July 07, 2005

Al Qaeda Hits London

What a horrible thing to wake up to.

LONDON, July 7 - London was struck by a series of four apparently coordinated terrorist explosions in subways and buses during the morning rush hour today, which killed at least 33 people and wounded as many as 1,000 others. The explosions ripped apart several subway trains and at least one double-decker bus and caused officials to close and evacuate the entire subway system.

Witnesses reported seeing dozens of people stumbling out of subway stations in a light rain, coughing, and black with soot. Dozens more were being loaded into ambulances on stretchers and taken to hospitals around the city.

I have never been to England, but it’s where my family and my name are from.

Somehow it's more shocking when it happens in London instead of Baghdad or Jerusalem, but I suppose after all that's happened it shouldn't be.

Regular updates here. (Thanks to Justin Gardner.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 7, 2005 08:39 AM
Comments

Condolences and sympathies to our British friends.

I hope they catch the bastards who committed these atrocities and string them up.

My sister went to school in London for a year or so, and used the tube on many occasions. Scary.

Posted by: TallDave at July 7, 2005 08:44 AM

If anything good can come out of this, maybe it will be the realization that some of the most virulent anti-Western Islamic terrorists are not in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan - they are found in the mosques of Great Britain, France and Germany.

Posted by: vanya at July 7, 2005 08:52 AM

Shocking as always I guess, but only a surprise in that it was today, instead of yesterday or tomorrow. Disgusting creatures that they are.

Islamic Fundamentalism must die wherever it raises its ugly head. Until it does or until it is driven so far outside the 'mainsteam' that 'moderate' Muslims will inform against it, this is going to happen whenever it suits the terrorists to do so.

Not in my backyard ? Not yet .

Posted by: dougf at July 7, 2005 08:56 AM

We were in London for a couple of weeks last October. An enlightening moment came while waiting for a train in Victoria Station: while looking around for a place to throw out a paper coffee cup, we saw absolutely no trash cans. Asked someone who worked there what to do and he said, "Just put it down, someone will get it." Okay, but weird.

An English friend explained later that lack of trash cans was courtesy of the IRA, who would drop bombs in the garbage.

Sad news this morning, indeed.

Posted by: DodgerGirl at July 7, 2005 08:59 AM

Horrific. My sympathy goes out to victims and their families.

As much as I hate to see this, I doubt it will abate anytime soon (unless we run all Muslims out of all western countries). At this point there appear so many enemy ideologies that I'm not sure our clean-up in Iraq is going to affect much.

Currently, it appears to me that we have (at least) three major factions of enemies.

1) The majority of active insurgents appear as pissed off Iraqis. People who agree with them, might see them as heros, people who disagree with them, might see them as terrorists... I would imagine that they're somewhere in-between. I'd guess some percentage of the Iraqi millitary are still fighting the actual war (that we thought we won) from this position.

2) A potent minority of the active groups in Iraq, appear to have jumped on the jihad bandwagon and piggybacked their ideology on Al-Queda. Some of these may have been past Al-Q, many of these seem to be raw, fresh recruits. These people appear very dangerous (as most fanatics seem to be) and mostly not Iraqis.

3) Actual Al-Queda, or rather, sleeper cells hidden all over the western world. If they're properly trained, they're probably developing plans and executing them without any communication to Al-Q. These are, in my opinion, the truly dangerous enemy.

Group 1, would likely calm down if we left their country.

Group 2, would perhaps, try to take over Iraq if we left, or they would return to their home country assuming that they won. Or, perhaps, they would head over to the Western world and create more cells.

Group 3 will probably be a serious thorn in our side, even if we save Iraq, create democracy there and catch Bin Laden.

All in all, as much as this news sucks... we'd better get used to hearing about it. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever evolve beyond this primate predilection for throwing shit at one another.

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 09:03 AM

unless we run all Muslims out of all western countries

Sometimes I wonder if we will ever evolve beyond this primate predilection for throwing shit at one another.

