Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tolerance Did NOT Cause London Bombings

After watching Fox News a bit yesterday, I felt suffocated by the ludicrous notion that British tolerance is what caused the London Bombing. Many anchors went further, claiming that unlike the US, which of course really understands the War on Terror, Great Britain just didn't comprehend what Islamic Terrorism is all about (nevermind the WWII Air Raids, IRA bombings, etc.). As Newshound reports, Fox News was determined to educate them:
It would be easy to ascertain what the daily memo asked its anchors to push, i.e., the British press doesn't grasp the depth, width and breadth of the massive international Islamic terrorist conspiracy directed against all freedom-loving peoples everywhere and, therefore, the British people are in the dark about the hordes of villainous murderers living right in their own neighborhoods.

Clearly, Fox News set itself the task yesterday of enlightening its UK viewers, hoping that a barrage of accusatory rhetoric would coax weak-kneed liberals like the Mayor of London and the BBC into altering their preternaturally calm behavior, catapult them into mimicking the Yanks by erupting into a paroxysm of invective and rights-limiting legislation, all the while offering up hosannas to stalwart and true PM Tony Blair.
There is the fundamental difference. The overall political reaction to 9/11 in the US was fear and anger, which has passed much legislation and executive orders in the same vein. The overall political reaction to 7/7 in Britain has been strength and daily resolve. This, of course, upsets conservatives and though they may disregard and debunk 9/11 conspiracy theories that suggest the government could have stopped it, many conservatives want to lay blame on the British government's tolerance policies for 7/7. To be fair, in retrospect, many would probably argue 9/11 was also because of flabby liberalism and tolerance.

Many staunch conservative media bear this argument out.

They bring up good points about freedom and safety, but ignore the overriding principle of "freedom of speech" (which includes association). Rather than focus on what is being protected (freedom), they focus on the ends (stop bad people). What some of these well-meaning pundits fail to understand is how the means justify those ends. If freedom is sacrificed to stop bad people, then what is it exactly we are protecting?

The argument is invariably the same: "We are only curtailing terrorist freedoms." This proposition assumes that the freedoms of a minority are somehow separate from the freedoms of the majority. But ironically, to be a member of this minority, guilt must be assumed. So the boundary approaches the realm of hearsay, rather than absolute proof. Instead of prosecuting a committed crime, law enforcement is more willing to use entrapment techniques (as in the Hemant Lakhani case) and prove guilt by concept. This blurs the line between intentions and actions.

I only hope with the recent Yorkshire raids today, the US Right will resist the temptation of elaborating on these arguments. It's not as if we haven't heard these claims before during the Cold War:
Communism was supposed to take over the world. Turns out Communism never existed. Socialism, yes, but it creaked and groaned and only "worked" because it had to allow a certain amount of the free market to support it.

Vietnam was supposed to be an example of "the domino theory." The country was supposed to fall to Communism, then the rest of Southeast Asia. Then the world! So the US had to kill one million to two million Vietnamese to save Vietnam. Fifty-eight thousand American soldiers died. Then we left, and now, the Vietnamese are semi-capitalist. They have to be, otherwise they would starve. We might as well not even have had a war.
And it is fairly obvious that those justifications led us down the path to our current terrorism crisis. I for one, rather look to the future for solutions than repeat the same mistakes.


At 5:38 PM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...

I agree that the London bombings are not due to tolerance to a certain point. But they are more tolerant than the US population. It is much less difficult to attain citizenship that here.

The UK press and politicians are far more liberal than ours. They are doing the same things their US counterparts are to a greater extent. I am writing an article concerning some of these issues, but it is not a comparison of the two nations. It will publish this on my site in a day or two. I will let you know when.

I do not agree with many stipulations of the Patriot Act. There is far too much leeway for abuse, which will invariably happen. It’s human nature.

There is no comparison between Vietnam and now. To believe this is to ignore history and politics. This President has the will and resolve to so what we must. The Generals are utilizing their forces as they see fit, within certain guidelines. They are not being micromanaged from the White House situation room as President Johnson, his aides and Robert McNimara did.

Communism did not work do to it’s inherent policies against human nature. Capitalism works for all.


At 9:10 PM GMT-5, Blogger Bonjo said...

Prisoner--you watch Fox News? Wow.

Max--To what "leeway for abuse" do you refer? I am just as likely as anyone else to be affected by the Patriot Act, and yet I don't find anything wrong with it. If someone wants to be bored to tears, they can certainly look into my life. I have nothing to hide.


At 9:05 AM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

Of course I do. Though I rather not give Fox News the ratings support, I find watching what is being reported to many Americans is just as important as getting the news from more independent sources.

Hell, I read SOTR alot, as you well know.


At 7:35 AM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...


For starters, the search and seizure without a warrant. Logic dictates that this will be abused by law enforcement for other police actions. The "terrorist" tag can be labeled as part of any investigation.

It's not a matter of 'having something to hide'. It's a matter of privacy an inalienable right.


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