Thursday, July 07, 2005

Further thought on London Bombings

The knee jerk reaction would suggest that the people of the UK, already skeptical of the War in Iraq (according to polls by the news media), will further resent Blair and the U.S. I think that another response is well merited. And I predict at least a good chance that this could cause a unified European response that even 9/11 failed to elicit.

Only time will tell. Undoubtedly Europe is as angry about this bombing as I am. Surely today's bombing must reveal that the terrorists of today's world cannot be persuaded through world political accords and other placatory measures (read the London Mayor's quote below).

[Update: My colleague above makes a quasi-legitimate point. I think the mayor's quote is a good framing of the issue (though does not state the issue explicitly). Our enemy is elusive, fights un-conventionally, is difficult to identify, and has a short-term goal that we cannot prevent--the obliteration of lives in free societies. The issue is indeed, how to contain this enemy.

No doubt the most powerful nations of the world will win this fight. Clearly terrorists are expendable. Although there may be potential myriads willing to be terrorists, as the U.S. remains, and as terrorists continue to die without making a dent in any real sense to their "mission," this movement will lose steam. But I would prefer that it is much sooner, rather than later. To this end, I believe the War for Iraq may be more than illusory. I think the message is: even in a hostile land, where millions had been programmed their whole lives to hate the U.S., we can invade, we can overthrow your leader (an interantional criminal) and we can fight your terrorists to the point of compliance.

I doubt any of this makes me eligible to run for office anytime soon. ]

The U.S. Patriot Act has been much maligned as 9/11 has become increasingly remote in time. I don't recall stiff opposition to the Patriot Act when ratified [Update: the Act passed 98-1 (Russ Feingold, D-WI as the lone dissent) in the Senate, and 357-66 in the House]. Yet when this happens, the trump card is shown and (I predict) most of the meaningful debate comes to an end.