Sunday, July 01, 2007

New British Government Finds What World Is Like

Neither of the terror attacks Friday and Saturday in Great Britain were actually much of a success. No innocent was killed. Both the attempted car bombings in London were aborted by an alert citizenry and police. The Glasgow attack caused a fire and disrupted air travel, but it caused no serious injuries except to the suicide bombers.

But the extension of Iraq-style suicide bombing attempts to British cities caused a stir around the world, and raised again the dire question: How are these acts to be stopped from spreading out of the Middle East to Europe, and eventually to America?

The new British Government headed by Gordon Brown got an immediate lesson as to what its priorities must be if Islamic terror comes to England on anything like a regular basis.

Brown, in an interview today, said, "We are dealing here with people in general who are associated with Al-Qaeda."

And his new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, who happens to be a member of Amnesty International, declared, "We won't, as the British people, be intimidated or let anyone stop us getting on with our lives."

Notice the similarity with what the much maligned U.S. president, George W. Bush, would have said.

Even in the U.S., the attempted terror strikes in Britain had immediate political effect, with former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani of New York, who has consistently been the Republican frontrunner in the early 2008 polls, giving a speech in New Orleans citing the strikes as mandating much more stringent border controls in the U.S.

What all this points out is that a terror offensive by the Muslim fundamentalists is going to have a decisive effect on what government policies will be, and what political candidates will say. And that, I believe, is as true for the Democrats in this country as the Republicans. No one can afford to get on the wrong side of the terror issue when it is presented at home.

One question that must be confronted here is whether Mr. Bush is right when he suggests that a withdrawal from Iraq by American forces would actually compound the threat and the enemy would come charging against us here. It may be premature to conclude that, but even talk of an American withdrawal has helped unsettle the situation in Lebanon and Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East to our detriment.

In Britain, the decision yesterday to increase the terrorist threat level to "critical" reflected an assessment on the part of the authorities that other attacks might be "imminent." Only time can tell whether those fears are founded, but certainly the presence in Britain of many Muslims who sympathize with the terrorists, and even in some cases journey to Pakistan to be trained by them, poses, as Brown said this morning, a long lasting danger.

As reports surfaced during the day of the investigation, five suspects that were being held were said to be foreign immigrants, not homegrown Muslims. Some were of South Asian descent, but there was also a report of involvement by Iranian Kurds. Due to the discovery of two unexploded automobiles in London, the police were dealing with substantial forensic evidence.

The placement of one of the cars outside a London nightclub followed reports of an aborted 2004 plot seeking to kill nightclub goers as un-Islamic. Muslim fundamentalists, leading such miserable lives themselves, do not like people to have a good time.



Anonymous McRib said...

We will soon find what the new PM is made of. Watch British troop deployments in Iraq/Afganistan. If they go down, he's a loser. If they go up, he's a Brit.

7/02/2007 12:34 PM  

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