July 24, 2005

BAD TRAINING

Police admit 'tragic' error: the man we shot on the Tube was no terrorist (Andrew Alderson, Charlotte Edwardes and David Harrison, Telegraph, 7/24/05)

Scotland Yard was facing a severe crisis last night after it admitted that the man shot dead at Stockwell Tube station on Friday morning had no links to terrorist attacks on the capital.

The victim, a Brazilian, was shot five times in the head as he ran on to an Underground train pursued by armed officers, including members of SO19, Scotland Yard's specialist firearms unit.

The Metropolitan police named him as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, an electrician from Minas Gerais who was living in Scotia Road, Stockwell, with three cousins. He is an innocent victim of a new "shoot to kill" policy under which officers have been told to shoot at the head if they believe they are confronting a suicide bomber. . . .

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said on Friday that the man was "challenged and refused to obey police instructions". The shooting was "directly linked" to anti-terror operations. . . .

It is believed that Mr de Menezes, who is thought to have spoken good English, may have been working illegally in Britain for up to four years. He is thought to have panicked when confronted by armed men as he was about to buy a Tube ticket at about 10am. Witnesses said that he hurdled the ticket barrier, ran down the escalator and stumbled into a carriage.

Three armed officers who pounced on him, might have thought his padded jacket contained explosives. One of them shot five bullets from a handgun into his head in front of horrified passengers. . . .

One senior source said last night: "We were led to an address in Stockwell by documents found in the abandoned rucksacks and by our intelligence. This house, which now appears to be a multi-occupancy address, was put under surveillance." . . .

If three officers are going to hold someone down in the subway car while one of their number pumps 5 bullets into his head, they really need to make sure that they're right. Good call on remembering the suicide bombers should be shot in the head. Bad call on the execution style murder of the innocent. I suppose, though, that they could recast this as a victory in the war against illegal immigration. I know some Americans who would cheer them on, in that case.

Posted by David Cohen at July 24, 2005 12:04 AM
Comments

I cannot concur that this was a bad call because it turned out to have been a bad call. This is like casulties in a danger close call for fires. The judgement call is whether you will take more casulties from the enemy action you are preventing than you will take from the so-called friendly fire. If you have decided that the tactical situation requires danger close fires, and you take some losses, oh, well.

What are the London police supposed to do now? Do you want them to not shoot when a subject wearing unusually heavy clothing fails to cooperate? This poor guy was taken out because he was acting exactly like a terrorist when he was only a wetback. Oh, well.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 24, 2005 12:58 AM

So a non-white guy in London, who knows about the recent attacks, who knows what the terrorists look like, wears a bulky jacket in warm weather, and when ordered by police to stop, runs for the subway? What an idiot. Tragic accident and all, but I'm sorry, the average IQ of London went up a fraction after this.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 24, 2005 1:26 AM

Darwin award winner of the year.

Posted by: obc at July 24, 2005 1:29 AM

"Bad call on the execution style murder of the innocent. I suppose, though, that they could recast this as a victory in the war against illegal immigration. I know some Americans who would cheer them on, in that case."

Please define your terms:

"innocent" - working illegally in Britain for up to four years... hurdled the ticket barrier, ran down the escalator... you know, like any normal citizen might do in this situation. Darn, what ever happened to the right to run away from the police while wearing a padded jacket into a subway, where, oh, a bunch of terrorists have recently been exploding bombs?

"they" - ??? Do you mean the fellows that shot the guy?! They were under orders, and under extreme stress, and are probably suffering terrible guilt. They deserve compassion, not insults.

"victory" - ??? WTH???

Sadly, I definitely know of one American who casts the blame on the wrong party...

Posted by: Darryl at July 24, 2005 1:57 AM

I don't have any comment on the right or wrong of the shooting, but maybe after this the British public won't be so quick to criticize the Israeli police and army for their actions in far worse conditions.

