Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Some interesting dilemmas.

Australian leftie columnist Philip Adams: "The people who died in the subway tunnels and on the bus were victims of the Iraq war. They died because of Blair's London Bridge, the one he built from the Thames to the Euphrates."

OK, so they're victims, but are they innocent victims?

George Galloway: "No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government."

Two questions: can one condone acts of violence aimed at non-working people, say their capitalist exploiters or their government? In other words, would it be alright if the jihadis targeted a boardroom of a bank or Number 10 Downing Street? Which brings us to the second question: under our system of government we are responsible for the decisions of our governments because we elect them (and in the British case, we re-elect them). At the very least are those who agree with the government's policies and vote for that government are in some way "a party" to the government's decisions?

(John Rosenthal has found another, even more prominent politician, who argues that people have no responsibility.)

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, for all the praise he's been getting for his Churchillian rhetoric, is also ambiguous on this point: "This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion or whatever."

So is a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful alright then? Or one that would indeed discriminate on some basis? For example an attack on a meeting of Labour Friends of Iraq, a left-wing group that supports the "occupation" of Iraq?

Was Michael Moore merely more honest than the Brits when he famously remarked, "This just is not right. They [the victims of 9/11] did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush! Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity."

Not according Dr. Hani Al-Siba'i, Director of London's Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies: "The term 'civilians' does not exist in Islamic religious law... There is no such term as 'civilians' in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al-Harb or not."

(Dar Al-Harb, otherwise known as Dar Al-Jihad, is the domain of war, inhabited by the infidel.)

"In our Islamic rules of war, one can be a 'combatant', a 'non-combatant', or 'protected by an agreement.' A person can be a combatant even if he does not carry a weapon. In other words, a person who came to wash and cook for the American soldiers in order to free them to fight - like the Nepalese - such a person is considered a combatant," says the good doctor.

How representative such views are of Islamic jurisprudence is debatable, but they are quite representative of Al Qaeda's view of the world: people are as guilty as their government if they support the government. And so while the left wishes the terrorists could take out neocons instead of commuters, the terrorists are above such mundane distinctions. After all, that's why they're terrorists and not soldiers.

While Dr. Hani Al-Siba'i is cheering on jihad from London, Al-Arabiya TV Director-General Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed is coming down onto British authorities like a ton of bricks - for giving extremists a sanctuary:
For over 10 years now, I myself and other Arab writers have warned against the dangers of the reckless handling of the extremism that is now spreading like a plague within the British community.

It was never understood why British authorities gave refuge to suspicious characters previously involved in terrorist activities. Why would Britain grant asylum to Arabs who have been convicted of political crimes or religious extremism, or even sentenced to death? Not only were they admitted to this country, but they were also provided with accommodation, a monthly salary, and free legal advice for those who want to prosecute the British government.

The answer, I believe, is what... I call 'blind generosity.' This bizarre reasoning stuns individuals such as students who wish to establish careers abroad and whose [applications for British] citizenship are rejected. These people do not have criminal records like the others [to grant them entry].

Like many other diseases, extremism is a contagious one. A small dose of carriers can spread the infection like wildfire, establishing a community full of destructive thoughts and practices such as the horrific [bombing] in London.

The reason behind this [British] practice is the recklessness of internal British policies since the 1990s. This irresponsibility has been demonstrated by allowing extremists to enter the country - with the result being Thursday's attacks. [These attacks] were a crime that the majority of us anticipated, since leniency like this, and hatred like this, were bound to converge at some point.


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