You expected maybe the Donald Rumsfeld fan club?

The Observer thinks it has found big news in a report that the London bombers didn’t like the war in Iraq:

One of the men accused of taking part in the failed terror attacks in London on 21 July has claimed the bomb plot was directly inspired by Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war.

In a remarkable insight into the motives behind the alleged would-be bombers, Hussain Osman, arrested in Rome on Friday, has revealed how the suspects watched hours of TV footage showing grief-stricken Iraqi widows and children alongside images of civilians killed in the conflict. He is alleged to have told prosecutors that after watching the footage: ‘There was a feeling of hatred and a conviction that it was necessary to give a signal – to do something.’

“Remarkable insight?” How about obscene spin?

But quite convenient spin, it is, for those who would try to blame Britain for the attack on Britain.

Yet in this next paragraph, there’s an entirely different obscene spin:

But some of the Italian media reports told a conflicting story. Some reports quoted Osman as saying: ‘I hardly know anything. They only gave me a rucksack to carry on the tube in London. We wanted to stage an attack, but only as a show. Who gave me the explosive? I don’t know. I didn’t know him. I don’t remember. We didn’t want to kill, we just wanted to scare people.’

As if we should believe and give credence for a moment what these terrorists say.

: Meanwhile, on this side of the ocean, The Times tries to understand more of the terrorists:

Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain were part of a larger clique of young British-raised South Asian men in Beeston, a neighborhood of Leeds, who turned their backs on what they came to see as a decadent, demoralizing Western culture. Instead, the group embraced an Islam whose practice was often far more fundamentalist than their fathers’, and always more political, focused passionately on Muslim suffering at Western hands.

In many ways, the transformation has had positive elements: the men live healthier and more constructive lives than many of their peers here, Asian or white, who have fallen prey to drugs, alcohol or petty crime. Why Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain in particular crossed a line that no one had before, how they and Mr. Lindsay linked up, or whether their plot was homegrown or steered from outside, remain mysteries, at least to the public.

But the question asked since their identities were revealed after the bombings continues to resonate: what motivated men reared thousands of miles from the cradles of the Muslim world, without any direct experience of oppression themselves, to bomb fellow Britons, ushering in a new chapter of terrorism.

Many here see answers in the sense of injustice at events both at home and abroad that is far more widespread among Muslims than many Westerners recognize; in the rigid and deeply political form of Islam that increasing numbers of educated European Muslims are gravitating to; in the difficulty some children of Muslim immigrants in Europe have had in finding their place or direction.

Note all the PC language and thinking in that excerpt: Muslim suffering… The religion has positive elements…. They were the first to go bad and everyone else is good… They have trouble finding their place….

And then there is the most misused word of all: injustice.

The injustice of terrorism is against the victims.

: I am not saying that we should not report what these slime say — especially if it leads us to bin Laden et al. Neither am I saying that we should not investigate their lives, just as we investigate the lives of murderers and criminals.

But enough of this effort to portray them as angry young men with motives that could possibly make sense or for a moment justify their actions. They are murderers. They are terrorists. They have no cause.

  • Eileen

    Well, jer, what happened to qrstuv and Of Course!! wxyz..

    Yawn.

    G'night.

  • Tom

    Am I reading this correctly? The Times is crediting intended suicide bombers with living “healthier and more constructive lives than many of their peers here”?

  • Eileen

    The Times?? Bah! Any rag that reports upon/addresses Dracula as MR. terrorist X or MR. terrorist Y has severe problems.

    But Jeff… You have (finally) drawn a line in the sand regarding obscenity. Amen and sigh. May I call you friend?
    Forget Bernie and the FCC and Howard. When it comes to survival, you clearly get it.

    An obsequious Thank You! for your blog and the opportunity to fight Dracula right here and right now.

    As for those who cry ‘chickenhawk’, who really needs a uniform on the internet?

