Friday, July 08, 2005

The London Bombings--Are We Winning Yet?

In case you haven’t been reading the “conservative” press recently, you may have missed out on the real message behind the London bombings. It turns out, you see, that the bad guys are on the run.

David Frum says the bombings were less ambitious and sophisticated than prior al-Qaeda attacks, suggesting “that the ability of the terrorists to carry out attacks against Western countries has been seriously degraded.”

Frum also asks whether the lack of suicide bombers, as with the Marid bombing, indicates that Islamists may be having difficulty recruiting suicide bombers in the West.

Writing in FrontPage Magazine, Ben Johnson says that one lesson from the London attacks is that the Iraqi war is not a distraction from the War on Terror, but the central front in that battle. According to Johnson, the insurgent Islamists are losing in Iraq and the bombings represent an increasingly desperate attempt by al-Qaeda to drive the U. S. from the region. Johnson argues that bin-Laden and his minions fear the “liberation of Iraq” because of the “potential to change the dynamics of the entire Middle East.” Johnson continues:

Although Osama bin Laden is likely surrounded by Green Berets in the mountainous no man’s land straddling the Afghan-Pakistani border, his minions demand Allied withdrawal from Iraq, because that is the terrorists’ bleeding wound. Iraq has become the terror war’s valley of Armageddon, the decisive battleground between good and evil – and as in eschatology, evil is losing.

Coalition sacrifices brought democracy to Iraq and saw paralyzing fear drown in a sea of ink-stained fingers. A democratic, pluralistic, majority-Muslim nation in the heart of the Islamic world could demonstrate the superiority of Western values and inspire a chain-reaction throughout the region, drying up jihadist recruitment.


National Review editor Rich Lowry echoes the sentiments of many on the Right when he writes, "We are facing a global insurgency of Islamic militants who will hit anywhere, from Mosul to London. Their goal is totalist. They want, first, to drive us from the Middle East, then, to establish a caliphate there, and finally, to absorb the West into their theocracy."

Lowry says that we can take comfort in the fact that al-Qaeda has not hit our shores. "Such an attack" Lowry writes, "could take place tomorrow. But that it hasn't yet is probably some testament to the efficacy of the Patriot Act, the immediate detention of hundreds of Muslim immigration violators after 9/11 (most, no doubt, innocent of any evil intention, but perhaps a crucial handful not), and tighter border control in general."

As Justin Raimondo has written repeatedly, these arm-chair warriors are living in Bizzaro World, where up is down, black is white, left is right, and slavery is freedom.

In truth, the London bombings demonstrate in spades that the war in Iraq has not made western nations more secure. The so-called “flypaper strategy,” i.e., that we are fighting terrorists in Baghdad so that we won’t have to in Boise, also appears to have backfired.

That al-Qaeda attacked in the UK and not the US should not be terribly surprising. Norwegian intelligence sources uncovered al-Qaeda planning documents some time ago outlining a deliberate strategy to focus attacks on Europe rather than the U. S. in an attempt to split the “coalition of the willing.” Previous attacks in Spain were largely successful in securing Spanish withdrawl from Iraq. I would guess that the Brits won’t leave as quickly, but public support for the war in the UK is slim, and there may yet be a backlash against the Blair-led government.

That the Brits were unable to foil a sophisticated and coordinated attempt, while hosting the G-8 summit with all the security such an event entails, shows that the terrorists may be holding back somewhat—an unpleasant thought, to be sure.

So why did al-Qaeda strike London rather than Stockholm or Bern? Is it because they hate "British values," or does it have to do with British and American foreign policy?

I hope to write more soon about this later, but I just can't gin up the motivation at the moment. Stop back soon.

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