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Bull’s Eye

[1]1,407 words

Pentti Linkola
Can Life Prevail? A Radical Approach to the Environmental Crisis [2]
Trans. Eetu Rautio and Olli S.
London: Arktos, 2009

On September 11, hijacked passenger planes destroyed some of the tall buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and a corner of the main military headquarters in Washington. This incident had little impact on mankind as such, yet the reactions it elicited in the world were huge. Overfed Western countries, choking on their wasteful consumption, experienced the same shock, panic and chaos that had struck the United States. Because of these reactions, the attack became genuinely significant. Still, overstatements like “the world has lost its course” and “the world will never be the same again” are nothing but rubbish.

Hysteria has even spread to Finland: articles were written that oozed with bloody fury, a flood of flowers was showered upon the US embassy, and emergency aid was offered even by the government. One commentator recalled the list of US states recently drawn by the perceptive Hannu Taanila, the last ones being Alaska, Kuwait, and Finland.

Never before have foreign casualties elicited such great sympathy, never before has so much attention been paid to the suffering of families. And still, judging merely by the number of victims, this incident amounted to little more than a brawl if compared to other events in the recent history of mankind. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died in the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, masses of people also in London, not to mention the loss of life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Leningrad a million civilians died of bombings, artillery fire and hunger. Or to consider even more recent episodes, where are the mourning flags for Grozny, Baghdad, and Kosovo?

That confused nation cannot count the full number of casualties in New York–after all, we never even got to know who they voted for as president in the last election. However, from what I have gathered, only a couple of thousand people died.

Those who died in the attack were not simply humans: they were Americans; and not ordinary Americans, either, but the priests and priestesses of the supreme God of this age: the Dollar. The passengers of the domestic flights are not a valid sample of humanity either, but a wealthy, busy, environmentally damaging and world-devouring portion of mankind.

The force and pull of money and power, which is apparent everywhere, including the way in which governments fawn upon the United States to prove their friendship, is almost incomprehensible. It took days before something other than human evilness and the hatred of madmen was suggested by our media as a possible cause for the incident–and this explanation is still the favored one.

As a matter of fact, the United States is the most colossally aggressive empire in world history: the number of US military bases around the world is simply bewildering. Through its bases, the US spreads its economic and cultural influence by profaning, subjugating and silencing others. On all continents it finances and arms the governments and guerrilla movements it favors, frequently switching sides. The US employs death squads to do away with dissidents, and personally wages war when needed. Every now and then, as a reminder, the US bombs old proud Iraq. The US is the most wretchedly villainous state of all times. Anyone aware of global issues can easily imagine how vast the hatred for the United States–a corrupted, swollen, paralyzing and suffocating political entity–must be across the Third World–and among the thinking minority of the West too.

On these grounds, it may be assumed that Third World activists are behind the bombings in New York and Washington. These people are waging a desperate battle for their fatherland and faith against an overpowering, gigantic enemy–not unlike Finns during the Winter War. Regardless of how alien their religion or culture may be, they certainly deserve all our sympathy. Opposition within the United States is also strong. The case of the Unabomber springs to mind here: his planned, thoughtful model for an alternative society was presented to the Finnish public with a translation of his manifesto. Domestic opposition in the US, however, will hardly have the energy and ability to carry out an operation such as the one we have witnessed in New York: the skill, competence, and courage behind the attack has stunned even Western military experts (who, nevertheless, publicly voiced their condemnation of the action). In the US, search for the ‘culprits’ has now turned into a farce. The blockhead who, following obscure procedures, was appointed president called the kamikaze pilots “cowards” in his first statement. He later claimed that the matter is no longer about terror, but war: a war between the US, with its 250 million citizens, and a private individual, an admittedly noble-featured and clearly determined Sheikh from the Middle East, who must “be caught either dead or alive”. This individual hired a large group of madmen to commit expensive atrocities (this being the only point of view that Bush understands).

The workings of the small Finnish state are also verging on farce as, following on from that, an emergency status has been declared on the border. From small beginnings great things may develop. I am reminded of how, after an attack by the German Red Army Faction, large police forces were mobilised in Lapland to search for a young German citizen. It was later revealed that it was only a student gone hiking.

With regard to our own country, there is one further point I would like to make: it would be desirable at least for those people who idolise our Winter War to stop being sanctimonious about violence in general.

One should also bear in mind that the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is a matter of perspective: it all depends on the observer and the verdict of history. One clear example springs to mind: that of the Finnish soldiers who took a violent stand against a legitimate government. These soldiers received their military training in foreign countries, exactly like the Palestinian guerrilla group that made its attack at the Munich Olympics or the Reds in Italy and Germany. For all we know, they were trained in Southern Yemen or Lebanon. Some of these infantrymen were madcap adventurers, others fanatical patriots. Had our own civil war ended differently, they would readily have been labelled as terrorists.

Still, the oppressive measures taken by the US against other cultures and populations are not the worst of catastrophes. The most serious aspect of US supremacy is the leading position this country has acquired as the cradle and engine of global economic growth. Unbounded economic growth rapes nature, exploiting the natural resources of land, ocean and sky.  What now remain are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost–or, rather, the Dollar, Economic Growth and Market Economy. Two Gods clashed against each other in New York: Allah and the Dollar. The servants of Allah sacrificed their own lives and the lives of a few disciples of The Dollar. The aim of the servants of the market economy is to murder the whole of Creation and mankind as soon as they can. The deep ecologist and protector of life, the guardian of the continuity of life, would certainly choose Allah when things get tough.

Given the situation, the towers of the World Trade Center was the best target among all the buildings of the world, both symbolically and concretely. It was a magnificent, splendid choice.

No matter how great the joy that followed this bull’s­ eye, certain questions were raised soon enough: what will the long-term effects ofthe attack be? Although human mass deaths are always a positive occurrence in the light of the population explosion, a few thousand lives are nothing–even if quality were to make up for quantity. In other respects, the incident seems to be having truly significant repercussions at the moment. Economic growth seems to be plummeting–at least to some extent. Air traffic, the worst kind of traffic is decreasing. Foreign trade seems to be slowing down. Destructive tourism and international cooperation seem to be growing more difficult. Surveillance and police actions are always an impediment to raging business life. All incidents of this sort give nature extra time”

The bitter tenets of life have always proven optimism to be unfounded. Will it be justified on this occasion?

Elonkehii. [The Biosphere], September 26, 2001