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Thursday, July 07, 2005

We interrupt this journal...

I had posted a light-hearted journal entry around lunchtime here in Israel... but I have decided to post something more fitting to push it down the page a few inches. 

Now is not the time for light-hearted things.

Apparently London has been the target of a particularly vicious and well-coordinated attack on it's transportation system during the height of the morning rush hour.

My heart and prayers go out to the people of London... particularly the individuals and families who were injured or killed. 

This is yet another sure sign that World War III is well underway, though one side of the conflict pretends with all its might that it isn't.  On the one side you have militant Islam.  On the other is absolutely anyone and everyone with whom militant Islam takes umbrage.  Today it was the peaceful citizens of London... but tomorrow it could be absolutely anyone else.  Welcome to the war that knows no borders.

I can say with absolute certainty (as I did after the 9/11 attacks) that the world will willfully ignore this proof of the ongoing international conflict... just as they have ignored all previous signs from around the globe.  For some reason, the civilized world cannot acknowledge the existence of an organized army if they are not affiliated with a single country and/or wearing uniforms/insignia.  All international doctrine, conventions and laws are written to address only such enemies, therefore any other sort of enemy can presently act with impunity... because technically they don't exist.

There will be a short period of extreme vigilance in Western capitols, followed by a return to 'normalcy'.  This pattern has repeated itself for decades each time an airliner is blown from the sky... each time a military installation, ship or embassy is targeted... and each and every time the very fabric of a country's ability to engage in commerce is slapped into oblivion like a child's toy. 

It is only a matter of days, or even hours, before someone makes a public statement blaming Israel/Jews for directly or indirectly causing this latest tragedy.  The 'kooks' will float conspiracy theories stating that it was a Mossad plot to discredit the Arab world and Islam.  As a result of such 'crazy' accusations, the 'more reasonable' explanation that England's support of the US - and by association, Israel - is to blame for what happened this morning, will gain wide acceptance.

The net result will be that England will follow Spain's example and withdraw from the unpopular business of waging war against an army which, according to international doctrine and convention, does not really exist. 

I predict that before long there will not be enough days in the calendar for the number of commemorative memorials that will result from this undeclared World War.

221_16_5_26

Posted by David Bogner on July 7, 2005 | Permalink

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» Seven - Seven from Overtaken by Events
The war on terror, regardless of who the terrorists are in this case, is not over. At least six explosions,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2005 3:14:13 PM

» Well said, David. from mittenmusings
I woke up this morning to the news of the tragedy in London. I am saddened and angered by this latest attack. Since I am not adept at writing political pieces, I'll direct you folks to someone who is. David's... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2005 3:27:12 PM

» Might the UK Wake Up? from Somewhere on A1A...
photo by Johnathan Bainbridge/Reuters It looks like militant Islam has made another attack in their war against everyone.''Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2005 4:08:48 PM

» Seven - Seven from Overtaken by Events
The war on terror, regardless of who the terrorists are in this case, is not over. At least six explosions,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2005 8:10:07 PM

» Seven - Seven from Overtaken by Events
The war on terror, regardless of who the terrorists are in this case, is not over. At least six explosions,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2005 11:21:55 PM

» Might the UK Wake Up? from Somewhere on A1A...
photo by Johnathan Bainbridge/Reuters With scenes that are too reminiscent of suicide bombings in Israel, it looks like militant Islam has made another attack in their war against everyone.''Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has c... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 14, 2005 9:56:55 PM

Comments

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How I wish you were wrong...

Posted by: Sandra | Jul 7, 2005 2:45:45 PM

sadly i guess this ruins my mothers theory that i should study in London instead of in Israel because it is so much safer...

my heart goes out to the victims. how does one even start to make sense of these things?

Posted by: Lisa | Jul 7, 2005 3:07:48 PM

You see so clearly. I only wish that the horizon were not nearly so bleak.

