July 13, 2005


4 bomb suspects born in Britain (Paul Martin, July 13, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Police said yesterday they had identified four British-born men, all thought to be of Pakistani origin, as the perpetrators of last week's terror outrage in London.

All four are thought to have died in the attacks, officials said, while declining to describe them as "suicide bombers." Another man was in custody after a search of the bombing suspects' homes in the northern city of Leeds.

If confirmed as suicide bombings, the attacks would be the first of their kind in Western Europe.

Which raises a far more difficult question for Britain than America faced after 9-11: Why do we hate us?

After the aftershock: The realisation that Britons are ready to bomb their fellow citizens is a challenge to the whole of society (Jonathan Freedland, July 13, 2005, The Guardian)

Like an earthquake, the London bombings have brought an aftershock - and it came last night. The police announcement that Thursday's explosions on the underground and on the Number 30 bus were, apparently, the work of British suicide bombers is the most shocking news to come since the attacks themselves. It is also the bleakest possible development.

Now we know that what happened on July 7 was not just the worst terrorist attack in British history, it was also a first: the first suicide bombing on British soil. That is especially depressing for a reason Israelis, Iraqis, Indians and Russians will understand well. For the suicide bomber represents a unique kind of threat...

Because Philby, Burgess, McLean and Blunt were responsible for the deaths of thousands, but not themselves?
The suicide bomb squad from Leeds (Michael Evans, Daniel McGrory and Stewart Tendler, 7/13/05, Times of London)
FOUR friends from northern England have changed the face of terrorism by carrying out the suicide bombings that brought carnage to London last week.

It emerged last night that, for the first time in Western Europe, suicide bombers have been recruited for attacks. Security forces are coming to terms with the realisation that young Britons are prepared to die for their militant cause.

A Homegrown Threat: A merchant's son linked to last week's carnage may have been part of a generation of extremists rising in England's immigrant enclaves. (John Daniszewski and Sebastian Rotella, July 13, 2005, LA Times)
He was British-born, the son of a Pakistani merchant who had made good in that most British of endeavors: the fish-and-chip business.

But at some point, Shahzad Tanweer, named Tuesday as a suspected suicide bomber in a blast that tore apart an Underground carriage in London last week, became consumed by the rage that has swept across Europe of a new and restive generation of Islamic extremists.

Neighbors described Tanweer, said to be 22 or 23, as a boy who loved sports — playing soccer in the street or in the park down the road...

Say no more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2005 8:09 AM

They're Muslims, we're not. That is reason enough for them.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Muslims gotta hate.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 8:20 AM

But they are second generation. The theory was that was supposed to cleanse them from any atavistic behavior. Learn the language and just blend in, isn't that the way its supposed to work.

Posted by: h-man at July 13, 2005 8:28 AM

Britain isn't the United States. Neither the British nor the Pakistanis think that being born in England makes one British.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 8:41 AM

h-man and David:

I heard on the radio earlier that all four suspected bombers were British citizens of Pakistani origin.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 13, 2005 9:14 AM


In France, you can readily meet people whose grandparents or parents were born in some G-dforsaken Romanian ghetto, or some dreary Polish or Sicilian peasant village or some West African hovel. They will speak perfect French, behave like French people, eat French food, watch French movies and in all important matters consider themselves French.

Muslims whose families have been in France as long as theirs do not. They continue jabbering away in Arabic, they refuse to obey French laws, they dress in their ridiculous costumes on the street, they openly mistreat their spouses, they freqently sexually assault non-Muslim women, they infest the housing projects and their violent behavior makes them uninhabitable by anyone else.

Given that the French over the centuries have been at least as welcoming to immigrants as Americans are and that immigrants have successfully assimilated there over centuries, and that the vast majority of Muslims categorically refuse to assimilate or make even the merest concession to French culture and sensibilities, what could possibly possess you to believe what would happen in America, were we to suffer a large Muslim migration, would be any different?

Wishful thinking and pollyanish pipe dreams are not a rational basis for policymaking.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 9:41 AM

Conservative MP Enoch Powell discussed this issue in a speech in 1968.