Posted by: Randall Voth at July 24, 2005 3:04 AM

"I know some Americans who would cheer them on, in that case"

You should report such people to the police.

Posted by: h-man at July 24, 2005 5:40 AM

Terrible thing all around, but I agree with Darryl.

Posted by: RC at July 24, 2005 7:26 AM

The poor sod was being chased by plainclothes/undercover police, not regular bobbies. Is he really supposed to stop because a bunch of gun-wielding ordinary-looking folk tell him to?

He was an electrician going about his business, and apparently his wires, tape, et al. caused suspicion.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at July 24, 2005 8:33 AM

1. Based on current reports, the police were wrong from the beginning because they failed to check who lived in the house.

2. Someone from Brazil finding the London summer cool is not particularly suspicious. In any event, the reports are backing off the "heavy coat" theory and are now talking about "padded jackets." That covers a fairly wide range. As I write this, the temperature in London is 61F. Any number of those jackets are perfectly appropriate.

3. Then there's this: "He is thought to have panicked when confronted by armed men."

4. I will defer to Lou on this, but if they put 5 bullets in his head in rapid succession in a crowded subway car, they were firing from point blank range without any concern that he would be moving. In other words, they had him pinned to the ground.

So, to recap. They staked out a house without looking to see who lived there. They followed some random guy who came out of the house. When he went into the tube, plainclothesed officers approached him with guns drawn -- but failed to station anyone to keep him from entering the station. When he bolted they chased him into a subway car, held him down and from point-blank range put five bullets into his head.

Bad training.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 24, 2005 8:36 AM

One just hopes the police don't become overtly cautious and a terrorist does manage to slip through. Otherwise, I agree with Darryl.

Posted by: Joe at July 24, 2005 8:52 AM

I read in the NYT he was in England legally. It all was a horrible mistake, under stress, on the part of the police and on his part as well. The guy could have been a bomber.

This happens more often than we would like in the highly stressed confrontations on the streets and in conventional war. Start blaming those doing their best to protect us and themselves by Monday morning quarterbacking and we'll neuter them; just as the FBI, CIA and many police forces have been neutered, by taking away their will to act in emergencies.

Posted by: Genecis at July 24, 2005 9:31 AM

Running from the average Limey flatfoot before 7/7 may have been the prudent, even the smart thing to do for an illegal immigrant, but once subway cars started exploding the rules changed. A prudent criminal adapts to that change.

Posted by: Pete at July 24, 2005 9:43 AM

David,

You're amazing. In recent weeks, you've said things that have caused me to defend Britain, the Catholic Church and now police behavior. If I start defending the DH rule, then I'll have to seek psychiatric help.

Consider the London police officer. He usually doesn't carry a gun and when he does he is ill-prepared to do so. It is self-evident that local government is hostile to him doing his job and that many in authority and in the media in London believe that the people with the bombs are the heroes.

The heavy coat is suspicious. I don't care if it was 61F, and he was from Minas Gerais, where the weather is warm but hardly tropical. Also, he had been living in London for some time, and when people move to a new climate, even a relatively minor shift like NJ to Florida, their body temperatures adjust rapidly.

He failed to stop and identify himself when instructed to do so by police who were performing their function in accord with standard procedure. They confronted him as he was about to buy a ticket, which is done as you enter the subway. Everything else that happened was his own damn fault. Simply put, the police had no choice.

I understand that smarmy lawyers in New England backwaters no one cares about don't realize the dangers and vicissitudes confronted by the urban police officer. But that is still no excuse for the kind of ACLU-inspired deliberate obtuseness and ignorance of the facts you have shown.

Posted by: bart at July 24, 2005 12:54 PM

Lou says: "I cannot concur that this was a bad call because it turned out to have been a bad call."

And he's 100% right. Playing the lottery is a foolish & reckless use of one's money, and that is a simple fact even if you happen to defy the odds & win. The outcome doesn't always determine whether the process was legitimate.