Posted by: Rahel | Jul 7, 2005 3:20:46 PM

It is certainly difficult to make sense of mad men. One thing we can do is as the news suggests: We must remain extra vigilant and keep are eyes open and ears to the ground. I think the US has to also consider tightening it's borders. Not to mention more funding to combat terrorism. I can only hope you are wrong David and that the world realizes that Israel is the only nation that really understands terrorism as you live it everyday. Israel has the know how and understanding on how to best combat terrorism. We have seen this in NY. The minute you turn your back they are right there waiting with baited breath to for the next attack. The fight on terrorism can not be fought sitting down. When are the countries going to understand this? Will they wait for another couple of bombings before they make their move?

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jul 7, 2005 3:22:32 PM

In the near term Britain might act differently from Spain... at least I hope they will. It's hard to imagine there NOT being an awakening in the UK to the menace of militant Islam taking such a strong foothold in England.

But in the long term, they will soon forget, just as so many have forgotten September 11, 2001. NY, Madrid, London... who's next?

Posted by: Ocean Guy | Jul 7, 2005 3:50:22 PM

You are absolutely right. The first thing I wondered when I heard about the attack was, "If Paris has won the 2012 Olympic bid, would the attack have taken place on the Metro instead of the Underground?" That's how prepared and ubiquitous they are.

Posted by: AmyS | Jul 7, 2005 4:18:06 PM

Sandra... I do too. But unfortunately I'm probably not.

Lisa... You just reassure your mother that you will be studying in perhaps the one country that understands about security.

Rahel... The obvious is there for anyone who takes a moment to look.

Jewish Blogmiester... Don't make the mistake of calling these people madmen. You will not find more organized or focused individuals on the planet. Anyone who has not studied the patient pace with which Islam pursued and conquered the Europeans following the Crusades has much to learn. A pace of hundreds of years is considered reasonable in their wars. People forget that over the course of a couple of centuries Islam had conquered much of Europe. This is not my own theory... this is the strategy that Arab and Muslim leaders have been espousing publicly for decades. The west simply hasn't been paying attention.

Oceanguy... There are two terms in Arabic that are worth knowing: "Sabr, which literally means 'patience'... and "Shwaya shwaya which means 'slowly, slowly'. These are the terms that have been used repeatedly in the Arab world to reassure their populations that this war will not be won quickly, but rather over decades and even centuries. To illustrate the difference between themselves and the west, many Arabs use a parable about olive trees: A typical European who wants to have an olive tree will buy a gnarled trunk of an ancient olive tree and put it in his garden. Within a few months branches with leaves will sprout... and within a year olives can usually be harvested. An Arab will plant an olive sapling, and perhaps with luck his grandchildren will see the fruits of his labor. This is a heart-warming parable... until you consider that it is often used in reference to the ongoing war against the west.

AmyS... This is a perfect example of how dangerous western values can be when confronting an enemy that considers these values not only a sign of weakness, but a vulnerability to be exploited. The true challenge of this century will be how to safeguard the free/open nature of our societies without trampling on the very freedoms they are supposed to guarantee. It's like the old joke about the guy who walks up to the pacifist and punches him in the face. The pacifist gets up and makes a move to retaliate and the attacker says, "no, no... you're a pacifist! Are you really going to turn to violence at the first sign of trouble?" The pacifist agrees and begins trying to negotiate with the attacker to find out what is bothering him. Once again the attacker punches the pacifist in the face! This goes on and on until finally the pacifist realizes that he must either adopt at least some of the attacker's values or die. The west has had it's nose bloodied several times in a row now already... but we keep getting up and trying to negotiate.

Posted by: David | Jul 7, 2005 4:49:56 PM

David, thoughtful words. This will keep happening, until the nations of the world understand the seriousness of which this nation-less army ages it's war on the rest of the world.

Posted by: Chaim | Jul 7, 2005 5:55:25 PM

You said it well. I don't expect Britain to back down, they have some experience with terror outside of this incident.

