Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Crocodile Eats You Anyway

Blogging will be light for a while. Pressure of work. So here's a link to No Caliban (hat tip: Donald Sensing) who points out that the attack on Madrid was planned two and half years before the event. Long before Operation Iraqi Freedom, before Spanish participation in Iraq, bomber Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed was planning to kill people in Spain.

In June, Italian police released a surveillance tape of one of the alleged planners of the [Madrid] train bombings, an Egyptian housepainter named Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, who said that the operation "took me two and a half years." Ahmed had served as an explosives expert in the Egyptian Army. It appears that some kind of attack would have happened even if Spain had not joined the Coalition -- or if the invasion of Iraq had never occurred.

Planning to kill them because of who they were. Those who advocate appeasement as a means of propitiating terrorist wrath are, like the shamans who offered human sacrifice to alter the course of weather, the deluded engaged upon the inutile: a thoroughly modern Marxist activity. But what appeasement by Sudanese blacks can buy them peace? According to the BBC:

More than one million people have fled Sudan's Darfur region, the victims of what UN officials have described as an "ethnic cleansing" campaign by a group of Arab militiamen. Many thousands have been killed and human rights groups say there has been a systematic campaign of rape, intended to humiliate and punish non-Arab groups.The Janjaweed have attacked black Africans from the Fur, Massaleet and Zagawa ethnic groups with a ruthlessness that has not been seen in the region for some time, report aid agencies and the refugees themselves. They have killed, raped, maimed, looted and burned down tens of thousands of village homes, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Surcease will come with death or when they utter the secret message, one well understood by BBC correspondent Frank Gardner as he lay bleeding in a Saudi street.

Riddled with bullets, BBC correspondent Frank Gardner pleaded for his life in the Saudi capital shouting to bystanders to help a fellow Muslim, a police officer said today. "I'm a Muslim, help me, I'm a Muslim, help me," the British father of two daughters cried in Arabic, the officer said. Mr. Gardner was stretched on the road, covered in blood from multiple bullet wounds in a slum area of southern Riyadh known as a hotbed of hardliners. A fluent Arabic speaker with a degree in Arab and Islamic Studies, he was carrying a small copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, a device used by Western reporters to try to reassure Islamist militants.

It isn't enough to say, as the Philippine Foreign undersecretary did when capitulating to those who held one of their citizens hostage, "I hope the statement that I read will touch the heart of this group. We know that Islam is the religion of peace and mercy." It falls far short of the mark. No Caliban nails it. "These terrorists do not want our money or land or respect. They want our souls."


Good news in a way. Attempts by the Democratic Party to portray itself as the "War Party" and to cast John Kerry in the role of a warrior are a backhanded admission that appeasement is no longer a respectable public position, at least in America. On its face, the liberal establishment has executed one of the most astonishing countermarches in public policy history behind the falsely ebullient facade of the convention. Yet on closer inspection, their new determination to fight terrorism is still a Jim Crow form of pacifism, an effort to perpetuate the antebellum policies beloved by the Party base in acceptable phrases. There are warlike sounds without an enemy named; a candidate reports for duty without articulating a strategy for victory. It is the Band of Brothers speech without an Agincourt, either pending or envisaged. But it is the first crack in the monumental edifice of Left, and while small, a disturbing and tingling tremor runs to the top of its highest battlements. Is it ...

the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

The little rift within the lover’s lute
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
That rotting inward slowly molders all?