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The Homegrown Vs. International Debate

Max Blumenthal:

London has a burgeoning community of radical Islamists. Most of them are followers of, or are sympathetic to, one-eyed cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri. Al-Masri cut his teeth (and lost his hand) in Afghanistan in the 1980's fighting alongside Osama and a entire generation of future jihadi leaders. His Finsbury Park mosque has been a favorite stop of shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacharias Moussaoui. To be sure, the majority of the mosque's attendees reject the radical, politicized version of Islam espoused by al-Qaida's leadership. On Friday, Finsbury Park Mosque played host to one of the Muslim community's fiercest denunciations of the attacks. Al-Masri has nonetheless been under scrutiny since 1999, when Scotland Yard questioned him about terror-related activities. Soon after, Yemen unsuccessfully requested his extradition for plotting bombings there.

Now Al-Masri is on trial for inciting violence. He faces a maximum sentence of life. And he could be extradicted to the US after his conviction. Al-Masri's trial was set to begin on Tuesday -- two days before the terror attacks in London. Could the bombings be related to his prosecution? Undoubtedly. Unfortunately, a "senior counterterrorism official" is trying to spin reporters with the claim that Zarqawi planned the attacks. (The claim is also discussed here.) This looks, smells and quacks like a Pentagon/State Department disinformation campaign designed to reinforce the notion of Iraq as a "central battlefield in the war on terror." Zarqawi's involvement in the London attacks would also bolster his profile among the American public, fulfilling a PR goal the White House established once they essentially gave up on capturing bin Laden.

Read the whole thing.

I don't know anything about Pentagon disinformation campaigns, but I'll agree that I've seen nothing to rule out the idea that these attacks were carried out by jihadists based in Britain as opposed to a group imported from the middle east or somewhere else.

But even if that's true, does it necessarily change anything? Homegrown Islamic terrorists who were or are based in Britain are probably acting in solidarity with their comrades in the middle east anyway. These attacks were still, in my humble opinion, all about Iraq and the war on terror regardless of where the terrorists who executed them are from.

The terrorists want to deter western nations from continuing to prosecute the war on terror. They want to put Britain and its allies on the defensive instead of on the offensive. Like I've said before, we cannot do what the terrorists want us to do.

Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.


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Comments (12)

The terrorists want to d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The terrorists want to deter western nations from continuing to prosecute the war on terror.

If that's what they want now, what did they want before 911?

- Fox and British affiliate... (Below threshold)

- Fox and British affiliates are reporting that the British police are evacuating the entire Birmingham entertainment district 120 miles north of London and proceeding to control explode several "devices", presumably discovered in the process of investigations that led to the initial actions.... developing.....

They wanted the West to qui... (Below threshold)
ATM:

They wanted the West to quit trying to prevent Arab and Muslim countries from acquiring WMD that would help them further their strageic goal of reestablishing the caliphate. And they wanted the West to give up on Israel, so they could complete the task of driving Jews out of the Middle East and into the sea that they embarked on when they sided with the
Nazis during WWII and when they ethnicly cleansed their own countries of Jews in the late 40s and early 50s. And they want to prevent the West's classically liberal ideas from gaining in the Middle East.

RE: mantis's post (July 9, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: mantis's post (July 9, 2005 04:41 PM)

If that's what they want now, what did they want before 911?

Power. And the rewards from possessing it. Religion is the facade to conceal it, the deodorant to mask it, and the conduit to launder it. They hit the trifecta!

"Like I've said before, we ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"Like I've said before, we cannot do what the terrorists want us to do."

If Bin Laden and company wanted to wage a war against the West, if they saw their fight as a fight to the death between civilizations, this is exactly what Bush and company have given them. Sadly, it takes two to tango and we have stepped blindly on to the dance floor and given the terrorists exeactly what they wanted: A Western war against Islam. For the longest time this was only a figment of their most paranoid propaganda. Bush made it a reality.