Posted by: h-man at July 13, 2005 9:42 AM


Yes, what makes the question more difficult is its answer.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 9:51 AM

h-men: second generation immigrants are usually the most problematic, as they loose contact with the culture of their parents, but are not integrated into the local culture.

bart: tell the huguenots and jews how welcome they were in France.

Posted by: Daran at July 13, 2005 9:56 AM


France has had 4 Jewish heads of government, Blum, Mendes-France, Meyer and Fabius. How many has the US had?

The Socialist candidate for President the last two elections was a Protestant, Lionel Jospin. The most likely Socialist candidate after the EU vote is probably the aforementioned Fabius.

For some French Catholics, the problem boiled down to religion. The Huguenots were just as much ethnicly French as the Catholics. The Jewish population is about 2500 years old. Even the most retrograde of French Catholics never persecuted Jews or Protestants who became Catholic. Montaigne, a Jew raised as a Protestant who converted to Catholicism, made it through the Counter-Reformation and Pierre Laval's(the head of government under Petain) wife was a Jewish convert to Catholicism. Germanic Volkist concepts are completely alien to the French mind.

I lived in France as a Jew for 3 years in my life and didn't have any problems worse than one would encounter in a NYC suburb.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 10:11 AM

There's a great comment that Ali Choudhury posted here long ago that I haven't been able to find in the archives about how young British Muslims become radicalized. As best I can remember, it went something like this:

During childhood, British Muslims are sheltered at home and in their neighborhoods. If not wholly Pakistani (for example), the life of the Muslim child in Britain does not include those elements of British life that are strange or foreign: no one drinks, no one eats pork, everyone attends mosque, etc. When, at 18 or 19, the British Muslim leaves home, he starts to have to deal with the host culture. Particularly if his parents were middle-class, particularly if he is to be educated, he (if I remember correctly, Ali's comment dealt specifically with young Muslim men) finds himself at University a minority within a culture much different than his own. British college students drink, Muslim students don't. British students "date", Muslim students are uncomfortable with western women. The only familiar institution -- perhaps the only comfort the Muslim first away from home can find in his day -- is the Mosque. He spends more and more time at the Mosque becoming more and more religious. A small, small number pass through the Mosque into the hands of the radicals.

As I remember it, Ali felt the lure of the Mosque, but was saved by soccer and comic books, which were his doorway to comfort with the majority culture.

[Ali -- Feel free to edit my vague memory of your personal experience.]

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 10:29 AM

Yes, they had Blum, who was a failure, because he was more focused on socialism than national
defense. Mendes-France, who walked away from Indochina, and fumbled the response to Algeria.
Fabius, who screwed up the whole AIDS blood issue;
he in turn served in the cabinet of a Vichy collaborator, who held a lifelong friendship with
the Vichy counterpart to Klaus Barbie. Meyer, I don't recall. Than again we've never had an openly fascist candidate like Le Pen, in a runoff

Posted by: narciso at July 13, 2005 10:48 AM

"Then again we've never had an openly fascist candidate like Le Pen, in a runoff"

Before OJ gets a chance to mention it, we did have David Duke in a runoff for US Senate in our only French speaking area. Though my theory is that at that time Duke was not selling himself as a fascist, nor racist, nor anti-semite but crime fighter. He lost 59-41.

Posted by: h-man at July 13, 2005 11:16 AM

kuaint theory.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 11:29 AM

"As I remember it, Ali felt the lure of the Mosque, but was saved by soccer and comic books, which were his doorway to comfort with the majority culture."

Most of what you typed is right.

I didn't get saved from the Mosque because of soccer or comic books nor was I ever really uncomfortable with the majority culture.

It became more and more apparent that the solutions the more hardcore guys were offering for getting the Muslim world out of the hole it was in (reestablishing the Caliphate, enforcing Islamic laws strictly) didn't seem nearly as convincing as what conservatives were saying about what it took to build a healthy society. Plus I never got into the whole "America is evil" thing.

So if anything saved me it was PJ O'Rourke and Milton Friedman. :)

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 13, 2005 11:34 AM


Don't ever try to defend soccer again.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 11:38 AM

"Britain isn't the United States."

