Predictably, George Galloway, the Member of Parliament who was ousted from
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. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them.
The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or
We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world. We argued, as did the Security Services in this country, that the attacks on
We urge the government to remove people in this country from harms way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of
Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence.
In remarks to Parliament, he added to his list of crimes committed by the West. According to a
Londoners have paid the price for
Naturally, this elicited strong criticism from Tony Blair's cabinet, with minister Adam Ingram colorfully charging
While this would seem obvious enough, University of Michigan Middle East historian Juan Cole disagrees, writing that, Straw seems unaware that according to the September 11 Commission report, al-Qaeda conceived 9/11 in some large part as a punishment on the US for supporting Ariel Sharon's iron fist policies toward the Palestinians. Of course, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States in February 1998, over two years before Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount and nearly three years before Sharon became Prime Minister. Not to mention that Galloway didn't say that yesterday's attacks were in retribution for Western policy in
Australian blogger Arthur Chrenkoff notes that
Ever since 9/11, I have been arguing that the 'war against terror' is immoral and counterproductive. It sanctions the use of state terror - bombing raids, torture, countless civilian deaths in
The real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of
Ah yes. The solution to terrorism is capitulating to the demands of the terrorists. Because, as we all know, nothing stops an undesirable practice faster than rewarding it.
Besides which, as Amir Teheri explains in a Times editorial,
[S]orry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.
Of course, that's only in the long run.
It is, of course, possible, as many in the West love to do, to ignore the strategic goal of the Islamists altogether and focus only on their tactical goals. These goals are well known and include driving the 'Cross-worshippers' (Christian powers) out of the Muslim world, wiping Israel off the map of the Middle East, and replacing the governments of all Muslim countries with truly Islamic regimes like the one created by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran and by the Taleban in Afghanistan.
How to achieve those objectives has been the subject of much debate in Islamist circles throughout the world, including in
Bin Laden's view has been challenged by his supposed No 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who insists that the Islamists should first win the war inside several vulnerable Muslim countries, notably
Quite right. If their history is any guide, though, the Brits will not choose the course of appeasement. They tried that once, quite briefly, and did not like the results.
James H. Joyner, Jr., Ph.D. is a national security analyst and editor in chief of the Outside the Beltway weblog. He is a frequent TCS contributor.