Maybe you should start the evolving with you

Posted by: KateH at July 7, 2005 09:10 AM

KateH,

Maybe you should start the evolving with you

eh? What are you on about?

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 09:14 AM

Sometimes I wonder if we will ever evolve beyond this primate predilection for throwing shit at one another.--tosk

Oh I don't know. If I manage to throw a big enough piece at you or vice versa(just to be fair), the odds are extremely remote that a counter-barrage will be forthcoming. It's really a matter of scale and will, not of inner goodness. Otherwise we would not have to have all those pesky little LAWS that are intended to regulate society and its actions.

Sooner or later this scourge WILL be defeated. The later it is the more likelihood that ALL Muslims get tarred with the same brush, even the moderate ones( yoo-hoo, you know who you are. Everybody raise your hands so we can count.) It has happened before, and it will happen again, given sufficient incentive. It's almost a mathematical calculation at this point. How much "A" has to happen before "B" looks increasingly attractive.

The West didn't get to where it is today by playing nice and bending over backwards to every backwater thug and fanatic.

Wait.

Posted by: dougf at July 7, 2005 09:19 AM

dougf,

No doubt we could overpower most of the Middle East. Hell, we could probably drop a couple tactical nukes and remove large chunks of this particular threat... but then how long before the next one, and the next one and the next one. Muslims and the West have been having the same Stone Age fight for 1000 years. Then, whenver there's a small break, we (humans) have to find someone else to be enemies with, communism, nazism, etc etc foo and fnord!

That's the thing I find most amazing. When we really dig into the meat of 'Why' any particular war happens, it invariably comes down to basic primate behavior... except when religion is involved, then its even less grokable ;-)

As an aside, what do you think of this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4659287.stm

Sounds like letting the fox in the henhouse with an axe, chopping block, hot water, stuffing and a nice spice rub.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 09:27 AM

No...we shouldn't have to get used to it. And, in terms of throwing shit: liberal democrats don't purposely bomb innocent children, numbnuts. There's no moral equivalency in this. Period.

We will get used to it for the time being, out of necessity, but time is on our side. A generation from now, this threat will be crushed: militarily; ideologically; and, yes, most of all, by pro-western Muslim youth. A muscular liberalism will not only survive in every corner of the world, it will thrive.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Posted by: Grant McEntire at July 7, 2005 09:41 AM

Note to readers...

For a contrast between the liberal approach to defending liberal democracy, and the illiberal one...the one in which liberal democracy is abandoned in the name of fear and xenaphobia...see my previous comment and then see Doug's.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at July 7, 2005 09:46 AM

Tosk, that article is pretty weird.

A good sign, though, that the Iraqis aren't being asked to be meatpuppets for U.S. policy. For what its worth, and independent Iraq is my dearest wish. And if they must be hostile to the United States, I'd rather they not be trained by the United States Armed Forces, if you get my drift.

To your points above, I'm sure a number of ex-Ba'athists are in the resistance in Iraq. As far as "honest" combat goes, I can respect that. But considering they seem better at killing Iraqi civilians than real soldiers (as was, of course, the former Iraqi Army), leaving Iraq while they're still under arms seems not only stupid, but immoral.

As to the group of post-mortal virgin seekers in Iraq, I say give them an pre-emptive pass to the heavenly snatch whenever possible. Not much else to do with that kind of idiocy.

And the third group (of an indeterminate size by nature, but suddenly the darling of the anti-war crowd -- hi Olga!), well, we can only hope they don't breed, and become as rare and feared as those who will still admit to being Communists.

Posted by: Mark Poling at July 7, 2005 09:48 AM

Tosk: Then, whenver there's a small break, we (humans) have to find someone else to be enemies with, communism, nazism, etc

Oh, come on Tosk. We didn't "have to find" Nazis and Communists. They found us all on their own, and they were most unwelcome.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 7, 2005 09:49 AM

Sounds like letting the fox in the henhouse with an axe, chopping block, hot water, stuffing and a nice spice rub.--Tosk

LOL .

