Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Wake up, folks ó itís war!
Posted on 07/28/2005 6:38:08 AM PDT by Pokey78
A couple of items from Tuesdays papers. On the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian pilot programme for the Mets new shoot-to-kill policy, the Daily Telegraph reports:
A Home Office spokesman last night admitted that it had not yet identified his immigration status: We are looking into the case and will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so.
Meanwhile, the Times includes this background information on one of the thwarted bombers of the 21 July attacks Yassin Hassan Omar, a Somali asylum-seeker:
Omar, who was last seen vaulting a barrier at Warren Street station, has been the registered occupant of the flat since 1999. Ibrahim, who was last seen in Hackney Road, East London, after his failed attempt to blow up a No. 26 bus, shared it with him for the past two years. Omar received £88 a week in housing benefit to pay for the council property and also received income support, immigration officials say.
So heres how things stand:
1) Four days after Mr de Menezes became the most famous foreigner in the United Kingdom, Her Majestys Government is unable to give a definitive answer on his immigration status.
2) Four years after 9/11, British taxpayers are subsidising the jihad in Mr Omars Bounds Green council flat and in many other places.
Theres a pleasant thought the next time youre on a bus when some Islamakazi self-detonates: its on your tax bill; P-A-Y-E pay as you explode.
Number One comes at a time when the relevant department, the Home Office, not content with being unable to run its existing records system for foreigners, is determined to inflict an expensive and cumbersome bureaucracy on every non-foreigner in the land. Indeed, the Home Secretary has now upgraded it into a fundamental human right: Just let us put in place our hierarchy of rights, Charles Clarke told MEPs just before the second attacks. The right to live. The right to go to work on the Underground. The right to have an ID card. Human rights-wise, that last one is right up there with the right to be subject to confiscatory taxation.
And Number Two isnt some stunning shocking development, either. In The Spectator of 29 December 2001, I noted the likes of Zac Moussaoui, the French citizen who became an Islamist radical while living on welfare in London, and wrote:
If youre looking for root causes for terrorism, European-sized welfare programmes are a good place to start. Maybe if they had to go out to work, theyd join the Daily Mirror and become the next John Pilger. Or maybe theyd open a drive-thru Halal Burger chain and make a fortune. Instead, Tony Blair pays Islamic fundamentalists in London to stay at home, fester and plot.
I wasnt the first to notice the links between Euro-Canadian welfare and terrorism. Mickey Kaus, an iconoclastic California liberal, was way ahead. But, after three-and-a-half years, one would be entitled to assume that a government whose fortunes are as heavily invested in the terrorist threat as this ones might have spotted it, too especially given the ever greater numbers of British jihadi uncovered from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Israel and America.
Thats why I regretfully have to disagree with the editor of this great publication in his prescription of the current situation which appeared in these pages a week or two back under the headline Just dont call it war. As youll have gathered, the boss objects to the language of war, whether cultural or military.... Last weeks bombs were placed not by martyrs nor by soldiers, but by criminals.
Sorry, but thats the way to lose. A narrowly focused criminal approach means entrusting the whole business to the state bureaucracy. The obvious problem with that is that its mostly reactive: blow somewhere up, well seal it off, and detectives will investigate it as a crime scene. You could make the approach less reactive by a sustained effort to improve scrutiny of immigration, entitlement to welfare and other matters within the purview of government. But consider those two snippets from the Tuesday papers and then figure out the likelihood of that happening. A criminal approach gives terrorists all the rights of criminals, and between British and European human rights thats quite a bundle. If its a war, you can take wartime measures including withdrawal from the UN Convention on Refugees, repeal of the European Human Rights Act, and a clawback of sovereignty from the EU. But if you fight this thing as a law-enforcement matter, Islamist welfare queens will use all the above to their full extent and continue openly promoting the murder of the Prime Minister, British troops, etc. with impunity.
