Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The Harvesters of Skulls: A Reflection on S11 and Beyond

Two years ago tomorrow, on September 11th 2001, fired by religious fanaticism, Osama Bin Laden’s group laid 2807 skulls at the altar of their God. In response to this gruesome offering, the leaders of the 'civilized' world promptly arranged another sacrifice of around 3,400 Afghani skulls at the altar of their God. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Bin Laden and his protégés were not to be outdone and responded by the offering of more skulls harvested from Bali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Africa. Pushing the toll ever higher, Bush and Blair arranged the sacrifice of around another 7000 skulls in Iraq. I say approximately because they never received word from their God that they should bother to stop and count the bones, just to keep piling them high. Bush's religious henchmen obviously considered themselves the biblical word made flesh, the Alpha and the Omega. Bin Laden also sees the end-time coming; the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Pile the skulls high, high enough so that the shadow cast by the offering of skulls is a monolith to their God of War. A gruesome tower of Babel who's shadow eclipses the sun so casting the world into a perpetual darkness. A darkness under which they can both muster their troops and bombs for the coming armageddon. Amen.

Bush, Blair and Osama are no doubt planning new alters of sacrifice for their respective Gods. We know that both are, theoretically, are piling their altars of bone high to the same God. The same God of Abraham and Jesus, a God presumably who has no compunction about their killing? At least that seems to be the jist of what Blair, Bush and Bin Laden think. They alone have discovered hidden clauses in the sacred words that apply only them as the forces of the righteous. The angels of death. The three share many believes in common; they are driven by their unshakable faith, see conflict as the solution, they all claim to be the real voice of their peoples, believe in authoritarian state rule and they all bow down to capitalism as their preferred method of exchange.

They might disagree of whom to bomb, but they don’t disagree on bombing.

So what has this got to do with wherever you live? If you live in New York, quite a lot, but then you already know that. If you live elsewhere within the borders of Pax Americana, quite a lot too but you might not have thought about that. However, we need to start thinking about it. The wealth of your region, in my case the South West is to be leached away to pay for the perpetual darkness of the War-Without-End. Schools in the region will suffer to pay for ever more elaborate methods of harvesting skulls. Social services will be slashed to pay private mercenary firms to pick clean the flesh from the bones. Everyday and in every way thay aim to take our labour, our resources and our land to pay for their wars. The war on terror will never be won, because it IS terrorism. The trinity of Bush, Blair and Bin Laden are a snake biting it's own tail - a perpetual cycle of misery and death to build the skull throne higher and higher. If left to build their monoliths unchecked they will eventually collapse and the whole world will be consumed in the rubble.

But there is hope.

Here in Bristol we've seen a highly effective grass roots anti-war campaign. We've seen the growth in community groups opposing the asset stripping. We’ve seen people with their moral compass intact point to the local arms dealers and saying; "These are the providers of the skull harvesters. These are the makes of the grinders for the corpse machine."

No more. We have borne witness time after time, since and before September 11th to the cost of the skull harvesters and the corpse machine. We'll feed it no more. The fight back continues. Here in Bristol, the resistance pledges by its organising and actions, to continue to build for a just and sustainable world. One day, and soon I hope, we'll dismantle the arms factories, the nuclear plants, the corpse machine and their sacrificial altars. We'll give the bones of the harvested a proper burial. In place of their thrones of skulls we'll erect a monument to the unknown human. The everyman/woman and child who've perished in the name of their gods and their mammon.

Then we'll start to build; "We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The rich might blast and ruin their own world before they leave the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts and that world is growing in this minute."

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