Breeding or Bleeding More Terrorists?
My answer is quite simply "no". Terrorism is a cancer upon the world. If we went on treating it like we did throughout the 90's, it would metasticize further in peaceful allowance, bubbling beneath the surface. We have forced the war out into the open; but the war was always being waged. It was always there. Before 9/11, we just refused to acknowledge it. But Osama bin Laden had declared war on us back in 1998. And it took a spectacular event like 9/11 to shake us from our malaise. It is he, who deemed America to be a "paper tiger" due to our weak response to previous attacks on embassies overseas, the bombing of the USS Cole, the 1st WTC bombing, our exit from Somalia, who has underestimated America and this current Administration. It is al-Qaeda who has stirred the hornet's nest, and now 2/3rds of their leadership is killed or captured, because of THEIR actions against us. Not the other way around. This war is costly, but it is costing the Islamic terrorists far more.
After the London city bombings, I asked how long it would take before the navel-gazers and hand-wringers would start blaming ourselves for the attack; and how long before they'd start pointing fingers at President Bush and Prime Minister Blair and our presence in Iraq? Well, the answer was, not long.
We were not even in Iraq nor Afghanistan when the events of 9/11 occurred. Furthermore, it would appear that America wasn't the only country that was to be targeted on 9/11. Russia was opposed to the Iraq War, yet suffered the Beslan school massacre; Spain appeared to cave as the pro-war party was voted out of office in the wake of the Madrid bombings; yet they still were threatened with further terrorist attacks. A show of weakness only emboldens more victimization at the hands of such killers.
As Oliver Roy points out in the New York Times,
In justifying its terrorist attacks by referring to Iraq, Al Qaeda is looking for popularity or at least legitimacy among Muslims. But many of the terrorist group's statements, actions and non-actions indicate that this is largely propaganda, and that Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are hardly the motivating factors behind its global jihad.
Victor Davis Hanson offers even more erudite observations:
Thousands of innocent civilians such as van Gogh have been murdered by Islamic extremists — in Darfur, Gaza, India, Israel, Lebanon, London, Madrid, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States. The carnage gives credence to the adage that while the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, the vast majority of global terrorists most certainly are Muslims.
The killers always allege particular gripes — Australian troops in Iraq, Christian proselytizing, Hindu intolerance, occupation of the West Bank, theft of Arab petroleum, the Jews, attacks on the Taliban, the 15th-century reconquest of Spain, and, of course, the Crusades.
But in most cases — from Mohamed Atta, who crashed into the World Trade Center, to Ahmed Sheik, the former London School of Economics student who planned the beheading of Daniel Pearl, to Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, the suspected American-educated bomb-maker in London — the common bond is not poverty, a lack of education or legitimate grievance. Instead it is blind hatred instilled by militant Islam.
As Christopher Hitchens put it on MSNBC in an exchange with Ron Reagan, the root cause of terrorism, is not in fighting terrorism. And Hugh Hewitt clarifies this:
Hitchens's point, which must be made again and again, is Blair's point: The killers are killers because they want to kill, not because the coalition invaded Iraq, or Afghanistan, or because there are bases in Saudi Arabia, or because Israel will not retreat to the 1967 borders.
Until and unless the left gets this point, and abandons the idea that "breeding" of terrorists is something the West triggers, they cannot be trusted with the conduct of the war.
Hugh Hewitt's changed his weblog layout, so many of the permalinks I had may not work; but the following was reported on July 21st:
"Can I remind you?"
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, responding to a twit reporter's question of whether the invasion of Iraq has made London a target for terrorists:
"The first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it has given the game away, to use the venacular, and no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen. Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq? And can I remind you that the 11th of September occured before the operation in Iraq? Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor? Are people by implication suggesting that we shouldn't have done that? When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan? When Sergio Demillo was murdered in Iraq, a brave man, a distinguished international diplmat, immensely respected for his work in the United Nations, when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that DeMillo had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations adminsitrator in East Timor. Now I don't know the minds of the terrorist. By definition you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts. And the objective facts are as I have cited. The objective fact is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq and indeed all the evidence as distinct from the suppositions suggest to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of the principles of a great world religion, that at its root preaches peace and cooperation, and I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder."
Those who follow the radical, perverse teachings of Islam don't wish to practice the teachings of a peaceful religion; they wish to make the entire world bend to the religion of submission. And any violence on their part isn't because of our presence in Iraq, where the insurgency is responsible for more daily killings of innocent Muslims than we are; it's not because of our liberating Afghanistan from the Taliban; it's not because of the Israeli-Palestine conflict; it wasn't our presence in Saudi Arabia; it's our presence in the world period! The Islamic terrrorists hate everything about us from our freedoms to our social liberalisms. It's not our foreign policy, where we removed the biggest mass murdererer of Muslims in the form of Saddam Hussein; where we intervened to help save Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Kuwait; where our foreign aid to Egypt of $50 billion is no more than the foreign aid Israel receives from us. If it weren't for all these other excuses, we'd be blamed by the "evil-doers" because of what happened centuries ago during the Crusades....the Crusades which was a response to Muslim aggression as the Moors overan a third of the Christian World, putting Christians to the sword.