The worldwide network of jihadi terrorists has reached a stage of development in which the “inspiration” provided by the senior leaders and preachers of the “movement” has generated enough armed groups in the European countries to enable them to strike targets in Europe in the course of what is seen by the Jihadis as a long term strategy of emotional and financial attrition intended to de-stabilize the countries of the West in the belief that if chaos exists in these countries then the populations will turn to Islam as the solution to their problems. The Jihadis believe this to be especially true in countries with large immigrant Muslim populations. The Jihadis are utterly deluded in this appreciation of the possibility of their success. What will happen across Europe if these attacks continue is that the European states will abandon their policies of toleration and increasingly resort to discriminatory policing and population control measures aimed at their Muslim residents and citizens. The French Interior Ministry has announced the expulsion of 12 objectionable Imams and other mosque officials for preaching and advocating hostility and violence toward the West and France in particular. In an ominous development, the French government announced that naturalization to French citizenship would not be a problem since the French government would resort to a little used provision of their law to strip deportees of their acquired French citizenship before deporting them. This practice may well spread.
The Dutch are starting to make similar noises in the aftermath of Van Gogh’s murder. The note nailed to his body will be paid for dearly by many people who only want to be left alone. Most people want to be left alone.
I do not believe that OBL or his core organization has much of anything to do with this recent wave of attacks although some of the “Europeans” may have spent some time with AQ trainers in Pakistan.
Someone said to me the other day that the Jihadis were “really waking up” in Britain. This was someone who is an expert on terrorism in the world. I replied that in fact it was the British who were waking up to their danger and the fact that they had allowed extremists to “colonize” their country over an extended period of time in spite of many indications that there had been a growing Jihadi presence in the country for a number of years. That presence grew and grew while England slept and the "movement’s" pervasive infiltration of all economic and educational levels of the Muslim community of the UK progressed. It is a particular characteristic of the English that once they are roused to anger from their usual phlegmatic attitude they become very aggressive and willing to violate just about any sort of civil rights in their desire to get at their enemies, especially internal enemies. The Irish learned that lesson long ago.
I think that you can look to see more attacks in different European countries carried out by people who have never really “arrived” in these countries emotionally and who do not identify with the majority culture there. These people are in Western Europe either in pursuit of economic improvement or as refugees from the rapacity of some government in their own part of the world. A lot of them have never been interested in real “immigration” to the West as we usually think of it in the US. They are in Europe for “the goodies.” There are a lot of people like that, and they provide an immense “reservoir” of potential recruits for bombing attacks and other acts of mayhem.
The US is less vulnerable to such attacks, not because of our supposedly benevolent attitude toward immigrants. We give ourselves a lot of credit in that area, but sitting here in my study I am looking at an original sign from 1912. The sign was posted on a construction site in Boston. You know what is written on it. "Help Wanted. No Irish Need Apply," was the welcome in this "Nation of Immigrants." Our real national attitude towards immigrants has been that they could sink or swim. By and large that has worked well for us as a kind of Darwinian test of survival potential and toughness. I don’t think our attitude toward immigrants is better than that in Europe. Nevertheless, I also don’t think you can attribute these attacks in Europe to receptivity to newcomers or the lack of it on the part of old populations. As an example; think of the record in America. In the US there have been many, many waves of nationally or religiously coherent groups of immigrants. When has this kind of rejection of the "adopted" country happened before? It has not.
Is the US more or less vulnerable than Europe. I think the answer is less, not because of our wonderful attitude but rather because of our much smaller population of Muslims (probably around 3.5 million) and the relatively easier police problem that presents. pl
Thanks for the comment, but my post was about the likliness of recent immigrant support for jihadi operations. Am I right in thinking from your comment that you think that recent immigrants in the US from Islamic populations are less likely to support such operations or participate in such operations than their counterparts in Europe? pl
The notion of jihadis seeking to convert Europe to Islam strikes me as science-fictional. In the cases we’ve seen in Spain and England where large-scale attacks have taken place, these attacks could be linked easily to the presence of Spanish and British forces in Arabia. Osama bin Laden himself has stated multiple times that the reason he attacked the United States in September 2001 was because of U.S. forces in Arabia.
Other nations in Europe have issues with their Muslim immigrant population, and will continue to have issues for simple demographic reasons — they aren’t reproducing quickly enough, and thus are increasingly reliant upon “guest workers” such as the Turkish in Germany and the Algerians in France. The problem with “guest workers” is that they feel no connection to the country they work in. The solution is to get them away from their mono-cultural notion that a Frenchman has to be a white dude who’s descended from the Franks and Latins, and move towards a melting pot type situation where non-whites are accepted as full partners. Once a man thinks of himself as a Frenchman rather than as an Algerian working in France, he is not going to attack France.
