Saturday, June 30, 2007

Terror war continues with attack in Scotland.

Three days ago, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been in office for a decade, relinquished control of the office to fellow Labor party leader Gordon Brown.

And right on cue, two car bombs were apparently primed to go off in London (though both were found and defused) and today a Jeep Cherokee was set on fire and deliberatly rammed into the main terminal at Glasgow Airport (though so far none of the terrorist plots has resulted in any injuries, and two men were arrested in connection with the incident today.) Prime Minister Brown has raised the terror level in Britain in response.

This makes several things clear:

1. The war against terror is still being fought. While it is unforunate that Blair and Bush screwed up and invaded Iraq and thereby diverted our attention, resources and time from the matter of fighting terrorists, they are still out there and we still have to be vigilant.

2. The timing of these attacks-- obviously timed to send a message both to Blair (that he had failed to prevent them) and to Brown (that Britain remains a target) suggests that terrorists have learned to use the political calendar to their advantage (as we also saw in the Spanish train bombings) and as such we can probably expect some sort of effort made in the United States next year during the Presidential election season, or if they can't swing that, then perhaps shortly after the inauguration. Of course it took eight years between the first and second World Trade Center bombings, and so the first year of the next President's term would be pretty much on the schedule they've used in the past.

3. The fact that the first two attacks were thwarted and the third attack in Britain failed to produce any injuries or major damage is partly because citizens themselves have become much more vigilant, and notice what is going on before them.

4. 'If we are fighting them over there, they won't be able to launch attacks elsewhere.' Might have been true had we continued to make Afghanistan the number 1 priority, but obviously making Iraq a priority hasn't crimped them much.

As I've said numerous times, the U.S. conquest of Iraq was a huge mistake in the context of the global war on terror, but regardless of how anyone feels about Iraq, the real terrorists are still around, and we should not forget them or give them a break.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Iraq was not a part of the war on terror when we started it, and there was a very good reason why people like al Sadr never made any trouble for Saddam Hussein (he knew what happened to his father.)

It is part of the war on terror today though. It may have been stupid to expand the battlefield against al-Qaeda to include Iraq, but we are stuck there fighting them today. If we retreat now then you can be sure there will be more attacks in other places, because they will have a number in mind. They will think that if they can kill as many Americans anyplace as we lose in Iraq, then they can make us retreat from anyplace.

I don't buy the idea that because terrorists are fighting us in Iraq they can't also be hatching up plots in America (they can, and are). But if we leave then it will be like giving them a shot of some kind of super-stimulant. There will be terrorist attacks just about every day.

The most encouraging thing to me about this is how far the quality of their planning and attacking has fallen. We've gone from 9/11 down to the level of a couple of morons setting a Jeep Cherokee on fire and driving it through the front door.