The Art of Terror

In this episode, The Art of Terror, I will be looking at the War on Terror, in addition to Edmund Clark’s thought-provoking exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London, entitled War *of* Terror. This adapted name is quite deliberate, as will become clear within this episode. The artist-photographer, Clark, has visited Guantanamo Bay, along with the homes of persons who have been held under house arrest here in the United Kingdom. In a world in which ISIS and other groups sympathetic to the Jihadist cause are committing regular atrocities in the Middle East and, indeed, much closer to ‘home’, Western-speaking, we must surely offer strong support for robust governmental action to tackle terrorism. But – and this is the key – it needs to be effective and proportionate. Is it really a case of no pain, no gain? Is torture ever morally acceptable? Indeed, can the War on Terror ever be fought with our morals intact? This episode also looks at the West’s best options for tackling extremism; options which, frustratingly, are being suffocated by the ‘regressive left’. Furthermore, and very much linked to the work of would-be reformers, the power of belief in the supernatural is a significant factor in the War on Terror, which this episode explores in detail. Did George W. Bush’s belief in God lead to the invasion of Iraq? Thank you for tuning in. You can follow my work on Twitter @theaidanproject.

Left to Die: Whilst Liberals Slept

This episode of The Aidan Project tackles the moral confusion of the liberal argument, and the intellectual self-harm being conducted by the left. The rise of Trump, and the Brexit result can surely, at least in part, be explained by the inner fighting on the left, which has moved many to the centre, and on some issues, to the right, in the search for a measure of much-needed honesty. The left has a lot of work to do; Aidan is aghast that the left is not willing to defend basic constructs of liberalism by not being honest about its unpalatable challenges. This episode also looks at Trump’s conduct thus far in 2017. Thank you for listening. Please do take a moment to subscribe, be it via WordPress, iTunes, YouTube or Stitcher et al, as this truly assists in getting this argument out there. This is a wake-up call.

The Salon: Ben Lewry

What is it like working as a doorman? Standing in the cold for hours on end, dealing with various examples of disagreeable behaviour and trying to keep others safe can often mean that working as a doorman proves to be a thankless task.

On this episode of The Aidan Project’s Salon edition, Aidan is joined by Ben Lewry, an experienced doorman, Security Manager and a Security Industry Authority approved trainer in the East of England. In addition to many years spent on the frontline of security, Ben also teaches several accredited courses, including licence holding for bar operators, the use of CCTV, and health and safety. Ben is proactive in sharing security advice, including the dangers of excessive drinking, how to avoid becoming a victim of theft, and being alert to the threat of terrorism. On the show, Ben offers his views on the current terrorist threat, human rights, British drinking culture, the safety of vulnerable females, cuts in police budgets, and much more. Ben is the owner of Titans Security Limited, whose website is located at http://www.titansuk.com/. You can follow Titans Security on Twitter @TITANS_UK or you can call them on +44 01473 558738.

1984 Bad, 2016 Worse (Part 1)

It is time to review 2016. A brave undertaking, to be sure, but someone has to do it. Across two episodes, The Aidan Project humbly presents a review of the most significant events of the year. Part one includes Brexit, Stop Funding Hate, the British press, the decline of the left, Labour’s impotence, Jihadism, Nigel Farage, David Cameron’s disappearance, and more. You can catch Aidan on Twitter @theaidanproject. And remember, ‘tis the season to share and subscribe. Thank you for listening.

2017: Great Expectations?

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

Christopher Hitchens

hitchens

The world desperately misses Christopher Hitchens. I certainly know that I do. Whilst I never met the man, somehow, in a way that is beyond me to explain, I feel like I did. I certainly wish that I had.

Hitchens possessed a beautifully eloquent, unparalleled ability to speak thought-provoking common sense without any undue reverence to his opponent. The United Kingdom’s embarrassing exit from Europe, and Donald Trump’s evisceration of decency at the highest level would have been meat and drink to Hitchens. Moreover, I am quite certain that Hitchens would have had little patience for the internecine conflict within the left and its ceaseless self-strangulation. This illogical balancing act of many well-intentioned liberals has a lot to answer for, including, I would argue, those two 2016 blockbusters previously mentioned.

Hitchens saw himself as a liberal, broadly defined. But he would not tie himself down to ideology. He was in favour of the Iraq War. He spoke favourably of Margaret Thatcher. And he absolutely loathed Bill Clinton. And I mean really loathed. The latter point would have made Hitchens’ articulate foray into the vacuum of honesty that was the Presidential race all the more fascinating. Although I am quite sure that Hitchens would have abhorred Trump, he would not have taken kindly to Hillary, either, on whose husband he wrote the scathing book, No One Left To Lie To, in 1999.

Hitchens, who was born in England but would later become an American citizen, died of cancer in 2011 at the premature age of 62. Premature not simply for him, but for a world which needs his unique qualities now more than ever. I assume that it is because of this sense of loss, selfish as it is, that I have found myself referring back to so much of his voluminous work in recent months. Reading Hitchens’ polemics or watching him on the debate podium is something of a temporary antidote to the stupidity, ignorance and lies that have blighted 2016. Hitchens versus Nigel Farage? First round knockout for Hitch. If, somehow, the battle made it out of the first round, there would no doubt be a blood stoppage from the referee to save Farage from life-altering injuries. Hitchens could go the distance, but he seldom had to. He was the Muhammad Ali of rational argument. He had swagger, for sure, but his ability to propel his arguments with energy and panache was unmatched. He floated like a liberal, but he stung like a bee.

Nobody had a quip like Christopher Hitchens. He had a return volley for everything. Speaking during one of his countless debates with committed theists, Hitchens said, “We’re half a chromosome away from chimpanzees and it shows. It especially shows in the number of religions we invent to console ourselves or to give us things to quarrel with other primates about.” Hitchens was not afraid to cause offence in the process of putting across his argument, yet he was so gifted an orator, the most offensive aspect about him was simply how damn intelligent he was.

A side of Hitchens that all too many have perhaps not seen, as he is often regarded, unfairly, as simply an angry, atheist intellectual, was his incredible wit. An example of this comedic intelligence is a word game which is featured in his memoirs.  The basis of the game is to replace a word within a well-known book title with a similar, but rather less effective one. The results are non-bestselling titles such as Mister Zhivago, For Whom The Bell Rings, and the unsurpassable Good Expectations.

Back to reality and, indeed, this time of madness, complete as it is with much burying of heads in the sand, I certainly have low expectations. However, if we can be serious about waking up from our collective coma of confusion, then perhaps, inspired by the unapologetic rationality of Hitchens, our expectations can indeed be great. To be sure, he was the greatest.

Aidan