August 28, 2006

"What if 8/27 had happened?"

Niall Ferguson asks how the response to "8/27" -- the liquid bomb plot -- would have differed from the response to 9/11:
From an American vantage point, a successful terrorist plot launched from Heathrow would have been doubly Britain's fault. Its proximate cause would have been a lapse in British security. Its root cause would have been the infiltration of British society by radical Islamism.

As details emerged about the perpetrators, Americans' worst suspicions about Britain would have been confirmed. It has been clear for a while that Britain's Muslim communities are proving fertile recruiting grounds for Islamist extremists, and that it is the disaffected sons and grandsons of Pakistani immigrants who are most susceptible.

Perhaps even more troubling, it has been evident since the arrest of attempted shoe-bomber Richard Reid that ordinary British dropouts can also be lured, via religious conversion, into the terrorist network.

27 comments:

Goesh said...

I was forced to give up reason and civilized Law as the means to settle this whole nasty business when I started seeing pictures of smiling terrorist kids wearing suicide vests. As long as they regard our civilians as infidel assets, we are forced to rely on the likes the UN and Koffi Anan, since it appears we are unwilling to engage in the hideous things that must be done to survive. I feel like a Jim Jones follower waiting for the koolaid to be passed around. They aren't going to stop you know.

Doyle said...

"we are unwilling to engage in the hideous things that must be done to survive."

It's nice to know where, besides FrontPageMag and LGF, the petrified and morally bankrupt go for their commentary.

Richard Dolan said...

Ferguson's prediction about how a successful terrorist attack on US airliners would have been perceived here seems a bit silly. Blaming the British for Islamic terrorism would make about as much sense as blaming Bush (or Clinton) for 9/11. Or Janet Reno for getting McVeigh so riled up because of Waco that he just had to blow up a federal building.

I don't know enough about British domestic politics to comment on his prediction that a renewed terrorist attack originating from a British airport would result in a Spanish-style response in the UK. But it wouldn't surprise me if the Labour Party along with the UK's chattering classes might respond in that way. Even the Tories seem to have gone a bit wobbly. Where's Maggie now that the UK needs her?

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cat said...

While British voters may turn on Tony Blair (and they probably will as his own party is), I don't think that would mean that Britain's reaction to a large attack like an 8/27 plot would be similar to Spain's. I think that the British response to terrorism would be similar to that in the U.S. with is that they will not stand for it and it must be stopped before it happens. The Spanish response of "we must appease the terrorists so they will leave us alone" would not go over in Britain. I just don't think it's in their character.

I also whole heartedly disagree with the suggested response from the U.S. to Britain. I think we would blame the criminals who detonated the bombs and planned the attack. We are not stupid.

Interesting you bring up McVeigh Mr. Dolan. I don't recall as many excuses for him as I see with Islamists, but the excuses still blamed the US Government and the military. It was framed by "Ruby Ridge" and "Waco," but since he had been in the army, the army must have turned him into a killer (I believe I read an Ehrenreich essay suggesting along with the fact that the guy was "nickel and dimed" which drives many of us to murder, you know). My professors would use him as a "Christian" terrorist to counter anyone in class who brought up extreme islamism as a cause of 9/11.

The only people who blame anyone other than the terrorists are their apologists who see them as victims.

John Mosby said...

Regardless of the UK government's actions, a few more successful terrorist attacks would bring about a white backlash.

Mr. Blair's devolution program has already conditioned a generation of Brits to think of themselves as Welsh, Scots, or English, not as subjects of a united kingdom. If the authorities cannot protect them from the depredations of "Asians," they will stop using their street-fighting skills on each other after closing time and start using them on the minorities in their midst.

The British criminal-law establishment, emasculated from years of coddling the diverse elements of the population, will be powerless to stop the forces of reaction.

In the words of Sting, "Billy's joined the National Front...."

JM

(word verification: lnlnaff - Welsh exclamation of anger)

The Drill SGT said...

Two British factors argue against the central premise of the author.

1. First, if 8/27 had occurred, it would not have been solely US citizens on those planes, but rather a good mix of Yanks and EU residents with a high % of Brits. In proportion to the UK population, their casualties might have been higher than US ones.

2, Secondly, the Brits have a successful history of resistance and fortitude when faced with outside military threats.

- Spanish Armada
- Napoleon
- Battle of Britain / Post Dunkirk
- IRA times of troubles in general
- Brighton bombing
- Falklands war

When pushed hard, the Brits tend to rally round Queen and Country and support sacrifice to defend their freedoms. I would not expect a Madrid capitulation.

Brent said...

Doyle, Doily . . .

Nice try at baiting thinking people to "take on" your vacuous and morally questionable views on everything that the adults are doing to protect Americans. "Americans" includes even people such as yourself and others who perhaps can't take care of themselves.

I'm sorry . . . real discussions take place here. If you need a blog to go do your "I know you are but what am I?" Pee-Wee Herman whining, I suggest your fellow compatriots at Daily Kos. Bonus: they use small words there, including a lot of four letter ones.