David, your position is that the police were wrong, flat out, but you're overlooking the timing, which is all important. Remember that guy who flew his Cessna too close to the White House a couple of months ago? If he had done that on Sep 12, 2001, he would have been shot down, and an "innocent" man would have died, but it would NOT have been a "tragic mistake." It would have been the necessary & prudent action.

Posted by: at July 24, 2005 1:12 PM

The above unsigned comment was from me...

Posted by: b at July 24, 2005 1:17 PM

As Genecis says, it turns out that Mr. de Menezes was in the country legally. The argument that his death is excusable because he was a criminal, never all that persuasive, is now gone.

Bart: Thanks. You're pretty amazing yourself. However, I'm not sure that "the London police officer . . . usually doesn't carry a gun and when he does he is ill-prepared to do so" actually counts as a defense. As I understand it, when a gun is needed, specially trained officers respond. They don't just hand the gun over to the run-of-the-mill untrained Bobby.

All: My first reaction to this was that it was either exceptional training or poor training. I don't see how we can now avoid the conclusion that it was poor training.

Of course we don't second-guess those making split-second life or death decisions. That is not this case. The police had any number of chances to apply their training and avoid this result. When staking out a house, the police should, as a matter of course, learn who lives in the house. Try to arrest people on the street or when they are somewhat isolated. When you go to arrest them, move in from all sides and make sure you have all the bolt-holes covered. Should they have patted him down when they had him on the ground, immobilized. On that I am a little ambivalent. Probably, but I can see the argument against it. In this particular case, though, there is no argument. It is impossible to justify both failing to surround him and take him quickly and quietly before he hurdled the turnstile and to justify the five point-blank shots to the head once he was caught. Either he was liable to blow himself and everyone else up at the entrance, or they had the time to make sure in the subway car.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 24, 2005 1:53 PM

David -

Impeccable logic. If they really thought he was dangerous, he shouldn't have been in the tube. They cannot blithely assume he was connected to terrorists because he lived in the same house.

I guess we can all be thankful that there isn't a Janet Reno claiming child abuse by the poor fellow as a pretext to wipe him out.

Perhaps this shoot-to-kill policy will prove to be inspired and life-saving, but at the moment the consequences are -

prevented subway bombings: 0
innocent civilians killed: 1

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at July 24, 2005 2:40 PM

Obviously no one's ever going to apply the lesson, but if they did think he was a bomber it might even have been better to let him board the train:

http://www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/024960.html

Posted by: oj at July 24, 2005 2:44 PM

Pete, he wasn't a criminal.

The best information from the beginning was from the reporters, the worst from the authorities. As a reporter, I am not surprised, but I'll bring it up the next time you guys start swinging wildly against the press.

It isn't so easy for police to identify which apartment in a building a suspected bad guy lives in. Life ain't like TV.

That said, most of them are remarkably cavalier about the difficulty. I could multiply examples from my personal experience as a reporter, but here's one:

Back when Nixon gave cops the 'no-knock' authority, the drug squad in my city raided an apartment where they'd been told heroin would be found. As they smashed down the door, the woman in the apartment picked up the gun from her nightstand (Second Amendment and all) and fired one shot through the door. Got a cop in the heart.

They charged her with first-degree murder.

Turned out the heroin was in the apartment one floor below.

The cop who was killed was the police chief's 24-year-old son.

That was our last 'no-knock' raid.

Generally, I'll buy David's assessment of the incident, but the problem is not good or bad police training.

The problem is the strategic error of trying to stop terrorists, one by one, as they approach trains. The police should have been raiding mosques and shooting imams.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 24, 2005 2:44 PM

Harry -

Was the woman in your post's story convicted?

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at July 24, 2005 2:50 PM

David,
You're after the fact planning for how to arrest this man fails to consider the possibility that he was under surveillance and was being followed to develop intel. This seems to be the most plausible explanation for why they didn't arrest him sooner or, indeed, at all. Only when it seemed as if an attack was underway did the police actually move in to prevent it and by that time it was too late to do it discretely.