Boy, you're lucky we crypto-fascists appreciate a sense of humour. Come the Revolution I as a charter member of the VRWC will put in a good word for you --- :-)

As to the Iranians, surprisingly I am of two minds about this. One mind would of course prefer to see a world map where there was a vast blank space just to the east of Iraq, with the world recommencing somewhere in Pakistan( maybe). But since that looks unlikely at the present time, I think this may be a good thing in an odd way. I'm sure that the Iraqis will be monitoring Iranian 'help' for intrusions by Iranian 'security services',and frankly if Iran wants to make trouble they don't need an offical invitation to do so.

If they can assist in securing Iraq as the action of a 'good' neighbour, then I have to give this a reluctant thumbs up. After all they are not the ones blowing themselves up in wholesale lots in the streets of Baghdad ,and killing everything that remotely annoys them. That 'honour' belongs to the wacko Sunni 'moderates'. Shiites don't like Sunnis and it really is in Iran's interests to have a non-hostile and STABLE Iraq next door.

Summing up----- crossing my fingers and toes,I give this a cautious thumbs-up .

ps--- I wasn't referring to 'tactical' nukes when I said sufficiently LARGE. If worst absolutely comes to worst,I prefer Carthage to the 1000 years war as an example. I told you previously you might not care for my conclusions based upon your previous posts. War is a Lombardi situation.

Posted by: dougf at July 7, 2005 09:50 AM

MJT,

Sorry if I was unclear. I meant overall as a race, we humans continue to find conflict. Obviously we didn't go hunt down poor innocent aldoph and hurt him for fun and profit. However, mosbunall of Aldoph's motives were pretty damn close to basic primate behavior. Etc.

Until humans overall take themselves less seriously, this fuckup will just go on and on until someone pulls a big fuckup and everyone suffers.

Ya know, for being a minority species on this planet... we sure are doing a lot of damage. ;-)

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 09:57 AM

Let the Liberal handwringing begin.

Brits have proven themselves some of the toughest most resilient people the world has ever produced. But I wonder if even they have not been corrupted by the Leftism that has descended over the West like a malodorous cloud.

Has it sapped your will to fight? Will you now try to "understand" your enemy? We shall find out in the next few days if you're any better than the Spaniards.

Posted by: spaniard at July 7, 2005 10:00 AM

For a contrast between the liberal approach to defending liberal democracy, and the illiberal one...the one in which liberal democracy is abandoned in the name of fear and xenaphobia...see my previous comment and then see Doug's--GM

I essentially describe what is LIKELY to happen if this continues. You demonstrate what you want to happen,and seem to believe that wishing will make it so.

History will decide. It always has. I may not particularly like a non-nuanced approach, but I don't shy away from pointing out how events USUALLY evolve.

At a certain point events take on a life of their own. The object is to prevent that from happening by doing the things today that will alter how reality unfolds.

Continuing to make excuses for the relative failure of Islamic Thought to combat the Fundamentalist strains is just not going to get the job done. The status quo leads to a BAD result. The status quo must change.

Posted by: dougf at July 7, 2005 10:03 AM

Our thoughts are with our British friends.

It's time for the U.S. media and public to face the truth: Bush has no winning plan in the war on terror. Instead of putting meaningful pressure on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia its totalitarian allies and finishing the work in Afghanistan, and creating goodwill among muslims worldwide who see Islamic fundamentalism as a threat, he has given a boost to Al-Q by invading Iraq, kowtowing to American nationalist sentiment and putting oil and israeli interests ahead of global security concerns. And now, as predicted by many, Iraq is becoming Afghanistan - a cesspool of lawlessness that attracts hundreds of eager, newly minted jihadists. Are we better off than in 2002 when Al-Q was widely discredited in the muslim world and on the ropes in Afghanistan?

Posted by: Blaster at July 7, 2005 10:03 AM

dougf,

I don't disagree that Carthage is a damn sight better than the 100 Years War. I also don't disagree that if we're commiting troops... we should commit completely quickly and decisively.

I'm just not sure that such a tactic will actually stop Al-Q (though it may calm things in Iraq).

