Everybody's Got One
A blog. An opinion. An elimination orifice. A dream. An agenda. A past. A hidden talent. A conceptual filter. A cross. A charism (often the same). A task. A wound. A destiny. A lost love. A blind spot. A bad habit. A secret. A passion. A soul ... okay, maybe not everybody ...
Monday, March 22, 2004


James Ruhland (aka Porphyrogenitus) at Enter Stage Right defends the Spanish electorate:
European experience in Spain and elsewhere is with terrorism by internal separatist sects or violent ideological extremists like the Red Brigades in Italy, Germany's Baader-Meinhof Gang, and November 17th in Greece. The response to these groups was to deny them their demands, isolate them, wear them out and round them up with investigative efforts and internal police & paramilitary action. The lesson they took from this experience in how to deal with external, Islamic and Arabic terrorism was similar. They believe what is required was patient, targeted action aimed at the cells themselves and finding ways to isolate them from those that might identify with them, to deny them the possibility that an over-reaction would lead to widespread support.

The problem is that applying the lessons from their handling of domestic terrorism to external groups has not worked. But the European populations are not persuaded that this is the case. It may be obvious to most Americans that this method cannot work ...
Satisfying as it may be to Jacksonians to scorn old Europe, he has a valid point. Europe still thinks it's dealing with its father's retail terrorism, a home-grown mom-and-pop operation, while serious Americans tend to see a multinational with independent franchises springing up everywhere. (I've given up trying to understand what the unserious American left - not necessarily a redundancy - thinks is going on.) It isn't that they're appeasers or cowards, though they have reason to be afraid - more than most Americans, in the short and medium term - but that they're trying to fit a sudden monstrous tragedy into the categories they already have. Like Aznar did with ETA, to al Qaeda's gain and the West's loss. Like Americans did with Oklahoma City, at first. They just don't get it. Yet.

They will. And when they begin to, it would be better if the difficult distance between willing and unwilling allies weren't paved with bad impressions, from our end.

posted by Kelly | 3:02 PM link