Posted by: wlpeak at July 24, 2005 2:58 PM

Sorry for the typo...

Posted by: wlpeak at July 24, 2005 3:02 PM

Pete,
He wasn't an 'Illegal', but isn't it a crime in the UK to disobey a lawful order from the Police?

Posted by: wlpeak at July 24, 2005 3:05 PM

Listen everyone,
We all have different takes on this, but I'm sure, right or left, we'd all have preferred this hadn't happened.

On the other hand, there are some people who today are quite happy that it went down exactly as it did. That's the difference between us and them. We debate this mistake, they seek to replicate it.

There is nothing laudable in what they do. They target civilians to create the very dilemmas and reactions that we are having right here. They use the innocent to cause us to hesitate, to doubt, to concede.

But I put this to you, why should you ever think that someone who would coldly and specifically kill the weak, the unprotected, and the defenseless, ever stop just because you ask them to, pay their ransoms, or consent to their demands?

Posted by: wlpeak at July 24, 2005 3:22 PM

The police should have been raiding mosques and shooting imams

I like the way you think, Harry, except you don't go nearly far enough. If we're to swing to the strategic offensive and go after the source of the poison, why stop at mosques and imams? By all means let's be thorough: let's add lecture halls and professors, foundation offices and trust-fund babies, newsrooms and broadcast studios and reporters to the target list. While we're on the subject, where would you like your bullet?

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 24, 2005 3:25 PM

the 'blame the victim' logic of juddworld is priceless. the terrorists have already won the WOT, even if they never strike again.

Posted by: lonbud at July 24, 2005 4:01 PM

Hmmm. I suppose some would very much like to think so.

(Me, I'll wait for the fat lady, thanks.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 24, 2005 4:14 PM

Those who spread the poison (the imams) should be taken to task (maybe not with a bullet but with deportation).

Posted by: Bartman at July 24, 2005 4:29 PM

Stopping at the imams leaves the job half-done. Put their Western teachers on the same boat with them, and God bless when they make portcall in old Araby.

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 24, 2005 5:01 PM

Bruce, the charges were dropped, though with great reluctance, once my newspaper put out the facts.

The police and prosecutors insisted for a couple days after that they had not made a mistake, but publicity finally forced them to admit to it.

Lucky for her, there are reporters. You cannot trust the police.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 24, 2005 5:50 PM

About the best case one can make for reporters, and I'm glad your paper did its bit. Unfortunately not everyone is so well served by you.

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 24, 2005 6:20 PM

PapayaSF. You say this unfortunate young man is a non-white. Check Drudge for a picture. He looks like any average white guy to me. What color does he look like to you?

Posted by: erp at July 24, 2005 6:58 PM

The cops lost. But the guy didn't win.

Posted by: Dutch at July 24, 2005 8:12 PM

This man emerged from a house under surveillance because it was a meeting place used by some of the participants in the bombing attempt.

He exited that house wearing a jacket that was bulky around the middle, a hat pulled down and carrying a rucksack.

He ignored police instructions to halt, jumped a turnstile and fled INTO the subway.

It's hard for me to see what the police did wrong. And as for the "holding him down was enough, they didn't have to shoot him" claim, ask the Israelis how many of their people have died when suicide bombers managed to set off their belts in just those circumstances.

Posted by: too true at July 24, 2005 8:29 PM

several people here would appear to be of the mind that british (and by implication, american) security forces should adopt the israeli model and approach. should that come to pass, god help us all.

as i said above, the terrorists have, for all practical purposes, already won.

Posted by: lonbud at July 24, 2005 9:19 PM

lon - go back to your bud.

Posted by: obc at July 24, 2005 9:44 PM

We seem to have reached the chasing our tail stage, but a few points are still worth making. First, as Mr. de Menezes was innocent, everything he did was consistent -- by definition -- with innocence. Sounds to me like some new training might be in order.