I dunno about a thumbs up for Iran. If a Shiite Iranian government and a Shiite Iraqi government are sitting close and cuddly... and cross training troops... well, I thought Iran was ummm sorta anti-american.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 10:03 AM

Oh, come on Tosk. We didn't "have to find" Nazis and Communists. They found us all on their own, and they were most unwelcome.

Tosk embodies the spirit of Leftism that now permeates the West. It is the spirit of suicide.

Posted by: spaniard at July 7, 2005 10:07 AM

Bravo spaniard, your wit and intelligence stuns us all. I am in awe.

Awwwwww

(like that)

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at July 7, 2005 10:13 AM

About Brits:

As we spoke, he said that he'd just seen his house on the TV, from an aerial view. I think he said that he lives near one of the stations hit. He laughs about being worried.
He also said he's going to keep taking the tube, and living in London, and he's not going to worry about it. He's chosen to live his life where he's at, and he's not going to let terrorism get in the way.
James is one of the reasons I'm pretty sure the Islamofascists won't win; all the purple fingers in Iraq, the Cedar Revolution, the tentative steps that even the feudal states in the Mid-East are making towards reconciliation with the West are others.

Kuwait is peaceful; London, not so much

Posted by: Mark Poling at July 7, 2005 10:19 AM

My prayers go out to our British friends. These cowardly terrorists need to be confronted, and we should never forget what's at stake. I've always wanted to go to England, but I've gotten around to it. England will endure.

Posted by: Rafique Tucker at July 7, 2005 10:19 AM

Tosk,

LMAO! the wit I leave to you. But it's not often something gets under your skin. Sorry bout that, nothing personal. My target was the Left, which you merely happen to embody.

Posted by: spaniard at July 7, 2005 10:38 AM

I think it's vital to remember that the war on terrorism is a war on ignorance and oppression, not Islam. No one does this kind of thing without being seriously disconnected from reality. The bases for this kind of radlcalist brainwashing can only exist under conditions of oppression, where they are not drowned out by the rational majority in free discourse, which is why all these suicide bomber ideologies issue from unfree Saudi Arabia and other areas like it.

Posted by: TallDave at July 7, 2005 10:39 AM

well, I thought Iran was ummm sorta anti-american

The government, not the people. In fact, the people believe 3:1 that America being in the region improves their chances at real democratic reform.

It's much more likely Iraq's democratic dream will infect Iran than Iran's theocratic nightmare will infect Iraq.

Posted by: TallDave at July 7, 2005 10:43 AM

It will be very interesting to see what happens when the hundreds of thousands of Iranian Shia pilgrims have spent a few years traveling to free Iraq and bringing back stories of life with a free press, real democracy, and no secret police.

Posted by: TallDave at July 7, 2005 10:46 AM

Blaster,
this is exactly what the terrorist want: they want the collapse of the UK and US support of the WOT not only on Iraq but also in Afghanistan. What do you think they will do if or when we will go? Or do you care? does the phrase "killing fields" come to mind?
OTOH is this what they want, since the voting for the Prime Minister was in May and the G-8 summit is now. And you seem to forget about Blair -- it's his country, therefore his responsibility.

Posted by: Rachel at July 7, 2005 10:52 AM

all these suicide bomber ideologies issue from unfree Saudi Arabia and other areas like it

Well no, actually. The money mostly comes from Saudi Arabia. But most of the ideological energy behind Islamic terrorism comes from educated Muslims who live in or have spent time in the West and are so humiliated by the gap between the West's material success and the Islamic world's poverty and technological backwardness that they look for radical solutions to restore the balance they believe should exist. Bin Laden is one of those people. The rationale behind building a democratic prosperous Iraq is to show that the Islamic world can join modernity and that it is not the West that is holding the Islamic world back.