Softly-softly wont catchee monkey. Slo-mo conflicts are the hardest to win, in part because in advanced societies the public finds it hard to stay focused. Granted, there are exceptions to that rule: the government, battling the commies in Malaya, went the Boris Johnson route and declined to call it a war; and the eventual victory in the Malayan Emergency might tend to support his thesis. It was said that London was reluctant to use the term war for reasons of home and business insurance, but its also a broader kind of insurance: it lowers the stakes, it softens the people up for a non-victory as in the Irish Troubles. Sometimes, as in Malaya, you happen to win one of these emergencies or troubles, and thats a bonus. But the point is, by designating something as other than a war, you tend to make it peripheral, and therefore loseable.
Thats not an option here. Madrid and London along with other events such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh are, in essence, the opening shots of a European civil war. You can laugh at that if you wish, but the Islamists most often-stated goal is not infidel withdrawal from Iraq but the re-establishment of a Muslim caliphate living under Sharia that extends to Europe; and theres a lot to be said for taking these chaps at their word and then seeing whether their behaviour is consistent.
Furthermore, theres a lot more of the world that lives under Sharia than there was, say, 30 years ago: Pakistan adopted it in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984.... Fifty years ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of its in the grip of Islamic law. So, as a political project, radical Islam has made some headway, and continues to do so almost every day of the week: since the beginning of the year, for example, some 10 per cent of southern Thailands Buddhist population have abandoned their homes a far bigger disruption than the tsunami, yet all but unreported in the Western press. And whatever ones opinion of the various local conflicts around the world Muslims vs Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs Jews in the Holy Land, Muslims vs Russians in Chechnya, Muslims vs Christians in Africa the fact is that the jihad has held out a long time against very tough enemies. If youre not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldnt you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?
If the jihad has its war aims, maybe we should start thinking about ours. What would victory look like? As fascism and communism were in their day, Islamism is now the ideology of choice for the worlds grievance-mongers. That means we have to destroy the ideology, or at least its potency not Islam per se, but at the very minimum the malign strain of Wahabism, which thanks to Saudi oil money has been transformed from a fetish of isolated desert derelicts into the most influential radicalising force in contemporary Islam, from Indonesia to Leeds. Europeans who arent prepared to roll back Wahabism had better be prepared to live with it, or under it.
Mustering the popular will for that sort of struggle isnt easy. But the longer you leave it the harder it becomes. Whether or not one accepts the Johnson line that Iraq is irrelevant to the war on terror, it requires a perverse genius on the part of Tony Blair to have found the political courage to fight an unpopular war on a distant shore but not the political courage to wage it closer to home where it would have commanded far more support.
On a couple of very fleeting visits to London and Belfast in recent weeks, I had the vague feeling that Britain is on the brink of a tragedy it doesnt quite comprehend. Americas post-9/11 muscular nationalism was easily mocked by Europeans, but its absence in London is palpable: try to imagine Mayor Giuliani uttering half the stuff Ken Livingstone said in the last fortnight (The bombings would never have happened if the West had simply left the Arab nations alone in the wake of the first world war). Even if hes right, the message it communicates is weakness: bomb us, and we apologise or at the very least go to comically absurd lengths to distinguish terrorism against London from terrorism against Israel. Tony Blair, in his recitation in the House of Commons of nations afflicted by terrorism, couldnt even bring himself to mention the Zionist Entity. Boris Johnson, in his call to non-arms, began with an elaborate riff on the difference between Brits and Jews in these matters:
If we were Israelis, we would by now be doing a standard thing to that white semi-detached pebbledash house at 51 Colwyn Road, Beeston. Having given due warning, we would dispatch an American-built ground-assault helicopter and blow the place to bits. Then we would send in bulldozers to scrape over the remains....
The distinction between coarse blundering Israelis and subtle sophisticated Britons depends where youre standing. If you happen to be the late Jean Charles de Menezes, for example, you might wish fate had selected you instead to be the Palestinian suicide bomber interrupted en route to Tel Aviv that same Friday. The Euro-reviled IDF managed to disarm the Fatah terrorist of his explosives belt, packed with nails, without harming a hair on his pretty little suicide-bomber head. If the demented anti-Zionism of the British and Continental media these last four years ever had a point, it doesnt now, when youre in the early stages of the Israelification of Europe and, in one of fates better jests, in this scenario youre the Jews.