  • jerry

    Just think what might have happened if:
    A) We had gotten Bin Laden in Afghanistan
    B) We had not left Afghanistan prematurely and made it safe now
    C) We had gotten Bin Laden in Pakistan
    D) We had prevented the Taliban from coming back
    E) We had not lied about Iraq
    F) We had not done Iraq
    G) We did Iraq but with enough troops to make it safe
    H) We did Iraq with enough troops and kep the army intact
    I) We did Iraq with not enough troops but kept the army intact
    J) We had had a plan (phase IV) for rebuilding Iraq
    K) We had not assumed we would be met with flowers
    L) We had ordered Halliburton, et. al., to rebuild Iraq with local Iraqies as much as possible, instead of spending the money on importing crews from around the world
    M) We had gotten rid of Halliburton and widely encouraged and paid local Iraqies to rebuild Iraq.
    N) We had not committed atrocities at Abu Ghraib
    O) We had not white washed the atrocities at Abu Ghraib
    P) We demanded accountability from Rumsfeld, Miller, Gonzales, Yoo, for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib

    There is no excuse for terrorism, and this is not an excuse. But the Administration has bungled Iraq and Afghanistan and put us all in a lot more danger.

    993275

  • EverKarl

    I sometimes imagine what would have happened if Al-Qaeda operatives had been able to pull off their plot to crash passenger jets into the House of Commons and the Tower Bridge in London on September 11, 2001. I imagine we would have been spared tripe about these terrorists being motivated by the invasion of Iraq.

    BTW, I also imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t invaded Iraq. I imagine that the jihadis streaming into Iraq now would instead have been trying to stream into Afghanistan by way of Pakistan, perhaps destabilizing Musharraf and having Pakistan’s nukes fall under the control of Islamic extremists. I imagine our troops having to try to stem the flow of jihadis not across the desert terrain of western Iraq (which has proved difficult enough), but in the far less favorable terrain of the mountains along the border of Iraq and Pakistan. I imagine the predictable cries of the Left calling Afghanistan a quagmire and remembering what happened to the Soviets there. I imagine the sanctions against Saddam’s regime collapsing (as they already were) and Saddam restarting his biological and chemical weapons programs. I imagine the knee-jerk Bush-bashers compalining that we got bogged down on the frozen peaks in Waziristan while our longtime foe — the man Bill Clinton wanted out of power — rearmed himself and perhaps the jihadis enraged over our heavy-handed occupation of Afghanistan.

    Of course, I occasionally imagine that someday, some people on the Left will wake up to the fact that Islamic extremists have been gearing up for a terror war on civilization and that Iraq, Abu Ghraib, etc. are just their grievances du jour. But I rank the probability that flight of fancy just below the one where I end up riding off into the sunset with Jessica Alba on the back of a golden unicorn.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~carlsdesk Carl

    But enough of this effort to portray them as angry young men with motives that could possibly make sense or for a moment justify their actions.

    Jeff, there’s two differant thoughts above: making sense and justification. Sorry if it upsets you (though it’s understandable), but getting into these people’s minds is not just important to get Bin Laden, but also to mitgating the effects of these radical clerics. Understanding these folks mindset is not the same as justification. There attacks make perfect sense when you understand all these elements: they were as deliberate as they were malevolent.

    They are murderers. They are terrorists. They have no cause.

    Right, right, and wrong. I think that the evil of these acts is whitewashed by assuming that this is simply a random act of a lunitic as opposed to the calculated act of a psycopath.They do have a “cause” (they think they’re on some holy path). That’s not to say it’s right. History is loaded with evil done for “causes.”

    It’s frustrating that people are demanding that our enemies be cartoonish creatures straight out a Chuck Norris flick. Many don’t care about how a man goes from teaching children to blowing them up. As anyone who has military experience will tell you, however, it is absolutely critical to understand your enemy. It’s best if you understand them better than they understand themselves. Then they can be defeated with the least cost, to yourself and your allies.