Posted by: vanya at July 7, 2005 11:20 AM

Hitchens already has a good post up at Slate. It seems clear that one of the main rationales behind this bombing is to drive a wedge between British Muslims and non-Muslims. This is no accident - the terrorists greatest fear has to be the emergence of a thriving cosmopolitan, prosperous, Western-oriented Muslim community in Europe. This development would be as devastating to the goals of Islamic separatists as a democratic Iraq. The Islamists need to keep their fellow Muslims in France and England isolated, underemployed and resentful in order to supply future recruits for the cause.

Posted by: vanya at July 7, 2005 11:51 AM

vanya states that most of the ideological energy behind Islamic terrorism comes from educated Muslims who live in or have spent time in the West...

I think it's possible that much of the heat of hatred generated is psychosexual and has little to do with economic comparisons. Look at the obsession with the control of women's bodies and with pornography.

30,000 men filled a stadium in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to watch a woman be whipped. 60% of all internet use in Pakistan is spent viewing pornography.

What they hate is how men over here allow our women to run wild.

Posted by: Todd Grimson at July 7, 2005 12:03 PM

"It's much more likely Iraq's democratic dream will infect Iran than Iran's theocratic nightmare will infect Iraq."

Well, that would be nice.
However,,,,

http://nytimes.com/2005/07/07/international/middleeast/07shiites.html

Posted by: Karl Jr. at July 7, 2005 12:11 PM

"What they hate is how men over here allow our women to run wild."

You didn't have a smiley at the end of this comment Todd. Did you intend it as dry humor or somehow miss the humor.

As if men in the west 'allow' women to do anything. They jumped the fence long ago.

Posted by: Jim R at July 7, 2005 03:15 PM

Vanya: "But most of the ideological energy behind Islamic terrorism comes from educated Muslims who live in or have spent time in the West and are so humiliated by the gap between the West's material success and the Islamic world's poverty and technological backwardness that they look for radical solutions to restore the balance they believe should exist."

Not buying it Vanya. Yes, without a doubt it is educated Muslims exposed to the west who arguably present the greatest threat (and from my brief readings on the subject, we in the US have a fairly open Visa policy to Muslims from Europe, something we need to reconsider). And yes, the whole shame/humiliation theme is central, but these folks aren't brain-dead. If they actually cared about the "West's material success and the Islamic world's poverty and technological backwardness" they would be cooperating with our efforts in Iraq. Obviously Iraq could be a technological and materialistic powerhouse in the ME with it's oil wealth and the vast amounts of money we're pouring in. Yet they're doing everything they can to destroy any hope for technological progress and material prosperity in Iraq. How do you explain that?

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 04:15 PM

Todd: "What they hate is how men over here allow our women to run wild."

Oh hell yeah! Women are absolutely central to the whole psycho-politico-religious ideology of Islam. Frontpagemag has had several symposiums on the subject and any google search on the subject would uncover stuff that would have advanced psychoanalytic students pulling out their hair. There's some very weird sexual shit going on in the Muslim world. Incest is rampant. Homosexual pedophilia is rampant. Women covered in bags, honor killings, stoning for adultery. Now AIDS is making inroads but the sexual repression is so severe that they are in major denial. But then ironically, sheer sexual license is built right into the whole ideology with polygamy and temporary marriages and so on - for the males, alone obviously. FPM had a symposium in which they revealed that one technique for interrogating terror suspects in the ME is to force the suspect's mother to strip nude in front of the suspect. Okey dokey. I also read somewhere recently that Las Vegas is a prime target for an al Queda nuke. That kinda makes sense. Anyway - yes - Todd is correct. I think women's sexuality is a bigger factor vis a vis Muslim males "shame" than is the west's material success. Maybe the next time Bush says "They hate our freedom" he should specify, "They hate our women's freedom".

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 04:35 PM

It would be so encouraging to see the large Muslim community in England, where the English have have opened their arms to them, to take to the streets in numbers in a large protest against the wanton killing of their fellow countrymen by the extremists in their religion.

But alas, they will stay indoors as their leaders suggest, in case they are singled out for potential verbal abuse by others.

Why take 'any' risk from others, especially their own extremists, eh?

