Category Archives: Terrorism

Yet more London

I came across an interesting column in the Times of London, specifically The act of small-time losers by Anatole Kaletsky. Similar in some ways to my earlier thoughts on the matter, different in others. Specifically

In this sense, the most useful analogue for last week’s outrage in London may not be September 11 or even the bombing of Madrid last year, but the worst act of terrorism in postwar Western history before September 11: the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in 1995. Timothy McVeigh, the perpetrator, was, like the London bombers, a small-time loser who felt he was acting out of intense ideological and religious motives. He was a fervent white supremacist and belonged to an extensive network of neo-Nazi fanatics who are generally believed to number many thousands across the US. His commitment to an essentially religious doctrine — that a global Jewish conspiracy, using African-Americans as their subhuman foot-soldiers, was taking over the world and preparing to exterminate or enslave all white Christians — was every bit as sincere as the faith and “piety” of many jihadist terrorists.

It certainly did not occur to anyone after the Oklahoma bombing to apologise for the racial desegregation which had provoked the American neo-Nazis and their ideological antecedents, the Ku Klux Klan. Nobody suggested abolishing affirmative action or banning Jews from public office on the grounds that racial mixing and the prominence of Jews was angering white supremacists and acting as “a recruiting sergeant” for more neo-Nazi terrorists who might copy McVeigh.

Should the political sensitivities and religious aspirations of jihadist killers be treated with any greater respect? The answer is clearly, no.

and

Just as conservative America totally isolated the white supremacists and neo-Nazis after the bombings in Oklahoma, the rational Muslim community in Britain must be forced to reject completely the small minority of Wahhabi fanatics who boast that they “love death”. Only then can there be any hope of restoring respect for human life in the Islamic community and reducing the concept of martyrdom to what it really amounts to: a sad, lonely and utterly futile suicide.

While the entire column is well worth reading I do object to a few points. The final paragraph can easily be taken to mean that white supemacists and neo-Nazis were an integral part of conservatism in America, which hasn’t been true in my lifetime (outside of Mississippi I suppose). The second point is that it ignores the proportions and locations.

The Wahhabi fanatics are part of the Muslim community in Britain, probably a very small percentage. For a round number, call it one percent. Compare that to the percentage of neo-nazis in the white community, where I would imagine it is less than one percent of one percent. Also, from what I’ve read British Muslims are concentrated in cities where the intimidation power of a commited minority is likely to be greater. The likely “conservative white” (to follow Kaletsky’s logic) supporters were more suburban and rural where I would imagine the power of a commited minority is lessened by distance.

Three Things

  1. When all is said and done, I think the London bombers will be more in the mold of the Columbine shooters than the 9-11 attackers, just some maladjusted Muslim losers who are just “too real” for the world.
  2. It will be revealed that Middle Eastern countries are emptying out their prisons into Iraq both as a way to tie up US troops and purge their society of unwanted persons.
  3. On another note, I’m just got back from night photography with Mark as protection, we got some incredible shots, look for a new gallery soon.

Thursday round up

I realize I stole the “rapid-fire” notion from Defense Tech.

  • < $800 Swarmable Robots – this could be the start of something wonderful, especially in agriculture and environmental cleanup. It has Linux, Bluetooth, the works. HT: Make Blog
  • Roomba API – on a similar note this could be an actually workable version of the above. I still need to get a Roomba. Or else resort to vacuuming.
  • The Counter Terrorism Blog – seems fairly interesting.
  • The Aristocrats is coming out soon (HT the Agitator)
  • Neighbors Subdue Man Stabbing Woman on NW Street

    The first neighbor sprinted when he heard the screams of a woman being slashed on his Northwest Washington street. He jumped on a knife-wielding man, and the two fell to the ground, wrestling furiously in a spreading pool of the victim’s blood.

    Soon, a second neighbor joined the fight, followed by three more. The assailant kept slipping from their grip and attacking the woman until they overpowered him and held him for police Tuesday night.

London

I think, when all is said and done, that the body count was low compared to what it could have been (FoxNews now claims that they found two unexploded bombs) Considering it has a population of seven and a half million, the casualties seem thankfully low.

From the Belmont Club

From the amount of damage caused, the explosive devices used appear to have been in the tens, rather than the hundreds of pounds. This is good news. It also means that the enemy has not grown in overall capability since the days of 9/11 and 3/11.

I wonder if the time was selected to coincide with the G-8 meetings, presumably a lot of the British security people would be concerned with that this week.

The winner for weirdness

From an interview with female Palestinian suicide bomber

According to the Koran, male martyrs are welcomed to Paradise by 72 beautiful virgins. Ayat, as with many of the women she is incarcerated with, believes that a woman martyr “will be the chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair”.

From the Telegraph UK.

Second class even in the afterlife.

More waiting while uploading thoughts

From the CNN article Rights group leader says U.S. has secret jails

“The U.S. is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons, into which people are being literally disappeared, held in indefinite, incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families,” Schulz said

No proof was offered on any of these secret prisons, though I would imagine they do exist.

What to draw from this?

  1. AI is fond of misusing the word “archipelago”, which they use to mean “network”, which is not accurate at all.
  2. Thanks to Campaign Finance Reform there is now a permanent agitation industry in MoveOn, Media Matters, and their ideological brethren like AU. If this is the best they can come up with things arent too bad I suppose.
  3. There is at least an attempt to deal with the whole problem humanely, especially since realistically the alternatives are field executions and rendition (personally I think that the problem will be “solved” by deporting all of them to Egypt or Pakistan where foreign governments will dispose of them quietly

David Friedman wrote an article some time back which can shed some light on the matter.

And not that much longer until the Patriot Act expires!

Something missing in the news

Amidst all of the current prisoner coverage, one thing missing is any report of chemical interrogations. The technology certainly exists to create all of the “Stress” (usually cited as the goals in interrogations) chemically instead of physically. I wonder if that’s only being done in special cases.

Worth Reading

Is this article on the practice of rendition in the Weekly Standard. It’s written by a a former CIA officer who argues against it mostly on efficiency grounds.

It’s worth reading all of the article, if only for insight on what a strange topic this is, and how important self image and membership in the group is to some people.. I’m reminded of the old South Park insight of “America is a big enough country to go to war without wanting to“.