The phrase "walls spattered with blood" has been stuck in my head all day, since I heard it during an interview broadcast on CBC radio this morning. It comes from London, of course, and describes a building near the double-decker bus that was blown apart as part of the four bombings.
Bush and Blair have already made their typical "stay strong, we'll get 'em" speeches. So, should I pick Iran or North Korea in my "Which Country Gets Bombed to Jelly" pool?
Here's the thing: if there were natural justice, the bombers would find themselves skinned alive and left in a pool of acid for a few years. There's no natural justice, however. There's just us, as Terry Pratchett says.
Therefore, I wish to call not for Rambo, not for Chuck Norris, not for Steven Segal or any other third-string action hero response. We don't need to blow up a country for this. We don't need to bomb anything. We need a detective, not a lunatic with a headband, oiled pecs and a thousand rounds of ammunition. We need Sherlock Holmes.
Because the people responsible need to be brought to justice, or as close to it as we can come in an imperfect world. Find them. Track them around the world. Use science and informants and make deal with lesser members of the networks. Have them arrested and deported to face a British court. Put them in jail.
Bush doesn't do this very well. Four years after Sept. 11, 2001 his intelligence service is still a mess. There have been reforms, but they seem to amount to naught but paper shuffling. Their best information comes from torture, either outsourced through quasi-friendly dictatorships or domestically, in Guantanamo Bay. (Guantanamo! For all you sleep deprivation, dog menacing, music blasting, threatening, punching, tazering needs.) And information from torture, especially torture of low ranking bozos and Ottawa-resident engineers, tends not to be terribly reliable. Snap a pair of electrodes to my nuts and I'll be telling you anything I think you want to hear before you get close to turning it on. Yes, as a matter of fact I am a Republican. And I love those Olsen Twins!
What if we find the evildoers (oh, such a wonderful word, so much abused by the Twit in Chief) and they're in an unfriendly nation, that won't give them up? Do we bomb then?
No. No, no, no. You do not get to kill innocent people because the folks in their goverment are fuck heads. If that was true I'd be allowed to kill Americans, Brits, Canadians... well everybody, really. First, you apply diplomatic pressure. Second, you get charges laid against the suspects in an international court. Third, if you can't get them out any other way, you kidnap them Mossad-style. If that isn't possible, you wait. Better to wait, and hope for something to change, then to charge blindly ahead and waste hundreds or thousands of lives.
Not that anyone in the White House will take this advice. They're already getting out the tubes of pectoral oil and strapping on their head bands.