Edge of the West
Alarm Goes Off In London, It's Our Wise-Up Call
By Ron Scott Smith
Jul 24, 2005 - 7:03:00 PM

ENGLANDI'm not kidding. A resident of Leeds, England, said that her friend and neighbor, one of the four who blew themselves away in the London suicide-bombings, had a favorite song. It was "Make the World Go Away."

"Wisdom," according to Miriam-Webster, is (1)-"the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting;" or, just plain (2)-"common sense."

Don't ask me. I come here with not nearly enough of it to solve the thing. Then again, it's not my job. It's not yours either so if they hit you with that lame "well, ingrate, if you don't like the way it is, what would you do to fix it" thing, don't feel bad about replying, "hell if I know."

What you do know is this: It is somebody's job and somebody better get busy. You can't be riding home on a bus thinking the roof is about to be blown off the thing with your head following right behind it. You can't be doing that for too long. You can't be taking the train downtown with one eye on the morning Times, and the other on every backpack, briefcase or overly bulked-up chest, thinking it may be the one whose contents take you in a violent split-second, to the other side.

Despite annoying nuisances like war, famine, and pestilence that seem to pop up from time to time, civilization has somehow found a way to continue on, through it all. But this now, this new merger of suicide with mass murder at the intersection of righteousness and zeal may be the stuff that civilization finally is unable to withstand. So far off the hook of anything we deem to be sane- even given our own private insanities- these attacks stun and scar us in our deepest recesses. Something's got to give.


I don't think I have to repeat in here my opinion of the Bushian logic that's been the official American logic employed for some four years now in a tragically misguided attempt to solve this most illogical problem. It's like God was bored and created a great riddle for his beautiful blue planet to solve, a riddle that perhaps even he finds challenging, let alone George W. Bush.

"We're gonna hunt 'em down, and bring 'em in," were the first words out of the president's mouth in response to the London bombings when they stuck a microphone in front of him during a break at the G-8 Summit in Scotland. Surprised? His signature "smoke-'em-out-of-their caves" warning was mercifully left out this time. Is he beginning to wise up?

Wisdom. It is hereby declared to be planet earth's last great hope, and where is it? It's coming from no one. Not from the macro-powers who use organized military might to stomp around the globe handing out death and destruction. And not from the micro-powers, who turn troubled beings into human bombs sacrificing their existence to a higher power that may not have the welcome for them that they expect.   

But where could the wisdom possibly come from that would convince the ones who strap the explosives to their chests that their methods are any less "legitimate" than those who amass aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, and vast armies in somebody else's land? Do you think suicide bombers, when recruited, are told of the bomb affectionately named "Daisy Cutter", that has to be parachuted to the ground so the aircraft that drops it has time to flee the massive explosion it has dealt out below?

Wisdom. Somebody find it fast to calm the anger that grows from watching suicide bombers roaming freely through our open societies, taking advantage of the openness and freedom they could never experience in their Muslim homelands. Freedom that ultimately allows them to go right on ahead and blow up the neighborhood whenever they get that warm, fuzzy, righteous feeling. They need to wise up, and quickly. Do they really think Muhamed would approve the suicide vest any more than Jesus would the Daisy Cutter?

If even the ones like me are fed up with being an "infidel" in the eyes of murderous zealots, imagine what kind of response might be brewing among the hawkish right wing that runs the show? Maybe it's best not to imagine it.

If you've stayed with this collection of confused sentences that may seem to cross wires on each other then you know- that I don't know. Apparently, Bush doesn't, and Bin Laden doesn't know, either.

Call me an appeaser, but there's got to be a way to reach an arm out to somebody without a closed fist belting them in the mouth.

Who among us solves the riddle before the riddle solves us?  

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