Freder Frederson said...

I would not expect a Madrid capitulation.

Let's just keep repeating "Madrid capitulation" over and over. Maybe if you say it long enough, one day it will become true.

I am really sick and tired of it. The race was close before the bombing. The conservative government was kicked about because they lied about the perpatrators of the bombing, initially blaming it on Basque separatists before they had any evidence at all.

The conservatives in Spain lost because of their duplicity, incompetence and lies, not because the Spanish people capitulated to Islamic terrorists. Hopefully, the same fate awaits Tony Blair and George Bush.

Freder Frederson said...

Niall Ferguson is an Imperialist and a Racist. He believes in the magnificence of the old British Empire and the glory of war. What he has to say would have made sense in 1906. I'm sure what he really thinks "is we should deport all these WOGs and put their countries back under white rule, its the only civilized thing to do". But he knows he can't get away with saying that.

tjl said...

Freder Frederson said,
"Let's just keep repeating "Madrid capitulation" over and over. Maybe if you say it long enough, one day it will become true."

It appears from his comments that nothing would give him more pleasure than a Madrid capitulation. Watching Bush, Blair, and Niall Ferguson getting their comeuppance would be satisfying enough that he'd overlook minor inconveniences like sharia.

Palladian said...

"Niall Ferguson is an Imperialist and a Racist."

Two things so terrible that they require Capital Letters. I like how one can smear someone with the "racist" moniker with no evidence and then proceed to make up bad thoughts and dark, hidden motives and attribute them to the person that they're smearing. If that's acceptable according to Marquess of Frederson rules, then I accuse Fred Frederson of being a Communist and a Cat Boiler who types out yards of boilerplate leftish snark but is secretly writing in code about his love of pink chiffon evening gowns and Sanka enemas but can't get away with saying that.

tjl said...

No pink chiffon gowns allowed under sharia.

Freder Frederson said...

I like how one can smear someone with the "racist" moniker with no evidence and then proceed to make up bad thoughts and dark, hidden motives and attribute them to the person that they're smearing.

Have you read Empire? His admiration for the glories of the British Empire, and his barely concealed disdain for the nominally human masses that the British civilized all over the world (while he blithely ignores all the mass murder and depradations that came with the Empire) certainly classifies him as a racist in my book.

I honestly don't know how you can be a hard core imperialist like Ferguson and not be a racist. After all, imperialism presupposes that your culture and civilization is so superior to that of another country or region that you are entitled to forcibly take over that country, rule over that country without the consent of the native peoples, subjugating them by force of arms, taking their land, or even exterminating them if you want, all in the name of bestowing upon them the benefits of "civilization".

Furthermore, if you read his recollections of his childhood in Africa, they could have just as easily been written the son of a rich planter in the antebellum south.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Freder,

Niall Ferguson certainly believes that there are benefits to empire (And the benefits are not profits. Empires are very expensive. The benefit is the expansion of civilization.)

But where do you get racist? A "civilizationalist," perhaps, if by "civilizationalist" you mean someone who believes in the supremacy of "civilization" over "culture."

Freder Frederson said...

It appears from his comments that nothing would give him more pleasure than a Madrid capitulation. Watching Bush, Blair, and Niall Ferguson getting their comeuppance would be satisfying enough that he'd overlook minor inconveniences like sharia.

I guess I missed the imposition of Sharia in Spain. Funny, I never realized that gay marriage was allowed under Sharia Law. If "Madrid Capitulation" means getting rid of incompetent, lying, governments that trample civil rights and trample the constitution, then by all means, I capitulate.

The slander of the "Madrid Capitulation" is yet another viscious lie (this time about the voting majority of an entire country) spread by the right wing media machine.

Johnny Nucleo said...

"Furthermore, if you read his recollections of his childhood in Africa, they could have just as easily been written the son of a rich planter in the antebellum south."

My apologies, Freder. I was so anxious to post, that I didn't read that part. If what you're saying is true, then I can see your point. But I have no idea whether what you are saying it true and I don't care enough to google it.

But forget race and party for a second. What do you think of "civilization" vs. "culture"?

Palladian said...

"After all, imperialism presupposes that your culture and civilization is so superior to that of another country or region that you are entitled to forcibly take over that country, rule over that country without the consent of the native peoples, subjugating them by force of arms, taking their land, or even exterminating them if you want, all in the name of bestowing upon them the benefits of "civilization"."

Sounds like a good working definition of the spread of radical Islam.

Johnny Nucleo said...

My apologies again, Freder. It seems I just about missed everything you said.

You said boring, thoughtless, boilerplate stuff, but in my haste I missed it. Again, my apologies.

tjl said...

Freder Frederson said,
"The slander of the "Madrid Capitulation" is yet another viscious lie (this time about the voting majority of an entire country) spread by the right wing media machine."