Second, as I've made clear from the start, when faced with a suicide bomber, the best tack to take is to shoot them in the head. However, a head shot from any sort of distance with a handgun is difficult to impossible. Much past 20 feet only an expert is going to be sure of his shot and even the expert won't try to put 5 bullets into the head except with an immobilized bomber at point blank.

Third, and consequently, the mistakes here occurred well before any shots were fired. It sounds, for the moment, as if the stakeout was botched and the attempt to approach Mr. de Menezes was botched.

Fourth, although this is more of a prediction, the bulky coat is about to dissappear. He will be found to have been wearing a jacket appropriate for the weather.

Fifth, contrary to Lonbud's point, this incident makes clear that the British are in desperate need of some training from the Israelis who don't, as it happens, shoot innocents under the mistaken belief that they are suicide bomber.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 24, 2005 9:52 PM

"[T]he terrorists have already won the WOT"

So,. lonbud, how are you preparing for the celebration to welcome our new Jihadist masters? Conversion is easy, and if you do it now before their victory become obvious, so that it looks sincere, they not only will let you live, but maybe even allow you to wield the sword used to eliminate some of us inhabitants of "juddworld".

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 24, 2005 10:06 PM

too true:

Neither of us was there to witness what actually went down. As to his demeanor and his lamentable dress sense, these are mostly subjective qualifications and impossible to weigh without context. When you say he had "a hat pulled down and [was] carrying a rucksack" that sounds significant, until you actually go to a London tube station and look around you: it's a description that applies to probably every 1 in 5 young men. The presentation of these kinds of "facts" is highly suggestive (as if wearing a hooded sweater is a justification for killing someone!).

When a cop murders an innocent, unarmed civilian, I don't have to think about whose side I'm on. It's the police's job to separate innocent civilians from criminals. When they fail at that, they fail, period.

Posted by: Dutch at July 24, 2005 10:24 PM

jihadist masters will never rule britain or america -never in the sense of harry's timeline of absolutes, anyway. that's not the point. those who resort to terror don't need to sit in the seats of power, they simply have to get our rulers to do their bidding, which is being done left and right, and willy-nilly, by both bush and blair.

they also only have to get the people of the west thinking about them all the time, changing our way of life, looking over our shoulder, suspecting our neighbors, staking out their homes, chasing them down and executing them because they sport the wrong fashions.

remember the japanese exchange student who was gunned down in louisiana some years ago on halloween because he didn't understand the commmand to "put your hands up"?

americans are ripe for mistaken identity tragedy, and it's only a matter of time before the terrorists have us blowing each other away.

Posted by: lonbud at July 24, 2005 10:27 PM

There's a sci fi story (Heinlein's Puppetmasters, maybe) in which, to stop the enemy aliens from taking control of the nation by attaching themselves to people and taking over their brain, everyone has to go topless.

Lonbud: Not bad as rhetoric goes, but it's not persuasive unless it has some tangential relationship to reality.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 24, 2005 10:43 PM

lonbud:

I doubt if Bush or Blair (or any other government leader in the world, for that matter) is doing any terrorist's bidding. Even appeasers like Zapatero aren't receiving phone calls from Zarqawi.

Zawahiri just struck again in Egypt, his favorite target (probably even more so than here).

They say they want to 'strike fear into the infidel', but what does that mean? Do they want us to become agoraphobic? Do they want us to all carry Uzis and kill each other on the subways for looking at each other the wrong way?

Or do they just want us to have empty lives (like they themselves do)?

They can scare some of us, enrage many of us, and make a few (painful) messes now and then.

Aside from success with a nuclear weapon or some bug, they aren't going to get any 'bigger'. We (for the most part) know that, and SO DO THEY.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 24, 2005 11:18 PM

lonbud:

Looking over our shoulder? How many of us have done one significant thing about the "threat" of terrorism or had it affect our lives in any significant way? A brief wait at the airport not being significant...