  • Franky

    ““Remarkable insight?” How about obscene spin?”
    People here told you that such an invasion would boost terrorism. Don’t come the “obscene spin” just because you grabbed a pompom and screamed “Yea War!!” ignoring vetter counsel.
    Instead of conragulating yourself for sending another country in to civil war how about a post that contains some reflexion. Just one post even hintining at the idea that your support for the war was based on ignorance, lies that were told to you and half-truths.
    Don’t tell me: that’s what the terrorists want you to do.

  • Franky

    The more I read this post, the more hackish it seems.
    So you can’t get your head around the idea that a muslim suicide bomber could be seen as a better person that his contemporaries (obviously before any attack)?
    Please go and join the line that is looking for those suicide bombers with blood-stained fangs and horns on their head.
    Good one on the injustice statement as well. Do you ever wonder why you haven’t been picked to lead the hunt for Bin Laden? or does it remain a mystery to you?

  • HA

    Jeff,

    Why Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain in particular crossed a line that no one had before, how they and Mr. Lindsay linked up, or whether their plot was homegrown or steered from outside, remain mysteries, at least to the public.

    There’s no mystery. This is why I empahsize inclusion of “western-educated” or “western-raised” as a paramater in profiling terrorists. The problem is that not only are there pathologies in Islamic civilization. There are also existential pathologies in Western civilization introduced by Marxism. When these pathologies merge, the result is particularly devastating.

    Western civilization in general, and Europe in particular has sacrificed virtue on the altar of vice. Virtues like self-reliance and personal responsibility are being displaced by government dependency. Drug use, illegitimacy, and pornography are rising. Patriotism, faith and birth rates are collapsing. These are not independent phenomenon in my view.

    When you infuse Marxist nihilism and anti-Americanism into the Jihadist soul of a Muslim, you are guaranteed disaster. When a Muslims sees the widespread vices of Western civilization, they rightfully wonder where the virtue is. When they read Chomsky and Zinn, they scapegoat there own pathologies as the result of Western and especially American imperialism. From the mainstream Muslim standpoint, the goals of Al Qaeda are justified, even if Al Qaeda’s means are controversial.

    Maybe you won’t take my word for it, but I hope you’ll find Bernard Lews more inflluential:

    http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/lewis1.html

    One of the most interesting aspects of The Crisis of Islam is the connection Lewis makes between failed social movements–Nazism, Soviet Marxism and Socialism–and the anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. These social theories played a key role in building the foundation of their anti-Americanism, a fact many are either unaware of or have forgotten (Ironically, the Middle East’s contempt for the West also had origins in the nihilistic philosophy so familiar to the brooding American college student). Muslim intellectuals in the 1930s and 1940s embraced the philosophy of these movements not because they thought them great, but because anti-Americanism was a distinct part of the message.

  • http://ruthcalvo Ruth

    HA: Thanks for the link, good info.

    Also worth noting in WaPo (as the London bombers were in many cases travelling on roundtrip tickets):
    “In Beeston, this is a vital distinction for many people, young and old. If the men weren’t suicide bombers, they feel, maybe they were just carrying the bombs for someone else, perhaps without knowing it. This would mean that their community is not an incubator for extremists.”

    See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/30/AR2005073000983_2.html

    Jeff, while the ’cause’ may not be one we can see as justification for terrorism, IMHO just denying it exists doesn’t facilitate dealing with these extremists. Eliminating the beginnings of terrorism is necessarily going to have to deal with their justifications, no matter how absurd or how inadequate to explain mass murder. The Symbionese Liberation Army was a seriously misguided hodgepodge of middle class rebellion too.

    And I am aware that commenters making attempts at rational treatment of this horror will arouse the attendant harpies of total annihilation.