Posted by: Jim R at July 7, 2005 04:36 PM

Sorry Jim R. Ain't gonna happen cause UBL and Zarqawi and their ilk - the "extemists" - are "good Muslims". When is the west gonna figure that out?

"But alas, they will stay indoors as their leaders suggest, in case they are singled out for potential verbal abuse by others."

Who are the "others" that you refer to? Westerners? Why would westerners single out Muslims condemning these atrocities? Of course they wouldn't. Or does "Others" refer to fellow Muslims? If the extremists are a tiny minority, why would the vast majority of Muslims worry about verbal abuse at the hands of this tiny minority? Doesn't make sense frankly.

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 05:02 PM

If the extremists are a tiny minority, why would the vast majority of Muslims worry about verbal abuse at the hands of this tiny minority? Doesn't make sense frankly.---Caroline

I have more or less come over to this side of the fence lately. 'Moderate' seems a poor choice of words to describe Islamic thinking of any sort. Increasingly it appears that 'devout Muslim' could as well be translated as 'fundamentalist Muslim'. Pity.

ps-- I sort of resent it that a mere woman arrived at this belief before I. Does not seem proper somehow.

Posted by: dougf at July 7, 2005 05:28 PM

Dougf: "ps-- I sort of resent it that a mere woman arrived at this belief before I"

Dougf - you're funny :-). But anyone in the west would have to be literally blind not to realize that western women have the most to lose with the encroachment of Islam into the west, so it makes alot of sense that female alarm bells would ring first (don't ask me about so-called western feminists cause I can't figure out what the hell is going on with them!) Anyway, from my readings on what is happening in Sweden and France e.g. - gang rapes of infidel women are quite on the rise and so far the response of the Swedish authorities is to imply somthing along the lines of "We're living in a multicultural society now. Western women need to recognize that and dress accordingly". Wow - that's a slippery slope!

But - it has recently occured to me - if there are about 1.2 billion Muslims - what is the number of Muslim males ONLY once one subtracts out the females and the children? And out of the remaining males, what is the percentage of devout Muslims? It strikes me that the number to be feared is a whole lot smaller once you remove the females, the children (what is that - a 5:1 ratio to adults at minimum?) and the "moderates". But re that leftover, misogynistic, adult male bunch?
Probably not that big! So we need to seriously figure out their psychology and the role that women obviously play in it. We women aren't to be feared. I'm sure of that. :-) Now, how do we convince them? What, for example, led western men to stop fearing and trying to control women? Was this a painful transition or something? :-)

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 06:17 PM

What they hate is how men over here allow our women to run wild.

These are "our" women, being "allowed" to run wild. They've already killed many Islamists. May they kill many more.

Posted by: mary at July 7, 2005 06:39 PM

I don't know Mary - those Islamist women can run pretty wild too sometimes! :-)

Strange Iranian female police cadets!

But I've noticed, among those trying to come to terms with the resurgence of Islamic fundementalism, and who want to assiduously avoid any link with Islam itself, that they often refer to Sayyid Qutb, who spent some years in the west, and is credited with sparking the Islamic fundamentalist revival. However, every reference I've seen to the man indicates that he was totally repulsed (if not somewhat fixated on) western women's sexuality. E.G.:

Sayyid Qutb's America

"When it came to culture, Qutb denounced the primitive jazz music and loud clothing, the obsession with body image and perfection, and the bald sexuality. The American female was naturally a temptress, acting her part in a sexual system Qutb described as "biological":

"The American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs -- and she shows all this and does not hide it."

Even an innocent dance in a church basement is proof of animalistic American sexuality:

"They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire..."

To Qutb, women were vixens, and men were sports-obsessed brutes: "This primitiveness can be seen in the spectacle of the fans as they follow a game of football... or watch boxing matches or bloody, monstrous wrestling matches... This spectacle leaves no room for doubt as to the primitiveness of the feelings of those who are enamored with muscular strength and desire it."

