In one of the clearest statements made in a sometimes anonymous war on terrorism, President Bush said Thursday about the alleged attempt to hijack multiple flights from Britain to the United States: “this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.” The question is, are we fighting the war aggressively on American and British soil, or are we merely playing defense? Defense, alone, does not win football games; neither can it win a war against islamofascism.
Many in the British media and some “experts” appearing on American and British television remain steeped in denial, preferring “Asian men” and “evil people” and other disembodied terms to describe the islamofascists, hoping not to give “offense” and make “them” (whoever “them” may be) even angrier at us. If they are already angry enough to attempt to blow up airlines and commit mass murder, how much angrier could they possibly get? British Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged to shut down certain mosques and deport “preachers of hate” following last summer’s subway and bus bombing in London. The legal maneuverings of civil libertarians and the organized protests by Muslim groups have frustrated Blair. Less than a week before the arrest of some of the alleged airplane plotters, Blair stepped up his offensive by announcing his intention to deport dozens of Islamic extremists (it should be thousands). The Bank of England said it had frozen the bank accounts of the four men suspected of carrying out the July 21, 2005 London bombings amid allegations they had collected more than 500,000 pounds ($892,000) in benefits.
Blair said, “Let no one be in any doubt, the rules of the game are changing.” They changed a long time ago, but British courts haven’t learned how to “play” by the new rules. They remain — as do too many American courts — mired in a 1960s civil liberties mentality. They have ruled anti-terrorism laws illegal and stopped deportation to countries where they fear people might receive “inhumane treatment.” You can’t get more inhumane than blowing up subway trains, buses and airplanes. British and American courts have an outdated approach to law, increasing the likelihood that more of us will be murdered.
It is long past the time when we need to start “playing” the equivalent of smash-mouth football with these people. They’ve got our number, but we don’t yet have theirs. The British are still shocked that people who are born in their country, go to their schools, have British accents and eat fish and chips would kill their fellow Brits. They do so because their allegiance is not to Britain, or to the Queen, but rather to their perverted view of God and the instructions from the hate preachers telling them to go bag some Jews, Christians, Westerners and other “infidels.”
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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