Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some Things Just CANNOT Be Said

British authorities have apparently thwarted a major terrorist attack on a number of passenger planes making transatlantic runs between London and the US. Both UK and US authorities say that the plan involved the use of liquid weapons - presumably poisons or explosives - smuggled onto the planes disguised as ordinary substances (soda, toothpaste, hair gel, etc.) and assembled into weapons once onboard. In the UK, 21 individuals have been arrested in early morning raids and air traffic has been placed under additional emergency security restrictions, tying up departures and making life miserable for thousands of travelers (though not nearly as miserable as if the plot had succeeded).

The details of the story will dribble out over the next few days, but what is interesting to note is the willingness of major British news outlets, in particular the always politically correct BBC, to avoid reporting a crucial element of the story: the identity of the suspected terrorists.

Sources told the BBC the "principal characters" suspected of being involved in the plot were British-born, and some have links to Pakistan.

The suspects were rounded up in raids in London, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Birmingham. All are being held in London.

Had links to Pakistan? Hmmm. Were they perhaps Presbyterians some of whom planned to vacation in Pakistan? Or maybe British-Chinese business men some of which had done business with Pakistani companies? Or were they - dare we say it! - British born Muslims, some of Pakistani descent? From the BBC article, one can only guess (though it's not hard to figure it out).

As if to make its disdain for the facts even clearer, another article on the BBC discusses the raids in which the 21 suspects were arrested, making great pains to avoid stating anything about their religious or ethnic backgrounds.

In High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, an address in Walton Drive was among those raided and at least one person was arrested.

Police were evacuating homes in the area.

Paul Goodman, the Conservative MP for High Wycombe, told the BBC's World at One programme that he hoped the raid would not lead to reprisals.

Reprisals? By whom, against whom? There is no suggestion in the article that the arrested persons were anything but ordinary Britons, indistinguishable from the majority populace. Does Mr. Goodman mean reprisals against the family of the man arrested, or does he mean reprisals against Britons by the arrested man's family and community? This isn't clear from the article, because important information has been carefully omitted.

Of course, the UK government and security agencies, also mired in politcal correctness, have been reluctant to discuss the backgrounds of the suspected terrorists, fearing cries of racism and persecution if they reveal what everyone already knows - without having to hear it confirmed by the BBC - that the terrorists are British-born Muslims.

Aside from not wishing to offend Muslims sensitivities (by stating the facts), the elites who run the BBC don't want to mention the suspected terrorists backgrounds for another reason. If they must admit that homegrown Muslims, raised on British soil, educated in British schools, surrounded by British culture, were willing and ready to commit mass murder of Britons and their allies in the name of Islam, then they will have to admit that multiculturalism has failed. Worse, that multiculturalism has not only failed to deliver the paradise of diversity its proponents have proclaimed (much like the workers' paradise that the same crowd crowed so much about a few decades back), but that mulitculturalism has encouraged and abetted the worst, most backward and most violent cultures to set up shop and grow within Britain. Today's thwarted terror plan, like the July 7th train attacks before it, are the neon-lit billboard heralding the failure of cultural assimilation and multiculturalism in Britain. No wonder why the BBC would rather ignore the facts.

Update: Twenty-four hours after the arrests, the BBC still does not identify the alleged terrorists as Muslims. It does, however, report in breathless tones that the police fear "threats to Muslims" in the wake of the arrests. Of course, because Muslims are always the victims at the BBC. Never the purveyors of violence.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

UK Under Threat - The Price of Immigration

In Britain, the dawning realization of the strategic peril into which Europeans blithely put their own countries and cultures is spawning endless hand-wringing and dire alarms, though even those sounding the alarms are unwilling to clearly state the nature of the problem and its solutions. Britain is a perfect example of a country whose leaders grasp the problem, but are unwilling to abandon the politically correct, multiculturalist fantasy, which caused them to blunder into this situation in the first place. Not every British politician can deny the awful truth, though. Some are speaking out, voicing stumbling, somewhat fuzzy, but increasingly-closer-to-the-truth, analyses of the crisis.