Egyptian political scientist Mamoun Fandy tells Siegel that Qutb's critique of America was in many ways a critique of Egyptian society. "Fandy says Qutb was warning Egyptians of the West, of modernity, of things they were very attracted to," Siegel says. As for Qutb's revulsion over American sexuality, Fandy says there is no evidence that Qutb ever had a sexual relationship in his life."

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 06:58 PM

Condolences to the British. May those who did this horrible thing have an eternity of suffering.

"Moderate" Muslims need to understand that at the end of the day, Muslims will suffer more than the West if this sort of thing keeps happening. Soon enough they will make the West angry, and when they do, many Muslims will die. This isn't a hope, it's history. When the West is stirred to action, we engage in total war. Total war means that we don't get too concerned about "collateral" damage.

I want to prevent this from happening. IMHO, the only way to do so is to bring the Muslim world back from the precipice by introducing liberal democracy as soon as possible. That's why victory in Iraq is essential. That's why the Iraq War is part of the larger WoT. That's why the stakes are so high.

Posted by: Ben at July 7, 2005 07:25 PM

Ben: "May those who did this horrible thing have an eternity of suffering."

Oh my. I don't think I would wish an eternity of suffering on any human being, even someone who slowly chopped people into little pieces. Eternity is just a little too long.

Which reminds me that last night I was reading on the web about "NDE"'s - near death experiences. I had to sort through a lot of "faux" NDE's and focus only on those who had clinical evidence of death - hearts stopped and such. Very interesting common themes - the "life review", the "tunnel", the "light", the "love". Those who committed suicide appeared to have a rough go of things. But one of the things I thought was most interesting was the number of folks who were "told" to go back because they hadn't yet fulfilled their purpose. These folks didn't know what their purpose was supposed to be but the point was apparently - there is one - you don't need to know what it is - you'll know it when it happens. It made me think of all those 9/11 firemen who ran into the WTC towers and died. Or people who have impulsively dived into raging waters and rescued someone, only to drown themselves. It made me feel good to read about it. I just hope it's not some natural psycho-physical process the brain goes through while its shutting down.

Posted by: Caroline at July 7, 2005 07:52 PM

Egyptian political scientist Mamoun Fandy tells Siegel that Qutb's critique of America was in many ways a critique of Egyptian society. "Fandy says Qutb was warning Egyptians of the West, of modernity, of things they were very attracted to," Siegel says. As for Qutb's revulsion over American sexuality, Fandy says there is no evidence that Qutb ever had a sexual relationship in his life."

My Arabic teacher, a Muslim from Egypt, says that Egyptian society has become a LOT more conservative in recent years. This is probably due to the influence of Qtub and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Every society has loons like Qtub, or Hitler, Le Pen, Stalin, or others of that ilk. In a healthy society, they wind up in halfway houses or in jail. In an unhealthy society that fears change, they influence millions.

Posted by: mary at July 7, 2005 08:01 PM

"What, for example, led western men to stop fearing and trying to control women? Was this a painful transition or something?"

They sexually whipped....uh, deprived us. Yes, it was very painful.

Posted by: Jim R at July 7, 2005 08:12 PM

Funny how time and time again the right (i'm afraid your reactionary comments betray you) attack the left but never want to talk about the facts.

Never want to talk about the unreleased pictures and videos of torture and abuse in US controlled prisons.(imagine what wasn't filmed.

Never want to talk abot the US support of these Regiemes. So you guys think its apt that the guys who worked with Saddam Hussain are now the ones who can judge him and authorise mass civilian casulties in the name of overthrowing him? This is the most orwellian of all situations. No right thinking person could support these players in this action. Its indefensible.

Never ask why Cheney had to hold Bushs hand at the Sept11 commission?

Never ask why the US is building permanent bases in Iraq?

Never ask if the west cares so much for iraqis, why they didn't bother to count how many people were killed in the invasion/occupation.

Y'think its a coincidence that the brits are being bombed again?

Y'think it maybe has something to do with their hypocritical imperialist arrogant and totally reactionary foreign policy?

