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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Christopher Hitchens in the British paper The Mirror says it perfectly why if it weren't British involvement in Iraq that caused 7/7 it would have been something else:
We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.
No, it's not "bullshit" to say that it wasn't Iraq that caused 7/7. It was just the most convenient excuse at hand. Take that away and insert any of the above the next time a bunch of people are murdered somewhere in the world.

John Derbyshire warns that this is not Winston Churchill's Great Britain anymore:
And yet, in all probability, Britain will yield to “these people.” This can be said with fair certainty because Britain did yield to the previous concerted series of terrorist attacks on her soil, the one carried out by the so-called Irish Republican Army (not to be confused with the actual army of the actual Irish Republic, which is a quite different thing), from the early 1970s through to the late 1990s. The terrorists who carried out those attacks were in many cases arrested, convicted, and imprisoned; they have now all been released, even those serving life sentences. Those who evaded the police are not now under investigation. The terrorist leaders who organized and directed the attacks have been given well-paid jobs in the British civil service, with secretaries, chauffeur-driven cars, and handsome pensions. The arm of British law enforcement that bore the brunt of the attacks, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, has been disbanded at the terrorists’ request, and its decades of brave and honorable service to the Crown are being flushed down the memory hole as fast as it can be done. Tiocfaidh ár lá, boasted the IRA men — “Our day will come.” It has.**

Yes, Britain will “do a Spain.” I am sure of it. Britain’s Spain will not be as dramatic or obvious as Spain’s Spain, for the reasons I started out by enumerating. The British anyway have far, far more experience of appeasement than the Spaniards. They know how to do it slowly, imperceptibly, so that nobody much notices. You could ask a Turkish Cypriot, or a white Rhodesian, or of course an Ulsterman.
Sadly, I have to agree with Derbyshire as I have firsthand knowledge that the same British who admired Winston Churchill for standing up to Nazi facism are today angry that Tony Blair is standing up to Islamofacism.

Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to jump on the Churchill bandwagon today, but the fact of the matter is that a majority of the British people wanted appeasement and avoidance of war in the 1930's even while Hitler prepared his armies. The same British who are today angry at Tony Blair and blame him for their involvement in Iraq and believe that is the reason for the London attacks of 7/7 should at least have the courage of their convictions and likewise denounce Winston Churchill for the Blitz of 1940.

Being consistent means that the same British who blame Tony Blair means also blaming Winston Churchill for the deaths of thousands when he dragged Britain into a war against Nazi Germany when England was not attacked.

Germany did not declare war on and invade England to begin World War II. It was the attack of Poland, an ally, that began the war and it was a principle personified by Winston Churchill that caused Great Britain to declare war on Germany. The principle, which many British seem to have forgotten, is that facism and agression must not be appeased. Churchill finally won over a majority of the British people, but it must be remembered that in the years and months before the war a significant part of the people wanted peace at any cost. If those people were alive today they'd be blaming Tony Blair and George Bush for the rush hour deaths of 7/7 instead of a totalitarian Islamofacist ideology that worships death and seeks to force their beliefs on the world. If those people aren't alive today at least it can be said accurately that the idea of appeasement is alive and well.

It's willful myopia, incomprehension, confusion or befuddlement, I'm not sure which, to believe that Islamofacism will simply go away. 9/11 happened before the war in Iraq. The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 happened before the war in Iraq. The bombing of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya happened before the war in Iraq. The Islamofacists are patient people and their strategy is to first get rid of the U.S. and then go after the weaker democracies. Yes it would take many years, but perhaps if they could strike one time and force the U.S. to become isolationist then that would allow them to begin their sniping at the heels of defenseless European democracies.

It's not so unimaginable. The British reflex I am witness to says that Britain should pull out of Iraq and isolate themselves. That if they don't provoke the Islamofacists they'll be spared further attacks. What if the U.S. did the same? What if we isolated ourselves and left the world to fend for themselves? One country after another would fall to dictatorship. Theological regimes would overwhelm fledgling democracies in the Middle East, Islamofacism would spread throughout the region and into Asia, and free people everywhere would be threatened.

No, I'm afraid if you are free and want to remain free then appeasement is not an option. If it wasn't Britain's fight against Islamofacism that caused the attacks of 7/7 eventually it would have been something else. The British may have been spared a few more years, but creeping terrorism would eventually find it's way to their shores no matter what. The British that I know seem to prefer retreat and appeasement so they'll be left till last, but make no mistake, they are not safe. Even if they pull out of Iraq they are still at risk because eventually they'll do something to piss off the Islamofacists. That is, unless they want to roll over and beg for mercy at each and every confrontation.

Winston would be ashamed.