The big question to me is still what will Europe do as a "whole." Will they take a unified stance or continue this fragmented and myopic position of the past.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 7, 2005 6:20:53 PM

Please read: http://www.cia.gov/nic/PDF_GIF_2020_Support/2004_05_25_papers/lessons.doc

From that doc - techniques of Islamic war: co-opt the middle and create links to more moderate and popular causes; use Arab satellite television as well as traditional media; maintain a strategy of attrition but strike hard according to a calendar of turning points and/or at targets with high political, social, and economic impact; and push “hot buttons.” They also include limited actions that provoke disproportionate fear and “terror” force the US and its allies into costly, drastic, and sometimes provocative responses; use Americans as proxies; attack UN, NGO, Embassies, and Aid and foreign business operations; “Horror” attacks, atrocities, and alienation: keep “failed states” failed; confuse the identity of the attacker; exploit conspiracy theories; and to shelter in Mosques, Shrines, high value targets, and targets with high cultural impact; exploit, exaggerate, and falsify US attacks that cause civilian casualties and collateral damage, friendly fire against local allies, and incidents where the US can be blamed for being anti-Arab and anti-Islam.

more articles here: http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:8JPbzPgv4uIJ:www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_2020_2004_05_25_intro.html+changing+nature+of+war&hl=en

Posted by: Mirty | Jul 7, 2005 6:44:21 PM

When I saw the bombing on TV, the first thing I thought was, "let's see how long they take to blame this on Israel and Bush."

It's what I call "The big 'but'." Terrorism is terrible, and you can never condone the taking of innocent life, BUTTTTT Israel/America/Bush/Blair deserve it.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jul 7, 2005 7:46:54 PM

Tony Blair is a Conservative in disguise.

He won't pull out.

Anyway, us British have had to deal with terror for years and years already. Remember the IRA? Wasn't all that long ago when they last attacked our weirdly shaped island.

Posted by: Frummer? | Jul 7, 2005 8:02:42 PM

"If Paris has won the 2012 Olympic bid, would the attack have taken place on the Metro instead of the Underground?"

After having been following newstickers this whole day, it must say it strikes me strange that a lot of people want to see a connection between the Olympic games and the terror attacks, rather than the first full round at the G8 summit over in Scotland [think: Edinburgh is under full control and surveillance, some 'leaders of the world' getting together, the leaders that are a thorn in terrorists' eyes, while London is out of the focus and virtually unguarded for a wink of an eye]!

So do you think the cells stood ready and in gear in Paris, London...until London won the big chunk of the cake and they could hide their bomb packets in less than 24 hours? No way. The eyes of the world have been focusing the events all around G8, so wouldn't that make the perfect stage for what eventually happened this morning?

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 7, 2005 8:29:17 PM

I agree with everything you said, and I'm glad you made the distinction between mad and evil. These people are not mentally ill; they're bad.

My only disagreement is your prediction of England's withdrawal. I think you underestimate Blair. He's taking a lot of heat from his own party for his pro-war stand. He has nothing to gain. I have to believe that he is doing this because he really understands what the war is about. He will stand strong.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 7, 2005 8:46:28 PM

I feel sad and concerned for those who were wounded and for the families of those killed, certainly.

I must say, to be perfectly honest, the people who did this spent tons of time and money to pull it off, most likely, and killed under forty people. By next week, things will be running almost as they were just yesterday. I don't want anyone to die or to be wounded and my thoughts and prayers are with them, but in terms of enemies frightening me, I'm not the slightest bit afraid. If I had tickets to go to London next week, I'd go with glee. It's amazing to me that this doesn't happen more often and that the scale of this is so small considering what damage could be done with so much less, God forbid.

