Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We come in peace. Shoot to kill

“We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill;
we come in peace, shoot to kill; Scotty, beam me up!”

I hated ‘Star-Trekkin’ Across the Universe.” Thoroughly despised it from the cutesy apostrophe in the song-title to the Klingons on the starboard bow. I’d turn the radio to anything else – even the New Kids on the Block anything, which is pretty much drilling through the bottom of the barrel of the anything barrel, especially when you’re approximately 13 and doing your damndest to avoid anything that even hints at ‘girliness’ – rather than listen to its horribly, bouncy, repetitive, predictable, awfulness.

My, that was a long sentence. I see that the intervening years have not yet lessened the strength of my feelings on this subject. Suffice it to say that I’m not thrilled to have this song running through my head tonight.

But it’s there for a reason.

All of the obvious ones that go without saying.
And another, also obvious, which I’m nonetheless going to say something about.

The Guardian today reported that the Association of Chief Police Officers are defending their 'shoot to kill without warning' policy, the first victim of whom was Jean Charles de Menezes. They don't call it a 'shoot to kill without warning' policy: it has been christened 'shoot to incapacitate.' In the same way that 'civilian casualties' are known as 'collateral damage.'

Only going forward and things are getting worse.

I know people up here in the North who do not go down to London any more.
I'd imagine that makes things difficult for them. Job-related events they don't attend. Friends they don't visit.

But London is a ways off and they'd have to take luggage onto the train.
"Carrying a backpack while an 'Asian' male from the North."

They do the math: x2(suspicious looks) + 4x(trying to look reassuringly instead of angrily at the people giving the suspicious looks) + c(small but not non-existent chance of getting shot) = 0 trips down South.

It's a mix of fear and anger and enough of it has rubbed off that even I, shielded by my female gender and white skin, feel its trace when I venture onto the Underground or into a railway station.

It's not that what happened on July 7 wasn't frightening.
It's that what happened on July 22 was so very much more so.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nanette said...

Scary words, those..."the first victim". Because we all know, or at least assume nowadays, that there will be more.

Entire groups of people have again become the boogeyman, and thus expendable, even if by mistake. Oops, my bad.

3/09/2006 3:02 am  
Blogger Gaianne said...

Well said, dove.

I missed the song; my gain apparently. Supposed to be satire, but after all, not, and ugly anyway.

I am impressed how few people understand that shoot-to-kill puts an end to civilian life: Your are, by policy, in a war zone all the time (even if they aren't calling it that). Of course people learn to adjust, but that adjustment can't be called freedom.

Maybe it is to acclimate people to the bigger war they are planning--the one that includes everybody, and is scheduled to occur about the time civilization implodes.

And then there are the people who trust in their pale skins. Pathetic. Kent State was another age and another country, but the lesson remains: Once they know they may shoot, they will shoot anybody.

Your backstory as a terrorist constructed afterward.

3/09/2006 5:54 am  
Blogger dove said...

Yes -- bogeymen and backstories. The speed with which the Home Office vilified him as an 'illegal immigrant' was illuminating if not surprising.

Welcome gaianne -- nice to see you here!

3/09/2006 8:20 am  
Blogger your said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/10/2006 6:34 pm  

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