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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Friday, July 08, 2005
London, The Day After
I've plastered together some disjointed thoughts about yesterday's terror attacks in London and tried to collect the most important information we have so far. (The source for most of the data and quotes is the article linked in the title. For a few exceptions, I link to the sources below.)

Casualty Count

The current count is at least 50 dead, over 700 wounded, at least 22 of those in critical condition (a number that was higher last night, suggesting some have succumbed to their injuries). Anyone that has followed the terror attacks in Israel knows that "wounded" is a terrible term. It encompasses those who need a few stitches and a tetanus shot because they were grazed by shrapnel, and those who are permanently disfigured or disabled. Some of those 700 have lost limbs or eyes. Some of their faces will never look the same. Some will never again be able to work.
It Could Have Been Worse

Two unexploded devices were found.

"Secret Group of Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe" Claims Responsibility

Ralphie posted yesterday about Dennis Prager bemoaning the lack of tension within Islam about what is clearly a problem in Islam. Did anyone think this might have been done by Lutherans? Buddhists? Dick Cheney's buddies in Halliburton?

I'm terrified that a lot of people still don't get the magnitude of the problem. There is an organized network of people who don't just believe that murdering civilians is good; they think it's holy. There going to keep doing it. They have no aircraft carriers or uniforms or flags. They and the countries from which they hail have invented no military technology, and instead use our own technology against us. They oppose most Western civil rights and freedoms, but use them to live among us and conceal their intentions. Can democracies persist if so many of their citizens are willfully blind of this enemy?

This Is Not A Crime; It's War

Ever since 9/11 I've been very worried about the tendency of some officials to treat radical Islam as a law-enforcement problem. It's not. It's a military problem. Though this is a war unlike any we have ever fought, and law-enforcement will play a vital role, we have to keep our thoughts and language clear about the fact that this is a war. This can not be fought with subpoenas and arrests and trials-by-jury, though all of these will be needed. This will be fought with aircraft carriers and special ops forces and helicopter gunships.

"There is real passion now in the police to make arrests quickly before further attacks can be carried out," said Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst and former counterterrorism intelligence officer.
I'm sure Mr. Shoebridge is a good man and on the right side, but his language will distract the common citizen from the nature of the battle ahead. These people shouldn't be arrested. They should be shot.

Extraordinary Bravery

Finally, all of the interviews I heard on the radio yesterday, especially of random British citizens, demonstrated incredible toughness and resolve under gut-wrenching circumstances.

"I was scared, but what can you do?" said Raj Varatharaj, 32, emerging from an Underground station. "This is the fastest way for me to get to work. You just have to carry on."

"As Brits, we'll carry on — it doesn't scare us at all," said tour guide Michael Cahill, 37. "Look, loads of people are walking down the streets. It's Great Britain — not called 'Great' for nothing."
You make us proud. We grieve with you. We will not forget this.
Good for them. I'm glad they didn't pull a Spain at the last minute.
1-They still have time to "pull and Spain."
2-Some of us will never forget. Some of us don't forget the Munich Olympics, or the Iran hostage crisis or the USS Cole (should I go on). Others have already forgotten or, worse, blame the victims.
Doctor Bean, great post, and I agree wholeheartedly...these people should be shot...I actually cannot stand the term "brought to justice". To me, this implies they deserve the right to a trial, to be proven guilty...and then some prison time? How can these monsters who have complete disregard for human life (and brutally take away life in the name of G-d) be given the luxury of being brought to "justice"?
Irina: I, also, think they're made of tougher stuff than Spain. To paraphrase "My Fair Lady": The flaming trains in Spain made them plainly craven.

ball-and-chain: (1) John Derbyshire is convinced England will pull a Spain. (2) You go, girl!

Cruisin-Mom: Thanks for the praise. Click on the link on the phrase "They should be shot" in the post for ball-and-chain and my quick guide to labeling various levels of evil. These people aren't criminals. They're enemy combatants.
Now we have to wait and see how they respond.
The idea of a condemning a whole group of people based on their religious beliefs worked pretty well for Hilter too, to prove this to your self take any WWII Nazi propaganda and replace Jews with Muslims and tell me you don't see sick parallels. While I whole heartedly agree that terrorism is shitty way to bring about change but when I see comments like this
" actually cannot stand the term "brought to justice". To me, this implies they deserve the right to a trial, to be proven guilty"
Fundamentalists of ANY kind are very scary.
Dan: Welcome to our blog! Your blog features Gore Vidal quotes from the Nation, so I fear the amount of common ground we share is quite small. Nevertheless, I will try to persuade you of your errors with humility and courtesy. My expectations are very limited.

(By the way, I see you found us from Psychotoddler. I encourage our readers to check out the interesting debate there.)

I fear you've either never read Nazi propaganda, or you're not reading our blog very carefully.

"The idea of a condemning a whole group of people based on their religious beliefs worked pretty well for Hilter too."

What? Where are you seeing any condemnation of Muslims for their religious beliefs? We've condemned Islamic radicals for murdering innocents and we've condemned other Muslims for not taking a stand against Islamic radicals. After all, Islamic radicals are doing what they're doing in the name of Islam. We're not the ones saying that Islam demands murdering infidels; they are. And until moderate Muslims speak up and declare (1) that the radicals are desecrating the name of Islam, and (2) that terrorism isn't just a bad idea tactically (which is the condemnation that we usually hear) because it will cause a backlash, but that it's evil, they (the silent moderates) are simply yielding their religion to the radicals.

And another thing, Hitler (from what I've read) never condemned Jews for their religious beliefs, either. He condemned Jews for being a pernicious influence on the German culture, for supporting socialism, and for being vermin that should be exterminated, but I don't think he ever knocked us for our dietary laws or for our rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. I may be wrong. If you know of such material, give me a link. In any case, nothing on this blog reads anything like Nazi propaganda, especially since we don't advocate exterminating any group of people. If you want to read something that reads like Nazi propaganda, check out The Middle East Media Research Institute. They translate Arab TV broadcasts and print publications (usually state-sponsored) to English (and other languages) and thereby expose the actual propaganda that Arabs are being fed about Americans, Jews and Christians.

"I whole heartedly agree that terrorism is shitty way to bring about change"

Hmmm… Seems like an understatement.

"Fundamentalists of ANY kind are very scary."

Oh, come now. Hard core Mormons don't frighten me. The most preoccupied and serious Lutheran doesn't bother me at all. A typical gun-owning born-again Christian wishes me no harm. I may have many disagreements with my fellow Orthodox Jews (and I've criticized the anti-disengagement crowd on this blog), and many of them scare me with their choice of dress, but they're not going to blow up civilians. The only scary fundamentalists are Muslim fundamentalists (NOT all Muslims). Let that sink in. Then we can move forward.
Unfortunately, terrorism is a pretty good way to bring change - well, effective, anyway. Viz: Tibetans very, very oppressed, don't resort to terrorism, all they get is a lousy bumper sticker. Palestinians (first basic Stalinist facism, then sprinkled with a bit of Muslim fundamentalism) hit the ground running with terror, get front-page coverage for decades, secure a cool 3 bil from G8.

I'm anti-disengagement pretty much for that reason - rewards terrorism.

Oh, yeah, and now that you know that a.) Dr. Bean is the coffeehouse's resident humble and courteous contributor and b.) I'm not Dr. Bean: Get bent, Danny.
Ralphie's right:

Terrorism is very effective.

The only way to fight it is not to give in to it.
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