Whistling past a graveyard.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 13, 2005 11:42 AM

This has got to be a joke. How can anyone be "shocked" that the terrorists were Brits? I could see the surprise if the BBC were the only news source, but in the age of the internet, who's not aware of the weekly antics going on at the Finsbury Park mosque, and the feeble response by the authorities to other such incitements.

Posted by: b at July 13, 2005 11:50 AM

When a Jew becomes a socialist, is he still considered a "Jew" in France?

Posted by: Bob at July 13, 2005 12:21 PM

Any religion posseses the ablity to brainwash its followers, indeed doesn't even take a religion,(witness software salesman).

Actually, alienate someone sufficently, use the right control tactics, appeal to the emotions, and you could have grandmothers blowing up things straight away.

It would appear Islam has all the elements present to do what it takes to get this brainwashing job done. Considering the billions who belong, its not tough to come up with a few willing to do it and it only takes one.

In my city Cleveland, young Arabs filled the steets and celebrated with joy when the towers came down. Get those same people to brainwashing class and and one could expect them to be zealous foot soldiers in the war on whatever it is they don't like, US citizen or not.

So it becomes an exercise in how to sedate the problem demographic. Personally, I think making life miserable for anyone even remotely associated to a bomber is the quickest and most just way to deal with the problem. For example, you could require they attend "reality therapy" put on by a group of local Leftists, we have lots of them here in Cleveland.

Posted by: Perry at July 13, 2005 12:47 PM


Duke also got a lot of votes because of his opponent. My journalist friend was there at the time and still has one of the bumper stickers: "Vote for the crook. It's important."

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 13, 2005 1:06 PM


Sure. Mitterand was a Catholic. His finance minister, Delors, was a prominent Catholic layman in France. The PSF is a left-of-center party, on most issues concerning social and crime policy to the right of Nancy Pelosi or certainly John Conyers. All French political parties are well to the left of the American mainstream on economics.


I have a bumper sticker somewhere in the house that says, 'Vote for the crook, not the hood.'

h-man, narciso,

If America had a cavalry charge like the first round of the French Presidential election, it is not inconceivable that Pat Buchanan could slip into the runoff. LePen is a similar figure to Buchanan, except LePen actually did serve in his nation's military. In the first round of the last election, he slipped into the 2d round with about 15 percent of the vote. Buchanan got like 26% in New Hampshire in a GOP primary, didn't he?

The fact that all of the Jews elected PM in France were, to some degree, inept is if anything an indicator of French tolerance.


My cousin's husband is a Lubavitcher. He was raised in the Lubavitcher community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He went to Lubavitcher schools. His life included none of those aspects of American life one might consider strange or foreign. Nobody ate pork, everybody went to synagogue and sent their kids to religious schools. When he went to college, he had to deal with the host culture. He didn't go to college football games, which are played on Saturday. He didn't eat the food in the main cafeteria, because it wasn't kosher. Drinking to excess was definitely not part of the picture and dating was done, if at all through a series of introductions. Dating a non-Jew or a non-Orthodox Jew was inconceivable. The only familiar institution--perhaps the only comfort the Lubavitcher first away from home can find in his day--is the Chabad House. He spends more and more time at the Chabad House becoming more and more religious.

Now, my cousin's husband is a bit too clever by half in business, he's staggeringly ignorant of secular music, literature, art etc and he has the table manners of the Tasmanian Devil of Bugs Bunny fame, but he is not blowing up Americans, nor is he raising money to blow up Americans.

Go peddle crazy someplace else, David.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 3:00 PM

Bob: A Jew in france is a Jew until the Froggies turn him over to the Gestapo.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 13, 2005 3:20 PM

First, they're not assimilated into the host culture. Second, there are salient aspects of that culture which repulse them in much the same way they repulse oj and David. And moi.

Judeo-Christian-Capitalism contains the seeds of its own undoing. That undoing is not inevitable, but it is definitely potential.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 13, 2005 3:23 PM


A Nazi-occupied America run by any of our domestic fascists would turn in Jews to be made extra crispy at a rate and with an aplomb that would shock Reinhold Heydrich.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 3:24 PM


If they find the culture repulsive, then they should have the decency to leave, or politely demur. Nothing stops Muslims from proselytizing peacefully like Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses or for that matter Lubavitchers.