Posted by: Alice | Jul 7, 2005 9:02:30 PM

Alice: I would also go to London tomorrow, but we shouldn't underestimate the damage. Hundreds are injured, and many of those injuries will be permanently disfiguring or disabling. The economic impact is also relevant. The toll from all the lost business just from people who couldn't get to work will be enormous, not to mention the direct destruction from the blasts. Finally, the ultimate target is psychological. If England withdraws from Iraq, the attacks will have been victorious.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 7, 2005 9:08:58 PM

Dr.B., I don't quibble with your assessment of the situation at all. Just giving my honest response. The people who did this are the biggest Nothings to ever blemish the face of this earth. They are totally irrational and have zero to offer the planet. They just don't frighten me and the less they frighten us all, the less power they have. I'm glad you'd go to London too. We shoud continue to fight these turds, just never let them stop you from living your life exactly as you please. That's all I'm saying.

Posted by: Alice | Jul 7, 2005 10:01:05 PM

The leaders of Australia were reelected after the attacks in Bali. The leaders/govts. of Denmark, England, and the US were all reelected. It's not at all clear to me that reactions to this will be unanimously against Blair/Labour. Certainly some will react that way, but I think many will not. Brits are tough people who enjoy their unique identity within Europe and the world. The lion's share of pundits thought Blair would go down like a lead balloon due to Iraq and he certainly did not. Brits don't like to be bullied, just like Americans do not.

Posted by: Alice | Jul 7, 2005 10:16:41 PM

Chaim... Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon.

Jack... Europe can't really be blamed for acting with disunity. The whole idea of a unified Europe was smoke and mirrors from the get go.

Mirty... Interesting reading (it should be required reading)... Thanks. I can sum it up in three words: Divide and conquer. This asymmetrical warfare is not meant as a means to win... it is meant to keep us all off balance and at each other's throats. Then they can move in for the kill.

mike, um I mean psychotoddler... Well put. I hadn't thought of it that way, but it rings true.

Frummer... Yes, the British have had more than their share of experience with terror. But I don't know if the public has the stomach for a protracted fight with terrorists anymore... especially if they think the solution is as quick and easy as leaving Iraq (obviously it's not).

mademoiselle a. ... In all fairness, I don't know how many people actually under sand what the membership and role of the G8 actually is... but the Olympics is on everyone's radar. Also, the G8 summit has been mentioned halfway through the news for several weeks, while the selection of the 2012 host has been leading the news for the past 48 hours (until the bombings, of course). I also jumped to that conclusion at first. After a moment's thought, though, your explanation seems much more plausible.

Doctor bean... I agree with you about Blair. But he is one man who can stand against his party only so long. At the end of the day he has to think of his ability to govern.

Alice... I can't improve upon what Doctor Bean said. Asymmetrical warfare has very different objectives than traditional warfare. Remember the beltway sniper? Two men with a hunting rifle nearly paralyzed the eastern seaboard of the US for weeks! Now imagine what all these Muslim fanatics can do with nearly limitless funding, soldiers and our help in the form of open, liberal societies! And again; they are not irrational. They have found a tactic that works quite well. By medical standards, we are the ones who are not acting in a sane manner. Isn't the clinical definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? :-) As to your assessment of British and American toughness... have you seen Bush's polling numbers lately? I haven't been tracking Blairs approval rating, but with every death in Iraq Bush's numbers keep dropping.

Posted by: David | Jul 7, 2005 10:22:03 PM

David,

I have a problem with Europe that I make no bones about. I do not hide it and never will.

I agree that the subject of unity is a touchy area, but I think that in areas like the response to terror there is an opportunity for a unified front.

The Dutch are still handling Van Gogh's death at the hands of Islamic terror and the French are up to their eyeballs as well. I think that there is a point and place at which we could see something resembling a unified front, or semiunified.

Truth is that we do not need all of Europe, just a large cross section.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 7, 2005 10:36:08 PM

Yet they were all reelected in the midst of a controversial war. And they are all quite different leaders dealing with varying populations. (Denmark is super liberal when compared to the US.) And for Bush to be reelected was pretty shocking to me. The Dems aren't doing great despite Bush's approval ratings. People can hate Bush a lot, but as long as they hate the Dems just a tiny bit more, that's all it takes. And the Dems make themselves quite easy to hate/disrespect- and that's coming from a registered Dem.