From the invasion of Iraq on, any hope of rallying moderate Muslims to our side in the hope of isolating the terrorists began to fade. At the same time, the idea that turning Arab countires into battlefields will somehow keep us safe in our own cities has lost all credibility after the London attacks. "Taking the fight to them" so called makes absolutely no sense when the enemy can appear anywhere at anytime and cause such devastation.

As Robin Cook wrote in Friday's Guardian:

"So long as the struggle against terrorism is conceived as a war that can be won by military means, it is doomed to fail. The more the west emphasises confrontation, the more it silences moderate voices in the Muslim world who want to speak up for cooperation. Success will only come from isolating the terrorists and denying them support, funds and recruits, which means focusing more on our common ground with the Muslim world than on what divides us."

we have stepped blindly ... (Below threshold)
penny:

we have stepped blindly on to the dance floor and given the terrorists exeactly what they wanted: A Western war against Islam

There was nothing blind about US actions. It was smart strategy. Perhaps the problem is that you fail to get it. Explain exactly what other kind of war we should have designed given the problems of access to the enemy? And please be specific. Details a must.

"Taking the fight to them" so called makes absolutely no sense when the enemy can appear anywhere at anytime and cause such devastation..

Taking the fight to them solves the access problem. Perhaps you've failed to notice that 80% of the insurgents in Iraq are not Baathists or natives. The terrorists are pouring in there with manpower and resources and facing off with us in a neighborhood safely away from our civilians. The bonus is we get to kill them off in concentrated numbers in a defined area rather than individually in alleys in countries where we can't go anyways.

sorry, left a tag open,... (Below threshold)
penny:

sorry, left a tag open, but you can figure it out.

frameone:"If Bi... (Below threshold)
Inquiring:

frameone:

"If Bin Laden and company wanted to wage a war against the West, if they saw their fight as a fight to the death between civilizations, this is exactly what Bush and company have given them. Sadly, it takes two to tango and we have stepped blindly on to the dance floor and given the terrorists exeactly what they wanted: A Western war against Islam. For the longest time this was only a figment of their most paranoid propaganda. Bush made it a reality."

So you're saying that instead of actually fighting them we should have... rolled over and let them kill innocent civilians all over the world until they got the extremist religious oligarchy? Or should we have continued to treat them in the self-destructive fashion we were pre-9/11, that is as a law enforcement only issue which would result in the same end? Please, tell me what you mean, because those are the only alternatives I see presented in your argument.

"Osama wanted a fight, and we gave it to him, but instead of fighting with him we should have let him cow us, thus emboldening him to commit further acts of terrorism that would result in a greater loss of life." I know that cannot be what you mean, at least I hope that is not what you mean.

Understand this, no matter how you wish to label the Islam vs. The Western World, as a figment of paranoid delusion does not make it so. The terrorist groups were killing innocent civilians abroad just because of their country of origin. They had declared war on the Western World, many times over, and whether you want to admit it or not, that does mean a war was being waged. Just because one side refuses to admit they are under attack does not mean they are free of war. Nations have tried to ignore the drums of war at their gates before, and they have fallen because of it.

"From the invasion of Iraq on, any hope of rallying moderate Muslims to our side in the hope of isolating the terrorists began to fade. At the same time, the idea that turning Arab countires into battlefields will somehow keep us safe in our own cities has lost all credibility after the London attacks. "Taking the fight to them" so called makes absolutely no sense when the enemy can appear anywhere at anytime and cause such devastation."

Yes... let's just ignore that all the Moderate Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan are on our --well, not sure about your-- side. Let's ignore that the entire period of the 90's showed that if we tried to treat the Extremist Muslim groups as simple law enforcement problems it actually increased their popularity. Let's ignore that every time we gave in to their demands they are the ones that gain legitimacy for their tactics in the eyes of the willfully blind in world.

Oh, and let me add this the London attack just confirms one thing our governments have been saying, we were never safe in our own cities, at any time, while these terrorists continue to get support (some of it from the very world they are attacking). As long as people continue to trump the terrorists up as the injured party here, and not the party that threw the first punch, they will continue to plot and carry out those plots.