I don't patronize cigar bars because cigars generally smell to me like burning animal excrement and people who feel a need to put $20 up in smoke to impress others offend my sense of frugality. However, I do not try to blow them up nor do I insist that the State make them illegal.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 3:30 PM

Why? They're fitter than the Europeans.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 3:35 PM

We don't want to push the equivalency envelope too far, but: Think of the Muslim youth as New England Puritans and the indigenous Westerners as savages.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 13, 2005 3:41 PM

The better analogy, ghostcat, is we are the Romans and the Muslims are the Huns.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 3:48 PM


exactly. Puritans beat savages every time.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 3:49 PM

According to Bart, France is a Jewish paradise based on the fact that a few secular Jews obtain political positions. The US, whose anti-semitic history is really quite small (Quick, what Jew besides Leo Frank was killed for being Jewish? or How many US senators are Jewish?) would out do the Nazis. Nice.

Posted by: Bob at July 13, 2005 3:57 PM

Hey, bart, how'd that Roman/Hun thing work out?

Posted by: ghostcat at July 13, 2005 4:02 PM


That's not what I'm saying at all. I am merely making the point that equating the French with other European nations on how they treat immigrant or foreign populations in their midst is historically inaccurate, and that the closest analogy to the chimera of Muslim assimilation in America is the French experience which has been pretty shabby.

The period of American history between the World Wars had discrimination against Jews in housing, employment and education(including by public education) that one saw in France after 1791 only during the Vichy period. And France had dire economic circumstances and a complete lack of faith in the elected government prior to Vichy and of course suffered a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Nazis. Without any such prodding, Americans were capable of grotesque forms of discrimination, not as bad as in Eastern Europe, but far greater than that even suffered under Mussolini until the late 30s.

But then, you were defending 'separate but equal' a while back, so I shouldn't be surprised.


The Romans won. Ever hear of Chalons-sur-Marne?

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 4:11 PM

Those weren't cattle on the trains headed East.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 4:18 PM

A far smaller percentage of the Jews of France were sent to the camps than was the case of every other conquered nation except for Italy, Bulgaria and Denmark. The Channel Islands shipped over their entire Jewish population for extermination, which gives a good indicator of how the British would have treated the rest.

Posted by: bart at July 13, 2005 4:25 PM


In June of 1984, David Lane and Bruce Pierce, members of "The Order", a white supremacist group, gunned down Jewish radio host Alan Berg outside his home in Denver.

In August 1999, white supremacist Buford Furrow gunned down several people at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles.

The victims were selected because they were Jews, or presumed to be Jews.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 13, 2005 4:50 PM


The French helped exterminate about half their Jews.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 4:57 PM

And wasn't there a lynching of Jewish Australian divinity student in Queens, N.Y. during a riot (pogrom?) in the past decade or so? (And note the ethnicity of the lynch-mob in that case.) Someone else can supply the details, because I'm too lazy to.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 13, 2005 4:58 PM

Bart: That's a touching story about your cousin's husband, albeit completely irrelevant. I note, though, that one of your heroes is a homegrown Jewish terrorist.

Ali: I was sure that soccer came into the story somehow.

OJ: Is it a defense of soccer to note that it keeps the Europeans busy and out of worse trouble?

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 5:18 PM


Soccer certainly helps in Latin America. I never felt safer in Brazil than during the World Cup in 2002, no matter where we were at the time (except when our driver started going over 100 in order not to miss the match with Germany).

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 13, 2005 5:43 PM

"A Nazi-occupied America run by any of our domestic fascists would turn in Jews to be made extra crispy at a rate and with an aplomb that would shock Reinhold Heydrich."

Clearly you don't get out much.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 13, 2005 5:44 PM

Robert: Thanks for reminding me.

While touting the French record, Bart, you might want to compare it with the governments of Great
Britain and the United States. Not one Jew turned over to the Nazis. If you are tempted to object that, unlike the French, neither Britain nor America was under the Nazi's thumb, you might want to think about that a bit.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 5:54 PM

That's very liberal of you, David.

