Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

July 7, 2005

Taking Political Advantage of Terrorism,
Or: Gee, that was quick!

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:46 pm

A certain radio commentator wondered aloud (i.e., on the radio) how long it would take before liberals in America would take political advantage of the terrorist attacks in London, blaming them on President Bush and the war in Iraq. He pointed out that the argument that “the war in Iraq is the cause of anti-Western terrorism” is nonsense, because the biggest terrorist attack (on Sept. 11, 2001) occurred before the war in Iraq. He predicted that the liberals would wait a respectful (for the victims) interval, but start blaming Bush on the Sunday-morning TV talk shows.

He was right on the argument, but wrong on the timing. It’s started already!

At 4:14pm today (Thursday), Michael Moore posted this article on his website.

July 7th, 2005 4:14 pm
Bush has to review strategy, say US experts

By Guy Dinmore and Demetri Sevastopulo / Financial Times

A constant theme of the Bush administration is that America and the world are safer because of the US invasion of Iraq and its anti-terror strategy.

That argument prevailed during the US presidential election campaign last year, despite even official US evidence to the contrary, but may have been finally buried by Thursday’s bombings in London.

Experts in Washington said following the blasts that it was time for the Bush administration to re-evaluate its strategy.

Who are these “experts”?

John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former deputy secretary of defence {under Clinton –DR}, said: “Clearly [the world] is not safer. I think this highlights the complexity of the problem.”

This is, of course, baloney. The war in Iraq didn’t cause the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and it didn’t cause the attack on the USS Cole, and it didn’t cause the attacks on the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and it didn’t cause this attack, either. It just became the rhetoric for this attack. There was other rhetoric for the other attacks.

Consider the statement claiming “responsibility” for the attack:

“Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Now with all due respect, there is nothing “Zionist” or “crusader” about anything Britain did in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Note: Did anyone say the war in Afghanistan caused this? No, they just say it about Iraq, even though the terrorists say it was both. Why is that?)

Of course, there is nothing “Zionist” or “crusader” about the government of Britain at all. Unless you define “Zionist” as allowing Jews to walk the streets without being decapitated, and “crusader” as allowing Christians to practice their religion. Which, come to think of it, is probably how Al-Qaeda does define it, since they are mostly from Saudi Arabia, and those things are not allowed there!

The fact is, Al-Qaeda is not after the West because of the war in Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan, or the troops in Saudi Arabia. They “declared war” on the U.S. long before all those things. And it’s not about support for Israel, either — Europe gave up supporting Israel years ago, and there are still attacks on Madrid and London.

Al-Qaeda is after the West because according to their ideology, any society not governed by Islam is to be destroyed. Not just that, but any society not governed by their version of Islam is to be destroyed. Al-Qaeda is after the West, because in the West, Jews are allowed to walk the streets and live in peace (except maybe in France), Christians are allowed to practice their religion, atheists are allowed to practice their non-religion, the press is not censored of un-Islamic ideas, the universities teach whatever they want, the banks charge interest, and waddaya know, we don’t even stone homosexuals and adulterers — and even those of us who think those things are truly immoral aren’t trying to implement stoning for those folks.

That, to Al-Qaeda, is why the West must be destroyed. No amount of appeasement short of implement shari’ah (Islamic Law). As Hamas leader Ra’ed Salah put it in September 2001 (note date!), “The only solution is for Bush to convert to Islam.” Or to put it another way, Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”

So there you have it. They hate us because we are not an Islamic state. How inconsiderate of us.

Changing Minds in London? (2)

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:36 pm

James Taranto points out another couple of examples:

The BBC Calls It by Its Name
“London Rocked by Terror Attacks” reads a headline on the BBC’s Web site. This seems unremarkable, except that, as the Mediacrity blog points out, the BBC’s “editorial guidelines,” in Reutervillian style, state:

The word “terrorist” itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution. We should let other people characterise while we report the facts as we know them.

The Beeb does apply this rule sometimes, such as in this timeline of attacks against Israel, which nowhere refers by name to terror, terrorism or terrorists.

Even Reuters is leaving out the scare quotes in some dispatches: “Police said they suspected terrorists were behind the bombings,” the “news” service reports from London.

Note that Reuters annouced (reaffirmed?) on October 2, 2001 (note the significance of that date) that “the policy of our Editorial group to avoid using emotional terms such as “terrorist” in their news stories.” When forced to use the term, for example in quoting a public figure, they often put the word “terrorist” in scare quotes.

I guess that policy either just got cancelled, or only applied to terrorists who attack the U.S. or Israel.

Changing Minds in London?

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:29 pm

Kenneth “Red Ken” Livingstone, the far-left Lord Mayor of London, who has always said we need to make an effort to “understand” the Muslims who blow up buses in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is apparently not so understanding when Muslims of the same ideological stripe blow up buses in London:

“I want to say one thing, specifically to the world today — this was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful, it was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers, it was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian … young and old … that isn’t an ideology, it isn’t even a perverted fate, it is an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder.”

Livingstone, who has publicly stated that he believes Ariel Sharon to be a war criminal, and who has written an article for Al-Jazeera accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” for allowing Jews to move into Palestinian-majority areas (in America we call this “integration”), apparently does not realize that in Israel, like in England, bus-riders are not “presidents or prime ministers” but rather “ordinary, working-class …, Muslim and Christian … young and old.”

Or maybe he figures since unlike in London, most of the bus-riders in Israel are Jewish, it’s OK to blow them up, even if a few Muslims and Christians are “martyred” in the process. After all, he’s the one who gave a special honor at London City Hall to Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, who once said,

“The iniquity of the Jews, as a community, is obvious and apparent. Let me explain: The West, I can say about some of them [i.e., Westerners] who are iniquitous, and others who are not iniquitous. And it is possible. But iniquity on the part of the Jews is great iniquity, grave iniquity, iniquity that is incomparable and overt. ”

Livingstone later said to Al-Qaradhawi:

Sheikh you will not be surprised to know that all sections of British media do not unanimously welcome you here today and some are rather critical of you, I have to say you are not alone in that situation. Very often those who raise uncomfortable truths are denounced by those who would rather not consider them.

And he called the British media “Islamophobic” for objecting to all this.

(Ann’s Fuse Box has more detail on all this.)

Now, it’s possible that today’s terrorist attacks in London have caused Ken Livingstone to change his mind. I certainly hope he has “seen the light.” But it’s also possible that Ken Livingstone thinks blowing up public transportation is an awful crime when committed in England, and perfectly understandable when committed in Israel. Time will tell.

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