Dogs will not sh*t in their own kennel, that is why kennel training works if you’re familiar with how dogs are house trained. Similarly, people will not attack their own homeland, a few nutballs like Timothy McVeigh excepted, and you see how far McVeigh’s terrorism got him — the people he hoped to inspire to rebellion instead, because they were Americans, hunted down McVeigh and his co-conspirators and turned them in to the FBI lickity split. What is needed in Europe is not further repression of their Muslim population, but, rather, an effort similar to efforts in the early part of the 20th century in the United States — i.e., an effort to assimilate the new immigrants into the culture and values of the nation. A “melting pot”, so to speak. The current European situation, where they are holding their noses and keeping their new immigrants at arm’s length and treating them like sh*t because the new immigrants are brown and Muslim rather than being white and Christian, is a powder keg that can and *will* explode as the demographics of Europe continue their current trends.
Make a man proud to be an American, and he won’t attack America. Make a man proud to be a German, and he won’t attack Germany. Etc. That is the best way to deal with immigrant populations — assimilate them and make them feel proud to be American/German/etc. If you treat them like cr*p, that’s what you’ll get back — but that’s what the Europeans are largely doing, all their whiny drivelling about their superior “tolerance” and “values” nonwithstanding. In England, “Paki-bashing” has been a longstanding sport at football scrums. In Germany, skinheads regularly beat Turkish immigrants to a pulp. In France, the French look down their noses at anybody who isn’t an ethnic Frenchman. It’s a powder keg, and it’s going to explode one of these days, and Osama bin Laden, if he’s involved at all, is involved only as a spark in the distance.
– Badtux the Sometimes-European Penguin (i.e., I’ve seen personally how they treat their immigrants).
One more thing: In my current employment, I work with a lot of immigrants. Some of them are here on temporary visas and are going back to India or Poland or etc. in a few months or years. Most of them have paid their dues, gone through the horrendously difficult process, and become American citizens.
The notion of them attacking America would be ludicrous — they are Americans. They feel like Americans. They don’t feel like Indians or Israelis or Poles or whatever country they came from. They are Americans, and proud of it — well, until recently, anyhow (one Israeli immigrant, looking at the Abu Ghraib pictures, shook his head sadly and said to me “I came here to America to get away from all that Likkud stuff, what has happened to this country? This almost makes me ashamed to be an American”).
That is the primary difference between most of America and most of Europe — we don’t automatically treat people as less than human simply because they’re immigrants (a few inbred mouth breathers like the “Minutemen” excepted). That is why I think it is extremely unlikely that there could ever be widespread support for al Qaeda amongst the general Muslim community in the United States… unless… UNLESS we start treating them like cr*p, like Muslims are treated in Europe.
– Badtux the Urbane Penguin
We all hope you are right. pl
In re the “science fiction,” it does not treally matter if you think this is fantasy. what matters is whether or not the the Jihadis think it is fantasy within the context of their self proclaimed mission to restore to the ‘Umma all the lands it ever held or should have held.
I have been treated to the irredentist Islamist rant many times in Saudi Arabia (where the money comes from) and other places.
I think you have a difficult time explaining why some British and French born Muslims who have been cared for by the state and allowed to live in these countries in large numbers do not think themselves British or French. Having spent a lot of time among those communities in both countries I would dispute your contention that they have been badly treated. pl
Ismoot, there is a different between being “badly treated” in the sense of being regularly physically abused, and being treated as a second-class citizen. Think of, say, the treatment of black Americans in the late 1960’s. The result was an increasingly violent set of urban riots that were primarily quelled with a guns-and-butter approach (i.e., cracking down on them with increasing harshness, but also ramping up on welfare payments et. al.). Yet on a historic scale, black Americans in the late 1960’s were better off than they had ever been
In short, there are conditions for violent extremism that make a population prone to support violent extremists, the primary one being that they feel disenfranchised and powerless, they feel that they’ve been bottled into a ghetto and not allowed full access to the American Dream (or French Dream or whatever). The way we resolved the issue of black extremism in the late 1960’s is probably instructive here. We didn’t start subjecting all black people to searches before they were allowed onto buses and planes. We did not send soldiers into the streets of urban America to burst through doors and haul black men at random to some gulag where he would be tortured and held without charges for months at a time. We did not make further efforts to make blacks feel like second-class citizens. Rather, we used intelligence — by the end, if four black radicals were together, three of them were in the pay of the FBI — and honey — we made the lives of the black people, the “sea” that these radicals swam in, so much better, and gave them so much more rights compared to before the 1960’s, that they saw more promise in participating in the American Dream and more possibility of achieving it (thanks to affirmative action and other such programs that were instituted in that era), and thus did so rather than attempting to destroy it.
In the end, while Europeans give lip service to the notions of tolerance, diversity, etc., lip service is what it remains. Turkish guest workers in Germany (which I’m most familiar with) are treated much like Mexican illegals in the American Southwest — i.e., two-legged cockroaches, to be barely tolerated because they provide useful services, until recently not eligible for citizenship and thus with no stake in Germany. It is instructive that when I visited our factory in Bingen, there was not a single brown face in sight… good-paying factory jobs are reserved for ethnic Germans, cockroaches need not apply, born in Germany or no.
Ok. but that doesn’t really address the issue of Jihadi motivation. pl