Islamic terrorism has put Britain in greater danger than at any time since the end of World War Two, John Reid claimed today.

In a speech, the embattled Home Secretary said that Al Qaeda and homegrown fundamentalists posed a greater danger than the IRA at the height of their bombing campaign, or even the threat of nuclear annihilation in the darkest days of the Cold War.

On its face, this statement sounds a little silly. Muslim terrorists cause terrible carnage, but hardly anything like the nuclear annihilation that an exchange between NATO and the Warsaw Pact would have wrought on Britain (twenty or more nuclear blasts on British soil). A Soviet nuclear strike would have obliterated Britain forever; Muslim terrorists simply do not possess the destructive arsenal of the USSR.

However, a deeper consideration of Mr. Reid’s claim reveals its surprising accuracy – provided one takes a broader view of the problem than just terrorism.

The USSR could have annihilated Britain, but it was effectively deterred by the threat of NATO (read: US) retaliation against the Russian homeland. Islamists do not believe that their attacks will result in devastating retribution against Muslim holy cities, and are not deterred by the thought of their own destruction. Still, Islamic terrorists cannot destroy Britain with bombs (though, admittedly, nuking London would cripple the country), but they do not need to do so.

Britain – and every other Western nation - can be destroyed from within, and without the need for nuclear weapons.

Mr Reid told his audience at the Demos think tank that Britain now faced a situation of fluid borders and mass migration, which had led to a more diverse and changing population.

Here, Mr. Reid finally puts his finger on the problem. Mass immigration of people from alien cultures, mostly Muslims, combined with the UK’s low native birthrate has put the country in a very perilous condition. The very nature of what it means to be British is under threat, and that threat grows with each Muslim immigrant, whether that immigrant ever engages in terrorist activities or not. The more Muslims there are in the UK, the greater their gravitational affect on British politics and culture. (The same situation pertains to Latino immigrants in the US.) As Muslim populations grow within the West, they dilute the cultural and racial identity, weakening the bonds that have held Western societies together and slowly eroding the cultural traditions and beliefs that are the foundation of the West. This effect can be already seen in the politically correct rhetoric of the Blair government, which evades ever mentioning Muslims or Islam as the source of the crisis. Blair has even gone so far as to champion “anti-racism” laws that would squelch free speech in the name of silencing any criticism or Muslims (or other foreigners). Racism, apparently now being defined as any objection to mass Muslim immigration or a desire to preserve Britain racial and cultural identity.

[Reid] admitted that despite the efforts of police and security services, he could not guarantee another terrror attack would be prevented and that the risk would only be minimised if all sections of the community joined in a national effort to beat extremism.

His claims come just days after he launched a bitter attack on senior judges who ruled that six terror suspects subjected to control orders in the UK deserved more lenient treatment under human rights laws.

Labour ministers have struggled to secure a range of new powers they claim are vital to tackle terrorism.
Controversial plans to allow police to detain suspects for 90 days without charge were watered down to 28 days in Parliament, while a new offence of glorifying terrorism was also watered down and powers to shut down extremist mosques were dropped.

Unfortunately for Mr. Reid, and for Britain, not “all sections of the community” wish to defeat Islamic extremism, especially not in the Muslim community, a significant percentage of whose members, according to recent polls, sympathize or openly support Islamic terrorists.

What Reid doesn’t say – because, in the PC environment the Blair government has fostered, it would be racist to say it – is that Britain faces this problem solely because it has allowed large numbers of Muslims to settle in Britain. Without those communities, and the political pressure they create, Britain would face little threat from Islamic terrorism. Few Muslims would be permitted to enter the country and their movements would be monitored.

If Britain had never tolerated the mass immigration of Muslims, it wouldn’t have to worry about “extremist mosques” because there wouldn’t be any one British soil, and the few extremist Muslims that had entered on tourist or educational visas could be rounded up and deported without any outcry from enraged, voting, Muslim communities.

According to MI5's newly-introduced system of published threat ratings Britain currently faces a 'severe' threat of terrorist attack.

The second highest alert level means an attack is officially considered 'highly likely' and the country faces a 'serious and sustained threat'.

