It is now known that the the four bombers involved in the London blasts are well-off, middle class kids from Leeds. What is not known is what kind of propaganda can drive young men of sound minds and bright futures to willingly blow themselves up to kill and maim innocent people. One bomb even went off in Aldgate East – an area of London with a sizable Muslim community.
Which is why the WoT will always need to be fought on two fronts:
- Military offensives and police arrests backed by good intelligence & forensic accounting (edited 14th July, 2005 for clarity)
- Education, poverty relief, and the Israeli/Palestinian issue
The first roots out the wealthy financiers, planners and recruiters wherever they may be. Their propaganda corrupts absolutely and there’s no reasoning with pure hate. EDIT July 15th, 2005 – This will mitigate to a certain extent the phenomenon of educated and bright minds being warped. The second will reduce the pool of potential recruits. The situation will be greatly helped if moderate and sensible Muslim clerics and leaders around the world, including those in Western countries speak up in a combined voice condemning these evil acts and help steer young impressionable Muslims away from the dark side. And though problematic legally, radical firebrands need to be censured.
Meanwhile another bomb went off in Iraq, killing more innocent Iraqis. Curtis puts it angrily:
Whatever people may think about the war in Iraq, now that a can of worms have been opened it is more prudent to let the military deal with it the best that they can instead of being stuck on “we told you so“.
I do believe that the US is in a predicament – they focused too narrowly on Iraq when they should have cast a broader look at Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. But the US can’t go it alone nor should they. It’s a global problem. And I hope that the governments of these countries would know that fanaticism is a double-edged sword and it is not in their best interests in the long run to continue fuelling it.
For those with short memories, Osama bin Laden was a mujahid backed by the US against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The US has learnt the lesson the hard way, these countries need not have to.
What the world needs now is a bit more understanding, pragmatism and common sense.