Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Sunday, May 18, 2003  

I'm also in a little shock over the suicide bombings that are spreading like wildfire. First the attacks in Riyadh, then Morocco, and meanwhile, Isreal's on the brink of civil war. I can only come to the conclusion that, as the Israel situation so obviously demonstrates, the idea that terror can be stopped through force is not only short-sighted, but extremely dangerous. It's what those of us who warned against the Iraq invasion feared, and there seems to be nothing but comfirmation of our fear. The Independent characterizes it nicely:

The wave of suicide attacks in an arc that stretches from Morocco and Algeria through Israel ­ where seven were killed yesterday ­ to Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Pakistan have been mounted by different violent groups for different reasons. Yet they stand as testimony to the inaccuracy of President George Bush's view that America is winning the "war on terror". They also fortify the position of those who say the war in Iraq was not so much part of that war as a diversion from it ­ and that it has fuelled anti-Western attacks rather than reduced them.

And despite the arrest of four men in Saudi Arabia yesterday, the authorities in Riyadh admit that the masterminds of last Monday's bomb attacks are still on the loose.

Only days ago, Mr Bush declared that "al-Qa'ida is on the run" and that "about half of all the top al-Qa'ida operatives are either jailed or dead". In either case, he said, "they are not a problem any more".

Yet they are a problem. Some of their elements may have been badly dented by the US campaign against them, notably in Afghanistan. But last week's calculated and carefully planned anti-Western attacks, coupled with a new alleged tape from Osama bin Laden, have proved that they are still in business, and that significant numbers of their operatives are willing to destroy themselves in the name of their beliefs.



Sometimes you just don't want to hear the next newscast.

posted by Jeff | 7:17 PM |
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