Critics have accused Labour of weakening Britain's security through shambolic immigration policies which they claim have allowed unprecedented numbers of foreigners to enter the country with few effective controls.

Mr. Blair has been every bit the disaster for the United Kingdom that George Bush as been for the US. Both men like foreign adventures to promote democracy where it cannot flourish, but refuse to defend their homelands from foreign invasion and subversion. Both denounce those who disagree with their policies as “racists.”

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Our Money Pit on the Tigris

While the degenerating security situation in Iraq continues to grab most of the headlines, with the Shia and Sunnis now engaged in a resumption of their centuries-long bloodbath, the full scale of the Bush administration's mishandling of the occupation financing is beginning to come clear. Larry Kudlow, outspoken advocate of both the administration and the Iraqi war, admits just how bad the situation is in a recent article on the National Review's web site.

...Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, now estimates that corruption costs in Iraq have reached a startling $4 billion per year. This is vital taxpayer war money — money you’d think would be safeguarded by the GOP Congress. But nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.

A Wall Street Journal story on the subject states that “the Bush administration continues to wind down its ambitious Iraq reconstruction program, which has spent ten of billions of dollars on rebuilding efforts that have largely failed to restore basic services such as water or electricity to pre-war levels.”

And why has this spending failed?

Sen. Susan Collins (R., Me.), the chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that overseas the war money, says this is a story of “mistakes made, plans poorly conceived, overwhelmed by ongoing violence, and the waste, greed, and corruption that drains dollars that should have been used to build schools, improve the electrical grid, and repair the oil infrastructure.”

True enough, corruption is a big part of this problem, in particular the oil smuggling that continues to siphon off what could be precious oil revenues for Iraq. U.S. Comptroller General David Walker says 10 percent of Iraq’s refined fuels and 30 percent of its imported fuels are being stolen.

But Bowen says this is a problem that began at home: “the Bush administration’s overall handling of Iraq contracting — from relying on no-bid contracts even when major fighting had ended, to failing to standardize contracting regulations to help prevent fraud — was deeply flawed.” He goes on to say that the U.S. has not provided the proper contracting and procurement support necessary to manage reconstruction efforts that were begun three years ago, and also cites widespread mismanagement among competing U.S. government agencies.

Kudlow wants to apportion some of the blame to the Congress, which is only fair since Congress controls the nation's checkbook (or, to be more realistic, credit card - since we are borrowing heavily to pay for this adventure). But the administration deserves even more blame for not rigorously supervising the reconstruction effort. Of course, real oversight can hardly have been expected from an administration that did not forsee - and certainly made not plans to deal with - an intifada-style insurgency after we invaded a Muslim country.

Of course, the financial corruption, wasted billions and fraud that has come to light so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

Kudlow, one senses, is waking from the ideological fog that has enshrouded him for three years, and is beginning to perceive, very reluctantly, the reality of the situation in Iraq.

I say all this as a war hawk and a war supporter. I want to win this war. I do not want to cut and run. I agree with President Bush’s basic mission of spreading democracy and freedom to the Middle East.

But after three democratic elections in Iraq, a wondrous advance for democracy, it still does not seem that we are winning this war. And if we are not winning it, then one has to worry about the possibility that we may lose it. And that would be a very bad thing.

By "winning the war" Kudlow seems to mean an ending of the violence and the establishment of a Western-style democracy in Iraq - a Baghdad that is run somewhat like Minneapolis. But that was always the fatal conceit of this war. Baghdad isn't Minneapolis; Iraqi's aren't Minnesotans. Islamic culture is hostile to Western secular-democratic values and offers no bedrock on which to build the foundations of a democratic republic. Defeating Saddam, conquering Iraq - these were acheivable military goals. Turning Iraq into a hotter, smellier version of Minneapolis is beyond our military capacity - unless one wants to flatten the place WWII-style and rebuild from the ground up with newly imported residents. The US is not now, and never was, prepared to undertake the re-construction of an entire culture. Nor is that what the administration advertised. But that's not surprising ... they really never had a clue.