- British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George
W. Bush went into their standard routine after the London bombings. This
was an attack against civilization and all civilized nations, they
- That's bosh and hokum, and it does a disservice to the
people. The first step always in solving any problem is to define the
correctly. There are no terrorists anywhere in the world whose goal is
the destruction of civilization, Western or otherwise.
- The terrorist attacks against the U.S., Great Britain
and Spain are motivated exclusively by Western policies toward the
conflict and the presence of Western military forces in Islamic countries.
Al-Qaeda, the ideological source of these attacks, has always been
and specific about its reasons for declaring war against the United
- You can't win a war unless you know who your enemy is,
know why he is your enemy and know what his objectives are. Only then can
you properly direct your military and political forces to combat him
- Unfortunately, very early on, President Bush decided
to create a mythical enemy of vague and ambiguous proportions and
motives. This was done to give carte blanche to the government to pursue
policies that really had nothing to do with fighting al-Qaeda - e.g.,
Iraq, putting North Korea and Iran in the "axis of evil" and
including groups on the enemies list that were in fact not our
- The confusion this causes was illustrated by television
coverage of the London attacks. Several commentators lumped together the
terrorist attacks against public transport in Moscow, Madrid and London.
However, the Moscow attack had nothing to do with the attacks in Madrid
and London, or with us. Moscow is fighting Chechen rebels who want
for Chechnya. Chechen attacks against Russia, like Palestinian attacks
against Israel, are not directed at us. They are motivated by specific
political objectives. Chechens and Palestinians have no desire to destroy
civilization; they simply wish to take their place in the family of nations
as independent countries.
- You can't have a war against terrorism because, as many
people have pointed out, terrorism is a tactic employed by people who have
no real military power. It is not an entity. There is no worldwide
- Terrorist tactics work because we live in a wired world.
Ten or 12 people can set off a few bombs in London, and the world turns
its electronic eyes on the story and chats, discusses and shows video clips
until some other event distracts it. The media attention and the inflated
rhetoric of politicians magnify the terrorist act far beyond its actual
- These attacks - pinpricks, really, in terms of any damage
they do to national power - cannot be completely stopped. A few malcontents
inspired by someone's rhetoric can get together and set off a bomb or two
or shoot some people. Terrorists should be considered criminals, and their
acts as ordinary crimes. Physically dealing with terrorists is properly
ordinary police work. There is no war involved.
- What the United States should be doing, instead of
and occupying countries, is re-examining its foreign policy
the Islamic world. There is no natural conflict between the West and Islam.
The followers and true believers of Osama bin Laden are a tiny minority.
The best way to cut the ground out from under him is to develop and pursue
policies that treat all of the Islamic countries with fairness and
- We don't do that at the present time. Because of the
power of the Israeli lobby to skew our policy to benefit Israel, our Middle
East policies are riddled with double and triple standards and reek of
hypocrisy. Because of that, we are the best recruiter Osama bin Laden
- But in the meantime, remember that terrorist attacks
are primarily media events. You still have more to fear from the flu or
accidents than you do from terrorists.
- c. 2005 King Features Syndicate