Thursday, July 07, 2005

This England

This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed and famous by their birth

Shakespeare -- Richard II, 2.1, 40-51


They bomb these targets because they think that freedom and liberty and mostly equality for non-believers are wrong, and tyranny and oppression and intolerance and caste are right. For them, those of us who press for freedom and liberty are just fools.

While I know that people reading this blog have vastly different opinions about the wisdom and the nature of what the response so far has been, and what it should be going forward, one fact must always be agreed upon. They are the bad guys.

What we say and do amongst ourselves, the way we argue or disagree amongst ourselves, makes us all more free. We are prosperous because we are free and because we can argue amongst ourselves. It is easy to be safe and a slave. It is hard hard work to be prosperous and free. Rather than admit that it is possible to be prosperous and free and tolerant, some people like to bomb targets.

It is not our policy on abortion or on the equal status accorded to Muslims and non-Muslims or the content of our cartoons that is the root cause. It is not our decision to go into Iraq or to defend the right of Israel to exist that is the root cause.

The root cause is that these people prefer to show resentment through violence rather than reduce resentment through good productive actions to better their own lives. They prefer to bomb things rather than admit that freedom can lead to prosperity. Rather than admit that it is possible to be tolerant and free and moral and prosperous all on the same day.

They will die to defend their stupid theories but they lack the courage to see their theories through the billion peaceful avenues available for those who truly think they have found a better way.


And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

-- William Blake