  • kat

    It is narrated in al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, v3, p61, that:

    After the conquest of the city of Khaybar by the Muslims, the Prophet
    (PBUH&HF) was approached by Hajaj Ibn `Aalat and told: “O Prophet of
    Allah: I have in Mecca some excess wealth and some relatives, and I
    would like to have them back; am I excused if I bad-mouth you (to
    escape persecution)?” The Prophet (PBUH&HF) excused him and said:
    “Say whatever you have to say.”
    Even pretending to issue a fatwa to save your asses is ok by allah. Lying is ok to save your useless skin. Blaming Jews and Americans is a favorite muslim lie.

  • penny

    …."the suspects watched hours of TV footage showing grief-stricken Iraqi widows and children alongside images of civilians killed in the conflict.

    "Hours"? On what network, pray tell?

    ……"who turned their backs on what they came to see as a decadent, demoralizing Western culture."

    Give me a break. There aren't enough details of Osman or his homicidal buddies bios at this point to support that conclusion. It appears now that van Gogh's killer in Holland liked all of the decadence he could get his hands on:

    Following Bouyeri's confession of his gruesome killing of van Gogh, shocking details about the lives of Bouyeri and his friends began to emerge. They afford a telling glimpse into the secret world of Dutch Islamists who used fundamentalism as a veil to mask their sexual perversions.

    Leave it to the lame NYT's to prematurely portray these scum as clean-cut moralistic religious types.

    I despise that paper.

  • Patricia

    Of course, the reporter accepts as fact that the video of grieving widows in Iraq were grieving because of coalition actions, when in fact many more are grieving today because of Islamist terrorism. Even the TV news admits that.

    But I’m sure the bombers are telling the truth, and I’m sure the video makers are telling the truth, too! Why wouldn’t they? (Insert picture of grinning hayseed cub reporter)

  • W. James Au

    Cherenkoff just made an excellent point that any journalist who accepts this "oppression of Iraqis causes terrorism" meme at face value ought to consider:

    http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/07/question.ht

    There are 250,000 Iraqis living in Great Britain – that's quarter of a million people, one of the biggest communities in Iraqi diaspora, and just under one sixth of the total British Muslim population of some 1.6 million.

    So why, among the original 7/7 bombers, the next lot of recently captured bombers, and all the other people arrested in connection with the attacks, aren't there any British Iraqis?

  • penny

    Interesting that these scum of the earth were "inspired by Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war" to engage in terrorism and the quarter million Iraqis living in Britain don't seem to have a <a>grievance.

    Which begs an interesting question: post-Saddam have there been any Iraqis – forget the small number of hardcore ex-Baathists in Iraq that lost their perks – denouncing their liberation by mass killing or demonstrations?

    I guess the NYT's has noticed that irony.

  • penny

    W James Au, you and I were sharing the same wave-length. Great minds thinking alike. I didn't see your post before mine. My inoperable link was to Chrenkoff too.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    These social theories played a key role in building the foundation of their anti-Americanism, a fact many are either unaware of or have forgotten (Ironically, the Middle East’s contempt for the West also had origins in the nihilistic philosophy so familiar to the brooding American college student).

    It also has something to do with America’s ceaseless meddling with the region since the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia during the 1930’s, but how much more satisfying to blame our current enemies for having subscribed to the failed ideologies of all of our past opponents!

    I particularly like the fact that the Arabs are unaware of the fact that their grievances against the West are merely due to past cultural influences that they themselves have forgotten. Huh? How come when liberal professors pull shit like this out of their asses you Righties howl like a pack of demented coyotes? I guess the Ivory Tower ain’t so objectionable when scholars long past their expiration date like Lewis happen to agree with you.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    I sometimes imagine what would have happened if Al-Qaeda operatives had been able to pull off their plot to crash passenger jets into the House of Commons and the Tower Bridge in London on September 11, 2001. I imagine we would have been spared tripe about these terrorists being motivated by the invasion of Iraq.