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2005 12:05 AM

David, I don't know whether Israeli security forces kill innocents because they mistake them for bombers, but they certainly kill innocents.

Although I disagree with lonbud as to details, he is right in thinking that the terrorists have won in the sense that practically everybody has decided on a policy of appeasement of the actual culprits.

The problem is not some deluded schmuck with a rucksack.

Bush is giving a pass to the people causing the problem, instead of hanging them, he has tea with them in the East Room.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 25, 2005 12:57 AM

You can't hang them just for being Democrats.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2005 1:10 AM

Imcompetence and hate. These are the two reasons why an innocent was shot five times in the head. It's clear now that the man was not armed, nor reacted to the police, now knew what was going on. He was on the floor with 2 police officers holding him while a third one shot 5 (not one! Five!) times on the back of his head (could it be be more cowardly that that, or they got the trophy with this one?). Shame on the Britich Police. They made the very same thing as the terrorists: they killed innocent people. A friend of mine was saying to me: "if you really want to kill someone, you shoot this someone in the head. If you really hate this someone, you would kill him with not one, but several shots in the head, just to be aliviate the anger. It's some anger-management technic". The mistake that this young Brazilian made was to have the so called "wrong" skin color. I could even see my self being confused to a terrorist, since I do enjoy a tanned skin, and my skin is not as light as the British police would like it to be. The dilema now is "who to fear more? The "bomb to kill" fanatics or the "shoot to kill" legalized squad. Considering some of the comments that I saw in this blog saying that the police was right, the only thing that I can say is that not many British people is feeling sorry for the unfortunate South American victim. "Oh well, he was not British. Who cares, right?". Some of the notes here are actually saying that the police should shoot more foreigners, regardless if they are criminals or not, just to solve the "ilegal immigration" problem (detail: the Brazilian was working LEGALY in UK, according to the latest news). The problem that started this whole terrorism paranoia was not immigration. It was the hate that many people insist on having in their hearts. When the terrorists (both, the ones who wear uniform and the ones who don't. Ops, my bad, none of them were wearing uniforms. The police officers were dressed as civilians!) get rid of this hate that is ingrained in their hearts, many other problems will be solved just like by miracle.

Posted by: Nilson at July 25, 2005 1:32 AM

Reading the comment of that idiot called Darryl on the top of this page made me puke. This guy it's a Nazi who wants to kill all immigrants. He didin't even read the news, or he would know that the guy was legally in England. Darryl, racism is not the solution. It's exactly the problem!!

Posted by: JohnB at July 25, 2005 1:52 AM

Gentlemen, please put down the skunky beer, and slowly back away.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 25, 2005 3:43 AM

Harry,

Yes and no.

You cannot relent on killing the individual terrorists. That would be like letting cockroaches run around your house while waiting for the exterminator to arrive, rather than stomping on them or putting down roach traps.

The big picture matters. We need to eliminate our need for oil produced in the Islamic World. That is where the money, the materiel, the ideology and the training come from for terrorist activity. Once we do that, most of the problem is solved. The hook-handed imams of London and the blind clerics of Jersey City are small felaffel by comparison.

When terrorists hang out among 'innocents' (to the extent any Muslim can be referred to as 'innocent'), innocents get killed. When you get laser surgery, healthy cells get zapped along with the cancer cells. This is no different. And the notion that I should have remorse, regret, sorrow or any emotion other than complete elation when we do hit a terrorist target even if it results in 'civilian' casualties is simply, purely nutzoid.

David, you really might want to listen to Pirates of Penzeance again, especially the song 'A Policeman's Lot Is Not an 'Appy One.'

Posted by: bart at July 25, 2005 7:08 AM

Bart: They didn't actually hit a terrorist target. We've already gone over why trying to make Arabia desperately poor isn't likely to end this war. I understand the desire to believe that there is some unilateral action we can take amongst ourselves that will stop the terrorists, but it just isn't true. We have to go out and fight them and beat them. (Them, not some poor guy wearing a heavy coat.) There just isn't any substitute for victory.