"Viscious lie?" Do you mean "vicious lie" or "viscous lie?" Probably the latter.

"Right-wing media machine?" Have you looked at the NY Times lately?
Unless the NYT DOES seem right-wing to you, in which case we can abandon further attempts at rational discussion.

Palladian correctly focused on your use of "Imperialist" and "Racist" as the ultimate insults. This usage reflects the left's view that no culture may find fault with the practices of any other -- unless the practices are those of the West, which are automatically presumed to be oppressive and corrupt. Thus the left can dismiss things like stoning adulterers, beheading captives, and blowing people up as culturally valid responses to the writings of Niall Ferguson.

Freder Frederson said...

A "civilizationalist," perhaps, if by "civilizationalist" you mean someone who believes in the supremacy of "civilization" over "culture."

And I say thoughtless, boilerplate stuff? How is it "civilized" to literally hunt down and kill the entire native population of the Caribbean islands and replace them with imported slaves, many of whom wouldn't survive one harvest season? How "civilized" is it to decide the native people of the continent you have designated as the dumping ground for the dregs of your society are unworthy of life and offer a bounty on their heads (a practice that didn't end until the 1860's btw). How "civilized" is it to get so incensed at China for not taking anything other than gold for payment for your beloved tea that you go to war with it and then pressure them to allow massive imports of opium, creating a huge opium addiction problem there.

I could go on and on, but I wouldn't want to bore you.

Freder Frederson said...

Unless the NYT DOES seem right-wing to you, in which case we can abandon further attempts at rational discussion.

Are you implying that the NYT spread the lie that the Spanish people voted out the Conservative government and voted in the liberal one because they were afraid that retaining the Conservative government, with its support for the U.S. position in Iraq, would result in more Islamic terror attacks. You are seriously mistaken.

Thus the left can dismiss things like stoning adulterers, beheading captives, and blowing people up as culturally valid responses to the writings of Niall Ferguson.

Find one post I have ever written dismissing any of these practices, each of which I find abhorrent and inexcusable. The right is the ones is so ready to dismiss torture, arbitrary detention, dictatorial powers, ethnic cleansing, relocation camps, and even genocide all in the name of fighting terror and Islamic extremism. That is why I object to the writings of Niall Ferguson, because implicit in his belief of the superiority of Western Civilization is the idea that anything is justifiable to advance and protect it.

tjl said...

Freder Frederson said,
"Are you implying that the NYT spread the lie that the Spanish people voted out the Conservative government and voted in the liberal one because they were afraid that retaining the Conservative government, with its support for the U.S. position in Iraq, would result in more Islamic terror attacks."

Actually, that's what the NYT did say. It was offered as one explanation among several others. For all its faults, the NYT is still capable of some degree of nuance in its reporting. (Unlike certain leftist commenters, to whom any shade between black and white is an alien concept).

Freder Frederson said...

Actually, that's what the NYT did say.

Well, I stand corrected. The NYT can be pretty boneheaded at times. They did allow Judith Miller to print all kinds of lies about WMDs without any kind of editorial checks and they still employ David Brooks. We don't all read it cover to cover every day to get our talking points you know.

Good one about the black and white though. That made me chuckle. And all I could think of is here is the kettle calling me black. Didn't this whole discussion start because of your simplistic analysis: "Trains in Spain go boom. People in Spain get scared of brown people. People in Spain elect people who will not offend brown people. People in Spain bunch of bedwetting pansies who are afraid of brown people, not tough guys like Brits and Americans."

Of course, to display just how sensitive the new, effete Spanish government is to Muslim sensitivities, they become one of the few countries in the world, and by far the largest, to recognize gay marriage.

Al Maviva said...

Freder, could you please go troll Volokh? Your comments were marginally less dogmatically collectivist over there, and they were mercifully fewer. It was a much nicer arrangement.

BTW, you left out "Blair is a worker-exploiting Bush poodle Running Dog of the Capitalist Pigs." Good grief, man! Even you can troll better than your efforts above.

Keep fighting the power, man...

tjl said...

Al Maviva:

Don't be so quick to dismiss Freder's comments. It's true that on the surface they appear to be nothing but pointless leftist drivel. Happily, though, Palladian has found the key to Freder's secret code. We can now see an actual meaning in Freder's latest effusion -- it's a ringing affirmation of Cat Boiling.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Freder said: "How is it "civilized" to literally hunt down and kill the entire native population of the Caribbean islands and replace them with imported slaves, many of whom wouldn't survive one harvest season?"

Admittedly, such behavior, like a blaster, is uncivilized. The reason we now realize this, of course, is because of Civilization - Western Civilization.

There was a time when no one - no one - thought crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women, was a bad thing. In fact, it was thought to be the best thing. Until Civilization.

In the spirit of good-fellowship I will now offer some boilerplate.

Those who lean left think men, at heart, are noble savages. Those who lean right think the same thing, just without the noble bit.