One of the most disturbing developments in recent days was the British government's response to the terror acts perpetrated in London and Glasgow. On the one hand there was considerable chest-beating regarding the rapid apprehension of the jihadis coupled with extravagant praise for the nationwide surveillance system installed by the Blair administration -- celebrations that were perhaps unjustified considering that the London bombs failed to explode and the police were able to secure the cell phones that were supposed to ignite them and along with the phones, contact numbers for the members of the cabal. With that information in hand it was an easy thing to round the terrorists up, surveillance system or not.
All that silliness can be attributed to standard partisan and bureaucratic credit-grabbing, but there was a much more dark and dangerous response.
The new PM, Gordon Brown, has banned his ministers from using the term "Muslim" in relation to the terror crisis and has also forbid them from using the term "war on terror." What is even worse Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, in what I assume she thought to be strong language, said
“Let us be clear – terrorists are criminals, whose victims come from all walks of life, communities and religions. Terrorists attack the values shared by all law-abiding citizens. As a Government, as communities, as individuals, we need to ensure that the message of the terrorists is rejected.”Read it here.
One thing is clear..., crystal. That is the Blair ministry considers terrorism to be a mere criminal matter, to be dealt with through the domestic instruments of justice, the police and courts, and not through international military action.
I was going to write an extended piece on why this course of action is both irresponsible and dangerous, but James Lileks beat me to it, and he expresses himself so much better than I ever could that I will simply include a few quotes from his piece and refer you to the whole thing here.
Go ahead, read the whole thing.
[Things like the Doctors Plot] can always be explained away, run through that perversely creative Justify-O-Matic that blames radical murderous doctors on the overthrow of Saddam – as if a terror campaign waged by Iran would make doctors at the Mayo Clinic lay down their scalpels and set off nailbombs in an Iranian community in LA.
I’ve gotten to the point where I imagine, almost simultaneous with the event, what the reaction will be among those who find evidence of terrorism both maddeningly inconvenient and perversely heartening – they must downplay the event lest the dark gang of warmongers use the crime to terrify the bedwetters – you know, all those people who believe in the bogeyman of global jihad - but at the same time, the attacks prove that we’ve not only failed to stop “terrorism,” we have made it worse by, well, trying to stop terrorism. Oh, it can be stopped, if the proper postures are assumed, but on we go with our chests out and our manhood in our hand, looking for fights. As Hitchens put it in this recent piece, there are many who can’t quite get on board with the whole anti-caliphate gig, since the people running the show are probably motivated by racism. Even if it’s true, it’s like saying the people who wanted to fight Hitler did so because they couldn’t stand German opera.....
It’s one thing to want a better world; it’s another to hope to will it into being by believing in docile sugared fictions about the nature of man and the equality of cultures. (Note: not the equality of humans, but the equality of human cultures. Oddly enough, you’ll often find that the people who cling fiercely to the notion that any attempt to judge a culture is a sign of Western Perfidy are the most likely to believe in, well, Western Perfidy.)
And the eminently sensible Melanie Phillips notes that many Britons, irrevocably wedded to obsolete Marxist categories of analysis, are "Shocked! Shocked!" to find that the terror plotters were well-educated, affluent professionals. She writes:
If we don’t understand, even now, that what we are facing is a religious war, a jihad against the unbeliever and backsliding Muslims across the world we cannot possibly hope to defend ourselves against it. Yet while former Islamist extremists such as Hassan Butt and Ed Husain are urgently telling us the truth, Gordon Brown’s new administration is shutting its ears and embarking on a suicidally stupid and cowardly strategy. Astoundingly, it has decided to deny the religious element of this jihad altogether, to redefine Islamic terrorism as mere criminality and to ban all terms that call this horror by its proper name.
This is a disastrous beginning to Brown’s premiership. The terrorism we face is a jihad carried out in the name of Islam, mandated by the principal religious authorities in the world of Islam and drawing on theological concepts in Islam. That doesn’t mean all Muslims go along with it; many do not, and many are indeed its victims. But to deny that it is a war which draws its authority from Islamic precepts is to deny the truth.
Gordon Brown has talked about the need to ‘win hearts and minds’ in the community we cannot now name, just as the west did during the Cold War. Clearly, if Mr Brown had been in charge during the Cold War, we’d have lost it. For it is now plain that to him, winning the hearts and minds of British Muslims means endorsing and regurgitating their own false claim that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and suppressing the truth that what we are up against is religious fanaticism and a holy war in the name of Islam against the infidel west.
This is the way we lose that war. Britain’s friends and allies in the free world should be appalled.
Read her whole piece here.