Thursday, July 14, 2005

Home Grown Terrorists

It's becoming increasingly evident that the murderers in London were British citizens, not foreign nationals. Suicide Bomber Was A Teacher

James Taranto (Wall Street Journal) has an interesting take on this ...

This is potentially a huge problem not just for Britain but for Continental European countries that also have large populations of unassimilated Muslim citizens. It does not appear to be a major problem for America, which has a proportionately smaller Muslim population and a long history of assimilating immigrants. If Islamist terrorism is potentially a domestic problem for Europe, then the stakes in the global war on terror are in a way much higher there than in America.

He then discusses what would happen if the anti-American countries in Europe got their wish, a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq ...

If the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan and Iraq, the Europeans would as well; they simply do not have the military wherewithal to win without America. These countries would then become terrorist bases, as Afghanistan was pre-9/11. With "fortress America" a daunting target, terrorists would likely turn their attention to Europe, which would have a much harder time isolating itself than America.

Lacking America's geographic isolation, European countries would be hard-pressed to seal their borders (though Britain would be at an advantage in this regard). And the large population of alienated Muslim citizens would necessitate far more draconian curtailments of civil liberties than America would need.

This is all speculative, of course, but it is meant to suggest that peace in Europe depends on a continuing vigorous American response to the threat of Islamist terrorism. It wouldn't hurt if the Europeans figured that out and acknowledged it.