Has anyone else noticed a sudden increase in Jehovah’s Witnesses on the streets of Britain in recent months? I keep seeing them handing out their Watchtower magazines and “What does the Bible really say?” booklets everywhere lately.
Last month, I was mildly curious and accepted one of the offered magazines. (This, along with my cheerful, “ooh, yes please!” seemed to produce a response in the offerer similar to a mild electric shock.) The reason for my interest was the cover story and its headline, “Is Satan real?” According to Betteridge’s Law of Newspaper Headlines, if an article’s headline is framed as a question, the answer is invariably “no”. However, Watchtower violated that rule, because it turned out, much to my surprise, that the answer is “yes”.
The revelation that the Bush-era US was a rogue state responsible for systematic torture and other human rights abuses is as outrageous as it is unsurprising. For the world-weary and cynical like myself, it’s depressingly predictable that the only person currently in prison in connection with the CIA’s torture programme is John Kiriakou, the whistleblower who uncovered it. The US and its allies, including the UK, have a long history of committing monstrous acts against their own citizens and those of other states worldwide, and there is no indication that this is likely to change any time soon.
But while all reasonable and decent people should be appalled at the actions of Western governments, there are some who go too far, losing all perspective and pursuing their hatred of the West to illogical extremes. Here’s a typically nutty example I encountered recently:
“Anyone who believes the ISIS beheadings are real are deluded beyond belief. Watch the videos with a critical eye and then watch a real beheading. The west creates Muslims as enemy’s to push their agenda. Pure and simple. It is so they can attack poor brown people and take their natural resources like oil etc. Google the difference between say Afghanistan before American intervention and after. America and Britain are the real terrorists whose politicians earn more from war than peace. It’s not the people who need to give more but politicians and bankers who need to fuck off.“