The BBC has more on the most recent waves of bombings in London. If this was an attack, it wasn’t a particularly effective one. The “bombs” were merely detonators not tied to any explosives and only had a minor effect. There is a report of one injured person, who may be one of the bombers based on preliminary descriptions from eyewitnesses. It is believed that the explosive devices were designed to be more powerful but failed to properly detonate.
This attack has some of the hallmarks of al-Qaeda – multiple bombings designed to disrupt London’s infrastructure, but none of the sophistication or planning. It’s quite possible that if this were a real attack and not some prank by copycats, this is a sign that the terrorist infrastucture in London is being greatly diminished.
Fortunately there are no reports of casualties from this attack other than one injured person, and already arrests have been made relating to this case.
Faring not much better than the terrorists are the press. Glenn Reynolds gives them a hearty evisceration:
Some idiot correspondent asked Blair if the attacks were his fault because of the Iraq war. And others are taking an equally negative line — one asks if the propaganda war against terror is being lost.
No — but if so, it’s because of people in the media like these. John Howard’s too polite to tell them to read Norm Geras, but he put them in their place with logic, noting that Bin Laden was unhappy about the liberation of East Timor and declared war on that basis long before the Iraq invasion.
Translation: You’re idiots, cowards, and political hacks. Yes! The preening, point-scoring irresponsibility of the press, which is if anything worse in Britain than in America, is one of the most striking things about this war, and it will be decades before it recovers. If it does.
Geras makes precisely the right point in his excellent piece:
A hypothetical example illustrates the point. Suppose that, on account of the present situation in Zimbabwe, the government decides to halt all scheduled deportations of Zimbabweans. Some BNP thugs are made angry by this and express their anger by beating up a passer-by who happens to be an African immigrant. Can you imagine a single person of left or liberal outlook who would blame this act of violence on the government’s decision or urge us to consider sympathetically the root causes of the act? It wouldn’t happen, because the anger of the thugs doesn’t begin to justify what they have done. The root-causers always plead a desire merely to expand our understanding, but they’re very selective in what they want to “understand”.
Imagine if Ann Coulter wrote that the violence of the KKK was in some way justified or understandable because lower-class whites harbored deep-seated resentments dating all the way back to Reconstruction. Would she be considered a thoughful and astute thinker and praised for her open-minded tolerance? Or would there be a line to string her up for racism and heresy against the political correctness? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which.
If it’s unacceptable to try to understand the “root causes” and make tacit excuses and apologia for the KKK, why should it be for al-Qaeda? Either xenophobic violence is universally condemnable or it is not. Giving Muslim terrorism a pass is totally unacceptable and displays the double standards that exist on the part of many on the left.
Bravo To John Howard
The Corner has a transcript of Australian PM John Howard’s devastating response to a reporter’s Iraq question:
PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don’t want to add to what the prime minister has said. It’s a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.
Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it’s given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.
And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia’s involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn’t have done that?
When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan?
When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq — a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations — when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.
Now I don’t know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can’t put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I’ve cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.
Thank God that the Anglosphere (with the lamentable exclusion of Canada) understands the nature of this war and the absolute necessity of prosecuting it to its full end.