Sunday, July 1, 2007

Some Thoughts On The UK Terror Scare


Josh Marshall (via Atrios):
Scotland Yard detective John O'Connor described the botched UK bombings as "So incompetent as to be almost laughable," and unlikely to be Al Qaeda.

First of all: to our friends in the UK: know that Americans are with you, praying for your safety.

Second of all: WTF?

Two Asian men slam a burning car into a building, causing a lot of panic but no injuries or deaths--except their own. Two car bombs in London fizzle out worse than a soggy Fourth of July firecracker.

Does this sound like the highly-precisioned, destructive attacks we’ve come to associate with Al Qaeda? This sounds like a slightly more competent group than the crackpots who wanted to take out the Brooklyn Bridge with a bunch of Bic lighters. It’s all extremely puzzling.

I have some questions:

1 - How impressive that within hours of the attacks, British counterterrorism officials had made five arrests. How many 9/11 planners do we have in custody? Where’s Osama? Just wondering.

2 - To Homeland Security’s Peter King, who favors racial profiling at airports: the Glasgow attackers were Asian. “Shoe bomber” Richard Reid was half-Jamaican, half-white. Australian Gitmo detainee David Hicks is white. This is why profiling “Middle Eastern” looking people doesn’t work. There is no Muslim body type. I know it would make things easier for you if you could make all Muslims sew a yellow crescent on their clothing, but we really don’t want to go down that road, do we?

3- To the media, especially you folks at Fox News, why are you ignoring all of the good news out of the U.K. today? Don’t you think you’re emboldening the terrorists? No?

4- I thought we were fighting them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here”? You mean fly paper doesn’t work? I guess that explains why they invented DDT.

5- To the chest-thumping wingnuts who blather on about “nuking ‘em all,” please be more specific with your target. The Islamic world encompasses large parts of the globe. Unless you want to nuke a third of the African continent, the entire Middle East, and large portions of Southeast Asia, and deal with the subsequent fallout from that action, please STFU.

I realize fear is the media’s stock and trade, but I long ago decided to boycott fear. I’m just saying no. I’m going to have to trust that the people who are responsible for keeping us safe are going to do their jobs. This is a tremendous leap of faith, considering the incompetence of the Bush Administration, but there really is no alternative.

It sure beats being scared all the time.