Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Terrible Reminder that We Truly Are at War

I find it hard to write about anything other than the terrible terrorist attacks in London. Everything seems to pale in the glare of the horrific images coming from Britain.

The bloodlust of these terrorists is staggering. They kill without regard, without remorse. They kill men, women, children. They kill because they can and because (and this is the horrifying part) they believe they are righteous. We are not in a war on terror. We are in a war on Muslim extremists. Terrorism is just their tactic.

And terrorism is hard to stop. London is the most watched large city in the world. There are 1.5 million closed circuit cameras watching London streets and Tube system. And the British intelligence service is excellent. But they couldn’t predict or stop these attacks.

Strong security and robust intelligence work is essential in preventing the murderous acts of these Muslim extremists. But they can only prevent specific acts and, even then, they cannot prevent all attacks. Stopping the threat of Muslim extremism will take more than security, more than intelligence. We have to continue to confront the ideology itself. We have to end the conditions that breed such unbridled hate.

Whether through military action, or aid to Middle-Eastern pro-democracy groups or working with the millions of peaceful Muslims to turn in the extremists in their midst, we must stay active. We must change them and not allow them to change us.

The attacks today are another terrible reminder that we really are at war. Not just we Americans, but all those who promote and practice values contrary to the dark aims of Islamic fundamentalism There are even reports that Iraqi al Qaeda have killed Egypt’s top envoy to Iraq as punishment for Egypt’s peace with Israel.

We should not think the Muslim extremists can be mollified. They can only be confronted.


At 1:24 PM, Blogger SteveR said...

A good post. I agree with everything you wrote except for the term, "Islamic fundamentalism."

This is a general problem I have - the term is widely used in the media, but I think it is misleading.

"Islamic fundamentalism" to me means adherence to a strict worldview of traditional Islam. There are lots of "Islamic fundamentalists" all over the world who would never dream of killing anyone.

The cultural and geographic source of the international terrorism we have suffered with over the last 3-plus decades is very clear: it is centered within a few hundred miles of the Arabian Penninsula, and it is an *Arab*, rather than a "*Islamic* fundamentalist" problem. Even Iraqis, when they refer to those who now perpetrate terror upon them, refer to "the Arabs." Certainly this is the case among Afghanis.

We need to come up with another term to describe the scourge we are facing. Something that expresses the nexus of oppressive-governments-with-money-and-weapons and nihilistic terrorists in that region.

My first crack at this was "post-Nasser-Arabofascism" but that's not very catchy.

Anyone have any good ideas?

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


you are correct that a more specifc name is needed. Islamic Fascists is close. Islamic Fundamentalism, while accurate, is too broad because, as you rigthly point out, someone can be fundamentalist without being violent.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...


I'm not all that sure anyone could have stopped today's attacks. Some witnesses claim the bomb exploded on the double-decker was actually on a suicide bomber. If he had the explosives hidden under a jacket . . . you know no one expects someone to hop on a bus and go boom. These "Violent Islamic Fundamentalists" are very adept at mass murder, and since 9/11, should have stayed our primary targets.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger skidd said...

Have you guys read the Qur'an, the Hadiths and the Suras? These the texts that Islam is composed of. If you are familiar with them, you will realise that you no longer have a problem with your terminology.

There is just one Islam as described in these texts. And all muslims use the same texts. Good muslims do what the Qur'an commands, namely, kill non-muslims till the whole planet becomes Islamic.

That is the edict, and the agenda. These killers should simply be called what they are: muslims.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

skidd (interesting name), you truly believe these extremists and as I like refer to them as "Islamic literalists" reflect the term Muslim?

You must understand the holy book of Islam has many interpretations and the literal one they take is clearly the misguided approach of the few, not the majority. It's oversimplications like yours that are truly dangerous.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

James, I couldn't have said it better. The religion of the Muslim terrorists is not the Islam practiced by the vast majority of Muslims. Comparing the beliefs of fascists like al Qaeda to Islam is like comparing the KKK to Christianity. Any religious text can get purposefully misinterpretted and exploited for terrible ends.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IRA may have been the criminals behund this assault on the UK ..when can we expect an attck on catholics and their religion

At 1:05 AM, Blogger Sean said...

