Saturday, July 30, 2005

On comments.

My thanks to Zimbo who offered an interesting comment on my previous post. What the comment demonstrated was that there is middle ground, but also misunderstanding of what things we have in common. It would be beneficial to clear these things up as I think that people often haven't constructed a good debate that helps us address our real interests at this time. Thanks also to anyone who's commented previously, especially those who've done so a lot. I'm thinking of David, Robbco and Max- and apologies if I forgot someone. I like comments, although the idea of long threads and voices raised (metaphorically) does intimidate me- so maybe I've not really aimed to get long threads going, preferring the, er, personal touch. Anyhow, thanks, and please respond whenever you feel like it.

While I'm talking about the last post, I should say well done to the police on catching all the bombers of the second attack. It was taking shape even as I wrote, popping around the internet as one does to glean links, but as it didn't have any bearing on my viewpoint I didn't mention the growing police success. Such successes don't address the much bigger geopolitical picture out of which the bombers are just a speck of paint.

Also relating to my previous post, the radio conversation between Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt is always a delight for me, but Steyn often taps my thinking like no other public thinker, so here's a part that especially reflects my views. It's longish, but all I can do when the Radioblogger format doesn't make the specific link easy. The whole conversation is great, too:

'if you do what they're trying to do in London at the moment, which is try it by the John Kerry means. In other words, take a law enforcement approach to terrorism. Treat them as criminals. That's fine in theory, but British and European law, and American law, all give great advantages to the criminals. And the British public, I think, will not forgive that. You can't go around saying we're going to shoot dead people on the tube, and if it's the wrong guy, that's tough. But on the other hand, if we happen to arrest the right guy, he can drag out the legal process for years, and get a suspended sentence.

HH: Yup. Now in the investigation that's unfolding, and it's going so quickly. We've discovered Pakistanis launched the first attack. A Somali was arrested yesterday. Three Turks last night. They're looking for an Iritrean. All of these people living in London a very long time, Mark Steyn. How bad do you think the jihadist network has been allowed to metastasize in London?

MS: Well, I think that's a very serious situation. If you land at Heathrow tomorrow, Hugh, as a U.S. citizen, as a law-abiding U.S. citizen, they'll put a big stamp in your passport, saying recourse to public funds prohibited, if you do that as a U.S. business traveler staying at the Ritz for 48 hours. This one guy they arrested yesterday, he's a Somali. He's been living in a council flat, which is public subsidized housing in London, for six years, at taxpayer expense, receiving income support. British taxpayers are essentially subsidizing the jihad against them, and that's an absurd situation that the British public can't tolerate for much longer.

HH: Do you sense a general hardening among serious people about this war? I mean, we do have people who do over the top like Tancredo, though I have not yet established whether you disagree with Tancredo's threat, and so let's pause there for a moment. What did you make of Tom Tancredo's nuke Mecca threat.

MS: I think that's a ridiculous suggestion, although I would say that at a certain level, if you want to fight a slow-motion war, in a rather desultory fashion, at some point, people are going to get annoyed and demand extreme measures. But to suggest we're at the stage of nuking Mecca right now, is just idiotic.

HH: Now today, a group of top U.S. Muslim scholars finally issued a fatwa. And I welcome it. It's good news. It's been four years since 9/11. But this fatwa is arrayed against all terrorists and would-be Muslim terrorists, saying it's simply unacceptable. Too little, too late, or is it the right thing that needs to happen?

MS: I think it's too little, too late.

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