Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The key to Mark Steyn's excellent column on the Beslan massacre lies here:

The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.

But they didn't. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators' own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn't seem to be an issue here.

This hasn't been lost on some people. Abdulrahman al-Rashed, a prominent Arab television executive, penned a column for Asharq Al-Awsat, headlined, The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims! (I haven't been able to find the original, but this Jerusalem Post summary gives a hint of what seems to be the flavor of the piece.)

At the Republican convention in New York, John McCain, Ron Silver, and Rudy Giuliani (among others) highlighted this truth: That the war on terror is really a war against a virulent strain of Islamism. Is it the whole of Islam? Surely not. But is this branch of Islamism prevalent enough to swamp the healthy Islam practiced by most Muslims? Absolutely. As someone once pointed out, how many Bolsheviks did it take to transform Russia in 1917? If your purpose is sick enough, and your methods brutal enough, you don't need a majority.

The second point which Steyn makes clear is that this is a pivotal moment with regard to Russia. President Bush should do whatever it takes to bring Putin back into the fold, to show the world that America and Russia share a common enemy in the war on terror.


Anonymous said...

IRA splinter group: Omagh bombing (1998), 29 dead including 9 children (one was a 18-month baby).
Never mind the IRA bombing in the 1970s. 21 dead in a bombing in Birmingham. As long as they are not american, and as long as there's no profit...
Timothy McVeigh: 168 dead including 19 children.
Goldstein: (Hebron Mosque, 1994), 29 dead including 6 11-15 year olds.

Not included various genocides commited by non-muslim nations, where children were a target: Cambodia, Rwanda and Germany being the most notorious (two of them are christians btw).

Though there is a real problem with muslim extremists, I don't think one should reduce terrorism to it.

Anonymous said...

"Though there is a real problem with muslim extremists, I don't think one should reduce terrorism to it."

Maybe...However, it is an understandable extrapolation. Most terrorists = Muslim extremists...Yeah, I can go there. One shouldn't be so naive to think most others won't come to the same conclusions. The world just can't ignore the cause and effect patterns of terrorism and those who practice it. Extremist Islam is unique in this respect - it is a philosophy or movement that is on the road to institutionally underwriting terrorism ..."Jihad" is simply formalized terrorism.

There comes a point where being PC is way beyond foolish - it's really dangerous.

miklos rosza said...

What makes Beslan fairly unique is that the children killed were not "collateral damage" but precisely the intended targets. And this is where the perpetrators reveal themselves as more than your garden-variety terrorists -- they are psychopaths.