The official line in our uninvited war against terror is to hike up the dehumanisation process, including anyone in the right place in the 'other side'.
Two examples: an American general on UK TV last weekend claiming that Al Quaida didn't sign the Geneva Convention so international law doesn't apply to them. Coincidentally, John Reid, the UK defence secretary, quoted in the Observer on the same day, said: "Please be very quick to condemn, and very quick to defend and praise our soldiers, because they work in the most extremely difficult circumstances [poor lambs] against an enemy who is completely unconstrained by any morality, any legal conventions, any human-rights standards and any scrutiny and that makes it difficult for the men and women who serve this country".
This was, need I add, in the context of a barbaric video in which soldiers beat up teenagers, cheered on by the film maker. In lumping together several groups of people: the suicide bombers with the ordinary Iraqis and the conscientious soldiers with the sadistic bastards, our governments dehumanise us all. How can we be surprised if Muslims see the West as one entity, blacks see whites as one entity, if our leaders fail to differentiate and treat any of us to intelligent statements? Extremism is being fuelled at the moment from all sides by blind statements, free speech and offense being bandied around from all sides.
Our governments are using the new war as an excuse to erode human rights standards signed up to after the most terrible world wars. Wars may not between countries any more but they are still between human beings. More to the point, people caught in places of war must always have the basic standards of justice, the right to a trial and the right not to be tortured.
They are committing a grave crime against all of us, overall worse than individual crimes of murder or torture because they are inciting hatred against groups of people. This war has got to stop before friendship across cultures are stubbed out completely. I am so sick of this regime that spends a fortune in our name on sheer wrong-doing, eroding our human rights step by step. I see this world of connections and essential goodness, basic, simple rights that were built up for centuries, against all the odds, now being neglected by a generation that grew up in the peaceful world of the safety net, people who will sacrifice any faraway people for our own expensive, flawed security. This war is going on without any oversight and it doesn't have my consent anymore. Something tells me I'm not the only one.