Any one of these issues would require enormous political will stop funding the intifada, reclaim lost sovereignty from Europe, imprison and/or expel treasonous imams, end the education systems psychologically unhealthy and ahistorical disparagement of the Britannic inheritance in your schools. But, without a big ambitious war-sized project, whats left aside from shooting the occasional Brazilian?
On the Thursday of the second attacks, I happened to pass through London, which isnt the easiest town to pass through these days. I am a Canadian subject of Her Majesty and, when I showed up at the Fast Track lane at Heathrow, the immigration officer plonked down in my passport a big stamp saying RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS PROHIBITED. Tosser, I sneered. Well, OK, I murmured it, very sotto voce, as I had no desire to miss my appointment because the zealots of HM Customs suddenly fancied an intimate cavity search. But honestly, what a pathetic example of pointless gesture politics: if youre a fancypants North American business traveller in town for less than 24 hours and splashing a ton of hard currency around the West End, the Home Office goes through a big hoop-de-doo about saying youve no entitlement to welfare. But if youre a Somali and you want to live in public housing at public expense for six years while you fine-tune your plot to blow up Warren Street Tube station, pas de problème!
And, of course, in the event that I were overcome by a yen to join Yassin Hassan Omar on the public teat, an automatic stamp in the passport of every Canadian, American and Australian landing at Heathrow isnt going to do anything to prevent it. For all the Home Office knows, I may already be living in a council flat in Bounds Green. This silly passport stamp was introduced after 9/11, in the wake of concerns about asylum-seekers, and its a classic example of what you get when you opt for a narrowly drawn law-enforcement approach entrusted to a complacent bureaucracy: rather than do anything about immigrant welfare fraud, theyll simply order up a new rubber stamp that gives the vague air of doing something about it.
How come Tony Blair can bestride the world like a colossus, liberating Iraq, ridding Africa of poverty, and yet know so little about the one tiny corner of the planet for which he bears formal responsibility? Well, there are several possible reasons, but the effect is pretty much the same: daily, weekly, remorselessly, the situation will deteriorate. If its a war, you can win it. Anything less is unlikely to end in victory.
"If youre looking for 'root causes' for terrorism, European-sized welfare programmes are a good place to start. Maybe if they had to go out to work, theyd join the Daily Mirror and become the next John Pilger. Or maybe theyd open a drive-thru Halal Burger chain and make a fortune. Instead, Tony Blair pays Islamic fundamentalists in London to stay at home, fester and plot."
How idiotic is it for a country to fight a stupid "war on terror" while at the same time helping to promote it and finance it through its own welfare system?
The most destructive aspect of a nanny-state welfare system is that it cultivates large numbers of useless malcontents. It's becoming more clear to me that the London terrorists probably have far more in common with a career criminal in Detroit than with their so-called Islamic "brethren" in the Middle East.
Absolutely on target, as usual!
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Another Mark Steyn Home Run! Treat the war on terror like a criminal prosecution and we get years of chalk lines around bodies and filling out insurance forms. Not realizing Jihad is here will someday find us dead or on our knees praying to Mecca.
Can I just add that Mullah Krekar, the infamous Ansar al Islam founder, has now lived on welfare in Norway for over a decade and even at some point received public funds to start a mosque. This to a fellow who brags that he cut of his first head at the tender age of twelve.
On target as usual.
Steyn on target.
What would be odd is that he would be off target.
"...and, in one of fates better jests, in this scenario youre the Jews."
Appeasement is feeding others to a crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
This crocodile has eaten our way right up to our necks thanks to Leftist appeasers.
If youre not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldnt you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?
These "welcoming" countries have stood silent and fully aware of the evil acted upon the Jews. They thought they were immune. Take down the hard targets first and the rest will fall at your feet.
However, we must never underestimate this enemy. They are among the oldest and longest lived.
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