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"These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London…"

My sympathies to the people of London, and all those around the world who are worried about their loved ones in London. Wikipedia has a clear summary of what’s happened, along with this translation from the pigs responsible:

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.

No, you are not excused. You will be hunted down and brought to justice.

11 comments on ""These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London…""

  • Axel says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t share your optimism. I don’t think the people responsible for those heinous acts will be found and brought to justice (whatever that may mean).
    In a related thread on a mailing list I mentioned that the current way the US are dealing with the terrorist threat is one with which many US citizens feel good: an eye for an eye and so on. However, the situation is much more complex and can’t be put into simple and single sentences like Bush tries to. Since the complexity of the situation is reduced to a simple (but ultimately meaningless) sentence, the response is equally simple (and equally meaningless). Look at the losses the US take in Iraq. Look at the speed with which the insurgents and terrorists there adapt to the way the US deal with the threats. It shows clearly that the strategy doesn’t work.

  • Not Excused

    I’m with Adam….

  • Adam says:

    “Brought to justice” means precisely what is says: Taken from wherever they happen to be and brought to the justice system to answer to charges of mass murder.
    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘an eye for an eye.’ Did the US bomb random buildings in Saudi Arabia? Murder a busload of civilians at random in Iran? That would be an eye for an eye. Maybe I’m with you: Trying to reduce it all to a simple sentence doesn’t work.
    I have no interest in defending the way the US is fighting in Iraq, nor the apparent lies that brought us there. I don’t see how that relates to capturing mass murderers.

  • Izar says:

    While I completely agree with Adam’s take on bringing the culprits to justice, I can’t help but feel that sometimes, it is better to have justice brought to them. What I mean is, fortunatelly the US and most democratic nations have passable (mostly) judicial systems. Adequate to deal with (most) every law offense. BUT the people we are discussing here are not interested in the fairness of a group of their peers (does that mean we’d have to find 12 ‘disenfranchised freedom fighters’ in order to have a ‘fair trial’?). These people don’t subscribe to the same values, starting with the value of a human life, that you or I do.
    Terror can only be dealt with in the same language that it speaks. I am not talking about Palestinian terror, mind you, that kind of terror I think will be best dealt with by giving them their country, helping them have infra-structures and a homeland and be able to feed their young and care for their elders, THEN making them pay IF the terror continues. Remove the cause, solve the problem.
    Pan-islamic terror, on the other hand, works on the premise that your white/western/MTV/presbiterian/democratic ass is an afront in the eyes of the Prophet and that only the swift touch of death or total submission to Islam may eventually cleanse you of your sins. Can you see how you remove the “cause” here ? No ? Good. Then you’re starting to see how you can’t solve the problem in a “nice” way.
    On the other hand, if you terrorize the terrorists, then yes, you’ll create more “martyrs”…but eventually you’ll make some radicals rethink the error of their methods. Personally I believe that covert ops and small unit raids is the way to go in such cases, but I am by no means a specialist or even an informed opinion. This is just my personal opinion based on a biased reading of history. Oh, of course, I am an israeli. That counts too I guess.

  • John Kelsey says:

    There are at least two problems with that approach, though:
    a. If we get into massive retaliation, then it becomes possible to use terrorism to rent a few Navy SEALS or cruise missiles from the US to do your dirty work. If I really wanted to see Iran taken down a few pegs, but didn’t have an army capable of doing the trick myself, I’d probably try to carry out some act of terrorism against the US with apparent ties to the Iranian government.
    b. We have rules on our governments’ behavior, not for the protection of the guilty (or even of random foreigners), but instead for our own protection–both the protection of our citizens and of our reputation. See, we have all these cases in Western European and American history where some officially-disapproved group just unequivocally got the shitty end of the stick, sometimes amounting to slavery, followed by legal harassment and discriminatio(like blacks in the US), sometimes including forced relocation and occasionally intentional genocide (like the American Indians in the US), sometimes including flat out mass murder (like the Jews, Gypsies, and anyone else on the wrong side of the Nazis in Germany). Now, we look back on that, and most of us are sickened. We don’t want to be any part of something like that, and we especially don’t want to play the starring role as victims of something like that. That makes us pretty reluctant to approve methods that would match the terrorists attrocity for attrocity.

  • John Kelsey says:

    As an aside, I think I have a different model in my head for what drives the terrorists. Others think this is a religious thing. I think it’s an effectiveness thing. If you have tanks, cruise missiles, bombers, and what I have is determined, brave men, then suicide bombing and terrorist attacks are the tools I can bring to the fight. More fundamentally, if I want to affect the Spanish military, it’s a lot more efficient to bomb a few trains than to try to take them all on in firefights, or even to try to get them all with roadside bombs and suicide carbomb attacks.

  • Adam says:

    Do you mean things like bombing the marine barracks in Beruit, or some more recent atrocities carried out by those with close ties to the Iranian government?

  • John Kelsey says:

    What I’m saying is that terrorism is a tool, rather than an ideology. One thing you can do via terrorist attacks is push a very powerful country out of Lebanon, even though it would be pure suicide to try that with your actual military. Another thing you can do is try to start a war between two countries, as some of the terrorist attacks on India appear to be intended to do. Still another is to try to change political support for some distant war by murdering people at home, as was done in Spain and tried in the UK yesterday. And there’s naturally no reason to think terrorists will tell you the truth about their motives. Maybe the attacks in the UK were mounted by someone who wanted the UK to keep their troops in Iraq. It’s not like Osama would feel obliged to reveal his real intentions to us….

  • Axel says:

    Sorry, Adam. Over-sensitive me. I’ve heard the phrase “bring to justice” too often in the context of invading foreign countries and killing whatever looks like a wrongdoer.
    Would you suggest plucking the perpetrators from the country where they are or run this through the usual processes of request and delivery?

  • Adam says:

    If the country where they are is willing to extradite, thats great. If not, I think there’s a real dilemma about how to proceed. Its hard, but possible, to argue that you’re pursuing justice when you pluck someone off the street and drag them to your country to stand trial. I think most people felt it was an acceptable choice with Eichmann. Would it be with bin Laden? With the perpatrators of the London atrocities? It’s much harder to argue you’re pursuing justice if you just kill them.

  • Axel,
    The US strategy is neither simple nor is the response. It is easy (and wrong) to take the sound bites of an adminstration and assume this represents the policy. (I am not defending Bush’s lack of articulation of that policy – that is indeed a problem.) Your oversimplification of our policy does us a disservice.
    For a better taste of our policy direction see:
    While US policy is also not cohesive (and the expectation of this is probably unreasonable) the article above reveals some of the dynamics.

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