Thursday, July 07, 2005

London, another chapter in the Third World War

I got the call from my mother at 7 this morning. She lives in London.
Apparently, the bomb blast at King's Cross was only about 2 blocks from where she works, and she had taken the London Underground only 15 minutes before the explosions occurred. Thankfully, the first words out of her mouth were;
"Did you hear what happened? Well, I'm ok........."
Her problem was that she was at work, and getting home was going to be tricky. We'll see how everything goes, but at least she's ok.
I can say a lot about the bombings today in London, but the only thing that stands out is how stupid and senseless that this bombing is. I'll go beyond the typical grief about an attack on transportation systems and the disregard for human life, and simply state that this attack was not politically sound. The more attacks that occur in the world against Western powers, the more President Bush's ideas about the War on Terrorism become realistic. Although a tragedy, this attack strengthens the resolve of Europe against terrorism, hopefully to the point that more is done to combat it around the world.
In 2002, I made a statement to my colleagues that I thought the United States was fighting in World War 3. Most of them thought it was nonsense, a few were silent, and I'm still sticking to it. The argument against it is that it is not big enough in terms of involvement and troop size. My response is that warfare has changed, and if you look closely, you will see that battles are being fought against Islamic extremism on 6 continents. Here's a list of attacks from only al-Qaida since 1998. Include this with current American troop deployments, foreign troop deployments (not only Coalition, check out Russia in Chechnya too), and tell me this isn't a worldwide conflict.
-1998 (Aug.): Bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa; 224 killed, including 12 Americans.
-1999 (Dec.): Plot to bomb millennium celebrations in Seattle and Los Angeles foiled when customs agents arrest an Algerian smuggling explosives into the U.S.
-2000 (Oct.): Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.
-2001 (Sept.): Destruction of World Trade Center; attack on Pentagon. Total dead 2,992.
-2001 (Dec.): Man tried to denote shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.
-2002 (April): Explosion at historic synagogue in Tunisia left 21 dead, including 14 German tourists.
-2002 (May): Car exploded outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens.
-2002 (June): Bomb exploded outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12.
-2002 (Oct.): Boat crashed into oil tanker off Yemen coast, killing one.
-2002 (Oct.): Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, killed 202, mostly Australian citizens.
-2002 (Nov.): Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 16.
-2003 (May): Suicide bombers killed 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
-2003 (May): Four bombs killed 33 people targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco.
-2003 (Aug.): Suicide car-bomb killed 12, injured 150 at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
-2003 (Nov.): Explosions rocked a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia housing compound, killing 17.
-2003 (Nov.): Suicide car-bombers simultaneously attacked two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds.
-2003 (Nov.): Truck bombs detonated at London bank and British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 26.
-2004 (March): Ten terrorists bombs exploded almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 202 and injuring more than 1,400.
-2004 (May): Terrorists attacked Saudi oil company offices in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 22.
-2004 (Sept.): Car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed nine.
-2004 (Dec.): Terrorists enter the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, killing nine (including 4 attackers).
-2005 (July): Four terrorist bombs explode within minutes of each other on subway trains and a bus in London, England, killing 37 and injuring hundreds.

And those that compare this conflict (including the War in Iraq) with Vietnam are simply ignorant or in denial about the situation. Vietnam was a war that was fought on foreign soil, fought very poorly by the commanding military, and fought against a group of people that simply wanted to keep their home. The Vietnamese fought for nationalism. The Islamic extremists fight because they hate the Western way of life. I'm not talking about Islam, I'm talking about the idiots that use the religion to justify a war against Western civilization. We are talking about a group of people that live a life that is considered beyond medieval in terms of social policy and women's rights. We are talking about people that hate Americans more than they love life. We are talking about a group of people whose supposed leader said he would call off the holy war if America got rid of "Gambling, immoral sex, homosexuality, alcohol, women's rights, Jews, and personal freedoms". That sure doesn't sound like a nationalist statement to me. It sounds like a group of people who want to end a way of life, for better or worse.

Look, we can argue about the War in Iraq constantly. Hell, I even believe that Bush entered the conflict all wrong, and then made a huge mistake about the rebuilding of Iraq. However, Iraq is simply on front on a war that is going on around the world. Operations against Muslim extremists stretch from Brazil to Chechnya, from the Philippines to France, from North Africa to Indonesia, and Spain, England, and the United States.

Sure sounds like a World War to me.
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