Posted by: kevser at July 8, 2005 02:01 AM

Most all the reasons you give for "they deserved it", true or not, happened after terrorists did worse to the USA Kevser.

So..where's your "we deserved it list"? We want to see all the reasons you have to justify their killing and maiming of civilians on their way to work? We want to understand all the reasons 'we' have driven them to madmess.

Posted by: Jim R at July 8, 2005 05:52 AM

"Y'think its a coincidence that the brits are being bombed again?

Y'think it maybe has something to do with their hypocritical imperialist arrogant and totally reactionary foreign policy?"

No I think it has something to do with sexually/emotionally immature religious extremists with reactionary social views using any excuse to kill and maim in people in the name of promoting their ingrained anti-western idealogy.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway at July 8, 2005 07:23 PM

I really don't give a damn what reasons they have for their madness. I'm sure they have strong ones in demented minds.

Posted by: Jim R at July 10, 2005 10:05 PM

I've lived in London on and off for ten years. If you listen carefully to the British police and intelligence services they are both being very careful in their public claims, and both stress waiting to see what the evidence says before declaring 'who dunnit'. Unlike the Americans this is not simply British 'reserve' but professional practice. They're a class act.

They do say they take each claim of responsibility seriously (two so far, and from different groups!) but that it is too soon to conclude who did it. I can see from most of the comments made so far, no such restraint is evidenced by many here, it's "obvious" and "they're guilty", etc. seem to be the common knee jerk themes.

When Madrid was bombed the media and newspapers were full of claims of ETA as the culprit, because they had in fact done so in the past, and many times before. Terribly wrong as it turned out. Not ETA. Not at all, so let's keep the powder dry and the lynch mobs at home until the Metropolitan Police have done their job!

About the "conspiracy nuts" and the G8 conference, I haven't a clue. However, the momentum and currency of the Live G8 concerts, the more than 28 million unique signatures collected online, and the power of the demonstrations in Edinburgh, was and remained gone like it never was after the blasts. Just an observation. More pertinently, the G8 did squat zero on climate change, and just about the same on Africa.

Even though Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof spoke of a "great day", Kumi Naidoo, chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty said "The people have roared but the G8 has whispered." The G8 announcements on Africa and the End of Poverty are, in my opinion, pitiful. In contrast with the public pressure being raised, the announced $50 billion for Africa is misleading and ambiguous, with actually $50bn supposedly going to all developing countries (by 2010 at that) with, maybe, some $25bn going to Africa. There's the pre-summit announced debt relief to the 18 poorest countries, and on trade the usual vagaries about a commitment to work towards cutting subsidies and tariffs. (Translation: African goods and services remain on the economic reservation that's ringed by EU & US domestic subsidies, and policed by the WTO and others).

Is this $25bn actually new, real money? No one knows yet as it's not yet been revealed as to whether this is (the often) already announced and counted at least twice "new" money for Africa (i.e. move along folks, nothing to see here), or actually, truly new committments. The one highlight is Japan, with unambiguously new economic aid.

Secondly, as Jeffery Sachs pointed out in a recent (couple of days before G8) CNN interview, and as is widely known in the developing world, most such aid is 'tied' aid; meaning it has (a) to be spent in the donor country where goods are to be purchased; (b) a certain minimum percentage is so mandated; and ©, in practice an everage of sixty six percent (66%) of EACH AID dollar goes to pay $1000-to-$1500 dollar a day consultants who must come from the donor country. As Jeffey Sachs described it: Trickle down. Call it full employment or reverse trade, calling it 'Aid' is a bit perverse. One of the dirty, not widely discussed facts of the game.

So at the end of the day, for whatever reason the G8 did zero on climate change, forgave 18 of the poorest nations on Paris Club debt (multilateral) only - it's a game folks! - thumped the tub on Africa, took some pics, and cruised out of 'Dodge' (Edinburgh) in the usual airborne state carriages. Did the bombing make a difference? You betcha, it was a getaway special on Africa and Kyoto. Was that intentional as some here have asserted? Who knows? I certainly don't.

Peace,

Kyle

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