Friday, July 08, 2005

Cui Bono? 

My sympathies go out to the victims of the London transit bombings -- I have friends here who lost friends there, just like that, in the blink of an eye. Yes, it's terrorism. But... the quick official explanation (after a near hour delay in warning the populace they were being bombed) combined with the fast confession by a brand new Al-Qaeda cell in Europe (the Secret Group of Al-Qaeda, or somesuch B-movie title) just sets off my bullshit detector.

There's something fishy, and far too convenient about these attacks. Obviously, an operation of such magnitutde was in the works for a while, but a pre-dated event existed to trigger them. The July 6th announcement date for the location of the 2012 Olympics. Not that London was a front-runner. But, the attacks coming a day after would seem to indicate a connection. But there was another event, and this is what's making me question the timing. The Government of Great Britain had just announced plans to pull troops out of Iraq.

Now... isn't that what Islamic terrorists want? And doesn't it seem counterproductive to do something which will more likely than not rally the Brits and make them change their minds about pulling out of Iraq?

In reality, it's entirely possible that the operation was planned, the trigger for launch was the announcement of London winning the Olympics, and none of the street level operatives knew or received word that the pull-out announcement was an abort. In that scenario, I wouldn't be surprised if police in the other cities on the Olympic short list didn't find plots in those places that were not carried off. But... I still have a big "if" there. Time will tell -- perhaps. Or we'll just get an official whitewash, and the war in Iraq will go on.

In other news -- the War on (Some) Terrorists obviously isn't protecting anybody. For all the security cameras and proposed biometric IDs and airport pat-downs and watch lists, people with bombs still managed to get onto multiple subway cars and buses, and most of those bombs went off. People died. It's a horrible thing. Made more horrible because, ever since September 11th, the US and UK have been taking exactly the wrong approaches in combating terrorism.

If you want to stop terrorism, you don't lock your own people in ever more restrictive boxes. The terrorists will still get in.

If you want to stop terrorism, you remove the incentive and need for the terrorists to consider you a target. You stop being a worldwide asshole, listen to what the hell they're bitching about, then figure out the most advantageous way to give them as little a concession as possible that will make them think they've won and go away.

Remember -- the Cold War was not won with nuclear weapons. It was won via economic attrition.

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