Monday, 17 August 2009

Kenny MacAskill's Cowardice

It seems American pressure has brought a temporary halt to the plans of the Scottish government to release the hapless patsy convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. (If you need a refresher on why the original verdict was flawed, I recommend this article by William Blum). If American pressure ultimately prevails here, it will be a matter of profound shame and embarrassment both for Scotland and for Britain. It's also a textbook example of how many Europeans are deeply and irrationally psyched out by America. How Americans view them is tremendously important to these mental weaklings. It's a kind of psychological colonisation. In this case, that becomes particularly clear because there is absolutely nothing that the Americans could do to Scotland to exact retribution or express their displeasure. The Scottish government does not have any foreign relationships at all. It is barred from conducting foreign relations by the terms of the devolution settlement. Yet even in this case, where there is nothing to lose, Europeans are still so psyched out by the Americans that they abase themselves in front of the hegemon.

While we're on the subject, isn't it striking how amazingly flexible the attributions of these terrorist attacks are? There are a certain number of Middle Eastern attacks discussion of which constantly crops up. Khobar Towers, for example, the Lebanon barracks bombing, the BlackHawk Down incident, etc. Over the years, the Americans have blamed these incidents on any number of state or non-state actors. They are like Rorschach blots on to which the Americans can project whatever they want. Professional lunatic Laurie Mylroie once wrote a book blaming just about every terrorist incident in the last two decades on Iraq. Leading neo-cons, such as Paul Wolfowitz, praised the book. Now that they've been there and done that, killed all those brown people and are looking for the next set of victims, the same incidents are reinterpreted to finger the current enemy du jour: Iran.

The attributions shift as American relationships with the countries in question change, just like the Lockerbie bombings were originally blamed on Iran and Syria, backed by supposedly compelling evidence, before those countries' support in the first Iraq war became necessary and the blame was deflected on to the less supportive Libya.

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