Captain's Quarters Blog

« Pray for Spain | Main | The Folly of Minimum-Wage Increases »

March 11, 2004
Reviewing al-Qaeda's Claim of Responsibility

While we don't know for sure whether the claim of responsibility from al-Qaeda for today's bombing in Spain is genuine or a sick attempt at PR, the statement itself is useful for focusing us on the true nature of our enemies:

The five-page e-mail claim, signed by the shadowy Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri, was received at the paper's London offices. It said the brigade's "death squad" had penetrated "one of the pillars of the crusade alliance, Spain," and carried out what it called Operation Death Trains.

"This is part of settling old accounts with Spain, the crusader, and America's ally in its war against Islam," the claim said. ...

"When we attacked the Italian troops in Nasiriyah and sent you and America's agents an ultimatum to withdraw from the anti-Islam alliance, you did not understand the the message. Now we have made it clear and hope that this time you will understand," the statement said.

"We, at the Abu Hafs brigades, have not felt sad for the so-called civilians," the statement in an apparent reference to the hundreds of casualties in Thursday's attacks in Madrid. "Is it OK for you to kill our children, women, old people and youth in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Kashmir? And is it forbidden to us to kill yours?" the claim asked.

Sorry for the long excerpt, but I wanted to get as much of the direct quotes into this post as possible. A couple of issues pop out at me when I read this: it has nothing to do with misunderstandings between reasonable people or simple cultural miscommunications. References to "crusader" Spain reflects the idiocy of the Islamofascists who still haven't recovered from their expulsion from Europe over 700 years ago. Their twisted view of history, and the obvious fact that their own structure left them behind the evolution of civilization, feeds their hate of enlightened society, creating a rage at anything and anyone who benefits from the society that continued and continues to grow.

The truth is harder for them to face. Over that period of time, Islamic enlightenment disappeared, as the Ottoman Empire stagnated and oppressed its subjects and ossified in its dual role as ruler of state and Islam. Its society could not match the intellectual flexibility of the West. Western societies slowly reduced the power of the monarchy and successfully divorced the state from religion in all but name only. Republican structures and democratic processes developed for people to express their will and their anger without resorting to violence, and the practical separation of church from temporal power allowed people to express their religion safely without seizing power.

The area known as the Middle East never experienced this process.

As a result, Islam, as practiced in that area, equates itself completely with temporal power and recognizes that power as the ultimate expression of religion. The concepts of the value of the individual and the value of life are subordinated, much the same as fascism and communism, to the ideal of the Ummah. Fanatics therefore experience no cognitive dissonance to the murder of non-combatants who stand in the way of their expression of Islam; in fact, it isn't even a consideration, except in calculating the benefits of the terror it inspires. Their radical concept of Islam assigns no value to nonbelievers.

In truth, these zealots are dangerous to everyone around them, including the foolish kleptocracies that shelter and fund them, as they are just as deadly to Muslims who don't share their fascist view of Islam as they are to those outside the Ummah. Their continued support springs from a political calculation that these idiots target the enemies of these states without the kleptocracies being held responsible, and so they allow them to continue their operations. For instance, the Saudis refused to allow the FBI to investigate the Khobar Towers bombing that killed American servicemen in the 1990s because they didn't want the real perpetrators caught; al-Qaeda served the Saudi's purposes back then.

To expect these kleptocracies to suddenly start cooperating with US "law enforcement" efforts is ludicrous; they aren't about to endanger their own grip on power by either introducing democracy or making enemies of the fanatics. The only way to end state support of these fanatics is to make the cost of that support so high that continuing it means losing power permanently. The Taliban found out that we were serious, and while the issues surrounding Iraq had other elements of security risks, the message we sent was clearly understood throughout the region. Moammar Gaddafi certainly understood it, and rushed to comply in order to retain his position.

George Bush warned us in 2001 that this effort would be long, hard, and if we remained focused, ultimately successful. Do not think for a moment that we will change the minds of the fanatics; we aim to change the calculations for those states that support them physically and financially. Without shelter and money, these groups are nothing but rock-throwers, and when that time comes, that's a law-enforcement problem. Failure to excise the malignancy now only guarantees that it will continue to metastasize, and the resultant explosion may not just threaten Western civilization but all civilization.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 11, 2004 7:13 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!