Harry: Under any circumstances, it really doesn't work for you to be tut-tutting the Israelis for killing innocent Muslims. In the middle of your call for general war against Islam, it's just odd. In this you are Bart's opposite, though you both converge when it comes to killing Muslims. You understand that "they" hate us and that we can't beat them except by beating them -- but you don't understand who "they" are. That would be irrelevent if this were an existential war. As it is not existential, we get to fight it on our own terms.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 25, 2005 7:56 AM

China and India will keep the Middle East in the Black for years to come.

Posted by: Bartman at July 25, 2005 8:20 AM

David,

Nonsense.

Throwing down a few hundred nukes in Islamic population centers would go a very long way to eliminating the terrorist problem. It would be draconian and it would really look bad on CNN, but it would be successful.

In lieu of that, we need to knock the pins out from under the Muslim terror war. The money comes from oil production. The Islamic world only produces two things: oil and terrorists. The money from oil production is used to train terrorists. If we cease using oil from the region, the money to train terrorists is no longer available. If we simply nuked their oil fields, we would end the problem, but take down much of the world's economy in the process. So, the more sensible solution is to mandate the utilzation of non-oil energy whenever possible along with a public/private international Manhattan Project for new forms of energy. Once we have achieved that purpose, the funds for terror on the grand scale disappear, as do the large hiding places for terrorists to organize and train. I am not saying we stop doing what we are doing, just that we carry the war to our enemies in ways besides sending young people to get shot at in otherwise worthless places.

It is true that the elimination of the use of oil would not eliminate ALL terrorism, but that is a physical impossibility. If we can reduce it to the level of a couple of idiots with a pickup truck and 500 lbs of fertilizer blowing something up every so often, then it is reduced from a defense issue to a matter of the criminal law. And that is a lot better place than where we are now.

Posted by: bart at July 25, 2005 9:07 AM

Destroying the village in order to save it?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 25, 2005 9:41 AM

By engaging in terror, by supporting terror, by funding terror and by cheering terror, the Muslims have more than justified the destruction of their villages.

Posted by: bart at July 25, 2005 12:33 PM

lonbud:

Looking over our shoulder? How many of us have done one significant thing about the "threat" of terrorism or had it affect our lives in any significant way? A brief wait at the airport not being significant...

are you kidding, oj? look at your blog, man.

how many people don't now give fleeting consideration to the idea of suicide bombing and its effects on their way into the ballpark, the theater, standing at the bus stop?

you think the people who are now randomly having their bags searched in the NYC subway haven't had terrorism affect their lives in any significant way?

the WOT, such as it is, is a psychological war, and if the commentary on this blog is a reliable indicator, they are winning.

Posted by: lonbud at July 25, 2005 2:46 PM

David, you brought the Israel security forces into it, not me.

If you want to expand the point, consider this: In Europe, in the last few years, Christians have killed about a hundred innocent Muslims for every innocent Christian (or other nonmuslim) killed by Muslims.

The ratio is different if you go worldwide.

The warfare of Islam on the Jews, like the warfare of Christians on the Jews, is an endless problem.

Innocents get killed. Very biblical, that.

I have not advocated ignoring the guys with the rucksacks.

But it's like Orrin's campaign to put GM out of business. You could steal a Chevy every time you see one, or you could bomb the factory.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 25, 2005 4:40 PM

GM is doomed for the same reason secular Europe is--inferior organization compared to its competitors.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2005 4:46 PM

If mere inferior organization doomed groups, then all of Europe would already have been all Muslim around 1500.

For that matter, if inferior organization doomed groups, Islam would have disappeared everywhere about 300 years ago.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 25, 2005 9:17 PM

is that whistling past the graveyard i hear?

Posted by: lonbud at July 26, 2005 12:12 AM
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