    This has got to be one of the dumber memes kicking around the right-leaning blogosphere these days. As if the 9/11 attacks invalidate any other past, present, or future reason for perpetrating an act of terrorism. How do you argue with this kind of pretzel logic? You can’t, and that’s exactly the point. The hawks want a blanket immunity from the basic axiom of the universe that actions have consequences, and while trotting out September 11th has seemed to work pretty well in the past for absolving the Right for their collective failure to make the world a safer place, it’s starting to wear a little thin these days.

    The War in Iraq may not be THE cause of Islamicist terror in England, but it’s certainly become A cause, by the perpetrators’ own admission. Just as former President Carter characterized the Iraqi occupation and prisoner abuses at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib in an interview with the Associated Press yesterday: “I wouldn’t say it’s the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts.”

    We can debate the real reason why they hate us until we’re all blue in the face, but to deny that our current actions aren’t making a bad situation worse isn’t even disingenuous at this point, it’s dangerous and irresponsible.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Even pretending to issue a fatwa to save your asses is ok by allah. Lying is ok to save your useless skin. Blaming Jews and Americans is a favorite muslim lie.

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

    Remind me again, Kat, of who said that? Sounds like Jesus was practicing a little taqqiya himself in the Gospel According to Luke.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    And Jeff,

    And then there is the most misused word of all: injustice.

    Sorry, that’s not what the article said and you know it–

    “Many here see answers in the sense of injustice at events both at home and abroad that is far more widespread among Muslims than many Westerners recognize”

    There’s a world of difference between “injustice” and a “sense of injustice”. The former validates the feeling objectively, and indeed would have been 100% inappropriate for a journalist to write. The latter, however, merely acknowledges what the perpetrators themselves see to be the pretext for their actions.

    What else was the author supposed to write in this context?

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    So why, among the original 7/7 bombers, the next lot of recently captured bombers, and all the other people arrested in connection with the attacks, aren’t there any British Iraqis?

    Simple: the Iraqis of Great Britain are like Cuban exiles in America, of a decidedly anti-Saddam, pro-West bent. If Bush were to invade Havana tomorrow by amphibious assault, do you think that anyone in Miami would protest?

    Wow, you guys are reaching.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    Following Bouyeri’s confession of his gruesome killing of van Gogh, shocking details about the lives of Bouyeri and his friends began to emerge. They afford a telling glimpse into the secret world of Dutch Islamists who used fundamentalism as a veil to mask their sexual perversions.

    Because that never happens in Christianity, does it?

    (Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Robert Tilton)

    I believe American televangelists have conclusively proved that you can be both a true believer and a perverted scumbag at the same time.

  • kat

    Jersey, if you kiss terrorist ass any more vehemently than you already are, you could just choke on the shit you inhale. You gotta take a breath now and then.

    And how the hell do you find equivalence between muslims' condoning lying and the Gospel according to Luke. True moonbat????

  • Orson Olson

    It's not reaching to observe hos the corrosive effects of Al Jezeera work on the Muslim mind, steeped in a tradition of aggression led by religion (see "Understanding Jihad" by David Cook, 2005), and bent on smashing icons (which characterizing Islam by definition).

    THE question is how long we will go on deceiving ourselves that it's not about their relgion?

    Here's another account of the above from Down Under, an Italian outlet originally:

    SMH REVEALS LINK

    Headline in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Failed London bomb attacks linked to Iraq: report”. Their source for this? One of the bombers:

    >A suspect in the failed London bombings on July 21 said the

    >attempted attack was revenge for the US-led military operation in

    >Iraq, according to a newspaper report.

    >"The bombs of July 7 in London? That happens every day in Iraq,” the >suspect, Osman Hussain, was quoted as saying by the daily La

    >Repubblica newspaper during his interrogation.

    >Osman is right, of course; attacks by suicidal pro-Saddam lunatics do >indeed happen every day in Iraq. Difficult to see how this would >encourage someone to do the same in London, however.

    Posted by Tim B. on 07/31/2005 at 09:35 AM

    In effect, Osman Hussain is saying:

    “I’m so mad that non-Iraqi muslims are murdering Iraqi muslims, that I, a British muslim, decided to murder British christians, muslims, agnostics, and atheists.”