Yes AQ types do cost us lots of money. They are good at that. Agreed. I think that will be the case for at least a few decades.

Posted by: Alice | Jul 7, 2005 10:44:54 PM

Jack... Think of Europe as a group of passengers in an airplane. The plane has been hijacked and is on it's way to who knows where. It is in all the passenger's interest to rush the hijackers and take back the plane... but in doing so it is fairly certain that a few people will be killed. This is the scenario that was played out on 9/11 on several airplanes, yet only one plane's passengers seem to have come together to provide a unified response. Sadly, I would not bet on Europe having too many Todd Beamers in decision-making positions.

Alice... Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Bush's drop in support is justified... but the public has not been given a compelling enough reason to continue fighting. As to his re-election, that was a statistical coin-toss that could have gone either way in Ohio. I wouldn't exactly call that a resounding mandate... red states not withstanding.

Posted by: David | Jul 7, 2005 10:56:10 PM

David,

That is not a bad analogy, but I think that there are a few distinctions. Beamer's plane had time for the passengers to learn about problems elsewhere and to consider action. I am not sure that was the case elsewhere.

If nothing else Europe has borne witness to a number of events within the past four years that we can hope galvanize more action. Maybe I am just being naive, but dammit, Europe owes all of us.

The Crusades, the Inquisition, Pogroms, Two World Wars, problems caused by colonialism- they better get their snooty asses in line and start doing more than looking down their noses at us.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 8, 2005 12:13:41 AM

Mademoiselle a,

You could well be right. But why, then, wasn't the attack in Scotland, rather than London? There is certainly enough other turmoil going on there to provide a cover for terrorists to strike at the leaders of the world's wealthiest and most powerful countries?

Posted by: AmyS | Jul 8, 2005 8:12:24 AM

AmyS... I think mlle a.'s point was that London was particularly vulnerable with so much of the regular security aparatus away in Scotland looking after the G8 leaders.

Posted by: David | Jul 8, 2005 8:24:38 AM

Amy, if you read through the news and make yourself a picture about what is really going on in Edinburgh and Gleneagles in regards to security...then you should know that this is no place for any terrorist to easily sneak in and place their bomb packets. No way. Not even through the peace camps. Turmoil yes, but the places are under tight security.

Moreover, I suspect that London made a much "better" target; for once, it's providing better places to hide, and then, these targets have definitely been focused, surveiled and plans worked out since longer. Also, David said it, London was virtually unattended, with all the focus being on Scotland. Edinburgh was a welcome trigger [since, again, who could have predicted London was to host the Olympics].
Again, and by now the media officially state it too, this was a series of attacks to disrupt the G8 talks; which are important talks, even if sadly, they seem to largely go unnoticed by public. The world leaders who are a thorn in Al Qaeda's eyes together in one spot, sitting down to talk about world matters, but "some" not being wanted at the tables.

David, it has striked me that the G8 is much less on people's radar than the Olympics lottery. So everyone has seven or eight words on politics, but G8 is actually a new brand of veggie juice to them?

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 8, 2005 1:14:06 PM

David:

I wanted to drop you a note and thank you for the thoughtful and insightful posts. I don't even remember how I found your journal, for the obvious connections are things we do not share in common. However, I am glad that I stumbled across your journal, and make it a regular stop on my wanders. I also wanted to admit, especially after reading of your difficulties with your lil graphics link that was stolen, that I linked to your journal in a recent journal entry of my own (http://journals.aol.com/wildwickedgypsy/GypsysJourney/entries/482). There was no thoughts of theft in the action, only an admittance that your post said what I wished to say, and much more succinctly.

Posted by: Jessica | Jul 12, 2005 9:38:22 PM

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