Maybe Americans didn't deliver any Jews directly to the Nazis, but slamming the door in their faces was pretty close to the same thing.

Obviously, not every young Muslim born and raised in Britain puts bombs on trains. Equally obviously, every young Muslim born and raised in Britain (who becomes aware of what his comperes are about) feels no obligation to turn in the ones who will.

It's the second group that comprises the problem.

Islam could clean itself up by Thursday night, if it wanted.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 13, 2005 6:37 PM


Sure, with the natives all indoors and drunk the streets are safe.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 6:46 PM


We only rarely have presidents who are as hateful as FDR was. Most would have let them in.

Posted by: oj at July 13, 2005 6:47 PM

Bart did make a valid point in contrasting terrorism by immigrant Jews and immigrant Muslims. Of course one reason for the lack of Jewish violence in countries where they immigrate to, is that they have been immigrating for over a thousand years. With that type of experience, they have apparently concluded that it is a losing proposition. Muslims are new to the immigrant game, and thus it will be necessary to educate them to that fact.

Posted by: h-man at July 13, 2005 7:13 PM

Harry: I am second to none in my support for liberal immigration policies and, in particular, would much prefer that Germany's Jews had all been let in. Not letting them in, however, is not the moral equivalent of being a Nazi.

For everyone else: Jews are perfectly capable of being terrorists, although we prefer "freedom fighter." Bart is an admirer of one of our more rancid terrorists. Bart's cousin-in-law is inapposite because, in a number of important ways, Judaism is not Islam, Israel is not the Arab world and, if we started engaging in terror, our target wouldn't be America.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 8:28 PM

Bart: Wow, 3 examples in 220 years. Yes, US is just like Nazi Germany. The people who did these things are punished, aren't they?

"Gentlemen's agreements" and Ivy League quotas are hardly the stuff of the Holocaust. Jews in the US were and remain the most free in the world. No one but you could seriously compare the French historical record to ours. Were any Jewish American army officers sent to Devil's Island on trumped up charges?

It is ironic that you falsely accuse others of racism. You are the biggest hater on this site.

Posted by: Bob at July 13, 2005 9:00 PM

The biggest danger was from all the fireworks being set off in the villages. I was 3 hours down the coast from Rio, and when Brazil beat England (at 5:00 AM local time), it sounded like The Mall on July 4. Of course, everyone was a bit lubed up.

The biggest problem was the 10+ hour delay when the team was supposed to make an appearance in Rio with the Cup. People were quite upset, and 400,000 angry people is not a pretty sight.


Americans are too flaccid (for the most part) to be truly fascist. David Duke was a chump, Pat Buchanan is a blowhard, and even George Wallace was just a mouthy short guy. America hasn't had a real political bigot who was more than just talk in a long time. Of course, Howard Dean could prove me wrong, but he's just blather, too. :>)

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 13, 2005 11:05 PM

[This is a response to a long, turgid and somewhat unhinged post that Bart left last night, which was apparently deleted after I started to reply to it. The gist was that I am a self-hating Jew who should change my name to Osama, that Jonathan Pollard's imprisonment is evidence of American antisemitism and that blacks are subhuman. Bart also noted his respect for Meir Kahane and that Barry Goldstein used to babysit him. OJ was too kind in deleting the comment. I would just have deleted the rascist nonsense and otherwise left the comment up so we could all make fun of the lunatic.]

Bart: The concept you are groping towards is "secure." If you ever make it to "mature", you'll start to recognize the difference.

As for Pollard, I'm with OJ [Editor's note: also deleted is OJ's comment that Pollard is a traitor and should have swung]. As for the French, "not quite as good as the Italians" pretty much covers the field.

For those who don't know, Barry Goldstein was a terrorist who went into a Mosque on top of the Cave of the Patriarchs (where, according to tradition, Abraham is buried) and killed 29 people. Bart is a hater who idolizes murderers.

Finally, Bart, say anything you want about me. I couldn't care less what you think and mostly it's amusing, in a somewhat disturbing laugh-at-the-sicko kind of way. But if you continue the racist nonsense, I'll see if I can get you banned.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 14, 2005 12:02 AM