Thursday, July 7, 2005

Bombings in London

By now everyone has heard of the latest terrorist outrage in London: at least 40 killed, hundreds wounded. All the fingerprints of Al Qaeda – a civilian target, not a military one, civilian casualties, an urban area with media coverage. No doubt the bombs will all have been expertly constructed and concealed – a real professional job.

But the bomb makers and their infrastructure could not operate without financing, the quiet sympathy and support of people willing to hide them – and governments in the Middle East willing to look the other way while this goes on. As long as non-violent financial, political, and moral support for the jihadists is tolerated, none of us will be safe.

The jihadists are barbarians, all mired in the 11th Century: partly evil, malicious children, destroying for destruction’s sake; partly religious fanatics; partly butchers so certain we will never retaliate in kind. They do not fear us sufficiently. In general, that’s the problem with terrorists and their sympathizers in the Islamic street: the lack of fear. If not for themselves, then fear for their relations and their societies.

The barbarians need an education. One place where learning can be imparted is in the rebellious areas of Iraq. The coalition commanders should be encouraged to prosecute the war against the terrorists there with vigor, and to ensure that sympathizers of the terrorists, armed or no, pay a price for concealing, aiding and abetting attacks on coalition or Iraqi government forces. Meanwhile, if the generals in Iraq want more troops, they should get them, and spare no efforts to ensure every bullet finds its billet in as many terrorists as possible.

Another place for concentration of effort is in putting the squeeze on Al Qaeda and the jihadist movement’s covert supporters. Terrorists have to be recruited, indoctrinated, trained and armed. This is a big operation. Car bombers are not the brains end of their organizations. All this takes a pool of willing recruits, and an expert cadre of instructors and commanders. This must all be paid for. Until we go after the financial, moral and intellectual supporters of the terrorists, we’re going to get nowhere. This means bringing pressure to bear on the Syrians, the Saudis and the Pakistanis.

It’s time for a harder war. Lets not wait for the bad guys to bring the war to us. We should stop worrying about the lawyers, Guantanamo and the UN and take the war to the enemy.

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