"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, July 02, 2007

Martyrs, Jihadists Are NOT the Brightest Bulbs on the Porch

Interesting reads today from NRO from three very good writers. The overall impression put forward by the media has been that these latest attacks by terrorists are not really al Qaeda linked because the skillset of the "would bes" lacks a certain proficiency or professionalism; this of course is due to the fact the intended outcome failed.

We wouldn't want to discount their abilities obviously by suggesting they cannot succeed again. Yet when they have not had a successful attack, in the U.S. especially the public and media tends to discount that as though there were no threat. When they fail, the failures are looked upon as lacking that 007 aspect, so of course these cannot be real terrorists, al Qaeda or not.

While the main thrust of these articles, with the exception of Ledeen's may not be on the subject of "IQ" the reader does get the underlying sense that the terrorists/suicide bombers/martyrs aren't all that quick on the uptake.

Michael Ledeen takes the question of "smarts" as main thesis in his article this morning, “Stupid Terrorist” Is it any surprise?”’

"Did you really expect high-I.Q. martyrs? Maybe clever killers, but somebody should have pointed out — long since — that it isn’t very smart to blow yourself up. And for the most part, the martyrs haven’t come from the best-educated sectors of the population. But so many scribblers have been impressed by the deep faith of the suiciders, that they’ve shied away from this fairly obvious point. And one could go further. Indeed one should go further: All those parents and siblings who speak with reverence of their exploded child or brother or sister or cousin or uncle, they should be ashamed of themselves. Because they’re fools."
Andrew McCarthy speaks this morning that Islamic Terror Strikes the U.K. … Again” so ultimately does it really matter whether al Qaeda, an off-shoot or even unrelated as far as the underlying belief system?
"Britain’s new prime minister, Gordon Brown, has been explicit in his public statements that this new series of attacks is linked to al Qaeda. The nature of that linkage is has not been revealed, and many experts have expressed skepticism about the possibility because the explosive devices here were poorly constructed. This, though, gives way too much credit to al Qaeda. Yes, several of its operations have been highly professional, but its operatives are not all ten feet tall and they have produced their share of amateur-hour moments."
Finally, James Robbins considers that it is not all about Iraq, with "Club Bombers - Jihad runs deep"
"There are several lessons to be learned from the failed terrorist attacks in Britain. Some are obvious, such as the fact that the terrorists are still a threat, the war is still on. Also that the terrorists are seeking softer targets, which speaks to the effectiveness of hardening others. The Glasgow airport attack in particular illustrates this — despairing of actually getting on an airplane, the bad guys just rammed the gate with a Jeep Cherokee with a bomb in the back. It was not a well-planned or thought-out attack; the vehicle was hung up on the static defenses, which worked as intended. And did one of the perps really as was reported pour gasoline directly on an open flame? No wonder he ignited. These are not superstars."
It shouldn't take much of a stretch for those that either don't see it or refuse to believe it, that this problem we have is not just about Iraq, but is all around us. We shouldn't wait forever for that smoking gun, as even a smoking gun can be denied as being a smoking gun.

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