    Um-kay.  I don’t quite see the logic in that, but whatever.

    Posted by David Crawford
    http://timblair.net/ee/index.php/weblog/comments/
    ———————–

    This "logic" makes no sense UNLESS one grasps that this is the Muslim ummah speaking – ie, one individual speaking out for all nonclerical Faithful. In other words, the claim that 'it's about US war in Iraq!' makes no sense UNLESS one assumes the sense of religious belonging, fatalism, and global insult inherent with Islam! With all due apologies: "It's the religion stupid."

  • Eileen

    How about we cut to the chase. Here's a fascinating compilation of recommendations regarding how to fight our foe, Islamofascists, by Arab Muslim reformists. Understanding? You'll find it in this article. It will curl your toes and hair to recognize the depth and breadth of the demon we face. We *are* seeing their blood soaked fangs even in our midst….

    Apparently some didn't read my primer, below, as to how to recognize terrorist apologists in short order. If they had, would they have so readily fallen on their own swords? And some 'others' have revealed themselves nicely in this thread. No surprise.

    Here's what Muslims have to say about how we must deal with 'it':

    http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA23205

  • penny

    Apparently some didn’t read my primer, below, as to how to recognize terrorist apologists in short order.

    Apologists are the Useful Idiots since Stalin’s time. Every era has them. Easy to spot. Even easier to ignore.

  • kat

    I have always considered CBS as crap, but this desecration of the Stars and Stripes makes me want to piss on a koran and flush the F’ing thing. How dare they put that islamic shit on the flag? Obviously CBS are useful idiots pimping for gutblowers. The fatwa is as fake as Tammy Faye’s false eyelashes.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/28/national/main712548.shtml

  • EverKarl

    Well, I should have come back sooner, as Jersey Exile accuses me of circulating “one of the dumber memes kicking around the right-leaning blogosphere these days.”

    The point of the “meme” is not that the 9/11 attacks “invalidate any other past, present, or future reason for perpetrating an act of terrorism.” (Incidentally, JE’s use of the word “reason” in this context seems telling… but I digress.)

    Rather, the point is that the jihadis have a never-ending list of grievances du jour leading back to the ultimate cause — that we in the West are infidels who must convert to Islam or die.

    Jersey Exile, in positing that Iraq is A cause of the London bombing, is like a doctor who confuses a symptom with a disease.

    But even at the apparently simplistic level at which JE seems to function, JE cannot show that Iraq was A cause, because it presumes that jihadi bombers would not have carried out the same plot absent Iraq. The 9/11 plot against London demonstrates that London has been on the jihadi target list for quite some period of time. In their view, cause for bombing London already existed, regardless of whatever the grievance du jour happens to be. They can say they were motivated by Iraq, but if the coalition had not invaded, they might just as well be saying it was Afghanistan, or the “zionist government in the UK” as one of the groups that claimed credit for the attack put it.

    At an even simpler level: we are at war with the jihadis and States that harbor and assist them. I expect that the enemy will counter-attack and don’t see it as a sign that the coalition must retreat. Indeed, after the Madrid bombing, Spain elected a gov’t pledged to pull out of Iraq, but the same terrorists planned to continue attacking Spain anyway.

    Moreover, JE managed to miss the entire point of my post, which was itself a response to a post by jerry, which “imagined” a whole laundry list of things that jerry assumed would have led to a better outcome but which are pure speculation. I’m not surprised that JE missed this, as he does the same thing without realizing it. In positing the Right’s “collective failure to make the world a safer place,” there is a massive set of completely unprovable assumptions being made.

    Of course, I could have simply noted that JE is citing Jimmy Carter as a foreign policy expert, laughed and moved on. Except that JE certainly can’t be so dumb as to not know that Carter was completely impotent in the face of rising Islamic extremism on his watch, can he?

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