Oh, by the way, I have never heard any argument, before you brought it up, actually claim that our cities were somehow safer because the Middle East was the main focus for hostilities. Always heard before that it is known terrorists are still trying to attack the rest of the world. In fact, remember hearing a lot in the news about government agencies around the world keeping eyes and ears out for terrorists in their respective countries, and taking the threat very seriously. Not saying that argument has not been made, just saying, whoever makes that argument is clearly ignoring some reality of the situation; as you are presenting that argument to attack you need to bring up some citation from policy makers or not use it at all to try to bolster your case.

As for Robin Cook... did he miss the elections of Afghanistan and Iraq? Did you miss those elections too? Did he, and you, miss all the talk about how they are trying (despite the nay saying from "liberals") to build successful governments from mutual cooperation between all parts of their societies? Wait; don't tell me, these people wanting to live peacefully are extreme and not moderate at all, right?

"Success will only come from isolating the terrorists and denying them support, funds and recruits, which means focusing more on our common ground with the Muslim world than on what divides us."

So, Robin Cook is advocating what exactly? How are we supposed to deny support, seize funds, and isolate the terrorists? How do we isolate terrorists when tyrants are left to make the US and Europe the scapegoats for all the Middle East's problems, and then the terrorists come in and kill some of those scapegoats? How are we supposed to seize funds when those funds are being supported/provided by governments that are run by oppressors of Moderate Muslims? How are we supposed to deny support when the Moderate Muslims are encouraged, by their rather extreme governments, to support the terrorists? By simply focusing on common ground? We did that for decades, Saudi was/is very good focusing on common ground while playing both sides. Focusing on common ground without any practical solutions to deal with the problem from that common ground is, in a word, useless.

Then there is the fact that Robin Cook is totally ignoring that right now we are in fact focusing on common ground. The Moderate Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan want the killers of innocent children, women, and men neutralized. They want them dealt with in a permanent manner. Amazingly, we --again, not sure about you-- want the same thing. Fascinating how that works out. Fascinating that we have isolated terrorist groups, have seized funds, have gained Moderate Muslim support in places where it truly matters (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, even can throw in Lebanon, Kuwait, etc) but somehow this is not focusing on the common ground of wanting peace from terrorists, wanting stable governments that do not oppress their citizens/subjects.

frameone: please rea... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


frameone: please read some history

This war started so long ago that France was still a viable military power, and stopped the Islamic imperialists before they could plunder what in several centuries would become Great Britain. The idea that Bush or Blair started this is beyong ignorant, and I am getting really tired of hearing it.

Here is a little challenge for you:
Find me one time in the history of Islam that an Islamic nation sat down and had good faith negotiations with a non-Islamic nation.

Just one. And peace settlements after someone has kicked their ass doesn't count.

Now we should hum the theme... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Now we should hum the theme song from Jeopardy. The extended version....

Until the Muslim world is w... (Below threshold)
ATM:

Until the Muslim world is willing to take on problems in the Muslim world, like Darfur rather than look the other way, there really is no hope for the Muslim world. Or the deliberate slaughter of Shi'ites by Sunnis in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Or the persecution of Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

As for finding common ground with the Muslim world, it seems that Europe is inclined to do so by blaming the Isrealis for the lack of resolution of the Arab Israeli conflict when in reality the blame is 80% on the Arab side. No doubt Europe's attempt to deflect attention from itself for the problems of Muslims in Europe has contributed towards terrorism around the world, including for 9/11. It is no coincidence that so many of the 9/11 conspirators lived in Europe and that many of them became radicalized their in Europe.

Hi, I filmed most of Abu Ha... (Below threshold)

Hi, I filmed most of Abu Hamza and the Supporters of Shareeah's protest outside Finsbury park mosque and have a 20 min short online here

I'd be interested to hear what you think.




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