of life. They’ve consistently and successfully introduced hamburgers, hotdogs and jeans, pop music, ‘bloody’ films and video games to most areas of the planet earth. Everyone knows ‘Dirty Harry’. Yet the worst American export has been and is probably, if not the most serious of all – drugs! Despite their drive for democracy and freedom they have allowed the proliferation of this ‘shit’ and its related crimes to pollute international society. Despite a solid legal system, law enforcing police and a sleuth of ‘do-gooders’ in the western world, the youth of today are constantly being subjected to the aftermath of American illegal exports. Although the West continues to put up with, as well as battle these wrongs in a similar way to the United States, another section of the world has been keeping a watchful eye on this creeping marabunta that is hitting at the core of their own particular society. Somewhere deep in the heart of the Middle East, echoes of dissent have been emanating and calling for action against this terrible, in their eyes, evil. The devil has been uncovered right before their eyes. Johnny Walker Black Label and a photo of Madonna are held in either hand of Satan! Beware consumerism, Allah has declared war on you!

Not surprising. But when did it all start? Gulf War (circa ’91) September 11th? No way! Long before that. Put away the history books and think. Ever since Jerusalem was taken away from the Palestinians and the Jews were allowed to create the state of Israel, the plot was set. The powers to be, following WWII failed to understand that the future importance of world convivial accord did not only lie in political stability. The battles between dictatorships and totalitarianism against democracy and freedom, rampant during the last five decades failed to identify the simmering and festering sore already set in 1948. Harmony between Muslims and other religious faiths, mainly Christians and Jews would be essential for the future peace in the world. Of all the world leaders at the time, Ghandi was probably the only human to appreciate this view. The old man in the loincloth was praised for many reasons but not for his religious thoughts for the future. Pity.

Despite the growth of global economies, the first blast took place in Iran some twenty-five years ago, when the Shah was replaced by an Islamic government. Iran had sent a message to the West, ‘Islam condemns your habits and customs. They are not accepted in our faith’. The Shah had allowed for far too many western liberties to be established in a Muslim state. He ignored the voices of the clerics and was ousted. The USA on the other hand, did not get the message. The rift began to grow and grow and grow. So where do we go from here? Bush is advocating the removal of the ‘axis of evil’ which incidentally covers a multitude of sins and includes Islamic fundamental terrorism. The Muslim world’s prognostic is a western attack on the very foundations of its faith. Whose right and whose wrong? Nobody and yet everyone.

Despite all the cards laid out on the table, there is no immediate answer to the dilemma. There is however a staunch message coming forth from most citizens the world over, no matter how naive it may seem. ‘Peace not war must be achieved at all costs’.

© James Skinner, March 2003. Vigo- Spain.

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James Skinner on the poisoned beaches of Spain
'Much too little too late'

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