Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 8, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

NON-LESSONS FROM LONDON....As I was browsing the blogosphere yesterday I was tempted to hand out awards. There would be one for the dumbest reaction to the London bombing, another for the most inappropriate, perhaps one for the most inane, and yet another for most gratuitously venomous.

At the risk of winning a related award myself, here's a very brief history of major Islamist terror attacks over the past five years:

  • 2001: New York City

  • 2002: Bali

  • 2003: Casablanca, Istanbul

  • 2004: Madrid, Taba

  • 2005: London

I only want to make the point that as horrific as the London bombing was, it doesn't "teach" us anything. It doesn't represent a new phase, a new tactic, or a new target for al-Qaeda. Quite the opposite, in fact. We know perfectly well that this is what they do, we can expect similar bombings to happen again, and we need to do everything we can to stop them.

It's perfectly appropriate to discuss loudly, passionately what the best way to deal with al-Qaeda is. But despite the vast amount of windbaggery this attack has spawned, there's no new lesson here just because we feel closer to the British than, perhaps, we did to the Turks or Indonesians or Spaniards. The war we're fighting today is the same one we were fighting on Wednesday.

And one more thing: if I read one more story about Londoners' "stiff upper lip" I'm going to scream. Please, please find a new cliche before you type again.

Kevin Drum 12:59 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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