I will feel a lot better when i see "muslims" defending their faith against the terrorists. Right now, i see non-muslims debating this issue. when will they take to the strret and demand that these people stop desecrating their religion?
Until then, i will withhold a final judgement on Islam. Action speak louder than words.

How do we keep these terrorists our primary target? expplain that.
chasing Osama through mountains would have stopped what happened in London??

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Sean said...

maybe if the US had not engaged in helping with the Tsunami, we could have devoted those resources to attacking the terrorists.
Maybe if the UK had not spent over $52 billion fighting global warming, they could have focused on the real enemy.

Just pointing out how your logic can lead to some very odd conclusions.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Adm. Happy Horatio Hornhonker said...

Hello sean:

Maybe if you call a chicken a turkey it'll make it Thanksgiving . . .

Now onto my point:

While out cruising the world last night . . . . Here's a few messages after the London bombings.... Note the wide spread in viewpoints.

Now let's get down to business. Either you're with us or you're against us. All muslims shall convert to a non-lethal theology or they will be killed. How's that?
--pajamazon, LittleGreenFootballs poster


The use of violence to achieve aims is condemned...
--Hamid Reza Asefi, Iranian Foreign Ministry


The world now looks to the citizens of Britain to show them how truly brave people deal with the adversities of war, and I pray they do not fail in that crucial task.

In the words of the greatest writer to ever hold a pen, "cry HAVOC, and let slip the dogs of war, so that this terrible action will smell above the earth, with rotting corpses, begging to be buried." William Shakespeare understood that meting out justice is often a bloody affair, and his words should serve to remind us of that fact and spur us on as we contemplate the actions we'll need to take in the future.

--Edward L. Daley, Opinion Editorials


These crimes are not accepted by any religion. It is a barbarism wholly rejected by Islam...
--Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite Muslim scholar


subhumans, first time on 2 feet

round em all up, every friggin' last one of them

unfortunately, I still think it will take even more violence from the Arabs before the West wakes up and goes savage on em...

--sadhu, LGF poster


Targeting civilians in their transport means and lives is denounced and rejected...
--Moussa Abu Marzouk, Deputy Chief, Hamas


... Every Muslim is the problem so how are they going to fix the problem? When we realize who our enemies are and quit being afraid of collateral damage we may be able to do the job. When the MSM quits pandering to the terrorist we may have a chance. MOAB them all into submission and to hell with these "human rights" groups.
--tobyhill, Free Republic Poster


We condemn with the strongest possible terms these explosions, and convey our sincere condolences to the British people and government.
--Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Authority negotiator


Its time for the President and PM Blair to come to the realisation that its time to save American and British lives and return our troops to their homes.


--leagalbgl, LGF poster

Those responsible for London attacks are criminals who do not represent Islam or even truly understand (its message)...
--Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi, powerful Sunni cleric

My vote for new metaphor:

: : : Murderous Criminals

At 2:34 AM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Sean, (sorry I don't know your last name so I can't be as rude as you)

Aren't you trying to over simplify things? I believe you knew very well what I was suggesting and you went out of your way to twist my point. Our invasion and occupation of Iraq was wrong. Now that we're there, by all means, let's clean up our mess, but that was part of what I meant by my statement and you knew it!

No, I don't think chasing bin Laden into the mountains would have stopped what happened in London, any more than I believe what we're doing in Iraq will keep terrorist away from London or New York or Washington.

My point is our first and primary target after 9/11 should be the ones responsible. Unlike your "fearless leader" some of us are still concerned about bin Laden and the men behind September 11, 2001.

At 2:40 AM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Incidently Sean,

Not that you care, but the term primary was used in my post. I'm not sure how you define the word primary, but in my world that leaves open other secondary objectives as well.

And have a nice day!


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